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ontherun said:
Cantilever. For me there is not much to decide, It's just a simpler mechanism with much less things to go wrong.
:skep:
The only thing V's have over canti's in terms of complexity is the noodle. Other than that, mechanically they work the same, a cable pulls on a lever that has the pads on it that contacts the rim.
 

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weirdo
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Sometimes cable routing dictates one or the other. If not, whichever one you have on hand or whichever you already have levers for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I guess I assumed that any lever would work. which goes with which? also, does one have more power that the other? does one perform better in the snow?
 

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This is a forever debate....how about whatever feels best on your bike. Ask yourself some questions....Where are the stops routed? Are you using standard Vbrakes/Canti's or custom made? Is your commuter 700c or 26? How adjustable are your levers? For example Shimano Deore series for V-brake are better than most older canti's. However new canti's like FSA
kick ass!!!
And good luck in the snow....if you are doing that, might I suggest this:

http://www.ktrakcycle.com/
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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Cantilevers and V-brakes require levers that pull a different amount of cable. Most brake levers are only compatible with one or the other.

I think V-brakes are much better, if you get a choice. About the only thing cantilevers do better, IMHO, is work with road levers, and if you're not tied to using STI levers, there are road brake levers designed to work with V-brakes.
 

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weirdo
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tw3nty9er said:
I guess I assumed that any lever would work. which goes with which? also, does one have more power that the other? does one perform better in the snow?
Yes, different "pulls", as A.S. said. But it isn`t really very complicated- with only a few exceptions, levers made for drop bars (slightly larger diameter than flat bars) will work with "roadie" sidepulls and with old style straddle wire cantis. Those levers include the brifters that come on most new road bikes (STI, Campy Ergo, and SRAM Doubletap). Old mtb levers, from pre V-brake days have the same pull as road levers. Most new mtb levers work for mechanical discs and for V-brakes (same pull for each of those) and many mtb levers can be quickly and easilly switched from one "pull" to the other. None of my Avids or Tektros are switchable, although the adjustable pull on SD7s comes close enough that I`m using it for the wrong brakes on one bike and haven`t had any incedents yet. I`m pretty sure that all Shimano mtb levers can be switched- somebody please correct me if I`m wrong. If in doubt, check the product specs- Long Pull is for Vs or mechanical discs, Short Pull is for straddle cantis or sidepulls.

As to strength, many canti gurus claim that propperly set up straddle cantis have more power than Vs and others claim that Vs have more power, period. In the real world, the difference is small that it isn`t worth worrying about- with modern alloy rims and good pads, they both offer excelent modulation and way more power than any brakes the clunker riders on Mt Tam ever dreamed of. In my experience, vs are in fact easier to set up and adjust than straddle cantis, but at the rate I change pads, I don`t really care. I currently use both types and don`t notice any difference in any aspect of how well they work, including in the snow. If you think you really need all the brake you can get, I suppose discs would be your best bet, although I`ve never used them and probably never will. Not that I have any doubts about them, I just plain don`t need them, don`t like how they look, and don`t want to learn a new skill set when it comes to installing and maintaining them.
 

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Disc brakes!

Just kidding. Unless your bike has disc tabs, then that is in fact the correct answer.

I used to work in a bike shop and I hated cantilevers. I was constantly fighting brake squeal, screwing around forever with toe-in (even tried reverse toe sometimes) and trying anything to stop that annoying sound. On my personal Crosscheck, I swapped out the stock cantilevers for V-brakes and noticed a huge difference in stopping power. Sure, there may have been other factors involved, but my Crosscheck wasn't the only bike I ever rode with cantilevers and most of the others also couldn't stop as well.

So unless you are using STI drop bar shifters (brifters), then V-brakes are the only reasonable answer. Much easier to adjust and more powerful than cantis.
 

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I used to hate cantis and then I worked on my wife's that came on her new touring bike. Newer canti's, like the shimanos are awesome. The springs are much easier to adjust. Personally, while V's brake harder, I think canti's look a little classier and they're easier to set up with a rack/fenders.
 

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Problems with Canti's:
1. You need a cable hanger coming off your headset or stem, if you have a rigid fork, or a cable stop on your fork arch if you have a suspension fork. You also need a hanger at the rear of the bike.
2. Canti's are not as strong as V's and there is a reason for that. The way a V brake is set up, cable tension is translated directly to pad movement toward the rim. On a canti, cable tension pulls the straddle cable upward. Part of the tension causes the pads to move inward (Horizontal force), and some of the tension is wasted applying a vertical force perpendicular to pad movement, which is energy wasted pulling on the brake post.
3. Canti's are harder to set up. They are more sensitive to "toe in" for some reason, and the straddle cable length adds another variable for reasons sited in #2 (a more horizontal straddle cable wastes less force than a long straddle cable with a big V shape).
The straddle cable hanger also goes off center causing uneven pad movement.
4. Canti's are older technology, so levers and pads are less available.
 

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jonzinmj said:
I used to hate cantis and then I worked on my wife's that came on her new touring bike. Newer canti's, like the shimanos are awesome. The springs are much easier to adjust. Personally, while V's brake harder, I think canti's look a little classier and they're easier to set up with a rack/fenders.
That's what I should asked about.

From servicing old canti's I can't stand them. I was hoping that newer ones are easier to adjust.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
some good feedback here. I'm building up a ss 26er commuter and the frame is already set up for canti's but I got a really good deal on some v's ($10) so I thought i would try them first. I'll give it a go but would kind of like to switch to canti's in the future to keep it original and use the frame as it was meant to be used. plus, i kind of like the look of canti's a bit more too. Thanks!
 

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All my old bikes are now running v brakes. V brakes (avid sd-5/7) are mostly set and forget. Every canti needed to be touched every 1-3 rides. Most of their mechanisms were flaky and wore out too. (diacompe, shimano, scott, etc suntour)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
when i go canti's in the future I'll want to add drop bars w/ the appropriate levers. do you guys have any recommendations for these?
 

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weirdo
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AlliKat said:
Every canti needed to be touched every 1-3 rides. Most of their mechanisms were flaky and wore out too. (diacompe, shimano, scott, etc suntour)
????
I know I`m slow about taking care of things, but I never realized I was MONTHS behind. I`d better get on that- got about 1200 miles on my commuter since I`ve "touched" the brakes.
 

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weirdo
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tw3nty9er said:
when i go canti's in the future I'll want to add drop bars w/ the appropriate levers. do you guys have any recommendations for these?
Bars or levers? For the bars, it`s like finding a saddle that you like- there are a lot of differences and everyone has his or her own "right" bar. Dropbar levers for cantis are almost imposible to miss. As far as I know the only ones that WON`T work are Tektro 287V and some Cane Creek model that`s apparently a cosmetically upgraded version of those Tektros.
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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tw3nty9er said:
when i go canti's in the future I'll want to add drop bars w/ the appropriate levers. do you guys have any recommendations for these?
If the bike fits you with flat bars, it most likely won't with drops. They change the reach by quite a lot. If it's too small with flats, it might work.

Are you going to be using STI shifters, or separate shift and brake levers? If separate, just get the ones that are compatible with V-brakes. I had a set of the Cane Creek ones, and they worked pretty well, for as long as that bike lasted. If you go back to the cantilevers, any road brake lever will be fine, except for the Drop Vs.
 
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