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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm rebuilding an old rigid with ebay parts. The brakes on them are cable that runs down to a Y connector that pulls on a lever on each side of the tire. They are pre v-brake era. Are these considered cantilever brakes? They don't have the big funny metal arms like cheap wal mart bikes. Thanks.

Also, can brakes lever/shifter combos advertised as "for V-brakes" be used?
 

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R.I.P. DogFriend
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You have cantilever style brakes. You cannot (without the use of an adaptor) use your cantilever brake levers for v-brakes. I wouldn't recommend the adaptors.

Don't mix v-brake levers with cantilever brakes.

What exactly are you wanting to do?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
rebuilding for the wife

I'm giving the bike a general overhaul. The rear d. was broken, so that was fixed, as well as the worn out headset. I'm not trying to "upgrade" technology wise, but if I can find better quality of like components, I am upgrading.

The brakes are crap. The levers are plastic, so have a lot of flex. My wife doesn't really understand the gearing so I'd like to have the shifters that have the numbers. If plausible, I'd like to get those integrated shifters with the numbers and the metal brake levers. There is one on ebay now for "cantilever brakes only."
 

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R.I.P. DogFriend
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There are some good deals on shifters on e-bay, but there are lots of very average deals that when you factor in shipping charges are not so great after all.

The integrated rapidfire shifters will be OK. The reason I don't care for integrated shifters is that if you break them or want to upgrade one (brake or shifter) you have to replace both. I prefer separates for that reason. With your wife's biker that may not be a concern.

You can use 8 speed shifters with your seven speed cassette so you still have many options. I did a little checking online and found some Avid single Digit 3.0 v-brakes for $12 each, so for $24 dollars you can give yourself many more options with the shifters, not to mention give her much better braking action.

Another thing to consider is that if you wife is confused by not being able to see the numbers on shifters, she may also appreciate the simple action of twist shifters.

Here's what I found as a possible solution:

Jagwire MTB brake cable and housing kit $5.95 @ bikesurplus dot com

Avid Single Digit 3.0 V-Brakes $12 each ($24 total) @ jensonusa dot com

Tektro V-Brake levers $9 / pair @ jensonusa dot com

I saw plenty of SRAM front or rear twist shifters for around $15 each (I have seen similar pricing on these shifters in the local bike shop especially when you factor in shipping charges, but you area may be different) to round out a complete new v-brake system and new shifters for about $70.

or

I also saw (on ebay) a new set of 7 speed Deore rapidfire integrated brake lever/shifters for cantilever brakes for a "buy it now" price of $36. If you feel that her cantilevers are worth salvaging, this is the way I would go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My wife hardly rides fast enought to need brakes. It's funny to watch here brake down a paved hill and start the climb with no momentum. She had a bad downhill wreck as a kid and still bears the scars.

If I upgraded to v brakes on a rigid fork, do I need one of those brake stiffeners (the little arch that is above the wheel on v's and discs)? I wouldn't think so.

I looked at the shifters for the 7spd, and saw that they don't have the visual display. I'm going now to check on some sram twisters and the other items you listed.

Oh, and thanks a bunch for your help!
 
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