Adjusting cantilever brakes and brake quick release



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Noel Llopis

Guest
I have a set of Avid Shorty 6 cantilever brakes on my Redline Conquest Pro frame with a set of STI
8-speed shifters (probably 105, but there are no labels left).

My question is about adjusting the brakes. It seems that when I adjust the brakes to be close enough
to the rim so that I don't have to move the lever very much before braking actually starts, then the
cable is too tight to be even possible to use the quick release on the brake (to remove the wheel).

I found the tightest the cable can be and still allow me to unhook the quick release, but that makes
the brake levers have too much travel for my taste.

Is there a way around that, or is that what I'm stuck with when using cantilevers and I'm just
spoiled from my Ultegra brake set on my road bike?

--Noel
 
M

Mike S.

Guest
"Noel Llopis" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> I have a set of Avid Shorty 6 cantilever brakes on my Redline Conquest Pro frame with a set of STI
> 8-speed shifters (probably 105, but there are no labels left).
>
> My question is about adjusting the brakes. It seems that when I adjust the brakes to be close
> enough to the rim so that I don't have to move the
lever
> very much before braking actually starts, then the cable is too tight to
be
> even possible to use the quick release on the brake (to remove the wheel).
>
> I found the tightest the cable can be and still allow me to unhook the
quick
> release, but that makes the brake levers have too much travel for my
taste.
>
> Is there a way around that, or is that what I'm stuck with when using cantilevers and I'm just
> spoiled from my Ultegra brake set on my road
bike?
>
>
> --Noel

I always have to ask people that like their brakes like you like them, "why?" Your hands are
strongest right before they make a fist... Why use the weakest part of your grip to activate
your brakes?

If your hands are strongest right before they make a fist, doesn't it make sense to adjust the
brakes so that they're strongest a little closer to your bars?

Back to the question at hand. What I've done is to run inline cable adjusters. You can unscrew them
far enough to get the wheel out, then back in to get the feel you like.

That help?

Mike
 
N

Noel Llopis

Guest
Mike S. wrote:

> I always have to ask people that like their brakes like you like them, "why?" Your hands are
> strongest right before they make a fist... Why use the weakest part of your grip to activate
> your brakes?

I never find strength to be an issue with modern brakes/brakepads. And I would rather get immediate
braking. Also, I often have a finger or two *behind* the lever, and pulling them in so far sometimes
hits them.

> If your hands are strongest right before they make a fist, doesn't it make sense to adjust the
> brakes so that they're strongest a little closer to your bars?

That'd be fine. In that case I would like my levers to be closer to the bar all the time and just
have to pull in a little to start braking.

> Back to the question at hand. What I've done is to run inline cable adjusters. You can unscrew
> them far enough to get the wheel out, then back in to get the feel you like.

Yeah, that's what I figured. Which means I have to put in the inline cable adjusters that the bike
didn't come with. Grumble, grumble. I thought it was something weird about my bike, but I've been
seeing lots of posts here about that lately.

Thanks.

--Noel
 

daveornee

New Member
Sep 18, 2003
2,763
0
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Originally posted by Noel Llopis
I have a set of Avid Shorty 6 cantilever brakes on my Redline Conquest Pro frame with a set of STI
8-speed shifters (probably 105, but there are no labels left).

My question is about adjusting the brakes. It seems that when I adjust the brakes to be close enough
to the rim so that I don't have to move the lever very much before braking actually starts, then the
cable is too tight to be even possible to use the quick release on the brake (to remove the wheel).

I found the tightest the cable can be and still allow me to unhook the quick release, but that makes
the brake levers have too much travel for my taste.

Is there a way around that, or is that what I'm stuck with when using cantilevers and I'm just
spoiled from my Ultegra brake set on my road bike?

--Noel
http://sheldonbrown.com/cantilever-adjustment.html
http://sheldonbrown.com/cables.html
as well as the instruction sheet that came with your Avid brakes.
Make sure you chose the best straddle for your geometry.
If you follow these articles well and use good quality cables and housings you should be able to get your desired operation.
Pay particular attention to housings precision length, routing, and end preparation.
I use Avid 6s on our tandem without problems now that I have the cables and housings set right.
INCA (Inline Cable Adjusters) or other cable adjusters will still help you get the adjustments you need/desire.
 
M

Mike S.

Guest
"Noel Llopis" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:D[email protected]...
> Mike S. wrote:
>
> > I always have to ask people that like their brakes like you like them, "why?" Your hands are
> > strongest right before they make a fist... Why
use
> > the weakest part of your grip to activate your brakes?
>
> I never find strength to be an issue with modern brakes/brakepads. And I would rather get
> immediate braking. Also, I often have a finger or two *behind* the lever, and pulling them in so
> far sometimes hits them.

Since I startd riding in the late 80s, I've always set up my brakes so that when the levers are at
full pull, they just barely clear my knuckles. Seems to work well. It isn't quite as important with
V-brakes, but cantis are something else...

Added benefit is that you can compress the levers just a bit before you need them and the pads
don't rub.

But that's just me. If you like it different, great.

Mike
 
J

Jay Beattie

Guest
"daveornee" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> Noel Llopis wrote:
> > I have a set of Avid Shorty 6 cantilever brakes on my
Redline Conquest
> > Pro frame with a set of STI 8-speed shifters (probably 105,
but there
> > are no labels left). My question is about adjusting the brakes. It seems that
when I adjust
> > the brakes to be close enough to the rim so that I don't
have to move
> > the lever very much before braking actually starts, then
the cable is
> > too tight to be even possible to use the quick release on
the brake (to
> > remove the wheel). I found the tightest the cable can be and still allow me to
unhook the
> > quick release, but that makes the brake levers have too
much travel
> > for my taste. Is there a way around that, or is that what I'm stuck with
when
> > using cantilevers and I'm just spoiled from my Ultegra
brake set on
> > my road bike? --Noel
>
>
> http://sheldonbrown.com/cantilever-adjustment.html http://sheldonbrown.com/cables.html as well as
> the instruction
sheet
> that came with your Avid brakes. Make sure you chose the best
straddle
> for your geometry. If you follow these articles well and use
good
> quality cables and housings you should be able to get your
desired
> operation. Pay particular attention to housings precision
length,
> routing, and end preparation. I use Avid 6s on our tandem
without
> problems now that I have the cables and housings set right.
INCA (Inline
> Cable Adjusters) or other cable adjusters will still help you
get the
> adjustments you need/desire.

Although an STI/cantilever system can be optimized, it will never be optimal due to the mechanical
advantage problems, IMO. Do like daveornee and Sheldon suggests, but do not expect the brakes to
behave like dual pivots. Also get some good brake shoes, like the KoolStop salmon pads. That will
make a lot of difference if you ride in the rain. -- Jay Beattie (STI and old Deore XT brakes and a
wide straddle with KoolStops).
 
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