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Discussion Starter #1
I suffered with these things for three years. I distrust throwing parts at my bike, and everybody says that nobody's brakes work during a 'cross race. So I figured my brakes were not really sucking more than anybody else's. I got some Kool Stop pads and sucked it up.

But I got suspicious. They sucked on the road, and correctly set up cantilevers are supposed to be competitive with dual-pivot brakes. I tried lowering the straddle cable. Didn't help. Up high, it was bad. Finally, I busted out my mad engineering skillz and drew some free body diagrams, and decided that they were an intrinsically sucky brake because they had the layout of a high-profile brake but short arms.

I got some cheap Mini-Vs. (Tektro BX3V) Installed them yesterday, nice long ride today including some dirt and mud, favorably impressed.

Back on topic - I notice that the BX3V is a pretty tidy unit. The spring, spring tension adjustment screw, and a bushing are all part of the arm and it would take some doing to take it apart. I notice that the BX3V has bushings.

The Kore Sport cantilever brake is not a tidy unit. Remove the mounting screw and everything comes apart. And it doesn't have a bushing, per se - just a metal sleeve that rotates around the cantilever post itself. I can't imagine that stays exactly clean or low-friction when there's mud all over the place. I also wonder if it twists around on the post and binds.

So how do these things suck? Let me count the ways.

-Stupid geometry makes it impossible to get a level of mechanical advantage similar to other cantilever brakes.
-Badly integrated design. Lots of opportunity for play.
-Uses cantilever post as a friction surface. No attempt to seal dirt out.

For anyone considering Mini-Vs, do it. The BX3V has an 85mm arm, and has pretty slim clearance relative to the rim and takes very little force to operate. I wonder if for old-school short-pull levers (Mine are Tiagra 4500) an 80mm brake like the 926AL might be a better match. But these are definitely "good enough." It's just a more mountain bikey lever feel - I don't bottom them out or anything, and I didn't have trouble modulating on trails just now.
 

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Agreed, they suck. I used them for about a year, until I'd had one too many near misses on the road. V brakes and travel agents were a huge improvement.
 

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Bx3v = rx5

Also, check the back of the arms on your BX3Vs. Mine were stamped with "RX5" on the back of them, suggesting that at least the arms are the same between the 2 brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I just ran downstairs and had a look. Mine are stamped RX5 too. Go figure.

From Tektro's web site, it looks like the RX5 has a nicer brake shoe stock. Which doesn't really effect me, I already had V-brake shoes with replaceable pads from trying to make the Kores work.
 

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I had the FSA SL-K with Tiagra levers. Went with SINZ (same as tektro 926) with inline barrel adjusters.
LOVING IT! I had Kool Stop salmons in the FSA's. The SINZ is not a cartridge type pad so I used the cartridge and pads from the FSA. Wonderful! Although I did skid a small flat spot into my rear tire with the new set up...LOL! They work almost too well.
 

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I put a Tektro RX5 on the front of my Fort CrossMax and it worked great. Stayed with a Tektro Oryx on the rear, they sort of match. Much better braking, no squeal: loved it. But I sold the bike and got a disc crosser, using Avid BB7s.. Somewhat of an improvement. The big thing for me is the wear on wheels you get with rim brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah, I've noticed I'm already starting to wear the rims on this bike. It's only a few years old. I'm trying to avoid throwing too much money at it, though.
 
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