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N. Hollywood, CA
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754 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I searched this forum and CX and didn't see any obvious threads in a couple pages. So here goes...

I'm building up a new road bike with Paul touring cantilevers front & rear. I mounted one of those retro type "pulley" cable hangers (from Velo Orange) on the rear and tightened up the cable with the pads very close to the rims, just about rubbing. Mated with Shimano 105 SLR non-aero brake levers with a modest loop of exposed japanese brake housing (the box at the LBS appeared to say "Mikazuno" or something). And beefy stainless brake cable. Anyway, there's a lot of slack and I can bottom out the brake lever on the handlebar. Clearly there's too much play, stretch, or too little MA in the system.

So I've been browsing around online and Salsa claims that their 50mm wide cable hanger improves leverage (thus reducing lever travel) when mating cantilevers with road brake levers. Am I on the right track here? Or is that wide hanger only meant for Mafac style (wide profile) cantis?

Can I improve things by going with modern aero brake levers (is the MA any better)?

Or should I abandon the "free" straddle wire loop on the cantilevers altogether and resort to a Shimano/Tektro style "Z-link" straddle cable. Although the Z-link is ugly, from an engineering standpoint I can see why it may be better since cable tension is carried axially along the cable instead of tugging perpendicular to a hanging loop. Perhaps a short z-link would be best (tektro offers many lengths).

Your thoughts? Thanks so much.
 

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232 Posts
Try increasing or even maximizing the spring tension on you Paul's rear brake. It sounds like you have a lot of play in your brake cable.
 

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N. Hollywood, CA
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754 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well I got it working better from a combination of steps. For anyone else searching for solutions, I'll type it out here for your reference:

First, I lengthened the straddle cable a tad so it wasn't as horizontal (I increased the yoke angle). This may or may note have been necessary, based on Sheldon's suggestions, but I felt it was originally too low. Second, I increased the spring tension as suggested above. That helped keep the pads from rubbing. Third, perhaps most importantly, I got rid of the retro pulley straddle yoke and went with a Tektro triangular unit. From observation it seems that the wider support of the Tektro triangle better holds the straddle cable in tension.

The brake pads have a small washer on the outside and a large one inside, meaning that the pad is farther from the caliper and thus closer to the rim. Rims are fairly wide Velocity Dyad so that should work better than narrow (common) rims.

Interestingly, the non-aero brake levers provide a little *more* cable travel than aero levers, so these work in my favor. Guess we'll see how they really perform when the time comes...
 
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