When it comes to biking, one of the essential parts you need to have is a reliable brake. Without that, you won’t be able to fully enjoy the ride worrying much about accidents. And, that worries might come true with low-quality brakes. But, what if you get a set of brakes that will not only keep you safe but will also make the ride more fun for you?
Now, that is where cantilever brakes come in. With the best cantilever brakes, your vehicle will have great stopping power, and you will have full confidence while riding your bike. In this article, we have provided all the information that you will need to get the most suitable cantilever brakes for your bicycle. So, let’s get started already.
Benefits of Using Cantilever Brakes
Before you get yourselves one of these, you need to get familiar with all the aspects that will prove to be beneficial to you. Otherwise, you won’t have a proper look at what you are missing out on.
Great for Riding on Hills
Most types of brakes are not reliable when you are descending a hill- why? Because the act is dangerous, and most brakes cannot prevent accidents in such circumstances. However, cantilever brakes are designed in such a way that makes them great even when going down a hill.
Guarantees Total Safety
If you install a set of cantilever brakes on your bike, then it becomes much safer to operate. That is because these tools usually come with optimal stopping power ensuring security at all times. Even if you are on slippery terrain, these brakes will know how to stop your bike within the shortest time.
Worried about replacing brakes every now and then? It wouldn’t be a matter of concern when it comes to cantilevers. That is because they are usually constructed in a durable manner and ensure longevity. They will continue to provide top-notch performance for as long as they are functional. And surely, that is a long period of time.
Despite their praiseworthy performance and lifespan, you would be surprised to know that they are actually very affordable. That’s right; you won’t need to splurge a lot of money just to get a good set. Just make sure you are getting one from a trustworthy brand, and you will be all set.
Smooth Rides Even in Traffic
Maneuvering through traffic nowadays can be quite hassle-some. Most brakes don’t do justice to the situation, which can cause the riders to become more frustrated. However, cantilever brakes are made in such a way that you will never face any difficulty when moving in heavy traffic.
Best Cantilever Brakes Comparison
|Model||Handle Type||Item Dimensions||Brand||Price|
|Avid Shorty Ultimate Rear||cantilever||7 x 7 x 2 inches||Avid||Check Price|
||Lever||5 x 4.25 x 1 inches||Paul Component Engineering||Check Price|
|Paul Neo-Retro Bicycle Cantilever||Lever||7.5 x 5.25 x 1.25 inches||Paul Component||Check Price|
|TEKTRO CR720 Cyclocross||Lever||6.97 x 5.28 x 2.2 inches||Tektro||Check Price|
|Tektro CR710 Canti Brake||Lever||8 x 4 x 2.25 inches||TEKTRO||Check Price|
Top 5 Cantilever Brakes Review 2023
With multiple options available in the market, it’s often difficult to choose a suitable one. However, fret not, because here we have discussed 5 of the top cantilever brakes for your convenience. These will help you choosing the right one.
1. Avid Shorty Ultimate Rear
Are you looking for a highly recommended cantilever brake, which provides convenience as well as reliability? In that case, here’s one that you totally shouldn’t miss out on. Along with all the mentioned aspects, the product offers durability as well. It is made of aluminum, which provides strength and prevents the brake from rusting.
On the other hand, even if you are not experienced with cantilever brakes, you don’t have to worry about their installation. It comes with an easy set-up process along with proper instructions regarding it. Furthermore, they can perform amazing stopping power. They have a high weight capacity as well, which allows them to stop smoothly and effortlessly no matter which speed you are traveling.
Worried about having trouble when adjusting the brakes? Fret not. These ones are made in such a way that allows its users to adjust effortlessly at all times. So, you can conveniently alter them to a narrow or wide stance whenever necessary.
Sadly though, the brake cable that comes with it is not up to the mark. It causes extra friction within the barrel adjuster, so they may need replacement. On the other hand, they tend to have less stopping power in the narrow configuration.
Related Guide: Perfect Hybrid Bike Pedals
2. Paul Canti-Levers Black
If you want a high-end cantilever brake, which is beautifully finished and guarantees top-notch performance, then you should definitely take a look at Paul Cantilever Black. It is surely engineered to exceed the expectations of its users.
The tool comes with a lot of features and facilities that truly make it one of a kind. For instance, with two sealed cartridge bearing pivots, the product provides more angular, pivotal, and oscillator applications for you. On the other hand, the brakes also come with oversized barrel adjusters which allow easy cable adjustment, even with thick gloves on.
More importantly, the brushed finish of the product, along with its heavy-duty construction, makes it last for a considerable amount of time. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about replacement anytime soon. Apart from that, the brake also offers top-notch stopping power and commendable performance at all times.
Therefore, whether you need to move around the traffic fast or go down the hill, you can do all that conveniently. However, if you aren’t willing to invest a lot of money in a cantilever brake, then this may not be the one for you, as it is quite expensive. Moreover, the tool is not very suitable for muddy terrains as well.
3. Paul Neo-Retro Brake Set
Most often, it is difficult to find brakes that protect and perform well against mud and grit. Thankfully, here’s one that will not disappoint you in this sector. Let’s find out more about this marvelous product.
First of all, the pair of brakes offer durability like none other. With carefully machined alloy construction, the product knows how to last long. And, it surely knows how to perform well during the entire time. Also, they come with O-ring sealed pivots, which protect the bike from unnecessary mud and grit. Therefore, you won’t need to worry about cleaning the mud after a ride.
Moreover, the tool allows you to independently adjust the spring tension whenever necessary. Also, the process is quite easy, so you won’t have to struggle with it at all! The brake comes with commendable stopping power no matter which wheel you set it on, which allows you to drive without any worries in different terrains.
Also, you can choose from two colors to match your bike perfectly- black and silver. However, when it comes to installing these, you might struggle a little, as they don’t come with ample instructions. On the other hand, you need to order them in pairs for both your front and rear wheels.
Related Comparison: Cycleops Fluid 2 vs Jet Fluid Pro
4. Tektro CR720 Cyclocross
If you are looking for an amazing pair of brakes for both your bike’s front and rear wheels, then here’s a set that you must check out. When it comes to durability, this product keeps its customers satisfied. First of all, the brakes are made of aluminum. As a result, neither will they break apart easily, nor will they get warped over time.
On the other hand, they come with a 21-35 mm dimension. It makes them suitable for multiple cross bikes, which relieves you from the tension of whether or not they will be apt for your vehicle. More importantly, you can relax while installing them as well. That is because they come with a very effortless installation process, along with all the tools and parts needed for it.
Furthermore, they also include 55 mm adjustable cartridge pads that are very efficient and prevent brakes from fading after a while. As a result, you won’t need to worry about replacing them anytime soon.
But, if you are looking for a set of brakes that will perform just as well on muddy terrains, then this is not for you. Moreover, they come with average stopping power, which might disappoint customers from time to time.
Related Topic: Tektro vs Shimano Brakes
5. TEKTRO CR710 Cantilever Cyclocross Brake
With so many options out there, you would surely want a cantilever brake that provides good value for money. Well, you have to wait no more because here’s a product that offers that, along with a lot more.
First of all, when it comes to the installation of this brake, you will have nothing to worry about. Because it comes with ample information regarding the process and also includes all the parts and hardware necessary for it.
On the other hand, the amount of power offered by the brake exceeds the expectations of its users. This allows its customers to swiftly move around in heavy traffic, and confidently go downhills. More importantly, the aluminum construction of the product makes it more durable. So, the brake neither will rust nor will fall apart easily.
The brake only weighs about 5.1 ounces and has 8 x 4 x 2.2 inches dimensions which will not add much to your bike’s weight, and will prove to be convenient to you in general. Sadly though, these brakes are a little hard to adjust. Therefore, you might struggle a bit while adjusting it. Moreover, you will have to be a little careful with them on rocky terrains.
Suggested Guide: Continental Grand Prix 4 Season or Gatorskin
What to Look for Before Buying?
Before investing in any product, there are certain essential factors that you must adhere to. This includes your bike, your preferences, the terrain you will usually ride on, and other generic features. If you overlook any of these factors, then you will end up with an unsatisfactory product, and you wouldn’t really want that.
If a mechanical product doesn’t happen to be durable, then there’s really no point in investing in it. Therefore, the first and foremost factor to look out for is the construction of the brake. They should have heavy-duty construction. That is, the brakes should be made of high-quality metal and should be machined accordingly. Otherwise, it really wouldn’t be worth splurging on.
Performance and Stopping Power
A great set of brakes will surely offer great performance and top-grade stopping power. That is, they should always ensure safety and great maneuverability despite the condition of the terrain or the traffic. Therefore, take a look at the stopping power offered by the product before you purchase it. If the brake lacks in this sector, then it surely wouldn’t be worth it.
Although most cantilever brakes are affordable, it is still important to keep a budget in mind before purchasing one of these. You can find great sets in different price ranges offered by different brands.
Hence, first, take a look at all the features and facilities that you will be needing and then determine your budget. You will surely find a product accordingly.
The warranty of a product plays a huge role in determining the amount of time it’s going to last. For instance, if a brake comes with a two-year-long warranty, then you can be assured that you will be able to make full use of it during that period.
Types of Cantilever Brakes
Before you look for a set of cantilever brakes, you need to determine the type that would be the most suitable for your bike. There are three types that you need to choose from.
A wide-profile cantilever brake comes with a greater angle than 90 degrees. These ones have low mechanical benefits and brake levers that come with powerful mechanical advantages.
These ones come with an angle of around 90 degrees. They are more traditional and backdated than the other profiles.
Low-profile brakes come with an angle that is below 90 degrees. These don’t tend to stick out much, so they don’t catch things. However, you will need to be very careful when installing them.
How to Adjust Cantilever Brakes in the Right Way?
One of the trickiest parts of having cantilever brakes on your bike is knowing how to adjust them correctly. Otherwise, you might struggle when using them from time to time. Hence, read this part carefully, so you don’t miss out on anything.
Set Up the Levers
Before you get to the main part, you need to set up the levers. At first, you need to unfasten the clamp, and then you will get to align the levers. This is done to match the angle of the arms, after which you need to tighten the clamp.
Check the Wheel Center
After setting up the levers, you need to check the best road bike wheel and make sure it is centered in the frame. This will be affecting the position of the brake pads. Afterward, check whether or not the axle is fastened in the dropouts.
Adjust the Brake Pads
This part is quite necessary, even if it may not seem to be so. What you will have to do is basically check whether or not the brake pads are still good to go or if they need to be replaced. If they are good, then you should resurface them using sandpaper. Afterward, adjust the brake cable until they are parallel and then fasten.
Alter the Cable Tension
After you have completed the previous step, you need to adjust the cable tension. For that, you need to fasten the cable through the pinch bolt and then fix it.
This step is pretty insignificant and doesn’t take a lot of time either, but it is still recommended to go through with it. Basically, what you will have to do is, find the screw on the left brake arm. You can swiftly adjust this screw to place the spring tension to one side, according to your convenience.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are cantilever brakes and V-brakes interchangeable?
In some instances, yes. That is because V-brakes are just a more evolved version of the cantilever brakes. V-brakes are cable-actuated but far more effortless to adjust, and the pads on them are easier to change as well.
What is a cantilever brake?
Cantilever brakes are basically rim brakes, in which each brake arm has the brake shoe as well as the cable attachment both on the same side of the pivot. Hence, the cable comes from above the tire, while the pivot is below the brake shoe and attached to the frame.
How to fix squeaky cantilever brakes?
For that, you have to use 1000-grit wet/dry paper to sand the rim, and then clean again with alcohol. Afterward, use 400-grit wet/dry paper to clean the brake pads.
Are cantilever brakes good?
Yes. In fact, they are supposedly better than other types of brakes. That is because they tend to offer more power and reliability. Furthermore, they are perfect for touring bikes and can handle higher weights in general.
What is the cost of cantilever brakes?
You can find cantilever brakes in a variety of price ranges. However, they are mostly available at an average price range of 80 to 120 dollars. You can surely find them at a higher or lower price, in accordance with your budget.
Surely cantilever brakes have many benefits and we have covered most of them in this article. We also have reviewed five amazing cantilever brakes that would be the best fit for your ride. Different types of cantilever brakes are out there and you must know which one fits your purpose. A proper buying guide along with adjustment tips can benefit you the most.
Still haven’t found the most suitable set of brakes? Don’t worry. If you consider all the necessary factors we have talked about in this article, then you will surely be able to get your hands on the best cantilever brakes soon. Have some patience, you will get it soon.