Breaking The Barrier: Cantilever vs V Brake

Cantilever Vs V Brakes – Differences + Pros & Cons

Brakes are the component of a bicycle that allows the rider to exert control over the rate at which the bicycle is moving. When you apply the brakes on a bicycle, you will slow down while you are pedaling and, if required, you will be able to bring your bicycle to a complete stop.

It should come as no surprise that brakes are an important component of a bike’s safety system. They make it possible for cyclists to rapidly modify their pace in response to changes in their environment and to circumvent potential hazards while they are riding.

Cantilever brakes, V brakes, and disc brakes are the types of brakes that are utilized most frequently. However, there are many more kinds of brakes. Caliper brakes come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including cantilever and V brakes. 

As a cyclist or someone who is interested in getting into cycling, it might be difficult to determine which ones are superior and why, therefore in today’s post, I will describe the advantages and disadvantages of cantilever brakes versus V brakes.

Cantilever Vs V Brake

Because of the increased tire clearance that they provide, cheap rim brakes such as cantilever and V brakes are frequently seen on bicycles designed for cyclocross, entry-level mountain biking, touring, and commuting.

Both of these systems attach to the frame by way of the fork and the seat stays. The vast majority of types are mechanical and are activated by pulling a cord.

People frequently question if cantilevers and V-brakes can be interchanged for one another because of the evident similarities between the two types of braking systems.

Cantilever brakes are symmetric while v brakes are not. Because of this, a cantilever brake will invariably have a central pull mechanism, and both brake arms will have the same appearance.

A pulley is connected to the end of the brake wire. Another cable connects one brake arm to the other one, and it does so by going through the pulley.

When it comes to v brakes, this is not the case. The wire for this particular braking system enters from the side and is secured in place by a metal tube that is referred to as the “noodle holder.” 

After that, the cable will go around the tire and will be secured in place by the opposite brake arm using the brake cable anchor bolt. At the very tip of the noodle is what’s known as a boot, which is a piece of rubber. 

This boot has been designed to prevent dirt from entering the noodle, which would then contaminate the noodle as well as the cable.

When compared to V brakes, cantilever brakes are far more difficult to modify. Cantilever brakes are preferable for use in muddy circumstances since they have a greater clearance compared to V brakes, which have less clearance.

 In addition to being more robust, V brakes are also more comfortable to use while applying the brakes.

Significant Advantages of Cantilever Brakes Over V Brakes

Cantilever brakes are a type of bicycle brake that was developed decades ago but are still widely used today. The overall performance of cantilever brakes is not noticeably superior to that of V brakes; nevertheless, cantilever brakes do have one significant benefit over V brakes.

Cantilever brakes have one benefit over V brakes, and that is that they have more room between the brakes and the rim of the tire. V brakes do not have this advantage. This is a fantastic strategy for when the ground is muddy. 

When equipped with V brakes, mud can become trapped on the brakes, making it more difficult to pedal. Additionally, mud can slide behind the brake pads of cantilever brakes and fly off when the brakes are used.

Aside from that, V brakes are preferable to regular brakes. This is due to the fact that V brakes are far simpler in terms of both their adjustment and their operation. Cantilever brakes, in light of the aforementioned, have a great performance and are excellent choices for brakes.

Significant Advantages Of V Brakes Over Cantilever Brakes

Cantilever brakes are more difficult to modify compared to V brakes. Adjusting these brakes is more of a hassle than adjusting V brakes, especially if one of the wires is too slack. When using V brakes, each of the wires might have its own set screw on the brake mechanism that will tighten it individually.

Additionally, caliper brakes offer a number of different orientations in which the brake pads themselves may be altered, allowing for greater customization. Getting it at the appropriate height and the right angle might be a very trying experience. 

When using V brakes, the pads are locked in place, which makes them far less finicky and reduces the number of adjustments that are required to get them where they need to be.

V brakes are simpler to use and need less effort. According to the vast majority of persons surveyed, V brakes require less force to squeeze. This is because of the way the V brakes are constructed. 

The wheels can be stopped completely with one of these braking systems. At this point, you need to exert sufficient force so that the tire comes to a full halt.

If you ride quickly or spend a lot of time riding downhill, this is a significant benefit for you. If you ride your bike up a hill, you probably already know that at some time you’ll have to pedal downhill again.

If the terrain you ride on is pretty level, then this will be less of a concern for you. But it’s still important if you ride fast and apply a lot of pressure on the brakes.

Additionally, V brakes are a lot better choice if you are a heavier individual because they need you to use a greater amount of energy in order to slow down and stop.

Are Cantilever Brakes and V-brakes Interchangeable?

Brakes with a cantilever design can be changed out with brakes with a V shape. V brakes have a price range of around $15 to $25 per unit or approximately $30 to $50 for a pair. 

These are some of the ones that are of the greatest quality, and they come from Shimano and other companies. There is a possibility that you may not now possess all of the necessary instruments.

Because they are intended for use with cantilever brakes and pull from the middle, the final cable stops on a bicycle that has been converted from cantilever brakes to V-brakes will not be usable once the conversion has been completed.

You could use the cable routing of the cantilever brake up to that point if the frame permits it, and then just bypass the final cable hanger and cable stop. However, this option is only available if the frame does allow it.

If that isn’t an option, the easiest method is to zip-tie a lengthy housing to the frame that runs from the brake lever to the brake itself and then run the cable down that housing.

If you have a set of V-brakes and wish to replace them with cantilever brakes, the first challenge you will encounter is the absence of a cable hanger over the fork and the seat stays of the bicycle.

You are going to require add-on solutions in order to get past this problem. Both a cable hanger that wraps around the steerer as part of the headset and a cable hanger that attaches directly to the fork are viable options for the front brake.

 The former is the more common of the two options.

Parting Conclusion

If you’ve read our guide on the many kinds of brakes that may be found on bicycles, we want to thank you and congratulate you on being a brake expert. You will now be able to perform important brake maintenance and routine tests, as well as learn which types of bike brakes are ideal for the cycling disciplines that you pursue.

We really hope that you find this tutorial to be informative and useful. Check out our other guides for a plethora of more useful riding ideas, including a great deal of information on safety.

Finally, if you don’t already have one, invest in a dependable high-security bike lock for yourself so that you won’t have to stress about the safety of your two-wheeled companion when you go to bed.

Don’t forget to put the lock on it or you’ll lose it!