Cantilever Brake Installation: The Rear

To me, brakes are one of the most important parts of a bicycle. Not only are they used when rip-roaring through trees down hills, or in my case, pushing your bike up steep inclines (using the brakes helps stop the bike from rolling down–yes, I’m weak); but they stop you from speeding into farming equipment backing out into the road, and also slow you down if you are on the TD (torture device…aka trainer).

What you will need: grease, allen key,strength, housing, and Cantilever brakes

1) Mount shifters and brake levers onto the handlebar, temporarily tighten to the approximate desired position.

shifters on, then tightening with an allen key.

tighten tighten tighten

2) Install coil springs on both brake posts. Install the coil springs clips onto the arms as you put the arms onto both posts. Tighten the brake mounting bolts onto both posts.

¬†3) Insert the post of the pad holder into the brake arms and tighten appropriately, so that the brake pad makes complete and even contact with the rim…In other words, adjust the brake pads so that they contact the braking surface evenly and do not go under the rim track.

4) Measure brake housing length so that it isn’t too excessive or too short. This is the black outer rubber rope looking part, for those of you who have no idea what break housing is (don’t worry, I had no idea what any of it was). Make it nice and swoopy, but not too long. Depending on the brake levers you use,
a reducing ferrule may have to be used to ensure a proper fit of the housing to the lever body. If you have the old housing, you can use this as a guide for the length of your new housing.

tools needed to cut the housing

cutting the end of the brake wire

some times it takes brute force to get the little ends on the ends of the housing.

measuring, threading, and installing

5) Thread the brake cable through the lever and through the housing all the way to the rear brake. Thread through the straddle wire hanger (the bit that pulls the straddle cable to activate the brake) and tighten so that when the brake is engaged, the straddle wire hanger does not come into contact with the rear housing hanger (the part that holds the end of the rear brake cable housing, usually attached to the seat post binder bolt).In simpler words, Install the triangle cable guide so that the brake shoes have 3-5mm on each side between the pad and the rim. Make sure the cable angle on each side clears both of the pad holders.

6) Re-check that your brake pads are centered on the rim surface and not too low (hanging off the rim) or too high (rubbing on your fancy new tires).
7) Adjust the toe in if possible, so that the front of the pad touches the rim surface before the rear. This reduces brake squeal.
8) Test your brakes to make sure everything works (don’t forget to tighten your brake levers!)
9) Go ride!

My Giant cyclocross has this type of braking system!

*Thanks of K.Young for the help in writing the instructions, as well as the instructions which came with the Cantilever brakes.*

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. dick geuss
    Apr 12, 2012 @ 13:17:50

    Very well done Molly….maybe you have found a new profession..

    Uncle Dick


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When was the last crazy post written?

April 2012

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