Cantilever Brakes Vs V Brakes

If you’re a lover of cycling, you should know that brakes are one of the must-have components in a bicycle. The braking system of a bike includes instrumental devices that slow and stop wheels when running. An excellent set of brakes works on energy absorption, friction creation, and pacing-movement reduction. These are the principles that apply to brakes on wheels, vehicles, and moving devices. The connection between brakes and motor is, therefore, self-evident.

One subject that comes up among discussions between bike lovers is the cantilever brakes vs V brakes one. These discussions beg the question, which of the two is better? This article will pay attention to these two types of brakes, giving you the nuances and enlightening you to the bone. In the end, you will know the kind of brakes you want to have on your bike. Let’s see what is in store.

Why Your Bike Should Have the Best Brakes

You need to have the best brakes – that shouldn’t be debatable. The ones you get should ensure that you can stop the motion whenever and wherever. In that case, therefore, your bike should be, at all times, obeying the commands you give it. A simple press should bring the bike to stop. Before we go into the cantilever brakes vs v brakes details, here are some reasons why you should have the best brakes.

1. To avert an unexpectedly possible accident

When a rider is in the middle of the riding business, they are likely to engage in stopping the bike. Phenomena like unexpected and heavy traffic may force you to submission, and therefore, you will need excellent brakes to bring you to a halt. If you have a hybrid or a mountain bike, you will need the best brake parts.

2. To experience comfortable rides

Comfort is probably one of the must-feel things when you are on a ride. If you are using a mountain bike, you will want to have the best brakes to deal with the hilly terrain.

3. For turn-taking to be smooth

You will probably meet curvy roads as you are riding, and these will require you to take the bike’s speed down. Before you negotiate the corner, you will need to use the brakes. If you don’t, you may get floored or meet an oncoming driver or cyclist.

The following section will engage you in the cantilever brakes vs v brakes discussion. Before it does, you should know that other brakes are available out there, and they are caliper and disc brakes. Let’s get started with the versus section.

Between the Brakes

First One: The V Brakes

The V brakes are powerful and the most common. They also go by the name linear-pull brakes, and they do the same job any other brake system does – stopping the pace of a bike, a car, or a moving item. It is a widespread brake system in the market. This type of restraint is mainly used on off-road and mountain bikes. For dry baking, this type of brake performs best. Also, it delivers well in wet conditions such as muddy and rainy days.

These bikes are conventional, and they offer you seamless braking if they are on your MTB. As an avid cyclist, you should know that these V brakes will effectively stop the motion of a bike. The brakes are lightweight to make all your rides smooth.

The Ups of V Brakes

  • In terms of increasing leverage, these brakes are very powerful.
  • The process of changing them is not complicated.
  • Compared to cantilever brakes, pad replacing is quite comfortable with V brakes.
  • Their operations are very smooth.
  • They are quite strong, meaning that they are durable.
  • They are a quick fix in tight halt-necessary situations.

The Downs of V Brakes

  • These brakes may wear the rim down.
  • To use V brakes on a road bike, you may be required to install an extra adapter.

Setting V Brakes Up

Getting V brakes fitted in your bike is an easy DIY job. If you choose to go this way, here are the instructions that you need to follow:

  1. Bolt Removal – ensure that all the bolts are removed.
  2. Getting the Brake Set Open – since the brake set with some plastic, get it out of the box and keep away the plastic.
  3. Attachment – get the V-shaped stick attached, and then get the brakes fixed too.
  4. Inserting the Brake Wire – get the brake wire inside the plastic head’s head. That move will help in generating and initiating the stopping motion.
  5. Spring Detail – since the spring will have a loose connection, tighten it.

As you have seen in those steps, it is easy and straightforward to step up V brakes. If you are a DIY expert, the entire business shouldn’t take you more than half an hour.

When working with cantilever brakes, the one consideration you need to make is the compatibility one. If you go through the wrong installation, you are likely to have a bad experience. The replacement of V brakes is more natural because most of them come with cartridge-style brake pads. Now that you have the procedure of doing the replacement, you should know that changing brakes often is a recommended practice. Let’s see the ins and out of cantilever brakes.

Second One: The Cantilever Brakes

These brakes are the central-pull type, and they are usually mounted on the rim. The brake, through a cable, connects to the fork. While these brakes may not have been present in the past, they have recently developed, and more riders are getting to enjoy them.

Cantilever brakes have cable connections and brake shoes on each of the sides. Of the many, the theory that explains these brakes is this: when you squeeze the brake lever, the V brake pad will press the wheel rim. Then, you will slowly bring the bike to a halt. These types of brakes perform exceptionally when it comes to muddy conditions.

The Ups of Cantilever Brakes

  • The lever arms are longer.
  • The brakes will work to stop the movement of the wheel by slight pressure.
  • It comes with a yoke angle, a beneficial thing for riding.
  • For wet and muddy places, these brakes have the best power.
  • It is likely to be the most compatible with the device you use.
  • You don’t need to add an extra adapter.
  • These brakes are cheaper compared to other types.
  • It is lightweight, meaning that your bike will have reduced weight.
  • It is easy to construct them.
  • Setting up and maintaining these brakes is easy.

The Downs of Cantilever Brakes

  • You may be required to reach brake calipers around the entire tier.
  • They have a less narrow tier advantage.
  • A rider may find it challenging to keep up with these brakes.

Cantilever Brakes Types

The cantilever brakes are in three types, and the classification depends on their angle. Here are the types and explanations:

The Low Profile

The cantilever angle of this type of brakes is below 90 degrees. A rider who sets it up excellently will get the maximum out of their ride. If you do not set these brakes up correctly, they may give you insufficient braking power. The most crucial thing is that there is no too-much striking out of the narrow profile from the frame.

The Medium Profile

These types of cantilever brakes have been in use for about 40 years, that is, since the 1980s. The angle is about 90 degrees. This means that within a wide range, it will give you the best accomplishment.

The Wide (or Full) Profile

As you may have already guessed, the angle of this cantilever is beyond 90 degrees. With these full-profile items, you get a high instrumental advantage while riding. While the wide profile may not be the most traditional of them all, it works perfectly with lever-top automated positions. Mafic cantilevers are an example.


As compared to the V brakes, these direct-pull ones do not have an extra skew cable. The adjustment of this type of cantilever brake is easy, and you can do it on your own.

And the Winner is V Brakes!

Between the two brakes that have been the subject of discussion, the one that takes the day is the V brakes or the linear-pull brakes. With them, you will get excellently impeccable stopping power. Also, they need low maintenance and have reasonable prices. With V brakes, there is no one time that you will be left brakeless. If you get into any trouble during your tours, you will get help from any bike shop.

However, if you are using road brake levers that are not for linear-pull brakes, you should stick to cantilevers. This will ensure that you are away from the hassle of getting an extra adapter.

Questions Asked Time and Again

1. Can I use cantilever brakes with V brake levers?

The answer is no since they are incompatible. The same case goes the other way round – you cannot use V brakes with cantilever brake levers.

2. Is there any good with cantilever brakes?

This depends on the bike’s compatibility and the condition of the road. To choose the best brakes for your bike, look at the track you often ride and whether your bike can accommodate them or not.

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