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Cantilever Brakes vs. Disc for BBSHD Build

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    Cantilever Brakes vs. Disc for BBSHD Build

    Hi all, This is my first post here. So I think I know the answer already to this question, but I'd like to gauge people's thoughts on the matter. I'm considering a BBSHD build using an old Hybrid Trek 7.2fx bike I have. The bike would work pretty well for this purpose, except for the brakes. They are cantilever brakes. Am I crazy to even consider using cantilever brakes? I've seen a few examples of people doing that but I know it's not preferred. I'm also pretty sure there is no easy way to upgrade the frame to accommodate disc brake mounting. In summary, a new, appropriate frame with disc brakes would probably cost me around $400, I'd rather spend that money elsewhere on the bike build and stick with the frame I have with cantilever brakes. Am I crazy? Thanks for any input you can offer.

    #2
    Tune the brakes up as best you can - Sheldon Brown wrote a guide on it if I remember.

    And, have some ebike fun.
    Last edited by ncmired; 05-16-2019, 06:36 PM.
    BBSHD / BBS02 IGH Builds: Nexus / Alfine 8: 1 2 3 4 5 6, Rohloff: 1

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      #3
      My first ebike (cheap frame with cantilever brakes was fun, in a oh sh1t kinda way. Scary at times. I was going to go disk brakes on my new build, but decided to use Drum brakes. You can find hubs with internal drum brakes(totally quiet, cant get gummed up or dirty) to fit most frames. The only downside is the need to re-lace the rims. And they keep the bike looking clean(less parts seen).

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        #4
        I run Avid BB7 185mm cables discs with a BBSHD. I added sintered copper pads so i didn't have to adjust them all the time. Also they're more positive above 25mph. Not silent though.
        I have a bike with Shimano roller brake on the rear. It seems to need a partial rotation to start working. I ceratinly wouldn't want one on the front. These are what comes on Shimano IGH Hubs. This is not a drum brake so don't read too much into this.
        I don't think hydraulics have any advatntage on a street bike. Offroad the better feel may mean something. But the metallic pads aren't recpmmended with those. Drums would probably work just fine for fast running on level ground. For extended downhill running the heat rejection of discs would probably come into play. I already had the cable discs due to wet climate here. Rim brakes had to go. One nice thing about a disc brake bike is you can swap wheelsets and even wheel sizes. I have 4 wheelsets that I can switch between 2 bikes. 26" Sun Rhynolite with 2" knobbies, 26" Sun Singletrack disc rims with 2.125 Big Apple Plus, 26" Mavick Crossride with 2" pure Kojack slicks, and Cane Creek Strados 700c x28mm tires that only fit the XC bike due to fork clearance. I did this before 27.5" was a thing. I will probably sell the the Cane Creeks and get a 27.5 wheelset with 35mm tires. But realistically for long street rides I just take the E bike now.

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