cantilever brake question


crappy member
South West
I'm a bit confused about which brake levers are compatible with what brakes based on cable pull rates etc?
I believe that Shimano STI levers don't work with v-brakes, but should work with mini V-brakes or cantilevers (as well as standard road calipers) - is that correct?

what confuses me is that Shimano claim that 2009 levers are not compatible with 2010 and later calipers, suggesting that a VERY minor difference in cable pull ration makes them not compatible - surely if this is really true then generalisations such as STI levers and cantilevers are compatible must actually be false in many cases!?

anyway I want to pair up SORA STI levers with Tektro CR720 cantis - is that smart?


Über Member
They will work just fine and I've fitted several pairs.
Try to adjust the cable as to get them as low and near to horizontal as is possible for increased efficiency.
Loch side.
Like gwhite says. With the variable length straddle wire of cantilever brakes, you actually vary the mechanical advantage of the brakes which translates to a variable pull rate. Just "tune" the straddle wire length until you have the desired feel. At the extremes of the range you may have to run the pads very close or very far from the rim. The only side-effect of that is the take-up distance in the lever, the so-called free travel.
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