Cantilever Brakes Vs. V Brakes – Detailed Comparison

If you are a pro cyclist you must know about the types of brakes and their importance. However, if you have only recently been into cycling, then you might be confused about what type of brakes are better for you. Let it be said that disc brakes are probably the best for almost anyone but they can be more on the expensive side. Cantilever and V brakes are cheaper and they use the rim of the tire to slow down the bike instead of a separate part.

This article aims at comparing the two best types of brakes which are Cantilever brakes Vs. V brakes.

Cantilever Brakes Vs. V Brakes

Cantilever Brakes Vs. V Brakes
Featured Image: Cantilever Brakes Vs. V Brake

If you look into the market or ask a pro cyclist, they will tell you that cantilever and V brakes are two of the best kinds of brake systems besides hydraulic disc brakes. Everyone obviously has their own preference but if you want to choose between the cantilever and V brakes, this article might be of some help to you.

Cantilever Brakes

Cantilever brakes are dual pivot brakes, which means that the brake arm has a cable and shoe attached to separate support. These are also called rim brakes and they are used on tourist bikes. Cantilever brakes are also apt for wide tires, therefore you might have often seen them in mountains. bikes.

Such braking systems are used on touring bikes and tandems. Cantilever brakes are powerful, have incredible stopping power, and can carry heavy loads.

Pros of Cantilever Brakes

  • Cantilever brakes are compatible with Shimano STI gear systems.
  • They don’t need a special adapter for installation like V brakes.
  • Cantilever brakes are compatible with a variety of tire sizes. For instance, they go well with 23mm up to 38mm.
  • Easy to maintain as compared to the V brakes.
  • Hassle-free tire removal with the cantilever brake system.

Cons of Cantilever Brakes

  • Cantilever brakes are a bit hard to set up most often they require an expert to set them up.
  • Sometimes cantilever brakes cause wheel lock
  • Cantilever brakes are a bit harder to apply as they need some hand strengthening.

V Brakes

V brakes work through a cable that is directly pulled. There comes a lever with these brakes that is attached to the handlebar. The V-brakes are operated when you move the lever. These consist of two pads that are connected to one point through wires. V brakes also require less maintenance. In addition to that, they are easily adjustable.

Pros of V-Brakes

  • The V brakes are less expensive.
  • V brakes require the least maintenance.
  • They are easily replaceable whenever required.
  • The components of V brakes are easily available if you want to replace them with new ones.
  • They don’t cause wheel lock as they don’t put any strain on the hubs of the wheels.

Cons of V-Brakes

  • Sometimes the rims of the bike get affected by the V brakes and are prone to getting muddy and wet on muddy terrain.
  • The shoe of such a brake system gets affected by wear and tear the most, thus it needs proper maintenance and you might feel a need to replace it every now and then.

FAQs about Cantilever and V-Brakes

Are V brakes hard to maintain?

V brakes aren’t hard to maintain, however, they can get dirty on muddy and wet terrain. Therefore, you need to clean them often. Additionally, V brake’s shoes can wear with time, therefore, you need to replace them often.

V brakes or cantilever brakes, which of these are the best?

The decision greatly depends on personal preference as both perform very well. For instance, cantilever brakes are compatible with various tire sizes and do not need a special adapter for installation. On the other hand, the V brakes are less expensive and require less maintenance. Both have their own set of setbacks.

What kind of brake system require the least maintenance?

Cantilever brakes require the least maintenance and often remain clean from mud and water. Moreover, you can remove the tire easily with cantilever brakes installed in them without any hindrance.

Final Thoughts Cantilever and V-Brakes Comparison

Brakes are the most crucial part of a bike be it any kind. They slow down and stop the bike from motion. There are many types of brakes that have evolved over the years. If you have recently been into cycling and want to choose between cantilever and V brakes, read the article above to have a little idea about the two.


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