Author Topic: Brifter for cantis?  (Read 485 times)

jeweller220

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Brifter for cantis?
« on: March 03, 2021, 04:53:05 PM »
Hi, On my drop-bar set-up I think I'd prefer to replace the current bar-end shifting for a brifter - at least for the rear derailleur if not both. Question is: Is there such a thing available? (As it is the Mega catalogue contains dire warnings to use only Tektro brakes for cantis with drop bars).

leftpoole

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Re: Brifter for cantis?
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2021, 08:26:13 AM »
Any Sti style shifters will work well with Cantilever brakes! )Brifters as they are called by some!

jeweller220

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Re: Brifter for cantis?
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2021, 09:42:02 AM »
Leftpoole, thanks for taking an interest. I guess there are actually two issues: 1) compatability with my Deore rear derailleur; and 2) pull ratio / mechanical advantage (and maybe even lever to handlebar tube distance?) with a different brake lever.

B cereus

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Re: Brifter for cantis?
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2021, 10:44:08 AM »
As I understand it the mechanical advantage (MA) of current Shimano dual control levers are not a good match for old style cantilever brakes.

The MA of Shimano road levers have changed steadily since the introduction of what they called Shimano Linear Response (SLR) levers. SLR was subsequently replaced by Super SLR  (SSLR) and from around 2008 SSLR was superseded by New SSLR (NSSLR)
Older cantilever brakes are a good match for SLR and SSLR levers but are not a good match for the latest NSSLR levers. The situation can be  further complicated by the height of  your cantilever bosses, which can adversely affect the MA of the callipers if they are on the low side.

The simplest solution might be to source some second hand SSLR levers. Alternatively you could change both brakes and levers. I believe Shimano's latest cyclocross brakes BR-CX50 and BR-CX70 are NSSLR compatible. Other alternatives are using your existing levers on kelly Take Offs or Grevenalle mounts.

PH

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Re: Brifter for cantis?
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2021, 02:01:41 PM »
As I understand it the mechanical advantage (MA) of current Shimano dual control levers are not a good match for old style cantilever brakes.
It's a bit of a minefield, Shimano's compatibility charts can be found here:
file:///R:/Downloads/2020-2021_Compatibility_v026_en%20(1).pdf

They list all their STI levers as being compatible with the current CX canti brakes in the range.  Older canti's are not listed, but work best with the same pull as long reach callipers like BR-R650, the charts link modern levers to these with a dotted line which means " Braking power is slightly less than standard combination" how slightly less is open to interpretation!  There's a couple of levers linked as a perfect match, but I think these are 7 speed (I haven't checked)
Another option is mini V's.  Some touring bikes are supplied with these as standard, though the compatibility charts say NO!  These for example are advertised as suitable and will be better with modern levers than older ones, though you'll still probably have to run the pads close to the rims and keep them well adjusted.
 https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/brakes/front-genetic-mini-v-brake-black/

I don't know about modern SRAM and Campag, my only such levers are campag 9spd Ergos, which I've used with mini V's which required frequent adjusting and cantis which don't.


leftpoole

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Re: Brifter for cantis?
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2021, 03:16:55 PM »
Well, Iím writing of my own experience and current bike. I have a Sherpa. Itís my second Sherpa. My first used Shimano brake levers with canti brakes which were Shimano LX. My current steed uses Shimano Sora shifters and Suntour cantis . Both cases have worked well to
my satisfaction. I did once have a Club Tour with Shimano Ultegra Shifters and LX cantis.
I have no idea what difference studying the previous messages would make. I am at a loss to
understand! Sorry.

leftpoole

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Re: Brifter for cantis?
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2021, 03:20:35 PM »
Leftpoole, thanks for taking an interest. I guess there are actually two issues: 1) compatability with my Deore rear derailleur; and 2) pull ratio / mechanical advantage (and maybe even lever to handlebar tube distance?) with a different brake lever.
The rear derailleur will work with road shifters. I have a number of bikes and all use road shifters with MTB rear mechs. Itís the front mech which needs to be a road mech with the road shifters

PH

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Re: Brifter for cantis?
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2021, 03:22:56 PM »
I have no idea what difference studying the previous messages would make. I am at a loss to  understand! Sorry.
All the previous messages mean is that Shimano have changed the amount of cable the levers pull which if not matched to the correct brake will result in less efficient braking.  It's useful stuff to know before buying, it doesn't contradict your experience, just explains why it won't apply to all levers.

PH

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Re: Brifter for cantis?
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2021, 03:29:18 PM »
Leftpoole, thanks for taking an interest. I guess there are actually two issues: 1) compatability with my Deore rear derailleur; and 2) pull ratio / mechanical advantage (and maybe even lever to handlebar tube distance?) with a different brake lever.
The rear derailleur will work with road shifters. I have a number of bikes and all use road shifters with MTB rear mechs. Itís the front mech which needs to be a road mech with the road shifters
This is correct for 9 speed and below, any higher and it gets complicated, MTB and road groupsets diverged and some work, others don't.
For those that don't, there's usually the option of a Shiftmate, I use one of these to use Shimano kit with Campag levers, it works better than when it was all Campag!
http://www.jtekengineering.com/shiftmate/shiftmate-compatibility-charts-choices/

jeweller220

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Re: Brifter for cantis?
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2021, 03:47:27 PM »
So much food for thought! And thank-you for everyone's contribtion - it's helped me to decide to simply wrestle with the strangeness of bar-end shifting. And if I still can't reconcile to it by next winter then this rabbit-hole of a thread will help me while away the long evenings!

leftpoole

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Re: Brifter for cantis?
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2021, 03:57:37 PM »
Leftpoole, thanks for taking an interest. I guess there are actually two issues: 1) compatability with my Deore rear derailleur; and 2) pull ratio / mechanical advantage (and maybe even lever to handlebar tube distance?) with a different brake lever.
The rear derailleur will work with road shifters. I have a number of bikes and all use road shifters with MTB rear mechs. Itís the front mech which needs to be a road mech with the road shifters


I defer to the above member in this instance. It is correct up to and inclusive of 9 speed. I have all my bikes 9 speed and plenty of spares. The exception is my Moulton which is 10 speed Campagnolo.

This is correct for 9 speed and below, any higher and it gets complicated, MTB and road groupsets diverged and some work, others don't.
For those that don't, there's usually the option of a Shiftmate, I use one of these to use Shimano kit with Campag levers, it works better than when it was all Campag!
http://www.jtekengineering.com/shiftmate/shiftmate-compatibility-charts-choices/
« Last Edit: March 05, 2021, 09:46:15 AM by leftpoole »

B cereus

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Re: Brifter for cantis?
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2021, 05:07:13 PM »
AS PH says ďa bit of a minefieldĒ. What set up are you currently running?

Assuming its  9X3 with a Deore mtb rear mech and older style cantilevers then :-

Suitable second hand 9 speed sti's would include DuraAce, Ultegra, 105  and Tiagra models. That's 7700, 6500, 5500 and 4500 series respectively. All  the above would be compatible  with your existing  cantilever brakes.

If buying new the best 9 speed option from Shimano's current line up is ST3000 but they  are NSSLR and would not work well with your current  brakes. You would need to buy the compatible BR-CX50 or CX70  cantilever brakes, as  previously noted. I've not used ST3000 Sti's but they look to be nicely engineered and have under bar tape cable routeing, which can be handy if you use a bar bag.

All the above have left hand shifters designed to work with road front mechs.

jeweller220

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Re: Brifter for cantis?
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2021, 09:56:13 PM »
B cereus, you're spot on with your educated guess about my current set-up. And those series numbers will be very useful if I do decide to spend yet more money - but for now I think I'm going to plan a small tour and get the bike to earn its keep (to date I've replaced the BB and headset bearings; swapped in a Brooks Swift; sourced a lovely barely-used Middleburn-equipped chainset; fitted one new Andra 30 wheel and Marathon Plus tyre; and put on a new 11-30 cassette). I might not have bought the bike in the first place if I'd known how much more I was going to spend, but I can console myself that I've probably only laid out about 40% of the cost of the nearest new equivalent - and with all new moving parts (even the jockey wheels) my bike feels like new to me.