SF Cyclotouring

Ride reports and other ramblings from a San Francisco cyclist.


More on the crossbike build

I spent a few more hours last night prepping and assembling the cross
frame...it's starting to look like a bike now! Got the frame touched
up and polished, reinstalled the fork, added the handlebars, stem,
front cable hanger, seat and seatpost, wheels, BB (after searching for
a 122mm, I ended up using a 68x127.5mm UN72 I already had and that's
giving the correct chainline), cranks, pedals, F+R deraillerus, and I
cut some cable housing.

I also installed the Avid Shorty cantilever brakes. I've never liked
setting up cantilever brakes; it's a huge PITA due to all the
different adjustments of the pads in 3 axes, the figuring out the
proper length for the straddle cables, cable hangers, etc. Caliper
brakes and V-brakes, in contrast, are just bolt-on-and-go. Even
derailleurs are easier to set up, in my opinion! So, I was very
curious to check out this example of the new generation of canti
brakes that use V-brake-style threaded brake-shoe posts...so here's my
verdict: Cantilever brakes are STILL an unnecessary PITA! The
threaded brake-pad studs definitely make the pads faster and easier to
set up; but I've still got to fiddle with straddle cables! I
downloaded the PDF of the installation manual from Avid's website and
followed their instructions closely. I adjusted the brake-pad spacers
so the cantilever arms are roughly parallel when the pads are against
the rim. I'm at the point where I need to choose one of the supplied
two different lengths of straddle cable -- and of course, neither
seems to be long enough! I'm tempted to skip using the supplied
cables and just cut my own, and use a couple old-school Diacompe
J-hangers (I *did* just buy a bag of 25 from Rivendell for a couple of
bucks at their recent garage sale, even). At any rate, now I've got
to revisit the whole brake adjustment.

I knew I should've gone with V-brakes. I even have a pair of DiaComp
287V levers sitting in a parts drawer....

I'll have to take some more photos -- the bike is starting to look
pretty badass'd. I think I'm gonna like it!


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