Your quest for the holy grail of touring cantilevers is finally over. The Touring Cantilever from Paul Components is a powerful cantilever brake with a similar design to the Neo-Retro, but with the arms angled upward. This gives the brake a much narrower profile without significantly reducing stopping power. The narrower profile of the Touring Canti can be desirable if you're riding with large panniers or if your current brakes don't give you enough heel or calf clearance.The arms of the Touring Canti are machined from lightweight 6061 aluminum. Their T-shaped cross section prevents the brake from flexing too much under load. The brake pads mount to slots in the arms that allow for vertical positioning. The toe-in and angle can be fine tuned thanks to the spherical washers on the brake pads' threaded posts.
Like all of Paul Components' brakes, the Touring Canti has a sealed pivot mechanism. Rubber seals and a stainless steel bushing keep the brake arms turning smoothly no matter what you're riding through. The spring tension can be adjusted in both pivots to center the brake and to adjust the strength of the return swing.
The Touring Canti comes with pivots pre-greased and with all necessary hardware.
You can't go wrong with Paul components. They just work and they work very simply. These have great stopping power and I have minimal squeaking. These brakes have great modulation right down to the point of a skid. Set the front one light or you could go over the handlebars. Fully loaded with front and rear panniers my bike now stops better then ever before. These brakes replaced a set of Avid Shorty 6 with about 2000 miles on them. These do require a bit of fiddling to setup but what set of cantilever brakes don't! Just get em you will love them.
PROS: Attractive Design, Great Stopping Power, Durable
These are the best. I had tried other cheaper items but they always fell short in either braking power or adjusting ability. If you are looking for a long term, lasting solution then purchase these. They do needthe occasional service. I do mine every 12 months (along with the rest of the bike). I ave been running these for over 6 years now.
I have bought a bunch of Paul gear for my old Trek. The gear is a cut above everything else. The downside is to measure, before you order and gently open the box or bag in case it doesn't fit you can return it!
I got these to replace older cantis on the rear wheel that required a lot of fiddling to get them adjusted right. Installation of the Pauls was quite easy. They fit nicely around the fenders on my commuter. No squeak at all, and great stopping power. I will be adding these to the front when the time comes.
The Paul Touring cantilevers are styled after the ancient Mafac cantilevers but in a low-profile (and more powerful configuration. See the large circular area in front of the brake pad mount? That circular area serves no other purpose than to visually mimic the old Mafacs. The Paul Neo Retro Cantilever shares this design feature.
That said, these are nicely made brakes and are lightweight with nearly infinite return spring adjustment (similar to Suntour XC pro cantilevers from the 1980's). Like other modern high-quality cantilevers (including linear-pull) they pivot on sealed sleeves instead of directly on the frame's brake bosses. This makes for longer service life with less play. Paul's makes available plenty of service parts so if something wears out or breaks you'll be able to replace it.
Most cyclocrossers will run the Paul Neo Retro in the front and the low-profile Touring cantilever in the back. (This is from the belief that the Neo Retro's are more powerful-- they are NOT, the low-profile Touring canti's are!)
I personally run the Neo-Retro in the front and the Touring in the back, but I'd rather mount the Touring in the front as well.
In any configuration the Paul cantilevers are as powerful as any "old school" cantilever that I've ever used. For even better performance, install Kool-Stop's "Cyclocross Pads" brake pads.
Superfluous style considerations aside, these make excellent additions to a classic steel cycocross bike build.
PROS: Stylish, Lightweight, Easy To Install, Powerful
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