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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 4:58 pm 
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This thread may be a little long, so to prevent me from losing anything I type in one post-up, I'm going to split the thing into a few. For ease of reading for others, please hold your comments until the last post from me...like there are thousands of you guys waiting for this! HA! :lol:

Anyway, on to the goodies...we'll start with a little history of X-IT. Disclaimer...This is all from memory, 12+ years ago.

X-IT Designs, was the brainchild of two guys that I had the pleasure of working with from July 1996 until October 1997 in Boulder Colorado. Thom Beckett and Frank Vogel. Thom was the business end, and Frank was a skilled machinist and fabricator. X-IT was housed in a shared warehouse/storefront space along with parent company, The Sports Garage, and later Rocky Mounts racks (no business relation). Thom did a great job running the books, but he wasn't the creative mind, so we'll focus on Frank's role here, for the most part. Frank spent a few years working in prototype manufacturing and engineering with Paul Turner at Rock Shox, and then after selling his share of The Sports Garage to Thom, and disolving X-IT, Frank went in as one of the three partners in the original braintrust behind Maverick American Bicycles, again with Paul Turner. Frank was a great guy, and I had a blast working with him. I learned a bunch tagging along behind him like a lost puppy. (private joke..."Don't bother me, I'M WELDING!")

On to the Parts... First up? Dual-Eez cable hangers.

Bicycle brakes are funny things. On the one had you hear all sorts of design and engineering talk about mechanical advantage, and cable pull ratios and stuff like that, but in reality, the number one issue behind why brakes either work or don't work, is installation. Disc, V-style, or cantilever...do it wrong and your brakes will suck. Do it right, and you'll stop on a dime every time...even with cantilevers. 8) Even the best designed brake can only overcome so much poor wrenchmanship. Cantilevers, for all their seeming simplicity, are actually the most complex brake to install and adjust, and in that, they opened the door for the V-style brake, with it's touted "mechanical advantage". The variables for cantilever brake strength and modulation are many...the height of the hanger over the rim, the amount of exposure of brake pad post inside the brake arms, the amount of toe in the pads. Shimano tried to standardize some of these things with their fixed length straddle cables, but with little improvement. The Dual-Eez solved all the deficiencies of the cantilever brake, unfortunately though, back in 1995, the cantilever brake was about to become a thing of the past...

This picture shows the Dual-Eez installed on the back of my Beast of the East. Eagle Klaw pads, and Deore DX cantis are also shown. Notice that in the picture, all cable lengths associated with the install ARE PERFECTLY STRAIGHT...No curved cable. More on that in a bit...


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Last edited by utahdog2003 on Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Post #2
PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:08 pm 
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In this picture, taken of a cable setup ready for swapping in my Manitou 3 fork on my Beast, you see one of the other great freatures of the Dual-Eez. Full Floating Cables. Full floaters allow for the staight pull lengths of cable to all remain precisely that, throughout the function of the brake...Straight! On the left, the floating cable is a Shimano type fixed straddle segment, 73 length. On the right, a length of old brake cable, the cast head in the Dual-Eez, and the other end free to be bolted to the Deore DX canti arm. In an installation where both cantilever sides have quick releases, both sides would be fixed length Shimano style straddle cables.

Here, both cables hang freely in the hanger, free floating, ready for install.

Seems pretty crazy to mention straight pull cables, right?...but think about the myriad of cable hangers out there...most of them rely on an arched over the tire, single straddle cable. More on THAT in a bit!


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 Post subject: #3!
PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:19 pm 
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FIRST PICTURE. Shown here, the Dual-Eez cabled set-up ready for mounting, the same as in the previous picture, but splayed out as they would be on a bike. Juxtaposed with the previous picture, this does a good job of illustrating how the cable ends float in the hanger.

SECOND PICTURE. To facilitate the Dual_Eez installation on the many different lengths of cantilever arms, and frame configurations, different straddle cable lengths can be used.


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 Post subject: #4!
PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:31 pm 
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Exploded View!

2 quick releases? You bet! This is a second Dual-Eez set, a spare, that features an additional quick releas slot, to allow the adjustable length cable to release from the hanger itself, the anchored arm. This is a handy feature, as on some frames where space and clearance are an issue, or where the tire in use is a wide sucker, the single sided release install doesn't allow for the brake pad on the bolted, anchored cable side to swing far enough away from the wheel to allow the tire to drop. Releasing the left side fixed length cable quick release from the canti arm, AND releasing the right side adjustable cable length from the hanger itself, will allow for the fitting of the fattest tires possible...got any 2.5 Ground Controls lying around?

This may seem like a worthless feature, but keep in mind, this multiple release option is important on a hanger design where the hanger centering is fixed. Anyone use a Tri-Dangle? Know why most folks don't use the two outboard straddle cable set screws?...because if you fix the hanger in the middle of the straddle cable on a Tri-Dangle, you have the same problem...can't get the wheel out. No option for a 2nd quick release cable with a Tri-Dangle.


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 Post subject: #5
PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:42 pm 
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Same Picture, but illustrating the brake cable mounting design.

Again...picking on the Tri-Dangle (which admittedly is probably the second best hanger available...a great design in it's own right), one of the design goals for the Dual-Eez was to create a cable mounting process which would not degrade the cable itself. Pinch bolts, Tri-Dangle set screws, etc...do a boat load of damage to the wire strands that make up a braided cable. In all other instances, tightening other hangers on to the brake cable means crimping the cable itself, and rendering it essentially a single use and replace item. These crimped mounting points are also the place where most broken cables occur. What if you didn't need a mounting bolt or a set screw to hold the cable?

The Dual-Eez uses a split body design, which sandwiches the cable in a slotted channel in center of the hanger itself. The two halves of the hanger are then held together by two stainless cap screws (custom tapered on a lathe). Imaging holding a piece of rope between your hands, pressed palm to palm. Not too stong, eh?...BUT then BOLT your hands together. Darn strong, and the rope sees no damage whatsoever! Same for the Dual-Eez and the brake cable. Take the thing apart and the cable is no worse for wear.


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Last edited by utahdog2003 on Mon Mar 16, 2009 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: #6!...almost there!
PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:56 pm 
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Because the brake cable is pressed between the two halves of the hanger body on a Dual-Eez, and because the cast cable ends are free floating within a completely assembled Dual-Eez hanger, it is IMPERATIVE that the two halves of the hanger bolt together flush. (note in the installed picture in the first post, you'd never know the Dual-Eez is a two-part hanger.) They must be flush.

To give you the leverage to get the two pieces flush tight, the Dual-Eez is sized exactly 19mm in height which allows for a flat wrench to hold the body of the hanger firmly, while you torque down on the two stainless cap screws.

If you're wondering how these little babies can take all that torque and force, Dual-Eez are machined from forged aluminum, and then given a military hardcoat anodized finish. This means that while you can have any color you want as long as its Battleship Grey, they are nearly indestructible.


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Last edited by utahdog2003 on Mon Mar 16, 2009 7:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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 Post subject: #7 DONE!
PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 6:25 pm 
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So, what does all this mean?

If you came in to The Sports Garage back in 1996, complaining that your cantilever brakes were just too weak, and that you wanted strong brakes like your friend's new V-Brakes, and I was to pitch these two you, the selling points would be...

First, I would offer up that I can make your cantilevers work as well as V-Brakes, for about 15 bucks a wheel, including a new set of Eagle Klaws.

Second, I'd debunk the 'mechanical advantage' myth surrounding the V-Brake. Does the V benefit from increased cable pull and power, by means of its inherent mechanical advantage? Sure! But that doesn't mean they necessarily work better by default. See, bicycles are affordable machines, even higher end suckers do a lot for not a lot of relative cost. That means parts like brakes are loaded with wiggle and SLOP! Sloppy pivots where the brake bolts to the fork stud, sloppy pivots in the lever, sloppy cable management provided by simple saddle style hangers, ...SLOP! That slop goes a long way toward negating many of the mechanical advantage improvements provided by the side-pull brake. What if we removed as much of that as possible from the installation of cantilevers as we can? Firm up the slop, if you will. Well, some things are out of our control, like Shimano brass bushings in a Deore DX cantilever and such, but some things can be improved... The firmer, more efficient action of direct-pull cables, coupled with the vise-clamp style cable mount method, means a Dual-Eez will put all of the movement in the pulling the lever, DIRECTLY into an equal movement at the brake...no 'tensioning of the slop' occurs.

Next, I'd demonstrate the slop issue. Try this on your cantilever bikes, everyone. Grab the brake lever, and see how much you need to move the lever to get the brake to actually begin moving itself. Probably a quarter of an inch movement at the end of the lever. That's lost mechanical advantage from an already less efficient system. Now, pull the lever tight, real tight, and notice how much the straddle wire flexes straight at the cable mount bolt, and coming out the hanger? You wont see that with these babies. Dual-Eez equiped cantilever brakes move right when the lever is pulled, and flex less under full force of braking, because no 'tensioning' of the straddle cable is needed...they are already tight, straight and ready to pull. Try that with a Tri-Dangle. But watch those set screws!

Comments? Questions? Thanks for looking everyone. Two more X-IT articles are on the way...


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:03 pm 
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cool, thanks for sharing!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:38 pm 
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Great design there dude. I like alot! :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 11:09 pm 
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nice, i'll take a pair, where do I send the echeque :P


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