Cantilever brake suggestions for a '94 bike


Dave Yates Fan
This is making me shudder to write (just like a noodly fork with canti brakes). You see, me and cantis don't get along very well, particularly me and shimano 90's cantis. My experience with them is that they squeal, shudder, honk like a crazy mad goose no matter how I try and set them up. Of course I have tried toeing in the pads, koolstop pads, pimped straddle wires etc. So either I'm rubbish at setting them up or my expectations of how they should work is too high.

Just thinking about those post mount pads and how much I dislike them is making me ANGRY causing my fingers to smash on the keyboard.

But I have a problem, I have a 94 frame to build up as my next project and it has a rear canti mount so I probably should fit canti brakes.

Does anyone have suggestions for a canti brake of the correct era that worked well? By worked well, I mean, reduced speed adequately without any associated honking, squealing, juddering.

Failing that, any suggestions for a canti brake that isn't of the correct era? I'm thinking maybe tektro oryx because they are readily available and have a road / v brake type cartridge pad set up so I would be able to use some swiss stop pads and not need the dexterity of an octopus to set them up.

I do have a some cx50's on a bike that are the best cantis I've used, however, fitting those to a '94 will hurt my eyes.
If Shimano is a no go try Dia-Compe 987s, relatively cheap and work well.
Avid Tri-aligns are good too but do tend to be expensive.
Personally I get on well with M900, with the matching levers and Aztec pads they've been great.
Maguras definitely worth a shout though.
987s suck.

Much prefer M737
They're a little bit more faff to set up than Shimano due to the independent spring tension adjustment but they work well when done.
I think straddle height, pad compound and the rim surface are more critical than the actual brake arm used. 👍 😁
I've never tried maguras but I am trying to keep the cost down so probably won't go down that route.

Why not use V brakes? Well I might do that as I have M739 brakes and sti's to hand, but the wheels are 7 speed only so it would mean some tweaking of the rear mech to get it working ok. I also have lx 7 speed sti's to hand which is pushing me towards cantis.

M737 cantis? Tried them, sold them (along with every other 90s shimano canti I had)

Never tried 987's, will delve into google to investigate.
If you like cx50 I would try LX BR-M550 or the more modern BR-R550. The worst cantis I’ve ever had were Modolo cross brakes. Man, they were so nice, I’ve even organized straddle wires in the US, but didn’t brake at all 😆