Sunday, December 12

Houston, Little ABC Problem Here

All Brakes are Equal, but Some are More Equal than Others. I Guess V Brakes are More Equal than Cantis.
The V Brakes Certainly Use Longer Screws to Hold Them in Place.
Not wanting to leave things until the last moment, with the annual "Catfish Head Hunt and Ramble" coming up next weekend, I decided to FINALLY change out the V brakes that came with my Specialized Tricross and install some quality cantilever brakes. The change was due to poor design choices by Specialized (V brakes and road levers are as problematic a combination as people say!) that left a choice between brakes with virtually no clearance to the rims (not good when going through mud) or brakes that wouldn't stop at all. This Hobson's choice was compounded by no barrel adjuster, leading to the monthly ritual of resetting all the brake parameters so that I could have working brakes that actually cleared the rims by full microns.

Knowing that bikes use standard bosses for cantilever and v brakes, I started dismantling and reinstalling. Pretty straightforward. When I cinched back down the holding bolt, it became apparent that "Houston, we have a little ABC problem here." You see, apparently, canti bosses and the accompanying screws come in at least two different lengths, and in the photo, you can see how much longer the screws need to be to accomodate a modern V brake versus the modern canti brake immediately above it. As a result, the screws that came with the brakes bottomed out in the bosses while the washer still was loose. Not good.

Not wanting to emulate the Texas A&M Aggies, who advocate just "sawing them off," (they actually apply this statement to cow horns rather than screws) it looks like a trip to the local hardware store for some washers is in order. Since I doubt they'll have them in "Tektro black," I'll go with the contrasting "stainless steel" silver with black look, which matches the single supplied washer anyway. Things could have been much worse. This COULD be the night before the Ramble or I COULD be discovering I have the short screws and need the long ones. That would be an "oh, poo" moment since the hardware store doesn't carry much of a selection of metric allen key screws in a 6mm size.
Catfish Head Sighting at the 2009 Ramble. Who SAYS Texans Have No Artistic Sensibilities?


limom said...

Round these parts, we use them fish heads for soup.

Apertome said...

Your obsession with catfish heads is verging on creepy ...

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