DIY, East Bay, Life

Pake C’Mute Frame Up Bike Build – Brakes and Brake Levers


Part 6 – Brakes and Brake Levers

Tektro CR-720 Brakes

Missed last week’s post? Check it out here.

Given the versatility of the Pake frameset, I instantly knew I wanted to go with cantilever style brakes. In addition to having an undeniable retro feel, they have long been the choice of cyclocross and touring riders that run wider tires and need serious stopping power. The design of modern cantilever brakes have come a long way and have finally disposed of safety concerns that arose from some serious accidents in their early days (primarily when used on knobby-tire mountain bikes). After considering various options, I settled on the highly recommended Tektro CR-720 cantilever brakes in a silver finish. I also ordered an alloy brake cable hanger made by Tektro to attach to the stem. The idea for the brake levers was to get something sleek and retro looking – I found some awesome Cane Creek SCR-5 levers that came with caramel brown hood covers. A Jagwire Hyper brake cable kit from Amazon completes the system.

Tektro Alloy Brake Cable Hanger     Cane Creek SCR-5 Brake Levers

First up on the install were the levers. After peeling back the hood and sliding them onto the handlebars, I sat on the bike and picked the most comfortable placement of the levers on the handlebar curve. I simulated riding both on the hoods and in the drops – making sure I could brake from both positions. Tighten the allen bolts to set them in their final resting place. The brake cable hanger had been installed along with the headset assembly, so I moved onto the brakes. I installed the cantilever pad assemblies onto the frame bosses per the instructions (used a little waterproof grease on the threads). I then tackled the cable routing. The basic idea is to minimize the bend you apply to the cable during the routing process as any bends create additional friction and prevent smooth operation. You should also try to keep the cable housing as short as possible (while keeping cable bend in mind). I routed my cables along the handlebar (will be under the bar tape) toward the stem until meeting up with either the cable hanger or cable stop for the rear brake. Cut, crimp, and run the cable until getting it to the cantilever assemblies. The straddle cable can make or break the setup as this is where you set the mechanical advantage of the brakes (see Sheldon Brown’s article here). You are aiming to get the angle of the straddle cable to the brake arm at around 90 degrees when contacting the rim — I’ve found it easy to use a two finger spacing from the tire to the straddle cable hanger. Take out the slack from the straddle cable and tighten the bolt. Trim the main and straddle cables and crimp the ends. Last step is to adjust the pad centering on the rim. Most people are very happy with this setup, however, many road riders recommend changing the pads to a road cartridge for less squealing/chatter and extended brake pad wear.

Tektro CR-720 Brakes Installed  Jagwire Hyper Brake Cable

Tektro Cantilever Rear Brake  Tektro Cantilever Brake Rear

Build Weight Totals
Pake C’Mute Frame – 2551 grams
Pake C’Mute Fork – 1030 grams
Wheelset – 1814 grams
Tires – 500 grams
Inner tubes – 180 grams
Saddle – 330 grams
Seatpost – 285 grams
Crankset and Bottom Bracket – 865 grams
Cassette – 252 grams
Headset – 119 grams
Stem – 137 grams
Handlebars – 325 grams
Brake Cable Hanger  – 26 grams
Brake Levers – 284 grams
Brake Cable Kit – 214 grams (uncut)
Cantilever Brakes – 344 grams

Next week we tackle the derailleurs, chain, and shifters

Pake C’Mute Frame Up Bike Build – Brakes and Brake Levers