September 12, 2010

TRP EuroX Cantilever Brake Set Review

Last year I bought these brakes for my cross bike. If you read the ads, they sound like the real deal, the standard. Bought 'em and put 'em on. I have to say that cantilever brakes with road levers really kind of suck. They really don't have very much power at all. I have tried them with varying lengths of the straddle cable. Didn't seem to make much difference. My old 90's mountain bike cantilevers worked way better (and still do), but of course that bike didn't use road levers.

Pros: Virtually impossible to lock up the wheels - although I can lock up the back wheel if I try hard enough. No danger of going over the handlebars.

Cons: The grip of death required to brake for a sharp corner when I let the bike run on a downhill can affect my bike handling significantly. But who wants to start scrubbing free speed too soon? You gotta let the bike go in that situation.

I also found that these brakes resulted in excessive brake chatter, the bane of cyclocross bikes. If the rim was sandy or dirty, they worked OK. But get a bit of water on the rim (or clean your bike) and the brakes really started to chatter. It might help if I could adjust toe-in, but you can't with these brakes - unless you want to bend them which probably voids any warranty.

Bottom line: I really don't think this style of cantilever brake is all that great - I don't like them. I'm told it clears mud the best of all cross brake designs, but it doesn't work that well in the braking department. If you have a very big problem with mud, then I guess they may be a good option. But mud isn't a big deal here and I'm currently experimenting with another brake style that I think makes these obsolete. I will post a review when I get a chance to race on them.

Update Aug 21, 2012 - Lots of better options - try this and this for non-disk brakes.


Eric Bales said...

I have the same brakes and have the same issues. No stopping power. I'm considering replacing with Shimano or Avid brakes. My only correction for you is that you can adjust the toe of the pads by loosening the allen head at the end of the brake pad. Took me a while to figure it out!

BikeHabit said...

I guess that is more of an update than a correction. In the past there was no toe-in adjustment without bending something. But there are a few toe-in adjustable brake pad holders now available to deal with this, one of them made by TRP for some reason.


The question for me is why bother?