Are V Brakes Better Than Cantilever?

Whether you are planning to commute in the busy roads on a commuter bike or want to zoom down on a mountain track with your mountain bike, a good set of brakes is indispensable.

However, there are a plethora of brakes in the market. And among all of the ones that are compared the most are the V brakes and the cantilevers brakes.

Now, are you in the same dilemma as the other bikers? Wondering are V brakes better than cantilever? Well, you have stumbled upon the perfect source in that regard.

We will go through the differences that lie between each of the brakes. Alongside that, we are also going to let you know why you should invest in a good pair of brakes for your cycle.

Are V Brakes Better Than Cantilever

Why Are a Good Set of Brakes Necessary?

While you were thinking about comparing both of the brakes that we mentioned above, you might have also thought that if investing in a good set of brake is worth it or not.

Well, we are going to answer that for you. These are the reasons for installing a decent pair of brakes in your bike:

Avoiding Accidents

It goes without saying that the brakes are going to save you from unexpected accidents.

However, the response of the brakes will differ from one brake to another. By response, we meant the speed at which the brake can make the wheels of your bike come to a halt.

With that being said, the ones that are of high quality will be able to make your bike stop in a second or two.

On the other hand, the average set of brakes will take more than two seconds. This stopping power is quite essential when it comes to riding your bike in heavy-traffic areas.

The ones that have a substantial amount of stopping power will let you avoid any unexpected accidents that might occur while riding.

Making Smooth Turns

We all know how famous mountain tracks are. However, riding on them is not as easy as riding on the roads of a city.

They will have tight corners where you will have to make complicated turns.

In that case, not having a good set of brakes can make carrying out those turns a bit challenging.

Apart from that, there are some roads in the city that might also require you to make tight turns.

Having a good set of brakes will also make it easier for you to make those turns.

What is the relationship between tire size and brake type for bicycles?

The 700x35c tire size in inches explained pertains to a specific measurement used in bicycle tires. When considering the relationship between tire size and brake type, it’s essential to note that larger tire sizes may require specific brake mechanisms. The size determines the clearance between the tire and the frame, affecting the brakes’ compatibility or potential need for adjustments or replacements.

The Differences Between a V Brake and a Cantilever

Differences Between a V Brake and a Cantilever

Let us get back to the main point now, which is if the V brakes are actually better than cantilevers or not.

Well, these are the key differences that lie in between them:

Pad Replacement

V brakes rely on the pads to make the wheels stop. And with time, the pads get worn out.

Having a worn-out pad for the brakes will massively degrade the stopping power of the brakes.

That is why you should check on them frequently and get them replaced if they do get worn out. And the replacement process for the pads is quite straightforward.

On the other hand, the cantilever brakes do not utilize any sort of pads for stopping the wheels of the bike. However, they do lose braking efficiency over time.

But the rate of degradation is a bit slower than the pads of the V brakes. That means you will not have to get them replaced that frequently.

But the replacement process of these brakes is not that easy as replacing the pads of V brakes.



Even though most of the bikes can be modified to make them compatible with a certain type of brakes, the ones that V brakes are mainly made for are the mountain bikes.

That implies that you will be able to directly install them on a mountain bike without going through that much of a hassle.

In comparison, the cantilever brakes have a larger compatibility option than the V brakes.

They are not only great for road bikes but also go well in the old road calipers, the bikes that utilize U-brakes, and many more.

You will also be able to install these in a mountain bike by making some adjustments.


The weight of the bike parts plays a significant role in the overall control and speed. With that being said, most of the V brakes are usually lightweight.

They will only add about 0.6 pounds per wheel. That means the overall weight that they are going to add to bikes is somewhere around 1.2 pounds, which is not that much.

However, the cantilever brakes are much lighter in comparison. While the overall weight of the V brakes is at 1.2 pounds, the weight of a set of these brakes is just 0.3 pounds.

That means if weight is a big factor for you, you should opt for the cantilever brakes instead of V brakes.

Braking Performance

When the braking performance is factored in, the overall smoothness of the brake is considered first.

And in that case, the V brakes are not really the smoothest among all the types of brakes that are available in the market.

In comparison, the cantilever brakes are much smoother than the V brakes. They utilize a center-pull mechanism that makes them extremely smooth.

Also, the stopping power is a significant factor for the overall braking performance.

And, in this case, the V brakes are going to perform the best on some bikes while the cantilever is going to perform the best on others. So, there is no clear winner in this case.



When looks are taken into consideration, as the cantilever brakes implement a modern design, they will look the best on a bike.

Even though the V brakes and the cantilever brakes look almost identical, most of the V brakes still sports a conventional design.

Because of that, they will look slightly-outdated in sports or mountain bike.


Last but not least, the price point of the brakes are a bit different. As V brakes have been around for quite a long time, they are the most affordable ones.

On the other hand, the cantilever ones are a bit pricy in comparison. So, if you are in a tight budget, we would recommend you to go for the V brakes.

Are V Brakes More Durable Than Cantilever Brakes?

When comparing bike disk brake pads lifespan, V brakes are generally considered more durable than cantilever brakes. V brakes provide better stopping power and are less susceptible to mud or debris buildup. However, the effectiveness of brake pads can vary depending on factors like material, riding conditions, and maintenance practices.


After going through the entire article, we hope that you are no longer thinking are V brakes better than cantilever now.

With that being said, by keeping all the differences in mind, we would announce that cantilever brakes are actually better than V brakes.

But they are not really compatible with all the bikes that are out there. So, before you get one, do keep the compatibility in mind.

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