I have an 80s cyclocross frame I am restoring. The fork's cantilever bosses are spaced at 55mm - much narrower than the modern standard (around 70mm I believe).

I tried to fit a pair of Tektro CR-720s, but despite using thinner pads and removing the spacers cannot get the pads to square with the rim.

Can anyone recommend a set of modern cantilevers (preferably wide profile) alternative to Mafacs that they known to work with this narrow spacing?

I'm hopeful the Dia Compe GC-999 might do the trick as they seem to be based on a traditional design.

I also e-mailed Velo-Orange and Paul Components as I thought they had cantilevers that would match, but they claimed theirs don't work at this narrow spacing.

  • 1
    – WTHarper
    Commented Nov 7, 2013 at 22:20
  • I've had this exact same problem (and I've also emailed VO and Paul with the same answer!)
    – WTHarper
    Commented Nov 7, 2013 at 22:21
  • Thanks, that thread certainly covers the same issue, but I can't see any modern replacements recommended... I have been looking at the Dia Comp GC-999, Dia Compe CRX, and TRP EuroX and emailed the manufacturers maybe they'll get back to me regarding spacing. All these use the old post style as opposed to the modern threaded v-brake pads, maybe there is more room to maneuver with that design if the geometry otherwise fits.
    – benedict_w
    Commented Nov 8, 2013 at 13:31
  • My solution is to use the planet-x frogs bollox with Kool Stop narrow pads - it's tight but it works!
    – benedict_w
    Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 10:40

2 Answers 2


Maybe try the Planet X Frogs Bollox set suggested here (I've also seen the Empella Froglegs suggested as an option). Another option is to find another old 80s bike for cheap and rip the canti's off them as suggested by this thread.

  • I emailed PlanetX and they said their cantilevers were designed for use with modern spaced forks - of course this is probably just their safest reply.
    – benedict_w
    Commented Dec 11, 2013 at 16:54
  • 1
    Ah - I see that thread has been updated since I last checked and it appears they have worked out OK for that guy. I will look into it - thanks
    – benedict_w
    Commented Dec 11, 2013 at 16:56
  • He also claims the TRP EuroX will work too, but they're far more expensive (40 bucks vs 140 bucks...), but at 40 bucks theres not much to lose.
    – Batman
    Commented Dec 11, 2013 at 18:20
  • I am also not sure if he's using Kool Stop Thinlines as well, but they look like the regular Kool Stop Salmons for canti's.
    – Batman
    Commented Dec 12, 2013 at 2:00

What brake pads did you try? I had a heck of a time getting modern Tektro cantis working on a fork of mine until I used Kool Stop Thinlines with the spacers set for in their thinnest configuration.

  • This might better serve as a comment instead of an answer.
    – WTHarper
    Commented Nov 8, 2013 at 22:14
  • They are Kool Stop v-type I think, might look into these thin lines, so thanks for the suggestion
    – benedict_w
    Commented Nov 9, 2013 at 12:40
  • @Alan Gerber (if you're still around) do you know the post spacing? I'd love to get a set of Tektros working on an old Trek with 55 or 60 mm spacing.
    – dlu
    Commented Jul 3, 2015 at 6:56
  • 2
    I crashed that bike and destroyed the fork, so I can't say, but the Kool Stops are $12 or less, so they're probably worth buying as an experiment. Commented Jul 4, 2015 at 21:34

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