I have 1990s Shiman Deore XT cantilever brake pad holder shoes with smooth studs. I believe these are "M Type" cartridges/inserts. The replaceable inserts slide in and are held in place by a screw / grub. They look like this:

Shiman Deore XT brake pads

I need to replace the replaceable inserts. However, I am having a hard time finding replacement inserts.

Is it possible to slide in "V brake" inserts that are readily available as replacement inserts? For example, could I use the following inserts in the shoes shown above?

Kool Stop V type refill insert

Or, are there any other inserts that can work with the Deore XT brake shoes that I have? As a side note, there is corroboration that aftermarket replacements for my brake shoes are hard or impossible to find (see here and here, e.g.).

  • The best option is to just go with normal (non-replacable insert) brake pads+shoes - these things are hard to find, and even if you do find them, theres a decent chance the rubber is not in good condition due to age.
    – Batman
    Aug 4, 2014 at 3:14

2 Answers 2


I don't know whether the v-brake replacements fit in. However, normal cantilever brake pads are very easy to find. When you don't find a replacement insert, just order some entire brake pads. You will probably get just as good braking pads for the same price.

Edit: Perhaps ask these guys: http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/brakeshoes.html#dura.


I lost a Shimano Deore Xl pad recently.

As a stop gap, with nothing else available - was in the middle of nowhere, I bought at Walmart some Bell brake pads ($4.99), which have screw posts. The post didn't fit perfectly (I only had to replace one brake pad) but once I tightened and adjusted, it worked great ... and still does.

This is for an old Gary Fisher MTB. I'm still looking for a replacement for the Shimano pads; I will likely have to replace the whole rig, however. But for now, that brake pad is solid and not going anywhere.

  • Welcome to Bicycles. I've reformatted your post to make it easier to read, but it still does not directly answer the question. I suggest you add a sentence like "Yes, you can." at the start of the post.
    – andy256
    Aug 4, 2014 at 3:08

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