I recently bought a used tandem and am going to be tuning it up over the winter. It's a Yakota Twin Peaks (i.e. 20 years old) and it has Scott-Peterson Self-Energizing brakes. I haven't taken them apart yet, but all the descriptions online say the same thing: they have a helical thread as the pivot, so when the pad touches the rim and is dragged forward, the pads are forced inward onto the rims with more force, increasing the braking power.

What I'm wondering is whether there are conventional cantilever bosses under there or did the SE brakes require something special?

For my purposes (pretty gentle cruising on the tandem with my daughter on the back), I don't think I need any extra stopping power, so I'm thinking of replacing the SE brakes with regular cantilevers. But before I dive in, I'd like to find out more about what I'll find if I start taking them apart.

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    Pretty sure they're designed to fit on regular canti bosses. Kind of a requirement since they were sold as retrofits. But if they were original with the bike (not retrofit) you may need to replace the brake levers as well, to get enough leverage on the regular cantis. Commented Nov 23, 2011 at 12:01
  • These kind of parts are meant to be disassembled, or at least removed from the bike, so that you or your trusted mechanic can go for it no-fear. Commented Nov 23, 2011 at 17:56
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    Also, I would recommend using V-Brakes with cantilever-specific (longer) brake levers on tandem. They're not meant to be used together because, on solo bikes, you literally get KILLER BRAKES! I have this combination on my tandem, and it works great! Commented Nov 23, 2011 at 17:57
  • @heltonbiker Awesome idea! If I have troubles cleaning up the old brakes, that's the way I'll go. Commented Nov 25, 2011 at 8:23
  • In case anyone's interested, I didn't replace the SE brakes in the end. It took a few years before I got around to it, but I eventually took them apart, cleaned them, replaced all the cables and housing and put them back together. They work well for the tandem, plus there's the "coolness through obscurity" factor. Commented Feb 26, 2021 at 3:30

2 Answers 2


The Scott-Peterson SE brakes used standard canti bosses. You're probably safe to replace them with standard cantis or V-brakes (what type of levers are you using?).

  • Yep, I have done the swap and it was easy. The self-energising brakes are prone to locking wheels if you damage the rim, because the pads hook up on the damage. Not everyone likes that.
    – Móż
    Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 0:12

Keep these for an eBay sale - they are hard to come by and desired by those that desire them...

The Suntour versions of these mounted onto regular bosses, the helical part was all in the bulky pivot part of the levers. So yes you can swap them out for normal 'linear-pull' style brakes.

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