I have cantilever brakes on my Nimbus 26 and I really like them. I mostly use them for smooth downhills to save my strength (and knees) for the uphills. For more technical slopes I rarely bother with the brakes as I have enough trouble staying on the uni This might change as I get more experience using the brakes.
Same here, brakes can be helpful, but sometimes they throw off your rhythm. I’d say that if you ride 100% with one hand on your grab handle, you are more likely to use the brake regularly.
They can be a bit grabby, even with Maguras, but I still like having them. I’m not quite ready to give up my 165’s, but if I get to where the brake is replacing my legs for braking on downhills, I’ll get 150’s.
I have Maguras on my 24 and 29 munis. They’re like a lot of things in life–really handy on occasion, but unnecessary a lot of the time. I’d say on a typical 3 mile after-work ride, I’ll use the brakes once. But that one time, I’ll be really happy I have them–for instance, on the steep and curvy connector trail when I’m running 137s on my 29er, there’s no way I’d even be thinking of riding that section without the brake.
I have a Magura on my Hunter 24" MUni and it is a vital part of the downhill experience. I will say it depends largely on the terrain you typically ride. I know the Muni-ers in Calif. say that a 300o vertical ride down is a killer without a brake. In the east, the hills are not huge, but we have 600-1000 ft. vertical that is mixed with all terrain types ( exposed rock, double fall line root & loose rock sections). Been riding with a brake for over 3 yrs. now, and one day I accidentally kinked and broke the plastic hose on a chairlift ride up. I had to do only one ride down without my trusty brake, but realized how much my riding was compromised without it. There will likely be some customization to get the right angle of the handle so it’s easily accessible when needed. A brake handle that’s 4 or more inches away from the seat grab is useless. I use a Reeder that does a real nice job of protecting the handle itself, and keeps everything compact.
My brakes (maggie Hs33s busted out last year at CMW. The LBS screwed up on the crossover line and it popped out. If you have anyone work on it and you don’t do it yourself, make sure they know how to work with Steel braided lines - the LBS I used didn’t.
I stopped riding for many months after due to time issues, but only recently in the last month took up Muni but sans the brake.
I ride once a week in varying terrain some of it very steep and rocky. I would call it technical. I have found that I really like not using the brake and I get more control on the lumpy rocky and steep sections. The difference to me is astonishing. However, I do miss the brake for anything that is a gradual descent of any length. My knees need the brake for these stretches of the trail. The brakes do conserve energy and they are nice to have when you need them. At a 1 pound in weight, I don’t think the weight savings of not having a brake makes a whole bit of difference, so I will ride with it again, as soon as I get to do the bleeding myself. My goal is this weekend.
I don’t ride long distances. I ride for about two hours to 2.5 hours with conversation spliced in. I might clear 1.5 miles in that time, but most of it is technical and I run some lines 5 or 6 times and just move on. So, there is a lot of stopping and starting that actually helps out my knees. For a CMW ride that’s 8 miles in length I wouldn’t ride without it. I will be in serious pain.
True, I do tend to hold onto the handle a lot. I do it to be able to put a lot of power into the pedals without lifting myself out of the saddle.
My brakes do not feel grabby at all. I need to squeeze very hard for good braking action, but then that is exactly the way I want it. I do notice the seam where the rim is welded together, but unless the rim will fail from my brake usage I won’t worry.
I ride muni with 127’s. I actually tried one of my light-muni routes on my brakeless 36 with 125’s once. My knees needed over a week of rest before I felt like doing any riding again…
The paddle-thingy? I have considered it, but at the moment I am happy with using my middle and index fingers for the braking action, while gripping the handle with the leftover digits. Will probably pick it up the next time I buy something from UDC.
I Notice you are a 50+
I need a brake for long descents that may “burn” my muscles. I do not use it when it gets technical (I then tend not to grab my handle …).
I have 145mm cranks on my 24 Muni.
so yes brakes are useful.
I use my maggies (hs33) on my kh24 2007 all the time on technical terrain and smooth, I find on technical terrain that they can be used less as a drag brake and more short and sharp pulls on the lever, I have been wondering whether to invest in a KH lever end or not they seem useful but are £15