Novel Mechanics

A couple of weeks ago we got a bit of a novel brake into the Hub.  This is now put together and makes a bit more sense but at first it was just left in parts, so well done to Volunteer Mechanic Malcolm Anderson on figuring it all out!


It’s clearly a twist on the cantilever brake system but with the Housing (black cable) running all the way to the pivoting ‘V’ section which is bolted to the fork bridge.  Looking at it at first, you’d expect that pulling the lever would pull one brake pad into the rim but push the other away.  However, the brake works, so it obviously doesn’t do that!

The key is in understanding how a brake works, the Housing (black wire) doesn’t directly move when the brake lever is pulled, instead it stays where it is and the silver brake cable running out of it and heading to the left brake arm (right hand side of the picture) moves instead.  The length of exposed brake cable (silver) between the V shaped section and left brake arm shortens, this pulls the brake arm towards the V and then also causes the V to pull and tilt towards the left brake arm.  With the V tilted, the cable attached to the right brake arm (left hand side) is pulled and that brake arm is pulled towards the rim.  Viola you have a working brake!

We’ve not come across this before set-up before.  It has Shimano STX written on it, at a guess, it could have been a development from just before the V- brake replaced the Cantilever.  We would be happy to receive any more information members of the community might have on the brake.  Please send it through a message on our Facebook or as an e-mail to

For getting a better understanding of how the different parts of a bike work, why not check out one of our 1/2 day maintenance courses, evening courses or get in touch about our courses in areas of North Stockton, on the first week of every month?