Rene Herse Cantilever Brake


You never knew cantilever brakes could be this good! Smart design, top-spec materials and precision manufacturing bring you smooth, powerful braking performance – and at 75 g one of the world’s lightest brake (with pad holders, but without pads which get lighter as they wear). The mechanical advantage is optimized to work equally well with modern ‘aero’ or with classic ‘non-aero’ brake levers.

Forged arms are thin without giving up strength. Post-style pad holders allow simple adjustment for pad wear without the need to re-set toe-in. Carefully equalized springs eliminate the need for tension adjustment screws. Thin straddle cables with pivoting mounts ensure smooth, slack-free braking. Super-grippy ‘salmon’ Kool-Stop pads for better stopping in wet and dry conditions.

To mount the brake pads, we offer two options:

  • Direct mount without washers, with ultralight aluminum nuts for the eyebolts. To adjust the toe-in, bend the arms slightly. This version is intended for framebuilders and confident mechanics.
  • Washers that set the toe-in, with thinner steel nuts for the eyebolts. To adjust toe-in, swap between straight and 2.5º angled washers to compensate for the alignment of your frame’s cantilever bosses.
  • Direct mount brakes can be converted to washers with our Toe-In Washers and Nuts if you change your mind.
  • With both methods, you adjust the toe-in only once. Then you can change the brake pads without having to adjust toe-in again.


Note: To work with the ultralight design of these brakes, the height of your frame’s cantilever posts must be within standard tolerances. (Your current brake’s pads should be roughly in the middle of the slots.) If the pads of your current brakes are at the top or bottom of the slots, the Rene Herse brakes may not fit on your frame.

Pro Tip: Most cantilever pivots on the market today were originally made for production mountain bikes, where low cost was the major consideration. Their dimensions are not always accurate, and the material can be soft. If you are building a new frame, we recommend using precision-made Rene Herse cantilever pivots.

Sold as set for one wheel, to give you a maximum of flexibility when spec’ing your bike. Each brake comes with all hardware and a Rene Herse straddle cable yoke.

  • Mount to standard cantilever posts
  • Supplied with 'standard' 264 mm straddle cable
  • Clearance for 56 mm tires without fenders, or 42 mm tires with 62 mm fenders
  • 'Long' 286 mm straddle cable (available separately) for 55 mm tires with fenders
  • 'Short' 245 mm straddle cable (available separately) for small frames
  • Distance between posts: 62 - 84 mm
  • Weight (with straddle cable and pad holders, but without pads):
    • Titanium eyebolts, direct mounting: 75 g
    • Steel eyebolts add 8 g
    • Optional washers for toe in add 4 g
    • Thick and long-wearing Kool-Stop pads weigh 15 g/pair (but get lighter as they wear)
  • Downloadable installation instructions
  • Assembled in Seattle from parts made in Taiwan and USA
  • 10 year warranty