The Xtracycle is a great bike, but this is the Achilles’ heel. The Free Radical kit doesn’t have an attachment for cantilever brakes, so I had to use a V-brake.  As I’m not about to throw away my very good shifter/brake levers to I had to try and fit this little beastie in to make the V-Brake on the back side fit with the cantilever-compatible levers up front. It’s called a  Travel Agent, and in theory it reduces the force produced by the levers so that the Xtracycle stops smartly but gently when I pull the lever, instead of locking the back wheel and throwing me over the handlebars. The problem is that it’s a pain to adjust, and usually results in the rear brake being as effective as a bowl of jelly. Usually I end up using the adjuster at the front to get any bite out of the thing at all. So I’m wondering about alternatives. If anyone has any pearls of wisdom in response to these questions, please feel free to comment:

  1. The point is to reduce the force on the brake blocks/wheel when using cantilever levers. Is there another, less awkward way of doing this, like another piece of kit to fit on the cable?
  2. Is there a way to fit cantilevers on an Xtracycle?
  3. There is an adjustable travel agent. Could this mitigate the problem?
  4. Am I missing the point? Do V-Brakes simply feel soggy compared to Cantilevers?
  5. And the potentially dumb question: I know it goes against all published wisdom, but what difference would it make if I just used the v-brakes directly from the brake lever, (Especially as it’s on the back of a long heavy bike, not the front) Would it just lock the back wheel?

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