Cantilever and linear-pull brakes may offer increased clearance for wide tires and fenders, but the longer pads can make wheel removal tricky on anything but a full-on mountain bike. And if you race cyclo-cross, packed-up mud can complicate things even more. To solve these types of clearance problems, Jagwire’s Sleek Pro Cross Lite brake pads combine the smaller form factor of a road pad with the post styles needed for linear-pull and cantilever brakes.
I’ve experienced wheel removal issues on my commuter with both v-brakes and cantilevers. Whether I was running 70mm offset pads or symmetrical 60mm pads, the bike’s tires would always hang up on the brakes (unless I deflated the tires or fitted sub-32mm tires). To preserve my sanity, and prepare for Colorado’s slushy winter conditions, I installed Jagwire’s Sleek Pro Cross Lite brake pads.
While the Jagwire Cross Lite pads measure only 55mm in length (most v-style pads are 70mm long), the pad material is thicker than the low-profile designs found on most v-brakes and cantilevers. For my setup, this meant that I had to switch the spacers’ positions to accommodate the pads’ increased thickness. Once I had pads’ position dialed in, it was time to check the clearance. I unhooked the cable noodle, and the brake arms–and pads–swung all the way open. Victory!
Despite their smaller profile, the Jagwire pads still produce plenty of power. My commuter tips the scales at more than 30 pounds, and that’s not counting the 10-15 pounds that I typically carry in my panniers. On-road or off, the Cross Lite pads quietly brought everything to a controlled stop. Break-in time was minimal, and I was able to run the pads without any toe-in. Replacing the pads requires a 2mm allen key, and the holders are compatible with several popular brands of inserts.
Sleek Pro Cross Lite brake pads are available threaded or post-style versions, and come in silver, black, or white finishes.
Disclosure: Jagwire provided review samples of these pads, but offered no other form of compensation for this review.