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I am building up a cross bike. Have some Euro X brakes on order, but I am starting to have some second thoughts based on my concerns about ease of adjustment, keeping them from squeeling, etc. I am thinking about exchanging them for the Shimano BR550 set up. This may not be as euro-cool, but it seems that it might better serve my needs. Any thoughts? I would love to hear experiences with the Euro X brakes; good or bad, so that I can decide whether or not to make the change.


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You have valid concerns. The lack of adjustement on the Impella, Spooky, and TRP brakes (all of which are pretty much identical) is a major pain. You either have to bend the posts on the pads to get the pad to hit the rim right, or sand the pad at an angle, ect. The latest Kore brakes seem to be perfect since thay have a similar shape as the others but use standard v-brake style pads with the full conical washers and slotted mount to adjust the pad however you need to.
Newer Euro-X's are supposed to have more adjustability, including toe-in. I've been happy with mine, not too difficult to setup. No fork shudder, they'll squeal if I really grab the levers, but not enough that I have bothered to bend the post or sand the pad.
Lot's of folks use the Euro X with no problem. Put `em on and see if they work for you. If not, order up a set of Tektro CR 720s, and sell me your Euro Xs at a deep discount.
Velo-Orange sells adjustable brake shoes that will let you set toe-in with post-style cantis like TRP Euro X:
I just received a set of adjustable brake shoes from Velo Orange and installed them on my TRP EuroX's. Bottom line -- they work great and completely eliminated the squealing on carbon rims. The washers at the shoe end of the post do limit how far in to the wheel the can be mounted, but it's not a problem with the adjustability of the straddle cable. Two thumbs up. And thanks for the tip, David G.!
I have a set of the BR550's on my Kelly. They are simple and work well. If I grab a handfull of brake, I do get some squeal/shudder, but then again, what cross brake *doesn't* do that?
I have them and was also worried they would be difficult to adjust. They were super easy after the fact. You can bend them when they are on the bike. You don't need a huge amount of the front to toe in, just a bit so the front hits the rim first. Also if you are using a rim with annodization you will need to ride around a bit until that wears off. The brakes can be grabby and sqeak, but trust me once they have a few miles on the, they are lovely. I put on swisstop green pads and they work like a charm, dry or wet.
Go with Paul's. You will not be disappointed. My thoughts are if you have to man handle something to get it to work, it's got a design flaw. You shouldn't have to spend a hundred bucks for a set of brakes just to take a wrench to it to bend the parts into place. Just my two cents. With that being said, there are adjustable posts out there to upgrade the ones that came stock. May want to look into those.
Another option is Kore Kross brakes. Same euro design but with all the adjustability of pauls at less than half the price.
I just added a set of Euro-X brakes, and I did almost zero adjustment out of the box -- certainly no bending anything. Good braking, no squeal and minimal fork shudder (and this is with an Empella fork which shudders when you look at it). Just another data point, but I love em.
The BR550s are really good brakes, but they won't give you the wheel clearance the wide profile Euro brakes will. If you live in a dry climate, perhaps that's not a consideration. Wheel clearance is also an issue if you smack your wheel out of true. The more clearance, the more wobble you can have before you get brake rub.

Adjustment isn't really that bad for all those Euro-weenie brakes. I wrote something on that here last week, actually. Might be worth a quick look.
ooh... i'm green with envy for the green empellas from your blog - they are frogglegs, no?

I took the BR-R550's off my girlfriend's and replaced them with Euro-X cantis. I think they are superior, primarily for the clearance they afford.

I've ordered a set of the velo-orange pads as mentioned above to eliminate the chatter she gets with her fork however. I didn't try bending the brakes though, was worried about stressing the posts/fork too much.


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