Among rim brakes, my favorites have always been high profile cantilevers. I cut my teeth on this style of canti back in the early days of mountain biking. Sure, they can interfere with some panniers, and heel clearance can be an issue with certain combinations of bike/rider, but there’s no other style of rim brake that performs so well while also providing nearly limitless clearance for tires and fenders.
The Paul Neo-Retro is a modernized — and much improved — copy of the classic Mafac “Tandem” high-profile cantilever produced in France up until the early 1980′s. The geometry of the Neo-Retro closely matches the Mafac, but it’s been totally updated with adjustable V-brake style pads; sealed, stainless steel pivots; self-contained springs; and, a simple, but effective spring adjustment mechanism.
These are high performance brakes. Powerful, crisp, snappy, and with excellent modulation; the best cantis I’ve ever used. This particular set replaced the already very nice Tektro CR720s on my Rivendell. The Pauls are a clear step up in performance, quality, looks, and ease of use.
Like all Paul components, these brakes are made in their small shop in Chico, CA, USA, using only the highest quality materials. You absolutely will not find brakes with a better fit and finish; if you’re a canti devotee, these are as good as it gets.