Retro Product Spotlight and Review: SRP Mr. Grumpy Cantilevers

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SRP Mr. Grumpy cantilevers. MSRP $90 per wheel.

SRP Mr. Grumpy cantilevers. $90 per wheel at EU Cycle Imports.

by Dr. Clifford Lee

The SRP Mr. Grumpy has been around for a long time. It was maligned for its relative lack of stopping power but has recently made a comeback for its light weight, unique look and copious amount of rim clearance. It had features typical of the European style wide profile cantilevers, pivoting directly on the brake bosses, though the pivot to cable anchor is short and the angle is so wide that the arms are below the pivot.

Impressions: The SRP Mr. Grumpy cantilevers provide more clearance at the rim than any other brake I’ve yet reviewed.  The spring tension is also greater than other similar cantilevers without adjustable spring tensioners, such as the TRP or Spooky. The combination of clearance and high return spring tension is ideal for muddy conditions when the cables and rims can get clogged with muck.

Plenty of spring tension. Shown here with TRP InPlace adjustable brake pad holders © Clifford Lee

Plenty of spring tension. Shown here with TRP InPlace adjustable brake pad holders © Clifford Lee

The short arms certainly yield reduced leverage and, therefore, reduced braking power. The angle of the arms affects the cable pull angle, further (though slightly) reducing power. Even run with KoolStop salmon pads, I had to squeeze the levers harder to overcome the spring tension and to provide enough pad-rim pressure to stop. For set-up tips and a more comprehensive brake and brake pad review, check out Cyclocross Magazine Issue 7.

In the box: no brake holders or pads, but titanium mounting hardware, straddle cable and standard stamped metal hanger.

Weight: 75 g without pads or holders.

Geometry: Pivot to cable anchor 34 mm, pivot to pad face 41 mm, angle 136 degrees.

Average clearance: 9 mm cable pull yields 7 mm pad to rim movement per side.

SRP Mr. Grumpy cantilevers: MSRP $90 per wheel.

More Info: or contact EU Cycle Imports

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I've been using Grumpy's for years now. They work but yeah the stopping power leaves much to be desired. Thinking of going to mini V's next year.


I own a pair of Grumpy's (sounds like an opening for a bad joke) and I've never had a set of brakes that felt so "wooden" in action, no matter what pad you plugged into them. They look cool, the weight's nice, but they just don't deliver the goods; the feel is simply terrible. And consider this is from someone who doesn't think you need much brake on a cross bike and that fork shudder is nonsense because you should never be braking that hard in a race. I also have a question for the writer: You say Grumpy's are making a comeback? Is this a comeback from that box of junk under the work bench or are they being re-released by a manufacturer? When you said "in the box" I was confused, but that's nothing new. The set-up photo is nice though - I never cocked the arms down quite that far. Maybe it would help.

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