Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Montréal (Québec)
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I have two bikes with the original v-brake in front and a canti behind. I installed the canti because the v-brake interfered with rack struts. My canti is set with proper cable pull so that it feels exactly like the v-brake. Setup took some time and I had to Read Sheldon a few times, but that proves it can work.
Regarding v-brake pads and pads in general: for all-weather cycling, get Kool Stop Salmon or Dual pads. And for v-brakes, unless you have a tight space around the fork, get the BMX pads rather than the Thinline pads. They have exactly the same thread design, are as efficient in snow, cost the same... but are 2-3 times thicker, so they last much longer.
Riding with kids in tow, I kept my original Avid brake pads for less than a month. The Kool Stop thinline Salmon pads lasted almost a year. And now, I have the same BMX pads for roughly 3 years, and they still have some life left. (All that wear is on the most-used front brake, by the way.)