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  1. #1
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    V Brakes / Shifter compatibility

    I have been trying to take the slack out of my V style brakes. Upon going downhill I have to been really having to press hard on my brake levers to get much torque on the rims.
    On my own, I have tried to shorten the cable length between the brake blocks?, adjusted the barrell adjusters, and checked the postions of the pads by adjusting pad position set screws.Nothing seems to help much. Apprears the brake pads have decent rubber left.
    So today, while at a bike shop asked the mechanic how to correct the problem. He looked over the system. The brakes are v brakes as I said. The brakes are controlled by Shimano Tiagara Index shift levers. So, the mechanic suggested, v brakes should controlled by mountain bike style levers. He felt making adjustments with the present system would only be a temporary fix...
    I like index shifting on the drops. I hate to see this change for that reason.
    This bike has been rebuilt because the original Scott frame wore out since it had over 70.000 miles on it. So I switched over old components to a new Surly frame. The orignial brakes were dual pivot calipers. The original Shimano index shifters were were installed onto this new frame.
    Anyone agree, V brakes would be better served with a different style shifter. Seems after the frame rebuild the brake tension was pretty normal.? thanks.

  2. #2
    'Mizer Cats are INSANE Mentor58's Avatar
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    Your local wrench is only partially correct. V brakes, because of their design, need more cable pull to operate. That extra pull (leverage) is what allows them to really clamp down. Levers designed for V-brakes (most MTB brakes, and Diacompe V Road levers) pull more cable, put provide lower leverage at the lever, let the brake design provide the leverage. Road levers develop more leverage as part of their design, but don't provide the cable pull needed. You can install a set of "Travel Agents" into the brake cables to solve this problem. They are a roller that effectively doubles the pull of the cable at the brake end, and lets the V-brake work as designed. There are a couple of threads about them, or PM me and I'll make sure you get the info.

    Why do I know this? Am I an Uber-Wrench? Nah, it's just when I got my C-dale touring bike (now a mere frame again), the previous owner had the TA's set up wrong, and I was trying to run it with the brake shoes adjusted to within a 1/32th of an inch from the rim to keep the levers from bottoming out. Didn't stop for crud, and with a fully loaded touring bike, that's no fun. Once I got them hooked up right it made a HUGE world of difference. I almost came off the seat the first time I grabbed the levers the way I used to have to... the brakes were that much stronger.

    Do a search on Travel Agents. My advice, they can be a bit tricky to set up at very first, you may want to experiment with them with some old brake cable before you install them for good.

    Hope this helps,

    Steve W.
    *Surly LHT ... Slow and Steady, *Motobecane Century Pro ... Better than Me
    *Bianchi Volpe ... Well, just 'cuz , Fuji Track SS / Fixie ... Mustache bars and a big grin
    Rans F5
    Easy Racers Tour Easy
    * Now that I'm 'Bent, I will probably unload all but the Fixie.

  3. #3
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    I"m surprised your mechanic didn't suggest the use of travel agents as an alternative.
    .cinelli.olympic.surly.long.haul.trucker.kona.ku.surly.steamroller.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member caotropheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Fixer
    I"m surprised your mechanic didn't suggest the use of travel agents as an alternative.
    Travel Agents are just a "still in problem" solution. For sure they work well and solve the problem, but iIf you do something, do it right from the beginning, right?

  5. #5
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caotropheus
    Travel Agents are just a "still in problem" solution. For sure they work well and solve the problem, but iIf you do something, do it right from the beginning, right?
    Not necessarily. If you want STI's and V-brakes, travel agents are usually your only option.....can you come up with another solution?
    Last edited by roadfix; 05-09-06 at 05:46 PM.
    .cinelli.olympic.surly.long.haul.trucker.kona.ku.surly.steamroller.
    .litespeed.classic.litespeed.firenze.bianchi.pista.dean.colonel.plus.more.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caotropheus
    Travel Agents are just a "still in problem" solution. For sure they work well and solve the problem, but iIf you do something, do it right from the beginning, right?
    Huh? I'm thinking that I've been working with Travel Agents for around a decade now with exactly zero failures. So what is the problem that you're talking about?

  7. #7
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Mechanics forum here is always a great source of info. will do a search and pass on the info. to my local wrench...Not in the US, for now; don't think that a problem..

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