So the other day I had my Speed D7 at work and I found a weird little piece of wire on the ground. I didn't think much of it until the ride home when my brakes were dragging like crazy. When I got to the Metra station I pull the cable off the stock v brakes and checked it out. Sure enough, that odd piece of wire was the spring for one side of the brakes. I'd been contemplating upgrading the front brake anyhow and I took this as a sign it was time.
So I bought a front HS33 brake setup. I got the 2 finger black model. Only $100 shipped. I know that's still double what I would have paid for the avid sd7 setup but I wasn't convinced that one vbrake would be much better than another in terms of raw stopping power, and I have it in mind to eventually make this into an ebike.
Install wasn't really that bad. I've worked alot on cars though, including the brake systems and bikes seem like child's play afterwords. The worst bit was getting the spacing of the slave cylinders right from the edge of the rim. The other settings are pretty easy, but things like to shift a bit when you tighten things down. I ended up cheating and using the wear adjuster to push them in a little bit. I think I might trying running that in a bit next time and then setting the brakes against the rim, and then dialing the wear adjuster all the way out again. No problems clearing the fender on the bike which was my biggest worry going in.
Anyhow, the brakes look and perform awesome. The cage around the front brake looks great, and they brake hard enough to lift the rear wheel off the ground even when wet after riding through some oily puddles. Great. Plus less rubbing with a whole lot less fiddling than my experience with v brakes. The cable that comes with it may be a little on the long side, but at least there are absolutely no issues with the folding. (My other big worry going in) I'd highly recommend these brakes so far. I'll have to give another report when I've had a chance to ride them for while, but initial impressions are great.