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  1. #1
    TrekDualSuspension Freak!
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    Are there better V brakes than others?

    Are there categories of V brakes? What do you look for in buying v brakes? Are they all the same? Do some stop better? what are the best V brakes?
    2005 TREK Y26 Stock w/ Ario rear shock w/ lockout, Shimano M540 pedals.(The lender)

    2004 Jamis Dakar XLT 1.0 Frame,04 Manitou Black Super Fork 120mm, Shimano LX Crank, bb, Fr der, Rear der, Shifters. Deore hubs w/ Sun Rhyno Lite rims, IRC mythos xc racing tires, IRC tubes, Sette APX Alloy seatpost, Sette venn mountain stem 120mm, Avid mechanical bb7 ball bearing disc brake 160mm, Oury atb grips, Sette XLR handlebar riser, Sette IXA gel chromoly rail saddle. Shimano pd m324 pedals.

  2. #2
    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    XTR are the best I've used, higher end Avids are pretty decent. Basically you want the stiffest arm possible, without excess weight.
    commuter turned bike mechanic turned commuter (also a Velocity USA employee, but this is my personal account)

  3. #3
    Too Much Crazy
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelii
    what are the best V brakes?
    1. Paul Motolite Z

    2. Avid Single Digit Ultimate

    3. XTR

    In that order.

  4. #4
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seely
    XTR are the best I've used, higher end Avids are pretty decent. Basically you want the stiffest arm possible, without excess weight.
    Avid Arch Rivals are better than XT. They don't squeal as much as the first few generations of XT. Not sure if they are better than XTR but they have to be a lot cheaper.
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  5. #5
    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    Squealing is all about the pads, or the angle of the pads... I don't think it would be a product of a particular brake arm.
    commuter turned bike mechanic turned commuter (also a Velocity USA employee, but this is my personal account)

  6. #6
    TrekDualSuspension Freak!
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    Quote Originally Posted by unsuspended
    1. Paul Motolite Z

    2. Avid Single Digit Ultimate

    3. XTR

    In that order.
    what the price diffrence on these?

    and weight?
    2005 TREK Y26 Stock w/ Ario rear shock w/ lockout, Shimano M540 pedals.(The lender)

    2004 Jamis Dakar XLT 1.0 Frame,04 Manitou Black Super Fork 120mm, Shimano LX Crank, bb, Fr der, Rear der, Shifters. Deore hubs w/ Sun Rhyno Lite rims, IRC mythos xc racing tires, IRC tubes, Sette APX Alloy seatpost, Sette venn mountain stem 120mm, Avid mechanical bb7 ball bearing disc brake 160mm, Oury atb grips, Sette XLR handlebar riser, Sette IXA gel chromoly rail saddle. Shimano pd m324 pedals.

  7. #7
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seely
    Squealing is all about the pads, or the angle of the pads... I don't think it would be a product of a particular brake arm.
    The original XT had very loose pivots that allowed the pad to lift off and chatter no matter how you adjusted the pad. They beefed them up later but the early ones squealed like a stuck pig ever time you used them. Get really annoying on a 7 mile downhill. Corner...squeal. Too fast...squeal. Stop...squeal. My friends made me ride 3 miles behind them and they said they could still hear the stupid things.
    Stuart Black
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  8. #8
    Too Much Crazy
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    They are all ridiculously expensive and light as hell.

    Try a search engine for specifics on weight and price

  9. #9
    Senior Member matheprat's Avatar
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    Yes, some are better than others. High end Shimano brakes have a parallel push mechanism, which does exactly what it says. Cheaper V brakes move in an arc as you pull on the lever, and so the pad doesn't hit the rim 100% straight on.
    As seely said, get as rigid as possible calipers and levers. High end Avids and Shimanos are the place to look. And don't forget the cables and pads. A high quality cable like the mountain bike Odyssey linear slick cable, and some nice pads will really improove the braking power, and are relatively cheap.

  10. #10
    TrekDualSuspension Freak!
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    So if i went XTR i should get the xtr cable?
    2005 TREK Y26 Stock w/ Ario rear shock w/ lockout, Shimano M540 pedals.(The lender)

    2004 Jamis Dakar XLT 1.0 Frame,04 Manitou Black Super Fork 120mm, Shimano LX Crank, bb, Fr der, Rear der, Shifters. Deore hubs w/ Sun Rhyno Lite rims, IRC mythos xc racing tires, IRC tubes, Sette APX Alloy seatpost, Sette venn mountain stem 120mm, Avid mechanical bb7 ball bearing disc brake 160mm, Oury atb grips, Sette XLR handlebar riser, Sette IXA gel chromoly rail saddle. Shimano pd m324 pedals.

  11. #11
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelii
    So if i went XTR i should get the xtr cable?
    The big deal with the XTR cable is that it's a Teflon coated cable. Save a buck or two and get the generic teflon coated cables

  12. #12
    fanatik Speedub.Nate's Avatar
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    Avoid any with pivots. Really, honest, they're not necessary. They add complication, potentially slop, and are an extra service point.

    I'd take a pair of Avid Single Digits any day over their Arch series or Shimano's Parallel Push.

    The fancy pivots square the pads to the rim, but they can't redirect braking force, which still is aligned as an arc around the pivot. For all intents, the braking force is "square enough" to the rim and pretty much similar between all the various brakes.

    But the deal is, these cartridge pads most brakes use are so slim, there isn't enough material on them to worry about the pads wearing at an angle. The aren't the big honking brake pads of old (which would get a little skewed over time).

    Avid's SD5 and SD7 brakes are both about the best I've used, compared to various Shimano, Tektro and Cane Creek V's over the years.

  13. #13
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    In the 4 plus years I've owned my Arch 40's I've never experienced this "slop" you speak of.

  14. #14
    :\ ping of death troie's Avatar
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    Did someone say SD7?




  15. #15
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    the Single digit brakes i am using right now wont stay centered for crap. Khuon reported that the Arch rival stay centered much better, they weigh a little more but im thinking its worth it
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  16. #16
    fanatik Speedub.Nate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn
    In the 4 plus years I've owned my Arch 40's I've never experienced this "slop" you speak of.
    Ahh, but I said "potential slop".

    I in fact rode a set of Arch Rival 50's for a season, and they were much more solid than the Shimano XT V's they replaced. My hangup with the Arch brakes was that the arch got in the way of the tire tread when spreading the arms wide enough to remove a wheel, and would clog with mud. In the end, they prooved to be just a little more hassle than was necessary (they were, however, quiet and fairly solid while I owned them).

  17. #17
    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2
    the Single digit brakes i am using right now wont stay centered for crap. Khuon reported that the Arch rival stay centered much better, they weigh a little more but im thinking its worth it
    I'm having the same prob. with my SD's... I hesitate to recommend them to anyone for this reason.
    commuter turned bike mechanic turned commuter (also a Velocity USA employee, but this is my personal account)

  18. #18
    fanatik Speedub.Nate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2
    the Single digit brakes i am using right now wont stay centered for crap. Khuon reported that the Arch rival stay centered much better, they weigh a little more but im thinking its worth it
    The arch on the Arch rivals doesn't do anything to help keep the brakes centered. The spring mechanisim is similar to what you find on the Single Digit series. All the arch is there for is the pads, nothing else.

    FWIW, I've had SD5, SD7 and SDTi brake arms on various bikes at various times and never had a centering issue. But something I've observed is that in setup (regardless of brand/model), many folks tend to center their brakes by increasing tension on the side that is too close (and working back and forth). Like an over-tensioned wheel build, this causes each twist of the tension adjust screw that much more sensitive, leading to finiky brakes (not to mention higher than necessary lever resistance).

    I like working the opposite approach, loosening the far side, keeping lever force low, and making centering less sensitive.

  19. #19
    I couldn't car less. jeff williams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedub.Nate
    But something I've observed is that in setup (regardless of brand/model), many folks tend to center their brakes by increasing tension on the side that is too close (and working back and forth). Like an over-tensioned wheel build, this causes each twist of the tension adjust screw that much more sensitive, leading to finiky brakes (not to mention higher than necessary lever resistance).

    I like working the opposite approach, loosening the far side, keeping lever force low, and making centering less sensitive.
    Me too. Seems to work better,(for me) if I get too loose =I unhinge the spring arms, tighten the scews, put the spring arm back on and start over. I don't RUN the springs low tension, I back the screws out carefully to keep the highest recoil I can.

  20. #20
    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    It doesn't matter, they won't stay centered. They will be perfectly centered, and all the sudden "snap" to a off center position, drastically different from the centered position.
    commuter turned bike mechanic turned commuter (also a Velocity USA employee, but this is my personal account)

  21. #21
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seely
    It doesn't matter, they won't stay centered. They will be perfectly centered, and all the sudden "snap" to a off center position, drastically different from the centered position.
    I've never encountered this with an Avid V brake and I've handled pretty much the whole line.

  22. #22
    Elite Rep
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    The only reason that I wouldn't spend a lot of money of 'v-Brakes' is that I just hate them. I would prefer getting a pair of cheap hayes disks,then going to v-brakes.
    Why, you ask? AS soon as your wheel goes out of true , thats it. Gotta re-adjust the pads so they will stop rubbing. I also find V's loose power a lot quiker, since there more open up to water and dirt.

    Of course in your case, I say dont spend too much on V's, save up some money for decent disks.

  23. #23
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blue_neon
    Of course in your case, I say dont spend too much on V's, save up some money for decent disks.
    I say save up for a decent bike instead of polishing this turd. You can say you're going to put the parts on a new frame, but by then the parts will be "used" and you'll want the next thing

  24. #24
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    Well I was assuming he had a compatible fork and wheel. I agree, upgrading sometimes is just not worth it...especially when its a fork.

  25. #25
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blue_neon
    Well I was assuming he had a compatible fork and wheel. I agree, upgrading sometimes is just not worth it...especially when its a fork.
    We're talking about a Y-26 here. Draw your own conclusions. I know I wouldn't have sunk the money he has into it. To each their own I guess

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