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  1. #1
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    Sticking with V brakes...

    I bought my new Rockhopper (base) and was really disappointed with the Tetkro brakes and lack of stopping power. These brakes have too much flex in the arms and it was almost impossible to lock the rear. Maybe my weight at 220 is too much for them. I was thinking my only solution was to go the Avid or Hayes disk route, but did not want to spend the money for new wheels and brake system. I spoke to a serious hardtail rider who is large like me and he said go with Shimano LX brakes and Deore LX brake levers. Got a set and I spent an hour or so getting them adjusted and headed for a serious single track trail. Hold crap, was I impressed with these LX brakes! I rode a downhill run for almost a mile of steep decent and these babys were solid. This included crossing 2 creeks about 6 inches deep and muddy. Am I missing something here or are disks really better than a good V brake? After riding trails for close to 20 years using V and center pulls, maybe the mfg. companies move to disk is just not necessary. Your thoughts?

  2. #2
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    I still run old XT Vs on my Titus and Avid SDs on my other bikes.
    No real reason to upgrade for me.
    Breaking bike parts for more than 20 years
    Titus Racer-X AL/Trek 520 (Cracked)/Trek 930

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimx200
    Am I missing something here or are disks really better than a good V brake? After riding trails for close to 20 years using V and center pulls, maybe the mfg. companies move to disk is just not necessary. Your thoughts?
    Firstly Tektro are rubbish!!!

    Secondly...i'm glad you've found the decent v-brakes world! Its a huge step up from stock v-brakes, the XT/LX and Avid SD7 are amazing. Strong, springing but smooth and easy to pull.

    Those brakes, in 'power' terms would rate next to some lower end mechs thats for sure. Mechanical Discs do have advantages...high quality ones are better then any v-brake, and then you move onto Hydraullics, they blow them all away!

    Whether the performence vs. cost for getting a disc brake is worth it or not is another matter...but there are definate advantages to getting discs. Besdies, most bikes over $1000 have stock discs anyway.

    In your case though, those brakes are ace and you will enjoy them!

  4. #4
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    its all relative. you sound like you are good with v-brakes and you've been riding much longer than i have. im about 220 as well and a good set of v-brakes never did me wrong. it was just till recently when my own riding level progressed enough to where i tried out disc brakes, and fell in love. im getting a lot more stopping power and so far much better for me in wet conditions than my v's.
    my signature hit a tree with no helmet buaahahaahhitdied.
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  5. #5
    Noobhead jiiiim's Avatar
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    i can make stoppies with my SD7 =P i'm only 145lb though
    locking up is easy as 1 2 STOPPIEEEEEEEWEEEEE





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  6. #6
    Neat - w/ ice on the side dalmore's Avatar
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    I'm not convinced disk brakes are truly a better design for bikes. Seems to me that for properly functioning, quality brakes of any kind, the limiting factor on bike braking is tire traction. What makes discs worth the extra weight and cost? Besides the bad ass looks that is.

  7. #7
    Custom User never's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blue_neon
    ...and then you move onto Hydraullics, they blow them all away!
    +1, the difference will be much more significant than your move from Tektro to LX brakes.


    Quote Originally Posted by dalmore
    I'm not convinced disk brakes are truly a better design for bikes. Seems to me that for properly functioning, quality brakes of any kind, the limiting factor on bike braking is tire traction. What makes discs worth the extra weight and cost? Besides the bad ass looks that is.
    This is likely a comment from someone who either: has not tried disc brakes, especially hydraulic, or rides trails that do not require anything more than V-brakes.

  8. #8
    Neat - w/ ice on the side dalmore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by never
    This is likely a comment from someone who either: has not tried disc brakes, especially hydraulic, or rides trails that do not require anything more than V-brakes.
    Guilty on both counts. So please educate me, what about a trail requires disc brakes and why? Seriously, noobie trying to learn here ...

  9. #9
    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    The big advantage to disc is that it keeps your braking surface out of the muck. You're stopping using the rotor instead of the rim surface, and that rim surface tends to get dirty/wet. Also, you have a larger contact patch between the pads/brakes w/ disc. There are other marginal advantages as well such as no rim wear, wheel true doesn't affect braking, rims don't heat up under hard braking, etc.
    commuter turned bike mechanic turned commuter (also a Velocity USA employee, but this is my personal account)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dalmore
    Guilty on both counts. So please educate me, what about a trail requires disc brakes and why? Seriously, noobie trying to learn here ...
    not much...biggest advantage is in DH, discs reduce the fade from heat build-up. Other advantage is that you can run 24" wheels, allowing for fatter tires on bikes with tight fork/chainstay clearance and lower standover for kids and shorter riders

    Best V-Brake on the market today is the XTR...only model that has bearings instead of bushings allowing for better pad wear and relaibilty

  11. #11
    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jm01
    not much...biggest advantage is in DH, discs reduce the fade from heat build-up. Other advantage is that you can run 24" wheels, allowing for fatter tires on bikes with tight fork/chainstay clearance and lower standover for kids and shorter riders

    Best V-Brake on the market today is the XTR...only model that has bearings instead of bushings allowing for better pad wear and relaibilty
    Unless you have a 24" specific bike, you're going to completely mess up the handling of a 26" bike you're just throwing 24" wheels on. Think how much that lowers your bottom bracket. There's plenty of rim AND disc compatible 24" wheeled frames available.

    I also fail to see how bearings in the pivots on a rim brake affects pad life, or reliability. Bushings are reliable, just not smooth. Smoother actuation? Yes, marginally, but the advantages stop there.
    commuter turned bike mechanic turned commuter (also a Velocity USA employee, but this is my personal account)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by seely
    Unless you have a 24" specific bike, you're going to completely mess up the handling of a 26" bike you're just throwing 24" wheels on. Think how much that lowers your bottom bracket. There's plenty of rim AND disc compatible 24" wheeled frames available.
    my goodness...must have woken you up.

    anyway, a lower BB is sometimes a good thing (one of my bikes is +15"), but if you swap both the front and rear with 24" wheels, there will be only minor handling characteristic changes...the head angle will remain the same, the centre of gravity will be lowered for added stability, and if you add a fatter tire, riding characteristics may be enhanced (depends on ther terrain and type of ride)...how much lower the BB...um, 1"?, less with a fatter tire

    we're not talking 24" kid's bikes...several custom MTB makers in the U.S. pride themselve on using 24" on full size frames...gives them fatter tires and more stability (My lbs was about to do this to my wife's new bike to lower the standover until i found a smaller frame)

    Quote Originally Posted by seely
    I also fail to see how bearings in the pivots on a rim brake affects pad life, or reliability. Bushings are reliable, just not smooth. Smoother actuation? Yes, marginally, but the advantages stop there.
    The XTR V-Brake is the industry benchmark for V-Brakes...smooth, affected less by sand and grit, allows for precise pad adjustment...if you fail to see...then check them out...not much i can do from here

    cheers
    Last edited by jm01; 07-27-06 at 09:26 AM.

  13. #13
    Noobhead jiiiim's Avatar
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    I think hydros are just overkill for XC dirt trails, but I do agree they are neccesary in wet riding conditions. Most v-brakes would curse at you with horrible noise when they wet =(
    But as for the stopping power, v-brakes are not that bad. Keep in mind that people used to do DH with v's.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jiiiim
    I think hydros are just overkill for XC dirt trails, but I do agree they are neccesary in wet riding conditions. Most v-brakes would curse at you with horrible noise when they wet =(
    But as for the stopping power, v-brakes are not that bad. Keep in mind that people used to do DH with v's.
    +1...i run both mechanical and hydro discs on my XC bikes...you should hear them sing when wet ...been told that i scare the deer in the backcountry...speaking of which, i prefer to use the mechanical discs and V's on the back trails...it's a lot easier to make adjustments or repairs on the fly...i now carry an extra cable and memories of burning hands from the brake fluid when my pad jamned on the hydros

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by dalmore
    Guilty on both counts. So please educate me, what about a trail requires disc brakes and why? Seriously, noobie trying to learn here ...
    Technically nothing absolutely requires disc brakes but the steeper the descent or the wetter the ride, the more disc brakes show their advantages.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jm01
    i now carry an extra cable and memories of burning hands from the brake fluid when my pad jamned on the hydros
    Just use a flat blade to pry back the pad...why were you touching brake fluid?
    Last edited by never; 07-27-06 at 11:36 AM.

  17. #17
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    Discs are great because even mechanicals need less effort to brake and they don't pump your arm like v-brakes, on steep downhills, discs makes life much easier, your arm gets less tired, your bike is better controlled and you are able to stop on extremely loose sandy conditions or extremely muddy conditions.

    Discs have great advantages, they are not affected by out of true wheels, they are barely (if at all) affected by wet conditions, they require less strength to brake, they provide much better modulation and power, superb on high speed conditions.

    I don't know about neccesary... but discs have been a great introduction to the bikes world, I think V-Brakes are meant to die and once discs reach a more affordable price point, the only place rim brakes will exist is in road bikes, bmx and trials bikes.

  18. #18
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    the front pad (inner) fell out and wedged against the rotor, locking the front wheel and we were stuck about 10km from the trail head at the hight of black fly season (they ate well)

    Thing was in there solid and i ended up taking the caliper apart, with the fluid leaking on my hands as we worked the pad out. Found at the lbs that this was caused by a bent piston...

  19. #19
    Lost in the Black Hills mx_599's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jm01
    XTR...only model that has bearings instead of bushings allowing for better pad wear and relaibilty
    avid ultimate bearings too

  20. #20
    Lost in the Black Hills mx_599's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seely
    Bushings are reliable, just not smooth. Smoother actuation? Yes, marginally, but the advantages stop there.
    bushings can be smooth

  21. #21
    Noobhead jiiiim's Avatar
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    would be so cool if someone modifies a motobike's big ass hydro brakes on a bike! =O
    duo 12inch disks with 4 large pistons... probably enough to flip you over with a slight tap on the levers LoL

  22. #22
    Lost in the Black Hills mx_599's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jm01
    ... this was caused by a bent piston...

  23. #23
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    I don't think anyone has mentioned it yet, but he could save a lot of money and get a V brake booster. They work really well. And you could also try taring your rims.


  24. #24
    Noobhead jiiiim's Avatar
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    sorry for being a noob, but what exactly does the booster do?
    please explain

  25. #25
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    But wouldn't adding a booster and tarring make the wheel to easy to lock up which is not necessarily something you wnat?

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