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Old 10-31-08, 01:30 PM   #1
rickshawmanding
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MTB V-Brakes

Hey All,

I'm a quasi-newb to MTB. Rode quite a bit years ago but never really knew anything about bike parts and upgrades. I am becoming more involved this time around. I ride a Trek 4500, everything stock for right now as I have had it for about a month. So far, it has been a good choice for my first bike back into things.

I am noticing one thing right now, though - braking. It has V-Brakes but I ride in SoCal so it is dry, mostly hardpack so I don't think it is a big problem. I am not upgrading this bike to disc but do think I could use more braking power. The stock set up is Avid SD3. I have read some stuff about KoolStop MTB brakes as being a great pad. I will be getting some of those but if I still feel like I need more brake power from the mechanical side of things - where should I look?

I know nothing about the different manufacturers so any personal experience guidance for my research would be appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 10-31-08, 03:34 PM   #2
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Avid SD ultimates or Paul Motolites.

you didn't ask but I'll tell you anyway, you might as well upgrade to Mechanical Disc's (AVID BB7's )if you are going to spend that much coin on Linear Pull brakes.

You'll be happier in the long run
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Old 10-31-08, 04:09 PM   #3
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thanks.. I've thought about discs, but do not want to get a totally new wheelset for this bike. my plan is to upgrade to a FS bike once my skill level and terrain has outgrown this guy. I would keep this one for a commuter though.
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Old 10-31-08, 04:20 PM   #4
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There is one 'split-the-difference' option that seldom gets mentioned any more: Hydraulic rim brakes. They have a lot of power but, of course, no need to spring for disc wheels. There is a seller on ebay right now with Magura HS-33 sets for $99/end with the booster arch:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Magura-HS-33-Hyd...3286.m20.l1116
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Old 10-31-08, 05:08 PM   #5
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There is one 'split-the-difference' option that seldom gets mentioned any more: Hydraulic rim brakes. They have a lot of power but, of course, no need to spring for disc wheels. There is a seller on ebay right now with Magura HS-33 sets for $99/end with the booster arch:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Magura-HS-33-Hyd...3286.m20.l1116
The best of both worlds. Dealing with clearance issues if you knock a wheel slightly out of true and the potential messy ordeal of bleeding them.:alien::beerbang::rock::red:
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Old 10-31-08, 05:28 PM   #6
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Wouldn't they feel on/off?
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Old 10-31-08, 07:42 PM   #7
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Exactly.


Any rim brake I've ever used by avid has been good. Go to cool stops and google V brake boosters.
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Old 10-31-08, 07:44 PM   #8
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IMO, discs do not offer a significant advantage for XC. (flame all you want)

I have a set of Paul's Motolites on my Eriksen and a set of Avid Single Digit 7s on my M2. The Avid's feel very good and are a much better bargain than the Pauls. That said, the Pauls are also great and are a good option if you don't mind the cost. I prefer the feel of the Motolites, but it would be difficult to justify the cost if you're just looking for performance. I like Koolstop pads, and XTR pads are also decent.

As far as levers go, I have a set of Avid Speed Dial 7s on the M2, and a set of Paul's Love Levers on the Eriksen. As with the brakes, the Avid levers are a better bargain, and they have the added benefit of being more adjustable.

The best compromise between cost and performance may be Motolites with Avid levers.

The single best upgrade for v-brakes isn't the levers or the brakes, it is ceramic rims. While this isn't an inexpensive upgrade, the braking is great in any condition (wet, dry, mud, etc.) and feels better than any disc brake system I've used.
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Old 10-31-08, 07:49 PM   #9
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Get the Magura HS-33's, and put a coating of tar/asphaltum on the rims. Them brakes be stoppin' reel good.
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Old 10-31-08, 07:56 PM   #10
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As the topgear crew would say, What could go wrong?
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Old 11-01-08, 06:40 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by rickshawmanding View Post
thanks.. I've thought about discs, but do not want to get a totally new wheelset for this bike. my plan is to upgrade to a FS bike once my skill level and terrain has outgrown this guy. I would keep this one for a commuter though.
I agree...coz that's my plan too...

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Old 11-03-08, 09:51 AM   #12
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avid 7

i,ve used avid 7 v-brakes for a couple of years on a carbon hardtail in israel which has a long dry summer too.i think they bite better than xt brakes ,have an on ride adjustment dial .also you can find them on ebay from very litte money as alot of people have discarded this system of brakes.why chuck out good gear?if you ride dry trials who needs them?
you don,t need disk brakes to go over the handlebars.
they do look nice though.
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Old 11-04-08, 03:41 PM   #13
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Hard to go wrong with XTR V's and ceramic rims- best IME without switching over to hydro-discs.
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Old 11-04-08, 04:50 PM   #14
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See what you've started now, rickshawmanding? You have managed to bring all of the "Vs are as good as discs/all you'll ever need/blahblahblah" kooks out of the woodwork. Thanks.
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Old 11-04-08, 05:20 PM   #15
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I do what I can, dminor.
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Old 11-04-08, 05:34 PM   #16
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There is one 'split-the-difference' option that seldom gets mentioned any more: Hydraulic rim brakes. They have a lot of power but, of course, no need to spring for disc wheels. There is a seller on ebay right now with Magura HS-33 sets for $99/end with the booster arch:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Magura-HS-33-Hyd...3286.m20.l1116
I can attest to these things. Very common on trials bikes, my friend has a hydro-V/hydro disc set-up on his stock (as in 26") trials rig. Very neat things, and a lot of the trials people trust their bodies to them.
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Old 11-04-08, 05:55 PM   #17
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If you go to the trials videos section on PB, you can find a bunch of videos of them failing. . .
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Old 11-05-08, 03:06 PM   #18
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Disc brakes are the biggest gimick pushed by the industry.

Disc Brakes are far heavier then v brakes. V brakes are cheaper per stopping power ratio - for the price of a decent cable actuated disc break system you can have xtr v brakes. Plus, considering you are going to have to sink money into new wheels for disc brakes you could save money and get more power by buying rim crushing ceramic pads and wheels.

Your problem - you ride a trek 4500! I'm assuming they put some generic chinese brakes that don't stop worth a damn. My advice, buy better v brakes.

Last edited by fixedmonkey; 11-05-08 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 11-05-08, 03:10 PM   #19
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See what you've started now, rickshawmanding? You have managed to bring all of the "Vs are as good as discs/all you'll ever need/blahblahblah" kooks out of the woodwork. Thanks.
I will say that you cannot beat a top rate set of disc brakes for offroading and that is it.

Only thing is that people just seem to think that "Any" disc brake will be better than V Brakes. They are not.

My XC bikes have V's on for one reason- I can't see the need to upgrade to disc brakes for the type of riding I do on these bikes- or warrant the cost.

But I do have one bike that has Hope Mono M4 disc brakes with 200 mm disc's and that bike needs them. The braking with this set up is so precise that the bike would be difficult to use at the speed it gets up to. It used to have V Brakes on but the hands were giving out after 60 miles on long XC rides. Then there is the weight of this bike aswell- but with two sets of legs working it- it is only slow uphill.

Disc brakes work- but do get a Known set that work. If you are only going to upgrade to a no-name mechanical set up- you might as well stay with V Brakes.
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Old 11-05-08, 03:16 PM   #20
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See what you've started now, rickshawmanding? You have managed to bring all of the "Vs are as good as discs/all you'll ever need/blahblahblah" kooks out of the woodwork. Thanks.
Well your ignorant.
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Old 11-05-08, 03:57 PM   #21
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Well your ignorant.
Please complete the sentence. My ignorant what?
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Old 11-05-08, 04:33 PM   #22
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^^^ zing
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Old 11-06-08, 08:58 AM   #23
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Disc brakes are the biggest gimick pushed by the industry.

Disc Brakes are far heavier then v brakes. V brakes are cheaper per ' - for the price of a decent cable actuated disc break system you can have xtr v brakes. Plus, considering you are going to have to sink money into new wheels for disc brakes you could save money and get more power by buying rim crushing ceramic pads and wheels.

Your problem - you ride a trek 4500! I'm assuming they put some generic chinese brakes that don't stop worth a damn. My advice, buy better v brakes.
You appear to be quite mis-informed.

Also, what the heck is 'stopping power ratio'? Please explain this term.
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Old 11-06-08, 09:59 AM   #24
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Old 11-06-08, 06:53 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fixedmonkey View Post
Disc brakes are the biggest gimick pushed by the industry.

Disc Brakes are far heavier then v brakes. V brakes are cheaper per stopping power ratio - for the price of a decent cable actuated disc break system you can have xtr v brakes. Plus, considering you are going to have to sink money into new wheels for disc brakes you could save money and get more power by buying rim crushing ceramic pads and wheels.

Your problem - you ride a trek 4500! I'm assuming they put some generic chinese brakes that don't stop worth a damn. My advice, buy better v brakes.
My advice is to not listen to the mindless dribble above this sentence because he clearly didn't read the whole thread, the OP specified that he was already set on v-brakes because he didn't want to change wheels, and here is Mr. Fixed Monkey advising him to get $300 worth of XTR V-brakes, a higher end wheelset and stupidly expensive ceramic pads. Way to go recommending to the original poster to spend well over what the bike he has was worth new and just on brakes. :lighten:

I'm going to end this all right and quick.

The only cable actuated disc brakes that are good are the BB7's and they are $60 per wheel which adds up to $120 total.

The XTR V brakes go for $150 per wheel, adding up to $300 total.

With both of those, you still have to get levers and with the $60 per wheel of the bb7, you can get a set of Avid Speed Dial SL brake levers and still be way below the $300 for front and rear xtr v-brakes.

So fixedmonkey, you are a little (ok, really) off with that statement.

Lets see what else.

Of course they are heavier, only because there is more material to them and flimsy disc brake caliper would be a case of utter failure.

Also the stopping power ratio thing is nothing but a fairy tale. Hayes El Caminos were expensive hydro disc brakes yet lacked the power or modulation of what it was supposed to be replacing, the Hayes Mag.

For a V-brake recommendation, I'd get the XT V-brakes for $50 per wheel and replace the stock pads on the xt's with Jagwire Switchback Brake shoes.

Off topic, personally I prefer disc brakes.

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