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  1. #1
    Senior Member crgowo's Avatar
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    Rim brake question.

    Does it matter what brand brakes/levers you have or is the brake pad more important when it comes to braking power?
    I currently have tektro brakes and acera levers. If i wanted better stopping power (without going to disc) would i need to purchase different brakes and/or levers or can i just purchase different/new pads?
    THanks

  2. #2
    randomness inc. HDTVKSS's Avatar
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    I have found that the 2 most important things in braking power are the compound of pads as well as the cable tension on my brakes. whenever i feel them getting sloppy i always re adjust the tension and pad alignment as well. If you live in a predominantly wet environment this will knock your pads and braking power around as well.

    then again i like my brakes to come on really hard, i know alot of guys who like them to be gradual. horses for courses i guess!
    You don't need proof when you have instinct.
    Im on the Floyd Landis Jack Daniels training program.

  3. #3
    Senior Member crgowo's Avatar
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    I live in the desert south west so mud and water aren't much of a problem here. I can probably count how many times it rains around here with my fingers. kinda sux... MY POOR GRASS!

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    Senior Member RiDE's Avatar
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    i just have regular deore v-brakes with shimano pads... first time i went out with them they were grinding my wheels... and the noise never really went away. looked up reviews on mtbr.com and people are having the same problems.

    Put some koolstop pads on there and big difference... stopping power and no noise. never thought it would have made that much of a difference since i use shimano pads on my roadbikes. these should hold me up just fine til i go to disc brakes.

  5. #5
    Senior Member GreenFix's Avatar
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    I have a rear XT caliper on my bike that has insane stopping power. Better than my Hayes HMX1 front disc (though the disc may have some issues). I am running some very cheap universal brake levers that can be set for the old center pull cantilevers or linear pull V-brakes. I hope this helps a little.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RiDE
    i just have regular deore v-brakes with shimano pads... first time i went out with them they were grinding my wheels... and the noise never really went away. looked up reviews on mtbr.com and people are having the same problems.

    Put some koolstop pads on there and big difference... stopping power and no noise. never thought it would have made that much of a difference since i use shimano pads on my roadbikes. these should hold me up just fine til i go to disc brakes.
    Same here, Deore V's with cool-stops, soon to be replaced with MEC pads as I hear they are better and way cheaper. The stock Deore pads are junk, solid as a rock and squealed like pigs. With cool-stops they work great.

    To echo others, I think the most important aspects of V brake performance is pads, tuning, and rim surface. Any decent caliper and lever should work fine, although some have a nicer, lighter feel, like Avid SD7's.

  7. #7
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    When I used to run Vee Brakes, I had a lot of success with a WTB dual compound pad. They increased stopping performance, but had a shorter life. Also nearly eliminated the brake squeel.

    Another trick is to clean your braking surfaces. The easiest way to do this is to buy those green pot cleaning pads (can't remember the names), and wedge them between the brake pad and the rim and then go for a ride around the block.
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
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    Senior Member crgowo's Avatar
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    Thanks for the information guys. Sounds like I just need to clean my rim surface and get new pads. Thanks again.

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    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    Scotch-brite pads, that's what they're called. You can buy a pack of 10 of em. I keep them in my tool box and use them for this purpose and almost anything where you might use emory cloth. They work well and are CHEAP.

    Also, many tech manuals don't recommend you toe in the pads like you would with cantilever brakes, but I've found if I don't they squeel.

    What I do is to place a credit card between the brake pad and the rim towards the back 1/4 of the pad. Then I squeeze the lever to keep the credit card pressed in place and this toes in the brake pad (obviously the nut is loose). Then while pressure is still on the lever, I tighten the nut.

    This toes in the pad just enough!

    L8R
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
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  10. #10
    Senior Member crgowo's Avatar
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    Im not sure i understand what "toe the pad" means or does for that matter.

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    Senior Member crgowo's Avatar
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    Nevermind did a search and found what it means. Thanks

  12. #12
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    Toe(ing) a brake pad means that the front of the pad in angled slightly inward. This is done to ease squeeling and enhance performance.

    Let me try to explain. The front of the brake pad is angled toward the rim ever so slightly. That way, the front of the pad contacts the rim first. Since the rim/wheel is rotating, it will pull the rest of the pad flat against the braking surface.

    If the back of the pad touches first, the rotation of the rim/wheel will force it toward the rim and it will "bounce" or "chatter".

    This will probably make more sense: http://www.parktool.com/repair_help/...arbrakes.shtml

    Scroll down to "Pad Toeing".

    L8R
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
    "Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger

  13. #13
    Senior Member crgowo's Avatar
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    Actually the way you explained it is alot more clear to understand. Thanks again a2
    Last edited by crgowo; 07-23-04 at 11:43 AM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Astra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crgowo
    Actually the way you explained it is alot more clear to understand. Thanks again a2
    Whoa, first day back on in a couple of years...

    Anyhow, I have XT V-brakes front and rear and the front brakes YOOOOWL! I read that that they did before I bought the whole groupset but wanted to keep it XT all the way - stupid me! Anyhow, I'm looking at changing the front for Avid Archrivals; if you've tried them, what do you think? They seem to get good reviews.

    Thanks in advance.
    Oooooh yes, one day I will rid the world of showers and the bath shall come to dominate the cleansing habits of all the human race!

  15. #15
    Some guy McGuillicuddy's Avatar
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    Dude, if you can afford to go XT all the way around then you can afford disc brakes. That's the way to go.

  16. #16
    one less horse cryptid01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McGuillicuddy
    Dude, if you can afford to go XT all the way around then you can afford disc brakes. That's the way to go.
    Don't forget 1. to add the cost of a new hubset or 2. that Astra's frame may not have disc mounts.

  17. #17
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Astra
    Whoa, first day back on in a couple of years...

    Anyhow, I have XT V-brakes front and rear and the front brakes YOOOOWL! I read that that they did before I bought the whole groupset but wanted to keep it XT all the way - stupid me! Anyhow, I'm looking at changing the front for Avid Archrivals; if you've tried them, what do you think? They seem to get good reviews.

    Thanks in advance.
    I have the not-as-light Arch 40's on my commuter bike and I can honestly say that they are the best non-disc brake that I've tried.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Astra's Avatar
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    Thanks guys,

    First off, I can't afford discs! Secondly, it's a 'Vintage' mountain bike and definitely only has normal brake bosses - heck, it's a hard tail AND a hard 'nose' - any one remember Kona Project 2's??
    Oooooh yes, one day I will rid the world of showers and the bath shall come to dominate the cleansing habits of all the human race!

  19. #19
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Astra
    Thanks guys,

    First off, I can't afford discs! Secondly, it's a 'Vintage' mountain bike and definitely only has normal brake bosses - heck, it's a hard tail AND a hard 'nose' - any one remember Kona Project 2's??

    Project 2's........yummy! Sweet forks!!!!

    Post a pic of them for the uninformed.

    L8R
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    "Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger

  20. #20
    Senior Member Astra's Avatar
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    Picture coming soon, though as a custom frame the forks are now sky blue, not the original black. My Avid Arch Rivals arrived so I'm gonna fit them tonight - can't wait - hopefully no more YOOOWLING brakes..!
    Oooooh yes, one day I will rid the world of showers and the bath shall come to dominate the cleansing habits of all the human race!

  21. #21
    Withdrawal Symptoms! Cornish_Rdr_UK's Avatar
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    Some tricks that ive heard about is rubbing a small amount of roofing tar onto your rims, thats is supposed to help performance on V - Brakes, i havent tried it though...

    Another one when in wet conditions is to cut a few more slots into your braking surface, to drain the water away better, it doesnt effect your overall braking performance, and will improve it in the rain

    BTW, Astra, where you from in the UK? Its nice to see another British Rider... Brings the grand total to 4 - 5 actrive british riders on this forum lol

  22. #22
    ksy
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    I accidentaly got tar on my rims. It makes braking more effective, but you get loud screeching when the pads rub against the rims.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Astra's Avatar
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    Sorry about the pic - took it with my phone, they are a bit like Answer Accutrax from back in the day. I've got the Arch Rivals on and they're brilliant; really powerful and really, really QUIET!

    I'm from a village called Rainford, about halfway between Liverpool and Manchester - I wish I lived in Cornwall tho...
    Oooooh yes, one day I will rid the world of showers and the bath shall come to dominate the cleansing habits of all the human race!

  24. #24
    Withdrawal Symptoms! Cornish_Rdr_UK's Avatar
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    Lmao, apart from the fact that Cornwall doesnt have some of the basica needs, like electricity and water

    On the upside, the beaches rock, and the trails are great

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