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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 10-19-10, 02:02 PM   #1
Germanicus
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Mini V-brakes or Mini V-brakes?

Hello,

I have a Specialized Tricross Sport which came with Mini V-brakes (according to the specs.)

They generally work well except that they judder a little and tend to bottom out before reaching maximum braking which led me to think that they are actually full-sized V-brakes. So now I am looking for a mini V Brake with better modulation I have read elsewhere that these stock brakes have 100 mm brake arms. however when I measured them I got 90 mm. (see photo below.) My question is:
Did I measure them correctly or should I measure the entire arm above and below the outside bolts?

Perhaps that is the 100 mm I have heard.
I have found a few other brakes with shorter brake arms:
1) TRP CX-9: 90mm brake arm (Titanium, moderately priced but only shorter if mine are actually 100mm)
2) FRM DP4: 80 mm (Titanium, Lightweight, very expensive)
2) Tektro 926AL: 80mm brake arms (Aluminum, Dirt Cheap, heavy)

I really want to get shorter arms and not the same.
[Don't want cantis or travel agents]

Last edited by Germanicus; 10-19-10 at 06:14 PM.
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Old 10-19-10, 02:14 PM   #2
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FWIW that is how I would have measured them.

I think mini-Vs are fine for road/touring, maybe not so much for cross. Personally, I think standard Vs with travel agent is the way to go for the front, or a low-profile cantilever brake with fork-crown-mounted hanger and short straddle cable. Not that it's what you want to hear.
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Old 10-19-10, 03:05 PM   #3
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Thanks, I don't race. I use it for road/touring and light off-road, carriage paths- dirt roads etc. I never take them in mud so canti-clearance doesn't matter.

I am just looking for a mini V-brake with better modulation than the stock Tricross brakes. Has anybody upgraded to better mini V-brakes?
Thanks
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Old 10-19-10, 05:46 PM   #4
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I can at least give you some feedback on the 926ALs

I had the stock mini-vs on my Tricross with 100mm arms. I found them to be pretty awful and it was hard to have them not rub the rim and not bottom out. I switched to the Tektro 926ALs (figuring I'd go for the shortest arms I could). I found their performance to be much better, stopping power was excellent, and they could operate with enough clearance that, one day, I fell and kicked a spoke in my front rim, knocking it out of true, and was able to widen them up enough I could avoid rim-rub and still have adequate (though not ideal braking power).

My complaints about them would be that their tension springs seem to suck and they don't seem to always return evenly, and on the Tricross, in specific, their pad-mounting slot extends further backwards than that on my stock brakes, making them hit the fork before they could open up all the way, so I couldn't slide tires greater than 25mm out without deflating them (and even the 25 really had to be popped in there). The bolts they came with were also the wrong size for the Tricross's posts (it claimed it should have ones of a second length, but they were not included, so I had to run down to the hardware store). The cable also sits quite low and you'd have to lower your fender (based on that picture). I also still found it quite easy to bottom-out the lever although that might've partly been arm flexibility.

I was happy to live with all of those problems and never had any shuddering, but when I started racing cross, their clearance was still too low and they kept getting clogged, and it was annoying to have to deflate my front tire every time I wanted to remove the wheel. I also found their modulation a bit lacking (they are plenty strong, but it's kind of on-or-off, I felt), so I wound up switching to cantis and am very happy (actually, I still have one on the back because I wanted to try out cantis on just the front first and its problems aren't quite as bad there, I'll still switch it whenever I figure out what I want to use).

So, in short, as long as you can lower your fender and don't mind the wheel-change issue, they're perfectly fine on and off-road (I have ridden them on singletrack) and I'd still be using them if not for CX. It might be worth getting something nicer than them if only to see if the springs work better.
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Old 10-19-10, 06:44 PM   #5
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Good gravy those pads run close to the rim!

Try some Shimano R-550 cantilevers. Best cantilever brake I've ever run.
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Old 10-19-10, 09:03 PM   #6
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Cantilevers need not apply.

Has anybody tried the FRM DP-4?

Thank you Banzai for your review. I'm surprised you didn't get good modulation. I thought 80 mm brake arms would hit the sweet spot.
Maybe a brake with 85 mm such as the Tektro BX3v or Sinz BMX Mini-V

Anyone have experience with these?
thanks
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Old 10-20-10, 10:32 AM   #7
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I just installed a Tektro RX5 mini-v front brake. Very pleased with braking and degree of travel. BTW, I think the "T" in TRP is "Tektro".
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Old 11-04-10, 01:27 AM   #8
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If you had a 10-speed cassette, then I would have suggested trying some of the new Shimano 105 5700 levers. The new lever design pulls more cable than older Shimano road levers, and so they even work well with regular V-brakes (Santana and some other tandem manufacturers are using this as their stock setup on certain bikes, and I'm using it for my rear brake). Unfortunately, the Tricorss sport seems to have 9-speed Tiagra, so you'd either have to wait for Tiagra to get updated to the new cable pull ratio, which may happen at the end of 2011, or buy a new chain and cassette to go with the new 10-speed shifters, which would make it very expensive.
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Old 11-04-10, 09:20 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Chris_W View Post
If you had a 10-speed cassette, then I would have suggested trying some of the new Shimano 105 5700 levers.
I wonder if the same can be said for the 6700 levers?
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Old 11-08-10, 01:11 AM   #10
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I wonder if the same can be said for the 6700 levers?
Yep, cable pull is the same on the 5700, 6700, and 7900 levers. The 6700 levers are the ones that I have personal experience with.
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Old 11-08-10, 02:03 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by motorcade View Post
I just installed a Tektro RX5 mini-v front brake. Very pleased with braking and degree of travel. BTW, I think the "T" in TRP is "Tektro".
same with Tane Treek, TSA, Tashbar and Tore.
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Old 11-08-10, 05:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Germanicus View Post
I thought 80 mm brake arms would hit the sweet spot.
Maybe a brake with 85 mm such as the Tektro BX3v or Sinz BMX Mini-V

Anyone have experience with these?
thanks
I thought Campy Veloce had 85mm arms.
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Old 11-08-10, 06:09 AM   #13
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BTW, I think the "T" in TRP is "Tektro".
TRP = Tektro Racing Products. TRP brakes are not just rebadged Tektro stuff, they are built with fancier materials, different designs, etc.
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Old 11-09-10, 04:55 AM   #14
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TRP = Tektro Racing Products. TRP brakes are not just rebadged Tektro stuff, they are built with fancier materials, different designs, etc.
They're also very nice and built to a pretty high standard.
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