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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 11-14-04, 04:02 PM   #1
lisitsa
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Caliper vs V-Brakes

Are side-pull brakes on modern road bikes as effective as the V-Brake counterparts used in mountain bikes, and why aren't v-brakes used on road bikes. (It can't be the miniscule weight or aerodynamic difference can it?)

I own an old road bike with side-pull caliper brakes. These are shockingly bad in stopping the bike. My other bikes have V-Brakes and are much better.
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Old 11-14-04, 05:09 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by lisitsa
(It can't be the miniscule weight or aerodynamic difference can it?)
Actually, partly yes. Although V-brakes have much more mechanical advantage, calipers have their place on road bikes and do a good job of scrubbing off speed. You see V-brakes on cyclocross and touring bikes because of the added load and conditions the bikes are ridden through, thus requiring much more stopping power.

Last edited by roadfix; 11-14-04 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 11-14-04, 05:14 PM   #3
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I wonder the same thing, im used to my mtb so when i try my friends road bike and stop its not a fun expirience becuase it takes so much longer to stop. A good quality set of V brakes are not very heavy...
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Old 11-14-04, 07:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisitsa
Are side-pull brakes on modern road bikes as effective as the V-Brake counterparts used in mountain bikes, and why aren't v-brakes used on road bikes. (It can't be the miniscule weight or aerodynamic difference can it?)

I own an old road bike with side-pull caliper brakes. These are shockingly bad in stopping the bike. My other bikes have V-Brakes and are much better.
ive seen mini v brakes on forks with centerpull mounts

if your caliper brakes are bad..check the adjustment and upgrade the pads

my friend has duraace brakes w/ race lite rims and the bike will do a stoppie on command
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Old 11-14-04, 08:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisitsa
I own an old road bike with side-pull caliper brakes. These are shockingly bad in stopping the bike. My other bikes have V-Brakes and are much better.
You didn't say what specific brakes your "old road bike" has. I can tell you that there is a hugh difference in the stopping power provided by some of the old Dia Compe sidepull brakes and a modern dual pivot sidepull brake.
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Old 11-14-04, 08:26 PM   #6
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yes the type of sidepull brakes matter. right now the campy veloce or the next model up (same brakes) are about the most powerful. but at 220 I found I could not lock the back wheel up. I jsut did not have the power. I may not have gotten hit by that car if I could have stopped better. though it was not my fault.
So with that money I bought a bent with V brakes and man there is so much more stopping power it's not funny.
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Old 11-14-04, 08:32 PM   #7
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yes the type of sidepull brakes matter. right now the campy veloce or the next model up (same brakes) are about the most powerful. but at 220 I found I could not lock the back wheel up. I jsut did not have the power. I may not have gotten hit by that car if I could have stopped better. though it was not my fault.
So with that money I bought a bent with V brakes and man there is so much more stopping power it's not funny.
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Old 12-03-04, 01:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redfooj
if your caliper brakes are bad..check the adjustment and upgrade the pads
I can finally agree with this. Changing pads didn't make any difference, but adjusting tension of the cable surely did. This happened after my front brake gave out on the road because the cable disconnected. I did all tight up again, and now for the first time, I think I heard the sound of a slight skid, when I slammed my brakes, a sign of the brakes doing their work.

I know its something simple I should have done earlier.
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Old 12-03-04, 07:28 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by steveknight
yes the type of sidepull brakes matter. right now the campy veloce or the next model up (same brakes) are about the most powerful. but at 220 I found I could not lock the back wheel up. I jsut did not have the power. I may not have gotten hit by that car if I could have stopped better. though it was not my fault.
So with that money I bought a bent with V brakes and man there is so much more stopping power it's not funny.
If you can't lock the rear wheel, it means either the cable is badly adjusted (i.e. you run out of lever or caliper movement before you can apply enough force), or the pads are shot, or the rim is badly contaminated. Any bike brake should have enough power to lock the rear wheel (and enough power to throw you over the bars for the front if you're not careful).
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Old 12-03-04, 07:45 AM   #10
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I just have to laugh when I read about poor braking on a road bike. I am 220 now and was 230 when I started riding again a few months back. My current bike has Tiagra dual pulls and they have plenty of stoping power IMO, I have never had a stopping issue. I read all of these bike reviews where they complain about anything lower than Ultegra brakes.

As I am putting together a full Ultegra bike am I about to see a HUGE increase in braking power? Maybe I am about to be shocked.
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