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  1. #1
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    Avid 7's vs XT v-brakes

    Our CoMo Speedster has the stock Avid Single Digit 7 v-brakes on it. I have a brand new set of Shimano XT v-brakes (this years model) laying in the garage from a MTB I had built up for only a short time before converting that bike to discs.

    I'm getting ready to swap out all my cables, so I was thinking of switching over to the XT brakes. I was wondering if this would really be an upgrade, or if the consensus is that the Avids are better.

    By the way, I also use Salsa carbon boosters on both brakes and have no problems with stopping power. I think I'm just getting tired of the retro charcoal gray look on the Avids and looking to do some experimentation!

  2. #2
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    The Avids seem to use a brake pad compound that's less prone to brake squeal but are otherwise not all that different from the LX and XT V-brakes aside from the aesthetics and perhaps a few grams (+/-).

    Hey, it's a 10 minute job to change them out... 20 minutes lost if you decide it the juice wasn't worth the squeeze.

  3. #3
    Senior Member joe@vwvortex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianb View Post
    Our CoMo Speedster has the stock Avid Single Digit 7 v-brakes on it. I have a brand new set of Shimano XT v-brakes (this years model) laying in the garage from a MTB I had built up for only a short time before converting that bike to discs.

    I'm getting ready to swap out all my cables, so I was thinking of switching over to the XT brakes. I was wondering if this would really be an upgrade, or if the consensus is that the Avids are better.

    By the way, I also use Salsa carbon boosters on both brakes and have no problems with stopping power. I think I'm just getting tired of the retro charcoal gray look on the Avids and looking to do some experimentation!
    My Speedster came with Avid 7's in the front. My problem with them was shimmy due to the fact that they would not mount well on the Wound up Fork brake bosses - you could wiggle them on the mounts. I swapped em out for some XTR's and haven't looked back. The XTR's fit on nice and tight and have no slop in them. Shimmy gone. I also run the severe condition pads on the XTR's which are twice as thick as the regular pads - same compound though. They last quite a bit longer, especially when riding in the wet - which tends to eat up brake pads.
    Administrator and Contributing Editor - Vortex Media Group

  4. #4
    Ride it like you stole it WheresWaldo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joe@vwvortex View Post
    My Speedster came with Avid 7's in the front. My problem with them was shimmy due to the fact that they would not mount well on the Wound up Fork brake bosses - you could wiggle them on the mounts. I swapped em out for some XTR's and haven't looked back. The XTR's fit on nice and tight and have no slop in them. Shimmy gone. I also run the severe condition pads on the XTR's which are twice as thick as the regular pads - same compound though. They last quite a bit longer, especially when riding in the wet - which tends to eat up brake pads.
    What are "severe condition pads"?
    "Never use your face as a brake pad" - Jake Watson
    The Incidental Cyclist - Cycling in and around Union County

  5. #5
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joe@vwvortex View Post
    I also run the severe condition pads on the XTR's which are twice as thick as the regular pads - same compound though. They last quite a bit longer, especially when riding in the wet - which tends to eat up brake pads.
    I was always under the impression that Shimano's severe condition brake compound was more dense / harder than the ones they shipped with their brakes, i.e., along the lines of the KoolStop salmon pads which use the Scott-Mathauser compound.

  6. #6
    Senior Member joe@vwvortex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
    I was always under the impression that Shimano's severe condition brake compound was more dense / harder than the ones they shipped with their brakes, i.e., along the lines of the KoolStop salmon pads which use the Scott-Mathauser compound.
    I always thought so myself. But they are just thicker (not quite twice as thick but considerably thicker) and this was confirmed by my LBS. I have both pads at home and they are both just as hard.

    They are simply marked "severe condition" on the packaging and fit all slip in shimano brake holders.
    Administrator and Contributing Editor - Vortex Media Group

  7. #7
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    I did this conversion. I went from the avid single digit 7 to the shimano XT on the front of our canonndale tandem (the rear is avid disk). In my opinion the braking power is about the same.

  8. #8
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Scott/Matthauser pads are the best brake pads we've ever used. One pair lasted over 50,000 miles on the rear of our tandem.

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