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Old 01-29-06, 03:23 PM   #1
tomn
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Need Help w/Brakes

Hello All,

I am just finishing a touring bike for myself. It is being powder coated this weekend! Before I took it in I built it up & rode it a few miles. Boy am I glad I did! I wanted to use V-brakes on the bike, but have no experience with them. I bought a set of XTR's (lightly used), and the DiaComp V-brake road levers. THEY WERE LIKE MUSH!!!!! I could bury the levers and slow the bike down, but I'm not at sure that they would have stopped it on a downhill slope! I had them adjusted so that the pads were all but rubbing at rest. I had a set of Paul's cross levers on the tops, and they were a little firmer, but also woudl not stop the bike on a downhill. As this was a rushed mock up the cable housing wasn't taped to the bars, so there was a little movement there, but I don't think that was the problem. Before I took the frame to the powder coater I brazed on a rear cable hanger on the bike so that I could mount cantilevers. Is that what I need to do? Are V-brakes that poor? Or having never used them before is there some magic adjustment that I missed?

Thanks for any advise you can lend,
Tom
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Old 01-29-06, 04:50 PM   #2
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Are you using V-brake compatible levers? V-brakes are quite good at stopping a bike.
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Old 01-29-06, 05:01 PM   #3
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Yes, these are the Dia-compe 287-V Road Brake Levers. They are suppose to be the road levers that pull enough cable for a V-brake.

Thanks,
Tom
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Old 01-30-06, 08:54 AM   #4
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I wonder if you didn't use shift cables for the outers. You must use brake cable outers or there will be all sorts of troubles with your brakes.

You can recognize it easily enough. Shift outers have parallel wires under the plastic sheath while brake outers have a single coiled steel framework.

V-Brakes are so strong that you can easily stand the bike on it's front wheel with two fingers so you are doing something wrong.
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Old 01-30-06, 09:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclintom
I wonder if you didn't use shift cables for the outers. You must use brake cable outers or there will be all sorts of troubles with your brakes.

You can recognize it easily enough. Shift outers have parallel wires under the plastic sheath while brake outers have a single coiled steel framework.
I'd also start with the cables and casements to see if you have brake casements and you are using 1.6mm brake cable. Then check the casement ferrules, noodle, etc. to make sure everything is compatable and fits together properly. Some levers (eg Shimano LX, XT) have an adjustment for how much lever travel there is and how "squishy" they feel, maybe check that. Otherwise, your levers are probably not compatable with the particular brake you are using (You are mixing road levers with MTN brakes). Just because they are v-brake, doesn't mean they are compatable with each other.

Last edited by bccycleguy; 01-30-06 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 01-30-06, 03:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclintom
I wonder if you didn't use shift cables for the outers. You must use brake cable outers or there will be all sorts of troubles with your brakes.

You can recognize it easily enough. Shift outers have parallel wires under the plastic sheath while brake outers have a single coiled steel framework.

Just a note: there are "compressionless housings" that are designed for brake cables. (In fact, they can be used for both brakes and shifters if you can get by without narrow shifter housing.) These typically have the parallel wires (instead of windings), but also a carbon fiber or somesuch outer sheath to prevent the housing from "exploding" under the forces of braking.

I'm using the QBP housing for both brakes and shifters, and it works great for brakes. Especially for long runs, or for using inline brake levers which add length and pieces to the housing run.

Anyhow, if you somehow use conventional shifter housing for brakes, you're asking for catastrophic failure.

-- Mark
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Old 01-30-06, 03:29 PM   #7
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Thanks guys,

I will check the cable housing first. The levers are sold as V'brake compatable.

Tom
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Old 01-30-06, 04:01 PM   #8
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Oh, I forgot to ask. People do use V-brakes for loaded touring, don't they?

Thanks
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Old 01-30-06, 06:05 PM   #9
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My mtb front and rear bosses are different distances apart.
I've found the wider the calipers are apart, better the clamping.
I put the wider spacers inside on the brake pads to do this.
Mostly I think it's the fighting of the spring tension @ the top of the canti-action.
My rear -closer calipers never work as well as the front, use a brake booster as well!

Short as poss' cables as well, to the cable posting clue ^ above.
Also stock high carbon pads suck, maybe as a rear drag brake as they wear slow.
Red low carbon\soft\wet compound pads front for power braking.
Koolstop.
Jagwire.
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Old 01-30-06, 06:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomn
Oh, I forgot to ask. People do use V-brakes for loaded touring, don't they?

Thanks
Yes, they do. People tour on all kinds of brakes.
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