Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

V-Brakes vs. mini-V... which is stronger?

Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

V-Brakes vs. mini-V... which is stronger?

Old 01-15-17, 02:28 PM
  #1  
Pukeskywalker
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Pukeskywalker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 389

Bikes: '93 Cannondale T-1000, '03 Cannondale R800

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
V-Brakes vs. mini-V... which is stronger?

Hypothetically, on a loaded touring bike, with the correct brake levers and kool stop pads... which would stop faster: long-pull V-Brakes or short-pull Mini-V's?
Pukeskywalker is offline  
Old 01-15-17, 03:33 PM
  #2  
Andrew R Stewart 
Senior Member
 
Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 11,660

Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Raleigh Pro, Trek Cycle Cross, Mongoose tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1734 Post(s)
Liked 46 Times in 33 Posts
In this ideal world having stated "the correct levers" both set ups would have the same mechanical advantage. Therefore the same power and stopping distance.


But we don't live in that world. All the mini v brakes I've installed and serviced were paired with levers (almost all were drop bar levers) which really wanted a tad more cable pull to not have the levers bottom out when reasonable pad/rim clearance was set. The long pull v brakes almost (as in every time except home conversions) are set up with flat bar levers with better (matched) cable pull. So in the real world I will say the long pulls win out.


For drop bar levers the half dozen that I've installed with Travel Agents in the system and with long pull v brakes have been pretty nice. The only draw back (for me, an experienced shop wrench) in not the extra cable routing thing but the often blocking of the rear rack's stay mounting bracket. Andy.
Andrew R Stewart is offline  
Old 01-15-17, 03:47 PM
  #3  
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 36,049

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 121 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4342 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Andrew,

A question.

All things being equal (yes they never are) the mini V-brake would want less pull than it's longer mate because the tops (cable anchor end) travel less than a longer arm would for the same show travel. So they could or should be mated with levers with a greater mechanical advantage (pulls less cable, but multiplies the force more).

So, assuming the OP leaves the same levers in place, the standard long arm brake would offer more stopping power for the same grip strength, though it would need more careful adjustment.

Of course, I might simply have misread your post.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline  
Old 01-15-17, 04:01 PM
  #4  
Pukeskywalker
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Pukeskywalker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 389

Bikes: '93 Cannondale T-1000, '03 Cannondale R800

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
In this ideal world having stated "the correct levers" both set ups would have the same mechanical advantage. Therefore the same power and stopping distance.


But we don't live in that world. All the mini v brakes I've installed and serviced were paired with levers (almost all were drop bar levers) which really wanted a tad more cable pull to not have the levers bottom out when reasonable pad/rim clearance was set. The long pull v brakes almost (as in every time except home conversions) are set up with flat bar levers with better (matched) cable pull. So in the real world I will say the long pulls win out.


For drop bar levers the half dozen that I've installed with Travel Agents in the system and with long pull v brakes have been pretty nice. The only draw back (for me, an experienced shop wrench) in not the extra cable routing thing but the often blocking of the rear rack's stay mounting bracket. Andy.
Thanks Andy. I've used all of these combinations and the long-pull drop levers + standard V's felt the best, but I made some poor cabling choices on the other two experiments. I'm going to give shimano levers + several mini V lengths next... 80mm.. 85... 90..
Pukeskywalker is offline  
Old 01-15-17, 04:20 PM
  #5  
dabac
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 7,947
Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 813 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Andrew,

A question.

All things being equal (yes they never are) the mini V-brake would want less pull than it's longer mate because the tops (cable anchor end) travel less than a longer arm would for the same show travel. So they could or should be mated with levers with a greater mechanical advantage (pulls less cable, but multiplies the force more).

So, assuming the OP leaves the same levers in place, the standard long arm brake would offer more stopping power for the same grip strength, though it would need more careful adjustment.

Of course, I might simply have misread your post.
There are plenty of people who have tried running V-brakes from Canti levers back in the days when MTB went from cantis to V- brakes.
The front would usually set up fine, but the rear often had a tendency for the lever to bottom out against the bar before wheel lock.
And yeah, they'd be more finicky. Didn't take much wear on the front pads before the front too bottomed out. One learned to remove/insert the wheel with tire deflated, as getting enough slack to unseat the noodle could be a challenge.
Still, completely rideable. For the front, even nice.
dabac is offline  
Old 01-15-17, 05:22 PM
  #6  
rm -rf
don't try this at home.
 
rm -rf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: N. KY
Posts: 5,084
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 622 Post(s)
Liked 14 Times in 13 Posts
I have mini-Vs with Campagnolo shifters. The fancy TRP CX 8.4
These 84mm ones are the right size for my brake levers. Some road levers need 90mm brakes.

They work fine now. I had problems along the way:

I have the newer wide rims, 25mm external width. The brakes just aren't designed for these rims, the brake arms are tilted outward instead of being essentially vertical. The rims were too wide for even the smallest brake spacers that came with the brakes.

The stock pads were extremely grabby. I had to be really careful on hard braking, so I did downhills at a way slower speed than usual. Lots of squealing, too. I suppose this might be related to the wide rims and non-optimal geometry of the arms. But the pads are kind of cheap, I think.

I got low profile Kool Stop Salmon pads, Kool Stop Thinline. These work great. The pads have good modulation, essentially no squealing, and allow the brake arms to be vertical. It's a huge difference.

The barrel adjuster on the noodle works fine to set the pad spacing at the rims, and the centering adjustment on the arms is easy.

Removing wheels
The pads need to be adjusted quite close to the rims. This makes it hard to pull the arm link off the curved noodle, even with the pads squeezed onto the rim. But the Campagnolo brakes are actually perfect for this, since they have a brake release button on the lever, instead of down at the brake. So I can release more slack at the lever, then unhook the brake noodle very easily. Shimano brakes don't have this feature.

Even after releasing the noodle, I still can't easily get 40c tires off, it's a little too tight, but 35c slide right through.


Bending the noodle

My rear brake has a short length of housing and the stock 90 degree noodle made it stick out a lot, not the best angle.
I got a tiny pipe bender at Harbor Freight, 1/8" thru 1/4", for $10. It worked great to increase the bend to maybe 110-120 degrees. Perfect.

Last edited by rm -rf; 01-15-17 at 05:46 PM.
rm -rf is offline  
Old 01-15-17, 06:17 PM
  #7  
Andrew R Stewart 
Senior Member
 
Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 11,660

Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Raleigh Pro, Trek Cycle Cross, Mongoose tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1734 Post(s)
Liked 46 Times in 33 Posts
Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Andrew,

A question.

All things being equal (yes they never are) the mini V-brake would want less pull than it's longer mate because the tops (cable anchor end) travel less than a longer arm would for the same show travel. So they could or should be mated with levers with a greater mechanical advantage (pulls less cable, but multiplies the force more).

So, assuming the OP leaves the same levers in place, the standard long arm brake would offer more stopping power for the same grip strength, though it would need more careful adjustment.

Of course, I might simply have misread your post.

The OP gave no other stipulations then "Hypothetically". So that's what the first part of my reply addressed. In that world a perfect lever exists for a certain brake.


The second part of my reply gave my real world experience in that short cable pull levers mated to mini v brakes still suck. Way too much lever travel with no "bottom" to the pull. Sure they are very powerful but if the cable travel needed is not best realized by the levers then the pads rub or the levers bottom out before full power is had. Again in my experience. I'll add that I do like a firm lever feel, my hands have enough strength to stop with adequate brake "power" (and less then most "power").


Generally I find that bike handling issues are more limiting to the real life stopping ability then theoretical brake system "power". Road conditions, rider skill are more important in my world. Andy.
Andrew R Stewart is offline  
Old 01-16-17, 10:30 AM
  #8  
rm -rf
don't try this at home.
 
rm -rf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: N. KY
Posts: 5,084
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 622 Post(s)
Liked 14 Times in 13 Posts
Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
The OP gave no other stipulations then "Hypothetically". So that's what the first part of my reply addressed. In that world a perfect lever exists for a certain brake.


The second part of my reply gave my real world experience in that short cable pull levers mated to mini v brakes still suck. Way too much lever travel with no "bottom" to the pull. Sure they are very powerful but if the cable travel needed is not best realized by the levers then the pads rub or the levers bottom out before full power is had. Again in my experience. I'll add that I do like a firm lever feel, my hands have enough strength to stop with adequate brake "power" (and less then most "power").


Generally I find that bike handling issues are more limiting to the real life stopping ability then theoretical brake system "power". Road conditions, rider skill are more important in my world. Andy.
I was "sure" that my levers don't bottom out, but I just tried it on the bike stand. It's actually quite easy to pull the levers all the way to the bars. It's interesting that I don't notice this while riding.

And this is with the brakes set to a narrower gap than the thickness of a dime between pads and rim.

I don't ride heavy loads on this bike, so it works okay for me. It doesn't seem optimal for loaded touring. I've never used long V brakes since my old 1990s mountain bike, so I can't compare them.
rm -rf is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Inpd
Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg)
4
07-02-15 09:38 AM
Leland
Bicycle Mechanics
0
04-19-05 08:32 PM
NavinRJohnson
Training & Nutrition
7
01-26-05 09:10 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.