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V-brakes: Are Ball Bearings Worth It?

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V-brakes: Are Ball Bearings Worth It?

Old 07-02-22, 10:55 AM
  #26  
Dave Mayer
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Originally Posted by sweeks View Post
They don't actually rotate *around* the thrust bearings; they rotate *between* them. I agree that it's a cool feature.
I've had my XTR brakes for over 20 years, and they have never squeaked.
They worked well with the STI shifters I had the bike built with. There were "Travel Agents" in the brake lines to adapt the long-pull brakes to the short-pull levers.
When I recently changed the bike over to trekking bars, I was able to use long-pull levers (Paul "Love Levers"). When I took the bike out for a long shake-down ride, I found that the brakes worked markedly better than previously. They felt like disc brakes. Also they did not squeak!
Excellent! I did not know about Travel Agents, which could allow me to install XTR V's on my 'cross bikes. Aside from avoiding constant squeaking, squealing and rubbing, another benefit of the V-brakes is they lighten the bike by a couple of pounds over discs, save hundreds of dollars, and do not require constant fussing! Or make you beholden to a bike shop every time you need a brake adjustment.
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Old 07-02-22, 04:37 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
Excellent! I did not know about Travel Agents, which could allow me to install XTR V's on my 'cross bikes. Aside from avoiding constant squeaking, squealing and rubbing, another benefit of the V-brakes is they lighten the bike by a couple of pounds over discs, save hundreds of dollars, and do not require constant fussing! Or make you beholden to a bike shop every time you need a brake adjustment.


You can order the cheap Chinese version, they come in different colors
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Old 07-02-22, 06:59 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
Excellent! I did not know about Travel Agents...
They also work as friction-free (well, *reduced* friction) "noodles", when the levers and arms have the same travel!

This "Travel Agent" has a 1-to-1 ratio.
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Old 07-04-22, 10:14 PM
  #29  
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Old 07-04-22, 10:17 PM
  #30  
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Avid Arch Supremes. My hard tail has a pair of these. Even more fantastically over engineered than Shimano XTR.

Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
I just picked up a set of XTR 951 V-brakes. They were covered in goo and were sticky inside. So I took the hour per pair and disassembled and serviced these right down to the tiny ball bearings. Felt like watch repair. Now they are smooth as 'butta.

Rarely have I seen a bike part more over-engineered that these. But on a bike they work fantastically, better than any other V-brake or mechanical disc setup I've used.

I think what makes these special are the low-flex forged arms, plus the very low friction due to the ball thrust bearings. But one feature to these is unique: that the arms do not pivot on the frame brake bosses. On most cantis and V's, the arms pivot around the bosses, requiring that these be lubed. Eventually these interfaces wear and the whole system gets sloppy. But on the XTR's, the arms rotate around the thrust bearings. Very cool feature.

My other favorite road compatible V-brakes: TRP 8.4 and 9.0s. Great stoppers.
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Old 07-05-22, 10:04 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by greysquirrel View Post
Avid Arch Supremes. My hard tail has a pair of these. Even more fantastically over engineered than Shimano XTR.
I have been trying out recently the Avid Arch "only" Rivals, but am still on the fence with them. I read warnings about them quickly developing play. By now I could only get used ones, and one set I got had indeed so much uncorrectable play that it was unusable. Any comments from you on the play, since you are likely riding them for a while?
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Old 07-05-22, 10:49 AM
  #32  
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RIM breaks were out alloy RIMs fast, other than that. they are nice.

does any one know good rim break pads which do not damage rims, that i can buy from ebay
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Old 07-05-22, 01:10 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
I have been trying out recently the Avid Arch "only" Rivals, but am still on the fence with them. I read warnings about them quickly developing play. By now I could only get used ones, and one set I got had indeed so much uncorrectable play that it was unusable. Any comments from you on the play, since you are likely riding them for a while?

My Arch Supremes(bought them new years ago) have no play whatsoever.Where is the play? Is it the brake arm on the brake post? The Arch Supremes uses cartridge bearings to rotate on the post. Maybe the Rivals rotate on bushings that are worn. I'm not sure how to service Rivals.
Here is a link to the Rival instructions: https://manualzz.com/doc/10844368/2002-arch-rival
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Old 07-05-22, 01:47 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by EridianTech View Post
RIM breaks were out alloy RIMs fast, other than that. they are nice.

does any one know good rim break pads which do not damage rims, that i can buy from ebay
The wear is going to come from debris in the pads and on the rims, not the pads themselves. In my experience, rear rims wear out much faster because they get a bunch dirtier than front rims. Wipe the rims and pads clean occasionally with a rag, and if you hear any grinding noises when braking, look at the pads and see if there is any foreign material you can remove. Kept clean, rims can last years and years before wearing through. Ride regularly in mud and rain without cleaning and you can go through a rear rim in a season.
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Old 07-05-22, 01:53 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by greysquirrel View Post
My Arch Supremes(bought them new years ago) have no play whatsoever.Where is the play? Is it the brake arm on the brake post? The Arch Supremes uses cartridge bearings to rotate on the post. Maybe the Rivals rotate on bushings that are worn. I'm not sure how to service Rivals.
Here is a link to the Rival instructions: https://manualzz.com/doc/10844368/2002-arch-rival
The play developed in the additional midway pivots. The outcome was in the pads grabbing the wheel unless you loosened the cable so much that braking became impossible. Rival arms indeed rotate on bushings, but these have been fine - with a tight fit.

Thanks for the manual link. The recommendation to check the brake pads before every ride could not be more ridiculous - made me choke on my tea.
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Old 07-06-22, 08:40 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by EridianTech View Post
RIM breaks were out alloy RIMs fast, other than that. they are nice.
does any one know good rim break pads which do not damage rims, that i can buy from ebay
Rim brakes operate by friction, so there will always be wear. Ideally, with the optimal materials, the great majority of the wear will be on the brake pads, not the rims. Nevertheless, rims eventually wear and must be replaced. As noted, rear rims tend to wear faster, and riding in wet weather seems to accelerate rim wear. Inspecting brake pads occasionally can help, but before every ride is a bit over the top.
Many people (myself included) seem to like Kool Stop pads. Rims will continue to be a "replacement" item, however.
"Don't break your brakes!"
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Old 07-07-22, 07:13 AM
  #37  
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The majority of wheels ridden with rim brakes never get to the point where they need to be replaced due to the rim wear. Most often they get replaced/rebuilt due to some mishap that mangles the wheel or some technological shift. Else the rider may move on to another bike, including one with disk brakes In my lifetime I might have had 2-3 wheels that needed to be rebuilt because of the thinned out rims.
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