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Use Direct Mount brakes on a V-Brake frame?

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Use Direct Mount brakes on a V-Brake frame?

Old 01-19-23, 08:51 AM
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Use Direct Mount brakes on a V-Brake frame?

Hello,

I have a 1999 Raleigh R300. It seems this was mainly intended to be a hybrid frame, though it was new to me and has always had drop bars.
For my birthday I was given the Shimano 105 STR-7000 groupset. I understand the debate that perhaps a new bike and modern frame would have been wiser for the money, but this is what I was given and I'm grateful.

I have installed and adjusted everything but the brakes.

The R300 is designed for V-Brakes, but the 105 brakes are direct mount.

So 2 questions.

1. (my preference) is there an adapter or bracket of some sort that would grant the ability to use the 105 brakes? If so, do you have a product link?

2. If not, are there recommendations on what V Brakes would work well with, or ways of modifying V Brakes to work better with the 105 levers? The pull length of the levers seem different.

I am not a performance rider. In the last 18 months I've lost 65lbs and am at 285... I am not counting ounces or overthinking aerodynamics for racing my bike, I just need to keep my fitness going and enjoy my 45-55 mile rides on the weekends.

Thank you in advance,

Brian

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Last edited by Darkimage; 01-19-23 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 01-19-23, 09:33 AM
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Congrats on finding an activity that floats your boat and helps you get in better shape.

1- I know of no adapter to be able to use a direct mount caliper on pre existing V mounts. There have been bolt on (much like common dual and single pivot calipers) versions of direct mounts that use a backing plate to handle the single mounting bolt. I don't know if Shimano has offered such a version.

2- There are cable pull changing devices (the Problem Solvers Travel Agent as example) which will "translate" the less cable pull amount of a drop bar STI lever to what a V brakes needs. They work quite well although some riders seem to be challenged by them just the same. I don't know if they are still offered (originally designed and sold by Quality Bicycle Products, a wholesale supplier that only works with bike shops). What I would avoid (and likely will be suggested by someone here) is running mini V brakes. They have shorter arms and thus need less cable pull. But there are two issues that riders complain about. One is the short arm reduces tire and/or fender clearances, on some bikes I've worked on a 28mm tire width (and height) is the largest before the crossing over the top of the tire cable will graze the tire. Second is that mini Vs still like more cable pull amount than most all drop bar levers offer. The result are pads set really close to the rim (and thus can rub more easily), a lever pull feel that is rather mushy and most all the lever's travel is needed and sometimes less actual stopping ability than a well set up caliper system.

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Old 01-19-23, 09:38 AM
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I'm not real familiar with direct mount brakes but I don't think there is any way to use these on your bike. They require specific mounting points and a frame specifically designed for them and can't be used even on the vast majority of existing road frames. I suppose a frame builder could modify your frame and fork to use them but the cost of the work and a repaint would be prohibitive. A new frame would be more cost effective by far.

Anyway, I see two possible alternatives:

1. Find a pair of suitable road cantilever brakes.
2. Find a pair of mini-V brakes. Tektro ($) and Paul ($$$) both make them.

Both of these will work with your 105 short pull brake levers and should fit the mounting posts on your frame.
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Old 01-19-23, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart
What I would avoid (and likely will be suggested by someone here) is running mini V brakes. They have shorter arms and thus need less cable pull. But there are two issues that riders complain about. One is the short arm reduces tire and/or fender clearances, on some bikes I've worked on a 28mm tire width (and height) is the largest before the crossing over the top of the tire cable will graze the tire. Second is that mini Vs still like more cable pull amount than most all drop bar levers offer. The result are pads set really close to the rim (and thus can rub more easily), a lever pull feel that is rather mushy and most all the lever's travel is needed and sometimes less actual stopping ability than a well set up caliper system.
Andy
As you expected, someone would recommend mini-V's. .

I believe the OP was given a very recent 105 group and, if I have it correctly, current Shimano caliper brake and STI levers use a slightly longer cable pull than their older road groups. Therefore, they should work well with the mini-V's. As to tire clearance, yes, with large tires this could be an issue.
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Old 01-19-23, 09:51 AM
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Do you have the holes already in the frame and fork for the direct mount brakes? Regardless your STI's might work with the V-brakes that are on the bike already. Save the brakes for when you get some other use for them.

Shimano 105 as well as all of the Shimano groups have come in many different versions through out the years. So knowing what exactly you have by giving us the part numbers that are stamped on them will help. Same for the existing stuff that's on your bike.

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Old 01-19-23, 10:08 AM
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Mini-Vs are an excellent solution. You can likely sell the 105 DM brakes for more than the cost of min-Vs. COmment above that some road levers don't work well with mini-Vs does not agree with my experience. The comment directly above that some STI levers DO work with full-length Vs also does not agree with my experience - yes, the levers pull a cable that ostensibly actuates the brake, but not in a way that provides good feel or brake function.
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Old 01-19-23, 10:13 AM
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I have updated my OP to clarify that I recieved the R7000 components, which I believe are the currently produced models from Shimano.

I believe I found the cable pull adapter suggested in the first reply, I will definitely consider that! I can't post a link yet in the forum, but the complete product description on Amazon reads"F Fityle Bicycle V Brake Adapter Converter to Caliper Brake Adaptor for Folding Bike Road Cycling V-Brake Mounting Holder Part Accessories - Black"

As for Mini Vs, I will need to investigate my tire size when I get home later today. Are there specific models anyone suggests?

I am able to just barely make my original brakes still work. With very little rim clearance, and with the levers almost touching the bars, I can get a tight braking.

I don't believe my frame has mounts for any other options like calipers.
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Old 01-19-23, 10:29 AM
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I have two different models of Tektro mini-Vs on my touring bike F and R. I think one pair cost $50ish and the other cost $30ish. One pair came with cheaper one-piece brake pads and the other came with more expensive cartridge brake pads and I believe that was the main difference between the two.. Both have worked well with multiple drop bar brake levers.

I also have used them with up to 35mm tires with fenders. The clearance is going to depend on your particular frame geometry but I can't imagine being limited to 28mm tires except on the most outlying of outliers.
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Old 01-19-23, 10:50 AM
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Your ST-R7000 STI should work with Shimano BR-CX70 and BR-CX50 V-brakes if you can find some used at a decent price. Those brakes have been out quite a while though IIRC. So you might can find used for a decent price. Or just look for some other brands that offer less expensive models that are compatible with those two Shimano V-brakes.

I only have a a small amount of experience with v-brakes though. So you need to be certain that the mounting of them is the same for your older version brakes. I'm sure others know.

Last edited by Iride01; 01-19-23 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 01-19-23, 11:04 AM
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Iride01 V brakes of any flavour are compatible with the same mounts as 'centre pull' cantilevers that were the dominant brake up until Vs were introduced in the mid 90s. Pivots on a 1999 mountain bike like the OP's will 100% be compatible with any V or mini-V brake. There are some differences between different bikes in how the pivots are spaced and positioned, but this can be handled with spacer configuration and pad positioning on the brakes. A much older bike (mid-late 80s) might have weirdly positioned brake pivots compared to a more modern bike, but even these can almost always work with modern Vs and mini Vs if the adjustments are done properly.
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Old 01-19-23, 12:27 PM
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A thought here that will be of little use to the OP but might have real applications elsewhere. (Like American 26" cruisers being used to bomb down Repack Rd back in a distant millenium).

I haven't done the research but I bet there is a wheel standard that would place the rim at the right height for a direct mount brake set on canti/V-brake mounts. So a couple of steps further along the lines of going from 700C to 650B. Maybe the 24" sewup wheels kids used to race. (Now you wouldn't be able to use very big tires with conventional calipers since the arms cross above the tire. Leaving open the question - why would you do this? I make no claim to a good reason for doing this. Just tossing out an idea that might have a use.)
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Old 01-19-23, 12:43 PM
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And more serious - why not just go with cantilevers? Now, I have only used the ancient Mafac calipers and the mid '80s Shimano that came stock on my '84(?) Miyata 610 that copied the Mafac geometry. Both - real stoppers. Reliable, not hard to set up, lots of room for adjustment preference to get lever squeeze where you want. Most of the current cantilevers have arms that are much more vertical. I hear stories of them being hard to set up and having issues with braking power. Also I recall that trend started because cyclocross racers were tired of ripping their shorts (or skin) on the protruding cants like mine.

An easily obtained canti of the geometry I so love is the Paul's. (I think they are still offering it.) You might have to take out a second mortgage to buy them. They are the classic geometry that works so well.
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Old 01-19-23, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
Your ST-R7000 STI should work with Shimano BR-CX70 and BR-CX50 V-brakes if you can find some used at a decent price. Those brakes have been out quite a while though IIRC. So you might can find used for a decent price. Or just look for some other brands that offer less expensive models that are compatible with those two Shimano V-brakes.
I think those two Shimano brakes are cantilever brakes vs. V-brakes/linear pulls. And I say that only to point out that cantilevers might be a good option on this bike, but might also require some additional cable hangers/stops if the bike isn't already equipped with them. In particular, the front will almost certainly require some sort of cable hanger/stop...either fork-mounted or stem-mounted. And the rear will very likely require a cable hanger/stop mounted to the seat post clamp area.
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Old 02-26-23, 06:24 PM
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An update

I would like to give an update.
After selling off a few things around the house, I purchased a pair of Paul's Minimoto brakes for my Raleigh.
This is was certainly a perfect (though expensive) suggestion for a pair of V-Brakes that work perfectly with the Shimano 105 STR-7000 groupset. The longer I kept reading about Mini-Vs, the braking power of Paul's Minimoto kept popping up as a top suggestion almost everywhere I looked. Considering I am a rather large rider with a lot of mass in motion when I ride, I went with these brakes because as one reviewer summed it up "They are expensive but cheaper than an emergency room."
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Old 02-26-23, 10:47 PM
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Paul brakes are excellent well worth the money and Paul and his team are always super nice and friendly at least in all my interactions. I have had a bunch of Paul stuff in the past and still have some of it but sold a bike that was dripping in Paul recently to a good friend because I wasn't putting the time on that bike I had planned but I yeah great stuff.
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