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

Always trouble with adjusting v-brakes

Notices
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.

Always trouble with adjusting v-brakes

Old 10-28-13, 02:01 AM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 290
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Always trouble with adjusting v-brakes

Since I bought my bike some years back I've always had trouble with adjusting my v-brakes. Getting a balance between a satisfying lever pull, and acceptable distance between brake pads and rim seems impossible.

I replaced the brakes with a new set of brakes (Avid Single Digit 5 V-Brake). I also replaced the brake pads, wire and cable. I had the local bike shop true the wheels for me, and I examined the levers (Tektro RL721) and they look fine, and spring back as supposed to. The wheels are centered in the frame if I push them to one side while turning the quick release (their not centered otherwise). Problem still not solved. And this happens on both brakes.

How I adjust my v-brake normallys: Loosen the brake adjuster to max (tighten the wire). Pull brake levers together, and attach the brake wire when pads are touching the rim. Tighten the brake adjuster (loosen the wire) until required brake lever pull is satisfying. But when I turn the wheel, the rim and pads are still touching and the distance between them is less than 1mm on each side.

Anyone had a similar v-brake adjusting nightmare like mine?

Last edited by mozad655; 10-28-13 at 02:47 AM.
mozad655 is offline  
Old 10-28-13, 03:03 AM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,589
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 7 Posts
the Tektro RL721is a cross top lever meant for use as auxiliary levers on the tops of a drop bar. why are you (apparently) using them as your main lever?

also , as they are a road bike lever, they are meant for use with caliper brakes; which is a different cable pull than v-brakes
you need a v-brakes specific brake lever, v-brakes need longer cable travel than calipers
-thus your current problems with inadequate rim clearance

bottom line: your brake lever is incompatible with v-brakes

get this
https://www.amazon.com/Shimano-BL-M42...=v-brake+lever
xenologer is offline  
Old 10-28-13, 04:19 AM
  #3  
Likes to Ride Far
 
Chris_W's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 2,345

Bikes: road+, gravel, commuter/tourer, tandem, e-cargo, folder

Liked 12 Times in 11 Posts
Agreed. Those levers are not designed for V-brakes.
Chris_W is offline  
Old 10-28-13, 06:26 AM
  #4  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 290
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The Tektro levers were preinstalled on the bike when I bought it. They are on the top of the drop bar, so the brake wire goes through them and continues to the "racing levers".

I know they aren't the main levers, but the drop-over aero position is just so uncomfortable and ineffecient for me that I've always used them as my main lever because I ride upright.

You guys still think the levers are still to blame?

Last edited by mozad655; 10-28-13 at 06:41 AM.
mozad655 is offline  
Old 10-28-13, 06:41 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Llano Estacado
Posts: 3,702

Bikes: old clunker

Likes: 0
Liked 105 Times in 83 Posts
Originally Posted by mozad655
The Tektro levers were preinstalled on the bike when I bought it. They are on the top of the drop bar, so the brake wire goes through them and continues to the "racing levers".

I know they aren't the main levers, but the drop-over aero position is just so uncomfortable and ineffecient for me that I've always used them as my main lever.

You guys still think they are the problem?
No, that changes everything. You have a much larger problem.
AnkleWork is offline  
Old 10-28-13, 06:43 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
demoncyclist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Medway, MA
Posts: 2,727

Bikes: 2011 Lynskey Sportive, 1988 Cannondale SM400

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Yes, they are the problem. The cable pull for a V-brake is different than for the caliper brakes that those levers were designed for. They will also work with cantilever brakes, but NOT V-BRAKES, as has been pointed out in the previous 2 posts.
demoncyclist is offline  
Old 10-28-13, 07:11 AM
  #7  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 290
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by demoncyclist
Yes, they are the problem. The cable pull for a V-brake is different than for the caliper brakes that those levers were designed for. They will also work with cantilever brakes, but NOT V-BRAKES, as has been pointed out in the previous 2 posts.
Even though they were preinstalled, and the braking wire is not attached to them but simply goes through them to the racing levers?
mozad655 is offline  
Old 10-28-13, 07:19 AM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Llano Estacado
Posts: 3,702

Bikes: old clunker

Likes: 0
Liked 105 Times in 83 Posts
Originally Posted by mozad655
Even though they were preinstalled, and the braking wire is not attached to them but simply goes through them to the racing levers?
You will never believe anything other than what you want and you hate the truth. I know how you vote.
AnkleWork is offline  
Old 10-28-13, 07:30 AM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 18,184

Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Mongoose Tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder, Stewart 650B ATB

Liked 3,992 Times in 2,373 Posts
We've seen some bikes that were sold with V brakes and drop levers not designed for the cable pull needs of V brakes. Whether these bikes were speced this way from the factory or modified by some shop who cares. The miss match is still the problem. (As others have said in reference to the top mount levers only). What is not yet known is whether the OP's primary levers are V brake compatible or not. If they're STI, Ergo, Double Taps or Micro Shifts then the levers are also not right for the brakes.

If this is the case the least expensive and most straight forward fix is to install a Travel Agent adapter on each V brake. This is a pulley with two different diameters to accept cable pulling impute of caliper/canti levers and produce output of V brake cable pull amounts. They are a clean and easy install and the nicer version also has a built in barrel adjuster. Cost is around $25-30 each. The only reason (that I can think of) that these might not work is if there's a rear rack strut in the way. Andy.
Andrew R Stewart is offline  
Old 10-28-13, 07:34 AM
  #10  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 290
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by AnkleWork
You will never believe anything other than what you want and you hate the truth. I know how you vote.
What!?

I'm asking because someone said that Tektro levers dont work for V-brakes because their brake cables need longer cable travel. I then added to the story that these levers are my secondary levers, and that the brake wire goes through them (thus longer cable travel). So why are you gibbering about hating the truth and other nonsense?
mozad655 is offline  
Old 10-28-13, 07:37 AM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Llano Estacado
Posts: 3,702

Bikes: old clunker

Likes: 0
Liked 105 Times in 83 Posts
Originally Posted by mozad655
What!?

I'm asking because someone said that Tektro levers dont work for V-brakes because their brake cables need longer cable travel. I then added to the story that these levers are my secondary levers, and that the brake wire goes through them (thus longer cable travel). So why are you gibbering about hating the truth and other nonsense?
I stand on your words while you run away. BTW, you have good reason to hate the truth.
AnkleWork is offline  
Old 10-28-13, 07:45 AM
  #12  
New Orleans
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,794
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Wow- rough crowd!
I though the A&S group were wound pretty tight with the VC Lane Controllers vs FRAPers interminable arguments all but drawing blood.
Never figured mechanic guys to be so.....

MOZAD- big aside-why not dump those Freakin' drop bars?? For many folks they are pure torture- you are riding upright-not racing for $$ right?
Get some more upright bars-save your neck-make riding more comfortable.You can get some V- brake levers-pretty cheaply-along with the flat to upright bar.
Need new cables and housings(some of the housing will work)-
Surprised the shop didn't give you a heads up on it?
Luck
Charlie
phoebeisis is offline  
Old 10-28-13, 07:49 AM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Llano Estacado
Posts: 3,702

Bikes: old clunker

Likes: 0
Liked 105 Times in 83 Posts
Originally Posted by phoebeisis
.....MOZAD- big aside-why not dump those Freakin' drop bars?? For many folks they are pure torture- you are riding upright-not racing for $$ right?
Get some more upright bars-save your neck-make riding more comfortable.You can get some V- brake levers-pretty cheaply-along with the flat to upright bar.
Need new cables and housings(some of the housing will work)-
Surprised the shop didn't give you a heads up on it?
Luck
Charlie
Finally!
AnkleWork is offline  
Old 10-28-13, 07:49 AM
  #14  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 290
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart
We've seen some bikes that were sold with V brakes and drop levers not designed for the cable pull needs of V brakes. Whether these bikes were speced this way from the factory or modified by some shop who cares. The miss match is still the problem. (As others have said in reference to the top mount levers only). What is not yet known is whether the OP's primary levers are V brake compatible or not. If they're STI, Ergo, Double Taps or Micro Shifts then the levers are also not right for the brakes.

If this is the case the least expensive and most straight forward fix is to install a Travel Agent adapter on each V brake. This is a pulley with two different diameters to accept cable pulling impute of caliper/canti levers and produce output of V brake cable pull amounts. They are a clean and easy install and the nicer version also has a built in barrel adjuster. Cost is around $25-30 each. The only reason (that I can think of) that these might not work is if there's a rear rack strut in the way. Andy.
I'm not sure what the name of the drop levers are. On one lever it says Shimano Tiagra, and on the other Shimano Tiagra Double. So I understand these are incompatible with V-brakes aswell? It'll fit the pattern: top bar levers incompatible, off topic but wheel and preinstalled tires were also a misfits. front gear shifting requires abnormal push on gear lever so I got completely rid of it. Adjusting screws on rear der. have no effect on movement. The bike is cursed. First and last time I buy Focus bikes.

The Travel Agent adapter fix sounds good, I found them here https://www.wiggle.co.uk/problem-solvers-travel-agent/. But under description it says "Allows non-linear pull, STI or Ergo levers to be used with linear pull brakes". It doesn't mention Double, or am I wrong?

Last edited by mozad655; 10-28-13 at 07:59 AM.
mozad655 is offline  
Old 10-28-13, 07:51 AM
  #15  
Rides Majestic
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Westfield, MA
Posts: 1,339

Bikes: 1983 Univega Gran Turismo, 1970 Schwinn Super Sport, 2001 Univega Modo Vincere, Self-Built Nashbar Touring, 1974 Peugeot U08, 1974 Atala Grand Prix, 1986 Ross Mt. Hood, 80's Maruishi MT-18

Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 6 Posts
The way you are describing your bike is confusing. Pictures of your brake levers (both sets) and brakes would help to clarify what is going on. I'm not trying to say that you don't know what you are talking about, but the devil is in the details. If your terminology isn't perfect, the answers you get won't be either.

EDIT: looks like you clarified what setup you are running while I was typing. Travel agents would work or new CANTILEVER brakes. Sometimes, canti brakes can be gotten for cheaper than 2 travel agents: https://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...77_-1___202421. 25% off today. Also, don't worry about double and triple, those terms refer to the shifting function for the front derailleur, they don't refer to braking at all.

Last edited by likebike23; 10-28-13 at 07:58 AM.
likebike23 is offline  
Old 10-28-13, 08:06 AM
  #16  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 290
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by phoebeisis
MOZAD- big aside-why not dump those Freakin' drop bars?? For many folks they are pure torture- you are riding upright-not racing for $$ right?
Get some more upright bars-save your neck-make riding more comfortable.You can get some V- brake levers-pretty cheaply-along with the flat to upright bar.
Need new cables and housings(some of the housing will work)-
Surprised the shop didn't give you a heads up on it?
Luck
Charlie
I'm considering it, a mechanical heap for a beginner like me, but nevertheless.. So if I get a new handlebar, will I have to buy new brakes aswell, or just new levers? and possibly a new stem? and what about gears.. oh crap. Who said bicycles were simple and easy?
mozad655 is offline  
Old 10-28-13, 08:12 AM
  #17  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 290
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by likebike23
Also, don't worry about double and triple, those terms refer to the shifting function for the front derailleur, they don't refer to braking at all.
But then how do I know the Travels agents will do it? You mentioned that's IF they are "STI, Ergo, Double Taps or Micro Shifts then the levers are also not right for the brakes".

This is the bike that's cursed: https://cyclocross.findthebest.com/l/...cus-MARES-AX-3

I can't find the name of the main levers.
mozad655 is offline  
Old 10-28-13, 08:31 AM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 18,184

Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Mongoose Tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder, Stewart 650B ATB

Liked 3,992 Times in 2,373 Posts
Your Focus is exactly the miss match that I mentioned. As said, you could install cantis and this is what I do when building a frame for drop bars that won't get caliper brakes. BUT if the frame is not set up for rear cantis then fitting a cable casing stop/hanger might be problematic. The seat binder might not allow a hanger to fit on it and there would likely be no barrel adjuster as well. The front hanger would have to clamp onto the steerer, not a bad thing just one more element to deal with when doing headset work and also this location for a hanger results in a very tightly curved/routed cable (think increased friction).

So when faced with your delima I suggest the Travel Agent solution. No further playing with make shift cable solutions, you get easy to adjust cables as well and they work really well (and have for 10+ years). The Travel Agents have a single pulley with two steps or diameters, not double pulleys. Just try to get the model with an adjuster. Andy.
Andrew R Stewart is offline  
Old 10-28-13, 08:39 AM
  #19  
New Orleans
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,794
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by mozad655
I'm considering it, a mechanical heap for a beginner like me, but nevertheless.. So if I get a new handlebar, will I have to buy new brakes aswell, or just new levers? and possibly a new stem? and what about gears.. oh crap. Who said bicycles were simple and easy?
Good point-you would need
1) decent bar-lotta choices- maybe $20-$25 off ebay
2) levers-figure $20 delivered off Ebay
3) cables +housing could go CHEEP- buy a Walmart type pack 4 cables housing $6-$10 or go upscale-$4 per cable plus maybe $10-$20 or so for housing
4) GOOD Housing cutter pliers-$20-$25 delivered
5)Maybe a stem-$20 or so used
Yikes-not cheap-$125 !

I would just cheap out-buy the cheapo cables-used bar locally or ebay-get new decent new levers on ebay-
In truth I already have used bars-several-lotta cables housing-decent levers-cable housing cutter-so it is easy for me to make a $125 suggestion.
It would just cost me time-pain in the butt cutting housings-awling them open-filing the ends(even good cutters crush a little-and leave some sharp edges)
Folks here could easily walk you thru the install-

Yeah-give it some thought-is the bike worth $125 plus work? Can you live with the less than elegant brake action?
Getting those parts-bars stem levers cheaper locally-CL- might make it make more $$ and cents sense.
Luck
Charlie
phoebeisis is offline  
Old 10-28-13, 08:58 AM
  #20  
Seņor Member
 
Wilfred Laurier's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5,066
Liked 294 Times in 217 Posts
Originally Posted by mozad655
But then how do I know the Travels agents will do it? You mentioned that's IF they are "STI, Ergo, Double Taps or Micro Shifts then the levers are also not right for the brakes".

This is the bike that's cursed: https://cyclocross.findthebest.com/l/...cus-MARES-AX-3

I can't find the name of the main levers.
the bike you linked has mini v brakes
while you say yours has single digit 5
which are full length v brakes

mini v brakes require less cable pull than full length ones
and will work with your road oriented brake levers
but if you have fat tires and fenders they may not have enough clearance

also
drop bars are the best design imho
as they allow many hand positions
but you may need to adjust the position
to make them work perfectly for you

and if you switch bars
you wuill need to switch shift levers
and there can be compatibility problems with your front derailleur
Wilfred Laurier is offline  
Old 10-28-13, 08:58 AM
  #21  
Senior Member
 
Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 18,184

Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Mongoose Tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder, Stewart 650B ATB

Liked 3,992 Times in 2,373 Posts
The yet to be said issue is the original spec that Focus provided. The mini Vs, while they do work, are a poor design and still suffer from cable pull/lever/power/adjustment challenges. Even a basic set of cantis would be better. This is another example of a bike company chasing the market instead of leading with a better working choice.
This problem was compounded by the OP (sorry guy...) believing that a brake with more leverage was an even better choice. Again i blame the market for this miss leading understanding. (Although it is interesting that a brake with less leverage is now all the buzz, disk brakes). There is so much hype and so little real facts that are bantered about in ads and consumer mags (and in forums sometimes too). Andy.
Andrew R Stewart is offline  
Old 10-28-13, 09:02 AM
  #22  
Seņor Member
 
Wilfred Laurier's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5,066
Liked 294 Times in 217 Posts
Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart
The yet to be said issue is the original spec that Focus provided. The mini Vs, while they do work, are a poor design and still suffer from cable pull/lever/power/adjustment challenges. Even a basic set of cantis would be better. This is another example of a bike company chasing the market instead of leading with a better working choice.
this has not been my experience
mini vs have similar power
and ease of setup
as full size vs with correct levers
ime
except for clearance for tires and fendes
which mini vs do lack

please tell me
what is poor about mini v design
Wilfred Laurier is offline  
Old 10-28-13, 09:24 AM
  #23  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 290
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier
the bike you linked has mini v brakes
while you say yours has single digit 5
which are full length v brakes

..

and there can be compatibility problems with your front derailleur
The mini v brakes had the same problem from the start. Back then I managed to get the front brake to function somewhat. I could never get the rear brake to work, so I deattached it and rid the bike without it for two years. Later the hole that the adjusting screws on the brake go into, stopped holding the screws so I had no choce but to replace the brakes. Allthough they are "mini", the new v-brakes are the same size as the old.

Also shifting with the front derailleurs was faulted from the get go. It required abnormal pressure on the shifter and consequently made alot of noice to change from the larger chain ring to the smaller. I coudn't bother. Again, I deattached it as I coudn't, nor had I the need to use them for two years.
mozad655 is offline  
Old 10-28-13, 09:36 AM
  #24  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,598

Bikes: 8

Liked 1,360 Times in 866 Posts
But the Mini V as a type is fine on CX purposed bikes , Perhaps the OP didn't like the Lower cost
OEM spec Tektro ones included . they were, I presume, selected to keep the whole bike price Down.
And were probably fine ,
[Guess> the guy just wanted something else, then they found their choice. incompatible ]

different Mini-V perhaps?
there is Paul's Mini Moto. they S bend the Arm's shape in design.. (mud clearance)
and use 2 Coil springs and the grease on the pivots are behind O rings, US made.

And the premium , Race division, TRP line . out of the same TW corporate manufacturer.

The inverse , Changing the brake levers , to V type loses the integrated shifter..
doubt that is acceptable..




Setting up the new V brake bikes we screw the adjuster all the way in , here,

they would be MTB levers predominantly, they have the adjuster in the lever
rather than say on the V noodle like drop bars may use.

for the anticipated bedding in of new cables, housing, and pads ..

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-28-13 at 09:48 AM.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 10-28-13, 09:37 AM
  #25  
Rides Majestic
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Westfield, MA
Posts: 1,339

Bikes: 1983 Univega Gran Turismo, 1970 Schwinn Super Sport, 2001 Univega Modo Vincere, Self-Built Nashbar Touring, 1974 Peugeot U08, 1974 Atala Grand Prix, 1986 Ross Mt. Hood, 80's Maruishi MT-18

Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by mozad655
But then how do I know the Travels agents will do it? You mentioned that's IF they are "STI, Ergo, Double Taps or Micro Shifts then the levers are also not right for the brakes".
You have long arm Avid single digit 5 v-brakes paired with a road brake/shifter lever which is a poor combination. STI, Ergo, Double tap, and microshift are all examples of road brake/shifter levers and none of them work with long arm v-brakes. The reason they (the levers) don't work with v-brakes is because they don't pull enough cable. So, you can get travel agents, which will change the cable travel to allow road brake/shifter levers to work with long arm v-brakes.

Also, you are confused by the double/triple thing. What you have on your bike is a shifter and brake lever in one. The shifter parts on the lever are independent from the braking parts. The shifter parts move the derailleurs through the gears and the braking parts move the brakes. So, when you see double or triple on the lever, they are referring to the shifter parts on the lever and not the braking parts.

As for the bike being cursed, I doubt it. You changed the crappy brakes that came on it for the wrong ones and because you couldn't figure out how to properly set up your derailleurs you disconnected front derailleur. If you can't fix it yourself, maybe a good shop could get you going.
likebike23 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

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

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.