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Mini V-Brake Setup on Gravel Bike

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Mini V-Brake Setup on Gravel Bike

Old 01-11-16, 06:48 PM
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DarKris
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Mini V-Brake Setup on Gravel Bike

So I converted my Hybrid Road bike to drop bars effectively making it a gravel bike with it's tire clearance, and I switched the stock v-brakes for BMX mini v-brakes. Now I knoew that standard v-brakes' pull required linear pull brakes in order to work properly, but I also heard that mini v-brakes could work with Shimano STI levers so I got Tektro 926a Mini V-Brakes for my bike.

What I've found in my short time of testing is that when I have them set up very close to the rims, the linear pull brakes required very little pull and essentially death-grips the rims, however at the same length very close to the rims, the STI (Claris) brakes pull almost touching the drops about 5mm away, and they are not as powerful.

My question, because this will be my first time riding road bars + shifters extensively: is this normal for road brakes, is this the nature of using mini v-brakes with STI levers, or do I not have my brakes set up properly?
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Old 01-11-16, 07:40 PM
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Not an expert, but I believe some (all?) Mini v brakes are short pull. It sounds like your old levers were long pull and your mini v's are short pull. Clamping the long pull lever pulls more cable, so the short pull mini v brakes clamp down with relatively little squeeze....this makes sense, because your Claris sti levers are definitely short pull, so would seem more relaxed in comparison.

As far as adjustment, the goal is to be able to easily regulate speed on the road with your brakes, but still be able to clamp down in the event that a quick stop is really needed...5mm to the bars might be a little too close for a max effort squeeze, not sure about that.

On a related note, I'd love to know more about your drop bar conversion, as I've toyed with the idea.
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Old 01-11-16, 07:48 PM
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I think the 926 is a little too mini. Its brake arms are 80mm long. You'd probably get better response with something like the RX6, which has a 90mm brake are.

You could try moving the pads even closer to the rim. My guess is that the lever space you have left when the brake engages is taken up by system flex.
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Old 01-11-16, 08:06 PM
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I have Tektro 926 mini v-brakes on the front of my bike (cyclocross fork) working with Claris shifters. They work quite well. This is a link to a thread that helped me before I took the leap and converted over to STI: https://www.bikeforums.net/recreation...-v-brakes.html
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Old 01-11-16, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
I think the 926 is a little too mini. Its brake arms are 80mm long. You'd probably get better response with something like the RX6, which has a 90mm brake are.

You could try moving the pads even closer to the rim. My guess is that the lever space you have left when the brake engages is taken up by system flex.
I think I don't have that much space left before I get a good deal of brake pad rub on the rims so I'm not sure if I can move it closer.

Originally Posted by wheelsmcgee View Post
On a related note, I'd love to know more about your drop bar conversion, as I've toyed with the idea.
It was actually pretty simple for the most part after I figured out what I needed. If you want I will probably post my project tomorrow once I adjust the bars.
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Old 01-11-16, 09:37 PM
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I tried the 80mm arms and they worked fine but I had to completely deflate my tires if I need to remove them. Personally I had better luck with the 85mm arm mini v's. I too took a hybrid and did a drop bar conversion, currently running 35mm tires with no issues at all.
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Old 01-12-16, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by DarKris View Post
If you want I will probably post my project tomorrow once I adjust the bars.
Would love to see it.
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Old 01-12-16, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by DarKris View Post
My question, because this will be my first time riding road bars + shifters extensively: is this normal for road brakes, is this the nature of using mini v-brakes with STI levers, or do I not have my brakes set up properly?
I've found the adjustable range of mini-v's to be really narrow. Minute adjustments of the cable length will make huge changes at the lever, and the brakes will sit really close to the rim when set up properly. You should be able to get plenty of stopping power out of the 926's. It sounds like the pads need to move closer to the rims just a hair more.
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Old 01-15-16, 12:49 AM
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I use Tektro mini-V's with 9-speed Shimano R600 levers on my 2011 Ridley X-Ride cross bike. I use a noodle with a barrel adjuster on it on both front and rear. That's the key to getting them to quick release while also being able to get them close enough to the wheel. Full loose on the barrel adjuster to leave room to release, a few turns of it to for proper brake tension.

They work great, but the big issue for a gravel setup is tire clearance. A 40mm tire will be VERY close to the cable. 35mm is no problem and 32mm is perfect.
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Old 01-19-16, 12:28 PM
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+1, you absolutely have to have an adjustable noodle or an inline barrel adjuster to use STIs with mini-V brakes. It's just impossible to satisfactorily set them up and/or swap wheelsets easily without them.

they should be supplied with ALL mini-V brakes, not just the posh TRP ones.

their performance is also vastly improved with Jagwire Race teflon inner cables and kevlar outers.
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