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Tektro mini-V brakes

Old 06-19-13, 07:28 PM
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Tektro mini-V brakes

Just switched my Ritchey Breakaway Cross over to a set of Tektro RX-5 (85mm arm) mini-v brakes. Previously was running Shimano R-550 cantilevers.

Wow.

They work perfectly. And there are no issues with rim clearance, or with undoing the brake.

Some of that may have to do with my preferred setup. I know a lot of cyclists out there set their brakes so that within a very small amount of lever travel they're already in pretty firm contact with the rim. Me? I like to set mine up wider, where max-pressure happens with the levers about 1cm from bottoming out on the bar. Yes, that means there's some lever travel that accomplishes "nothing" save for moving the pads closer to engagement. But, I can grip more firmly and surely with my hand more firmly closed, should I need to really brake hard.

Anyhow, I can see were with a lot of "typical" - I think auto-inspired - setups that there would be issues. But with my preferred setup, the function is smooth and flawless.

Powerful, sure braking. I'd say 3mm each side of the rim for clearance, at a min. I can go measure if anyone wants precision.

I should have done this ages ago. The reasons I didn't was because I read all the supposed "issues" with the setup, plus I though cantilevers had a very old-school-cool vibe to them.

Better yet, the frame will pack easier now.
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Old 06-23-13, 06:25 PM
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I too have been using tektro mini-Vs on my Ritchey Breakaway Cross and it solves a lot of problems!
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Old 06-24-13, 01:46 AM
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Hello Banzai,

I'm interested in going with Tektro mini-Vs but to tell you the truth I don't really know what model(s) are the most preferred. I have an ebay search setup for the "926AL" and you are stating the "RX-5". You have a preference on either of these models? Any link on to read up on mini Vs to go with? I'm somewhat rather on the heavy side, 245lbs and would really benefit with some good performing brakes.

Thanks for any tips.

BTW, what does "frame will pack easier now" mean?
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Old 06-24-13, 12:23 PM
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I prefer the 926AL since they have shorter 80mm arms which give more pad clearance. Longer arms give more power but I can easily lock the wheels with one finger so anything more makes it have poor brake modulation and too easy to lock up. If you run tires wider then 35mm then you might need the longer arms.

I would highly recommend getting some sort of cable adjustment along with the mini-v's, like a adjustable v-brake noodle.
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Old 06-24-13, 01:31 PM
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I have mini-v's on two bikes (TRP CX8.4's) and I have both a barrel adjuster noodle and an inline adjuster. I do this because I swap wheels often and the rims are different widths. Might not be the cleanest but it is the easiest way to do it.
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Old 06-24-13, 01:53 PM
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User1,

I went with the RX-5 for the 85mm arms. Basically I was concerned about potential rim clearance, so I went with that over 90mm. Tektro has made a number of "mini-v's" over the years, to include the BX... (utter garbage), and the 926AL, which is, if I recall, ever so slightly lower in quality/finish to the RX-5.

RX-5s are hard to come by, now that they're pushing the more expensive TRP CX 8.4 brake.

Of note, the stock pads on the RX-5 are crap. A set of Kool-Stops squared me away there.

My bike is a Ritchey Breakaway travel frame. One of the minor packing issues I've had from time to time was the cantilever brakes poking out the side. The mini-v's give a slimmer packing profile.

I think a lot of people have problems with this setup because a LOT of people - I've found - run their brakes so that the pads are engaging with the tiniest amount of lever movement. They're not comfortable having a lot of "empty" lever swing before engagement, or with almost bottoming out; as if they think it means something is wrong with the brake.

But, like I said, almost bottoming out at max power is my preferred setup. And I have a stronger grip the more I can close my hand.
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Old 06-20-14, 03:42 PM
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I compiled a list of v-brake arm lengths (mini- and otherwise), which you can find here:

V-Brake Arm Lengths | GRAVELBIKE.com
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Old 10-04-14, 11:27 AM
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I will also install a Mini V-Brake. Can I install this without any problem or have I adjust something special with the shifters?
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Old 10-04-14, 11:39 AM
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I tried those same mini-v's but i found it bearly impossible to fit a fender under the cable where it traverses the arms. YMMV.
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Old 10-04-14, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Body
I will also install a Mini V-Brake. Can I install this without any problem or have I adjust something special with the shifters?
Nothing special, just make sure you get the correct arm-lengh brake caliper for your shift/brake lever.

Originally Posted by mack_turtle
I tried those same mini-v's but i found it bearly impossible to fit a fender under the cable where it traverses the arms. YMMV.
Yeah. I've been running the TRP CX8.4 for a while. Going to install some 45mm fenders before spring. I'm not expecting that they will fit (they might, but it's going to be close) in which case I'm going to have to rethink the set up on my commuter bike.
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Old 10-04-14, 11:34 PM
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I did the same conversion as the OP about 6 months ago. I replaced my Shimano BR-550 cantilevers with Tektro RX-5s. The stopping power difference is like night and day. Much better with the Tektros (I also use Koolstop pads). The mini-v's are easier to adjust and the incessant brake squealing has stopped too.

The only negative is giving up some tire clearance. I run 700x32s now and have about 1cm between the top of the tire and the brake cable. Fenders would be a tight fit. My Surly fork will take up to 700x45, but a tire that big will not clear the brake cable. I think I could go up to about 700x40 max.
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Old 10-05-14, 12:03 AM
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are you all using STI brake/shifters?
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Old 10-05-14, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Triaxtremec
are you all using STI brake/shifters?
While I can't speak for "all," I would assume that the answer is yes, everyone is using a short-pull road style shifter. Not necessarily STI, though; I'm using Campy Ergos, others might be using Sram double-tap.
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Old 10-06-14, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Triaxtremec
are you all using STI brake/shifters?
I'm using the Tektro 926AL's (80mm arms) on one bike and the Tektro RX-6's (90mm arms) on another, both with similar generation Shimano STI levers. Both brake/lever combos work just fine.

The RX-6's do need to be set a little closer to the rim, but it hasn't been an issue so far. Even when a wheel goes a little out of true there is enough adjustment to make it all work. This is my race bike and it see's a good amount of rough riding.

The 926AL's are on my commuter and I have plenty of room to fit fenders with 35mm tires under these brakes.

In both cases the bike is still the limiting factor for tire size and fender clearances, not the brakes.

Hope that helps.
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Old 10-08-14, 10:52 AM
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I have tekro's with an 85mm arm and Shimano 2300 brifters, currently using a travel agent adapter as time goes by they really aren't to my liking. Sounds like I should be able to remove the travel agents and just replace with a barrel adjuster.
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Old 10-08-14, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Triaxtremec
Sounds like I should be able to remove the travel agents and just replace with a barrel adjuster.
From what I understand, the travel agents are only necessary if you're using full length v-brakes with standard road levers while mini-v's make up the difference in cable pull by having shorter arms. So yeah, get rid of the travel agents and things should work out much better.
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Old 10-08-14, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Triaxtremec
I have tekro's with an 85mm arm and Shimano 2300 brifters, currently using a travel agent adapter as time goes by they really aren't to my liking. Sounds like I should be able to remove the travel agents and just replace with a barrel adjuster.
An 85mm v-brake should be fine with those levers. A Travel Agent wouldn't be necessary unless you're running very tall brake arms (ex: 100mm or longer).
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Old 10-08-14, 09:40 PM
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Took the travel agent out works so much better! Thanks everyone!
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Old 10-10-14, 02:57 PM
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I have installed mini V-brakes 85 mm. The clearance rim-brake is around 1 mm and couldnt make it wider. I installed travel agent and still the clearance is around 1 mm. I am wondering if I can make the clearance wider?

Last edited by Body; 12-01-15 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 12-01-15, 12:18 PM
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I have installed mini V-brakes 85 mm. The clearance rim-brake is around 1 mm and couldnt make it wider. I installed travel agent and still the clearance is around 1 mm. I am wondering if I can make the clearance wider?
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Old 12-01-15, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Body
I have installed mini V-brakes 85 mm. The clearance rim-brake is around 1 mm and couldnt make it wider. I installed travel agent and still the clearance is around 1 mm. I am wondering if I can make the clearance wider?
When you say you couldn't make it wider with Travel Agents, what do you mean? Travel Agents are meant to work with full-size V-brakes, so I wouldn't expect a positive experience, but I would have expected you to be able to set the pads farther from the rims.

How do you have the brake pad washers configured around the brake arms? Pictures would help.
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Old 12-01-15, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Body
I have installed mini V-brakes 85 mm. The clearance rim-brake is around 1 mm and couldnt make it wider. I installed travel agent and still the clearance is around 1 mm. I am wondering if I can make the clearance wider?
Just in case you haven't already done so, the spacers on the brake pad post can be rearranged with the thinner spacers next to the pad.
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Old 12-01-15, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Body
I have installed mini V-brakes 85 mm. The clearance rim-brake is around 1 mm and couldnt make it wider. I installed travel agent and still the clearance is around 1 mm. I am wondering if I can make the clearance wider?
I did some sleuthing with my own bike, and the pad to rim clearance is quite minimal. I couldn't measure it with what I have on hand, but I would say the distance is a couple millimeters.

This sort of minimal clearance hasn't been an issue in practice at all with the exception of one very muddy race this year. Enough mud had been collected around the rear brake and by the chainstays that my rear wheel wouldn't spin freely. It felt like I was dragging the bike around the course. All that said I'm still not sure if it was the brakes fault or the clearance at the chainstays that was the main culprit.

This particularly muddy day has got me thinking about my brake set up just for race day scenarios. All other times I've never given the pad clearance any thought, as it's never been an issue.

To sum it all up though, this is the trade off with mini-v's. I wouldn't worry about it if it isn't causing any problems.
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Old 12-01-15, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by GeoKrpan
Just in case you haven't already done so, the spacers on the brake pad post can be rearranged with the thinner spacers next to the pad.
So, you mean I have to put a thinner spacer next the pad?

@justin
Thanks for the information.

Last edited by Body; 12-01-15 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 12-01-15, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Body
So, you mean I have to put a thinner spacer next the pad?

@justin
Thanks for the information.
Here's a pic of a v-brake pad. Notice the spacers on the post. The thicker one is next to the pad. Reverse them so that the thinner one is next to the pad. There will be more clearance between pad and rim.

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