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Old 02-23-06, 04:19 PM   #1
nebby
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V-brakes on road bikes

Hi, I'm new here and this is my first post, so be gentle!

I just bought my wife a road bike, but I really have no experience with them at all. After riding her's a few times, I was struck by the considerably weaker braking power when compared to the V-brakes on my mountain bike. It seems that you would need more than what you can get from a cantilever for road riding.
So why no V-brakes on road bikes? Could they be retrofit?
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Old 02-23-06, 05:42 PM   #2
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If your fork has the mounts for them, sure!
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Old 02-23-06, 08:05 PM   #3
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I ride both cantis and dual-pivot road brakes. I find the road brakes powerful enough even with 30 pounds of gear or groceries, and the modulation is excellent. Perhaps they are out of adjustment? If she finds them inadequate you could swap the fork out and put a canti on the front.
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Old 02-23-06, 08:39 PM   #4
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Some points to think about before pasing judgement on caliper bakes in a road bike:

Road bikes are usually faster, therefore requiring longer stopping distances.

Excpet for one special pair of Dia-Comp levers, no road lever can pull enough cable to use with V-brakes.
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Old 02-23-06, 09:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselDan
Excpet for one special pair of Dia-Comp levers, no road lever can pull enough cable to use with V-brakes.
You are correct about the road levers, but if you install a Travel Agent you can use any road brake lever with V-brakes. It works like a champ.
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Old 02-23-06, 09:47 PM   #6
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calipers are tradition for road bikes, making a frame to accomodate calipers is easier and cheaper than installing canti bosses, the weight of canti/vbrakes generally disqualifies them from competive road bikes.

I think.

You can get a cyclocross bike or a touring 'road' bike with canti bosses and/or v brakes. Even some carbon fiber forks have cantis, like on the psecialized tricross.

If I'm doing over 25 MPH on my 'road' bike with V-brakes, I notice the tendency to 'lock up' quicker than cantis or calipers, maybe the superior modulation of NON-V brakes is what keeps them in favor for road bicycles.

Last edited by Bekologist; 02-23-06 at 09:58 PM.
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Old 02-23-06, 10:19 PM   #7
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I was wondering about that very thing today as I put back together and old cruiser bike and tested the brakes which were much more powerful than my calipers on my RB
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Old 02-24-06, 05:41 AM   #8
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Road bikes tend to use side-pulls as riders are concerned with the modulation demanded for in group riding rather than full-on power. Horses for courses.
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Old 02-24-06, 07:21 AM   #9
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Besides, the purpose of a road bike is to go fast, not stop fast. Hell, the rear brake will only slow you down, the front brake stops it.
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Old 02-24-06, 08:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supcom
You are correct about the road levers, but if you install a Travel Agent you can use any road brake lever with V-brakes. It works like a champ.

What is a Travel Agent??
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Old 02-24-06, 09:19 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by beatle bailey
What is a Travel Agent??
they help you organize an overseas vacation




















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Old 02-24-06, 09:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beatle bailey
What is a Travel Agent??
Seriously.... road levers only have a short cable pull, but V brakes require a longer cable pull, the travel agent is a round lever that converts the short pull of your road lever to the long pull required for V brakes. They have a poor reputation. Better to get some long pull road levers designed specifically for V brakes, the only ones I'm aware of (and use on my bike) are the Dia-Compe 287-V, which is what I use with V brakes.
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Old 02-24-06, 10:53 AM   #13
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Nobody yet has mentioned that V-Brakes/Cantis were devoped for mountain bikes because of tire sizes. Modern dual-pivots are (IMHO) just as powerful, but cannot clear a 2.1" tire.
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Old 02-24-06, 11:24 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclaholic
Seriously.... road levers only have a short cable pull, but V brakes require a longer cable pull, the travel agent is a round lever that converts the short pull of your road lever to the long pull required for V brakes. They have a poor reputation.
I'm not sure why... my Bike Friday came with travel agents, and the brifter/v-brake combination provides some serious stopping power. I couldn't be happier!
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Old 02-24-06, 11:41 AM   #15
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How come no one has asked what brake setup he has? I had RSX, and they were crap. Upgraded to Ultegra, much better...
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Old 02-24-06, 11:42 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landstander
I'm not sure why... my Bike Friday came with travel agents, and the brifter/v-brake combination provides some serious stopping power. I couldn't be happier!
Travel Agents have been commonly used on tandems and the like for probably a decade now. I've worked on lots of bikes that have them and I've owned a few myself. I've never heard of a Travel Agent induced failure or even a tuneing problem that was attributed to Travel Agents.
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Old 02-24-06, 12:04 PM   #17
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I keep hearing that Travel Agents have a bad reputation. But I've never heard a user of them complain. I have them and they work just great.

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Old 02-24-06, 01:22 PM   #18
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How do the road levers on my touring bike work with the stock V-brakes? How do they have enough pull but other levers on road bikes don't?
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Old 02-24-06, 01:31 PM   #19
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-A good set of brake pads can make a big difference in performance.

-Adjustment of the brakes

-Condition and cleanliness of the current pads as well as braking surfaces
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Old 02-24-06, 01:41 PM   #20
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what type of brakeset is this? I've found huge quality differences in road bike braking power. As mentioned make sure you have correct pad, adjustment, cable condition, etc. before passing judgement.

My Dura-Ace sidepulls will almost throw you over the handlebars if you aren't careful. They feel probably 3x more powerful than the old RX100 stuff I had in 1990
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Old 02-24-06, 09:25 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pricklycommute
How do the road levers on my touring bike work with the stock V-brakes? How do they have enough pull but other levers on road bikes don't?
What kind of levers do you have and how do you get the brake pads out of the way when you remove a wheel?
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Old 02-24-06, 09:55 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclaholic
Seriously.... road levers only have a short cable pull, but V brakes require a longer cable pull, the travel agent is a round lever that converts the short pull of your road lever to the long pull required for V brakes. They have a poor reputation. Better to get some long pull road levers designed specifically for V brakes, the only ones I'm aware of (and use on my bike) are the Dia-Compe 287-V, which is what I use with V brakes.
I have a set of Travel Agents on a hybrid I converted to drop bars. I have absolutely no problem with them. If the instructions are followed to install them, they work perfectly and there's nothing to go wrong. I don't know what bad reputation is out there, but as some else pointed out, they are very commonly used with V-brakes on tandems.

I used Travel Agents with V-brakes and MTB levers just to replace the noodle and get really smooth lever action. I set these up without using the inner pulley and rode many thousands of miles with them before I converted to drop bars.
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Old 02-27-06, 02:14 PM   #23
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Well, friends, here's what I found out. The Giant OCS1(?) is speced with less than stellar brakes which are reputed to have less stopping power than the name brand Shimano stuff. I believe it, since the bike is new and hence the rims and pads as well. I'll look into replacing them.
NOW, the other thing that bothers me, and please forgive my ignorance sice I am an old MTB biker, new to road bikes (although I'm quickly falling in love), but the distance between the bar and the break lever itself is too far! It seems like I have to reach the entire length of my fingers to get to it. On my MTB bike, the reach is only slightly more than an inch or so. It seems rather dangerour to have to stretch so far for the brake (when on the drops I mean). Does that make any sense?
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Old 02-27-06, 02:21 PM   #24
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You can adjust the reach on some brake levers.
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Old 02-28-06, 11:11 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
What kind of levers do you have and how do you get the brake pads out of the way when you remove a wheel?

They are V-brakes just like on my mountain bike - just pull the pads together and pull the cable through the slot on the top of the brakes to release them. Here is the specs for the current Trek 520 touring bike:

http://www2.trekbikes.com/bikes/bike...id=1432000&f=8

It looks like the brake setup is "Avid SD-5 w/Dia-Compe 287 Aero levers". No good pictures of the brake setup, but they seem to be normal V-brakes with road levers. Maybe I am missing something.
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