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  1. #1
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    best v brakes out there?

    i recently bought a trek 3700 2009 model for my father's birthday. unfortunately he won't be able to ride it because he has knee joint problems. the bike seems ok for a beginner bike but i want to upgrade it a little. the bike, which i regret not buying the disc version coems with vbrakes. i beleive it the tekro v brakes. it stops fine in the streets but when i want to go down a hill almost 45degrees the brakes will not stop the bike. are tehre better v brakes that have better stopping power or are they all the same? i don't wanna spend the money to upgrade the bike to discbrakes because i'd have to spend quite a bit of money to do so, new brake system plus new wheelset. i am located in mexico and the bike parts here are ridiculously overpriced so i want to know if there are better v brakes out there that have better stopping power. any suggestions? reason why i dont wanna spend too much on upgrading to disc brakes it that i plan on getting a rockhopper in the near future.

  2. #2
    ballbuster
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    do a search. been covered to death.

  3. #3
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    You could try changing the pads. Koolstop-brand's salmon-colored pads have a good reputation for stopping power. If on a budget, try changing just the front pads at first, since that's where your braking power comes from anyway.

  4. #4
    Master of Disaster
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    Best v-brake? No such animal really - the brake is a combination of all it's parts from the brake lever all the way down to the wheel rim. You could change just one component in the system and potentially end up with a brake that's grabby, shudders or squeals or all three. That said, the easiest path to a performance difference, as has been said, would be to try different (softer) pads with more bite but greater wear.

    Your first step should be to examine your current pads and verify that they're fully contacting the rim. If they weren't set up right to begin with, an adjustment would do wonders for their performance.

    Not a lot of 45-degree slopes that provide your tires with enough traction to stop anyway.

  5. #5
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    You're using the front brake, right? You have to use the front brake to get any kind of stopping power, especially on a decline.

    Like the others said, try different pads. Make sure your rims stay fairly clean. Sometimes you can pick up gunk from the roads that will degrade your braking.

  6. #6
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    Agree with Clones....

    at best on a 45 degree down slope the best you'll be able to do even with disc brakes is slow down or lock up the wheel and do an endo.

    With that said, the Tektro brakes and levers that come on the 3700 are pretty good brakes as V-brakes go. The only draw back to them is the pads are of a rather hard compound. Switching to a softer compound pad like the Kool Stops would improve performance. If you are dead set on upgrading the brakes then a complete lever and brake change would be in order. The best bang for the buck V-brake currently are Avid SD7s paired with the SD7 levers. But don't expect a huge increase in performance. The differences are more subtle. Where you'll see better performance is in better lever feel, better modulation, a wider range of adjustability, and ease of pad replacement. You'll get a bit better braking out the stock brake pads compared to the Tektros as well. But it won't be an earth shattering improvement.

    So your least expensive option would be to go with a better pad on your current brakes. While the Tektros aren't the best brakes out there, they are a good solid brake.

    Good Dirt
    "I do whatever my Rice Cripsies tell me to!"

  7. #7
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    thanks for the responses i will definately check out the softer compound pads. if their really isn't that much of an imporvement buying a new brake system i don't think it's worth it to upgrade to another v-brake. thanks for the suggestions! really appreciate it@!

  8. #8
    T.W.O.
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    I agree with Clone, plus best V-brake would be more expensive than descend disc brake set up, and it still not as powerful. To increase performance on the Vs you can go ceramic rims and pads, but that $$$.

    He's also right about the slope. Good braking technique help in the situation more than the power of the brakes, cause once it locks up there's no more slowing down, just slide.

  9. #9
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    Dont sweat having purchased a bike with V-brakes. I currently run Avid Sl's with Koolstop Tectonic pads on one of my bikes. They are very robust and low maintenance. The pads on my bike currently have 750miles on them with a fair amount of life left. I like them because I RARELY ever have to mess with them. I agree that the pads will give you the biggest change in performance. Upgrading to something like Avid Speed Dial 7's or SL's will give you the ability to adjust the modulation a little. The only drawback to V-brakes (other than wet performance) are that the bikes that come stock with them usually have low quality rims. The lower quality rims are more likely to go out of true and then you end up with rubbing. Fortunately, you can buy a high quality v-brake specific wheelset for cheap compared to disc brake versions and they weigh less. One example are Mavic Crossmax ST's. The V-brake version can often be found through Pricepoint for $350-400 and they weigh almost as little as Crossmax SLR Disc's which cost over $900! Just for reference, I purchased the complete Avid Sl setup for roughly $65 through Ebay and the pads cost me less than $20.

  10. #10
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    Avid Single Digit 7 brakes with Avid Speed Dial 7 levers with Kool Stop pads (I like the combo salmon/black) are an awesome setup. I have some very steep technical hills I ride, and this setup performs every bit as well as my discs in dry conditions. Actually, they perform a little better since I sometimes have that nasty vibration with my discs (that's a real problem on the steep technical stuff). I have absolute confidence in the rim-brake setup. XT v-brakes are also very good, though I don't know if they are still available.

    Check Pricepoint for the Avid stuff, they frequently have previous year stuff discounted. The Avid brakes are very nice and very affordable (much cheaper than discs), but it's the Kool Stop pads that complete the setup. The are much better than the stock avid (or shimano) pads.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

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