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  1. #1
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    Do most V brakes have the same stopping power?

    i rode my friends bike with older traditional V brakes and compared to my disk brakes the bike had trouble locking up(even slowing me) the front and back wheel at high speeds on the road. i adjusted the brakes until they were touching, but they still didn't get any better.


    i have not been on V brakes for a long time and was surprised what a difference they made. there was no name brand on the brakes. I changed out the cable and levers, but no change. could not find any flex in the line or brake arms. the pads were new and seemed like they would grab.

    are all V brakes this inferior to disk brakes? would a higher end brake like XTR work better?
    Last edited by BikeShopMonkey; 03-10-2012 at 09:15 AM.
    so my afro now sticks out of my helmet.

  2. #2
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    Better pads might help.
    Duct tape iz like teh Force. It has a Lite side and a Dark side and it holdz the Universe together.

  3. #3
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    Properly adjusted, V-brakes or even older style cantilever brakes can work great in the dry. When things get wet, it's a whole different matter; that's why there were ceramic rims and special abrasive brake pads for the wet back in the 90s.

    As there are different quality disc brakes, there also exist varying qualities of V-brakes. Thinking back to the 90s, I was perfectly content with XTR V-brakes with Avid Rim Wrangler pads.

    However, keep in mind that locking up a wheel on a two wheeled vehicle on any surface is generally not the best thing to do. Brake modulation and "feel" is what's highly prized.
    Go on ahead, I'm gonna take a breather.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by winter View Post

    However, keep in mind that locking up a wheel on a two wheeled vehicle on any surface is generally not the best thing to do. Brake modulation and "feel" is what's highly prized.
    well it wasn't so much that they didn't lock up, more like they took three times the distance to slow me down. i know modulation is different. i was more concerned with just stopping.


    these brake pads

    Kool Stop Tectonic interchangeable compound replacement pads. new | eBay
    so my afro now sticks out of my helmet.

  5. #5
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    Reputation: jtmartino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeShopMonkey View Post
    well it wasn't so much that they didn't lock up, more like they took three times the distance to slow me down. i know modulation is different. i was more concerned with just stopping.
    So you're saying that they can lock up? Then what's the problem? You can lock them up but not stop? When we say "lock up" we mean grab the wheel and make you skid.

    Pads play a big part. Jagwire pads are cheap and work well. I use XTR V-brakes on ceramic rims and I can stop just as well as a disc brake-equipped bike in dry conditions. The difference is that it takes more lever force than it would with a nice hydro disc brake, which would be a problem for someone with a weaker grip.

  6. #6
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    One thing you may want to try is cleaning the rims. On my MTB, which has cheap promax v-brakes with koolstop pads, the stopping power was poor until I gave the rims a good cleaning. Then they were quite good.

    It's worth mentioning that I installed a set of low-end Shimano M422 v-brakes with M590 levers on my wife's hybrid and the stopping power and modulation is fabulous. They were so good that I questioned whether the significantly more expensive 2012 SLX hydraulic disc brakes on my hybrid/road bike were really worth it (the answer is yes, but those v-brakes really are excellent).

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