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  1. #1
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    New question here. Is the end near for the V-brake?

    Just a few years ago, discs were reserved for the downhill crowd who needed disc performance and could easily justify the weight and added hassles that can come with the complexity of disc systems. Now, discs have become standard issue on most XC bikes, and they're even showing up on some hardtails and really low end rigs. Where then, is the market niche for the trusty V? Will all bike companies eventually go disc only? Will V's soon go the way of the mood ring, the 8-track tape, and the beloved Frankenberry?
    What say you...?

  2. #2
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    Don't think they will go away completely. Most xc racer use them for weight savings, but given that Magura Marta is about the weight of a V brake... I dunno, I say there will be Vs, but mostly discs.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by micstew
    Where then, is the market niche for the trusty V?
    Price and weight.

    Yeah, there are some disc brakes that compare to Vees in weight, but they are much more expensive than Vees.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucky13
    Most xc racer use them for weight savings, but given that Magura Marta is about the weight of a V brake...
    I would say people still choose V's for weight savings and simple functional reliability. Other than a pad change now and then, there's not a lot that typcially goes wrong with even the lightest of V-brakes. Yes, you can get discs that are reasonably light, but there is a direct relationship between disc brake weight and problem free use. In general, the lighter the disc brake, the more posts I see about squealing, squeaking, sticking, leaking, bleeding, fading, and failing issues (this is a general observation with readily available exceptions, I realize). Designs will improve somewhat, but there is no getting around the unprecidented forces and heat that disc brakes generate on a bike and the best way to combat those issues is with material mass.
    Thing is, the bike industry has a way of obsoleting perfectly good technology (take the 7-speed cassette, for instance). If bike and fork makers continue to limit their brake post equipped offerings, it will force the continued decline of v-brake demand even beyond the wishes of the market (I would still run 7-speed if I could) and so I just wonder if eventually, rim brakes will be eliminated because they are no longer "compatible" with newer mountain bike frames, forks, and wheels.

    Interestingly Lucky, I was gonna say "will v-brakes go the way of genuine punk rock", ie: maybe not extinct, but very, very rare - but I didn't want to open that can of worms too...

  5. #5
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    no

    will be sharing the market with disk
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  6. #6
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    Reputation: Locoman's Avatar
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    Maybe not entirely away.. but I'd bet you'd see them less and less and less and less... as time goes on.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by micstew
    Just a few years ago, discs were reserved for the downhill crowd who needed disc performance and could easily justify the weight and added hassles that can come with the complexity of disc systems. Now, discs have become standard issue on most XC bikes, and they're even showing up on some hardtails and really low end rigs. Where then, is the market niche for the trusty V? Will all bike companies eventually go disc only? Will V's soon go the way of the mood ring, the 8-track tape, and the beloved Frankenberry?
    What say you...?
    I think they're putting discs on new bikes just as a marketing ploy to convince people that they need to buy a new bike. I think there will always be a V brake (or whatever rim brake might replace it) and some segment of the market will have them. Just from a weight and cost standpoint, it makes sense.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Locoman
    Maybe not entirely away.. but I'd bet you'd see them less and less and less and less... as time goes on.
    Yeah, and the selection of rims will get less and less.

  9. #9
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    Having disc's for the past 5 years, I would never ever go back to V's. Along with the better braking under extreme conditions, maintenance is much lower. No more messing with rim trueness or pad toe-in, cable stretch, and pads last much longer in muddy conditions.
    More complex? name one thing in this day and age that has not become moreso.....

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridethebike
    Having disc's for the past 5 years, I would never ever go back to V's. Along with the better braking under extreme conditions, maintenance is much lower. No more messing with rim trueness or pad toe-in, cable stretch, and pads last much longer in muddy conditions.
    More complex? name one thing in this day and age that has not become moreso.....
    I agree 100%

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by micstew
    Interestingly Lucky, I was gonna say "will v-brakes go the way of genuine punk rock", ie: maybe not extinct, but very, very rare - but I didn't want to open that can of worms too...
    You read my mind.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridethebike
    I would never ever go back to V's. No more messing with rim trueness.

    The fianl straw for me was a freezing cold night ride in Michigan's UP. My rims were nearly brand new but had a small bump. Rolled through a small stream and then had to put up with horrendous sand grinding on my rim and XT V's. Drove me nuts!! Seems it took days to finally get all the sand out of there. Couldn't hardly stop. I was done right there.

    Switched to Avid Mechs and have not regreted it once. Bring on the streams, rivers, and deluges for I am prepared.
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  13. #13
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    [QUOTE=micstew]I
    Thing is, the bike industry has a way of obsoleting perfectly good technology.....

    Yep you said it there......cash is king and bells and whistles sell !!! There is always a long line of people who dont know what they need or want and plenty of cash to try and figure it out.....and alot of companies happy to help! Disc brakes are a perfect example. Take a look at the posts on this page....the majority are cries for help to fix, adjust, change, clean, bleed....etc, etc, etc, Some of these brakes are rushed to market to fill the appetite of the ignorant and wallets of the companies pushing em.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridethebike
    Having disc's for the past 5 years, I would never ever go back to V's. Along with the better braking under extreme conditions, maintenance is much lower. No more messing with rim trueness or pad toe-in, cable stretch, and pads last much longer in muddy conditions.
    More complex? name one thing in this day and age that has not become moreso.....
    I don' t know, I've invested a lot of time trying to stop my rear brake from rubbing the rotor. Now that I've got that resolved, the back brake is way too noisy. It vibrates so bad, you can't even sit in the saddle. Instead of rim trueness, now you have rotor trueness (and it is very easy to bend a rotor and they have to be almost perfectly true). You have the same cable problems with cable actuated discs as V's.

    In comparison my experience with V's has been much better. Remember what Scottie said on one of those Star Trek movies, "The more complicated the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain."

  15. #15
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    Ever heard of the sticker theory?

    I was told from a shop guy that he believed that if the aluminium frames were taking the market was mostly due to the fact that they were built with larger diameter tubes, so larger stickers were used making them more appealing to the costumer, thus selling better.And when something sells better gets more interest from manufacturers than something that doesn´t, regardless its performance.
    There is also this "change the role" mental exercise which helps a lot to get a perspective on a new setup or system.Just think how would you like it if among the dominance of the disc brake system a new system called rim brake would appear. Or back to the frame thing, think how would you like it if a new material called steel appeared right now...
    Interesting results...Not to mention how would the market welcome a new 8 speed drivetrain...Or a new pair of XTR thumb shifters with that nice polished pewter finish and redesigned logo on them..mmm..
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  16. #16
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    Rotor trueness. Always a factor, but I'm learning to both live with it, and fix it when it goes beyond slight. Still its been less of a problem than I had with constantly tweaking Vs. ..And the all condition power/modulation of hydros can't be matchedl.
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  17. #17
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    I believe the discs, especially the mechanical discs, will continue to show up on more bikes that are ridden off road. The performance and reliability outweighs the occasional maintenance of a rotor. I think the main reason there are still a lot of bikes sold with v's is price. As the price decreases for disc brakes, I think they will show up on more and more bikes. But hey, there always needs to be some differences between my bike and a friends, (like steel, 8-speed, internal geared hubs) so I think v's will continue for a long time, in smaller numbers.

  18. #18
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    All - thanks for the great input.
    I don't want this to slide into a "which type of brake is better" discussion as the answer is clearly that it depends on what you value in a brake system. If you value simplicity, reliability, low weight and cost, then V's are generally better. If braking power, functional effectiveness in extreme (typically wet) conditions, or bling factor are more important, then discs are better for you. The real question is whether or not the bike industry as a whole will soon so severely limit the selection of rim brake compatible forks, frames, rims, etc, that we will all be riding discs just because its the only option available for the type or brand of bike we want. V-brake sales decline as a result and rim brake compatible frames, forks, rims, etc continue to disappear along with the declining demand - a self perpetuating spiral.
    Same question is valid for 31.8mm bar diameters (which are heavier, more expensive, and the industry tolerances of the stem-bar interface are a mess). If you want to run an FSA cross country stem, you'll apparently soon be choosing 31.8 - their website shows only "OS" XC stems. Same is true of the new Thomson X-series and other mfrs seem to be headed that way too, for no justifiable performance gain to the vast majority of end customers.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by micstew
    Thing is, the bike industry has a way of obsoleting perfectly good technology (take the 7-speed cassette, for instance). If bike and fork makers continue to limit their brake post equipped offerings, it will force the continued decline of v-brake demand even beyond the wishes of the market (I would still run 7-speed if I could) and so I just wonder if eventually, rim brakes will be eliminated because they are no longer "compatible" with newer mountain bike frames, forks, and wheels.
    Could not agree more, a 7 speed cassette is plenty for MTB and it would weight less.

    V-brakes are still the best weightwise, there are quite a number of 300-350 grams for a set of brakes (front/rear) posted on the weight forum, I use them on my 5" bike and at 145 pounds they are plenty powerful ...

  20. #20
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    V-brakes will live on.

    If only to continue to make disc brakes a selling point on higher priced models. How many people choose a $1200 bike over the nearly indentical $700 dollar model because it has disc brakes? Your average biker cannot differintiate between Deore and XTR drivetrains and other such bike bling. But they can tell big shiny discs, from a pair of Vs. Everyone who has ever seen a car ad knows disc brakes are superior (or so we think). In essence, if manufacturers cut out v-brakes, they would be cutting their own throats by lessening the appeal of mid-level and high end models.
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