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  1. #1
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    Still valid uses for rim brakes in MTB

    Before anyone gets too excited, this isn't a Vs versus Discs thread. I use both and like both. But I did want to point out where Vs still shine.

    Last year I put together a budget rigid singlespeed, and last week I put together a budget hardtail for general use (combination of roads, bike paths, and mtb trails) and in both cases I used rim brakes because I could get a much lighter setup for the money (actually the singlespeed frame didn't have disc mounts so that was a no-brainer).

    On both builds I used Mavic 117 rim-brake rims with LX non-disc hubs (from bicyclewheelwarehouse.com) which cost just over $100 bucks a set and weigh just over 1900g a set. On the singlespeed I used Avid Single-digit 5 brakes with FR-5 levers which cost about $40 for the whole setup and weigh under 600g for the whole setup. On the hardtail I used Avid Single-digit 7 brakes with Speed dial 7 levers which cost about $60 for the whole setup and weigh just over 500g. And both these setups are pretty sweat (though they don't cost much, these are not cheapo brakes or wheels). And as someone that spent quite a few years riding canti brakes, I'm confident that these linear brakes have plenty of stopping power for the intended purposes of these bikes (midwest xc).

    You just can't get a decent disc setup for this amount of money and certainly not at these weights.

    I'm just posting this because I think some riders under appreciate linear brakes (especially younger riders and those that have never ridden a decent rim-brake setup) and because it's sad to see fewer and fewer fork and frame options each year for rim brakes.

    I do own 3 bikes with disc brakes so I'm not an anti-disc guy. I just like having choices (and lots of bikes).
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  2. #2
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    I dig my V's too. Rims choices are getting fewer and fewer......
    Any body know a 28mm wide 29'r or 700 c rim with a machined sidewall??????

  3. #3
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailville
    Before anyone gets too excited, this isn't a Vs versus Discs thread. I use both and like both. But I did want to point out where Vs still shine.

    Last year I put together a budget rigid singlespeed, and last week I put together a budget hardtail for general use (combination of roads, bike paths, and mtb trails) and in both cases I used rim brakes because I could get a much lighter setup for the money (actually the singlespeed frame didn't have disc mounts so that was a no-brainer).

    On both builds I used Mavic 117 rim-brake rims with LX non-disc hubs (from bicyclewheelwarehouse.com) which cost just over $100 bucks a set and weigh just over 1900g a set. On the singlespeed I used Avid Single-digit 5 brakes with FR-5 levers which cost about $40 for the whole setup and weigh under 600g for the whole setup. On the hardtail I used Avid Single-digit 7 brakes with Speed dial 7 levers which cost about $60 for the whole setup and weigh just over 500g. And both these setups are pretty sweat (though they don't cost much, these are not cheapo brakes or wheels). And as someone that spent quite a few years riding canti brakes, I'm confident that these linear brakes have plenty of stopping power for the intended purposes of these bikes (midwest xc).

    You just can't get a decent disc setup for this amount of money and certainly not at these weights.

    I'm just posting this because I think some riders under appreciate linear brakes (especially younger riders and those that have never ridden a decent rim-brake setup) and because it's sad to see fewer and fewer fork and frame options each year for rim brakes.

    I do own 3 bikes with disc brakes so I'm not an anti-disc guy. I just like having choices (and lots of bikes).
    V's are fine for a lot of applications. Given my choice I would take even BB7's over either of those set ups, worth the extra weight IMO, but I've set up builds with v's because it's what I had, and was perfectly happy with them for more xc oriented builds. I do think people underestimate how good v's can be because most people never set them up very well.

  4. #4
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    V's are pretty decent and offer a good alternative if you're on a budget or live in flat areas. Cantis on the other hand - they just suck unless you're one of those guys who can rip apart a phone book in one shot. I had to go back to them when I bought a cyclocross bike. No good use for cantis.

  5. #5
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldsbar
    Cantis on the other hand - they just suck unless you're one of those guys who can rip apart a phone book in one shot.
    After a season of running canti's with some decent hills, you WILL be one of those guys! Good training for jackhammering.

    Seriously, I may have just had crap canti's, but can you say 4-finger death-grip braking?

  6. #6
    Former Bike Wrench
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    Any body know a 28mm wide 29'r or 700 c rim with a machined sidewall??????
    well, its 27.5mm wide but otherwise meets your requirements

    Sun Rhyno Lite 29
    Last edited by mtnbiker72; 04-22-2009 at 12:03 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldsbar
    V's are pretty decent and offer a good alternative if you're on a budget or live in flat areas. Cantis on the other hand - they just suck unless you're one of those guys who can rip apart a phone book in one shot. I had to go back to them when I bought a cyclocross bike. No good use for cantis.
    Yeah, I still have a couple of canti setups and even though they are pretty decent setups, now that I ride discs or Vs most of the time, the cantis are feeling a bit ineffective.

    My scariest canti moment was when I was working my way down a very steeeeep technical downhill and I was squeezing my cantis so hard I pulled the cable loose on one of them.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  8. #8
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    There was a reason the brake levers were longer back then...you needed all four fingers sometimes.

    I found the Dia Compe PC-7 levers helped quite a bit in my Canti days

  9. #9
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    I plan on building a budget commuter as well and I plan on having nothing more than a single v-brake up front. A guy I work with built one for less than a $100 starting with an old steel road frame that he picked up from a garage sale. I want a commuter that doesn't scream "steel me" when I lock it and leave it unattended. I think that the single v would be fine for that application. Oh and it'll be SS.
    build a man a fire keep him warm for a day, set a man on fire keep him warm for the rest of his life.

  10. #10
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Quote Originally Posted by queevil
    I plan on building a budget commuter as well and I plan on having nothing more than a single v-brake up front. A guy I work with built one for less than a $100 starting with an old steel road frame that he picked up from a garage sale. I want a commuter that doesn't scream "steel me" when I lock it and leave it unattended. I think that the single v would be fine for that application. Oh and it'll be SS.
    Unless it's fixed-gear, I'd suggest at least having brakes front and back - redundancy is good (especially if you get parts from a bin somewhere.)
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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