V Brake Lever Brake Help (Xpost from Family and Riding with Kids)
I have Avid Speed Dial Levers and Avid Single Digit brakes on my son's bike. I have adjusted the reach of the lever to make it easier for him to grab.
The problem is that it puts the brake pads very close to the rim and he has to pull it almost all the lever all the way back to the bar. I have adjusted the lever so that it pulls the most amount of cable, but is there anything else I can do?
The bike can run disc brakes, so I was considering putting on Avid BB5 Road brakes. It is my understanding that the road brakes need less lever pull, so it would work since the amount of lever throw is limited. Am I correct?
I guess I'm not quite following what the issue is. Yes, there will be less lever throw with the reach adjust all the way in (btw, are these SD 5, 7, or ultimate levers?), but pad contact is independent of that adjustment.
I would recommend you start fresh; set your reach adjust first. Then, if you have access to a 4th hand tool, back out your tension adjustment screws on the levers about 3mm. Use your 4th hand to get the brake pads settled just a little more than barely applied on the rim, and tighten the clamp screw. Screw your tension adjustment screws back in, and your brake pads should just be clearing the rim.
Beware that your rims will need to be very true, as with the pads so close to the rims, even a small blip will be obvious.
If that doesn't clear up the problem, you can try using cantilever brakes-- these are decent, and you will also need one of these for the rear cable stop, and one of these for the stem (25.4 is a 1" stem, 28.6 is a 1 1/8). Even with the stuff you need to buy, it'll still come in under the cost for one disc brake.
Cantilever brakes can be just as powerful (if not moreso) than linear-pulls, but they do require more tuning to get there.