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  1. #1
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    V-brake problems...

    My fiance has a Raleigh Eva 3.0 that came with what I am assuming are some cheapo brakes... it says on the specs that the brakes are "Tektro Alloy V-Brake" with "Shimano EF-51" brake levers....

    We are having constant problems with them... they squeel constantly and super loud... I am always tinkering with them (adjusting them, cleaning the rim off with alcohol, lightly sanding the wheel and brake pads down a bit to get any debris off, etc....)

    Today we were out on a very tough trail (especially for her being a super beginner) and her brakes were of course acting up again, so much that she was losing almost all of the braking power... I am fine with the noise but I am not ok with her losing the ability to brake going down a steep drop off!!!

    Unfortunately her bike is not disc compatible or else I would give her my discs and get me some BB7's

    So my question is, do you guys have any suggestions on brakes? At this point I am willing to spend whatever (within reason) to get the best V-brakes I can possibly get to keep her safe. Are there really upgrades in V brakes or are they all about the same??

    What do yall have???

  2. #2
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    Just a quick search for upgraded V brakes...

    I am liking the "Avid Single Digit 7" V brakes with the "Avid Speed Dial 7" brake levers.

    How does that sound?

  3. #3
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    Perhaps just a quick pad change to a different compound would be sufficient to restore/upgrade your GF's bike's braking. Avid Rimwranglers always served me well when I had V-brakes. Proper toe-in on the brake pads will also help to reduce some of the squealing.

    As with most things, there are different quality V-brakes. Her bike might just have a low quality set; however, the issue is most likely to be brake pad material, flexy brake bosses, flexy forks, or poor brake cable housing. Many people, myself included, used to run brake boosters on V-brakes to reduce frame/fork flex, perhaps you could try that as well.
    Go on ahead, I'm gonna take a breather.

  4. #4
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by winter View Post
    Perhaps just a quick pad change to a different compound would be sufficient to restore/upgrade your GF's bike's braking.
    That's what I've found as well. Back in my shop mechanic days, nearly all squealing or lack of power V-brake issues could be cured by putting on a set of Kool Stop pads. Also, sand & clean the rims to remove any melted-on rubber from the old brake pads before putting in the new pads.

    If that doesn't fix it then things start getting messy and expensive. The next most likely culprit after the pads is the V-brake arms, then fork or frame flex, followed by wonky brake bosses. Brake levers & cable routing will also affect the power of the brakes, but not the squealing.

    As for which brake to get, pretty much everything from Avid's line of V-brakes & levers works well, as do Shimano's Deore brakes & levers. I have a Deore setup on my bike since I prefer Shimano's brake lever shape, it's been trouble free for many years.

  6. #6
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    Like stated I would try some different pads. I would also check into a quality compression less brake housing, expecially if her bike is running full length housing.

  7. #7
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    I am a total noob and dont know what half of this stuff means...

    flexy brake bosses, flexy forks, brake boosters, compression less brake housing???????


    I went ahead and ordered some new brake pads online today. Went with the Kool Stop mtb shoes.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aggie_Biker View Post
    I am a total noob and dont know what half of this stuff means...

    flexy brake bosses, flexy forks, brake boosters, compression less brake housing???????
    My signature has all the answers you need.

  9. #9
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    (Too bad you live so far or I'd say bring it over and let me help you take a look at them). Starting out with the Koolstop pads may be the answer., not familiar with that Tectro brake to say anything. Try the new pads, follow the installation/alignment instructions suggested above and then try and see how those work.

    I've used two different kinds of V-brkes, the original Shimano V (parallel) brakes and Avid Single Digit Ultimaes. With both sets I used Kool stop pads and they worked great. I browsed in "Fleabay" and saw some Shimano V's for about thes ame prices as the Single digit7's. I feel either one will be better than what you have .
    The Avid Ultimaesare very $$ buy they came on a bike I bought those were NICE. Good luck!
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  10. #10
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    tektro quality is quite bad, I suppose if you have enough free time you can get them to work reasonably well.I suggest this if you wish to avoid a pain in the ass. Avid Single Digit 7 Brake 2011 W/Avid Speed Dial 7 Levers COMBO at Price Point
    BUSTELO

  11. #11
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    Just pay ~$20 and have them adjusted properly at a LBS. Setup is likely a big part of the problem. While V brakes are not as strong stoppers as say BB7s, they should be adequate if set up correctly.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    Just pay ~$20 and have them adjusted properly at a LBS. Setup is likely a big part of the problem. While V brakes are not as strong stoppers as say BB7s, they should be adequate if set up correctly.
    the problem is trying to adjust this poor excuse for a brake because of poor design, you can buy a set of single digit 7 brakes and with a little bit of effort you can ride your bike instead of working on it all the time.Honestly...does anyone have a good opinion of Tektro except you? Tektro products are inferior to even the moderate levels of SRAM or Shimano.Just pay $80.00 and you can make up the cost of having your tektro draggers adjusted in just four months.
    BUSTELO

  13. #13
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    I have set up plenty of bo-bo Tektro/generic stoppers, again, if they are adjusted right they will stop just fine. I just suggest saving a few bucks and trying the fix-it route first. My wife's ~$250 Schwinn comfort bike stops on a dime with generic V-brakes (do you think thaty may have something to do with knowing how to set them up?). Sounds like they are just getting into it this point if she is riding a ~$350 bike, so why put a set of higher end brakes on a bike that cost nearly 1/3 of the purchase price? Furthermore, I never said that I had a "good opinion" of them - they are fine for what they are intended for. If the shop gets them right and they crap out in a few months, then think about an upgrade, but honestly, she would probably just be ready for a new bike at that point b/c I am quite sure other bits would be ready to upgrade as well. Plenty of bikes come out of a shop on day 1 with things not adjusted correctly, brakes being a big one.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  14. #14
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    I would bring the Koolstop pads to the LBS and pay them to install and adjust the brakes. Buying new v-brakes is still gonna have 90% of the problems you have now, because they're still v-brakes. Save that money towards a new, disk brake equipped bike.

  15. #15
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    Thanks for all the input guys, it is greatly appreciated.. I ordered the new pads... I am going to install them according to the link given above and see how it goes.. If we are still having problems, I will take it to the LBS for a thorough look over.

    I am ready to get her a new bike (even though she got this one about 2 or 3 months ago), but she does not want a new one......?

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