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  1. #1
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    V-Brake upgrades for youth MTB

    We just got my 9-year old a 24" Specialized Hotrock A1 FS. Thought it was a pretty decent value and a pretty capable bike.

    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...45769&eid=4360

    I took it for a short test ride - and thought the braking was pretty weak. It has the Tektro junior levers (and think Tektro V-Brakes).

    Wanted to get some opinions:

    1) new brake pads - maybe Kool Stop or Jagwire?
    2) new V-brakes (w/same levers), thinking Avid SD-7
    3) new V-brakes (w/ new levers), need short reach levers

    Can the following levers be adjusted for a short reach appropriate for a child?
    Avid Speed Dial (7?)
    Cane Creek Direct Curve

    There are also some BMX levers from Sinz - Junior & Mini that would work for the reach, but wanted to know if they would be compatible with the Avid SD-7s

    Any and all feedback is welcome. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    some decent koolstop pads is where I'd start. perhaps upgrade to SD brakes.

    reach can be adjusted on the the avid, tho I'm not sure if enough for a kid. bmx levers will work if they're made for linear/v-brakes (ie long cable pull). Looks like the canecreek levers have adjustable reach too, but I like the speed dial feature a lot.
    [SIZE=1][/SIZE]

  3. #3
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    Reputation: XSL_WiLL's Avatar
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    Use a decent cable and housing. Cut the ends nice and smooth and flat. Open up the end with an awl. Use stainless uncoated cables and run a light film of lube.

    I'm sure the braking would be adequate for the kid... the child would weight much less than you after all.

    But... try the new arms with good pads.

  4. #4
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    Avid speed dial 7s are $25.00 each...really affordable and the best v-brakes made,of course not better than disc brakes but the pinnacle of v brake development.buy the sd7 levers too? they have adjustable reach(speedial) the time you will save not working on these brakes to adjust ECT will be worth the price, tektro is garbage, see park tool site tutorials online to set up cables properly....very important.so about $107.00 and all is good.

  5. #5
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    I disagree. Those brakes are not the pinnacle of v-brake development. If you think so... you must not have seen or tried many of the designs out there. They are good... but not the best.

    The Speed Dial is NOT reach. There is a separate reach adjustment. The Speed Dial changes the leverage/the cable pull.

    The Tektros should be more than adequate for a child. They are not that bad.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for all of the recommendations.

    Even though my son is (a lot) lighter than me, he also doesn't have my hand strength. I think he would be more confident with some rock solid brakes.

    I found the SD-7's (2008 version) for around $40/set.

    Will do the appropriate cable/housing prep when I swap them out.

    I'll post again with the results of the upgrade.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by XSL_WiLL
    I disagree. Those brakes are not the pinnacle of v-brake development. If you think so... you must not have seen or tried many of the designs out there. They are good... but not the best.

    The Speed Dial is NOT reach. There is a separate reach adjustment. The Speed Dial changes the leverage/the cable pull.

    The Tektros should be more than adequate for a child. They are not that bad.
    Tektros are garbage, and the SD7s design is one of the best other than the weight...so there you are correct about the reach adjust however my point is this brake lever offers quite a bit of adjustability. and yes I have tried many and that is rather a subjective comment on your part.

  8. #8
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    excellent, a great sport for your son and a very good upgrade to make the experience substantially better

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by HUZZA
    Tektros are garbage, and the SD7s design is one of the best other than the weight...so there you are correct about the reach adjust however my point is this brake lever offers quite a bit of adjustability. and yes I have tried many and that is rather a subjective comment on your part.
    False... Avid Arch Rivals/Supremes are better. Avid Ultimates are better. Shimano's parallel linkage is better. Paul Motolites are better. All have more power and are stiffer. The Shimano one provides more even pad contact and wear. There are designs with bearings that are smoother. There are lighter brakes. Explain to me what is so great about the design? All you do is say that it's the best without any sort of justification. There is nothing unique about the brake arms. There is no significant difference between the Tektro and the Avid. The Avid may be slightly stiffer.

    The Tektros are more than adequate when setup correctly. Proper setup and good pads can make a big difference. That being said... Stock Avid pads are only mediocre. And they too will not perform well if not setup properly.

    There are also many models of Tektro brakes... It's a little ridiculous to say that all Tektros are crap. Their higher end offerings are pretty nice. And even their budget models are adequate... They can certainly keep up with the budget offerings from any other company.

    What makes the SD7s better than Ultimates? It's the same basic design. The Ultimate is more refined, lighter, smoother, etc. Why is the SD7 better than the SD Mag? The Mags are lighter and perform just as well.

    I am not saying that the SD7 is not a good brake. But it would be a little foolish to call them the best. Especially without any sort of justification.
    Last edited by XSL_WiLL; 09-03-2009 at 06:11 PM.

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