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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013

    v-brake Victory is Mine!

    My wife is unimpressed, and I have to tell someone!

    I brought out my 2003 Cannondale F400 from the garage covered in dust with the intent to ride.(haven't touched it in about 7 years) Cleaned, lubed, adjusted... and replaced the brake pads with Koolstop dual compound pads from the LBS. These are old school Tektro(labeled Cannondale) V-brakes.

    Everything else was fine, except for the squealing of a banshee coming from the front wheel. So I tried to do some more adjusting, tweaking... spent two nights trying things test riding and I only succeeded in making it worse. In fact I succeeded in getting the rear brakes squealing also.

    I spent last night browsing the internet thinking maybe I should try new Avid SD7's or thinking the frame has mounts for discs, all I'd need is new wheels and... But I said to myself, "Self, this makes no sense. Obviously something isn't adjusted right."

    So I put the bike upside down and really looked at how the pads were hitting the rim. That was probably my main mistake, I'd been doing these adjustments with the bike upright.

    I realized they were hitting square on. There were several options for distance, and I looked at how the old pads were set up and used the same measurements. But, the old pad holders were stock and I'd only ever replaced the insert before, and I'm sure they were set up for the stock wheels which I had replaced years back with Sun Rhynolite's that are a couple mm wider. So I rearranged the washers and brought the pads in closer to the brake arms such that they were perpendicular as they're supposed to be.

    I found that the way I'd been aligning them while it seemed to follow the kool-stop instructions was actually causing a bit of toe-out. Had something to do with the way the arm was pushing towards the rim, kind of at an angle. So I made certain to correct for that, so now they're just slightly toed in, if not coming straight on. Then I made absolutely certain they were hitting the rim square on flat. Hitting the rim square seemed to be the key as I played with it.

    I rolled the tires with my hand and applied the brakes and wasn't able to get the squeal.

    So I took it out and rode around the block, stopping and starting and NO SQUEAL! I have to say I really like these koolstop pads, but unlike the cheaper black rubbery things they apparently are very sensitive to alignment.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: limba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Kool Stop make great pads. I love them. Easily one of the best cheap upgrades ever if you're using v/mini v/canti brakes.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Stick a credit card or wrap a rubber band around the trailing (back) edge of the brake pad when squaring them to the rims. It'll help get the toe-in set properly, and avoid that squeal. Put a drop of triflow or other light oil on the spherical washers and the washer under the bolt head, to keep them from turning on tightening the pads down.

    A few hard stops on each wheel will take care of any squealing that is left.

  4. #4
    Reputation: Slow Eddie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    v-brake Victory is Mine!

    ^this. I've used a thick, but not long rubber band since my shop days, secured with a zip tie around the middle. Think of the kind used to secure asparagus bundles together in the produce section. Perfect thickness for toe-in setup IMHO.

    Another tip is to release the spring tension on the side of the brake you're setting up, so that the spring tension from he other side pulls the brake pad onto the brake track. Instant third hand, and now you have two hands free to position the brake pad on the rim.

    Strong work, OP. Well set-up V-brakes are powerful stoppers.
    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
    I am a poser. But doesn't seem to exist, so I come here instead.

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