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  1. #1
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    V-brakes vs Disc brakes

    Is there any advantage of having a disc brake over V-brakes? I don't see how disc brake will stop the bike better than a V since the tires will still slide on top of the surface. And the hydraulic for the disc seems like more maintenance. I've never rode a bike with disc brakes, so I don't know if there is an advantage over it. I'm looking into buying a disc brake, but I want make sure it worth the upgrade.
    Last edited by Panther Creek.; 04-22-2010 at 05:38 PM.

  2. #2
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    Try it and you will know.
    It's kinda like sex. We can explain how great it is but if all you've ever done is masturbate, then you will never know the true feeling.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by the-one1
    Try it and you will know.
    It's kinda like sex. We can explain how great it is but if all you've ever done is masturbate, then you will never know the true feeling.
    Touche.

  4. #4
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    Huge advantage and huge difference.

    Not even in the same league IMO.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panther Creek.
    And the hydraulic for the disc seems like more maintenance.
    Not all disc brakes are hydraulic, some are mechanical.

  6. #6
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    Actually hydraulic brakes have less maintenance than a mechanical brake or V-brake over the life of the brake set. Disc will stop you better in the wet. I'm not sure of the physics involved by somehow disc brakes are more powerful than V brakes.
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  7. #7
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    A well setup set of v brakes will be able to stop you equally as well as the best disc brakes, until you introduce wet conditions into the equation. This is because the tire to ground contact patch is what will give, not the brake pad to surface. Also, brake modulation is much more easy on a disc setup, even more so on hydraulics. Same goes for finger fatigue. A disc setup also does not get affected when the rim is tweaked or dented, but a v brake will be compromised. The only benefit left for v brakes is weight.
    All this said I still run v brakes due to the cost of switching to a disc setup.

  8. #8
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    The only benefit left for v brakes is weight.
    Actually there are a few sets of disc brakes that weigh less then a set of V Brakes if I recall correctly. Formula makes some lightweight stuff.
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  9. #9
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    Generally speaking of course.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by quikflip27
    A well setup set of v brakes will be able to stop you equally as well as the best disc brakes, until you introduce wet conditions into the equation.
    I've gone for discs mainly because the conditions sometimes get wet or dirty, here. I also like the feel of hydraulics: modulation/precision/power with little lever movement.

  11. #11
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    sidewall wear

    i'm surprised no one has mentioned it yet. But sidewall wear in muddy conditions seriously weakens the wheel. I remember guys on rides having their sidewalls actually blow out they were so thin. And i almost never have to true my wheels anymore and rims last forever.
    just another benefit to add to the many listed above.
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  12. #12
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    As quickflip27 noted, a quality set of V-brakes properly set up will stop you every bit as well as the best disc brake going. But add wet conditions, very dusty conditions, or a long downhill run and the Vs start to show their weakness. Wet performace is less than stellar, heavy dust or dirt on the braking surface can compromise performance, and V's are much more prone to heat fade under heavy use.

    As far as maintenance goes, I've found that no one brake, V, mechanical disc, or hydraulic disc, is anymore maintenance intensive than the other. Each is simply different. The one area that usually (not always, depends on a couple of factors) where disc brakes will likely need less maintenance is brake pads. Most folks find they get about twice the life out of a set of disc brake pads as they do rim brake pads. But it does depend on riding style, conditions (wet etc.), and the pad material. As an example, in my case I can usually get a bit more than a full season out of my disc pads, compared to changing pads in my rim bakes at least once a season.

    As the others have said, you really won't know the advantages unless you try em. More power, not really, but better all condition performance, yes. As you noted the power really does end when the wheels lock up. This of course assumes a quality set of brakes. There are "disc brakes" out there that perform worse than even cheap V-brakes.

    Discs really are better, but you have to use em to see it.

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  13. #13
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    Discs are easier to setup, IMHO, and not nearly as annoying if your rim is slightly out of true. Add in better wet/muddy performance and I don't see how you could go wrong.

  14. #14
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    I came across this question about rim vs. disc brakes in mbaction's Q&A section. Here is what Richard Cunningham, editor-n-chief and bike designer, had to say. Although it pertained to a 29er, it should be crystal clear to you.

    Q. While researching 29er's recently I came upon an article discussing disc brakes on 29er's. This article suggested that rim brakes on 29er's are preferable due to the increased braking surface as well as the force being applied to the outermost rotating mass. Until this article I had never put to much thought into the disc on the hub having to transfer, or absorb if you will, the energy from the outer rim through the spokes and all the connecting hardware. It seems to me that with rim brakes it's the same principle but in reverse. All I do know for sure is that disc on 26 inches is a completely different world than "V" or rim brakes. Is there any validity to these types of claims?

    John

    A. RC: Essentially, rim brakes are disc brakes and in a perfect world, rim brakes would be a better solution to conventional discs. They are a better use of materials, because the rim surface is already there, and the caliper requires far less clamping force to produce equal stopping power, so the mechanism can be lighter weight.

    The reason that rim brakes don't work out in the real world, is that a slightly out of true rim, or a bent one will defeat the brake, or cause it to function poorly. Because the larger rim (700C) of a 29er is not as well supported by the hub and spokes, it is more susceptible to lateral runout. In addition, rim flange bends due to rock hits and such are simply a fact of life for mountain bikers. Also, because the clamping force of a rim brake is much less than that of a hydraulic disc type, wet weather stopping is compromised to a much greater degree.

    Conventional disc brakes operate independently of the rim, so you can bend up the wheel and still remain in control. Clamping forces are much higher, so they grip as well in the wet as they do in dry conditions, and they self-adjust. Hydraulic disc brakes are completely sealed and a kinked hose won't affect their operation. Furthermore, you don't have to disarm the brake to remove a wheel.

    By now, you probably get the point: I would recommend hydraulic disc brakes over rim brakes for any serious mountain bike--26er or 29er. Rim brakes have outlived their usefulness for mountain bikes.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cunningham
    The reason that rim brakes don't work out in the real world.....
    Well, I'll probably sound like a complete pompous moron for calling the great Richard Cunningham full of sh*t, but Richard Cunningham is full of sh*t.

    Rim brakes do work out in the real world and have for years. In fact, prior to around 2000, almost all the mountain bikes out there had rim brakes, and people were mountain biking everywhere just like today.

    hydro discs have advantages, for sure. I have them myself. But the question is, are they advantages that you need? In most cases no. V Brake power, modulation, durability, adjustability etc, is more than sufficient for most riders in most conditions.

    Before you tell me about how limited V brakes are, watch some old youtube videos of Greg Herbold (and others) doing crazy stuff most of you could never do, and doing it with cantilevers (and a rigid fork or 2 inches of suspension in some cases).

    V Brakes are easier to fix if broken out on the trail. V brakes are easier to set up to run SILENTLY, without that annoying squealing and groaning that so many disc owners complain about.
    V brakes can be lighter in almost all cases.

    On the other hand, discs do have that power and modulation thing going for them, less hand fatigue, no problem with bent rims etc.

    I recognize the benefits of discs, but do not buy the arguments about V brakes being made obsolete by discs. I think V brakes are a great choice for a lot of people.

  16. #16
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    easier to replace a rotor than a rim

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve
    I recognize the benefits of discs, but do not buy the arguments about V brakes being made obsolete by discs. I think V brakes are a great choice for a lot of people.
    Word.
    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
    I am a poser. But forums.poser.com doesn't seem to exist, so I come here instead.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by LWright
    easier to replace a rotor than a rim
    I've never managed to wreck a rim.

    (maybe I don't ride hard enough )

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squash
    As quickflip27 noted, a quality set of V-brakes properly set up will stop you every bit as well as the best disc brake going. But add wet conditions, very dusty conditions, or a long downhill run and the Vs start to show their weakness.
    Absolutely not. Not even close. The hydraulic system uses a small cross-sectional area volume change in the master cylinder, and a large cross-sectional area volume change in caliper.

    Pressure = Force/Area

    In a hydraulic line such as a bike brake or car break the pressure applied at the master cylinder is = to the pressure at the caliper.

    Therefore we can see that,

    Force = Pressure*Area

    Since pressure is constant we can see that as the cross sectional area of the reservoir at the caliber gets larger we get significantly more force.

    A cable brake gets only the amount of force you put into it with your hand, there is no force multiplication.

    Now you have to factor in the moment arm and that you can generate more torque further away from the hub,

    T=F*d

    but that is more than accounted for by the increased force generated by a hydraulic system.

    Hydraulic disc brakes give you more stopping power, and less hand fatigue. This allows you to use one finger braking and lets you use more fingers wrapped around the bar holding on for dear life when doing a rough descents.

    If the argument is that you can lock up brakes with either braking system so they must be the same, I ask you to learn a little about body position and how weight distribution affects braking friction between the tire and the ground.

    The bottom line, you will stop faster with hydraulic discs. No question. But the real kicker is that because you know you can stop faster it actually allows you to ride that much faster because you know you can stop quicker when you need to.

    Last couple times I used rim brakes I was riding so much slower than normal because I was literally scared I wouldn't be able to stop if there was an obstacle around a blind corner.

    If you can't tell the difference, than you aren't riding fast enough downhill, or you don't quite understand how to use braking techniques in your riding. (which is totally ok, it takes years and years of riding to learn good braking techniques)
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve

    Before you tell me about how limited V brakes are, watch some old youtube videos of Greg Herbold (and others) doing crazy stuff most of you could never do, and doing it with cantilevers (and a rigid fork or 2 inches of suspension in some cases).
    Good argument, however, riding technique and braking technique are more important than anything else.

    Remember the old Nike ads "Be Like Mike", I knew damn well that if i bought Air Jordans I wouldn't be able to dunk from the foul line. That doesn't mean that Converse Chuck Taylers are as good footwear because other folks can dunk with them on.

    A professional downhill mountain biker could ride stuff on a cross bike that would make most riders cringe, because they have freakish levels of technique.
    -elake

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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by elake
    But the real kicker is that because you know you can stop faster it actually allows you to ride that much faster because you know you can stop quicker when you need to.
    So, if I don't care about racing and/or my hills are small, I'd be OK with V brakes. Except, I'd be limited to the days when conditions are dry and clean.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    So, if I don't care about racing and/or my hills are small, I'd be OK with V brakes. Except, I'd be limited to the days when conditions are dry and clean.
    No you wouldn't be limited. Brake performance degrades in wet condtions, but that doesn't mean you can't brake, or that you can't ride. You just have to take it into account.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by elake
    Absolutely not. Not even close. The hydraulic system uses a small cross-sectional area volume change in the master cylinder, and a large cross-sectional area volume change in caliper.

    Pressure = Force/Area

    In a hydraulic line such as a bike brake or car break the pressure applied at the master cylinder is = to the pressure at the caliper.

    Therefore we can see that,

    Force = Pressure*Area

    Since pressure is constant we can see that as the cross sectional area of the reservoir at the caliber gets larger we get significantly more force.

    A cable brake gets only the amount of force you put into it with your hand, there is no force multiplication.

    Now you have to factor in the moment arm and that you can generate more torque further away from the hub,

    T=F*d

    but that is more than accounted for by the increased force generated by a hydraulic system.

    Hydraulic disc brakes give you more stopping power, and less hand fatigue. This allows you to use one finger braking and lets you use more fingers wrapped around the bar holding on for dear life when doing a rough descents.

    If the argument is that you can lock up brakes with either braking system so they must be the same, I ask you to learn a little about body position and how weight distribution affects braking friction between the tire and the ground.

    The bottom line, you will stop faster with hydraulic discs. No question. But the real kicker is that because you know you can stop faster it actually allows you to ride that much faster because you know you can stop quicker when you need to.

    Last couple times I used rim brakes I was riding so much slower than normal because I was literally scared I wouldn't be able to stop if there was an obstacle around a blind corner.

    If you can't tell the difference, than you aren't riding fast enough downhill, or you don't quite understand how to use braking techniques in your riding. (which is totally ok, it takes years and years of riding to learn good braking techniques)
    I agree with you that hydraulic disc generate more force, but don't disregard the fact that they NEED to generate more force to stop the wheel, because the disc radius is so much smaller than the wheel radius.

    Sometimes rim brakes can feel really weak, but a good V brake set up correctly with good pads can be plenty strong.
    In general, discs can be stronger, but that doesn't mean V brakes can't be strong enough. For some people in some conditions, the difference could be enough to cause a significant downgrade in riding performance, and for others, it doesn't matter.

    When I switched to discs, I noticed all the stuff that you disc lovers talk about, ie, that I could sometimes go faster and not worry about it because of the increased brake power and ability to slow down faster etc. But for most of my riding, it is basically no change over the riding I did with V brakes.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve
    No you wouldn't be limited. Brake performance degrades in wet condtions, but that doesn't mean you can't brake, or that you can't ride. You just have to take it into account.
    I have used Vs in wet, muddy and snowy conditions. I could ride. But the degradation was more than I really wanted to cope with, even with Koolstop pads..

  25. #25
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    If you have to bike in mud and wet often, get discs. You're probably going to go slower because of the wet, so in some ways the slower braking doesn't matter as much, but the grinding and the needed clearing of mud to keep the v-brakes working well made the switch to discs easy.

    When it dries out, I always think about switching back to v-brakes...

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    I have used Vs in wet, muddy and snowy conditions. I could ride. But the degradation was more than I really wanted to cope with, even with Koolstop pads..
    Right. I remember riding around the Blue ridge parkway a long time ago, and the downhills had lots of water crossings. With the wet sandiness I could wear out a set of V brake pads in just a few hours. You have to figure if that is going to be normal type riding for you or not. If you live in Phoenix for example...

  27. #27
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    OMG CAN SOMEONE STOP IN WET CONDITIONS ON V BRAKES!!!!

    yes somehow they manage shocking!!!!!

    V-brakes vs Disc brakes-mountainbiking-018.jpg

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    If you ride in conditions typically found in the UK - wet and muddy then it's easy to kill a rim in a single winter if you ride regularly. Personally I find hydraulic discs require far less maintenance than v-brake, and over time cost less.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blurr
    OMG CAN SOMEONE STOP IN WET CONDITIONS ON V BRAKES!!!!

    yes somehow they manage shocking!!!!!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Are you asking a question?
    Last edited by jtmartino; 04-22-2010 at 02:37 PM.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blurr
    OMG CAN SOMEONE STOP IN WET CONDITIONS ON V BRAKES!!!!
    I did not need brakes at all to do this stop:




    It was a dry day, though. Perfectly OK for Vs.

    But I clearly remember the day over a year ago, when I was bike commuting on a day with lots of wet snow, and almost ran into someone's car at a red light, because it took like 5 seconds before the Vs started slowing me down.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    I did not need brakes at all to do this stop:


    It was a dry day, though. Perfectly OK for Vs.

    But I clearly remember the day over a year ago, when I was bike commuting on a day with lots of wet snow, and almost ran into someone's car at a red light, because it took like 5 seconds before the Vs started slowing me down.

    The above photo is a friends bike, we were riding in some ridiculous terrain that day he had zero problems in any down hill sections at all, neither do the other guys I have ridden with who also have Vbrakes as well riding in wet, muddy snowy conditions, probably more of a brand type than anything else.

    Course with that said, there is a substantial difference between any disk as well. So maybe that is where you need to be taking your argument.

  32. #32
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    As far as maintenance goes, I've found that no one brake, V, mechanical disc, or hydraulic disc, is anymore maintenance intensive than the other. Each is simply different. The one area that usually (not always, depends on a couple of factors) where disc brakes will likely need less maintenance is brake pads. Most folks find they get about twice the life out of a set of disc brake pads as they do rim brake pads. But it does depend on riding style, conditions (wet etc.), and the pad material. As an example, in my case I can usually get a bit more than a full season out of my disc pads, compared to changing pads in my rim bakes at least once a season.
    Whatever. With a cable based setup you need to change cables perhaps 2 to 3 times a year in some riding conditions. Bleeding the brakes on hydraulics is onbly required once in a blue moon.
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    Whatever. With a cable based setup you need to change cables perhaps 2 to 3 times a year in some riding conditions. Bleeding the brakes on hydraulics is onbly required once in a blue moon.
    Do blue moons come more or less than 2 or 3 times a year?

    I've gone years without changing cables by the way, and if you need to, it is MUCH simpler than a hydro bleed.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve
    I recognize the benefits of discs, but do not buy the arguments about V brakes being made obsolete by discs.
    Toe clips
    Rigid forks
    Hardtails
    8-Speed
    Single Speed
    Lugged Steel
    Inner tubes

    All obsolete technologies.

    It all depends what makes you happy when you ride.
    Last edited by forkboy; 04-22-2010 at 01:56 PM.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panther Creek.
    Is there any advantage of having a disc brake over V-brakes. I don't see how disc brake will stop the bike better than a V since the tires will still slide on top of the surface. And the hydraulic for the disc seems like more maintenance. I've never rode a bike with disc brakes, so I don't know if there is an advantage over it. I'm looking into buying a disc brake, but I want make sure it worth the upgrade.
    The problem with V-brakes is that they increasingly aren't supported by the manufacturers. If you want a new bike (especially full suspension) then your choice of brakes is largely decided by the fittings on the frame and forks. If you look at Specialized for example the only 2010 mountain bike with V-brakes that they offer in the UK is the bottom of the range Hardrock model. All the other 2010 Specialized mountain bikes are disc only essentially making the choice for you.

    http://www.specialized.com/gb/en/bc/...enuItemId=9335

    Edit: In the US Specialized sell a 2010 Stumpjumper hardtail and 2010 Rockhopper equipped with V-brakes too, although these bikes aren't available in the UK.

    Quote Originally Posted by reynoldseight5three.
    i'm surprised no one has mentioned it yet. But sidewall wear in muddy conditions seriously weakens the wheel. I remember guys on rides having their sidewalls actually blow out they were so thin. And i almost never have to true my wheels anymore and rims last forever.
    just another benefit to add to the many listed above.
    I've done that a few times when I had V-brakes. My particular favourite was on a club ride where we'd just climbed a long steep hill. On the first section of trail over the top I touched my back V-brake and the worn rim split puncturing the tube and wrapping metal around the brake. I straightened the rim out, disconnected the rear brake and did an emergency fix on the tube (plastic bag wrapped round to stop the tube bulging out through the split). I then left the club ride and had to go back down the hill with only the front brake - trailing the front brake all the way down the hill overheated the front rim and the front tyre blew out at the bottom. After fixing that one too I had to ride the bike very cautiously the 20 miles home.
    Last edited by WR304; 04-23-2010 at 09:07 AM.

  36. #36
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    Do blue moons come more or less than 2 or 3 times a year?

    I've gone years without changing cables by the way, and if you need to, it is MUCH simpler than a hydro bleed.
    Actually my friend hasn't bleed his hydros in a few years and they still work great. Cables stretch and fray. Hydro fluid does not.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by elake
    Absolutely not. Not even close. The hydraulic system uses a small cross-sectional area volume change in the master cylinder, and a large cross-sectional area volume change in caliper.

    Pressure = Force/Area

    In a hydraulic line such as a bike brake or car break the pressure applied at the master cylinder is = to the pressure at the caliper.

    Therefore we can see that,

    Force = Pressure*Area

    Since pressure is constant we can see that as the cross sectional area of the reservoir at the caliber gets larger we get significantly more force.

    A cable brake gets only the amount of force you put into it with your hand, there is no force multiplication.

    Now you have to factor in the moment arm and that you can generate more torque further away from the hub,

    T=F*d

    but that is more than accounted for by the increased force generated by a hydraulic system.

    Hydraulic disc brakes give you more stopping power, and less hand fatigue. This allows you to use one finger braking and lets you use more fingers wrapped around the bar holding on for dear life when doing a rough descents.

    If the argument is that you can lock up brakes with either braking system so they must be the same, I ask you to learn a little about body position and how weight distribution affects braking friction between the tire and the ground.

    The bottom line, you will stop faster with hydraulic discs. No question. But the real kicker is that because you know you can stop faster it actually allows you to ride that much faster because you know you can stop quicker when you need to.

    Last couple times I used rim brakes I was riding so much slower than normal because I was literally scared I wouldn't be able to stop if there was an obstacle around a blind corner.

    If you can't tell the difference, than you aren't riding fast enough downhill, or you don't quite understand how to use braking techniques in your riding. (which is totally ok, it takes years and years of riding to learn good braking techniques)

    Actually there is force multiplication with V-brakes (or any bicycle rim brake system I can think of) thanks to the magic of leverage.
    Look at how much the brake lever moves VS. how much the pads move.

    As stated by previous posters you can get as much force as you need quite easily from a well set up rim brake system. Strength is not their weakness.
    Braking in the wet/mud, much faster pad wear in mud, rim wear, dented rims or an out of true wheel, mud clearance and modulation (even then, modulation isn't on-off, it's just a bit harder to control an almost locked wheel), those are their weaknesses but not braking power.

    If you rode a bike with scary-weak rim brakes it was because it was in a poor state of repair.

    Modulation issues are probably due mostly to friction in the cable housing as Magura hydraulic rim brakes had much better modulation (but not much if any more power, at least in my experience).
    The limit to the total power rim brakes can produce is mostly due to the minimum spacing needed between the pads and the rim to account for rim flex.If you gave them more leverage the lever would have too much travel. This is less of an issue with disc brakes as the pad to disc spacing is much less.

  38. #38
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    I had no issues with cantis and Vs. I'm capable of setting them up, adjusting when required, as previous posters have stated, that's all we had for years but now that I've got hydraulic I'm NEVER going back.

    Discs are just too easy to set up and maintain. If you can afford them, get them.

  39. #39
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    I have bled my old Hayes hydros exactly once since I bought my Giant XTC NRS in the fall of 2001. I only bled them because I thought they should be bled, not because they weren't performing up to snuff. I realigned them once. They give me a tiny bit of squeak when they get warm during the second half of a ride but barely audible. I recently built up a new frame with these same brakes so I had to install and align the rear brake but that's all I did and it took about 10 minutes. They still work great.

    I'm getting new brakes because a new fork I bought has post mounts and my front caliper is IS. For the cost of an adapter and a new rotor I can get a new post mount caliper front brake. I've decided I wanted the front and rear to match so I'm going for a new set. Otherwise I'd use my old Hayes.

    I have put way more time into maintaining the V brakes on my tandem and it gets used 1/50th the amount of time my mountain bike gets used. Same can be said for the other 6 bikes I have that have cable actuated rim brakes. I know not all disc brakes are as maintenance free as my Hayes but my experience has been really good.

    Oh yeah, several pad replacements that take a total of a couple of minutes. I can't take rim brake pads out, much less put them back in, as quick as I can change hydro pads.

    This is a sample size of one. Take it for what it's worth, an anecdotal comment.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve
    Well, I'll probably sound like a complete pompous moron for calling the great Richard Cunningham full of sh*t, but Richard Cunningham is full of sh*t.......

    Rim brakes do work out in the real world and have for years. In fact, prior to around 2000, almost all the mountain bikes out there had rim brakes, and people were mountain biking everywhere just like today.

    hydro discs have advantages, for sure. I have them myself. But the question is, are they advantages that you need? In most cases no. V Brake power, modulation, durability, adjustability etc, is more than sufficient for most riders in most conditions.

    Before you tell me about how limited V brakes are, watch some old youtube videos of Greg Herbold (and others) doing crazy stuff most of you could never do, and doing it with cantilevers (and a rigid fork or 2 inches of suspension in some cases).
    .


    hmmmm, let's see, V Brakes and rigid forks:






    Disc brakes and suspension, on the other hand:



  41. #41
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    Pros & Cons

    *V-brakes do not overheat as easily as disc brakes do

    *Disc brakes are far more temporamental than v-brakes

    *Disc brakes are more powerful than v-brakes

    *Disc brakes are heavier than v-brakes

    *V-brakes may fail when wet

    *Disc brakes are far more complex than v-brakes

    *Disc brakes are cooler looking than v-brakes

    *****ROADBIKES still use only v-brakes!!!

  42. #42
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    I guess it depends on where you generally ride, and how good you are using brakes. In general, disc brake are stronger and easier to stop with much less effort. I'm using both the ultimate, and the Arch Supreme V-brakes on my bikes and at best they are on par with avg disc brakes. They are not that much lighter and disc.

    The lightest disc are lighter than my V-brake set up for sure and they cost the same may be even less. Maintenance wise, I think it's about the same. Disc are easier to set up than Vs especially if you have the PM mount.

    If the trails you ride are not steep and loose, Vs are ok. If it gets really steep I found that it much easier to stop with disc, more control as well.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve
    Well, I'll probably sound like a complete pompous moron for calling the great Richard Cunningham full of sh*t, but Richard Cunningham is full of sh*t.
    He works for Mountain Bike Action so you can bet whatever he's saying is coming straight from the marketing department of one of his magazine's advertisers.

  44. #44
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    I have bled my old Hayes hydros exactly once since I bought my Giant XTC NRS in the fall of 2001. I only bled them because I thought they should be bled, not because they weren't performing up to snuff. I realigned them once. They give me a tiny bit of squeak when they get warm during the second half of a ride but barely audible. I recently built up a new frame with these same brakes so I had to install and align the rear brake but that's all I did and it took about 10 minutes. They still work great.
    Well said. I think some people bleed too much or when not needed at all.

    *V-brakes do not overheat as easily as disc brakes do

    *Disc brakes are far more temporamental than v-brakes

    *Disc brakes are more powerful than v-brakes

    *Disc brakes are heavier than v-brakes

    *V-brakes may fail when wet

    *Disc brakes are far more complex than v-brakes

    *Disc brakes are cooler looking than v-brakes

    *****ROADBIKES still use only v-brakes!!!
    Disc brakes are far less temperamental than V-Brakes. Especially self adjusting hydros. There are some disc brakes that are lighter than V-Brakes. Road bike do not use V-Brakes. They use dual pivot side pull calipers.
    My Bike: '15 Trek FX 7.2
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  45. #45
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    Wow, interesting responses. I'm look into buying disc brakes, but problem is I'm still in school. I looked at pricepoint.com they had some disc brakes in $89-100 range. I might get one for my rear this summer, then buy one for front later on. I will first ride one before I buy just to see the difference myself.

  46. #46
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    I would buy one for the front first as the front brake is where 80 or more percent of your stopping power comes from.
    My Bike: '15 Trek FX 7.2
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  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    I would buy one for the front first as the front brake is where 80 or more percent of your stopping power comes from.
    I remember when I first started riding, I went down a short hill and I hit front brake first and I had 100% stopping power and landed on my back.

    I learned my lesson then to hit back brake before front brake.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    I would buy one for the front first.
    +1
    The front is more important than the back
    Brakes aren't all about power they are about controllable power.

  49. #49
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    Proper braking technique is to use both brakes in unison. Use the rear to help trim the bike and use the front to stop. Using the rear for all of your stops is not a good idea.
    My Bike: '15 Trek FX 7.2
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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    Using the rear for all of your stops is not a good idea.
    Why is that? I'll work on using both brakes in unison.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by osmarandsara
    hmmmm, let's see, V Brakes and rigid forks:






    Disc brakes and suspension, on the other hand:


    With video selection like that, you should work for Fox "news".
    How about a more fair and balanced look at what I am talking about. Kranked one, 1998.
    Whaaa, you can't do that with V brakes! Sniff sniff cry .

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EisON...eature=related

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  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve
    With video selection like that, you should work for Fox "news".
    How about a more fair and balanced look at what I am talking about. Kranked one, 1998.
    Whaaa, you can't do that with V brakes! Sniff sniff cry .

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EisON...eature=related

    Come on, every single rider in this video has disc brakes....its just that pre-1999, the rotors were made out of a transparent acrylic material.......very hard to film using 10 year-old video technology.......it wasn't until 2000 that they made the switch to metallic rotors

  54. #54
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    Discs and suspension... ouch.

    <object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/940Uho03rhs&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/940Uho03rhs&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>

    or, less dramatically:
    http://video.mpora.com/watch/y3jP2Cx8R

    (Not bashing Matti. He's my hero. But when you are pushing it, things sometimes go wrong, discs or no discs)
    Last edited by perttime; 04-23-2010 at 08:58 AM.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panther Creek.
    Why is that? I'll work on using both brakes in unison.
    Probably the biggest reason is using only the rear tends to lock it and that's bad for the trail.
    Most of the time if you're ridding down something steep enough that you can only use the rear brake you probably shouldn't be braking anyway.
    In a perfect world there are braking areas, generally relatively smooth areas, where you can use your brakes to get your speed under control for the next section of trail. You don't want to be on the brakes in a turn or a technical section, you want to let the bike roll. Obviously in the real world sometimes you will need to brake in a turn or through a technical section but generally you should be trying to brake before and after these sections.
    Say you are coming up to one of those short but really steep downhill sections. You'd brake before you get to it so you are going a controlled speed, let the bike roll down it off the brakes them brake at the bottom (if you need to). You do not want to be trying to roll down it slowly on the brakes.


    http://www.mtbtechniques.co.uk/FundamentalsBraking.html

  56. #56
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    I would love to give my input for this.

    Yesterday I was in the mountain riding and it drizzled a bit. I was amused by it (love rain) and wouldn't mind if it was a tad bit more than drizzling for riding... 10 minutes later I found myself riding for 30 long minutes in HEAVY POURING rain with wind. I got all drenched but was able to keep riding due to having upgraded my Response from v-brakes to disc brakes because if I had kept the v-brake I wouldn't have been able to keep from speeding down the wet/muddied trails and would of gotten myself into deep **** (accident) also since I was soaked it would of sucked ass to hear the screeching of the v-brakes!! which we all know it unpleasant while riding! With my disc brakes I was able to stop and slow down with this heavy rain over me.... blah blah blah....

    Disc brakes saves lives! PERIOD!!
    Ragley Blue Pig

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blksocks
    I would love to give my input for this.

    Yesterday I was in the mountain riding and it drizzled a bit. I was amused by it (love rain) and wouldn't mind if it was a tad bit more than drizzling for riding... 10 minutes later I found myself riding for 30 long minutes in HEAVY POURING rain with wind. I got all drenched but was able to keep riding due to having upgraded my Response from v-brakes to disc brakes because if I had kept the v-brake I wouldn't have been able to keep from speeding down the wet/muddied trails and would of gotten myself into deep **** (accident) also since I was soaked it would of sucked ass to hear the screeching of the v-brakes!! which we all know it unpleasant while riding! With my disc brakes I was able to stop and slow down with this heavy rain over me.... blah blah blah....

    Disc brakes saves lives! PERIOD!!

    Just to correct so when you are actually riding in rain you will know, the V brakes are not the ones making the noise, its the disk.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blurr
    Just to correct so when you are actually riding in rain you will know, the V brakes are not the ones making the noise, its the disk.
    Uh... what?

    What are you correcting for me? I have ridden in light rain with v-brakes in the past and they would squeal whereas yesterdays heavy rain that came out of no where didn't make my disc brakes squeal because of the heat on the rotors/pads?
    Ragley Blue Pig

  59. #59
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    I think there would be overwhelming support for the assertion that discs have a noise problem that far exceeds that of V brakes, not to say that your experience isn't true blksocks. Just saying.

  60. #60
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    A cable brake gets only the amount of force you put into it with your hand, there is no force multiplication
    Dead wrong. The brake lever can and does also use mechanical advantage. The force of the cable can be much higher than the force applied to the end of the lever. Furthermore, the v calipers themselves are levers that increase the force from the cables.

    Also, the size of the rotor increases the braking force to the outside of the wheel where it contacts the ground. V's use a 26" disc.

    Yes, there is a greater force multiplication betweeen the lever and pads with discs, but the rotor is much larger with v's.

    If you do not have one finger braking on your v's, you need to set them up better. I always had 1 finger braking.

    Not saying I don't prefer discs for the many reasons listed, but v's can be just as powerful as any 6" disc system I have ever tried, including hydros.

  61. #61
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    I've never had any noises come from my disc setups wet or dry.

    but v's can be just as powerful as any 6" disc system I have ever tried, including hydros.
    I'll have to disagree with that one.
    My Bike: '15 Trek FX 7.2
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  62. #62
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    I too wase an hardcore V-brake user, but I needed a new frame.....which only had disc-tabs, so I had to switch. I really wished I did that before, really ignorant me !

    V-brakes are good in flat and or dry conditions, but disc is more durable, less maintenance ( I bleed my brakes once a year, with the V-brakes I changed cables 2 times a year, and tons off pads)
    I don't need sex, life f*cks me everyday.....

  63. #63
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    My V Brakes make no noise at all. Rain or shine. So why do we have to listen to disc brake SQUEAL all the time in races and out in quiet trails where we are trying to get away from the loud noises of the city? All I read on this board is how the Disc brakes squeal and how do people get rid of the squeal.

    Only reason I will go to disc brakes is when I get a new frame and am "forced" to use something that seems to be complete overkill for XC racing and riding. It's like shooting a squirrel with a Bazooka. Yeah it works, but it isn't really needed.
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  64. #64
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    Forced?
    I doubt you'd feel that way after you switch unless you are only going to ride HT. I'm using 7" rotor in the front on my hardtail, I don't think it's over kill. I just don't squeeze the front brake like I do on Vs that's all. Power of the brake give you more control when you know how to use it. Modulation is one of the first thing I learn on when I switched, and it was so much easier too.

  65. #65
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    I don't understand why some brakes squeal as none that I have owned do that.
    My Bike: '15 Trek FX 7.2
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    I'm hearing impaired, so I probably won't even hear the brake squeal..90% of the time I have my ipod on. lol. Oh well. I'm go to bike shop and ride around on disc brakes then go from there.

  67. #67
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    I'm no expert on bike brakes but I have quite a bit of experience with disc brakes in general.

    Go to an auto race and if you can hear past the loud engines, you will hear some very loud brakes. Simply put, the braking requirements in a race are far higher than when just tooling around. They run very aggressive pad compounds that have a higher coefficient of friction and can handle more heat. The compromise is that they are noisier and wear down the rotors much quicker. I imagine the same is true with bike brakes.

    If you are having squealing problems with normal pads, apply the same fixes that I do as a mechanic. Lube up the edges of the pads where they slide in the caliper. Lube the contact point of the piston and the pad. And lightly chamfer the edges of the pad in the direction that the wheel travels.

    Don't people do this stuff?

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minjin
    I'm no expert on bike brakes but I have quite a bit of experience with disc brakes in general.

    Go to an auto race and if you can hear past the loud engines, you will hear some very loud brakes. Simply put, the braking requirements in a race are far higher than when just tooling around. They run very aggressive pad compounds that have a higher coefficient of friction and can handle more heat. The compromise is that they are noisier and wear down the rotors much quicker. I imagine the same is true with bike brakes.

    If you are having squealing problems with normal pads, apply the same fixes that I do as a mechanic. Lube up the edges of the pads where they slide in the caliper. Lube the contact point of the piston and the pad. And lightly chamfer the edges of the pad in the direction that the wheel travels.

    Don't people do this stuff?
    Interesting, I just changed the pads and rotors on my wife's car, and lubed the things you mentioned, but never though to do it on a bike. I did not think the reason for lubing the pads on a car were for noise, I though it was to keep them from sticking.

    I would be a little hesitant to lube the edge of the pads on my bike, because they are very small, and the edge of the pads are only a few mm from the pad and rotor surface, and the pads are pretty easily contaminated. I may try lubing the back of the pads if I ever have to deal with squealing disc brakes, though.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    Whatever. With a cable based setup you need to change cables perhaps 2 to 3 times a year in some riding conditions. Bleeding the brakes on hydraulics is onbly required once in a blue moon.
    Amazing experience you have with "cable based" setups.. having to change cables 2-3 times a year..

    personally, with my BB7 cable based setup and jagwire ripcord cable/housing.. even riding year round in South Florida, and during daily summer torrential downpours... the most adjustment ive had to do with my cable is turn the barrel adjuster every once in a while.... nevermind changing the cables...

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    Whatever. With a cable based setup you need to change cables perhaps 2 to 3 times a year in some riding conditions. Bleeding the brakes on hydraulics is onbly required once in a blue moon.
    2-3 times a year?

    If I run Jagwire Ripcords, full length, I get one to two years out of a set. I usually end up replacing them when I am doing a total teardown or building up a new frame before they are worn out. This is true for disc or v's.

    I live and ride on the east coast, so they see their share of wet and mud.

  71. #71
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    Think it through!

    I think the most important things to take a look at are:

    Where do I ride?
    What kind of riding do I do?
    Will the upgrades compliment my skills, or am I upgrading to cover my a$$, in case I get crazy?
    Do I need it, or do I want it?

    My point being this. I have been mtn biking for about 23 years. Started with a Ross Mt St Helens(which was not a mtn bike at all), to Trek 990, to a GT Psyclone, to a Kona Hot(my current ride--with V brakes). Technology changes, and as soon as something new comes out, people will start migrating to it.

    I grew up riding ST. And still live for it. I know my skill level and where 90% of my riding is done. The East Coast, lots of hills and mtns, just not very many that are miles long and straight down hill. So my HT V brk bike, still kicks ass. I can throw it around, and smoke most people I regularly ride with. So for me to have a FS Disc brk bike, doesnt make much sense. My skill level warrants one, but the other stuff doesnt match up. Take a look at those things, and decide for yourself. If you gotta have it no matter what, you are gonna get it, no matter what some people say.

    Are Disc better than V's? Yes, No, Maybe. Do you have to have them? Yes, No, Maybe

    I may be moving to Denver. Will I still ride my Kona-You are damn right!!! Will I buy a FS CF bike, planning on it! But when I need it.

    Dont spend hard earned cash, on something you can live with out! You may disagree, but decide for yourself by looking at your true inner biker, and go from there. Chances are you, you will forget about most of what people have said and go ride.
    Jims

  72. #72
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    I will never go back to V-brakes. For me, consistency in all types of conditions and general power and modulation are far superior on the disc brake vs the V brake. I rode my V-brake equipped bike on a coast to coast trip in Northern Scotland. I wore through the rims on the rear wheel due to all of the braking in wet muddy conditions. Every time I went through a puddle, braking changed and abrasive material was added to the rim pad interface. Rims were one year old with almost no wear before the trip. Almost no thickness left in the rim after 7 days riding in those conditions. No issues for the people with disc brakes. Can't imagine why anyone who can afford disc would choose otherwise unless they ride in a dry environment on roads or smooth paths.
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    I'm very surprised to learn that pads will make rims smaller.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panther Creek.
    I'm very surprised to learn that pads will make rims smaller.
    They do wear away the rims. The extent to which they do this depends a lot on the conditions you are riding in. Dry conditions wear will be slow, wet/muddy conditions it will be much faster.

  75. #75
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    I was astounded by how fast the rims wore concave on the braking surface. It was wet every day with tons of up and down requiring lots of braking. It happens with rim brakes....
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  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by ambassadorhawg
    *****ROADBIKES still use only v-brakes!!!
    I'm not sure this one counts as our road bike forks are allegedly not up to using disk brakes.

    Much as I would love disk brakes when on the road in the wet and going downhill, I suspect our skinny road tyres would let go anyway.

    This thread has been informative so thanks to all for the view points. Even if V and disc have adequate performance there seem to be many other benefits of disc, when I asked this question in a LBS I got nothing of help in the reply.

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by ambassadorhawg
    *V-brakes do not overheat as easily as disc brakes do
    Not sure what you mean by this, but v-brakes fade due to the pads getting too hot much sooner than discs do.

    *****ROADBIKES still use only v-brakes!!!
    No, most road bike do not use v-brakes, but v's would be a real improvement, IMO. Disc even better, but less needed than on mtb's.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve
    I've gone years without changing cables by the way, and if you need to, it is MUCH simpler than a hydro bleed.
    Are you sure you're doing the bleed correctly? I did one recently and it took me about 10-15 minutes including the time it took to get the bike out of the garage, on the stand, off the stand and back in the garage. This was on the front and the rear...
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    I think it's money. Would I trust a 50 pair of v brakes or disc brakes? At $50 a pair v's are probably far better than a set of disc brakes at the price point!

    However once you start talking $300 it makes no sense to get v brakes.

    If your budget allows it spend $300-$500 on a set of four piston hydraullic disc brakes. If doesn't then don't.

    However even slightly under $200 a pair of Avid BB7's are great will definitely give you alot of stopping power.

    One more thing:

    How about a more fair and balanced look at what I am talking about. Kranked one, 1998.
    Whaaa, you can't do that with V brakes! Sniff sniff cry .


    Those guys are going so slow compared to modern downhillers it's not even funny. I realize that we use ALOT more suspension than they did in 1998 but brakes play a huge role as well.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bChz9IH5gV4

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by mefistofeles
    I think it's money. Would I trust a 50 pair of v brakes or disc brakes? At $50 a pair v's are probably far better than a set of disc brakes at the price point!

    However even slightly under $200 a pair of Avid BB7's are great will definitely give you alot of stopping power.
    let's leave downhill out of the equation for a moment.

    if you look around, you'll find that a front and rear set of BB7's will run you a LOT less than 200, given that the brake and rotor usually runs 30-40 dollars on special.

    as for 'cheap' v-brakes, they're garbage. ones that actually work (like single digits) are still similarly priced to discs. the only reason i can see to buy v-brakes is if you have an old frame with no IS mounts (hard to argue because at least the front fork should have a mount) or more likely your wheels are v-only hubs.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by eat_dirt
    as for 'cheap' v-brakes, they're garbage. ones that actually work (like single digits) are still similarly priced to discs. the only reason i can see to buy v-brakes is if you have an old frame with no IS mounts (hard to argue because at least the front fork should have a mount) or more likely your wheels are v-only hubs.
    Depends on what you mean. Flexy department store garbage is never going to brake well but I have a set of Shimano Deore V-brakes on my commuting bike that work really well. I don't think I paid more than $50 Canadian for the brakes and levers.
    Good pads (and clean cables) are the secret to V-brake performance. Shimano pads, especially the ones that come with their cheaper brakes are awful.

  82. #82
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    I've seen some interesting perspectives about braking in this thread.

    From someone who started off road riding in the flat state of Louisiana to now someone who does 60 minute long descents in the Sierras, the first thing that matters is you and where you ride.

    At Hooper Road in Baton Rouge, I had 10-20 foot chutes, which suited a total dirt novice. I only needed rim brakes for minor speed adjustments (and the occasional brake lockup followed by superman practice).

    Now dropping down from Packer Saddle (elevation 7100'), I need maximum control but not necessarily braking. A rim brake will lock up the wheel just as well as a disc brake, but I need deceleration power.

    If I'm doing 30mph on a singletrack, and I need to reduce speed to make an off camber turn, rim brakes don't cut it.

    Tire choice and suspension also makes a huge difference here. And skill.

    If I was a first year rider, I would ride Third Divide at 8mph with near brake lock. And if I ever make it back to Hooper, I could now ride a rigid with canti's.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanjuro
    I've seen some interesting perspectives about braking in this thread.

    From someone who started off road riding in the flat state of Louisiana to now someone who does 60 minute long descents in the Sierras, the first thing that matters is you and where you ride.

    At Hooper Road in Baton Rouge, I had 10-20 foot chutes, which suited a total dirt novice. I only needed rim brakes for minor speed adjustments (and the occasional brake lockup followed by superman practice).

    Now dropping down from Packer Saddle (elevation 7100'), I need maximum control but not necessarily braking. A rim brake will lock up the wheel just as well as a disc brake, but I need deceleration power.

    If I'm doing 30mph on a singletrack, and I need to reduce speed to make an off camber turn, rim brakes don't cut it.

    Tire choice and suspension also makes a huge difference here. And skill.

    If I was a first year rider, I would ride Third Divide at 8mph with near brake lock. And if I ever make it back to Hooper, I could now ride a rigid with canti's.
    I think you mean modulation, not power, if you can lock the wheels you have all the power you can use.
    I'd imagine that with 60min. long descents you'd also need to worry about the heat generated by rim brakes affecting the tires/tubes.

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surestick Malone
    I think you mean modulation, not power, if you can lock the wheels you have all the power you can use.
    I'd imagine that with 60min. long descents you'd also need to worry about the heat generated by rim brakes affecting the tires/tubes.
    Yep, modulation.

    And trust me, if I was riding rim brakes in Downieville, I wouldn't worry about heat generation. I would be panic'ed about hitting a tree!

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surestick Malone
    Depends on what you mean. Flexy department store garbage is never going to brake well but I have a set of Shimano Deore V-brakes on my commuting bike that work really well. I don't think I paid more than $50 Canadian for the brakes and levers.
    Good pads (and clean cables) are the secret to V-brake performance. Shimano pads, especially the ones that come with their cheaper brakes are awful.
    Agreed. If you go with something like deore calipers and replace the pads, they are pretty much the same as any other v-brake. I know, I've had Deore, XT (the ones with the linkage) Arch Rivals, and SD-7's. The biggest difference was the pads, and with good pads they all worked about the same, IMO (though the linkage designs wore more evenly and required less adjustments). Like you say, good cable may a difference, just likewith something like bb7's. When I replaced the Deore Pads, they were just as good as the SD-7's.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanjuro
    Yep, modulation.

    And trust me, if I was riding rim brakes in Downieville, I wouldn't worry about heat generation. I would be panic'ed about hitting a tree!

    I've ridden Downieville on my hard tail with rim brakes. I've also ridden down a few ski runs in Oregon (Mt. Bachelor, Hoodoo) on my rigid 1997 Specialized Hard rock using low-end cantis. I've never had a problem with the brakes - it's the suspension (or lack thereof) that becomes an issue.

    The fact that you have an issue stopping with V-brakes means one of three things - 1. Your brakes are worn/dirty, 2. Your brakes are set up incorrectly, or 3. You don't know how to use them.

    That being said, I'd agree with the previous post that brake pads are often more important than the brand/model of brake you're using. For a cheap pad, it's hard to beat Jagwire or Alligator brand (although they are soft and wear out somewhat quickly.)

  87. #87
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    How is a disc brake set up? It got rotor on the hub, then got pads inside the hubs or what? My LBS said they can hook me up with hydraulic brakes for 75.00 a tire.

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by elake
    Absolutely not. Not even close. The hydraulic system uses a small cross-sectional area volume change in the master cylinder, and a large cross-sectional area volume change in caliper.
    I completely disagree. I have two bikes, one with Vs and the other with hydraulic disc brakes. The V brake bike takes less hand force to stop the bike.

  89. #89
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    Try that in the rain. You'll see how much better the hydro setup is.
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  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeDee
    I completely disagree. I have two bikes, one with Vs and the other with hydraulic disc brakes. The V brake bike takes less hand force to stop the bike.
    this must be a joke...
    Brattleboro/Keene NEMBA officer and trail hero!

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by reynoldseight5three
    this must be a joke...
    i agree
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...66#post6504766

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtmartino
    I've ridden Downieville on my hard tail with rim brakes. I've also ridden down a few ski runs in Oregon (Mt. Bachelor, Hoodoo) on my rigid 1997 Specialized Hard rock using low-end cantis. I've never had a problem with the brakes - it's the suspension (or lack thereof) that becomes an issue.

    The fact that you have an issue stopping with V-brakes means one of three things - 1. Your brakes are worn/dirty, 2. Your brakes are set up incorrectly, or 3. You don't know how to use them.
    I think it is probably 3.

    This is a funny one to argue, considering I've been in at least 100 shuttles up to Packer, and I've only seen one rim brake rider, using a race hardtail with a SID. He crashed when the brake pad deflected into his spokes. The next season that guy was on a Enduro with 8 inch rotors.

    The last mountain bike I rode with rim brakes was a 80mm hardtail with a 13cm stem. That bike couldn't handle Downieville. But could I limp down to the bottom on that bike? Sure.

    This season I plan on doing some runs on my new 29er hardtail, with a 7 inch rotor in the front. I don't think I will be maxing out like my downhill bike, but I still should have fun.

    If things were equal, disc brakes make a huge difference. But you won't see rim brakes on a new 6 inch all mountain bike, so it is a moot point.

    But I have lots of friends who have been going to Dville since the 90's. None of them use rim brakes any more. They must be hacks, according to number 3, right?

    There are a lot of factors with riding fast, and specifically with the brakes, modulation is the key. I smoke 3rd Divide knowing that my brakes can offer lots of power without lockup.

    As soon I overwhelm the tire adhesion with a brake lockup, I'm crashing on 3rd if I'm going faster than 25mph. I need to control my speed with usable brake power.

    Rim brakes in Downieville? Sure, if I wanted to descend at 15mph.

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by FLMike
    And the point you are trying to make is?

  94. #94
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    only advantage to riding disc to me is they stop better in wet conditions because the rim doesn't get wet and dirty as easily. other than that, if you set up v the right way, no need for disc. being a w.w., this is unnecessary weight

  95. #95
    A wheelist
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    We did this ten years ago. Its constant re-hash made me write the FAQ that's at the top right of this page. It's all in there.
    Mike T's home wheelbuilding site - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilders with information and motivation.

  96. #96
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    I think I have been convinced to switch back to v-brakes. Maybe even canti's.

    Also gonna sell my truck and get a horse / carriage instead. Maybe something sporty like a chariot.

  97. #97
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    My discs squeak sometimes. Not loud, and not all the time, but sometimes, and its enough to make me long for my old V brakes back.
    Squeaking is a big deal. I think it is the worst thing about my discs. Lots of people have the problem too.
    My V brakes were solid, and silent! I don't care if they weren't as strong as my discs, I never needed them to be stronger than they were.

  98. #98
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    I am having some issues with my disc breaks. Anyone in Ontario know where a good repair shop it??
    I feel like going for a ride. Who wants to join me.

  99. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blksocks
    Uh... what?

    What are you correcting for me? I have ridden in light rain with v-brakes in the past and they would squeal whereas yesterdays heavy rain that came out of no where didn't make my disc brakes squeal because of the heat on the rotors/pads?
    v's should no squeak when they get wet unless they the pads are glazed over or are not toed in correctly. mine don't squeak at all rain or shine because they are set-up the right way. i will admit though that the disc are above v's in muddy conditions because of the decrease chances of getting gunk on the rotor.

  100. #100
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    V vs. Disc

    I like the simplicity of V brakes and run them on my SS, however, it's getting harder and harder to find frames that have mounts for V-brakes. FOX no longer makes shocks that have accept V-brakes (I just bought the last one for 2010). I do think disc brakes work better, but at the price of weight, cost and maintenance. Depending on the riding you do, you should REALLY consider switching to disc..do as I say, not as I do.

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