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  1. #1
    The UseLess Program Guy
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    V-Brakes: Why not?

    Why don't we use some high-end V's on some bikes? XTR V's are very good, Single Digit stuff, heck even Tektro V's work. Why not? And where are all those hydraulic V's?
    I don't believe that humans can change. Seen it, though.

  2. #2
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    some ppl do, and magura makes hydraulic brakes for the trials crowd. Personally I get way more power from my disks, and I like being able to ride out the trail on a rim that is slightly out of true. V-brakes have their place because they are lighter and put less demands on the wheel.
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  3. #3
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    I've never really understood the 'power' argument. Can anyone explain exactly what that means? I rode V brakes for years, and I never had a situation where I didn't have enough 'power' to stop the bike. With V brakes, in any situation I felt I would have no problem locking up either wheel if I so desired (tried to avoid this with the front wheel though...). I can't recall ever feeling as if I needed more power in my fingers to pull the levers back.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by BEETROOT
    I've never really understood the 'power' argument. Can anyone explain exactly what that means? I rode V brakes for years, and I never had a situation where I didn't have enough 'power' to stop the bike. With V brakes, in any situation I felt I would have no problem locking up either wheel if I so desired (tried to avoid this with the front wheel though...). I can't recall ever feeling as if I needed more power in my fingers to pull the levers back.
    Yeah, same here - even when my cables and casings are all cruddy. If you can lock'em up as is, more power ain't gonna help you.

    Having said that, my spare bike has some cheap disks, and I must say I got spoiled while my primary bike was in the shop for a few weeks. It took some getting used to, and I locked up way too easily at first (at times dangerously). But once I developed the required soft touch, I got to liking it.

    Bottom line is, whatever you get used to will work fine. Spoil yourself if you've got the $$, but it really isn't necessary.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soviet123
    Why don't we use some high-end V's on some bikes? XTR V's are very good, Single Digit stuff, heck even Tektro V's work. Why not? And where are all those hydraulic V's?
    Because discs work better?

  6. #6
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    Aren't you the same guy buying a bike with cheap mechanical discs?

    No doubt good v's work great and really suffice for most people's riding needs whether we admit it or not

    Now hook up some good v's with ceramic rims and pads and it gets even better. Still, for wet conditions and big descents I'll take discs still...
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
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  7. #7
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    Disks require less finger pressure for the same stopping power.
    Compare to power brakes of modern cars vs non-vacuum assisted brakes. Power steering. etc.
    Long downhills benefit from disks. Clydes that weigh over 200lbs and 45lb DH rigs benefit.

  8. #8
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    try riding steep downhills with vbrakes. sure you might stop and have plenty of clamping power to safely make it, but your hands will hurt, bad. thats why most of us have discs.

    i dont understand the weeny 140mm discs though, seems counterproductive.

  9. #9
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    I'm actually in favor of V brakes. I don't like the feel of discs because I can't get accustomed to them. Also, V brakes are a lot better for doing endos and stuff like that. Like previously posted in this thread, I've never encountered a scenario where I felt like my V brakes wouldn't be able to come through and do exactly what I needed.
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  10. #10
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    I liked my Vs, feckin' loved my HS33s, but switched to disc brakes a few years back because rim brakes suck in muddy conditions. If it wasn't for UK muddy trails I think I'd still be using Maguras today.
    It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required.

  11. #11
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    ...because i'm fat....
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  12. #12
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    Disc advantages: All-weather/conditions, rim wear, brake pad wear, longer stopping power
    V-Brake advantages: Lighter, some say better modulation (though I've heard the argument both ways)

    For XC in dry, non sandy conditions, v-brakes are great. For everywhere else, I like discs
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  13. #13
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    Brake pad wear longer on discs? Don't know about that in my own experience, but hard to quantify, never kept records. Am sure I spend more on disc pads than I did on v-brake pads (being twice the cost that's easy I suppose, though).
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  14. #14
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    i run both, for me the advantages of each are...

    disk: low maintenance,doesnt make grinding noises after a creek crossing,feel cool,more rim options.

    Vs. easy maintanance, light,looks perfect on my steel HT,cheaper.

  15. #15
    Anytime. Anywhere.
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    Have you ever gone through a puddle at below freezing temps? You break through the thin ice and the water freezes on your rims. Try it and will find new appreciation for discs. Wheel gets dinged out of true and you still have brakes. My V's were good but they can't compete with my 8" rotor up front and a 3000' descent. One finger all day long, even at Whistler. If you want a light and cheap xc setup then V's start to look good.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  16. #16
    The UseLess Program Guy
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    Hmm. Get this: I had a Raleigh Tora (department store crud bike) with plastic V's. Now in Quebec, winters go below -30C. Right? I stopped it easy at a 9% descent. Heard about some guy with a Specialized Hardrock (or hopper?) and the disc brake (cable action) pads were frozen and could not move. Thinking...
    PS: Saw these used Deore V's for 30$. Parallel push stuff. Buy it? My (probable) future bike has V-brake mounting posts.
    I don't believe that humans can change. Seen it, though.

  17. #17
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    The only time I really thought my discs on my F29 gave me an advantage over the XT V brakes on my other bike was when I rode through a creek when it was cold enough to have slush/snow on the ground.

    When I came out the other side of the creek, my V brakes were useless. They wouldn't even slow the bike down and it was so cold the slush/water wouldn't evaporate. It was 5 minutes farther into the ride before my brakes became useable again.

    The other 99 rides I went on this year, my discs offer no real advantage over my XT rim brakes.

  18. #18
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    Based on the posts above, it seems the jury is still out. Until the jury comes back, light and cheap will be my choice. (and doesn't require any change on my part)

  19. #19
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    My bike has hydro. disc brakes, my wife's bike has generic v-brakes, On level ground, I can lock up either wheel on either bike with no problem.
    That being said, I ride my bike down the hill leading to my house (I have the blue rotors to prove it) I walk my wifes bike down the hill. BTW we both have to walk our bikes back up the hill.
    "It's a Sledgehamer" "Dang! You got shocks, pegs...lucky! " Napoleon Dynamite & Pedro Sanchez

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soviet123
    Why don't we use some high-end V's on some bikes? XTR V's are very good, Single Digit stuff, heck even Tektro V's work. Why not? And where are all those hydraulic V's?
    Quality v brakes are fine and work well. There isn't a thing wrong with them for a very large number of riders. As long as the brakes never get wet, or hot. If you've never ridden in very wet or muddy conditions, or never done a 2 to 5 mile descent, you'll never understand the advantage of a good set of disc brakes. A wise man once said, "No amount of teaching or advice can suffice for experience". I'm not saying that disc brakes are the be-all and end-all of bicycle brakes. You can still heat up a set of disc brakes enough to cause them to fade, and there are disadvantages to them. But the advatages FAR out weigh disadvantages. Folks could respond to your question and list the advantages of disc brakes all day long and in great detail. But until you actually have experience with a "good" set of disc brakes, you'll neither understand or likely believe it. And I'm not talking the half assed OEM disc brake systems that come on a $400 or $500 bike, I'm talking a quality, well desinged brake system. But even some of the cheapo disc systems have some advantages over many rim brakes. They may not be more powerful that a good set of v's, but they'll almost always out perform v's in foul weather.

    I'll add this, I've used everything from Tektro v's to Avid Ultimates on bikes that I've owned, and I've used a few different disc systems as well. When I'm bombing a 35mph downhill and have to scrub 10mph off "right now" for the next switch back, I'm sure glad I'm not still using the v-brakes!

    But until you experience it yourself, you'll never completely understand the advantages of discs.

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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soviet123
    Why don't we use some high-end V's on some bikes? XTR V's are very good, Single Digit stuff, heck even Tektro V's work. Why not? And where are all those hydraulic V's?
    Riding styles. Same reason people ride 20 lb bikes and 45 lb bikes. You'd think a 20 lb bike would be better as its lighter. Not always.... Riding styles.
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  22. #22
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    I think people adapt to what they are used to. I know I do. I have actually had a couple rides ruined by improperly set up disk bakes and have seen several riding partners end their rides early because of issues with disc bakes. I never saw that happen with V brakes. Disc brakes are nice if you are heavy, ride big downhills, or ride a lot in the wet, but for most of the XC riding in my area, N. Georgia, they are overkill. Nice to have when they work correctly, but wouldn't spend $$ to upgrade from V to disc.

  23. #23
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    One other reason not mentioned yet. I run Avid SD7s w/XTR levers on the first SS I built up and while they function great, lots of power, look good, I also run a 2.3" tire in back and a 2.4" tire up front. These tires, when inflated, will not clear the brake pads. If you happen to use a bike rack that requires removal of the front wheel, it can get old real fast. That is part of the reason why when I built up my 29er SS, that I went with disc. I had hydro disc on the last FS bike I owned and while a pain to set up initially, once there, they were a ride and forget item.

    Currently owning bikes with Vs and discs, I would take a set of Vs over a cheap cable disc setup anyday. When you step away from the cheap disc brakes, the only real advantage I believe Vs have over disc, cost. If you like Vs and want to use them, great, use them and be happy. Out in the real world, most riders could care less what kind of brakes you are running. I know several expert racers and even one gentleman that went to nationals this past year, that run Vs. However, if you are trying to convince yourself or others, that Vs are better than a good set of disc, it is not going to happen.

    Brian

  24. #24
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    I live in UAE, Dubai and it is very dry here, rains about one or two days a whole year so i am fine with my V's but as bikingbob mentioned diferrent riding styles and different locations change opinions on what to buy. Best way to find out is by asking local riders around you or going to the bike shops nearby.

  25. #25
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    Um humm
    V brakes have there place specifically flat places where brakes are not used however I really do not like them for mountain biking where there are hills and mountains.

    I've been riding for over a decade have a strong upper body, have fairly good technical skills, worked in a shop for five years and still ride V Brakes on my oldish school hardtail. XTR levers and calipers near perfect adjustment and wheel trueness and they still lack the power and control of almost all disks.

    I ride down 2000 vertical foot descents and Vee Brakes wear my forearms out so bad that I have to stop a couple times on descents where I would not have with disks. Also fatigue does not allow you to push as hard as you otherwise would with disks Vee brakes force you to brake earlier loosing time on the approach to corners. a pound does not matter if you loose a minute on a decent or crash.

    Vee brakes are antiquated technology that due to current monetary constraints I am obliged to live with.

  26. #26
    local trails rider
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    Depends on where and how you ride. I have never ridden down (or climbed) 2000 vertical feet. I do get up to some speed sometimes but it never lasts long. Most of my local trails are twisty enough to keep the speed down.

    The power of V's is quite adequate for me.

    The wet, dirty and icy conditions are where I really see the benefit of discs. My LX hydro discs feel nicer than my BB5 mechanicals. Even my Deore V's feel better than my BB5s...

  27. #27
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    I'm about to fix up my starter hrdtail and am interested in some more quality V-brakes. Is Shimano XT/XTR pretty much the way to go?

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soviet123
    Why don't we use some high-end V's on some bikes? XTR V's are very good, Single Digit stuff, heck even Tektro V's work. Why not? And where are all those hydraulic V's?
    One thing I have often noticed is that many folks never had a set of v's set up optimally. Surprisingly, this includes some professionals. I honestly feel that if you are under 200 lbs (with gear) and don't have one finger braking on all but the steepest, longest descents, then something is not up to par with the set-up. Most common culprit is pads. Some of the cheaper pads suck, a descent par make a lot of difference. Another issue is that some forks and many rear seat stays have some flex in the brake bosses, particularly on steel frames. I found that brake boosters make a world of difference in these cases. With these two things in mind, I've had three bikes with three different brands/models of v-brakes, (LX, XT, and Avid SD 5 levers, LX, Deore, Avid SD 7 calipers) and all gave me as much power as a set of bb7's with 6" rotors and some 6" hydro's as well. A hard squeeze with one finger on any of these would have put me OTB. My arms never got tired due to brake issues.

    That said, I do think discs, (bb7's or better) are a real improvement, though. On a long descents with lots of braking (as in a DH run) there is much less fade than with v's. When you step up to 7" rotors, the disc brakes are more powerful. But most important, I find I have better control with discs. Braking is more consistent and predictable. I find I can brake harder without crossing the line into locking up the wheels with discs. They are less grabby than v's, until you get up to the 8" rotors, but those are incredibly powerful, and if you actually need that kind of power, the grabby-ness is not much of an issue. They are not affected by water or other conditions nearly as much as v's. Also, as someone above pointed out, with larger tires, taking the wheel off often requires deflating the tire with v's. Finally, although I was always able to set up v's to give me one-fingered baking (I''ve weighed as much as 200lbs with gear in the past) it seems from reading peoples' experience with v's that most people can not (or at least do not).

    I would not bother getting new brakes and wheelset (and in some cases frame and/or fork) just to get discs if you are happy with v's, but on a new build I can't see any real advantage to v's, and plenty for disc. There is a cost advantage, but considering you can easily find bb7's for $120 for a pair, the savings is not that much, assuming you get a respectable set of v's with good pads and possibly a booster.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by idbrian
    I'm about to fix up my starter hrdtail and am interested in some more quality V-brakes. Is Shimano XT/XTR pretty much the way to go?
    I think the pads and levers make more difference than the actual calipers. As far as calipers go, the parallel push feature is nice in terms of even pad wear, but I don't think there is a difference in performance between them and the deores or any of the avids. I think people notice a difference due to the better pads and levers that come with them more than the actual calipers. That's my experience at least. Also, some people have issues with the XT's squealing.

  30. #30
    GNR
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    Even XTR V brakes can't compare

    I agree that proper set up is crucial, and I haven't done v-brakes in so long, I probably couldn't do it well. New pads are important too.

    I did buy a used Epic recently with a XTR V brake set up, perfectly true ceramic wheelset, newer pads and I went for a ride before breaking it down. The V brake set up, even on 5% downhill grade, just wasn't what I was used to and didn't have the stopping power of BB7's, which I have on all my bikes.

    New pads, rims and an easy grade should be V-brakeable. When it wasn't, I sold em.

  31. #31
    local trails rider
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    XTR V's are unneccessarily complex. LX, XT, just about anything from Avid should be functionally good.

    And when you need new pads, go for Koolstop.

  32. #32
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    I disagree.
    There is no way a proper ceramic V-Brake setup ( which is NOT that hard to get right ) is not two or three times as good as bb7's.


    Quote Originally Posted by GNR
    I agree that proper set up is crucial, and I haven't done v-brakes in so long, I probably couldn't do it well. New pads are important too.

    I did buy a used Epic recently with a XTR V brake set up, perfectly true ceramic wheelset, newer pads and I went for a ride before breaking it down. The V brake set up, even on 5% downhill grade, just wasn't what I was used to and didn't have the stopping power of BB7's, which I have on all my bikes.

    New pads, rims and an easy grade should be V-brakeable. When it wasn't, I sold em.

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  33. #33
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    It's been awhile since I've ridden Vs... but I know that even just the step up from good mechanical disk brakes vs hydraulic disc brakes is a huge jump for me. It just is flat-out confidence inspiring.

    The first time I pulled an emergency stop on my Juicy Ultimates after moving from mechanical discs I went over the bars just because I stopped so fast. Lesson learned... but now that I'm used to them they are amazing. I can bomb down anything I want as fast as I want and take blind corners as fast as ones I know perfectly. I just know that I can shut it down fast enough to react to anything on the other side.

    I know that on really steep stuff with tight corners (where you are already on your brakes a lot and then step it up even more for the turn) discs just feel so nice. I remember the first time I brought a friend of mine on a trail nearby us like that. He is normally as fast or faster then me on most stuff and is a staunch defender of his V-brakes, but I gained a LOT of time on him down it. His reaction at the bottom? "Wow... I found myself really wishing I had some discs on that one..."

    Plus the fact is that I tend to throw rims out of true fairly often... I think I'd be getting annoyed at Vs a lot.

    btw, I'm 145 lbs without gear, ride aggressive xc/all mountain stuff.

  34. #34
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    Last weekend, I went out and encountered extensive mud. At the end of the ride, the only thing that wasn't caked in mud were the disc brakes.

    Vbrakes would have been horrible. I rode cantilever/vbrakes for 20 years, so I can admit that they do work. BUT, disc is simply superior.

  35. #35
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    I really like my V's.. they have held up to A LOT.. However when I do more trials type stuff I o wish I had more. I have only ridden the mech. cable disc brakes and was not overly impressed. I am wanting to try the hydraulic set ups first.

    I will say, however, during many snow rides the disc brakes worked a lot better than my V's did.

    just my 2 cents!

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Funrover
    I really like my V's.. they have held up to A LOT.. However when I do more trials type stuff I o wish I had more. I have only ridden the mech. cable disc brakes and was not overly impressed. I am wanting to try the hydraulic set ups first.

    I will say, however, during many snow rides the disc brakes worked a lot better than my V's did.

    just my 2 cents!
    All the top trials riders use hydraulic V's.

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  37. #37
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    Why have V brakes?
    Why have full suspension?
    why have front suspension?
    Why have index shifters?
    Why have clipless pedals?
    Why have gears?
    Why have a non walmart bike?

  38. #38
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    why v-brakes are better than disc:
    - cheaper
    - lighter

    why v-brakes are worse than disc:
    - more fade on long DH
    - less power and modulation, leading to more skidding
    - affected more by out-of-true wheel
    - more susceptible to mud and water
    - requires adjusting distance from pad-to-rim as brake pads wear down

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by bstyle74
    why v-brakes are better than disc:
    - cheaper
    - lighter

    why v-brakes are worse than disc:
    - more fade on long DH
    - less power and modulation, leading to more skidding
    - affected more by out-of-true wheel
    - more susceptible to mud and water
    - requires adjusting distance from pad-to-rim as brake pads wear down

    "-more fade on long DH"

    i've never noticed much fade with hydraulic rim brakes. no more so than problems i've noticed with avid juicy carbon on the front on long dh, and bb7 in a similar situation.

    less modulation with v's, definitely. with hydraulic rim brakes, it's pretty much equal.

    discs are more affected by an out of true rotor, which happens.

    definitely more succeptible to wear from mud and water and to loss of functionality due to contaminants on rim. once it's muddy or wet enough that the disc rotors are getting muddy or wet(combined with dirt) though, it's all equal.

    "- requires adjusting distance from pad-to-rim as brake pads wear down"

    i was under the impression that disc brakes needed this as well??


    in my highly uneducated opinion, the biggest advantage disc brakes offer is that as the braking surface wears, the strength of thge wheel is not compromised, and it's alot cheaper to replace a rotor than a rim.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach
    "- requires adjusting distance from pad-to-rim as brake pads wear down"

    i was under the impression that disc brakes needed this as well??


    in my highly uneducated opinion, the biggest advantage disc brakes offer is that as the braking surface wears, the strength of thge wheel is not compromised, and it's alot cheaper to replace a rotor than a rim.
    Hydraulic disks don't require adjusting as the pads wear.

    You are right that V-brakes can wear down the rim. Feel how the brake pad and rims feel after a muddy ride. It feels like sandpaper. Every time you brake its like sandpapering your rims.

    I have V brakes on my cheap hardtail. They were powerfull in that I could lock up both wheels. On long downhills my hands got sore from holding the brakes. Some of the cheap mechanical disks aren't much of an improvement, but v brakes don't compare to high-quality hydraulic disks. If your really concerned about weight and all you do is tame XC then Vs might be OK. If you do DH or even all-mountain or trailbiking then definitely get discs.

  41. #41
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    Someone else said in this thread it bears repeating: Out-of-true rotors are a probably 100 times more frequent occurrence than out-of-true Rims and are just as if not more annoying. Also, the amount by which the Rotor has to be out of true is 1mm before the pads start rubbing, yet a Rim can be out of true 5 times that and you won't notice any problems. Also V-Brakes if the rim is really out of true, you can easily true it up on the trail, and worst case, just undo the brakes. If a Rotor gets dinged out of true it's a bit more of a hassle to remove the caliper and zip tie it to the frame or something like that.

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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhaskell
    Why have V brakes?
    Why have full suspension?
    why have front suspension?
    Why have index shifters?
    Why have clipless pedals?
    Why have gears?
    Why have a non walmart bike?
    Except for the wal-mart bike, I thought I knew what your point was here. But If your point is wal-mart bikes have v-brakes and good bikes have disk brakes, then you've never been to many XC races and you also haven't been to wal-mart in a while (as there are now equally crappy disk brakes bikes at walmart)

    Here's a pic: Gunn-Rita: multi-time Marathon world champion. All those times on V-Brakes. Mud. See Pic. Look at brakes. Look at mud. All I'm saying is, you can be world champion on v-brakes. In the mud. Just sayin'


    I never apologize. I'm sorry, but that's just the way I am.

  43. #43
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    I'll stick to my big (8'' front and rear) discs. Alot of my summer riding is DH, and I have no desire to deal w/ poor power and burning through 2 or 3 sets of pads a weekend.

  44. #44
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    V Brakes also manage to catch a ****load of mud from the tire in very muddy conditions.

    If some wet/sandy/gritty solution manages to get onto your V brake rims, then you will experience some SERIOUS brake fade also. Say buh-bye to your brake pads.

    If you have ever raced/ridden in sloppy conditions with V's, you know what I'm talking about.
    F. B. I.

  45. #45
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by kahiwa
    If you have ever raced/ridden in sloppy conditions with V's, you know what I'm talking about.
    I have, and I know what you mean.

    Still keeping a bike with V's for riding in mainly clean conditions.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by dusthuffer
    Except for the wal-mart bike, I thought I knew what your point was here. But If your point is wal-mart bikes have v-brakes and good bikes have disk brakes, then you've never been to many XC races and you also haven't been to wal-mart in a while (as there are now equally crappy disk brakes bikes at walmart)

    Here's a pic: Gunn-Rita: multi-time Marathon world champion. All those times on V-Brakes. Mud. See Pic. Look at brakes. Look at mud. All I'm saying is, you can be world champion on v-brakes. In the mud. Just sayin'

    You are also saying that she is on a hardtail, therefore a hardtail is the best choice and all anyone needs to ride? LOL

  47. #47
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhaskell
    a hardtail is the best choice and all anyone needs to ride? LOL
    Sometimes it is. Seriously.

    (sometimes you do not need front suspensions or multiple gears either. Seriously.)

  48. #48
    The Mud Stud
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    Because we choose life... Ok, for real, I used v brakes for 8 years, so I know them better than the back of my hand. They can be made very strong stoppers, but they require CONSTANT adjustment, and even trail dust is enough to undermine performance, so while they are a good idea on an xc race bike, otherwise discs are just obviously a better idea.

  49. #49
    pedal pusher
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    I love my V's, but...

    I've been riding v-brakes since I started 10 years ago, and I've never had a situation where I thought I needed more power. Usually, when braking falls short, it's due to slick terrain and/or tires that won't bite hard enough.

    Still, there are a couple downsides that have once again shown up since fall hit:

    - leaves getting stuck between the tire and the cable. Seriously, this is THE most annoying thing ever. You'll just be riding along, when suddenly, "PBPBPBPBPBBPPPPBBBPBBPBPBPBPBP...." It's not so bad on descents, since a lot of the times the tire will eventually grab the leaf and throw it out, but it's really distracting on tough climbs.

    - mud. Yeah, mud causes braking issues when it gets on your rims, but it's usually not terrible. The bigger issue is with rim wear, as the mud--and whatever tiny rocks it contains--grinds into your rims as you brake. I went throw some gloppy mud the other day, and the next time I hit my brakes, the scratching sound of tiny rocks on my rims made me wince. I stopped and wiped the rims/pads off before I went any further.

  50. #50
    The Mud Stud
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    Quote Originally Posted by f3rg
    I've been riding v-brakes since I started 10 years ago, and I've never had a situation where I thought I needed more power. Usually, when braking falls short, it's due to slick terrain and/or tires that won't bite hard enough.

    Still, there are a couple downsides that have once again shown up since fall hit:

    - leaves getting stuck between the tire and the cable. Seriously, this is THE most annoying thing ever. You'll just be riding along, when suddenly, "PBPBPBPBPBBPPPPBBBPBBPBPBPBPBP...." It's not so bad on descents, since a lot of the times the tire will eventually grab the leaf and throw it out, but it's really distracting on tough climbs.

    - mud. Yeah, mud causes braking issues when it gets on your rims, but it's usually not terrible. The bigger issue is with rim wear, as the mud--and whatever tiny rocks it contains--grinds into your rims as you brake. I went throw some gloppy mud the other day, and the next time I hit my brakes, the scratching sound of tiny rocks on my rims made me wince. I stopped and wiped the rims/pads off before I went any further.
    Your just not pushing yourself hard enough! ok just kidding, but really, after 8 years of vbrakes I know them pretty well, and let me tell you after I upgraded to discs I started riding faster, because I can push harder and still stop in time (and yea v's seem fine till youve ridden some good discs for a while, then you realize you really did need stopping power.

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