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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
    I am a pathetic rider...
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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.
    Save the Earth, Ride a Cyclist

  3. #3
    A serious man.
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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
    Bicyclochondriac.
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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
    Commuter/SS/XC Rider
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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.
    Anyone can be complicated but it takes wisdom and a conscious effort to achieve simplicity.

  10. #10
    Pedaler of dirt
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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....
    Hell is eternally climbing manzanita trail on your singlespeed.

  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
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you'll crash.
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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).
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
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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.

    Good Dirt
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  21. #21
    Singletrack +1
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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.
    1x9 Hardtail, yummy.....

  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
    Combat Wombat
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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.

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