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  1. #1
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    What's the big deal about disc brakes?

    I am new to disc brakes, but have ridden enough this season to compare vs v-brakes. I know discs have been around a LONG time, but I don't see the benefit. Let me elaborate;

    I have been riding xtr v-brakes forever. They have never let me down in 12+ years or xc hardtail riding. It's the singletrack riding that I love to do. Maintenance wise they are pretty easy to dial in while riding, or before/after. Weight wise and cost wise, a lot cheaper.

    Now I bought a new ride this year and finally bit the disc-brake bullet. Reason being? Well, nobody really sells v-brake bikes anymore. So I did, and a big fat MEH.

    I don't buy that they are less maintenance. Have been back to LBS 2x so far for tuning. Perhaps the mechanic is stupid.

    Very fidgety and tricky if you dare take your tire off and squeeze the lever.

    The one-finger breaking? Doesn't matter to me. I have 5 fingers, four of which I can use to break.

    Added weight.

    So, I ask - what's the deal?

  2. #2
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    I pretty much had the same point of view as you until I had a decent wet ride. I always thought my V's were pretty consistent until then. They really let me down that day. I am running hydro disc now and have never looked back. Especially since the trail run on now has a wet section. Now, If only I can get them to stop squealing like a turkey (running Avid Juicy 5's).

    Granted, I don't have experience with XTR v-brakes so I don't know how they fair in wet conditions....just my 2 cents

  3. #3
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    Stop trolling, ride more, you'll figure it out.

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    Less maintenance - No way..
    One finger braking - Maybe .. But why when you can easily spare 2 fingers for braking?

    Do under no circumstance press the lever while the wheel is off. Some brakes are not at all cooperative when it comes to pressing the pistons back in.

    But I would never use another V-brake. I'm in love with my Hope Tech M4's

    Which brakes did you buy? I've had a lot of bad experience with Avids. Never got them to stop squealing and had quite a few problems with reliability. I've used Juicy 3's, Juicy 5's, Juicy 7's, Elixir CR's and Elixir 5's.
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  5. #5
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    If you ride dry trails and HT and like the way things are with v brakes there's no need to change. There are pros and cons for both type. I have both but I'd prefer disc it's easier to maintain and set up to me than v brakes. I took some time to learn to bleed each brake system I have. Setting up Vs are not as simple to me to get the right engagement and feel.

  6. #6
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    Added weight.
    If memory serves, Magura makes a set that is lighter than a V-Brake setup. I believe Formula does as well.
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  7. #7
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    One finger braking allows you to keep 3 other fingers on the grip which can be important at certain times...

    Disks are more efficient but the trade off is weight and more maintenance/adjustments. I've recently switched out my rear rotor to a 140mm from 160mm... For basic single track, that is plenty of braking at the rear as it just initiates the breaking... I would change the rear to a V-brake, but the frame does not allow it...
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  8. #8
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    So, you are comparing your 12 years riding v-brakes with one ride on disc brakes and cant figure out what the big deal is? lol.

    Fix the Spade has the correct response. Ride until you figure it out. I think you will find that properly dialed in disc brakes outperform v-brakes in almost every scenario.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mortgagejake View Post
    I am new to disc brakes, but have ridden enough this season to compare vs v-brakes. I know discs have been around a LONG time, but I don't see the benefit. Let me elaborate;

    I have been riding xtr v-brakes forever. They have never let me down in 12+ years or xc hardtail riding. It's the singletrack riding that I love to do. Maintenance wise they are pretty easy to dial in while riding, or before/after. Weight wise and cost wise, a lot cheaper.

    Now I bought a new ride this year and finally bit the disc-brake bullet. Reason being? Well, nobody really sells v-brake bikes anymore. So I did, and a big fat MEH.

    I don't buy that they are less maintenance. Have been back to LBS 2x so far for tuning. Perhaps the mechanic is stupid.

    Very fidgety and tricky if you dare take your tire off and squeeze the lever.

    The one-finger breaking? Doesn't matter to me. I have 5 fingers, four of which I can use to break.

    Added weight.

    So, I ask - what's the deal?
    1. Reduced hand effort. A big deal on long descents and long days in the mountains.

    2. Consistent and strong braking in wet and muddy conditions.

    Servicing of the brakes themselves is a draw, but I use to replace rims once a year with rim brakes. Not an issue with discs"
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  10. #10
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    I am not a believer of disc brakes either. My main ride which is equipped with Formula r1's has recently been sidelined while waiting for parts so I have been riding my back up ride recently. I honestly can't tell much of a difference in performance. True, the disc brakes require less effort which gives more confidence to brake harder later but that is about it. I am sure my V's still weigh less when you consider the weight of the wheelsets (both wheelsets are Mavic Crossmax ST which are brake specific). I live in the desert so mud isn't an issue but the one time that I have ridden in the rain was on my V-brake equipped bike and a loss of brake performance was noticeable but mostly limited by traction. V-brakes are set them and leave them much like hydros, however, the brake fluid in the hydros should be changed every two years which is one more thing to do (not really THAT big of a deal). I believe the main reason to have disc brakes are for those who ride lower quality wheels. You dont have to worry about truing your rims as often with disc brakes...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fix the Spade View Post
    Stop trolling, ride more, you'll figure it out.
    Yup

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    1. Reduced hand effort. A big deal on long descents and long days in the mountains.

    2. Consistent and strong braking in wet and muddy conditions.

    Servicing of the brakes themselves is a draw, but I use to replace rims once a year with rim brakes. Not an issue with discs"
    That is a big one, if you ride in wet, muddy, and abrasive soil conditions...replacing rims was a annual ritual. I went three years on the same wheelset in Vegas and the Sierra then returned to the Pacific NW and wore the rims out in three months.

    Plus, if you put a minor dent or flat spot in the rim you don't need to replace it with disc brakes.

  13. #13
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    You will only be able to tell the difference if you graduate to more advanced trails (steeper, rockier, more dangerous, etc.) Also the kind of bike you have makes a difference.....longer trave forks/full suspension & slack geometry will simply let you rip down faster hence the need for more stopping power for control.

    Only when you are pushing your comfort level for speed and technical descents especially on an aggressive (AM) full suspension bike will you be able to compare & appreciate the difference.....for XC on a hardtail V brakes are sufficient but that's too slow for me : )

    If you have never had hand fatigue with V-brakes while descending a technical mountain trail you either have Popeye forearms or you are not going fast enough.
    Last edited by osmarandsara; 06-09-2011 at 02:31 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mortgagejake View Post
    I am new to disc brakes, but have ridden enough this season to compare vs v-brakes. I know discs have been around a LONG time, but I don't see the benefit. Let me elaborate;

    I have been riding xtr v-brakes forever. They have never let me down in 12+ years or xc hardtail riding. It's the singletrack riding that I love to do. Maintenance wise they are pretty easy to dial in while riding, or before/after. Weight wise and cost wise, a lot cheaper.

    Now I bought a new ride this year and finally bit the disc-brake bullet. Reason being? Well, nobody really sells v-brake bikes anymore. So I did, and a big fat MEH.

    I don't buy that they are less maintenance. Have been back to LBS 2x so far for tuning. Perhaps the mechanic is stupid.

    Very fidgety and tricky if you dare take your tire off and squeeze the lever.

    The one-finger breaking? Doesn't matter to me. I have 5 fingers, four of which I can use to break.

    Added weight.

    So, I ask - what's the deal?
    What type of disc brakes do you have, currently? If they are POS, then a decent V-brake setup will probably be a lot better. Don't pass judgement on an item, any item, unless you've had experience with a quality example.

    Also, if all you're doing is XC, then you're not going to notice much improvement with discs. How frequently are you even on the brakes when riding your local trails?

    You obviously like your V's, so keep using them. I have my doubts that you started this thread with a genuine interest to become more informed. And do a search, this has been hashed out multiple times in threads that go on for pages and pages.

  15. #15
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    My winter beater bike has some SD5s on it with Salmon pads and as soon as the fresh powder starts to build those brakes are next to useless. My MTB and Road bike both have discs brakes, neither have done full on winter riding but have been in plenty of rain to see the differences between a rim brake and a disc brake (all my brakes are mechanical, no hydro).
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  16. #16
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    one big difference i noticed when switching is I didn't have to keep my rims prefectly true. That was a big difference for me. The added braking helped with the disc brakes. Didn't notice it too much until I was switching bikes each week (between a v brake and disc brake bike). If you switch every week you really notice a difference. I had XTR v-brakes on one bike and hayes hydro on the other. The XTR stopped good enough and I was able to do the same trails but my hands would hurt more with the v-brake. Something I wouldn't have noticed by not switch bikes each week. But the v-brakes were still good enough.

  17. #17
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    I was in the same position up until a little over a year ago. The most attractive feature of discs is the power.

    Plenty of pros and cons for both types of brakes:

    *disc brakes are waaaaay more powerful and can stop you faster, with less effort

    *v-brakes are waaaay easier to maintain, no fuss, no nonesense

    *disc brakes work when wet and/or stay clear of getting wet in shallow crossings

    *v-brakes are definately capable of lighter weights

    go figure...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by osmarandsara View Post
    or you are not going fast enough.
    Not to jump the thread but I have never ridden AM... What kind of speeds do you get up to? 24mph is pretty much the max for what I ride.

  19. #19
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    I'm guessing you've never knocked a wheel out of true, or worn down a V-brake rim to the point where the rim wall is concave. Discs eliminate both these problems. Plus they work way better in super wet, muddy conditions, which occur now and then.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireLikeIYA View Post
    Not to jump the thread but I have never ridden AM... What kind of speeds do you get up to? 24mph is pretty much the max for what I ride.
    Ha, good point. It's not loosing the top speed but how fast you can scrub speed with disc. I'm talking about 15-20mph to 3-4 mph in a second or less, Vs can not do that, I tried with the ceramic set up it still fade after a few times.

    Light weight Vs suffer from power but not so much on disc. A light disc set is under 300g per side it would out performed the Vs anytime.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post
    Ha, good point. It's not loosing the top speed but how fast you can scrub speed with disc. I'm talking about 15-20mph to 3-4 mph in a second or less, Vs can not do that, I tried with the ceramic set up it still fade after a few times.

    Light weight Vs suffer from power but not so much on disc. A light disc set is under 300g per side it would out performed the Vs anytime.

    yes....exactly.....on tight, technical, rocky, steep single-track you need to scrub off speed real quick to avoid disaster....

  22. #22
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    Keep in mind that some disc brakes are stronger than others. I run a Hope X2 with a 183mm disc on my rear wheel, and the stopping power is barely adequate to lock it up. I'm sure you could set up V-brakes to grab harder.

    On the other end of the bike and the other end of the spectrum, I have a Hope V2 with a 203mm rotor - it will lock up the front wheel without trouble. I never had v-brakes work this well and I really doubt that's even possible, especially on wet trails.

  23. #23
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    I really like v-brakes and went through some extreme lengths to run them on my Anthem X. Low maintenance and great dry weather performance. BUT, the wettest year in about a century meant that I wore through the sidewalls of an expensive set of Red Metal Zero wheels in 6mths riding and all the while had SFA braking power. I ran special wet weather compound pads and got some braking power back but then had no modulation. The linkages on my XTR v-brakes flogged out and the pivots needed continuous maintenance.

    In these conditions the v-brakes were much more expensive to run and much more maintenance than disc brakes.

    For flat land riding in a desert you can't go past v-brakes. For everywhere else, a good set of hydraulic discs is the only way to go. You can get more than enough power out of v-brakes in the dry, but it is almost impossible to get the power and modulation you get with a good set of disc brakes. Crappy disc brakes are worse than v-brakes though.

  24. #24
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    No need to feed the troll guys,
    Low post count and OP drops out of the conversation after the initial post.

  25. #25
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    The general consensus is that disc brakes are more powerful and they require less effort but my main gripe is cost versus weight. Here is my particular situation, I am trying to get my wife into mountain biking and her 33lb bike is too much for her. I have decided to build her a new bike and I have a goal of 22lb for $1K. If I go with disc there is no possible way I could ever reach that. This is what I am looking at to put it into perspective:

    Mavic Crossmax ST
    Rim Brake version $329.98 weight 1570g
    Disc Brake version $774.88 weight 1615g


    Brakes
    Avid SL $79.96/set weight 330g/set
    Avid BB7 $141.96/set weight 768g/set

    Total cost difference: $507
    Total weight difference: 483g

    *Note: prices taken from Pricepoint.com

    So basically I would have to pay $507 more for over a pound of extra weight?? I have estimated that it will cost another $250 just to buy lighter parts to make up for the additional weight! Basically, what it would cost to run disc brakes is almost the cost of what the total bike will be with rim brakes. I could go heavier but in my opinion it's not worth it just to have disc brakes... Now if she was a fat girl I would probably go with discs but I think if someone is decent weight then discs should be considered a luxury item for XC riding. Unfortunately, everyone seems to want disc brakes which has caused a sharp decline in selection of frames and wheels.
    Last edited by FireLikeIYA; 06-10-2011 at 02:25 PM.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireLikeIYA View Post
    I am not a believer of disc brakes either. My main ride which is equipped with Formula r1's has recently been sidelined while waiting for parts so I have been riding my back up ride recently. I honestly can't tell much of a difference in performance. True, the disc brakes require less effort which gives more confidence to brake harder later but that is about it. I am sure my V's still weigh less when you consider the weight of the wheelsets (both wheelsets are Mavic Crossmax ST which are brake specific). I live in the desert so mud isn't an issue but the one time that I have ridden in the rain was on my V-brake equipped bike and a loss of brake performance was noticeable but mostly limited by traction. V-brakes are set them and leave them much like hydros, however, the brake fluid in the hydros should be changed every two years which is one more thing to do (not really THAT big of a deal). I believe the main reason to have disc brakes are for those who ride lower quality wheels. You dont have to worry about truing your rims as often with disc brakes...
    Try changing the pads on both, and then tell us how much easier V-brakes are. V's aren't zero maintenance, you've got cable stretch to deal with by fiddling with the barrel adjusters every few rides, annual cable changes with all the tinkering that requires, then there's the adjustment required when you replace pads. How about the fun of squeezing an inflated front tire past V-brakes, that was always fun!

    You could easily go a few years without bleeding Shimano brakes with not much decrease in performance if you weren't particularly anal about it. Changing pads is a two minute job, the lines basically last forever, and swapping out a disk is just a little easier than swapping out a worn rim.

    Disks aren't just better for high speeds, I used to make my XTR V's fade out on an extended 5mph technical descent. I've faded my disks a little at a ski resort once..

    BTW, disks place more stress on a wheelset, so it actually has to be stronger than a V-brake wheelset. Might have something to do with the difference between force being exerted at the rim vs. force exerted at the hub, you know? Yes, rim brakes are great for letting you know your rims are out of true by rubbing constantly, slowing you down and basically bugging the crap out of you for the remainder of the ride. But, shouldn't you be checking that anyways. Did people wait until they started a ride, complete it with the brakes adjusted (more adjustment!!) so the pads wouldn't hit, or should they have checked them beforehand?

    This argument is nonsense.

  27. #27
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    I suppose I was wondering the same thing. I can understand that the disc brakes are better and have more stopping power, especially in wet condtions. My hesitation to go to disc brakes is the concern about bending the rotor after hitting it on a rock or something. Have never had a problem with the vbrakes out on the trail, and came across a rider who had wrecked and bent the rotor. Obviously a wreck could destroy anything, but just wondering if others have had bad experiences with problems out on the trail with disc brakes. I have the attachment points on my stumpjumper, but just relunctant to make the switch.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by shanet74 View Post
    I suppose I was wondering the same thing. I can understand that the disc brakes are better and have more stopping power, especially in wet condtions. My hesitation to go to disc brakes is the concern about bending the rotor after hitting it on a rock or something. Have never had a problem with the vbrakes out on the trail, and came across a rider who had wrecked and bent the rotor. Obviously a wreck could destroy anything, but just wondering if others have had bad experiences with problems out on the trail with disc brakes. I have the attachment points on my stumpjumper, but just relunctant to make the switch.
    Bent rotor due to rocks or crashes? I doubt that would be high on the list of the reason not to switch to disc brake. If you hit something hard enough to ding the steel rotor(s) then your spokes would be the first thing to go or you are that lucky that the rotor take the damage and not the more expensive parts.


    Richde, your post was spot on. I've been using disc brakes for a long time so set up, bleeding is quite simple to me. V brake installation and set up is another story. It's not that simple to line up the brake pads to get rid of the squeaky noise and perfect contact. If you have a skinny XC tires then Vs are probably easier to set up but with the full volume tires even 2.1 kenda can already give you problems.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pink57 View Post
    My winter beater bike has some SD5s on it with Salmon pads and as soon as the fresh powder starts to build those brakes are next to useless. My MTB and Road bike both have discs brakes, neither have done full on winter riding but have been in plenty of rain to see the differences between a rim brake and a disc brake (all my brakes are mechanical, no hydro).
    Disc brakes work great in the winter, even when the calipers & rotors are covered with snow & ice they'll still stop your bike just fine. They may squawk and make funny noises until the moisture's wiped off the rotor but your bike will stop. For the record I'm running ancient 4 piston caliper XT discs, and I can't remember the last time I bled them.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by shanet74 View Post
    . My hesitation to go to disc brakes is the concern about bending the rotor after hitting it on a rock or something. Have never had a problem with the vbrakes out on the trail, and came across a rider who had wrecked and bent the rotor. Obviously a wreck could destroy anything, but just wondering if others have had bad experiences with problems out on the trail with disc brakes.
    You are more likely the damage or destroy a rim, which will affect rim brakes, than damage a disc rotor. Rotors are fairly well protected.

    Dent a rim or knock the wheel way out of true and you may lose your rim brakes. But as long as the wheel still turns in the fork/frame you still have disc brakes.
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by k1creeker View Post
    No need to feed the troll guys,
    Low post count and OP drops out of the conversation after the initial post.
    Very true ... but there must be lots of peeps out there thinking about switching ...



    If V's work for you then there is no need to change ... unless it is only for getting discs ... I started out with discs and have no reason to change to V's ...

    Stick with what you have ... if it is not broken don't fix it ... it all costs unnecessary money that you could spend elsewhere ...

  32. #32
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    In dry, flat conditions v-brakes work just fine. But here in the PNW, winters can get pretty wet and muddy. WIth the steep hills we have, disc brakes are a must. Before I converted to disc, I would go through a set of v-brake pads at least once a month if I rode 3 times a week. The mud and dirt really ground them down.

  33. #33
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    V-brakes rock! Unfortunately, the rims that use v-brakes suck BIG TIME! Narrow, heavy, cheap; pick three! Nothing tubeless........
    Best that you can hope for is a narrow touring rim or cyclocross rim. Maybe 22-24mm wide. If the rim makers would make a decent wide, UST machined rim rim(see 26" Salsa Semi), V-brake would rock.
    But they don't so they suck......

  34. #34
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    V's are fine when the ground is dry and your rims and in good knick and 100% true but....

    1. Slightly out of true and tap tap tap tap as the hit.
    2. Add in some mud and I've gone though a set of V's back and front in 1 ride, which gets expensive, over 1 year on my 1 set of pads with loads left and it's seen a lot of rain and mud, huge cash savings.
    3. Water + V's ='s long delay before the brakes bite then over braking as they kick in.


    I tried to go back to V's for entirely road useage and soon ditched that idea, although pad wear wasn't a issue on the roads at all, cheap rim and rubbing was.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by shanet74 View Post
    My hesitation to go to disc brakes is the concern about bending the rotor after hitting it on a rock or something. Have never had a problem with the vbrakes out on the trail, and came across a rider who had wrecked and bent the rotor. Obviously a wreck could destroy anything, but just wondering if others have had bad experiences with problems out on the trail with disc brakes.
    It's possible but it's very unlikely, I worked as a bike mechanic for 5 years and I only saw it twice; one was on a bike which was pretty much written off anyway and the other was caused by the rider missing a sideways hop onto a concrete ledge and slamming the rotor into the concrete with his entire weight behind it.

    I used to have the same concerns as yourself before I went to discs, I did some trials type riding from time to time and worried that I'd slide off a picnic table, bench, or other such object and cream the rotor. It never happened. I've hit the rotor against the edge a few times but it's always been a glancing hit, it never hits solidly enough to do any damage. Which isn't to say it can't happen, it can, but the chances of doing damage are pretty low.

  36. #36
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    9 years of riding seen 100's of crashes even a crash in a carpark which destroyed a very expensive pair of Maverick DUC's but never seen a crash damaged rotor, sure they can get a little bit warped especially with 203mm rotor's but thats generally fixable with an adjustable spanner and 5mins bending it back.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yogii View Post
    V-brakes rock! Unfortunately, the rims that use v-brakes suck BIG TIME! Narrow, heavy, cheap; pick three! Nothing tubeless........
    Best that you can hope for is a narrow touring rim or cyclocross rim. Maybe 22-24mm wide. If the rim makers would make a decent wide, UST machined rim rim(see 26" Salsa Semi), V-brake would rock.
    But they don't so they suck......
    Pricepoint.com has Mavic Crossmax ST wheels on sale for $329. They are only 19mm internal width but they are light, strong, UST and cheap for what you get. Ceramic coated as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    It's possible but it's very unlikely, I worked as a bike mechanic for 5 years and I only saw it twice; one was on a bike which was pretty much written off anyway and the other was caused by the rider missing a sideways hop onto a concrete ledge and slamming the rotor into the concrete with his entire weight behind it.

    I used to have the same concerns as yourself before I went to discs, I did some trials type riding from time to time and worried that I'd slide off a picnic table, bench, or other such object and cream the rotor. It never happened. I've hit the rotor against the edge a few times but it's always been a glancing hit, it never hits solidly enough to do any damage. Which isn't to say it can't happen, it can, but the chances of doing damage are pretty low.
    Thanks Aerius, this helps. I think I just got a bad opinion off of one guy on the trail awhile back when they first came out. Do you have to put a whole different wheel set on when you go to disc brakes? I know my stumpjumper is set of for them from a frame standpoint, but didn't think about the fact someone else mentioned above regarding rims, ect.

    Was thinking of making the switch over when my V-brakes go out.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by shanet74 View Post
    ... Do you have to put a whole different wheel set on when you go to disc brakes? I know my stumpjumper is set of for them from a frame standpoint, but didn't think about the fact someone else mentioned above regarding rims, ect. ...
    You need to check that the hubs can take discs? Check that your hubs has the 6 bolts ready to take a rotor or if you have shimano hubs, then you might be able to take a shimano centre-lock rotor or the standard 6 bolt. Otherwise you will need to change your wheels.

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    As long as your hubs are disc brake compatible you're good to go. As long as there's a mount system of some sort on the left side onto which the rotors can be installed you're all set. Personally I wouldn't worry about the rims unless you have one of those late 90's Mavic 517's that are prone to stress fracturing around the eyelets, I run regular rim brake rims on my bike since I had a large stockpile of them from my bike shop days and have yet to seen any problems.

    Now if your hubs don't have a disc brake mount then you'll almost certainly be looking at new wheels unless you know how to build wheels and have the time to spare. It's usually cheaper to just get a new wheelset than to get the hubs, quite likely a new set of spokes, and then pay for someone to build up the wheels on your old rims.

  41. #41
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    Well then why did you change to disc brakes? What was wrong with the bike you had before? Why didn't you test a set of disc brakes before buying some?

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    A buddy of mine blew out the sidewall of his tire about 13 miles from the car. We couldn't just out in a new tube because it would bulge out of the holemin the wheel. So, we wrapped duct tape around the tire and rim. This held everything together until we could finish the ride. We couldn't have done that with rim brakes.

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    Sure you could have. Just disconnect the one brake, tape it up, and go. You still have the other brake to stop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mortgagejake View Post
    I am new to disc brakes, but have ridden enough this season to compare vs v-brakes. I know discs have been around a LONG time, but I don't see the benefit. Let me elaborate;

    I have been riding xtr v-brakes forever. They have never let me down in 12+ years or xc hardtail riding. It's the singletrack riding that I love to do. Maintenance wise they are pretty easy to dial in while riding, or before/after. Weight wise and cost wise, a lot cheaper.

    Now I bought a new ride this year and finally bit the disc-brake bullet. Reason being? Well, nobody really sells v-brake bikes anymore. So I did, and a big fat MEH.

    I don't buy that they are less maintenance. Have been back to LBS 2x so far for tuning. Perhaps the mechanic is stupid.

    Very fidgety and tricky if you dare take your tire off and squeeze the lever.

    The one-finger breaking? Doesn't matter to me. I have 5 fingers, four of which I can use to break.

    Added weight.

    So, I ask - what's the deal?
    My GIANT DS2 has caliper brakes, but this year I bought a new Marin Mount Vision with Hayes disks. Two distinct improvements are STOPPING POWER and ease of wheel removal for tube changes on the trail.

    Ride on!
    I finally made it. And when I'm not online, I ride a Marin Mount Vision 5.7 to the top of the world and back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ambassadorhawg View Post

    *v-brakes are waaaay easier to maintain, no fuss, no nonesense

    .
    the martas on my 2006 stumpy have been really ez to live with, 5 years without bleeding and they still stop really well. Sterilize rotor after each ride, change out pads occasionally keep rotor true and thats it. The avids on my new bike while they are amazing i get the feeling they will be harder to maintain. I cant imagine not having that smooth powerful front on long declines

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    Quote Originally Posted by gearjunkie88 View Post
    A buddy of mine blew out the sidewall of his tire about 13 miles from the car. We couldn't just out in a new tube because it would bulge out of the holemin the wheel. So, we wrapped duct tape around the tire and rim. This held everything together until we could finish the ride. We couldn't have done that with rim brakes.
    You could have also inflated the new tube and wrapped it in duct tape before installing it in the tire... or cut the old tube and install it between the new tube and tire.

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    I don't have the experience that many of you do, but this was a fun thread to read. The Cuyuna mtn bike trail opened near me this spring and I decided to spring for a new ride this year. I have a an old Ross with Calipers, another old Ross with a wierd toggle-link brake setup (was a great brake when new, but they're worn out now), and a Raleigh and a Giant with V-brakes.

    None compare to my new ride (Rocky Mtn 29'er, Avid BB5's) for progression and modulation. I love how little effort it takes to use either or both brakes for minor course corrections or just a slightest "pause" to get lined up for a technical feature. The bike only has around a dozen serious rides, so isn't really broken in yet, but I can tell I won't be pining away for rim brakes at all.

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    Thanks for the help. Certainly brought some things to light regarding the hubs (need to go look at that). Actually, a new wheelset is in order anyway, and may just make the switch based on what I've read.

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    Even a set of cheap Avid BB5's, properly set up (which is beyond easy), and properly broken in (this is key - you need to "season" the pads with a few long, hot downhill stops), will blow away 99% of rim brakes.

    I'll never go back.

    * waits for trails gang to kick down the door and start yelling about Magura Hydro rim brakes and pine tar *

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzz541 View Post
    Even a set of cheap Avid BB5's, properly set up (which is beyond easy), and properly broken in (this is key - you need to "season" the pads with a few long, hot downhill stops), will blow away 99% of rim brakes.

    I'll never go back.

    * waits for trails gang to kick down the door and start yelling about Magura Hydro rim brakes and pine tar *
    * Fine for trials, not so much for trails *
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzz541 View Post
    Even a set of cheap Avid BB5's, properly set up (which is beyond easy), and properly broken in (this is key - you need to "season" the pads with a few long, hot downhill stops), will blow away 99% of rim brakes.

    I'll never go back.

    * waits for trails gang to kick down the door and start yelling about Magura Hydro rim brakes and pine tar *
    I dunno, man. On one corner I have a HT with a set of Avid SL brakes (essentially speed dial 7's) with koolstop tectonic pads and crossmax st rims with ceramic coating. On the other corner I have a 4" FS bike with Formula R1's running organic pads and crossmax ST disc wheels. Both bikes are running the same tires with the same number of miles. The formula R1 are probably one of the strongest stoppers out there. I feel that my rim brakes have ~80% of the stopping power... enough to were I don't notice much of a difference for XC use. I think most people go from an old bike with old tires and old pads to a new bike with new disc brakes and new tires and say, "Wow! this is so much better!". It's like those people who review car tires... They replace a worn out set with 45K+ miles with a brand new set of tires and cant believe how crappy their old tires were.... Well, duh! The old tires had 45K+ miles! Disc brakes are better and are easier on your forearms but for low end stuff you are just paying more for extra weight.

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