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  1. #1
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    long reach calipers vs mini-V's

    So I've got a road bike that runs long reach caliper brakes, and lets me fit 34mm cross treads. I love it and ride it a ton on singletrack. Really wish I had more brake power though.

    So option 1 is to get a cross frame and just swap my parts right over and run mini-v brakes. This is by far the lowest cost option, and I'll run this bike on the trail and the road with tire changes.

    Option #2 is to sell the whole thing and get a disc cross bike. I know disc will have more power and modulation than my long reach calipers....but also force a much bigger cash outlay.

    but the question is will mini-V's have a decent bit more bite than the calipers? And I think I'm giving up a smidge of modulation right?
    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I have a road bike with Tekro long reach calipers. They are pretty awful, barely able to skid a tire. My V braked Crosscheck on the other hand, stops on a dime (though it has full size V brakes, not mini). I think for the amount of traction a 'cross tire has, V brakes are fine. The only time I really appreciate discs is in the snow or mud.

  3. #3
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    I have mini-v's on one of my bikes. They almost have too much power and not enough modulation. Ill be swapping the pads out to see if it gives me better mod, but they are definitely powerful, that's for sure.

  4. #4
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    My previous cross bike had a mini-v up front and canti in back (Tektro RX5 and Oryx, both cheap) and they worked great. My current cross is an On One Dirty Disco with BB7 discs. I like the discs more, but the mini-v was very adequate. I wore out my rims though and decided it was stupid to ruin wheels from braking.

    Generally you can get more from selling your complete bike (on Craigslist, say) and using that money to get the complete bike you want, but it depends on what you can get for your old bike. If you stick with cantis/mini-vs look for a frame, say on roadbikereview. But if going for discs, go for the whole bike, cause it means new wheels too.

  5. #5
    PeT
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    The hot cross setup when clearance isn't a problem (no mud build-up) is to put a mini-V up front and use a canti in back. So consider keeping your frame but buy a cross fork so you can run a mini-V up front and keep the caliper in back (equivalent in lot of ways of a cantilever in the back). That way you get to keep (for the most part) the bike you know you love and save money too boot.
    "The plural of anecdote is not data." -- Attributed to various people in a variety of forms, but always worth remembering...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeT View Post
    The hot cross setup when clearance isn't a problem (no mud build-up) is to put a mini-V up front and use a canti in back. So consider keeping your frame but buy a cross fork so you can run a mini-V up front and keep the caliper in back (equivalent in lot of ways of a cantilever in the back). That way you get to keep (for the most part) the bike you know you love and save money too boot.
    This ^^^ is a decent solution. I ran my steel single speed road bike as a cx with the addition of a Crosscheck fork up front and a v-brake, and the power was awesome. I don't agree with a cantilever brake equating to a long-reach caliper, that's just comparing apples to oranges.

    However, for what your frame is limited by in terms of brake compatibility, a fork swap would be the ticket to a cheap conversion.

    Keep in mind that most cross forks will have a steeper axle to crown (a-t-c) measurement, which will have the effect of raising your cockpit height and slackening your seat/head-tube angles. I didn't notice a drastic change in my swap though, even though the angles visibly changed. It was just too much fun to make me care!


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