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Thread: Mini V up front

  1. #1
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    Mini V up front

    I'm a monster crosser (Surly Cross Check currently on 40mm, looking to go to 45 maybe even 50 in the future) at heart and have started to realize that I could have more stopping power with some mini-vs up front (plus rumor has it they can help cut back on fork chatter, which I've been fighting with).

    So my question is who has done this? How do you like it? And which ones to get?

    So far I'm looking at the TRP CX9s (150 for the pair, what to do with the second one!?)
    Paul Mini Motos (129 for one, but also come with Kool Stop pads, yummy)

    Or what is the feeling on having a long pull left lever and short pull right lever? (Would rather avoid this)

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    What about running regular V-brakes with the appropriate levers? It ends up being cheaper too: $20 or so for Tektro RL520s, another $50-$60 for a pair of Avid SD7 brakes and some Kool Stop pads. As long as you're running bar end shifters the change should be quick and painless.

  3. #3
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    Mostly because I want to keep the canti in back and I think it would be goofy to have two different levers (from the Tektro website they look slightly different).

  4. #4
    jrm
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    If youre on 40 and 45c tires youll probably have to deflate the tire to get the wheel past the mini vs b/c the pads will be so close to the rim to function. Shimano makes three levels of touring v brakes that work with STI shifters.

    Here are the part numbers.
    BR-R573 - 105 V-Brake
    BR-R463 - Tiagra V-Brake
    BR-R353 - Sora V-Brake
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  5. #5
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    I do a lot of trail riding and almost killed myself a few times trying to slow down on rocky singletrack with cantis. I had the newer high end shimanos which just did not work on the trail. In an actual CX race stopping is not as critical so they were ok there. So I went from $160 Shimano cantis to $20 Tektro mini-Vs and the improvement is dramatic. I will eventually try the TRPs or XTR V-Brakes, which have become diffcult to find and expensive. I use 105 brake/shifter levers.

  6. #6
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    I'm running TRP CX8's on my Cross Check. I love them. Performance wise, they're awesome. Tons of stopping power. But I'm not sure if you'd be able to run a big knobby tire with these brakes. The biggest tire I've personally used is a 37mm slick touring tire. There was plenty of space for them, but they're pretty far from a true "monster cross" tire.

    Right now I have a 28mm road tire mounted on the stock wheelset--from the top of the tire to the brake cable I have ~15mm of space. That wouldn't leave much room for a taller tire, especially if you need to have any mud clearance.

    Hope this helps! Have you tried out different brake pads for the canti brakes? Kool Stop's Salmon pads gave me a lot more stopping power when I was running cantis.

    Edit: Oh yeah, you don't need to deflate the tire to pull the wheel out. The noodle can pop out of the holder, which lets the brake open up for swapping out wheels.
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  7. #7
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    I have Tektro BX3v brakes on mine. I kicked myself for waiting so long! They're cheap and work great with refillable holders and Kool Stop pads. Not sure how big a tire they'll clear. The biggest I had on that bike was 34, which worked fine.

    Given a choice, I'll match front and rear brakes. But since they're always different anyway, I don't imagine mismatching would be too bad.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  8. #8
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    I run Tektro RX6 brakes on my crosscheck. In this photo I have some 35-ish tires on there with fenders, but I've had it set up with some Bontrager 1.8s, both setups on Salsa Delgado rims.
    Its been a while since I had those tires mounted, but I think I was able to get the wheels on and off without deflating the tire. I could be wrong, as I said it was a while ago.
    I do really like these. Though I'm still a fan (and continue to use) cantis on another bike, I am impressed with the power of these cheap $20 brakes.

    Mini V up front-dsc_7929.jpg

  9. #9
    Eli Broccoli
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    Love my TRP 8 point whatevers. The pads they come with are super tacky and wore out fairly quickly but I have had zero issues with them. So much less finicky than cantis.

  10. #10
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    I just picked up a set of older Ritchey ZED knobies in a 42mm size. On the stock Alex rim, I've got about 5mm of clearance between the top of the tire and the brake cable. Not a lot, but it looks like it'll work.

    Here's a photo (and bonus dog!).

    Mini V up front-photo-3-.jpg
    "Never trust a man in a blue trench coat. Never drive a car when you're dead." -- Tom Waits

  11. #11
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    I'm running mini-v's F and R. Tektro 926AL's, their cheapest and shortest arm length mini's. Koolstop salmon pads. Only got about 4 races in on them before life got too crazy and had to hang the bike up for a bit. But they were good. On a Monstercross bike, not sure the arms would be long enough to clear the larger tires, height wise. I was running 34mm tires and had no issues.

    Having in-line cable adjusters is a must IMO. That way you can run the pads pretty close to the rim, but also have the extra slack to easily get the wheel out when needed. I set mine up pretty loose and then used the in-line adjuster to get them where I wanted them. Also helps with finding the right lever feel.

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