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  1. #1
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    Disc Brakes not recommended for SS?

    Disc Brakes not recommended for SS? Why not?

  2. #2
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    Why not, indeed? I've never heard that.
    "If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."
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  3. #3
    bi-winning
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dank Methods
    Disc Brakes not recommended for SS? Why not?
    I definitely recommend it.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dank Methods
    Disc Brakes not recommended for SS? Why not?
    Probably the same people that only ride when it's dry out.

    Around here, if you don't have disc brakes, you get to ride 3 months of the year, if you're lucky.

  5. #5
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    Disc brakes are fine for SS. I've got both types of SS bikes; you can trust me.

  6. #6
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    What?

    --Sparty
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    We get old because we quit riding.

  7. #7
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    What?

    Read the stickies and SS facts. Spelled "FAQ" top right corner of the page.

  8. #8
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    The reasoning may be that with horizontal dropouts there can be issues with caliper alignment if the frame mounted tabs for the caliper are not slotted. The other reason is that with a disc brake in the standard position the torque of braking gives the axle the desire to slide rearward. This desire is usually less so than the desire to slide forward. Thus if you've remedied that sufficiently, the other should not pose any problems. These are the only reasons why I can think that an SS might have issues with disc brakes. I run them and have no problems.

  9. #9
    trail rat
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    Cool, one more "rule" I have been "braking" (sic) for years.......

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  10. #10
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    Cool... i think id prefer them to. But when i read on other sites they say its not a good idea. im totally going with them, nice bike!

  11. #11
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    No.....

    you should not use disc brakes for singlespeed bikes. Those other sites are absolutely right. Singlespeed and disc brakes are like water and fire. They simply do not go together.
    ..

    I dunno but why do topics like: SS tires, SS brakes, SS shoes etc keep popping up?
    It's just a different kind of bike but the basic requirements are EXACTLY the same as with any bike. Ride what you think works for you.

    Sorry I had to let that one go for a moment...

  12. #12
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    Blasphemy! I find it hard to believe that anyone could find a valid reason not to use disc brakes.

  13. #13
    is buachail foighneach me
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    on a recent ride with an exceptionally long, steep, wet downhill with lots of big slippery roots, i had the rear disk cause the back wheel to shift to the point of rubbing the frame. first time it's happened to me, but i've only been running a rear disk on a slotted dropout frame for this summer. i prefer magura hs-33's.

  14. #14
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    When I first got into SS relatively recently, Schmucker's reply is exactly the conclusion I came to. The biggest issue being caliper alignment but I have gotten over that just fine.
    "He was a wise man who invented beer."
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  15. #15
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    Disc Brakes not recommended for SS? Why not?

    This idea originaly came from sheldon brown
    he was not a fan of rear discs on a ss, but things have moved on a lot since he wrote it

  16. #16
    Beware the Blackbuck!
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    Quote Originally Posted by BShow
    Blasphemy! I find it hard to believe that anyone could find a valid reason not to use disc brakes.
    Seriously?

    Weight
    Price
    Price per gram
    Old but great frame
    Old but great fork
    Continuing use of current wheelsets

    I find it hard to believe those are all invalid.

  17. #17
    trail rat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dank Methods
    Cool... i think id prefer them to. But when i read on other sites they say its not a good idea. im totally going with them, nice bike!
    It is very different now, and morphs pretty often; even now it looks different than photo below, with different tires, bars, stem, saddle.

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach
    on a recent ride with an exceptionally long, steep, wet downhill with lots of big slippery roots, i had the rear disk cause the back wheel to shift to the point of rubbing the frame. first time it's happened to me, but i've only been running a rear disk on a slotted dropout frame for this summer. i prefer magura hs-33's.
    Could you explain this a little better. I'm trying to figure out how your back wheel could shift without drastically misaligning the disc in the caliper.
    Just one more rep and I get the toaster!

  19. #19
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    flip-flop hub.....doesnt allow rotor to be utilized

  20. #20
    is buachail foighneach me
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    Quote Originally Posted by aka brad
    Could you explain this a little better. I'm trying to figure out how your back wheel could shift without drastically misaligning the disc in the caliper.

    i never said it didn't drastically misalign the disk. the tire was rubbing badly enough to make me stop and fix it immediately. i assumed the first two times that it was your standard drive side axle shift, so it was a quick loosen the driveside, thumb on the wheel at chainstay, retighten. turns out i was mainly just flexing the rim when i did that both times. third time i actually paused for a moment and looked at it, which is when i realized that the non-drive side had shifted rearward in the dropout. so i realligned it and really cranked down on the nut.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowsCast
    Seriously?

    Weight
    Price
    Price per gram
    Old but great frame
    Old but great fork
    Continuing use of current wheelsets

    I find it hard to believe those are all invalid.
    Yeah, a good set of disc brakes (BB7) costs about the same as decent linears and the pads last way longer, work great in wet and mud and don't ruin a wheelset within a year because of sidewall is worn through. Overall, I'd say the weight probably isn't much different either, and less expensive because of mentioned reasons.

    I love my 89 Rockhopper and it would be my first choice mountain bike, but rims brakes suck for eight months of riding in my area.

    Your riding area and style can make the call of disc versus rim. I personally think disc brakes are better and clean up the lines of a bike, but that is just my experience- and there is only one way for you to learn for yourself...

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by robertjohnkay
    Disc Brakes not recommended for SS? Why not?

    This idea originaly came from sheldon brown
    he was not a fan of rear discs on a ss, but things have moved on a lot since he wrote it
    This is exactly it, and sheldon was thinking what Schmucker explained. I have run disc, V, and canti brakes on SS bikes. I prefer V-brakes for most uses, but disc brakes for any sort of riding that involves lots of braking. More specifically, any ride where you spend a lot of time descending. But, in my opinion, unless you live in a mountainous region you don't need disc brakes. In fact, you'd be better off with a nice set of V-brakes. They are much lighter, less expensive, easier to maintain, and stop very well too. This being said, if you are a heavier rider, you can always benefit from disc brakes.

  23. #23
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    Great v-brakes (SD7s) are typically less than half the price of the BB7s, and the BB7s, for all their wonderful endorsements, represent the lowest priced entry into quality discs. In addition, replacement pads for v-brakes are roughly 1/3rd the price. The weight isn't very close either, with the v-brakes being about half the weight (186g vs 367g), excluding the fact that you have longer cable runs with disc brakes. Even the most astronomically priced discs struggle to compete with that.

    I own bikes with each, and understand the pluses and minuses. My point is saying that "there is never a viable reason to run v-brakes" is ridiculous.

  24. #24
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    Ok, great. I think I made it clear my bike of choice is a bike without disc brakes and that wet and mud make rim brakes a problem.

    V-brake pads are substantially cheaper, but only one half at best and last three months while a disc brake pad can last at least twice that, so we can consider price of pad replacement a wash.

    Disc brakes weigh a half a lbs more, and since I'm not a weight weenie, given that I could lose two lbs and be better off than two off my bike, that doesn't seem so important, especially since the BB7s have great stopping power, are easier than Vs to adjust, can work with variable wheelsets and are less prone to squealing and minute adjustments on a regular basis.

    Since I assume responses flaming disc brakes and the logic in owning them were directed towards my post, I would mention that if I didn't live in an area clogged with mud, I'd use V brakes. Really, which is why people really should use their own analytical abilities and pick a brake system that works best for them in their system. Each have a degree of positives and negatives, but I think, in general, they are both pretty close in a general comparison.
    I

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowsCast
    Great v-brakes (SD7s) are typically less than half the price of the BB7s, and the BB7s, for all their wonderful endorsements, represent the lowest priced entry into quality discs. In addition, replacement pads for v-brakes are roughly 1/3rd the price. The weight isn't very close either, with the v-brakes being about half the weight (186g vs 367g), excluding the fact that you have longer cable runs with disc brakes. Even the most astronomically priced discs struggle to compete with that.

    I own bikes with each, and understand the pluses and minuses. My point is saying that "there is never a viable reason to run v-brakes" is ridiculous.
    Also a great argument in favor of V-brakes.

  26. #26
    local trails rider
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    Discs are nice when conditions are wet, dirty or snowy.

    *** I can afford LX level hydraulics and I am sure losing 10 or 20 kg off me would make me faster than losing 400 g off the brakes. ***

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth
    Really, which is why people really should use their own analytical abilities and pick a brake system that works best for them in their system. Each have a degree of positives and negatives, but I think, in general, they are both pretty close in a general comparison.
    That would eliminate the need for MTBR and where would the Internet armchair engineers go? And those who feel compelled to take up sides and argue that their way is the best and only way?

    I have an SS with mech discs, a geared double boinger with hydro discs, and a mofo cross with V brakes - all work, all have their place. My first MTB in 1979 had Mafac cantilever brakes with Suntour BMX levers. I still have more MTB years on cantis than V brakes or hydraulics.
    "The physician heals, Nature makes well" - real fortune cookie

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  28. #28
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    My On-One Scandal has horizontal dropouts and has the disc mounts on the chain stay so the brakes rotational force doesn't push the axle out of the dropout, simple yet effective
    Attached Images Attached Images

  29. #29
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    Disc breaks rock, tho I feel one shouldn't waste the money on hydros, just my opinion. Been using avid bb7 cable discs for years, they stop me.
    Calmer'n you are.

  30. #30
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldencalf
    Disc breaks rock, tho I feel one shouldn't waste the money on hydros, just my opinion.
    I could be totally happy with V's if the weather was always nice. BB5 mech discs were a bit of a disappointment for me - not sure that lever "feel" is a feature, bad setup, or fingers sensitized by all those hours pulling triggers at the shooting range.

    Affordable hydros for me now please.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    I could be totally happy with V's if the weather was always nice. BB5 mech discs were a bit of a disappointment for me - not sure that lever "feel" is a feature, bad setup, or fingers sensitized by all those hours pulling triggers at the shooting range.

    Affordable hydros for me now please.
    BB5s suck. As a rear brake it is acceptable. Get a pair of BB7s off of ebay (you can find pairs for ~50). BB7 are easy to install and are probably the easiest brake to adjust.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    I could be totally happy with V's if the weather was always nice. BB5 mech discs were a bit of a disappointment for me - not sure that lever "feel" is a feature, bad setup, or fingers sensitized by all those hours pulling triggers at the shooting range.

    Affordable hydros for me now please.

    time to lighten your trigger
    Calmer'n you are.

  33. #33
    local trails rider
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    A smooth trigg .... er ... brake lever feel is better than a mushy one with lots of snags along the way

  34. #34
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    I've definitely wished for a v-brake on the rear of my Spot instead of the disc brake I've always had. Pulling the rear wheel is a PITA.

  35. #35
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    Its a traditional thing i think you will find.Simplicity,old school tends to get mixed up with singlespeed bikes.I will use either but my latest bike has hydro discs and i have no reason to complain so far.In fact having brakes this reliable in terms of feel and zero maintenance can actually be a good thing that i could get very used to.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth
    BB5s suck. As a rear brake it is acceptable. Get a pair of BB7s off of ebay (you can find pairs for ~50). BB7 are easy to install and are probably the easiest brake to adjust.

    i've owned a couple of sets of BB-7's, and every single caliper has been a royal pain to adjust the spoke-side pad. difficult to access and constantly seizing up from i guess a combination of mud, pad dust and heat.

  37. #37
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    Nice backround Slocaus

    Quote Originally Posted by slocaus
    Cool, one more "rule" I have been "braking" (sic) for years.......

    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach
    i've owned a couple of sets of BB-7's, and every single caliper has been a royal pain to adjust the spoke-side pad. difficult to access and constantly seizing up from i guess a combination of mud, pad dust and heat.
    That is true. I keep a flathead in my backpack, which is long enough to reach through the spokes with ease and fit into the little notches well enough to adjust brake alignment.

  39. #39
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    A pain? Maybe.....

    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach
    a royal pain to adjust the spoke-side pad. difficult to access and constantly seizing up from i guess a combination of mud, pad dust and heat.
    .....but the key word is "adjustable". You don't have that trail tune option on hydros, most types anyway.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  40. #40
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    I love BBs, but that's true^^^. The spoke side adjustment knob is a *****.

  41. #41
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    I also always carry a long torx wrench to adjust the inside through the spokes. Impossible to adjust with only using your hands.

    But the keyword is adjustability.

  42. #42
    local trails rider
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    What exactly should I keep adjusting on hydraulic disc brakes?

    When I installed LX hydros on a bike, a few months ago, I adjusted caliper alignment, lever position and lever reach. The next thing I expect to do is replacing pads.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowsCast
    Seriously?

    Weight
    Price
    Price per gram
    Old but great frame
    Old but great fork
    Continuing use of current wheelsets

    I find it hard to believe those are all invalid.
    Weight: Being a weight weenie, doesn't necessarily make it right. I understand that your quest for lightness is a personal choice and a matter of preference, but for 99% of the riders out there, it's not valid. Stopping power and bike control is significantly more important than saving a couple hundred grams. Also, most people could eat one less twinkie a week and save the same amount of weight and save a little cash, thereby increasing your price per gram ratio.

    Price: BB7's retail for $60 whereas SD7's retail for $45. Assuming that you're spending a decent amount of money on your bike, $15 a caliper isn't all that significant.

    Price per gram: already touched on above.

    Old but great frameset: This may be the only valid reason to run V-brakes. A fine point.

    Continuing use of current wheelsets: This is valid point short term, however, you will need to replace your wheelsets as the V-brakes eat through your rims. Long-term, this is a much less valid point.

    Given the choice to run BB-7's or V-brakes, I dont think there is a valid argument against the discs. They're more functional in more conditions, they're easier to adjust and they're easier to maintain.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by BShow
    Weight: Being a weight weenie, doesn't necessarily make it right. I understand that your quest for lightness is a personal choice and a matter of preference, but for 99% of the riders out there, it's not valid. Stopping power and bike control is significantly more important than saving a couple hundred grams. Also, most people could eat one less twinkie a week and save the same amount of weight and save a little cash, thereby increasing your price per gram ratio.
    This is utter crap and I'm really tired of hearing the same arguments over again. No, a pound less on your body isn't the same as a pound less on the bike. A light bike is VERY noticeable, and usually the people who tell me to "eat a twinkie less" are ones who haven't ridden a really light rig. Plus, there are quite a few of us here who can't lose more weight.

    In the wet, yes, disc brakes are better. But for XC riding in the dry, good rim brakes are just fine. My experience has run the whole spectrum with disc brakes, but my XC only single speed still runs v-brakes since it simply doesn't need disc brakes. On a dry day, good rim brakes with good pads will give disc brakes a run for their money.

    You might not think saving weight is a valid reason for you, but don't even begin to think it's not a valid reason for a lot of other people.

    Just to quickly hit up a couple more of your reasons, I don't know of anyone who's managed to eat through their rim using rim brakes. The rim always dies before the brakes get anywhere NEAR to eating through them. When one of my rims does die, I'm not throwing away the entire wheelset, I'm simply lacing a new rim on there. I don't know about you, but v-brakes are very easy to adjust, and easily forgotten once dialed. They're also easily adjusted or fixed on the trail given a multitool.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic
    This is utter crap and I'm really tired of hearing the same arguments over again. No, a pound less on your body isn't the same as a pound less on the bike. A light bike is VERY noticeable.
    I think your points have already been made. Thanks for chiming in with the same stuff you are tired of hearing. However, now it should be abundantly clear that certain brakes work for certain people in certain situations that do a certain type of riding. Thankfully, we all have SSing in common.

    That being said, I am going riding. If I'm not writing something stupid in eight hours, someone call search and rescue.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic
    In the wet, yes, disc brakes are better. But for XC riding in the dry, good rim brakes are just fine. My experience has run the whole spectrum with disc brakes, but my XC only single speed still runs v-brakes since it simply doesn't need disc brakes. On a dry day, good rim brakes with good pads will give disc brakes a run for their money.
    As retro-grouchy as you sound, your points are valid. Well except for this one IMHO. I loved the simplicity of my old v-brake hardtail and it worked pretty well with KoolStop pads and when adjusted properly. But they just couldn't handle a 200lb rider on steep descents that require modulating speed. They were strong enough to lock my wheels, if that means anything, but they weren't strong enough to actually stop me well. I skidded off the trail more time than I could count because they went straight from "kinda slowing me down" to "locked and skidding". So glad to be past that.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth
    I think your points have already been made. Thanks for chiming in with the same stuff you are tired of hearing. However, now it should be abundantly clear that certain brakes work for certain people in certain situations that do a certain type of riding. Thankfully, we all have SSing in common.
    What I'm saying is exactly that: certain brakes work for certain people in certain situations. What I had trouble with, and why I posted, was BShow saying anyone who uses rim brakes is just an idiot.

  48. #48
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    You absolutely CANNOT. MUST NOT. MAY NOT put disc brakes on a single speed. Especially the really nice SS or Ti-frame ones....

    Anyone out there who has RUINED their SS by putting disc brakes on them, let me know I can help you find a way to dispose of that ruined bike... depending on what type of bike it is ;P

  49. #49
    is buachail foighneach me
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic
    This is utter crap and I'm really tired of hearing the same arguments over again. No, a pound less on your body isn't the same as a pound less on the bike. A light bike is VERY noticeable, and usually the people who tell me to "eat a twinkie less" are ones who haven't ridden a really light rig. Plus, there are quite a few of us here who can't lose more weight.

    In the wet, yes, disc brakes are better. But for XC riding in the dry, good rim brakes are just fine. My experience has run the whole spectrum with disc brakes, but my XC only single speed still runs v-brakes since it simply doesn't need disc brakes. On a dry day, good rim brakes with good pads will give disc brakes a run for their money.

    You might not think saving weight is a valid reason for you, but don't even begin to think it's not a valid reason for a lot of other people.

    Just to quickly hit up a couple more of your reasons, I don't know of anyone who's managed to eat through their rim using rim brakes. The rim always dies before the brakes get anywhere NEAR to eating through them. When one of my rims does die, I'm not throwing away the entire wheelset, I'm simply lacing a new rim on there. I don't know about you, but v-brakes are very easy to adjust, and easily forgotten once dialed. They're also easily adjusted or fixed on the trail given a multitool.

    i've eaten my way through a few brake tracks before the rim folded. it does happen. usually it'll just get thin enough that the pressure from the air in the tire/tube will split it at the thinnest part. i still prefer rim brakes though for anything but mud.

    yes, v-brakes are exceedingly simple to adjust.

    hs-33's offer unlimited modulation and all the power of v-brakes.

    modulating v-brakes is a matter of either light finger action or slight toe in of the pads. on the few v-brake equipped bikes i've ridden, modulation has not been a problem i couldn't overcome with a simple solution.

  50. #50
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    My experience, too

    I weigh 195# and would never go back to rim brakes in the wet or the dry. Disc brakes are superior for me all the time. But that's just me. I don't care what other people use, even if I might think they'd be better served by something else. I will keep my superiority to myself.

    --Sparty

    Quote Originally Posted by boomn
    As retro-grouchy as you sound, your points are valid. Well except for this one IMHO. I loved the simplicity of my old v-brake hardtail and it worked pretty well with KoolStop pads and when adjusted properly. But they just couldn't handle a 200lb rider on steep descents that require modulating speed. They were strong enough to lock my wheels, if that means anything, but they weren't strong enough to actually stop me well. I skidded off the trail more time than I could count because they went straight from "kinda slowing me down" to "locked and skidding". So glad to be past that.
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  51. #51
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    One of Sheldon's reasons for not liking disc on singlespeeds--which I agree with-- is that is prohibits you from running a flip/flop wheel.

    As for me, I like to run a mullet!
    http://www.bikingtoplay.blogspot.com/
    RIGID, not "ridged" or "ridgid"
    PEDAL, not "peddle." Unless you're selling stuff

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by seat_boy
    One of Sheldon's reasons for not liking disc on singlespeeds--which I agree with-- is that is prohibits you from running a flip/flop wheel.

    As for me, I like to run a mullet!
    I totally agree with this.

    I have used every form of chain tensioning tactic (EBB, sliders, slotted disc dropouts, chain tensioner) on various frames and I really think that the best and most simple way to achieve chain tension on a SS is with rear track ends combined with a rear v-brake. Results in the lightest frame with the least amount of moving parts, and combined with a bolt on rear hub makes for a nice stiff wheel connection.

    Using a disc brake on the front can give some additional braking power if the rider feels it is necessary.

    I have been using vbrakes front and rear on my SS, but that does limit your selection of suspension forks, so I can see the benefit of a front disc for that application also.

    LP

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