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  1. #1
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    1 Finger Braking

    I just got an 06 Specialized Rockhopper for christmas. Ive taken it out 3 times, and it rides great. For the first time I only have to use 1 finger to use the brakes (rim brakes btw), but occasionally 2. Everyday I ride though, it sems like the pads wear out a little or something, and it gets tougher to break with one finger.

    Next year, I am most likely going to put Avid mechs on my bike. Does anyone know if I will lose breaking power over short periods of time, or will it take alot of riding to wear out a pair of pads?

    Also, any advice as to how to solve the problem of my break pads wearing out quickly would be great.

  2. #2
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    If they're wearong out quickly and you see nothing that could be destorying them early on the rim they're just doing their job well.

    Maybe move to a harder compound brake?
    You'll probably loose some braking power though.

    The rim and brake start to get dirty giving you less power, maybe clean them both with some rubbing alchocol?

    Rim brakes suck, if your like me you'll be constantly dealing with something V-brake related.

    Rockhopper is a good bike but I still can't see dumping all that money for disc.
    Better to just save your dough and buy a new bike.

  3. #3
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    Could be some kind of buildup on your cables/housings from mud (if you're riding in muddy conditions) or maybe the cable is stretching a bit? When you say harder though, do you mean that the lever pull is harder or the pull is longer so you're giving more pressure to get the same braking?
    :wq

  4. #4
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    You'd think the longer pull would give you more mechanical advantage, that's why I didn't mention cable stretch.

    Can't be doing that serious of braking though, you just can't use one finger with V-brakes on anything remotely serious.

  5. #5
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    What I meant is the pull is longer, so I have to apply more pressure.

    I was just surprised how much the pads wore down in 3 days of riding. It wasnt a significant difference, but much more than other bikes I've used.

    It is a poor decision to put discs on a Rockhopper. It is prolly gonna be my XC bike for a while, so why not boost up the braking power by putting a pair of decent discs on. I was thinking about the BB5's. Does anyone know how much it would be for a front and rear setup? Also, could I use my current levers that came with my bike for now (im dont have very deep pockets)?

  6. #6
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    I'd think it wasn't pad wear as much as your cables and housings bedding in, probably just needs a cable adjustment. Very normal with new stuff...
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  7. #7
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    Barrel adjusters are your friends.

  8. #8
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    Are the barrel adjusters right next to the lever?

    Sorry about all the questions, Im a moron when it comes to bike repairs. All i know about bikes is how to ride them.
    Last edited by giantrider9; 12-29-2006 at 07:02 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by giantrider9
    Are the barrel adjusters right next to the lever?
    Yup, thats the screw thing right at the end of the lever where the cable housing goes in. Just unscrew it a little to take up cable slack. See how it goes but too much and the pads will rub the rims all the time. If you find you need to unscrew them almost all the way then thats too much. You may need to adjust the amount of cable being used at the brake itself. Also the cable may be pulling through the pinch bolt at the brake, that could be really bad if it pulls all the way out when you really need it.
    As far as avid mechs go, if you have v-brakes levers then you are all set. Just make sure your bike has disc mounts and disc ready hubs and bolt em on!
    By the way, disc brakes are never a bad idea!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MillerSHO
    You'd think the longer pull would give you more mechanical advantage, that's why I didn't mention cable stretch.

    Can't be doing that serious of braking though, you just can't use one finger with V-brakes on anything remotely serious.
    I use one finger 100% of the time with v-brakes...no problem. I like the feel of my hydro discs better though.

  11. #11
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    Disc brake upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by giantrider9
    It is a poor decision to put discs on a Rockhopper. It is prolly gonna be my XC bike for a while, so why not boost up the braking power by putting a pair of decent discs on. I was thinking about the BB5's. Does anyone know how much it would be for a front and rear setup? Also, could I use my current levers that came with my bike for now (im dont have very deep pockets)?
    In order to upgrade your bike to discs, you need a disc ready wheelset (the '06 Rockhopper does not have a disc ready wheelset) as well as the disc brakes themselves. If you want to do BB5's, you're looking at anywhere from $200-$250 depending on what wheelset you choose, and how good a bargain hunter you are.

    Another thought would be to buy a better set of V brakes like Avid single digits. Less than $40 for a set, cheaper online.

    Bob
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by yater
    I use one finger 100% of the time with v-brakes...no problem. I like the feel of my hydro discs better though.
    Ya sure dood.

  13. #13
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    It is possible to buy disc hubs, and have your current wheelset attached to the new hubs, that way you dont have to buy a whole new wheelset, along with the brakeset?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by giantrider9
    It is possible to buy disc hubs, and have your current wheelset attached to the new hubs, that way you dont have to buy a whole new wheelset, along with the brakeset?
    If you can do the work yourself.

    If you have to pay someone to do it probably better to jew buy new wheelset.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by giantrider9
    It is possible to buy disc hubs, and have your current wheelset attached to the new hubs, that way you dont have to buy a whole new wheelset, along with the brakeset?
    Unless you are building the wheels, NO! The labor involved would eat up any money saved by just buying disc hubs and lacing them to your current rims. The best way to go would be to buy disc wheels. I did the math for my 2002 Trek Fuel last spring. Then it would have cost me about $600.00 to upgrade to Avid mechs front and rear. I decided to stick with the V-brakes on that bike. They work fine for the type of terrain that I ride most of the time.

    My next new bike will have discs! I just don't know when that will be as I really like the Fuel and see no reason to get anything more until I have more technical terrain than I currently do to ride.

    As for your current problem, I will second the opinion that it is probably cable stretch. If you can't get it straight by yourself using the barrell adjusters, go to your LBS and have them do it for you. It is why they are there! And most good LBS's give you a free tune up with the purchase of a new bike just for this reason.
    "There are those who would say there's something pathological about the need to ride, and they're probably on to something. I'd wager though that most of the society-approved compulsions leave deeper scars in the psyche than a need to go and ride a bicycle on a mountain." Cam McRea

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by giantrider9

    Next year, I am most likely going to put Avid mechs on my bike. Does anyone know if I will lose breaking power over short periods of time, or will it take alot of riding to wear out a pair of pads?

    Also, any advice as to how to solve the problem of my break pads wearing out quickly would be great.
    the disc brake pads will last longer then the pads of rim brakes
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  17. #17
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    I will echo what others have said about cable stretch during the break in period. You will need to adjust them more than once I would say. If you run out of adjustment room on the barrel adjuster, you might even need to dial it back against the brake lever and then take up slack at the pinch bolt. This is just normal break in.

    As for 1 finger stopping with V-brakes. I can execute a 1 finger stoppie on my wife's Fisher Marlin every time (I replaced the stock brake pads with Koolstop after the first ride). It does take more force than my Avid Juicy's, but there is no doubt that I can stop the front wheel with 1 finger consistently.

    A longer cable in a V-Brake system will not provide more mechanical advantage as far as I know. On a cantilever system, the cable is part of the mechanical lever, but on V-Brakes the fulcrum of the lever is the brake boss on the forks or frame with the lever being fixed length and cable just providing the force (as opposed to being part of the lever mechanism like the yoke of a cantilever system).
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  18. #18
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    I recently upgraded my girlfriends 03 Rockhopper Comp to discs from Cambria bike. I got the whole thing front and rear Shimano M-525 hydro's for $100! That included the levers, rotors, calipers, and hardware all pre-bled. The system is a night and day improvement over the stock v brakes, and I don't consider $100 too much to upgrade the old hopper, although I did a bunch more upgrades as well

    Here is a link to the rear setup on Cambria that I bought ($65). At the time they were offering a matching front setup for only $35
    http://www.cambriabike.com/shopexd.asp?id=28420

    You could call Cambria and see if they still have the matching front as well.

    Here is a pic of the finished Hopped, upgrades include Shimano M-525 hydraulic brakes, Mavic Crossride wheels, Salsa skewers, Sakreb Comp fork, Specialized alloy stem, Race Face Deus headset and handlebars, ESI Racers Edge grips, XT 760 cassette, XTR chain, Panaracer Trailblaster tires, and Specialized 26x 1.5-1.95 Turbo tubes.
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    Last edited by Aaron65; 12-30-2006 at 09:59 AM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by MillerSHO
    Ya sure dood.
    When you grow up, you'll have big-boy hands like the rest of us.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron65
    I recently upgraded my girlfriends 03 Rockhopper Comp to discs from Cambria bike. I got the whole thing front and rear Shimano M-525 hydro's for $100! That included the levers, rotors, calipers, and hardware all pre-bled. The system is a night and day improvement over the stock v brakes, and I don't consider $100 too much to upgrade the old hopper, although I did a bunch more upgrades as well

    Here is a link to the rear setup on Cambria that I bought ($65). At the time they were offering a matching front setup for only $35
    http://www.cambriabike.com/shopexd.asp?id=28420

    You could call Cambria and see if they still have the matching front as well.

    Here is a pic of the finished Hopped, upgrades include Shimano M-525 hydraulic brakes, Mavic Crossride wheels, Salsa skewers, Sakreb Comp fork, Specialized alloy stem, Race Face Deus headset and handlebars, ESI Racers Edge grips, XT 760 cassette, XTR chain, Panaracer Trailblaster tires, and Specialized 26x 1.5-1.95 Turbo tubes.
    Nice looking bike you got there, Aaron. I have those brakes on my 2002 Enduro and I've never had an issue with them. They've never been bled in four years of riding and, when I broke my frame, they went right over to my 2004 warranty frame. I still use them to this day

    Giantrider, you should think about upgrading just your front wheel to a disc setup. Front wheels are really cheap and you can get some Avids set on for not much more. Most of your braking is coming from the front anyways, maybe give that a try?
    Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live. ~Mark Twain

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by yater
    When you grow up, you'll have big-boy hands like the rest of us.

  22. #22
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    Thats sound like a good idea. I can do one wheel at a time.

    Anybody got any suggestions on a good wheelset? I was thinking SUN singletrack rims.

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