Durable mini brake arms- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Durable mini brake arms

    My kids have been going through Tektro brakes like they are candy. The thin metal part that holds the noodle breaks off and then they are basically done, although I'm sure someone more creative could fix them with a zip tie and paperclip or something.

    Are there any mini size v brakes that are more durable and reasonably priced? I have never had any issues with any of my brakes, or with the kids' more expensive BMX racing brakes, but I need something durable for their mountain bikes that they use for dirt jumping, skatepark, and everything else.

    The most recent ones I have bought are ProMax, and they are holding up fine, but still a bit expensive and have not been on there that long. They were $30, so definitely want to keep it $30 or less. Some of the racing brake arms are almost $100, which is kinda crazy.

  2. #2
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    To clarify, you're looking for mini v brakes? Is this for BMX or will full size V brakes not work? Avid SD7's or 5's or whatever their current model is are super durable, I have some going over 15 years now.

    Otherwise, I'd go for some Box mini's twos or threes. They're a hair over your price, but if you're trashing tektro's every week, it should pay for itself pretty quickly and they're going to be better than the promaxes. If they break these, there's some other issue at hand.

    Threes: https://www.boxcomponents.com/Box-Three-V-Brakes

    Two's: https://www.boxcomponents.com/Box-Two-V-Brakes

    Also, if they can fit longer arms, both of these come in 108 but they are quite a bit more, but it puts less stress on the noodle attachment area due to increased torque from it being a longer mechanical lever. If you don't have space to clear it, then go smaller, but otherwise longer V's are better in every way including durability if they are torquing the noodle attachment off the brake caliper.
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  3. #3
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    Hi, I tried to respond a couple times to this thread, but was having issues (something about the IP address not existing??).

    Yes, I'm talking about mini V brakes - this is for a spawn banshee (16" wheel) and also possibly for a Cleary Gecko (12") that I've converted to a little dirt jump BMX bike. I have some Avid's on my old 26" hardtail and they are really good, but I'm not sure if they have any that will fit. I will check the bike to see if I can fit the longer arms, that is a good idea. I think the arms will fit, but not sure if the pads will line up.

    Thanks!

  4. #4
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    How are they failing? Is it from pulling hard on the brakes / impact damage on crashes / something else entirely?

    If it's from pulling hard, consider that lever travel goes through the following phases and some adjustments that might help:
    1. Pads don't make contact with rims -- the "floaty" portion of the lever stroke before the brakes start to engage. Ideally you want just enough to account for wheels going out of true a little and so that bumping the lever a little doesn't cause the bike to stop.
    2. Pads start making contact with rims -- where the brakes begin to work.
    3. Wheel locks up -- the point at which the wheel won't turn any more. The further from the bars this happens, the more force will be getting applied in the next steps. The distance between 2 & 3 is what gives you the ability to modulate braking power.
    4. Lever stops moving at normal pressure -- somewhere a little beyond point #4 the lever will stop moving under a reasonable amount of pressure. Ideally you want this to happen pretty close to #4 with the reach adjusted in so that this is as close to the bars as possible.
    5. Failure -- if all other settings are good, you shouldn't get to this point.
      If the reach is too low, this means the lever hitting the bars. If the reach is too high, this means something snaps (likely either the caliper arms or the lever)


    For most kids, you probably want the brakes adjusted so that the reach is as far in as possible with the wheels only fully locking up when the lever is a few mm away from the bars. Tweak accordingly from there.


    Beyond adjustment, you might want to consider doing some braking drills. At the kids clinics for our local MTB XC racing league they have them practice stopping on targets while starting their braking at varying distances away.

    The 2 problems that tend to pop up regularly:
    1. Grabbing too hard -- the instinct for many kids is to grab onto their brakes as hard as possible, so the usual advice to them is to treat it like squeezing a tube of toothpaste where you want to get just enough out but not too much.
    2. Using only the rear brake -- they may have had either a bad experience grabbing the front brake too hard or have been told by misguided adults to that they might go over the bars if they use their front brake. Learning to use both brakes effectively is key to stopping more quickly and also means less need to grab the rear brake as hard.

  5. #5
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    From what I understood, the pivot/pin that holds the retaining arm (not sure on the technical name for this part) that the noodle is attached to is either ripping out of the caliper or the caliper itself is breaking. So, it may be grabbing too hard but the tektros don't look super burly, I can imagine in a BMX race someone easily cranking down on the brakes even if they are a decent rider.
    WTB: Med Bontrager Ti Lite, PM Me...

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