Author Topic: Comparing V-brake models  (Read 2710 times)

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Comparing V-brake models
« on: July 03, 2012, 02:48:38 pm »
There seem to be hordes of variants of V-brakes and I can't work out how they differ. There's Deore, Deore LX, Deore XT and within that there's a couple of variations on each 'level'. Then there's Saint and other heavenly bodies. That's before even we get on to other manufacturers. It looks like the differences are mostly cosmetic - one's silver, one's black, one's shiny, etc. But then I go and read stuff like this
Quote
they have no spring tension, because the springs stink you can never get them to spring back from the rim evenly, and they aren't powerful at all.
... they have constant pad drag, ...don't snap back from the rim, but for all the others, they are no good. Mine will never be in adjusment, and therefore am getting XTs, maybe XTRs.
about the Dia-Compes I have atm, which sums up exactly what's wrong with them. As all the Deore variants are around £20 half (well, most actually) of me thinks just go to LBS and buy whatever they have - or is it worth getting a particular variant? Some go up to £80 or more, which seems ott for my purposes.

TIA for all thoughts, hints, tips and meanders.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

LEE

Re: Comparing V-brake models
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2012, 02:54:55 pm »
And then there are Avid Ultimate V's which I fitted to my Thorn Raven Tour because they are fantastic (and quite expensive).

Apart from running on nice bearings, which mean more power finds its way to the rim, you can swap over the noodle to get a nicer cable run (because most V-Brakes aren't really designed for "British" right hand = front brake cable runs).

Recommended if you have £100 going spare.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Comparing V-brake models
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2012, 03:05:36 pm »
Swapping the noodle over sounds good. Guess they're a bit different from these (and what is Force Vector Alignment anyway? No explanation given, smells of 100% pure marketing bullshit, mmm, flame grilled).
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Comparing V-brake models
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2012, 03:11:47 pm »
Aha, found those Avid Ultimate Vs as well. Here. They've got Force Vector Alignment too! As well as sealed cartridge bearings and various anti-corrosion devices.

Yes, they look lovely, and I'm sure there's a big difference between eg those two Avids, but if I start getting myself £100 brakes then I'll have to get £100 everything else and then I won't be able to feed my son! Unless I sell him - any buyers, he's quite hard working and obedient? So back to those Deore LXs and XLs, are they all a muchness?
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Gus

  • Loosing weight stone by stone
    • We will return
Re: Comparing V-brake models
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2012, 03:25:31 pm »
I had Avid Ultimate, but I broke it.
 I prefer Avid Digit 7 or Deore XT's, no fuss and just working every time.

Re: Comparing V-brake models
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2012, 03:56:25 pm »
That's 100 an end ? - for that I'd be inclined towards XTRs - they're about 64 quid from CRC.
The parallel-push keeps the pads nicely aligned and they work well. TBH I prefer the all-painted finish of the set I have circa-97 to the newer ones I've put on the 'bent - whilst having a little spring to stop the old XTR parallel-push rattle of the originals, they've got a ground ally finish around the edge which to me looks like it could be more vulnerable to corrosion long-term.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Comparing V-brake models
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2012, 04:54:58 pm »
That's 100 an end ? - for that I'd be inclined towards XTRs - they're about 64 quid from CRC.
The parallel-push keeps the pads nicely aligned and they work well. TBH I prefer the all-painted finish of the set I have circa-97 to the newer ones I've put on the 'bent - whilst having a little spring to stop the old XTR parallel-push rattle of the originals, they've got a ground ally finish around the edge which to me looks like it could be more vulnerable to corrosion long-term.
£63.99 but "item discontinued". TBH I'm not convinced by the look of that "parallel push" system. It may be handy for keeping the pads aligned but it also seems to present more opportunities for grit and brake much to get into bearings and gum everything up. Still, I've never tried it in practice - if you find it works well, that's good.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Re: Comparing V-brake models
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2012, 01:29:50 pm »
Quote
£63.99 but "item discontinued". TBH I'm not convinced by the look of that "parallel push" system. It may be handy for keeping the pads aligned but it also seems to present more opportunities for grit and brake much to get into bearings and gum everything up. Still, I've never tried it in practice - if you find it works well, that's good.

I have, and that that's exactly why I suggested them  :P
(Hmm, they must have sold the last of those - don't even appear on the website now..)

I put a pair on my Stumpjumper circa '97/'98, then rode that as my main bike (retiring my '90 cracknfail) - commuting, general mtbing, trailquesting, in all sorts of shitty conditions, up to and including a trip to the Alps in '02, and a little while after (before picking up a s/h P7 cheapish..) In fact the few people on the Alps trip that weren't having trouble with brake fade/arm pump were the handful of us xc-jeyboys with Vs.

They're not intended to be serviceable, but there's a locknut you can undo (but not remove) which slackens them off to rinse out any grit  - a bit of a PITA but it's impossible, I've done it a few times, being a serial cleaner/servicer/tinkerer - there's some captive ball bearings in the main pivot housing.


Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Comparing V-brake models
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2012, 06:46:50 pm »
...just go to LBS and buy whatever they have
Ha ha! Tried this and realised the other reason people like online bike shops, besides price. They always have things! LBS ("Bristol's best bike shop") had precisely one model of v-brake; branded Raleigh, which I'm afraid rather put me off.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

PH

Re: Comparing V-brake models
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2012, 07:46:03 pm »
about the Dia-Compes I have atm, which sums up exactly what's wrong with them.

As you don't mention the braking I'm assuming you're happy with it.  In which case Deore will be fine, I've haven't experienced any problems with mine.  Spend some of the money saved on better quality cables and pads, IME these two things make a big difference.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Comparing V-brake models
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2012, 08:36:27 pm »
Yes, I'm pretty happy with the braking power, at least in the dry. But as for Deores, I'm confused as to the different varieties. There's LX, XT and I think plain Deore; I'm sure I remember someone saying that the difference is purely in the cosmetic finish, but I'm not sure if I believe it!

But yeah, at the end of the day it's probably not a noticeable difference anyway, other than the finish.  :-\
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

LEE

Re: Comparing V-brake models
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2012, 01:17:44 pm »
about the Dia-Compes I have atm, which sums up exactly what's wrong with them.

As you don't mention the braking I'm assuming you're happy with it.  In which case Deore will be fine, I've haven't experienced any problems with mine.  Spend some of the money saved on better quality cables and pads, IME these two things make a big difference.

Agreed.  At the end of the day they are all bits of metal pivotting on a fork boss.  Unless you pay for decent bearings (see Avid Ultimates) then I don't see where the differences lie.  I wouldn't touch Shimano Brake pads (unless I actually wanted to quickly grind my wheel rims a bit thinner).

I'd get the basic V-Brakes but decent cables/pads (KoolStops)

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Comparing V-brake models
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2012, 02:55:27 pm »
I'd get the basic V-Brakes but decent cables/pads (KoolStops)

Agreed.  Even BSO-level V-brakes can be made to work well (for the 20 minutes or so before they rust) when given decent cables and pads.

+1 for KoolStop.  I use the dual compound replaceable insert type.  Squeak like bastards for the first few rides, then just work.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Comparing V-brake models
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2012, 04:43:14 pm »
Yes. But I've been fiddling with cables and pads on these all year and have reluctantly concluded that the bearings are knackered. Well, they are 13 years old so I suppose that's fair enough! Anyway, I've now ordered myself a pair of Avid 5s, which surely don't have the ultimo bearings of the Ultimates but are a) cheap b) stainless fittings c) match the bike cos black unlike the silver paint of most (I'd choose shiny bare metal for preference but no one seems to do that anymore) d) not Shimano brake pads.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Comparing V-brake models
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2012, 02:01:25 pm »
As Tredz have decided they'd rather send semi-informative emails than ordered items, I went out yesterday and got a used pair for a fiver. An old design with the pads held in by a system of two posts perpendicular to each other rather than directly on one post with shims and adjusted by spanner rather than allen key, but actually easier to adjust than the shim system. The arms are much closer together than modern designs and they don't have an external spring - which is probably good, as that's been a weakness on mine. So far, less powerful but wonderfully smooth and still quite powerful enough.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)