V brakes, fancy or not worth it?

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  • I’m rebuilding one of my bikes which has until now been used either fixed or with a coaster brake so there’s no rear brake on it but the new build is going to need one.

    At the moment I’ve got an Acera level v brake on the front, it did have have an XT (non parallel push) v for a while but due to me using the wrong bolts it removed it self. I don’t think there’s any different in function between the XT and Acera brakes.

    Since I’ll be ‘doing up’ this bike I was thinking about putting nice parts on it and this would include the brakes but, I am torn between buying another Acera v for like, £15 or dropping a wad of cash on nicer brakes since I don’t think there is going to be much upgrade in function.

    Paul Motolite are probably out of budget at £300 for two sets, Avid Black Ops not much cheaper. XTR could be an option but decent condition sets are still going for £120-150+on eBay, the cheaper ones are looking a bit tatty. XT parallel push ones (m739,m750) are getting towards what I’d call a sensible price but I seem to remember the parallel push mechanism being a bit rattly and the source of squealing when they were back new so what state are they going to be in now? Avid Arch Rivals could be an option, they are under a hundred quid for a decent nick set but are still a significant chunk of cash more than another Acera and I might be better using that money to do something like going for a WI freewheel over a cheaper one.

  • there is a parallel push XT brake in walkman's retro sale. V brakes are so ugly though, I have been thinking of going back to cantis but the good thing about the parallel push ones is they are marginally nicer looking because they flare out more (or maybe that is an optical illusion). Back in the day I thought they were the best, slightly better feel personally than the avid arch rivals (which were also good) and the dx's I also had at various points.

  • The current deore ones work well for me and come up regs on here cheap.

  • Currently, I use a frankenbeater-26er with a Motolite rear and a Shimano DX front - the difference between the two in terms of set up and ‘feel’ is night and day. Obviously, the difference is part of what you’re paying for.
    I have a second full set (both Motolite front/rear) that I hang on to because I know I’ll never get another set for the price I paid and I hope to find a neat inline solution for using them with a road lever (Motolites won’t easily accommodate the Travel Agent that replaces a noodle).

  • I think the walkman MTB sale is now moved to eBay, judging by the stuff I stumbled across last week!

  • Check out TRPs CX v brakes. Paired with some swiss stop blue they are absolutely awesome.

  • They’ll be mini v?

    If I was doing that I’d just go canti.

    Main reason for thinking full size v is that I have some xtr levers I’d pair with them.

  • Worth it in terms of performance? No. As 'investment' ? 100%

  • FWIW, I really rate the Deore XT V-brakes we have on our tandem. Very little slop on the bushings and the included cables are good. The stock one-piece pads on the Acera-level brakes will likely feel slightly spongier, and may not provide as much power, but that's not for certain.

  • Check out TRPs CX v brakes. Paired with some swiss stop blue they are absolutely awesome.

  • I have some xt v-brakes in the garage if your interested, I can dig them out tomorrow and check condition and what generation they are?

  • Aaah, now that the C word has been mentioned I’m re-evaluating.

    V brakes ain’t going to make me Insta famous.

  • Bog standard Deore v-brakes are unbeatable for price/performance

  • Maybe not, but you’ll stop nice nice, with less fiddling.

  • I have parallel-push LX with koolstop cartridge pads on my shopper/dadbike so that I don't have to ever tweak the pad angles. They squeal a tiny bit but seem to go quiet after a couple of minutes of every ride.

  • The most sensible option for a framebuilder and tinkerer is to build a set of v-brakes in steel. It's fun, you are learning something and it get's you your insta-fame.

  • Yeah that’s a possibility.

  • a steel version of the classic onza HO brakes would be sick

  • fwiw our current tandem has low mileage m950 parallel & they work amazing. previous tandem had m510 which worked competently, "upgraded" with secondhand m739 parallel that looked good cosmetically but were obviously worn - despite my best efforts they constantly squealed & didn't stop well. have had m739 on other bikes that have been good, I guess condition is everything...?

  • If you can find one of these, I don't believe you'll find better. Cane Creek Direct Curve 5 CNC v-brakes, and they're reversible, so your cable can pull from the left or from the right.

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  • Never seen that before. That’s interesting.
    (also, I run a Motolite reversed for a straighter cable run).

  • I had a lower spec, non reversible one and hated it. Ended up using a flexible noodle with it so I could get the side that terminates the outer cable to move, probably my fault for using a stiff, compressionless outer.

  • I think I’m going to go for cantis.

    Found some decent looking Tektros (cr710) on SJS for a l good price and with what I save over fancy Vs I’m going to treat myself to a brand new WI freewheel in my preferred tooth count from SJS too instead of going for a used one in the wrong size from eBay.

    Might still make my own arms in the fullness of time.

  • Perhaps I'm biased due to my experience of 90s Shimano cantis with the hateful eyebolt pad-fitting interface, but I don't think I could ever be convinced to go back to them. Vs just seem immeasurably better to me.

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V brakes, fancy or not worth it?

Posted by Avatar for M_V @M_V