Recomend me V brake sets and wheels – and talk me out of it

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  • Recomend me V brake sets and wheels – and talk me out of it
  • timdrayton

    FFS not another brake thread…..

    I am looking after a mates bike with v brakes and it has got me thinking.

    I only do what can be best described as scared overcautious XC. V small jumps flowy singletrack, i dont really need massive stopping power.

    I have disc brakes which work fine, but I am useless at bleeding them or generally looking after them.

    My mates v brakes work fine, and are easier for me to work with, and will probably be cheaper in the long run, and free up some cash (if i sell my wheels, brakes, forks) `so i am considering getting some nice v brake wheels with ceramic rims and some nice v brakes.

    So recommend (and tell me generally about) some 2nd hand v brake wheelsets (is it worth getting ceramic rims)? for around £100, I would ideally buy from the classifieds?

    same with a v brake set, which are the best? XTR avid…. cant really afford those kcnc blingy ones….


    Do you ride in winter/mud much? If so, stick with discs.


    No, get discs and learn how to service them.


    Premier Icon midlifecrashes

    Vs are good on dry, unbuckled rims. For the other 80% of the time, it’s discs. If it’s the faff of setting up hydraulics, use cable discs instead. Shimanos are better than Vs, and Avids are close to Hydraulic, many would say just as good.

    ditto, V’s are fine i the dry, but suffer from crap modulation and just plain uselessness in the wet

    also your rims will explode after about 18 month use.


    Well set up Vs can offer loads of stopping power, speshly if you’re smaller and lighter. Discs do have their advantages, but Vs can be lighter, and a lot easier to maintain. And those ceramic rims are fantastic in the wet. I think they’re actually better wet than in the dry!

    And V pads can be a lot cheaper to replace, and last longer than some disc pads, speshly in bad weather.

    For lighter XC/pootling, I can’t see why not use Vs.

    Oh, and I forgot price.

    You could get a top-end V brake and wheel set up, for the same as a mid-range disc ensemble. And it would be significantly lighter.


    I have this from a m8, he’s had disc for 3 years now, they’ve worked fine for those three years without any kind of servicing, now he moaning like a little girl that they aren’t simple.

    I’m sorry after three years they need a bit of TLC, get a fricken life. How many times would he have had to faff with V-brakes in 3 years, pathetic moan.

    And V pads can be a lot cheaper to replace, and last longer than some disc pads, speshly in bad weather.

    am i the only one who remembers having to carry piles of spare pads on rides if it was raining?

    superstar disk pads are £6, v-pads are £3, my disks oulasted my v-s tenfold easily, probably gettign on for 50x in the peaks (2 rides a week over winter, 1 set of sintered pads, easily 1-2 sets of v’s per ride!)


    so if i was looking at some v brake specific crossmax’s with ceramic rims whats the going rate?

    Premier Icon BigDummy

    I rather follow your logic, having spent what seems like a small fortune on upgrading to discs and finding them almost continuously not quite performing right. It’s fine to say V-brakes don’t work well in the wet and the clart, they don’t. But a lot of people’s experience of disc brakes is that they randomly decline to work for no apparent reason, although work fantastically when they are in a good mood. 🙂

    I used to like LX levers on Avid SD5 calipers, and flak-jacket cables.


    I too have been a fan of V-brakes for ages, and even when I had a disc at the front (on my last bike), I ran v’s at the back with no problems. Cable drag can be a pain in the nuts, and you’ll notice the difference between disc and v-brake most on the front wheel.

    But if you do want to go down that route, Avid SD5/7 are cheapish, easy to service and so on. I would definitely recommend Koolstop mixed compound pads – salmon on one half, black on the other: the theory is one cleans the rim and is a bit softer; the other is harder wearing and really clamps onto the rim to slow you down.


    I have a light Ti V braked hardtail for summer use. The great thing is that if you bide your time you can get the v brake bits cheaply. I got some Avid Ti brakes from here and have just got some DT ceramic rims on DT240s hubs from here too. The Ti v brake frame (Handsome Dog) came from Ebay for £150 which would no doubt have been more if disc ready. All looks very nice.

    Premier Icon IdleJon

    I’ve got an old Klein which I put XTR v-brakes on years ago. Never had a problem with them, bike now a single speed and will continue to run it with v’s. In the meantime, I’ve had Magura Julies, which were rubbish, they needed constant fiddling to get the pistons back in. Then went on to Avid 5s, still on my geared hardtail. Been on for 5/6 years I think, very little maintenance. Now have Avid 3s on latest full sus, only been on for 5 months, so still early.

    No excessive pad wear on any of them, v or disc. However, compared to discs, v’s just aren’t powerful enough, so there are steep trails around here that I just won’t ride with v-brakes.


    well i have had to reduce my bike collection to one bike and its a ti hardtail that’ll take v brakes.

    my hope mono mini brakes have been less than faultless, and whenever i need to adjust them or bleed them or whatever I start off with the best of intentions (i have all the right tools too) but i just cant get it right so i end taking the whole thing to the lbs, which pisses me off tbh.

    i dont need disc brakes, v’s will do, its just going to be a real upheaval going back to them.

    i guess i’ll hold out for nice kit, and do it over time as the bargains come up…..


    I ride Vs every day on my work bike. They’re ok in the dry, but it can b a bit of a lottery when heavy braking in the wet.
    Yes they eat your rims too, even on the road.
    Much rather have discs if my frame would take them…

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