Considering V's over discs on a 29er SS

al415

Banned
Hello.
My first, and so far only, 29er was a Haro Mary SS. I liked it a great deal, though it felt under-braked if the stock Avids were not properly adjusted. For my next go round I’ll be building up a 29er frame from scratch. I was planning on going with Avid BB7’s again, but my inner retro-grouch has me reconsidering this. Do you guys think that a decent V-brake will offer enough stopping power to slow down those big 700c wheels at full tilt? I like to brake quite late and quite hard, so unlike many people I’m not opposed to an “on-off” feeling from my brakes. It looks like only cheaper or entry-level 29er bikes come with V-brakes, and Discs are considered an upgrade. Do you guys think this is a question of functionality or marketing? Thanks.
 

J-Dro

Well-Known Member
Those big wheels like to hold their momentum and need more stopping power then V brakes can offer IMHO. If you like to brake late and hard, you might find yourself skidding a lot too. I say go for disc brakes and would go as far as recommend a larger diameter rotor (~185mm) up front for any 29er.
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
I think you'll be fine with v-brakes, especially if you're fine with on/off.

And if you avoid riding in the wet, even better.
 

jdog

Shop: Halter's Cycles
Shop Keep
Go with V-brakes if you weigh under 150 lbs and you don't care much about stopping power or modulation.

Oh yeah.. Never bend your rims even a little or they will be rubbing all the time.

And never ride in mud.
 

al415

Banned
Go with V-brakes if you weigh under 150 lbs and you don't care much about stopping power or modulation.

Oh yeah.. Never bend your rims even a little or they will be rubbing all the time.

And never ride in mud.

Hey Jason.
The second part of your post could apply to v-brakes on any size of rim. Are you saying that V's come up short specifically with bigger wheels?
 

RacerChick

Hudson Valley Girl
Go Disc scrubbers and never look back! The race I did yesterday, the V pads would have down to the bone after the first eye watering downhill!

RC ... :)
 

jdog

Shop: Halter's Cycles
Shop Keep
Hey Jason.
The second part of your post could apply to v-brakes on any size of rim. Are you saying that V's come up short specifically with bigger wheels?

They suck less on smaller wheels but they still suck.

The bigger wheels are most definitely harder to stop. A good example of this is the bigger rotor size that most folks use on a 29er.


Think Fred Flintstone dragging his feet on the ground to stop his car.
 

al415

Banned
They suck less on smaller wheels but they still suck.

Heh, you're just a futurist! I like V-brakes on my 26" Perhaps I'm just old. Having said all that, you are probably right when it comes to the bigger wheels. I was hoping for some closet physicist to chime in with a comment about how wheel size makes no difference blah blah... I rarely venture outside of Hartshorne so my downhills are about 25 seconds long on average.
 

ArmyOfNone

Well-Known Member
Disk brakes are not from the future so dont worry. Are you sure you are running bb7s? Im pretty sure the mary's run bb5s. I did not care for them so much. If you have the cash upgrade hydros. If not the bb7s are a solid brake IMO.
 

al415

Banned
You're right, the Mary had BB5's. My prophet had BB7's. When set up right I thought the BB5's were just as good. I run xt v's on the steel hard tail I ride now and am quite happy. I like the simplicity and timelessness of v-brakes. But I don't want to spec them just for it's own sake, if they really are not up to the task.
 

Wobbegong

Well-Known Member
I dont think the V's would be that much different on a 26 compared to 29 inch wheel. Rim brakes stop the shit out of a road bike.

It would be different on disc brakes because the disc is located at the hub, the 29 inch wheel has more leverage in relation to the hub when compared to a 26 inch wheel, so a bigger disc makes sense to reduce the amount of leverage.

Think of it as a wrench on a bolt. If you hold the wrench at the end, you have more leverage than if you hold it in the middle. This principle doesnt apply in the same way to V brakes.

I do agree that disc brakes are much better than V's, I'd always take disc. Rim brakes are for road bikes.

Just my silly 2 cents.....
 
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ChrisG

Unapologetic Lifer for Rock and Roll
rim brake blather alert

Dear Retro-Grouch:

I ran first-generation XT v-brakes on my Bonty for like 10 years. Combined with ceramic Mavic 517s and ceramic-specific pads, I think I had pretty much the optimum rim brake setup available. I currently am running first-gen XTR cantis with ceramic Open Pros and ceramic-specific pads on the CX bike, and again, I think the braking is as good as I could hope for. I particularly like the lever feel of these setups. I don't think there are any ceramic 29er-specific rims out there. The road rims might not be so happy for real mountain biking, though I ride my CX regularly at all of our local places.

However, the 29er offers a different issue, mainly as a result of combining the bigger diameter hoop with the heavier tire, and I wonder about the ability of the v-brakes to handle the demands when you're really pushing it. I have zero experience on a rim brake 29er, so I'm just commenting based on what I'd imagine. And, as you say, if the bulk of your riding is in Hartshorne and Allaire, the need for anything more potent might not be there. I never considered rims brakes for my 29er, under the assumption that discs would be better performers for my needs.

None of the stuff I've just written adds up to meaningful advice, I suspect.
 
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