If you follow the mountain bike industry at all, then you have no doubt heard about the new V-Brakes from Shimano. While we haven't had a chance to test them out for ourselves, there is little doubt that Shimano has set the new standard in brake design. Here are some reactions we've picked up from the 'net.
Mountain Biking Equipment Reviews | Shimano V-Brake
I'm looking to upgrade my brakes but I'm not sure what the best thing to do is. I currently have the old XT canti with XT RFP. I think want to go with the v-brakes but then I would have to get new shifters and brake levers making the cost about $200+. I'm wondring if anyone knows a cheeper way to upgrade to the V-brakes?
Get 'em at Nashbar (1-800-NASHBAR):
Can somebody tell me how come you can't just use regular rapid fire levers with V-Brakes?
V-brakes require a fair bit more cable pull than normal canti's. As such you need special V-brake compatable levers else you run the risk of bottoming out your levers. Some claim to have adequate to good success with non V-brake levers, but Shimano says no-can-do. With Shimano V-brake levers, you can use the levers with V-brakes or regular canti's. This is possible, since the lever has an adjustable pivot point (or at least my XTR setup does). I'm not sure why anyone would do this though. One minor point to go with V-brake compatable levers is that very little finger leverage is required to lockup the wheels with V-brakes. The V-brake levers only have room for 2 fingers, which is already about 1 finger more than you need. My previous levers had room for all my fingers to pull with, and many times that was not enough lockup regular canti's. I would hate to grab a fistful of lever with V-brakes.
A friend of mine has the Kooka V-brake compatable levers, and loves them. They are like the Shimano levers with the blocks taken out. Super-duper powerful, one finger stoppers.
AGREED- I just finally (yesterday evening) got my XTR V-brakes set up with the Kooka levers. Almost scary how much more precise they are than the old XT canti/Ritchey lever/pad I was previously running. Haven't had it out on the trail yet, but this is going to take some getting used to.....
Here in So Cal, if you can find a pair of the XT levers, LBSs have been asking $110/pr, the Kookas were only $10 more. I tend to avoid shi*ano when I can, with a grudge against their planned obsolescence engineering strategy, but when it's the best thing going, sometimes I've gotta swallow my pride, and just ride what works.....
After you've geared up, why don't you consider taking on one of the mountain bike meccas? Nobody can resist the lure of Moab Area Mountain Biking.