What Are V Brakes On A Mountain Bike

What Are V Brakes On A Mountain Bike? – [Complete Details]

Do you dare to ride on a mountain bike with an unreliable braking system? Of course, no one wants to take the risk. Mountain bikes are equipped with v brakes that have the ability to stop the bikes immediately in dangerous situations.

Remember, it’s not only the stopping power but the braking system that has a significant impact on the ride quality of bikes. For a beginner, the “what are v brakes on a mountain bike” question can be confusing as he/she doesn’t know much about the braking systems. Let me try to answer the question briefly.

What are V-brakes?

V-brake, also known as direct-pull cantilever brakes, are similar to cantilever brakes that have two halves bolted to the bosses and welded perfectly to the frame.

V-brakes are side actuated and have the cable housing fixed to the arm by way of a noodle. Also, the inner cable is clamped to the other one. When the cable is pulled through the housing, both arms are drawn toward each other while moving the pads toward the rim.

V Brake on a bike

These brakes were introduced when the suspension was becoming more common. V-brake system doesn’t need a fixed cable stop on the fork or frame; they quickly became famous on mountain bikes.

V-brakes were initially used on Cyclocross bikes, but they failed to get the attention of cycling lovers due to the reduced clearance between the rim and the pads. The proximity of the straddle cable and tire may cause problems, especially when used on muddy surfaces.

Nowadays, modern mountain bikes are equipped with disc brakes instead of v-brakes. However, they are still trending on hardy touring bikes. Best brake manufacturers provide modern brakes that are more powerful and convenient to set up than earlier brakes.

V-brakes are prone to running when not maintained properly. If you don’t take off the brakes during setup and cleaning, the two sides may fail to pull back from the rim symmetrically.

V-brakes have a different cable pull ratio compared to cantilever brakes. There is a special long-pull lever to pull through double the cable amount, as a standard lever should be used. This makes V-brakes an ideal option for mountain bikes.

Pros
  • Easy to maintain and replace
  • Less expensive than other brakes
  • Don’t add strain on the spokes or hubs
  • Spare brake shoes and braking parts are readily available on the market
  • Don’t hinder the mounting of a kickstand
Cons
  • Braking performance is affected by mud and water
  • It may cause wear on the rims
  • The brakes shoes should be replaced regularly

What are v brakes on a mountain bike?

V-brakes offer reliable and powerful braking on bumpy terrains, which is one of the main reasons why these brakes are used for mountain bikes.

V-Brake on a mountain bike

Another highlighted feature of V-brakes is that the superior braking power of these brakes performs better in wet conditions. Don’t forget to adjust the v-brakes every two weeks to a month for the best performance.

Why Do Road Bikes Not Use V Brakes?

A road bike doesn’t use V brakes as the disc brakes are more powerful and convenient to squeeze compared to v-brakes. Road biking involves endurance, and conserving energy is the top priority of every rider.

Road bikers prefer quick and easy stopping power as they need to overtake their competitors.

How to Adjust V-Brakes?

If you want to adjust the v-brakes, the first thing you need to do is to align the brake levers.

  • Loosen the clamp, align and then adjust them as per your need.
  • Now set the clamps back in the original position and tighten them.
  • Remove the brake pads and check them carefully.
  • Replace or clean them if needed and set the brake pads back in the original position.

Are Disc Brakes Better Than V-Brakes?

Most mountain bikes are equipped with disc brakes. They are easy to install and configure. The best thing about disc brakes is that they can stand extreme weather conditions such as heavy rain and snow.

Another benefit of disc brakes is that they don’t damage your tire rims. They are heavier than v-brakes which may increase the strain on your wheel spokes.

Before disc brakes, V-brakes were the most popular braking system. They are easy to maintain and replace. Additionally, these brakes don’t add pressure on the hubs or spokes.

When it comes to price, V-brakes are more inexpensive than disc brakes. However, they may wear out the rims quickly. They are not best for riding on muddy tracks or in the rain. Also, you have to replace the brake shoes regularly.

V Brake

Final words

So, mountain bikes are equipped with v brakes because they are inexpensive and easy to replace and maintain compared to other brakes. However, if you are riding on muddy tracks or in a wet area, it is recommended to use disc brakes for your safety. V-brakes are also best for off-road riding due to the powerful and robust long arms to provide elevated stability compared to other braking systems.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which is better, V-brake or C brake?

C brakes (Cantilever brakes) are hard to adjust than V-brakes, whereas V-brake offers less clearance. V-brakes are best for mountain bikes due to their strong performance and easy replacement. On the other hand, C brakes are best for muddy conditions.

How long do V brake pads last?

V brake pad pads last between 30,000 and 70,000 miles depending on the usage. Remember, V-brake pads wear out over time, and you must check them regularly for safety.

When should you change V-brakes?

It would help if you changed V-brakes when the teeth in the rubber disappear. New brake pads are equipped with teeth, grooves, and also some sort of pattern in the pad.

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