Advice on Buying V-Brakes
V brakes - buying information and advice
Bonthrone Bikes UK
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V-Brakes are 'Rim Brakes' and the most common brake found on mountain bikes. They are cable operated and a simple cost effective solution to good braking.
Brake Types Overview:
If you are new to biking there are 3 main types of brakes:
1) Rim Brakes (V-Brakes, cantilever brakes, calipers, hydraulic brakes)
2) Hub Brakes
3) Disc Brakes (Hydraulic, Mechanical)
Which V-brake Design will fit which bike?
V-brakes(see below for different types) fit nearly all mountain bikes that have suitable brake bosses and pretty much all mountain bikes have these. They are the welded protrusions that appear on the forks and rear stays. Obviously you'll want to check first if you're not particularly bike confident;)
Standard V-Brake Design
V-Brakes are used by most mountain bikes today. To gain the most braking power and leverage, V-brakes are made as long as possible. They have two separate brake arms either side of the rim and offer pretty good stopping power as a result.
The 'Parallel Push' V brake Design
Standard V-Brakes because of the rotating action of the arms, do not hit the rim in a completely parallel fashion thus potentially diminising the braking power. 'Parallel push' V brakes address this inherant problem and are specially designed so that the brake pads are perfectly flush and parrallel with the rim on application and this has the added advantage of also not being dependant on having new pads (as pads wear, on tradition V-Brakes they can hit the rim 'off-parallel' making the brakes less effective). So, the end result is parallel push V-brakes are the easiest to adjust and look after.
What about Mixing and Matching V-Brake Lever Brands?
No problem - 99% of V-Brake lever manufacturers work with other brands of V-Brakes and vice versa. Most V-brake kits come with all the nuts and bolts but you'll need to buy your own set of brake cables.
What about Levers - can I use my existing ones with my new V-Brakes?
Not necessarily - you will need specially designed V-brake levers to work with your V-Brakes.