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Have V-Brake Pads Changed Over The Years?

Manc33Manc33 Posts: 2,157
edited January 2011 in MTB workshop & tech
I bought a cheap Decathlon "Rockrider 6.2" about 8 months ago and its served me well, but in the last few weeks I noticed a scraping noise on the front brakes.

Sure enough, the metal inside the brake pad is eating away at the rim on both pads, I thought it was just grit off the roads but no... if I leave these pads on any longer I will need a new set of wheels!

So, my question is... I do have v-brake pads lying around the house from a long time ago like 15 years ago - these pads are definitely v-brake pads (they are actually "Kool Stop" which I have read are about the best you can get for v-brake pads) but the thing really annoying me here is, my Rockrider bike has v-brake pads that have a screw thread on them, they need to for the nut to keep them on.

All the v-brake pads I have found lying around the house do not have any screw thread on them and the "bolt" (the arm on the pad) looks shorter on these old ones.

Is it me or have they changed from smooth (well, the old ones have a smooth finish but kinda with a diamond pattern to give it a bit of grip) to a screw thread?

This is a real dilemma since 1. I cannot possibly leave these worn pads on, they are worn right down to the metal and 2. I can't go buy a set of new ones because I have no money, not even £10 or whatever they cost for 4.

eBay sells the best deals on Kool Stop - I have seen them on there for peanuts compared to retail prices. Retail they are about £8.99 for 2 pads! On eBay you can buy them from the US (where they are made) for something like £4 but then there's a bit of postage, they still come out cheaper.

Sorry its such a long post... I just want to know have all MTB's now with v-brakes all got a screw thread on the brake pads? So close to using those awesome Kool Stop pads and yet so far away............

Posts

  • you could get a £2 set of threaded from CRC
  • warpcowwarpcow Posts: 1,448
    I don't remember ever seeing a v-brake pad without a threaded end. The smooth kind was for normal canti-brakes.

    Kool-stop pads are worth the money in terms of power (my personal favourites are the dual-compound, red/black ones), but I agree that they are generally pricey. Buy the best you can afford right now. Cheaper ones will be very solid and offer little stopping-power, but on a vaguely positive note they will probably last longer. See if any LBS has a bargain bin, you usually find things like brake pads in there.
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    yes there are two fittings on the cheap brakes and the better one.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
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  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    What shefbiker said. £4 posted for two pairs, you won't get any cheaper, and make more sense than new wheels. And despite what the ad says they are V pads.

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Mode ... elID=35461
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  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    cooldad wrote:
    What shefbiker said. £4 posted for two pairs, you won't get any cheaper, and make more sense than new wheels. And despite what the ad says they are V pads.

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Mode ... elID=35461

    yep V brakes are cantilever brakes :wink:
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    nicklouse wrote:
    cooldad wrote:
    What shefbiker said. £4 posted for two pairs, you won't get any cheaper, and make more sense than new wheels. And despite what the ad says they are V pads.

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Mode ... elID=35461

    yep V brakes are cantilever brakes :wink:

    Pedantic ********. OK they are threaded cantilever pads, and quite suitable for your V (canti) brakes.
    I don't do smileys.

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  • Manc33Manc33 Posts: 2,157
    Cheers guys I go on ChainReaction every day but never thought pads were that cheap, then again I am fixated on Kool Stop and never look at any other pads. :oops:

    These newer/longer V brake pads are so long, they need a curve on top... so they cannot be turned round.

    In the end I purged a pair off the back of an ancient Specialized Rockhopper here (circa early 1990's I think) that had like a "U brake" on the back (which never took off, like the "Biopace" chainrings also on it lol) and those 2 pads are threaded, but they are not long like v-brake pads, they are more like cantilever pads, but again, they do have a thread.

    Those pads are symmetrical from what I can see. I managed to put those on and toed in pretty well, so the whole pad is touching, extremely close to the tyre, but safer than they were set up... those brake pads I took off... they have a big groove cut into them, about 25% of the brake pad was never touching the wheel, hence why they have worn down so fast.

    Well, maybe the guy that set the bike up rushed it and I never checked myself since it took them 40 minutes to get it ready (I wanted to ride it away).

    If I had a camera I would show you the pads, even the metal inside them is flaking away.

    Can I ask a few questions though, or one... if I wanted to upgrade to disc brakes (the frame and fork do both support it, kinda why I chose this bike in a way) what exactly do I need... wheels themselves need to be "disc wheels" ??? If so, I will just forget it, but if all I need is the brake itself + rotor... I might try to scrape the money together, any mechanical brake will do, I would just use my current levers. Or, can a v-brake type rim be "converted" to a disc wheel using all its current spokes etc? I am not sure what holds the rotor on on a disc wheel, hmmmm.

    Guys, if you are thinking of going back to v-brakes to save weight over disc brakes, forget it!
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    hubs need to be disc ready.

    a new wheel build. (hub and spokes)

    yes your levers will be fin with mech disc brakes.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    Bloody cheek. Ancient! The yoof of today.

    I have a Rockhopper, circa 1988, has U brake on chainstay, and original awesome Biopace chainrings. And thumbies. And a Girvin Flexstem. Still on original mighty Mountain Exage mechs and wheels. They don't make em like that anymore.

    Which is probably a good thing, and why it mainly gets used to run to the shops. No one would be stupid enough to steal it.
    I don't do smileys.

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  • Manc33Manc33 Posts: 2,157
    That old Rockhopper is my dads, I rode it quite a lot, its actually pretty light for its size, its quite a big frame.

    Those Biopace chainrings... are aluminium and ended up so worn out the chain used to slip if I pedalled hard, thats what you call a WORN out chainring, its the only bike thats ever happened on, maybe its because it is Biopace, maybe its because its aluminium, or a mixture of both.

    Its a shame the rear mech is only a 6spd... theres a lot of decent stuff on that bike thats better than whats on my current "cheap" Rockrider! Including the brake pads. Its a wierd bike though, because the front v-brake (I think this was one of or maybe even the first v-brake on any bike) has no screw thread, so its using some sort of canti pad, but then they look like v-brake pads.

    My rear mech is pretty horrible, takes about half to a full turn of the pedals before it changes gear... Shimano Altus! Thats below every other rear mech Shimano make, Acera, Alivio, Deore LX, SLX, XT and XTR. If they sold this rear mech it would probably cost about £7.99 :lol:
  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    An 88 Rockhopper wouldn't have had a v-brake on as standard, they were a mid-90s thing, at best it'll be a canti, unless it's been upgraded.

    Be wary of upgrading to discs in search of better pad life, it's certainly not a given! They will keep working in poor conditions better than a rim brake, but you may still kill pads in 20 minutes, and even Superstar don't do disc pads for £2!

    They do sell Altus rear mechs aftermarket, they're about £10-£15 depending on mount.
  • Manc33Manc33 Posts: 2,157
    I read the Avid Ultimate v-brake or Shimano XTR are "as good as disc" and some say better, but even if they are, those options are not cheap, but yeah cheaper than a new wheelset+brakes+rotors... but surely its all in the pads and having them on the brake arms properly, more than anything with v-brakes? How can a v-brake be "more powerful" than another if they all use the same bosses! Like they are trying to convince us you get more leverage from something that is... the same leverage, it doesn't make sense to me. If it really gave you more leverage, the v-brake would not fit on the bike.

    .
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    Better pivots (run on bearings instead of bushes), stiffer arms, better levers, better pads.
    Some have a parallelogram system to keep the pads square on the rims.
    The difference between decent V's and rubbish ones is night and day.
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  • Manc33Manc33 Posts: 2,157
    The brakes on my bike are pretty nasty. Are there any such thing as good but cheap v-brakes? Maybe just a low/medium end Shimano v-brake like Alivio or SLX? I have no clue if those would be any better than what I currently have.

    Its a shame bike parts cost so much, imagine the cost building a full bike, its unthinkable! With computers this is not the case, if we build a computer ourselves we end up with a far better deal than buying a ready made unit, usually.

    Half the time I just think buy used gear off eBay but its just not the same lol, the used gear is even expensive, old battered Shimano XTR rear mechs people still ask £30 and £40 for. A brand new XT one can be had for £50 from CRC. :roll:

    CRC are doing the Shimano LX v-brake for £12 (so £24 for the pair) but says out of stock.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    Ebay are good, or look on the classifieds here. I have just sold a full (front and back) set of avid callipers and levers and a new set of pads for £25 posted. So bargains out there if you look.
    A good place is www.retrobike.co.uk some good older stuff there.
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  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    Saying that this chap has a full set of new Deore's for £27, or if you don't mind ratty looking levers and mismatched callipers, a set of Avids for £15. I've dealt with him in the past, he's a good guy, and I bet he'd take an offer of £12 posted. Serious braking for the price.

    http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewto ... sc&start=0
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

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  • Manc33Manc33 Posts: 2,157
    Cheers cooldad.... most of this stuff lasts a long time and it being used hardly matters for most stuff.
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