cable disks or v's?

The Northern Monkey
The Northern Monkey Posts: 19,174
edited January 2011 in MTB general
how do cable disk brakes compare to a set of v's in terms of stopping power, reliability, weight, maintainence free and price?

now i'm talking cheap as this would go on a hack/commuter... so

£36 ... elID=52030


£17 ... _500wt_922


  • welshkev
    welshkev Posts: 9,690
    surely you could get a set of juicy's or something for around £40, i just sold mine for £45 :D
  • too expensive :wink:

    plus, i'd really want to use v's.... just because I can :lol:
  • welshkev
    welshkev Posts: 9,690
    then do, when i sold my old orange hardtail just over a year ago that was still running V brakes, nowhere near as good as discs but they stopped me :lol:

    and if you're only using it as a hack bike they'll be fine :D
  • fearnsy
    fearnsy Posts: 278
    my friend has them discs on his bike, not good tbh, i'd go v's at that price.
    Trek 930 singletrack 06-08
    Pinnacle Peak 2.0 08-10
    Carrera Vengeance Ultimate 11-
  • Jack 123
    Jack 123 Posts: 118
    Can you fit disks on your bike??
  • .blitz
    .blitz Posts: 6,197
    XTR Vs FTW
  • stumpyjon
    stumpyjon Posts: 4,069
    Vs on a commuter / hack. less bling factor = less nickable. Decent set of Vs properly set up will stop you. I've Vs on mu commuter bike and they're still overkill with skinny road type tryes.
    It's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.

    I've bought a new bike....ouch - result
    Can I buy a new bike?...No - no result
  • mea00csf
    mea00csf Posts: 558
    def Vs, cable disk brakes are a PITA. The adjustments required are very fine and i found when riding in the peak district i was adjusting them after every ride :x . Would only ever go cable disks if i was planning to upgrade to hydraulics in the very near future.
  • ride_whenever
    ride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    Decetn v-brakes, ideally a set of avids with the speed dial levers.
  • whyamihere
    whyamihere Posts: 7,708
    In terms of absolute power, they tend to be about the same, with decent, well set up Vs perhaps edging it. With 'normal' pads, cable discs are better than Vs in the wet, but you can fit pads like Koolstop Salmons to Vs which give brilliant stopping even in crap conditions (I have them on my road bikes, and they've got me out of tricky situations a few times because I can stop almost as well as if it's dry). Cable discs are a bit trickier to get working and keep working too. Overall, I'd go for Vs.

    Saying that, I have XTR hydraulic discs on my 'commuter', just for the hell of it. ;)
  • I'd go with the advice above about v's looking less expensive and less nickable than discs.
  • Chunkers1980
    Chunkers1980 Posts: 8,035
    Always suprises me when I go on the missus spare, slightly more than a BSO, with Vs that are setup as well as the design allows - you can easily lock the rear, endo and lock the front if you get over the back on gravel - they are just leaps ahead of cantis.

    The only reason I'd go with cheapo cable discs over decent Vs is the fact that you're not using the rim as a disk meaning you can forget about slighly out wheels and discs are further away from the mud.
  • schmako
    schmako Posts: 1,982
    Had an awful experience with cable discs (shimano). A long time ago I decided hydraulic or not at all. That was 6 years ago mind.
  • I can confirm that V-brakes are not as awful as I remember them being. Even for a fat bastard like me.

    I've got modern Deore V's on the clockwork with XT levers, and they are actually quite good. I can lock up both wheels should I choose to do so and even in the rain, they don't squeal as much as my old Avid discs did. You do have to squeeze the levers a little harder, but you don't need to be Steve Austin either.

    Not sure I'd fancy them in muddy stuff, but on the road it's really all you need.

    IIRC the last set of cable discs I had was a set of "promax" ones on an old Barracuda Jacana about 3 years ago and they were hateful things. Needed re-aligning every 5min and were piss poor on power too.

    Of course, Avid BB7s etc are supposed to be pretty good, but they're also out of your price range.
  • ride_whenever
    ride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    cheap brakes are usually awful...

    you'd be hopefully looking at decent v's or entry cables and, for me, it's an easy decision.
  • ride_whenever
    ride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    cheap brakes are usually awful...

    you'd be hopefully looking at decent v's or entry cables and, for me, it's an easy decision.
  • _jon_
    _jon_ Posts: 366
    Another vote for V-Brakes.

    I've had cheap cable disc brakes in the past and they were terrible (especially in the wet). Constantly needed to adjust the pads. Plus they add more weight.

    I have the same Tektro V-Brakes that you have linked to on my commuter bike and they are quite good for the money. Quite easy to fit and set-up and they will lock the back wheel up. The only problem I have found is that using them in winter, I have had to oil and loosed up the springs several times as they tend to seize up a bit.
  • popstar
    popstar Posts: 1,392
    The best pimpy brakes for commuter.
    What could have been (Video)

    I'll choose not put too much stake into someone's opinion who is admittingly terrible though
  • stuisnew
    stuisnew Posts: 366
    v's all the way. They're much better than people egive credit for when set up properly. Cable discs require too much fettling
  • Northwind
    Northwind Posts: 14,675
    The good cable discs- BBs really- are pretty damn good. But they're not cheap really. Decent Vs with decent pads in will do the job.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • unixnerd
    unixnerd Posts: 2,864
    There are two types of cable brakes. The cheaper / older ones only move one pad. This leads to all sorts of problems and once they've worn down a bit they're hell to adjust properly.

    Newer / dearer cable disc brakes like move both pads, just as a hydraulic system would. Things like this for example: ... id=BDGUCDF

    or this for 25 quid: ... 0677159081 - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
    Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
    Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!
  • thel33ter
    thel33ter Posts: 2,684
    My order of preference - Hydro's, Canti's (as shown by Popstar 8) ), V's, Cable Discs.

    But if you are considering £36 cable discs, why not £40 Hydros? With 203mm rotors, for the hell of it :twisted: ... elID=47543
    And now you know, and knowing is half the battle
    05 Spesh Enduro Expert
    05 Trek 1000 Custom build
    Speedily Singular Thingy
  • £36 was a pair :wink:

    Plus I want it to be as uninteresting to thieves as possible :)
  • thel33ter
    thel33ter Posts: 2,684
    Ahhhh... :roll:

    Could always go for the super cheap option, BMX foot on the rear wheel style.
    And now you know, and knowing is half the battle
    05 Spesh Enduro Expert
    05 Trek 1000 Custom build
    Speedily Singular Thingy
  • £36 was a pair :wink:

    Plus I want it to be as uninteresting to thieves as possible :)
    the discs on their own wilkl attract thieves, whether they're hydros or not, they probably don't even know the difference. So for that reason, Vs
  • AndyOgy
    AndyOgy Posts: 579
    The V-Brakes on the eBay link are incredible value for money.

    Like another poster, I have XTR hydraulic disc brakes on one of my bikes. So I know how good brakes can be. However, my commuter bike has got the Tektro V-Brakes (like the ones in the eBay llink). They are more than powerful enough to stop the bike in all weather conditions, even when the bike is fully loaded.

    From everything that you've said, going for anything other than those v-brakes just doesn't make sense. They're so cheap that I'm tempted to buy a set, just to have them in my spare parts bin.
  • I bought a fully functional, pre-owned set of Magura HS33 hydro rim squeezers for the bargain price of £50 on FleaBay.
    Lovely brakes indeed, I am impressed with them