Forum home Road cycling forum Cyclocross

V brakes on a Cross bike for racing

ronnierocketronnierocket Posts: 172
edited October 2015 in Cyclocross
So I bought my cross bike (Genesis Vapour) about 5 years ago thinking at some point I might ride it on trails. This was partly because I had never spent that much on a bike before and thought it should have multi use. However, in the end I stuck slicks on it and used it as a road bike for the last few years(main, winter, turbo bike as time went by). I have now in a life's too short moment entered a cross race. One of the upgrades I had done to the bike was to change the cantilever brakes for V brakes as I thought the cantilever brakes were not powerful enough. My bike shop thinks they should be ok as they are essentially mountain bike brakes but I am not sure about the mud clearance. On my test run in the park the other day I had to dig mud out as it was rubbing quite badly but not sure if that would be the same with cantilever ones. Anyone else use V brakes?


  • VamPVamP Posts: 674
    I know a few regular racers on V brakes. They are less good on mud clearance, but you will probably only be at a disadvantage in 10% of races, if that.

    Start racing with what you've got, and by the time you've done a season (or two) on them, you will have your own preferences on what works for you and what doesn't. I can pretty much guarantee that brakes will be some way down your upgrade list.
  • Chris JamesChris James Posts: 1,040
    Because mini v's are not designed for road cable pulls they have to be set up very close to the rim. A friend of mine swapped his front canti out for a mini v, but then struggled with mud clearance and ended up buying anther bike with discs! You will be fine with the mini vs unless it is pretty muddy. Then again, a lot of cross races are muddy, especially later in the season!

    I think it is worth persevering with cantis and experimenting with straddle cable height and toe in to get acceptable braking. I've descended Lakeland passes in the wet on my cantis (cheapo tektro 720s with koolstop pads), albeit they were a little less confidence inspiring than decent dual pivots on the road. During a cross race you don't hit the same maximum speeds and (I at least) tend not to feather my brakes much, mostly having them on or off. So it is probable your original cantis would be fine for cross racing as road use is actually more demanding in my experience.

    But as I said, canti performance is very dependent on setup, so you need to experiment a bit.
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    I have mini-vees (TRP CX8.4 optimised for road-bikes) on one of my bikes - I've taken it down black MTB runs so it copes fine with CX! In comparison to cantis they are easier to set-up and more powerful (I have TRP carbon cantis on my other bike) but you do lose out in modulation and mud-clearance.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • trek_dantrek_dan Posts: 1,366
    Tektro CX9's are great, I use them for CX racing with no problems. You loose a tiny bit of mud clearance but worth it for the better braking feel.
    If your using generic Tektro mini-v's the brake bridge is way too close to the top of the tyre though.
  • Thanks for all the replies. Will give it a go on the V brakes and see what happens. I live in Scotland so is most likely to be muddy so will find out pretty soon if suitable. My V brakes are Shimano Deore for info.
Sign In or Register to comment.