a All Mountain Rider
from Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Date Reviewed: March 4, 2012
Strengths: Decent power, balanced tension for equal movement of both brake posts when pulling the cable. Good look and work well.
Weaknesses: Tight (too tight) clearance when removing the wheel, both front and rear with even a 26x2.0 XC tire and 90% worn down pads will not pass with tire inflated without forcing the whole thing trough.
Worth keeping if they still work, but not if they don't.
Better than cheap walmart ones. But as far as V-brake goes, it's pretty much there. If you're not happy, go with discs or maybe you need to learn how to set up rim brakes.
Similar Products Used: Other v-brake posts; some cheap and some good.
Bike Setup: Stock '00 GT XCR 3000
a Weekend Warrior
from Franklin, N.H. USA
Date Reviewed: March 11, 2008
Strengths: Light, cheap, easy to set up, powerful, attractive. By all indications, they're pretty much bulletproof. Simple, too.
Weaknesses: Supplied stainless allen bolt/washer combo is a crap catcher. I was forever brushing dirt and mud off them. Why not use a decent, stainless steel button head bolt like most others?? I replaced them with some SS button heads from the local hardware store. If you do this, be sure to use blue (removable) loctite on your threads, or they will continue to back off and require tightening forever! Stock pads have good grip, but live a very short life.
Very easy to set up. I had front and rear both dialed-in within minutes, and they seldom require any tweaks. In this particular combination, modulation is great. One-finger braking is the norm, and stopping power is excellent, even on steep downhills. I'm over 200 lb. and they have absolutely no trouble hauling me and my hefty bike down from any speed. They are not as quite good as Avid v-brakes I've tried. However, they do compare very favorably. They are as good or better than any other v-brakes I've tried, including some overly complex, very spendy Shimano types. If you can't afford Avids, these are a practical alternative.
Similar Products Used: About a billion Shimano v-brakes, cheesey Promax, Tektro
Bike Setup: Old Mongoose with Avid FR-5 levers, Aztec pads, Jagwire teflon cables.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: May 18, 2004
Strengths: Easy to adjust. Stop very well. Cheap.
Weaknesses: Stock pads wear out quick.
For the money there is no way you can beat these brakes. True a good set of pads will cost you more then the brakes themselves but if you think this is a bad thing u like to throw money out. Use the pads that they came with until they are worn and replace with a set of Kool Stops and you have a brake that does it job very damn well and your wallet very happy. Adjust them right which isn't hard and these brakes rock!!
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: August 23, 2003
Strengths: just another working linear pull brake. tension adjustment screws are hex. good tire clearance.
Weaknesses: just another linear pull brake.
i can't comment on the performance of pads b/c i replaced those with koolstop pads rightaway. they seem to be okay on my girlfriend's bike.
the brakes are just like other linear pulls with two advantages. the adjust screws are hex--big kudos. i hate those slippery philips screws that requires you to jam the driver in to turn them. and the tire clearance is generous (even though i'm yet to run into any linear pulls with a serious clearance problem). they are dirt cheap to boot.
a Cross Country Rider
from Dallas, TX
Date Reviewed: September 27, 2002
Strengths: Cheap. Vry Cheap.
Weaknesses: Brake pads suck and wear quickly. Brakes need constant adjustment.
Go for the Avid digit series. These brakes are cheap, but the crap pads that come with it will need replacment with some hard riding. You will end up paying more for the pads (no cartridge) than the brakes. I have also foud that these brakes require adjustment each ride.
Weaknesses: Little loose on the mounts, and the dirt guard is too long
This brakes are an awesome blend of power and cheapness. Though they're unrefined compared to Avids (the best), they cost a ton less and the difference is minimal; aside from some rattlign and some weirdass pads that stick to the rim, these are as solid as SD3's, minus about 10 bucks. If youre having trouble with stopping power, get some new levers. I have these mated with the Koski PCA lever (it needs a bit more work, but its still ok) and these biatches (slightly) bend the frame with their power.
This is a nice brake. If you take price into account, it's a very very nice brake. It's difficult to think of any brake with a distinct advantage over these that doesn't cost at least twice as much. In the price range, these are unrivalled, and they're noticeably lighter than shimanos, too.
The pads have a nice design with the rearmost segment leaning slightly toward the wheel, so you can apply a tiny bit of force easily.
My rear brake bosses are very close together and some brakes have a hard time adjusting, but these are fine. Also, after a year of rain and mud, no part shows any sign of corroding and fusing with another part, which is a nice change from SOME brakes I've known.
Generally, I don't see much reason to get another kind of V-brake than these. XTRs and Rivals don't brake significantly better, and cost as much as disks. I really am impressed with these brakes.
a Cross Country Rider
from Clinton Twp, MI, USA
Date Reviewed: July 16, 2002
Strengths: Easy operation, no squeals or rattles, stopping power is decent. Two-finger operation and modulation is fine. I can kill off just the right amount of speed going into a turn using the rear pads. Works well with Shimano Deore brake levers.
Weaknesses: Have not tried a wide variety of V-brake systems or pads, but pads could probably grab a little better. Then again, I'm near 200# and can skid the tires plenty fast as it is, so how much more do you need? If you constantly need to panic stop, something's wrong and it's not with the brakes.
From what I've read, cable routing is at least as important as the kind of calipers and pads you have. As I said above, the pads could be better, but I'm content to use them up. Zero maintenance/rattle/squeal issues. Don't know the aftermarket price, but apparently they are very reasonable.
Bike Setup: '00 Moab 2 (stock brakes), Deore integrated shifter/brake levers, Deore front derailleur and crankset, XT rear derailleur, KMC chain, Manitou SX fork, Titec Hell-Bent XC riser bar, Panaracer OEM Fire XC Pro 2.1 tires, Mavic X221 rims.
a Cross Country Rider
from San Anselmo
Date Reviewed: February 9, 2002
Strengths: Simple, inexpensive, strong and no noise.
Weaknesses: Brake pad holders a tad thick so the pin that holds the pad in place needs to be tweaked or else it sticks out at the top--a potential tire flattening problem.
I liked my XTs and they came with the bike. They never squealed for me but others have complained.
I've put in about 500 miles since purchasing these brakes and nothing to complain about. What the Koskis have is a simple system with no linkage setup that loosens with time. Half of my riding is downhill and obviously I use the brakes alot and these were very easy to setup, toe-in and best of all no squealing!!!
They may not have the cachet that Pauls or XTRs have, but these will do.
Bike Setup: Stumpy Pro, XTR RR derailleur, 517s, Phil BB, Raceface crank, Marzocchi Atom Bomb.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: September 16, 2001
Strengths: Light, stop well, easy to setup, nice modulation
Outstanding brakes. Much lighter than all shimano V's b/c it doesn't have that stupid linkage design. Linkage is a good idea for full suspension, pointless in a brake. Adjust them right and the rim surface and pads will always be parallel. At the price they are an unbeatable value. I've only had them a month, we'll see how they hold up, but so far they are great. I shaved 180 grams off my bike by replacing my LX V's with these. Also the pads have a slightly protruding segment in the rear that enables featherlight application of the brakes without a featherlight touch. Really nice feature.
Bike Setup: '00 GT Ricochet- w/ Manitou SX, LX hollowtech components, Tioga XC tires, Hayes front disk....
from Plano, Texas
Date Reviewed: May 7, 2001
Strengths: They work well riding cross country. Doesn't squeek when the brakes are applied (like others I hear while riding). Easy to maintain and adjust.
Weaknesses: The only weakness I've encountered is in wet and muddy conditions. But let's get real, that's a weakness for any v-brakes. And if you're doing a lot of downhill riding, you need to consider hydraulic or mechnical disc brakes.
Good brakes. Yeah, they're probably better and more expensive v-brakes out there for you racing purest. But not at this price point.
Weaknesses: Stock brake pads are terrible, not much friction, wear out fast and leave black crap all over the rim
For the very low price of these brakes, you can't beat them. They are terrible at first, with the stock brake pads, but replace them with KooStop Thinline brake pads and they will work great. The KoolStops are the best brake pads; why else would PAUL spec them on their awesome Motolite brakes? The brakes are well matched to the Koski levers, the return tension and modulation are great. With the KoolStops, power is good, but could be better. However, for a brake that came stock on my bike, they perform extremely well, and they are near the bottom of my list for component upgrades (they come after wheels, tubes, a pump, new tires, pedals, some clothes and cables and housing... so it will be awhile before I replace them.) If you're looking for a really great V-brake, check out the CNCed offerings from PAUL and Precision Billet. However, since those brakes cost about 5 times as much as these, you just can't get close to the amazing value.
Similar Products Used: non branded linear brakes, shimano xtr brakes
Bike Setup: gt xcr 3000
from SF Bay Area
Date Reviewed: July 25, 2000
Strengths: The product is outstanding! Very simple to adjust and repair.
Weaknesses: None that I have been aware of? But I'm not looking for defects like everyone else!
Are you guy's all "ANAL" these reviews are for bicycles that get bumped around, Of course they are going to rattle and make noises. Geez what the heck do you want from a Bicycle, Gold brakes and fittings with an asswiper function... You guy's can't even have fun on a bike without complaining about good old American products! Wake up you GEEKS! These brakes Stop me just fine!!!!
Just for all the A-holes that knock quality products and complain about everything... 5 Flaming Weenies!!!!!
A tip for complainers:
Just Sell your bikes and buy a gun to suck on! then you won't have to worry so much about Rattles and noises anymore... P.S. do you guy's know how to use tools???