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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello I have v- brakes on my mtb and when I applied the rear brakes they lock instantly and skid on the trails , so in other words I don't feel they are slowing me down, so the ? is how to adjust them , do I need to loosen the cable or do I need to release the actual brakes where the bolt is
any help please
thanks
 

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Underskilled
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V-brakes are very powerful brakes but are quite on/off.

You are pulling slightly too hard causing a lock.

So as said above, pull the brake slightly more softly.

A better gripping back tyre or hydraulic brakes (very easy to modulate power) would help.

If your cables are sticky, getting some new brake cables might help too.

Finally if your hands are not very strong you might not have the control in your muscles to pull at the correct tension. getting a hand strengthening exerciser may help
 

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On wuss patrol
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Also, are you balancing the braking with the front brake? If you are using too much rear, you will skid more. My technique is to start with a little back brake, then the front for most of the slowing, off the brakes and on to next thing.
 

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It also could be the break pads the cheap ones are on and off if you get a better pair they will be more controllable and consistent win breaking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hello, I have shimano V-brakes levers and tekro brake system. no i'm not squeezing to hard
I hardly squeeze when they locked even using other techniques as trying to applied rear first and then front, still locks.
thanks
 

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kukulkan said:
Hello, I have shimano V-brakes levers and tekro brake system. no i'm not squeezing to hard
I hardly squeeze when they locked even using other techniques as trying to applied rear first and then front, still locks.
thanks
Your Shimano levers would have an adjustment for leverage only on the upper end models, assume you've got lower end if they paired with Tektro brakes; they might have a reach adjustment to set a comfortable starting point for your hand size (post up the model number, look somewhere near the band clamping the bars).

You might just need to break in your brakes to an extent if everything is brand new. You might try a different compound pad, that'd be my guess as to what's going to be most effective. Your technique probably needs improvement, too. You might try to readjust your brakes so you're pulling more cable, here's a guide on how to adjust your brakes http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=21
 

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Do you have the same problem with the front brake? It may have something to do with weight distrobution while braking. You want to stay seated unless the terrain is sketchy. If you are standing up, it shifts your weight forward increasing the chance of locking up the rear and endoing. If the terrain is sketchy and you must stand while braking, try moving your butt back behind the saddle a bit .

If both brakes are doing the same thing and you (or you LBS) have not been able to sort it out, it could be that the lever/Vbrake combination just make for digital braking characteristics.
 

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OP you need to practice your braking technique it will save yourself "in a emergency situation" (swerving car ect) just think about it when your on the trail and mentally check yourself everytime you need to slow down (it may be hard) I still need to remind myself to not hold the handle bars so hard on the trail........
 

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Have you considered braking with one finger ? That is a technique that has worked for me . You might also make sure that your brake pads are toed in a bit , that can help with modulation . Good luck .
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Bikinfoolferlife said:
Your Shimano levers would have an adjustment for leverage only on the upper end models, assume you've got lower end if they paired with Tektro brakes; they might have a reach adjustment to set a comfortable starting point for your hand size (post up the model number, look somewhere near the band clamping the bars).

You might just need to break in your brakes to an extent if everything is brand new. You might try a different compound pad, that'd be my guess as to what's going to be most effective. Your technique probably needs improvement, too. You might try to readjust your brakes so you're pulling more cable, here's a guide on how to adjust your brakes http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=21
Thanks for the assistance they are not upper end model or low either it does has all the adjustments , just not sure where to start, now with the guide u provide I was able to figure some adjustments from there.
Technique don't think was an issue and front brake was no locking up, still will play around shifting my weight back and forth or center to see if still locks thanks all for help as I said before this site rules
 

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The main thing to keep in mind technique wise is that you have considerably more braking power up front than in the rear. Slowing down throws your weight forward on the front wheel and up off the rear making it considerably easier to lock up with the same force on the lever.

You could try putting the bike up on a rack and comparing the front and rear lever response with the wheels up in the air (upside down could work too...). If the brakes are "grippier" in the back with no load on the bike, then you probably simply have more wear on one set of pads than the other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Finally got the bike out today and I did a very small adjustment to the cable nut at the brakes loosen them up a bit and that solve the problem now I feel the difference, the technique I've been using works for me
Thanks for all input
 

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Since you've solved the problem, this is just beating the horse, but one thing I didn't see mentioned is the angle of the pads. They shouldn't be set so the whole length of the pad contacts the rim all at once; rather, the front end of the pad should touch the rim first. I used to use a matchbook cover as a shim under the back end of the pad when setting them to achieve this. Doing this should reduce the grabbiness of the brakes and give a more modulated feel.
 

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There is one more thing to consider - the spring tension. When springs of the calipers are either loose or too tight, braking tends to be on/off .
And, of course, learning to brake with index fingers only does miracles.
 

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Gasp4Air said:
Since you've solved the problem, this is just beating the horse, but one thing I didn't see mentioned is the angle of the pads. They shouldn't be set so the whole length of the pad contacts the rim all at once; rather, the front end of the pad should touch the rim first. I used to use a matchbook cover as a shim under the back end of the pad when setting them to achieve this. Doing this should reduce the grabbiness of the brakes and give a more modulated feel.
Not trying to stir things up but I when I ran cantilevers I heard that you should have the rear edge touch first. The idea being to help clear mud and water from the rim more quickly while providing the same modulation benefits that you describe.
 

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siwilliams said:
Not trying to stir things up but I when I ran cantilevers I heard that you should have the rear edge touch first. The idea being to help clear mud and water from the rim more quickly while providing the same modulation benefits that you describe.
You're right. My bad (memory). It's been a while. Right concept, just completely backwards. It's the same as landing an airplane - touch the back end down first.
 

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Actually the normal pad setup for a v-brake is pad flat to the rim...no toe-in
 
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