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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a noob to mountain biking. Yes I have owned and ridden mountain bikes for the last 20 years, but just for commuting and riding around with friends when I was younger.

So I have a budget of about $400-$450. $550 if I really push it and eat Ramen noodles for a month:) I was wondering if I should buy a bike with a disc brake or a bike with a V/rim brake.

My dilemma is would I be better off getting a "better" model and not get disc brakes, or should I get a lower model and get low and disc brakes?

I heard Avid disc brakes are good but Promax or Tektro are not that great a a v brake may be a better option.

Example:

I can get Specialized Hardrock Disc $470(Tektro disc) or a Specialized Hardrock Sport $470 (v brake).

Or I can get a Trek 4300 (v brake) $550 or a Trek 3900 Disc $550


I just don't want to get Promax or Tektro brakes and have problems with them.
 

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definitely steer clear of any "promax" disk's.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
dan0 said:
at that level there wont be that much difference, disc would probably be better in wet conditions,
So I shouldn't worry if I went with the lower model with Tektro Disc brakes?
 

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I would buy the bike with the best fork. If it's dry where you ride nothing wrong with V brakes and good pads. I think good v brakes are better than cheap/bad disc brakes.
 

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joepa150 said:
So I shouldn't worry if I went with the lower model with Tektro Disc brakes?
as long as everything else is the same

if the components overall are better on 1 than the other go with the better components
as mentioned , good rim brakes are better than bad discs, but bad discs are equal to bad rim brakes.

Discs have good qualities, but so do rim brakes. rim brakes are lighter, work fine for most and are usually cheaper and have less maintenance.
Discs have more stopping power, work better in wet and aren't affected by a bent rim
 

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+1 to that bad disks are horrible!
 

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If your not keen on doing your own wrenching, don't both with the promax (can't say much about the tekros). I've got a set of promax and they do have good power and modulation for low end gear (better than mid range v-brake) but do require abit of tooling around to get it good, especially when the inboard adjustor requires a hex tool.

If your not keen on learning how to maintain/can't be bothered maintaining then just get the v brakes. Otherwise some time spent reading up on adjusting mechanical disks and playing around with them, especially the first few rides (might be abit fustrating) will get you more power, more responsiveness and less mud/water effects. Just remember you have to maintain them!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I don't mind maintaining disc brakes but I heard Tekros are hard to maintain/adjust.

Also I need to do more research on v-brakes.

Are the v-brakes that come on the bikes I mentioned in my OP considered "good" v-brakes?
I was under the impression that V-brakes didn't very much in performance.
 

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I've got Tektros on mine. They really aren't hard to adjust, you just have to take the time to do it. Once you get them tweaked, they work real well. But, usually, after a ride or two, you'll manage to hit something or the pads will wear enough that you will have to adjust again. It's just part of riding for me, so I don't mind. To each his (or her) own, I suppose.
 

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I might be able to offer up a little insight on this as I have a bike with v brakes and another with low end discs. I have a hardrock with v brakes that I feel have plenty of stopping power. If I could have any changes to them I would enjoy a little more modulation control, and then the other would be more braking power with less effort. While I can do 1 finger braking it isn't as strong as I would like so on steep downhill I generally run at least two fingers on each brake. The feel is also very good on the brakes, but then I think that is having pretty decent cables and well adjusted. Now the cheap discs I have are promax. At first the rear brake barely worked, I mean about the same as the really old brakes on old huffys. Eventually after adjustment, breaking in more on some long hard braking downhill, and more adjustments the rear brakes with maybe 85% of the power of the v brakes, maybe close to as much, but does have better modulation. It also regularly needs to be readjusted to center the pads on the rotor.

Now the second bike with the promax discs is being slowly built up on a very small budget, but what I have found is that upgrading to decent or better discs isn't too hard or expensive. I have seen quite a few deals on used disc brakes that could be worth doing. If you get a disc bike it could be easy to upgrade. If you upgraded from tektro or promax to some mechanical hayes or avids you could get away with just swapping the calipers or calipers and rotors, and then sell your old ones for a bit. If you wanted to upgrade on the rim brake bike you would need different hubs or wheels, likely a rear adapter as well (not too cheap) and then the rest of the disc components. You could potentially sell the old disc parts for $25 and get some avid bb5 or bb7 for around $40 and not a bad upgrade for $15. Even going to hydraulics aren't always the expensive.

In my opinion even in the wet v brakes can work very well. However if you think you may ever like to or want to upgrade starting with discs could be better. Personally out of those bikes I would test ride the bikes and go for what fits you best and once again as someone mentioned the one with the best fork. Didn't mean to be long winded but maybe something relates...

edit: Also I should mention that overall my v brakes are better and more confidence inspiring than the promax, which I plan on upgrade to either some decent mechanicals or maybe hydraulics
 
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