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So I'm shopping for a new bike and some high end XC rides still have a v-break option as well as a disc option. I've looked in mtb magazines and have noticed that many XC pro riders still used V-breaks instead of disc. I understand that disc breaks work a better, but why go with the extra weight for a race rig? Man, I love how easily I can adjust my v breaks now and how very little maintenance they require. I'm starting to think that disc breaks are just the latest in bicycle marketing. Remember how mavic wanted to use disc breaks for their road lineup? I'm just look for opinions on this please. Again this is for XC race use, and weight saving. Alright, so benefits of disc over V that compensate for the added weight (and cost). :D
 

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Disc brakes are more powerful -- there is no question. However, for many people (especially the XC racer types) a good set of V-brakes are powerful enough and much lighter/less expensive.
 

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Odranicus said:
So I'm shopping for a new bike and some high end XC rides still have a v-break option as well as a disc option. I've looked in mtb magazines and have noticed that many XC pro riders still used V-breaks instead of disc. I understand that disc breaks work a better, but why go with the extra weight for a race rig? Man, I love how easily I can adjust my v breaks now and how very little maintenance they require. I'm starting to think that disc breaks are just the latest in bicycle marketing. Remember how mavic wanted to use disc breaks for their road lineup? I'm just look for opinions on this please. Again this is for XC race use, and weight saving. Alright, so benefits of disc over V that compensate for the added weight (and cost). :D
Tell ya what, come to the Vancouver and we will do a shore ride in Jan/Feb. There is a good chance there will be snow/ice. I will use my disc brakes, and you can run your V-brakes, and we can compare who is able to stop.

For extreme riding conditions (ice, wet, mud etc) discs are far superior. However if you are a gram counting racer (nothing wrong with that) then there is no reason to opt for discs.
 

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My main concern with v-brakes was how badly affected they were by mud. In particular the mud where I ride is very abrasive and wears the rims away surprisingly quickly.

I've switched to discs on one bike and it seems to be much more consistent no matter what the weather.

I'd say that in a dry climate v-brakes would be fine because of their light weight.
 

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Odranicus said:
I've looked in mtb magazines and have noticed that many XC pro riders still used V-breaks instead of disc. ..... Man, I love how easily I can adjust my v breaks now and how very little maintenance they require.
For those reason's alone i'm inclined to tell you not to bother looking into disc brakes. You haven't mentioned if you frequent mud as part of your terrain, this may/not affect the decision.

Have you read the disc brake FAQ? It's up in the top-right corner of the page in this section. Lovingly written by MTBR's very own Mike T, it's got many of your Q's answered. If that's not enough there are plenty (!!!) of "disc versus v" threads here, too.

Just like the v-brake world, disc-land has it's pro's and con's also. It's all about compromise.
 

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To the OP, have you tried or used disc brakes on a mtn bike? I think once a person tries disc brakes they never want to go back to V's. It's such a night and day difference in power, feel and control.
 

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Discs work great under all conditions BUT they eat brake pads that are 4 times more expensive and last about 30% as long as rim brake pads, its an ugly truth. If you ride dry conditions v's are the way to go, if you ride mud and rain then bite the bullet and spray your $$ at discs, the performance will save your arse at times, have fun!
 

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Brown_Teeth said:
Discs work great under all conditions BUT they eat brake pads that are 4 times more expensive and last about 30% as long as rim brake pads, its an ugly truth. If you ride dry conditions v's are the way to go, if you ride mud and rain then bite the bullet and spray your $$ at discs, the performance will save your arse at times, have fun!
My disc brake pads last much longer than any of my rim brake pads ever did. This includes running them in the wet western Oregon winters that can eat through new rimmy pads in a single ride.

I am also not replacing rims every 1-1.5 years because of sidewall brake wear. THAT gets to be expensive!

Some of the stock Avid pads wore quickly but I have not bought anything but EBC or Galfer pads for years.
 

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I can only get 1000 miles out of metallic Shimanos pads, the resin are 300 miles, Galfers are 700 miles, I always get over 1000++ miles off koolstop rim brakes, granted the rims will take a beating in wet conditions but I have Mavic d 521 rims with over 6000 miles and they are dished a bit but still hanging in there. I will not go into pad cost but rim pads are 1/4 the cost so if you live in dry environs I would stick with V's stickly from a cost basis if you ride lots.
 

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Brown_Teeth said:
I can only get 1000 miles out of metallic Shimanos pads, the resin are 300 miles, Galfers are 700 miles, I always get over 1000++ miles off koolstop rim brakes, granted the rims will take a beating in wet conditions but I have Mavic d 521 rims with over 6000 miles and they are dished a bit but still hanging in there. I will not go into pad cost but rim pads are 1/4 the cost so if you live in dry environs I would stick with V's stickly from a cost basis if you ride lots.
I do not keep track of miles. I replace disc pads maybe every 10-12 months. I replaced rim pads every 3-4 months (Koolstops were my choice).

The cost of rim replacement also includes new spokes and nipples, plus labor if your do not build your own.

So I used 3-4 times more rim pads (@~$7) as disc pads (@~$18) plus a set of rims/spokes (~$120, 2 wheels, no labor) per 8-9 sets of rim pads.

Figure $7 per wheel per set of rim pads for rim replacement. So my rim brake pads cost me $40-50 per wheel for every wheel's worth of $18-25 disc pads. And I do not have to build new wheels every year.
 

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Amazing 3-4 months for rim pads? My disc pads go then and rims last way longer but alas I'm in sunny CA so OR is really another country, have fun!
 

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I've been using v-brakes for years and never saw a reason to switch, until this weekend. Did a 5-mile single track descent, and my hands and forearms were dying. Would have been nice to have discs, from what I hear more power at the pad means you need less on the lever. V's are great on shorter drops, but for long, fast descents I'd say go disc.

Of course, I just bought a new non-disk wheel set a couple weeks ago.:mad:
 

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Brown_Teeth said:
Amazing 3-4 months for rim pads? My disc pads go then and rims last way longer but alas I'm in sunny CA so OR is really another country, have fun!
What the heck kind of brakes were you using, no way will rim brake pads out last disc brake pads, unless they were really crappy disc brake pads. A set of metallic brake pads with offer superior performance, last longer, not to mention not damage rims, far better than any rim brake pad. I'm going to have to agree with shiggy on this one, disc brakes are just cheap in the long run and pads don't wear out as fast.
 

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I have ben using rim brakes since 1985. Currently using the Avid CNC machined Ultimate calipers along with Avid's Ultimate levers. Every bit as good as the Avid BB7 disk and far superior to XTR V brakes.

Unless your into frequent mud runs I recommend staying with V brakes.

Retro
 

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The ultimates are great, I have them too, and they are by far the best vee's ive used. That being said, I would still prefer discs anyday of the week, especially if there is any chanhe I'll ride through water(and its always a good chance.) that, and the ultimates w/ levers(which are the most amazing levers ever, bar none.) cost as much if not more that a dece disc setup. You can always run disc front and vee rear, which isnt half bad. some disc systems are about as light as vees also.
 

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It all depends on the mud factor (weather conditions). But then again you always want to plan ahead, what if one weekend you want to go mountain biking, will your V-brakes be capable?
 

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retro grouch said:
I have ben using rim brakes since 1985. Currently using the Avid CNC machined Ultimate calipers along with Avid's Ultimate levers. Every bit as good as the Avid BB7 disk and far superior to XTR V brakes.

Unless your into frequent mud runs I recommend staying with V brakes.

Retro
or live in a mountainous state.
 
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