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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got myself into a bit of a muddle in terms of building my new bike. I shouldn't even be building one for a start because I bought a new bike (second hand off ebay). But then I started upgrading parts of it. The frame (to a Rock Lobster SC3 Team Scandium), the chainset (v-drive megaexo), and the wheels (Cane Creek Zonos Team Issue with titanium spokes). All were picked up off ebay for a great price. I'll probably pick up some Schwabb Nobbly Nic tyres and the Manitou R7 Super Click IT forks for ultra lightness.

But I have a problem with the wheels. They are rim brake only. My new bike has Hope Mini Mono disc brakes.

So I've decided that I can just sell the new bike and use the new parts to upgrade my old bike which is running XTR and Avid Ti v-brakes. It's a pity but I really want to use the Cane Creek wheels and I'll get more value by just selling the whole new bike.

But this is my first attempt at off roading (having used my old bike for commuting every day) and I'm worried about the effectiveness of v-brakes in Scotland (Glentress).

Is there anything I can do to improve the power?

What are the best brake pads for all round use?
What are the best brake pads for dry weather?
What are the best brake pads for wet weather?

And are brake boosters like the XTR carbon booster effective?

Your help will be much appreciated.
 

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carleast said:
Is there anything I can do to improve the power?

What are the best brake pads for all round use?
What are the best brake pads for dry weather?
What are the best brake pads for wet weather?

And are brake boosters like the XTR carbon booster effective?
Why don't you sell the wheels and get some disc specific wheels on eBay?

But to answer your original questions:
Is there anything I can do to improve the power?
Keep your cables and housing clean and try to run as spring little spring tension as possible.
What are the best brake pads for all round use?
Shimano brake pads are decent, however, when I used to live on the East Coast (riding through mud about half the time), I used the Shimano Severe Conditions pad which work well but doesn't last long. I've also had really good luck with Kool Stops.

What are the best brake pads for wet weather?
I also have a bike that has ceramic rims (and Koolstop ceramic pads-green) that work great wet or dry but is noisy.

And are brake boosters like the XTR carbon booster effective?
I'm assuming you mean the brake arches. I've used the Ionic and Salsa version and couldn't tell the difference between having them on or off but I'm a lightweight (130 lbs with gear) so it was probably overkill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the info.

The reason I'm a bit apprehensive about selling the wheels is that I got them for a bargain price of £165 from the US and imported them to the UK. I doubt I will find disc wheels as good as these for anywhere near the price. I've heard these wheels are amazing and the reviews of Cane Creek wheels on mtbr seem to be far better than any other wheels.

So it's a decision on whether to trade off the loss of disc brakes in order to have these amazing wheels. The wheels on the new bike are Mavic XC717's with Deore hubs.
 

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Get yourself some new cables and run them full legth. This will minimize and contamination, and they'll stay smooth operating much longer. You may have to drill out your cable stops, search these forums for a walkthrough on how to do it.
 

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viva la v-brakes!
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carleast said:
Is there anything I can do to improve the power?

What are the best brake pads for all round use?
What are the best brake pads for dry weather?
What are the best brake pads for wet weather?

And are brake boosters like the XTR carbon booster effective?

Your help will be much appreciated.
The answer to your first four questions is: Kool Stop salmon compound pads. Also, the Avid levers mate very well to the Avid brakes.

The answer to your fifth question is: maybe. Depends on how stiff your frame/fork are. They will help reduce the squishiness of the brakes on more flexy frames/forks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Cheers for your answers Astroguy and FishMan473.

The fork that I've got is the Manitou R7 Super which is pretty stiff so I doubt the booster will help a huge deal.

I've just received two new sets of Fibrax dual compound rhino brake pads and their carbon look xtr brake holders. I got them on an amazing deal from Fibrax themselves. It cost me £22 for two sets of holders and 4 sets of brakes. So hopefully I'm set for wet and dry weather now.

I have also just ordered some Jagwire Sterling cables and housing.

We'll see how I get on.

Cheers

Carl
 

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V brakes work quite well. If you're new to riding offroad, you won't even know you're missing anything vs. disc brakes. If you ride in wet conditions, after rides, wipe your rims down with a dry rag and pick any sand grains out of the pads. Eventually your pads need to be replaced which improves performance. Make sure you toe in the trailing edge of your pads to prevent squeeking. Then, get out and ride.

I am in the process of upgrading to disc brakes because I like the light action and modulation. I wish I had built up disc wheels from the start as it is costing much more now than it would have in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the advice AlliKat.

When you say toe in the trailing edge of the pads. Which part is the trailing edge? I say this because the rear of the pad is actually part of the pad that wheel rotates on to.
 

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if you can upgrade to nokon cables (no housing flex = more power to rim with better feel)

installed properly you get the benefits of a closed housing (you run the inner teflon liner full length) without having to drill you cable stops.

installed properly you have planned gaps in the inner liner with a sleeve that you can pull back to lube then reseal)

make sure brake pads perfectly aligned (straight line through the posts) when they contact the rim.

DO NOT set up the levers hair trigger tight, in muddy wet areas you need more clearance between pad and rim, and your hand gets stronger the closer it gets to a fist so you have more power and you hands has finer movement the closer it gets to a fist so better modulation. this is the number one mistake people make with brakes the think the sooner the pads touch the rim they get more power......WRONG don't fall into that trap.

if you can find them invest in some horseshoe style brake arch/boosters, these will cut down your frame and fork flex (at the brake boss) also giving you more power and better modulation. Shimano used to make some cool carbon ones
 
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