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Stone Jack Baller
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone else not using your front brake much on the trail? I want to upgrade my brakes. I have v-brakes. I have several issues. One is money. I don't have a lot to spend at one time. I rarely use my front brake, so could I upgrade the rear brakes first? I mean, is it possible to get a good rear wheel, hub, etc., and disc brake now and match the front up later? I have one piece xtr shifters/brake levers, so I guess I would need new shifter and lever. WOW, this is gonna add up fast!:madman: Any suggestions? BTW, It is a fuel 100 full carbon, so weight is an issue also.
 

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(enter witty phrase here)
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If you're not using your front brake more, you're doing something wrong. You get FAR more braking power from the front. If you had to choose one, you should choose the front. A strong brake will lock up your rear wheel. A skidding wheel offers little braking power. However, because of the weight of a rider and downward force on the front wheel, it's virtually impossibe to skid the front wheel.

You never see a car with disc rear brakes and drum fronts for a reason. It's always disc front.

You can run disc on your front wheel and V's on the rear. Absolutely nothing wrong with that.
 

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Did that disc front / v rear combo for a while...only sucked when that v-brake got wet.

Just be real careful with that front brake if the wheel is anything but straight on. Braking in the middle of a turn with the front is an easy way to get dumped.

Personally I find myself using the back brake more often (steer with the back...), and the front generally only when I need to scrub speed quickly, i.e. if I need to slow more quickly than the rear will allow me to. Since I'm on that rear brake a lot I would rather have the disc back there, but for general all around riding it makes more sense to go front.
 

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Stone Jack Baller
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
tlg said:
If you're not using your front brake more, you're doing something wrong. You get FAR more braking power from the front. If you had to choose one, you should choose the front. A strong brake will lock up your rear wheel. A skidding wheel offers little braking power. However, because of the weight of a rider and downward force on the front wheel, it's virtually impossibe to skid the front wheel.

You never see a car with disc rear brakes and drum fronts for a reason. It's always disc front.

You can run disc on your front wheel and V's on the rear. Absolutely nothing wrong with that.
You are right, I should use fronts more often, however, I plan to do both over time, and until I get over my front brake phobia, I just thought I would start w/ what I use most. I have been out of the sport for a few years, but I am working to get it back.;)
 

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Old man on a bike
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The setup is hard for some I know, although personally I have trouble understanding why, but the BB7 when setup nice is a great brake. Just saw Greg Herbold's setup video from Avid, pretty nice presentation. Definitely cool to keep your current controls with little else to really change since you're already using the same cable/housing setup too.
 

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Learn to brake before you upgrade anything. Disc brakes have thier advantages but they are not going to improve your riding skills and for that matter, they're nefinately not necessary either. V brakes have been stopping people quite nicely for years and before that, cantis which still do the job for some people and before that.... we were still able to stop. Upgrading your rear brake will likely only re-enforce your bad habits.
 

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you'll get 10000000x better braking performance from learning how to brake properly than switching to a rear disc.

try removing your rear brake and going for a ride. changing any part right now should be the furthest thing in your mind, you're giving up like 75% of your braking power not using the front.
 

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slowpoker said:
You are right, I should use fronts more often, however, I plan to do both over time, and until I get over my front brake phobia, I just thought I would start w/ what I use most. I have been out of the sport for a few years, but I am working to get it back.;)
Get over your phobia and learn to brake properly. You're just perpetuating a bad habbit.
Cost of new disc setup for rear wheel: $150+
Performance improvement: 0-10%

Cost to learn to use brakes properly: FREE
Performance improvement: 15-200+%

Unless you are downhilling (which I doubt on your Trek fuel 100 oclv) a disc brake offers little performance advanatage over V's in the rear. Its only advantage is in muddy conditions. Virtually any V brake can lock up a rear tire. I can lock up my rear in just about any situation with V's. A disc can lock up the rear in any situation too, just easier. When braking properly, you don't lock up the tire.

You said weight is an issue on your "full carbon" bike. Discs will be heavier than V's so you'll be adding weight in the wrong place. A lot of weight weenies will ride discs front, V's rear to save weight. It's a good set up.
Not to mention, all those people on the trail laughing behind your back because you've got rear disc and front V's :rolleyes:

I tought my wife to brake properly in a day. It's REALLY not that hard. I had her go down a steep hill a few times with only her rear brake, marking her stop point. Then a few with just her front brake. Once she learned to shift her weight properly, she was stopping in 1/2 the distance. That is a performance improvement!
 

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tlg said:
Get over your phobia and learn to brake properly. You're just perpetuating a bad habbit.
Cost of new disc setup for rear wheel: $150+
Performance improvement: 0-10%

Cost to learn to use brakes properly: FREE
Performance improvement: 15-200+%
I was guessing you would get more than a 200% increase in performance if proper braking techniques were used.
 

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He's absolutely right.

tlg said:
If you're not using your front brake more, you're doing something wrong. You get FAR more braking power from the front. If you had to choose one, you should choose the front. A strong brake will lock up your rear wheel. A skidding wheel offers little braking power. However, because of the weight of a rider and downward force on the front wheel, it's virtually impossibe to skid the front wheel.

You never see a car with disc rear brakes and drum fronts for a reason. It's always disc front.

You can run disc on your front wheel and V's on the rear. Absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Even being V-brakes you still end up skidding if you only use the rear brakes. I have Tektro mech. brakes with 160mm rotors and I swear by them. I'll be going 20+ mph on the road and when I slam on my front brake and barely press my back I get no skid and it stops on a dime. Tektros are fairly inexpensive I believe also.
 

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As has been explained - most of you braking is done by the front. That's why many mountain bikers run a bigger disk on the front as this is basically what stops you quickly.
If your using the rear your getting less braking force and more importantly less control.

I suspect you dragging your rear brakes continuously to maintain an even speed on steep decents which is essentially putting you in less control.

Still it's a balance between front and rear braking (well it must be or you wouldnt have a rear brake ;) ) as using your fronts incorrectly can see you over the bars. But like everyone else is saying you really should be learing to use your brakes corrrectly.

I'd find a nice flat section clear section of road and practice emergency stopping (start slow), trying to stop as quicky as possible while remaining in control. You'll notice your body position really affects your ability to stop quickly. Moving your weight back off your saddle you'll notice you can apply more front brake and not tip forwards and you'll stop in a much shorter distance.

Personally I think it's possibly a fear of going over the bars so I'd practice once again on the flat just braking with the front and let the bike tip forwards a bit to get used to the feel and the fact that simply releasing the front brake during the tip forwards stops it. Once you can control this your fear if it exists will vanish.

Like most active sports such as snowbarding, skiing etc the first thing you learn how to do properly is stop - mointian biking is no different. Also don't be afraid to ask someone for advice.

As for Discs vs V brakes.. well for mointain biking disks out perform V's in every department except weight. In the mud and wet of the UK they are virtually a must.
 

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rkj__ said:
I was guessing you would get more than a 200% increase in performance if proper braking techniques were used.
Thats why I said 200+ %. It could be a lot more for someone never using their brake.
 

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tlg said:
Thats why I said 200+ %. It could be a lot more for someone never using their brake.
Oops, missed that +. Regardless of the magnitude, your statement remains true.
 

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Stone Jack Baller
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
ok, thanks. I guess I wasn't clear. I want to go with front and rear. My front brakes are still good and my rear brakes are crap. Guess I don't need rear brakes after all. Thanks again for the pointers.
 

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slowpoker said:
ok, thanks. I guess I wasn't clear. I want to go with front and rear. My front brakes are still good and my rear brakes are crap. Guess I don't need rear brakes after all. Thanks again for the pointers.
Where did you get that from? Although the front brake is arguably more crucial, effective braking requires both front and rear brakes.

Maybe your rear brake just needs some TLC. New pads, cable, noodle, and cable housing might do the trick, for not a lot of $$$.
 

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ride hard take risks
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bi-winning
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To add to that.

dogonfr said:
rkj__ has a great point there you may just some fine tuning or parts to make the rear brake work properly.
The rear brake tends to have interrupted cable housing, which makes it easier for dirt to get in. The cable also has to travel through more housing, and hence the friction is increased even more, making the rear brake feel like junk when the housing gets filled with dirt.

The front wheel tends to kick dirt up, and hence sends more dirt and dust towards the braking surface on the rear rim, which can cause faster pad wear as well.
 
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