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Question about Tektro Mini V-Brakes  

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Has anyone used Tektro Mini V-Brakes w road levers on a cross or a touring bike. Supposedly they are
designed to work with standard road levers. I am currently using the Avid canti's w my ss cross
bike, but am debating whether to try these. Any comments on them positive or negative are
appreciated

Ben Reuter reutebh@earthlink.net
post #2 of 8

Re: Question about Tektro Mini V-Brakes

> Has anyone used Tektro Mini V-Brakes w road levers on a cross or a touring bike.

I never knew you didn't need a TravelAgent type of adapter because that's how my LBS had set them up
on my CC bike when I had trouble with my cheesy Ritchey canti's.

I used them for several years, set up with Koolstop shoes. Though I was always satisified with their
performance, I've switched to a set of Shimano LX cantis that I retired from an old MTB. Not as
powerful, but good enough.

Maybe I'll try them without the adapter some day. The TravelAgent is one of the main reasons I went
back to cantis. They're a bit kludgey, but do work.

-B
post #3 of 8

Re: Question about Tektro Mini V-Brakes

I have Dia-Tech Mini-Max's (basically the same as the Tektro) on a touring bike I built up for my
fiance, and they work very well. A few caveats:

Sheldon is right, they do give you a bit too much mechanical advantage, requiring that they be set a
tad closer to the rims than Avid Shorty's.

With a narrow rim (Mavic MA3), I had to set the brake pads to maximum protrusion (put the largest
washers between the pad and the arm) to prevent the noodle holder (?) from bottoming out on the
opposite brake arm.

With tires larger than 25mm, there may not be room for fenders.

As the cable hanger typically incorporates a barrel adjuster, you need to replace this
functionality. The solution I chose was to use a noodle with an integrated barrel adjuster, which
works quite nicely (the Tektro's may come with this). Another solution is one of those 'in-line'
adjusters that you see sometimes these days.

However, a major advantage of Mini-V's is that they do not require a cable hanger, which is
particularly helpful for the front brake. My fiance's very small frame had no room for a cable
hanger either front or back, thus my motivation to install these.

Overall, I'm happy with them.

Kyle

"Sheldon Brown" <captbike@sheldonbrown.com> wrote in message
news:3E2DF392.3090203@sheldonbrown.com... Ben Reuter wrote:
> Has anyone used Tektro Mini V-Brakes w road levers on a cross or a touring bike. Supposedly they
> are designed to work with standard road levers. I
am
> currently using the Avid canti's w my ss cross bike, but am debating
whether
> to try these. Any comments on them positive or negative are appreciated

They work OK, though the mechanical advantage is a bit more than optimal.

Not a good choice for a touring bike, though--to make them work, the cable crosses much lower than
on most direct-pull cantis, making them generally incompatible with fenders.

If you've already got Avid Shortys, in my opinion you'd be foolish to replace them.

Install Kool Stop BMX brake pads and adjust the Avids properly, you'll have all the braking power
you can use, with good fender/tire clearance to boot. This is the hot setup.

Sheldon "Avid Fan" Brown +-------------------------------------------------+
| I’ll be appearing with the Sudbury Savoyards | In Gilbert & Sullivan’s _Patience_ | February
| 21-March 1, Sudbury, Massachusetts | http://sudburysavoyards.org |
+-------------------------------------------------+ Harris Cyclery, West Newton, Massachusetts Phone
617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041 http://harriscyclery.com Hard-to-find parts shipped Worldwide
http://captainbike.com http://sheldonbrown.com
post #4 of 8

Re: Question about Tektro Mini V-Brakes

It (of course) depends on your tire size and brake mounting location. My "big wheel" tandem has no
problem with its 917a calipers and zefal fenders.

John "it CAN be done" Thurston Junea, Alaska bicycles.thurstons.us/stopping/Purple.JPG

Sheldon Brown wrote :
> Ben Reuter wrote:
> > Has anyone used Tektro Mini V-Brakes w road levers on a cross or a touring bike.
> Not a good choice for a touring bike, though--to make them work, the cable crosses much lower than
> on most direct-pull cantis, making them generally incompatible with fenders.
post #5 of 8

Re: Question about Tektro Mini V-Brakes

In my case, the TravelAgent pulley provided an excellent location for sand and dirt to pile. It
quickly jammed and took constant fussing to keep clean. After trying for ages to keep it clean and
fuctional, I took it off and installed Tektro 917a calipers. Best $18 I ever spent.

John Thurston Juneau, Alaska bicycles.thurstons.us/brakes.htm

> A Muzi wrote:
>> Boris Foelsch wrote: "The TravelAgent is one of the main reasons I went back to cantis."
> And what about them wasn't appealing?
post #6 of 8

Re: Question about Tektro Mini V-Brakes

"A Muzi" <am@yellowjersey.org> wrote in message
>
> ...snip...
>
> I think you may have had VBrakes, not Mini-V, especially if you had adapters.
>

Good feedback from both you and Sheldon, thanks. I do in fact have the Mini-V. My LBS mechanic, who
is generally quite knowledgable and experienced (compared to most I've dealt with) put them on with
the adapter cam as a solution to the problems I had with my Ritchey (Dia-Compe) cantis. Seemed like
a good solution at the time, but the CAM doesn't belong and the cantis should be fixable anyway.

> Ritchey and LX cantis should show no perfomance difference between them, properly set up. If there
> is a "cheesy" Ritchey cantilever I have not seen it yet.
>

Fair enough. I should try setting them up myself, but I had no luck getting them to stop chattering.
They would either be weak or with a sticky pad like a KoolStop, they would grab and the brake would
not engage smoothly. The whole thing, fork and all would chatter. I know my LX brakes worked well on
my MTB, so I didn't give up and fiddled with it until I got it right on the CC bike. Sounds like I
now own three brakes (Ritchey, Tektro, LX) that would all work well, if set up properly.

> You say: "The TravelAgent is one of the main reasons I went back to cantis." And what about them
> wasn't appealing?

There was almost zero clearance between them and the fatter knobbies
(700Cx38) I put on sometimes. This is a cross bike often ridden in the mud and on mountain bike
trails. The cam would get gunked up and the brake became difficult to pull. In ideal
conditions, it was easier to get power out of it than a canti, but ideal lasted for about
three rides. This is my mud machine. Plus, it is comparatively much easier to remove a
wheel with cantis.

I officially retract my slander on the Ritchey brake, which wasn't well founded.

-Boris "satisifed owner of many other Ritchey components" Foelsch
post #7 of 8

Re: Question about Tektro Mini V-Brakes

Sheldon Brown wrote:
> Robert Taylor wrote:
>> Even then it is often (even usually) necessary to deflate the tire to remove or install the
>> front wheel.
>
> I really don't see the huge necessity to remove front wheels when you aren't fixing a flat. Up
> until maybe 40 years ago, quick release brakes (and quick release wheels, for that matter) were
> virtually unknown, but people managed just fine without them.

Hey, wasn't that you with the stuff about rod-operated deraillers and all that jazz in another
thread? Here's a big reason for removing/replacing front wheels frequently: a general-purpose
(GP) bike. I use a cyclocross bike with one set of wheels with knobbies, and a set of wheels with
smoothies. That bike is my primary bike. I use it for a wide variety of purposes.

Of course, if I had a vast stable of bikes like you, I wouldn't have such a desire for quick wheel
changes. For now, I feel a bit extravagant with 3 bikes (this GP bike, a fixie, and a racer). Maybe
someday...

Dave dvt at psu dot edu
post #8 of 8

Re: Question about Tektro Mini V-Brakes

"A Muzi" <am@yellowjersey.org> wrote:

> "The TravelAgent is one of the main reasons I went back to cantis." And what about them wasn't
> appealing?

I can only speak for my own reasons I don't like Travel Agents much.

In my experience, they add squish and drag to the system, reducing sensitivity. The sharp bend they
impose in jumping from one cam diameter to the other might be less of a problem with a supple
49-strand brake wire, but that's not what I normally use.

When the cable is relatively slack, it wants to stand slightly away from the cam, and the amount of
lever travel required to pull it snug is wasted.

Chalo Colina
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