Author Topic: Front V-brake on an Audax Mk3?  (Read 314 times)

Donerol

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Front V-brake on an Audax Mk3?
« on: January 24, 2018, 12:33:30 PM »
Advancing age, some carpal tunnel syndrome and maybe also arthritis means that I am starting to lose my grip in my right thumb, and hard braking can be painful. Some of my favourite roads are narrow, twisty and very steep, and are beginning to give me some problems on the Audax. On the Raven Tour I have no difficulty, but then it is rather harder work going up these same roads.

I've replaced the original calipers with R650s which helps a bit, and have some SwissStop blocks which I've yet to fit. I was thinking that the next step up would be a centre pull brake but a mini V would be even better.

I think the Thorn ST 700 fork fit the Mercury so presumably it can be used with the Audax? It comes with 46mm offset, the same as the Audax forks. I'm using 28mm tyres and mudguards.

mickeg

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Re: Front V-brake on an Audax Mk3?
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2018, 04:59:44 PM »
Without a photo of your situation, I can't say much. 

But I can say that Koolstop Salmon pads are a common remedy to improving braking. 

I have mini-V brakes on my foldup bike.  I almost have to be careful to avoid pulling the lever too hard or I might go over the handlebars because the brakes are so sensitive.  Mine are Tektro mini-V brakes, 926AL.  If you have fenders, make sure first that you have clearance for these.  This page says teh arm length is 80mm.  On some bikes there is not enough clearance over fenders for these.
https://www.tektro.com/products.php?p=187



PH

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Re: Front V-brake on an Audax Mk3?
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2018, 06:12:38 PM »
See if you can get some to try before you spend too much money.  I've had mini vs and Shimano deep drop brakes, on the same campag levers and both with salmon pads though on different bikes, I can't say I've felt any difference in the effort required.  They seem to have very similar mechanical advantage (X cable pull = Y pad travel) There is some difference, which is why mini Vs need to be set close to the rim, but without changing the cable pull I can't it being much.  If you're not weded to STI shifting, then full size Vs with the appropriate levers will be a bigger difference.

horizon

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Re: Front V-brake on an Audax Mk3?
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2018, 09:11:44 PM »
Might it be possible to swap left for right brake?

Donerol

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Re: Front V-brake on an Audax Mk3?
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2018, 11:17:01 PM »
But I can say that Koolstop Salmon pads are a common remedy to improving braking.
At the moment the pads are BBB Tristops which I find very good, but I have soem SwissStops which are supposed to be better. I haven't fitted them  yet because the weather has been so bad lately that I haven't been using this bike

Quote
I have mini-V brakes on my foldup bike.  I almost have to be careful to avoid pulling the lever too hard or I might go over the handlebars because the brakes are so sensitive....https://www.tektro.com/products.php?p=187
They sound just what I need! But I should think braking will be better with flat bar levers anyway.  (I find flat bars very uncomfortable so changing to flats isn't an option.)



See if you can get some to try before you spend too much money .... If you're not weded to STI shifting, then full size Vs with the appropriate levers will be a bigger difference.
I'll try my daughter's bike when I next get the chance - she has mini Vs with the same Tiagra 9-speed levers as I have. I remember when I rode it that I thought the brakes less hand effort, but that was some years ago and before my thumb had become troublesome.

I'm ambivalent about STI shifting - it is very convenient, but for smallish hands like mine the levers are not such a good shape, and less comfortable than the old-style ones which I have on my Raven. I have considered more than once going back to down tube levers which is what I used for over thirty years.  Can you even get friction DT shifters still?


Might it be possible to swap left for right brake?
I've thought of that and it would be easy enough to do,  but I think I'd find it too confusing after all these years, and with two other bikes in the stable.

jags

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Re: Front V-brake on an Audax Mk3?
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2018, 01:46:16 AM »
on my sherpa now sold i had paul canti with coolstop salmon great job.


anto.

mickeg

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Re: Front V-brake on an Audax Mk3?
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2018, 02:36:01 AM »
...
Quote
I have mini-V brakes on my foldup bike.  I almost have to be careful to avoid pulling the lever too hard or I might go over the handlebars because the brakes are so sensitive....https://www.tektro.com/products.php?p=187
They sound just what I need! But I should think braking will be better with flat bar levers anyway.  (I find flat bars very uncomfortable so changing to flats isn't an option.)

...

I have drop bars on my foldup bike.  Had canti brakes before the mini-V brakes.  I switched because the folding process was a lot easier if I had simpler cable routing, the canti brakes with a cable hanger was not very convenient with my particular setup.

But, that raises one other possibility, would the interrupter type brake levers (in addition to your others) be a benefit?  I attached a photo of my vintage Italian bike that I have put modern brake levers and interrupter type levers on so you can see what I mean.  I like having both kinds of brake levers because I use a wide variety of hand positions.




Donerol

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Re: Front V-brake on an Audax Mk3?
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2018, 01:05:06 PM »
I've tried interrupter brakes (on a friend's bike) and they don't work for me - the unnatural position of the hand causes pain these days. When I was younger I could ride with any  bars but the years are catching up with me.

I've just tried my daughter's bike with the same STI levers and Tektro RX5 mini V-brakes. As I had remembered, they needed very little effort for superb braking so this would be my ideal solution if I can get a suitable pair of forks.

mickeg

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Re: Front V-brake on an Audax Mk3?
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2018, 03:53:43 PM »
...
I've just tried my daughter's bike with the same STI levers and Tektro RX5 mini V-brakes. As I had remembered, they needed very little effort for superb braking so this would be my ideal solution if I can get a suitable pair of forks.

Your forks will not work with them?  Why?  Require a brake arm that is too long?

B cereus

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Re: Front V-brake on an Audax Mk3?
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2018, 04:19:31 PM »
I believe that the Tektro RX6 has slightly more rigid arms than RX5 model. They're also 5mm longer if mudguard clearance is tight.

mickeg

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Re: Front V-brake on an Audax Mk3?
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2018, 05:42:19 PM »
If you are shopping for a V brake arm length, this might help a little.
https://www.gravelbike.com/v-brake-arm-lengths/

Donerol

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Re: Front V-brake on an Audax Mk3?
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2018, 10:17:48 PM »
...
I've just tried my daughter's bike with the same STI levers and Tektro RX5 mini V-brakes. As I had remembered, they needed very little effort for superb braking so this would be my ideal solution if I can get a suitable pair of forks.

Your forks will not work with them?  Why?  Require a brake arm that is too long?

Simple - my forks don't have bosses for V or cantilever brakes! If they had I wouldn't be using calipers. The length of the arm will be largely determined by the model of the lever and how much cable it pulls.  Since my daughter's STIs are the same model as mine I'm inclined to stick to what I know works.

mickeg

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Re: Front V-brake on an Audax Mk3?
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2018, 01:31:44 AM »
When you started out mentioning mini-V brakes, I assumed you had canti brake posts.

You can use regular road brake levers with full size V brakes if you find a fork that would require long arm brakes.  An adapter called a travel agent is used to change your short cable pull brake lever to a long cable pull type brake.  I use travel agents front and rear on my Thorn Nomad and on the front of my Titanium bike.
https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/cables/problem-solvers-travel-agent-br031-black-each/?geoc=US

They also come with a cable adjuster.

Photo is of my rear brake on my Nomad.  I needed a really long arm V brake to clear my wide fenders that fit over my 57mm wide tires, with the travel agent I use regular road brake levers.




Donerol

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Re: Front V-brake on an Audax Mk3?
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2018, 01:44:32 PM »
Sorry, Mickeg, I realise I wasn't clear enough in my first post, mistakenly assuming that anyone interested in this thread would be familiar with the Audax. It uses sidepull brakes.

Quote
I've replaced the original calipers with R650s which helps a bit, and have some SwissStop blocks which I've yet to fit....

I think the Thorn ST 700 fork fit the Mercury so presumably it can be used with the Audax?

Dave Whittle confirms that the ST700 fork can be used with the Audax, so I now have several options to reduce the effort needed for good front braking.

In ascending order of price and, I think, effectiveness:

1. Keep the existing dual-pivot side pull calipers and swap the STIs for regular brake levers and DT shifters
2. Keep the STIs but get a centre pull brake, which is supposed to need less effort
3. Use regular brake levers and DT shifters with a centre pull
4. Keep the STIs but swap fork to ST700 and use mini V. This fork looks less comfortable than my current fork
5. Keep the STIs but swap fork to more comfortable Thorn MER853VC and use mini V

Regarding points 4 and 5, my current, original Audax forks are very comfortable and have bosses for a lightly loaded carrier. I don't use front panniers but the bosses are very handy for mounting a battery light (I like to use a bar bag). The ST700 fork also has carrier bosses but is rated for a higher load (15Kg rather than 5Kg) so I assume it will be less comfortable. The MER853VC would be the most comfy of all but, quite apart from their price, have no other bosses than the brake ones so mounting a battery light safely might be difficult. You can get brackets that fit the fork crown like these but I'm not sure I'd trust them. The light would only be for emergencies so it's not worth getting a hub dynamo.





PH

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Re: Front V-brake on an Audax Mk3?
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2018, 05:20:30 PM »

In ascending order of price and, I think, effectiveness:
1. Keep the existing dual-pivot side pull calipers and swap the STIs for regular brake levers and DT shifters
I'm not sure that makes ant difference, don't the none STI levers have the same cable pull?
Quote
2. Keep the STIs but get a centre pull brake, which is supposed to need less effort
3. Use regular brake levers and DT shifters with a centre pull
Centre pull have the same mechanical advantage as DPs, the difference is there's less friction in the design, that's a plus of course but IMO a pretty small one.
Quote
4. Keep the STIs but swap fork to ST700 and use mini V. This fork looks less comfortable than my current fork
5. Keep the STIs but swap fork to more comfortable Thorn MER853VC and use mini V

Regarding points 4 and 5, my current, original Audax forks are very comfortable and have bosses for a lightly loaded carrier.
The 853 fork is very nice, I went for one on my Mercury because I wanted the best, I also like the clean look with no unused fittings and the guards attaching at the dropout.  It's a comfortable fork, but it isn't any more so than plenty of other steel forks I've had, and I've yet to have a modern fork that matches those threaded 531 forks with a 1" steerer that I grew up with.  Any fork that allows you to fit mini Vs will also allow you to up the tyre size, IMO any  decent steel fork with a 32mm tyre will be more comfortable than any other steel fork with a 28 (32s will easily fit under mini Vs and there's no reason you should have matching front and rear)
One option not on your list is my earlier suggestion of using none STI levers and a full size V brake, this is the only option that increases cable pull which IMO will make more difference than the design of brake.
One further option not considered is disk brakes, but it isn't something I have any experience of so can't comment.

In all this, there's the gains to be had by getting the best from whatever set up you end up with.  Compression less cable will remove some of the losses, being meticulous in cutting and cable square and ensuring it fits well in the good quality ferrule will also make a difference (I've had new bikes where this can be improved) quality inners kept well lubricated will help - all these are small gains but can add up to be noticeable.

Good luck, I hope you achieve the aims whichever path you go down.