Sunday, August 20, 2006

Shimano XT V-Brakes

When you modify a race car, change one thing at a time.

I didn't follow this advice with my bicycle. I replaced the fork (RockShox SID), wheels (Mavic rims), and brakes (Shimano XT) at the same time. Straight away I noticed how weak the braking was. And the brakes were screeching very loudly. So I used emery paper on the rims and pads, then cleaned them with alcohol. But the noise came back after a few miles. I changed to a different brand of brake pad, and adjusted the 'toe' of the pads. No good. So I thought that the SID fork might be flexing and causing the brakes to stutter against the rim. Had I changed one thing at a time I would have instantly isolated the problem...

Finally, a bicycle mechanic at Mill Valley Cycleworks diagnosed the problem for me. He said my Shimano XT brakes are notorious for squeaking. So I bought Shimano XT M760 brakes (bolted to the fork in the first photo) and the problem is solved! The second picture shows the bad brakes.

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