Help with mini v-brakes


Hi all. My first question here, hope one of you knowledable bunch can help.
I have inherited a cyclocross style bike to get me back into cycling, but the cantilever brakes are terryingfying bad so i was thinking of getting new brakes, to helpy confidence. I understand that mini v-brakes work with road levers but v-brakes dont without an adapter, so i have a couple questions before i make the wrong purchase.

Firstly how long an arm can i get away with? What is the cut off between mini-v and v, where they will no longer be effective with road levers? (Bike is fitted with microshift if it makes a difference)

The bike has 40c tyres, i dont have mud guards and mud build up should never be a problem for me personally. So should i just purchase the shortest arm so that the cable clears the tyre, or is this wrong thinking? I figure the tyre will never go up and the cable will never go down so as long as its not touching its ok? And the width of the tyre shouldn't matter as the gap between the arms is determined by the width of the mounts on the forks?

Can i just measure from.the centre of the mount to the topnof the tyre and get an arm length to clear it?

Thanks to anyone that can help.


An Peanut
Whatever you go for, make sure you also buy a noodle with an adjuster on. It makes like a lot easier. When I bought my mini vees, I did not look into arm length etc, I just purchased the cheapest mini vee I could find, no problem with clearance at all.


Carbon fibre... LMAO!!!
As Milkfloat, I just bought the cheapest mini-v's I could find and they worked, although I did have to cut a groove in my rear mudguard so the cable wouldn't rub.
Sometime later I made the switch to full size v brakes and travel adapters. Some folk report their cables start fraying inside the adapter as the cable has to go round a very small pulley which puts a lot of strain on the individual strands. I found that any power I might have gained in using full size v's was lost in the gearing of the adapters and the friction involved in the pulley.
If I remember correctly, there is one road lever by Shimano, Tiagra I think that absolutely will not work with either a full or mini v brake. Check yer levers first.


I recently swapped mini vs back to cantis on the other halfs cyclo crosser and the tolerances to get the mini vs working but not rubbing are so small. Decent quality cantis are good.


Sounds like the adjustment on the cantis is out, they should be plenty powerful to stop you when setup correctly.

Might be worth sorting them out than swapping to mini v brakes.


Thanks for the replies. I will try adjusting the cantis better and see how i get on first. They do stop me but i feel like in an emergency i wouldnt stop fast enough.


Not So Special One
North Yorkshire
View attachment 467404
What size wheel/tyre are you using with those brakes?
700c rims with 32mm tyres, there looks clearance for 40mm with a few mm to spare.
Here’s a pic from when the bike had 35mm tyres;
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