V-Brakes and wetness.

I've noticed a problem on my tourer: the V-Brakes are much less effective in the wet, which is something I've never noticed on any of my v-braked flat bar bikes, including the heavy longtail, which will stop on command if a tiny bit more slowly in the rain. Is this because of the angle of brakes on drop bikes or could it be that my cheapo rims are making the problem worse?
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
...or dodgy pads? You've listed the probably causes, now you have to work through them all.
 

Nigelnightmare

Senior Member
Some brake blocks get hard with age/ exposure to the sun! & as @Globalti said can also get crud embedded in them.

As @Drago said you have listed some causes that need checking + make sure the blocks are properly adjusted, the mechanicals and cables are clean and lubed.

Try some kool-stop brake blocks, making sure that they're compatible with the rims you have.


Good luck.
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
Is this because of the angle of brakes on drop bikes...
No!
... or could it be that my cheapo rims are making the problem worse?
If they are horrid steel rims - yes! I had that type on my bike as a teenager and was almost squashed when shooting through a red traffic light at the bottom of a hill in Coventry - it was raining and my brakes barely worked at all...

Alternatively, the quality of the rims might be ok, but they are filthy? I had a similar problem in Yorkshire a few years back. I had the brake levers pulled almost to the handlebar but was barely decelerating. I posted a picture a couple of days ago of how much greasy crud I cleaned off the rims after I got home...

Baby wipes after cleaning dirty wheel rims.jpg
 

Ajax Bay

Veteran
Location
East Devon
on my tourer: the V-Brakes are much less effective in the wet, which is something I've never noticed on any of my v-braked flat bar bikes, . . . Is this because of the angle of brakes on drop [bar] bikes
Andy - what sort of V-brakes are they? The same type as on your flat-bar bikes?
There are certain drop-bar brake levers designed to work with V-brakes: is your tourer so equipped? Or are your V-brakes 'mini-Vs?
https://sheldonbrown.com/canti-direct.html for more.
 
Thanks for the replies, quick response before I go to work:

The brakes are identical to those I use on my other bikes, normal MTB V-Brakes from Shimano (The bike is a Frankenbike made from a 90's MTB frame).
Blocks are fairly new
Levers are Tektro V-Brake drop levers
My son says I adjust them to within an inch of their life.

I only have the problem in wet weather, as soon as they dry off the problem vanishes, although the front wheel, which is my "emergency" wheel until I can afford a better one, doesn't feel smooth when braking, it does stop efficiently.

I'll try cleaning them though, and see what happens.
 
I remember cleaning my rims thoroughly and couldn't believe the improvement in my braking.
I never thought the rims were that dirty!!
Lesson learned!
 
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