I'm planning to upgrade my rims from 305mm to 349mm. However, it seems that most v-brakes have a max distance of 1" from the fork boss to the center of the pad. Are there v-brakes that have a reach of say, 48mm?

  • Gidday and welcome to SE Bicycles. Good first question; thank you for including relevant measurements etc straight off.
    – Criggie
    Oct 29 '15 at 19:18

Assuming you do mean reach as distance from the center bolt (for mounting a caliper brake) to the middle of the brake shoe:

For a center mount brake (e.g. many caliper brakes), the reach is determined by the length of the brake arms, and you can get different reaches easily by swapping to a longer or shorter armed brake (or make a drop bolt allowing you to use a shorter reach brake for when you need longer reach).

However, brakes mounted on bosses like V-brakes have their "reach" determined by the position of the bosses in addition to the brake. This can vary from frame to frame (or fork to fork) a bit, but usually not beyond the 10-15 mm or so allowed for brake pad adjustment. The exception is probably the Paul's Moto BMX V-brake:

enter image description here

which is sometimes used for 26" -> 700c conversions and might be enough for your purposes if you can find one.

Another way to do the swap is with a brake post conversion adapter -- a piece of metal which mounts at the brake posts to provide brake posts further up.

Something like this (commonly used for 26 inch -> 700c swaps -- one for these purposes is likely a bit too big for you): enter image description here

Plus a V-brake with sufficient adjustment.

Another option I've seen (which I wouldn't recommend) is people taking a rectangle of metal, mounting the brake pad at the top of the rectangle, then attaching the bottom of the metal to where the brake pad is normally mounted. This likely results in a good loss of braking power, plus you have to make sure the mount is very secure.

  • Never knew that adapter existed. Interesting. We get some requests for things such as this, moreover people wanting to convert this to that, etc at the shop I work at. Good to know.
    – Ryan Close
    Oct 29 '15 at 14:27
  • Its a bit of a hard part to find (though Xtracycle among others used to make them). Financially, unless you have the parts already laying around, you're usually better off just replacing the bike than putting 700c wheels in 26" frame.
    – Batman
    Oct 29 '15 at 14:42
  • Do note that if you use the Paul V-brake the "mechanical advantage" of the brake levers will change, changing the available force and travel of the brakes for a given lever motion. Oct 30 '15 at 0:49
  • Indeed, I think the manual of those V-brakes tells you to switch to short pull levers for some configurations.
    – Batman
    Oct 30 '15 at 21:12
  • @Batman Thanks for the response! I was already looking at the rectangular v-brake extensions you mentioned but it seems that the u-shaped adapters are better.
    – Paula
    Oct 31 '15 at 4:43

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