I own an Fuji Absolute 1.4, a flat-bar road bike, 2013 model with 700x28c Tires and a carbon fork. The bike is really smooth but I am not happy with the braking power. I want to replace the existing V-Brakes with Caliper Brakes. I have searched all over the net, and found few relevant answers but they were not satisfactory. Now I have few questions in mind.

1. My Bike front Fork is Carbon and it has a hole probably for a fender mount or Calipers. Is it possible to mount Calipers on it. If so what type of Calipers do i need to get (Short or Long Reach Ones).
2. I don't want to use Cantilever brakes as i am not a fan of them.
3. If I have mounted calipers successfully, do I need to change the brake levers to pull the brakes as i know caliper brakes require short pull with increased tension.

I want to convert as i want to change the bike into a touring one in future with good amount of braking power. Thank you

  • 3
    Properly maintained V-brakes should have the same braking power as caliper brakes. Replace the pads, the cables and the housings. Clean & lubricate the pivots.
    – Carel
    May 16, 2017 at 10:55
  • 3
    What pads are you using? Even decent bikes often ship with rubbish pads. Don't forget, pre-disc almost all MTBs used V-brakes. They need stopping power. I'm heavy and sometimes heavily laden and my V-brakes (with kool-stop dual compound pads) aren't the limit to my stopping -- traction on the ground is.
    – Chris H
    May 16, 2017 at 11:22
  • 1
    V Brakes are generally robust, perhaps you need to set them up better as well. Just buy new Kool Stop brake pads with the same mountings as your current brake pads (either cartridges or postmounts with a plain or threadded pole out the back) If the inner cable doesn't move smoothly you may need new cables too.
    – Criggie
    May 16, 2017 at 11:23
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    Bear in mind that you would need new levers if you switched. Visit a well-equipped bike shop and pick out a (slightly) grabbier set of pads compared to what you have. It's pretty normal to have to switch pads to suit individual tastes. May 16, 2017 at 11:36
  • You could also try a different V-brake. I've found some cheaper ones not to perform well. A good budget choice is the Avid Single Digit 5 or 7, which come with a set of OK pads.
    – Batman
    May 17, 2017 at 15:38

1 Answer 1


Generally, V brakes have much better stopping power than calipers. And I'm guessing that your frame will require calipers with a pretty long reach, which makes it even worse. Forget about caliper brakes - concentrate on making your existing brakes work better.

First thing you should do is to check if anything's malfunctioning: are the cables sliding freely? Are any of the moving parts binding? Are the pads contacting the rim squarely? Next step is to upgrade the brake pads.

If you do switch, then yes, you'll need new levers. Caliper and cantilever brakes: short pull, V brakes: long pull.

  • Will v brake lever work with long reach calipers?
    – Deadpool
    Aug 13, 2020 at 6:18

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