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Linear pull brakes are nothing new. The Cheap Trick was one of the more popular pre-V linear pull brakes. Then came Shimano, with their big promotion and racer support, took these brakes from being aftermarket equipment to standard OEM parts. -Most of the linear pull brakes require more cable pull, normal levers can be used, however, it will give the rider a very mushy feel and the performance will not be optimal. Keep in mind that a mushy feel usually gives you more modulation. -96 Shimano XT V brakes had problem with the bushing wearing out too quickly, creating loud squeals. A kit is available free of charge from your dealer to fix this problem. -The main advantage of this setup is that it is much easier to properly install the brakes. Because of this, a lot of people believe that these brakes are more powerful, but in fact, they were riding with poorly adjusted canti's. Check http://www.bontrager.com for more info on how to setup the brakes properly. Keith Bontrager has a very good write up on how to do so. Kristan Roberge also has a good tech page on this subject at http://www.magi.com/~kroberge/kmrtop.html -If you are planning to ask whether to buy them or not, and you are going to post in the newsgroup, you will receive a lot of messages for cantis and a lot for V's. The fact is that most people will probably have an easier time with them when it comes to adjusting, but if you want to save a few bucks and still get the same performance, cantis will do the trick just fine. I perfer cantis, and once you get good at adjusting them, you can adjust them better than most v's in about 10 minutes.