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Old 11-17-09, 10:30 AM   #1
Bryan Hayes
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Tektro brake issue / or brake pad issue

Hoping someone can offer advice on an issue I am experiencing on my winter road bike.

It came fitted with Tektro brakes which I found had real difficulty in slowing the bike down, hills being quite scary. I have mudguards fitted so presumably a longer drop version.

Reading the advice around on the web, I swapped the brake blocks over to Swissstop Green, often quoted as one of the best around.

Absolutely no difference !

Just tried a cheap set of Shimano blocks which a friend swears by - quick run around the block and no better.

Could I have got something on the rims from cleaning / lubing ?? Not sure, but no issues with my summer bike which is treated the same way.

Any thoughts - is it cleaning or are the calipers that poor ??
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Old 11-17-09, 11:55 AM   #2
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I've never tried the Swisstop green pads before. My poor weather favourites are Kool Stop salmon pads.

But, before you go buying more stuff, check a few things first.

- Do you have ample pull distance on the levers? If you adjust things too short on the pull, you get very little mechanical advantage and the brakes feel tight, but weak.
- Are the pads seated properly? Toed in and meeting the rim squarely so you're not just forcing an edge of the pad against the braking surface?
- Are the rims and pads clean? Take a green scrubby pad and clean the braking surface. Wipe it down with clean rag afterwards. Do the same to the pad surface.
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Old 11-17-09, 12:02 PM   #3
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You haven't told us what kind of rim you have. The green SwissStop pads are made for ceramic rims - which are very hard and will eat a less-dense brake-pad. And using the greenies on a typical alloy rim will result in excessive wear & tear to the braking surface.

I'd give the Kool Stop salmon brake-pads and see what they say. Oh - do you have any pictures of your rims and brakes?
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Old 11-17-09, 12:07 PM   #4
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I am not familiar with Swisstop products, but if you have tried a few decent quality (Shimano are also, IMHO, decent stoppers) sets of pads and had no luck, then the pads are not the problem.

The issue may be with the cables, the internal pivots and mechaisms in the brakes, or possibly something ont he rims.

Check you cables for excessive friction, and while they are disconnected check your brakes for friction. If this is your winter bike I'll be they feel pretty crummy.
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Old 11-17-09, 01:51 PM   #5
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The brake arms are not hitting the fenders before clamping down on the rims are they? Roger
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Old 11-17-09, 02:27 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=Panthers007;10043782]The green SwissStop pads are made for ceramic rims - which are very hard and will eat a less-dense brake-pad. And using the greenies on a typical alloy rim will result in excessive wear & tear to the braking surface.QUOTE]

Absolutely wrong information.
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Old 11-17-09, 02:55 PM   #7
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http://www.swissstop.ch/Mountain.aspx

Green is "high performance".

Blue is for ceramic.

=============

The salmon Koolstops work well for me. I use the MTB pads with my Tektro brakes.
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Old 11-17-09, 10:11 PM   #8
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Green are for ceramic. Same as Kool Stop greens. Only the SwissStop come with better mounting gear. Could be for mountain-bike type brakes - the colors are different. Strange - but I've been running greens on my ceramic rims for several years, and they work great. Now I'm seeing every color of the rainbow out there! It's getting ridiculous.

This is an example of the Kool Stop greens:

http://www.bikeman.com/BR1128.html?u...ign=GoogleBase

And here is SwissStop -

http://cyclocrossworld.stores.yahoo....atgrcabrp.html

Last edited by Panthers007; 11-17-09 at 10:15 PM.
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Old 11-17-09, 10:17 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Panthers007 View Post
Green are for ceramic. Same as Kool Stop greens. Only the SwissStop come with better mounting gear. Could be for mountain-bike type brakes - the colors are different. Strange - but I've been running greens on my ceramic rims for several years, and they work great. Now I'm seeing every color of the rainbow out there! It's getting ridiculous.

This is an example of the Kool Stop greens:

http://www.bikeman.com/BR1128.html?u...ign=GoogleBase

And here is SwissStop -

http://cyclocrossworld.stores.yahoo....atgrcabrp.html
Sorry you're wrong here Panther, those green pads are not ceramic specific

http://www.swissstop.ch/road.aspx

Swisstop does make a ceramic brakepad, but it ain't for road and it's blue.

http://www.swissstop.ch/Cross.aspx
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Old 11-17-09, 10:33 PM   #10
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They do say for both ceramic and high-performance. I've never even seen the blue ones. Any idea of how hard they are as compared to the greens? Thus far only the greens have been good on my Mavic Open Pro ceramic rims. I wouldn't want to use the greens on a regular alloy rim - They are too hard, so I'd stick with your salmon Kool Stops.
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Old 11-18-09, 09:56 AM   #11
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Need to back up a bit:

1) is the bike new or old? If it's old, grab a magnet and find out if those rims are steel
2) Which brake are you using? If you're using exclusively rear brake to stop, especially downhill, things might get scary.
3) Ensure they're adjusted correctly. Look at the pad surface and make sure it's contacting the rim well - ensure it's not missing the rim, or tilted so only an edge is touching. Also, very important - make SURE the pad doesn't rub the tire.
4) As mentioned, check those fenders to make sure they're not stopping the brake.

Other than that, you've used enough pads to ensure that they're probably not at fault. Though don't go back to the Tektro, those pads aren't very good.
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Old 11-18-09, 10:48 AM   #12
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The best pads according to "Bicycle Science" are the high end shimanos. They bested the others in the wet and dry tests.
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Old 11-18-09, 10:53 AM   #13
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2) Which brake are you using? If you're using exclusively rear brake to stop, especially downhill, things might get scary
Can you explain it?
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Old 11-18-09, 11:04 AM   #14
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Do you have cantilever brakes or V brakes? Are your brake levers designed for V brakes or Canti brakes? If you have mismatched brakes/levers, performance will definitely be affected.
And winter weather conditions also will require you to brake sooner and longer, as compared to summer dry riding conditions. There's no way around that.

Tektro brake pads are nothing to write home about but they are adequate in most conditions. Wet winter riding may not be ideal for the stock tektro pads.
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Old 11-20-09, 09:56 AM   #15
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Thanks for all the comments. The Swissstop pads are the correct ones and they are braking on quite new Mavic rims. I intend to check that the calipers are not hitting the guards ( but confident they are not ) and then go the cleaning the rims thoroughly route.
Will post if I find the solution !
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