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Old 11-20-11, 01:05 AM   #1
Igo
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Brake Pads for very dry riding in very steep country

I commute on a Giant Defy II. The brakes are the only great disappointment. A lot of people like the KOOL STOP pads so I visited their web site. I didn't realize they had so many compound variables.
I ride in very dry conditions (Mohave Desert) and relatively short but steep hills and lots of them. What pad upgrade would be good for these two criteria? Doesn't have to be Kool Stops either.
Thanks a bunch!
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Old 11-20-11, 02:39 AM   #2
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Did you buy the bike new or used? First thing is to make sure the brakes are setup properly.

I'm very happy with Kool Stop pads, they're the only brake pads I'll spend money on. There may be other good pads out there, but Kool Stop is by far the best pad I've come across. Giant says your bike has Tektro brakes. In my experience the Tektro pads suck almost as much as Shimano. It's not that they don't stop the bike, it's that they pick up shards of aluminum and tear up rims like no tomorrow. Here's a pair I pulled from a bike I bought:

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Old 11-20-11, 09:41 AM   #3
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I've also settled on Kool Stop pads as the only brand I'll use. My experience with Shimano OEM pads isn't as bad as FastJake's but the Kool Stops are better. I use the Salmon (red) pads. I ride in dry and wet condions and the Salmons work very well in both and are easy on rims.
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Old 11-20-11, 09:47 AM   #4
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BBB triple compounds pads are good too.
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Old 11-20-11, 01:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
Did you buy the bike new or used? First thing is to make sure the brakes are setup properly.

I'm very happy with Kool Stop pads, they're the only brake pads I'll spend money on. There may be other good pads out there, but Kool Stop is by far the best pad I've come across. Giant says your bike has Tektro brakes. In my experience the Tektro pads suck almost as much as Shimano. It's not that they don't stop the bike, it's that they pick up shards of aluminum and tear up rims like no tomorrow. Here's a pair I pulled from a bike I bought:

I pretty much figured that Kool Stops would be the one but Kool Stop makes 20 different variations. Which variation do I need for very dry (desert and no rain) braking and frequent steep descents?
I bought my bike new but I'm an Industrial Mechanic and I went through a book and the bike and undid what the dealer did and now the bike is in excellent tune. Still, the OEM brakes suck.
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Old 11-20-11, 01:06 PM   #6
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I have heard again and again that the Salmons are top shelf for wet weather riding. I guess what I'm looking for is a specifically dry weather pad. It rains so seldom in the Mohave Desert that you end up with a better performing bike if you just plan to not plan on rain, tune the bike for the desert and just leave the bike at home the 3 days a year it rains. Make sense?
Also, do all brake pads for cantilever brakes configure the same? I mean, same rim width and ability to pitch adjustment in order to sync with the rim? Same base design for hold-down hardware I guess is what I'm asking?

Last edited by Igo; 11-20-11 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 11-20-11, 01:26 PM   #7
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The 'salmon' comes from Iron oxide, they make a black compound too.
why its black, thats Carbon.
the salmon is fine year around..


threaded post maybe use V brake type pads, spherical spacers adjust angle well.
their extra length may give you more braking power since the surface is bigger

Or, just a Shimano road clone, Kool Stop . or Swissstop.

Last edited by fietsbob; 11-20-11 at 09:28 PM.
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Old 11-20-11, 01:57 PM   #8
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I think the standard black koolstops are primarily intended for dry conditions, and I don't think anything special is required for really really dry conditions as opposed to just gardden variety dry. And I agree with Fastjake, since I switched to Koolstop from shimano, I find far fewer bits of alu rim wedged into the pads than I used to.
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Old 11-20-11, 02:27 PM   #9
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Also, do all brake pads for cantilever brakes configure the same? I mean, same rim width and ability to pitch adjustment in order to sync with the rim? Same base design for hold-down hardware I guess is what I'm asking?
Doesn't the Giant Defy 2 have dual pivot caliper brakes? Make sure you get the correct pad, threaded post vs. smooth post.
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Old 11-20-11, 03:16 PM   #10
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I believe I can extrapolate from this. I've already misused my brake description. I have caliper brakes. Anyway, very useful fietsbob. Thank you very much.
Iron Oxide hah? That may explain the lack of aluminum found in the straight carbon pads. Iron Oxide is so fine it won't hold the aluminum. My guess it is as fine or finer than talcum. For that reason alone I'm go for the Salmons. Thanks again.

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The 'salmon' comes from Iron oxide, they make a black compound too.
why its black, thats Carbon.
the salmon is fine year around..

Plain post or threaded post?
threaded post use V brake type pads

for the reintroduced cross cantilevers with plain post and no height adjust slot or for toe in
TRP has introduced a in place adjust shoe - holder.. first insert included
second one can be any Shimano road clone, Kool Stop . or Swissstop.
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Old 11-20-11, 03:16 PM   #11
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I'm in the desert as well. I've been using KS salmon pads exclusively for some time now.

My understanding is that the black compound should wear longer than the salmon compound, but I continue to use the salmon pads because they're so gentle on the rims. I've heard mention that the black compound is slightly more effective in dry conditions than the salmon pads, but the black pads may be more aggressive against the rim.
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Old 11-20-11, 03:20 PM   #12
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I think the standard black koolstops are primarily intended for dry conditions, and I don't think anything special is required for really really dry conditions as opposed to just gardden variety dry. And I agree with Fastjake, since I switched to Koolstop from shimano, I find far fewer bits of alu rim wedged into the pads than I used to.
I imagine you are correct. I was just wondering if there may be some unique properties introduced to one compound or the other for exceptionally dry conditions. For example, here in the Mohave, rubber becomes very dry and brittle in relatively short order. Yet, I would think iron oxide would help keep a compound pliable. I expect I'm just thinking too much.
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Old 11-20-11, 03:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Doesn't the Giant Defy 2 have dual pivot caliper brakes? Make sure you get the correct pad, threaded post vs. smooth post.
Indeed. Sorry about that. Scotch and keyboards ya know.
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Old 11-20-11, 03:28 PM   #14
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Hmmm. Interesting. In most fore instances, more pliable compounds will wear faster in friction zones but create more drag. Are the Salmons softer than straight carbon pads? Anyway, I think you all answered my questions and i appreciate it very much.
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I'm in the desert as well. I've been using KS salmon pads exclusively for some time now.

My understanding is that the black compound should wear longer than the salmon compound, but I continue to use the salmon pads because they're so gentle on the rims. I've heard mention that the black compound is slightly more effective in dry conditions than the salmon pads, but the black pads may be more aggressive against the rim.
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Old 11-20-11, 04:00 PM   #15
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Whatever you do, don't get Swisstop pads. I've recently been using their standard black compound in road calipers. They suck in the dry and the wet - giving a mushy feel and unimpressive power. I'm actually pleased that they're also wearing out more quickly than I'm used to so that I can switch back to Shimano pads sooner rather than later. The Shimanos are also two-thirds the price of the Swisstops - what is not to like?
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Old 11-20-11, 05:13 PM   #16
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I use the Kool Stops Salmon/Black dual compound pads. They are awesome! Awesome braking in the dry and braking is not reduced too much in the wet.

And the kool stops are only ~$8 a pair. Best upgrade for the money on bike.

BTW I am using the stock Tektro brakes on my CAAD9

EDIT:These are the pads I have: http://www.amazon.com/Kool-Stop-Dura...1830969&sr=8-1
Have lasted me over 4000 miles in the Santa Monica mountains. We have some very steep and fast descents here.
They are finally starting to look like they are wearing out.

Last edited by fishymamba; 11-20-11 at 05:18 PM.
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Old 11-20-11, 05:23 PM   #17
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Hmmm. Interesting. In most fore instances, more pliable compounds will wear faster in friction zones but create more drag. Are the Salmons softer than straight carbon pads? Anyway, I think you all answered my questions and i appreciate it very much.
yes, the salmon pads are softer.
they also wear out faster, but it's really down to a choice of changing the pads more frequently, or changing the rim sooner. I have not done experiments, but supposedly the costs are the same for: more softer pads + longer rim life = less harder pads + shorter rim life

Interestingly, there is also a dual compound version that has both black and salmon molded together, but from my experience, they seem to be more of a gimmick.
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Old 11-20-11, 05:42 PM   #18
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yes, the salmon pads are softer.
they also wear out faster, but it's really down to a choice of changing the pads more frequently, or changing the rim sooner. I have not done experiments, but supposedly the costs are the same for: more softer pads + longer rim life = less harder pads + shorter rim life

Interestingly, there is also a dual compound version that has both black and salmon molded together, but from my experience, they seem to be more of a gimmick.
Actually, I would think a softer pad would have better stopping power AND extend the life of the rim. I don't care if the trade off is more frequent replacement of the pads if I can stop this bike faster.
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Old 11-20-11, 06:29 PM   #19
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Whatever you do, beware of the Velo Orange squeal free pads. Tried a set and was rewarded with as a worn out front Open Pro rim in about 2000 miles. As advertised, they absolutely did not squeal, so there was some truth in advertising, but held abrasive road debris like a sponge.

Never had a near a similar level of wear from salmon Kool Stops. Even though they are advertised an optimal wet weather pad, I've never had one single issue with them in the dry. Price for level of performance is reasonable too.
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Old 11-20-11, 06:51 PM   #20
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I think mine is V Brake but I'm not sure. I'm ordering the Salmons as soon as I make that determination.
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Old 11-20-11, 08:34 PM   #21
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Actually, I would think a softer pad would have better stopping power AND extend the life of the rim. I don't care if the trade off is more frequent replacement of the pads if I can stop this bike faster.
interestingly, the softer koolstop salmon pads and harder BBB triple compound pads had the same stopping power in dry and wet conditions. I honestly could not tell the difference between the two. After riding for about a 2 months in wet and dirty winter, the koolstop pads were worn out, but the BBB pads took about 3 months to require replacement.
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Old 11-20-11, 09:06 PM   #22
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I think mine is V Brake but I'm not sure. I'm ordering the Salmons as soon as I make that determination.
No, according to the Giant web site, the Defy 2 has Tektro TK-R340 caliper brakes. Also from the picture on the web site, it has brake "shoes" (i.e. one piece brake blocks) rather than holders with replacable insert pads.

I recommend you buy two sets of Kool Stop's "Dura Type" pad holders and the included insert pads. These will replace your current shoes and thereafter let you just replace the inserts. You want these: http://www.koolstop.com/english/road_pad.html
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Old 11-20-11, 09:22 PM   #23
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adjusted my prior post, from new info..
Given the inserts in the Dura Pad is a mix of red and black KS compounds..
why not?

then there is just a different insert to buy rather than a whole shoe.

Last edited by fietsbob; 11-20-11 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 11-20-11, 09:27 PM   #24
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No, according to the Giant web site, the Defy 2 has Tektro TK-R340 caliper brakes. Also from the picture on the web site, it has brake "shoes" (i.e. one piece brake blocks) rather than holders with replacable insert pads.

I recommend you buy two sets of Kool Stop's "Dura Type" pad holders and the included insert pads. These will replace your current shoes and thereafter let you just replace the inserts. You want these: http://www.koolstop.com/english/road_pad.html
THAT'S what I was looking for. I'm a pretty good mechanic but I'm new to cycling. Ya gotta know what the dohicky is called before ya order it. Thank you so much.
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Old 11-20-11, 09:27 PM   #25
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After riding for about a 2 months in wet and dirty winter, the koolstop pads were worn out, but the BBB pads took about 3 months to require replacement.
Wow. How much did you ride in that time? My kool stops are at over 4000 miles and they still have life left. Maybe it's because you weight more than me.
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