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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 01-03-09, 06:19 AM   #1
robertr70
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New brake pads?

In the few times I've been able to get out on my bike I've come to the realization that the brakes are not very good, would new pads help with this or is the whole brake system not up to par?
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Old 01-03-09, 08:13 AM   #2
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Brake pads can make a difference. But, I would check that your brakes are adjusted properly. Look to see how close the pads are to the wheel. Cables will stretch, but since your bike is new I wouldn't expect them to be stretched yet, but the cables may have come loose from the factory/store.

Also, bikes take longer to slow down then one would think. I don't know why, but I still find this to be the case. It may take some getting use to. If you have a friend who has ridden for a while have them give your bike a quick ride. They maybe able to judge the brakes on the bike, better then you, because of having a better reference to other bikes.
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Old 01-03-09, 09:12 AM   #3
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Being 250lbs of ground-pounding road warrior, I need to be able to stop Right Now. I find that the stock pads on my new (in '06) Sequioa Elite are very poor quality. The loud hissing sound gets most animate objects out of the way, because the stopping power is nil. If said objects don't run away, I simply begin to scream like a girl. Yes, they are properly tuned, close to the rim. It's a 105 bike all around. As I don't ride this bike as much as the others, they are still on there.

Conversely, the pads on my (now sold) Trek 520 were salmon colored KoolStop. They definitely stopped the bike Right Now, loaded or not, in all weathers.

Upgrade your pads. Right Now.
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Old 01-03-09, 10:25 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by robertr70 View Post
In the few times I've been able to get out on my bike I've come to the realization that the brakes are not very good, would new pads help with this or is the whole brake system not up to par?
What brakes do you have?
What pads are you running?
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Old 01-03-09, 10:40 AM   #5
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CliftonGK1 the bike he rides has Pro Max linear pull brakes, based on a post he made before. The bike is fairly new, a couple of weeks, and he does short rides (for now). Here is a link to the bike he has http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=4029278

icm I was on Sheldon's Brown website earlier today and he recommended the salmon color KoolStop. I haven't tried these...yet, but I wanted OP to check out other factors before buy new pads.
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Old 01-03-09, 11:15 AM   #6
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There are numerous problems that can affect brake systems. For peace of mind, if nothing else, it wouldn't hurt for the OP to have this brakes checked out by a local bike shop. Changing brake pads may help, but in my experience new pads only provide incremental improvements over stock pads (assuming dry conditions). I just replaced my stock SRAM brake pads with KoolStop salmon-colored pads. I'm hoping they'll provide much better stopping power in wet conditions. In dry conditions, they seem to be better than stock, but not enough better to justify the upgrade.

Not sure about the OP's level of riding experience, but perhaps it's his braking technique that needs work? I know that when I returned to cycling as an adult, I spent most of my time using the rear brake. Of course this was because, as a kid, I have vivid memories of: flying into my driveway on my then new 10-speed bike, grabbing the wrong (=front) brake, flying over the handlebars, and having the bike somersault onto my crotch.

robertr70: remember that most (70-80%) of your braking power comes from the front brake. Give the handle a slow squeeze, not the big grab that sent me over the bars as a kid. Additionally, at this time of year I'll mention that it takes a lot longer to stop in wet conditions than in dry conditions. I've been doing some rain riding recently and notice that when I first pull the brake lever I get almost no stopping power! It takes what feels like an eternity for the brake pads to clear the water and muck from the rims before the bike starts to slow. I allow 2-3X more stopping distance in the wet than I would in the dry.
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Old 01-03-09, 02:25 PM   #7
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CliftonGK1 the bike he rides has Pro Max linear pull brakes, based on a post he made before. The bike is fairly new, a couple of weeks, and he does short rides (for now). Here is a link to the bike he has http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=4029278

icm I was on Sheldon's Brown website earlier today and he recommended the salmon color KoolStop. I haven't tried these...yet, but I wanted OP to check out other factors before buy new pads.
KS Salmon pads are fantastic, especially when the weather is bad. Up here in the PNW, they're pretty much the standard for commuters who use rim brakes. They make V-brake cartridge inserts, so it should be pretty easy to swap them out on the ProMax linear pulls.

sstorkel is right about taking it to an LBS. They can get the brakes dialed in and properly adjust the pads so that things are as strong as possible for the OP.
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