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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 08-05-09, 07:42 PM   #1
ECB1
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Braking problems

Over the weekend I went down some pretty steep hills and my factory breaks on my Specialize Reubaix did't seem to want to slow me down at all, I was on a lowner rim and did't trust it. Has anyone had this problem, if so are there better breaking systems for after market. ECB1
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Old 08-05-09, 07:56 PM   #2
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I gather from the roadie forum that there are quite a few different quality levels of brakes available, but I don't know how they compare. Part of the difference is weight, not just performance, too. You can also get pads that are stickier. You might run the bike past a bike shop to see if the brakes are working like they're supposed to or not. (I think on my old cheap mountain bike, as the cables got rustier inside, braking got worse and worse).
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Old 08-05-09, 08:08 PM   #3
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The answer is yes, but what do you have on the bike now?

Why don't you start by swapping in Cool Stop pads and see how that works out, must easier and less expensive than changing calipers.
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Old 08-05-09, 08:19 PM   #4
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The Kool Stop pads often work much better than stock pads.
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Old 08-05-09, 10:35 PM   #5
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Maybe the loaner rim was more narrow htan your rim. Like A Deep V is pretty narrow compared to a box rim.

Maybe you didn't set the brake distance proper distance when the loaner was installed. You have to check these things as the shop people tend to overrlook important issues at times.

Proper distance is 3mm. Even the fact that the calipers weren't centered can affect stopping power. Or maybe the brake pads didn't line up with the loaner rim brake surface. NEVER trust unknown equipment. No way would I take a loaner rim ons steep hills!

A rim out of true can affect stop power too.
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Old 08-05-09, 11:05 PM   #6
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Agree with Mr. Beanz: the first thing to do is make sure your brake calipers are properly adjusted. If you still aren't getting enough power, make sure you practice proper braking technique. If that doesn't work, consider swapping the stock brake pads for Kool Stop salmon-colored brake pads.

If none of that helps, swapping brake calipers or levers might make a small amount of difference. In my experience, though, all modern calipers are pretty equivalent in terms of stopping power. Some might weigh less or cost more, but I've yet to notice a really big difference in the stopping power of road bike calipers...
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Old 08-05-09, 11:42 PM   #7
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Like others said, make sure everything is adjusted properly. Then, if you want to stop real fast (for a bicycle anyway) get yourself some Mavic Open Pro ceramic wheels with some ultegra brakes. Rain or shine, you'll stop on a dime! You'll go through pads pretty fast but it's worth it. The other bonus is that they are bullet (when built properly) proof for larger riders.
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