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  1. #1
    Senior Member whitenhiemer's Avatar
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    Brakes in the Rain

    Hey Guys,

    So, I'm just curious to what other people are using. This is my 3rd set of brakes this year, I seem to go through about a set a month or so. Right now, I'm using some tektro brakes that came standard with my bike Giant Escape City, on my old road bike I had over the counter Shimano Road Brakes. I live in Seattle and there is plenty of rain, so I know that rain and Rim brakes don't agree with each other. I'm looking for the most efficient set of brakes that I can find.

    They need to do the following:

    * last more than 400 miles
    * survive in the Rain
    * preferably with replaceable pads (so i don't have to worry about readjusting my brakes all the time)
    * fit my 700cc x 32mm Hybrid Rims

    If my brakes need to be replaced every month, so be it, I know I'm a heavy rider, I know I ride mostly in the rain, I know there are lots of hills on my ride. I've seen the salmon brakes form Kool Stop and the Shimano Ultegras, but I'm not familiar enough with any of them to make an informed decision without just doing a lot of expensive trial and error.

    Woodward@

  2. #2
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    My LBS made an interesting comment when I was asking about brake pads that didn't wear down too fast. The guy mentioned that when you brake you generate friction (which is how you slow down, after all) and the friction would cause wear. What you're effectively deciding is whether the brake pad wears, or the rim wears. As he said, when the brake pad is worn away you put another brake pad in and it costs less than a couple of beers but when the rim is worn out you buy another wheel which is far more expensive.
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  3. #3
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whitenhiemer View Post
    Hey Guys,

    So, I'm just curious to what other people are using. This is my 3rd set of brakes this year, I seem to go through about a set a month or so. Right now, I'm using some tektro brakes that came standard with my bike Giant Escape City, on my old road bike I had over the counter Shimano Road Brakes. I live in Seattle and there is plenty of rain, so I know that rain and Rim brakes don't agree with each other. I'm looking for the most efficient set of brakes that I can find.

    They need to do the following:

    * last more than 400 miles
    * survive in the Rain
    * preferably with replaceable pads (so i don't have to worry about readjusting my brakes all the time)
    * fit my 700cc x 32mm Hybrid Rims

    If my brakes need to be replaced every month, so be it, I know I'm a heavy rider, I know I ride mostly in the rain, I know there are lots of hills on my ride. I've seen the salmon brakes form Kool Stop and the Shimano Ultegras, but I'm not familiar enough with any of them to make an informed decision without just doing a lot of expensive trial and error.

    Woodward@
    You're going through a set of brake pads every month? On my road bike I have a mixed Shimano 105/Ultegra groupset, and iirc I have ultegra pads in the brakes. The reason my memory isn't entirely to be trusted is that I have done at least 3000 miles on those pads, and there's plenty of life left in them yet.

    On my touring bike, with Deore V-brakes, I guess I have got something like 2500 miles out of each set of brake pads, even though that is a heavy bike and I take a fair bit of baggage with me. So all in all, I cannot imagine how one would get through a set of brake pads every month. Maybe you brake more than I do. LOL.

    Anyway, give the ultegra pads a try if they fit your set-up. They seem pretty durable, and I haven't noticed my braking surfaces wearing faster than usual.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Kool Stop Salmon lasts for thousands of miles for me, including rain rides. So far (knock on wood) I've only worn one rim down enough to need replacing.

    Seattle is one of the few places I've seen where many/most LBSs carry KS Salmons. I suspect there's a reason for that - something like "it works here."

  5. #5
    Senior Member whitenhiemer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    You're going through a set of brake pads every month? On my road bike I have a mixed Shimano 105/Ultegra groupset, and iirc I have ultegra pads in the brakes. The reason my memory isn't entirely to be trusted is that I have done at least 3000 miles on those pads, and there's plenty of life left in them yet.

    On my touring bike, with Deore V-brakes, I guess I have got something like 2500 miles out of each set of brake pads, even though that is a heavy bike and I take a fair bit of baggage with me. So all in all, I cannot imagine how one would get through a set of brake pads every month. Maybe you brake more than I do. LOL.

    Anyway, give the ultegra pads a try if they fit your set-up. They seem pretty durable, and I haven't noticed my braking surfaces wearing faster than usual.
    My ride into work involves two large down hill stints, both drop about 500 feet over the course of 1.5-2 miles, and I hit them on the daily. These hills make my ride home AWESOME *sarcasm*.

  6. #6
    A square going nowhere psalm's Avatar
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    Sounds like they're being sanded down and not worn. Maybe you're picking up a lot of dirt and it's sticking to wet rims. Have you tried cleaning your rims, and pads after every ride? They might last a bit longer that way. A set a month is a lot to be going through.
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  7. #7
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    I don't know why rain would cause increased wear... but psalm might be on to something. Make sure your rims are clean (wiping them down is probably sufficient) and you don't have grit in your brake pads.

  8. #8
    Just Plain Slow PhotoJoe's Avatar
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    I have to lightly sand PhotoJoanne's braking surfaces every few rides to get SOMETHING off of there or they squeal like a pig. I'm not sure what I'm sanding off at this point. The KS Salmons or rim material. We don't ride in the rain, either.
    Last edited by PhotoJoe; 04-15-13 at 05:51 PM.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by psalm View Post
    Sounds like they're being sanded down and not worn. Maybe you're picking up a lot of dirt and it's sticking to wet rims. Have you tried cleaning your rims, and pads after every ride? They might last a bit longer that way. A set a month is a lot to be going through.
    I've definitely seen this when riding in the rain. Both my rims and brake pads seem to get covered with abrasive grime. If I don't clean the pads and rims regularly, I end up with excessive wear on both. Like others, I find that KoolStop Salmon pads work well in the rain though when I have the choice I ride my disc brake-equipped touring/commuter bike.

  10. #10
    Senior Member whitenhiemer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    I've definitely seen this when riding in the rain. Both my rims and brake pads seem to get covered with abrasive grime. If I don't clean the pads and rims regularly, I end up with excessive wear on both. Like others, I find that KoolStop Salmon pads work well in the rain though when I have the choice I ride my disc brake-equipped touring/commuter bike.
    I wanted disk brakes, but it was going to add another $300 to my budget that I don't think I could have convinced my wife to agree to.

    I'm going to the LBS to see if they carry the KoolStop Salmon, I know that REI does, but that's a farther ride.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whitenhiemer View Post
    Hey Guys,

    So, I'm just curious to what other people are using. This is my 3rd set of brakes this year, I seem to go through about a set a month or so. Right now, I'm using some tektro brakes that came standard with my bike Giant Escape City, on my old road bike I had over the counter Shimano Road Brakes. I live in Seattle and there is plenty of rain, so I know that rain and Rim brakes don't agree with each other. I'm looking for the most efficient set of brakes that I can find.

    They need to do the following:

    * last more than 400 miles
    * survive in the Rain
    * preferably with replaceable pads (so i don't have to worry about readjusting my brakes all the time)
    * fit my 700cc x 32mm Hybrid Rims

    If my brakes need to be replaced every month, so be it, I know I'm a heavy rider, I know I ride mostly in the rain, I know there are lots of hills on my ride. I've seen the salmon brakes form Kool Stop and the Shimano Ultegras, but I'm not familiar enough with any of them to make an informed decision without just doing a lot of expensive trial and error.

    Woodward@
    I disagree that rim brakes and rain don't agree with eachother. A combination of using the right pads and right technique and it's fine. If you think you might have to brake keep a little pressure on the levers and this will skim the water off the rim so that when you need to brake you immediately get full bite.

    I live in Seattle and commute about 15 miles a day, seven days a week right now while I'm back in college (as a 40 yr old!) and working full time. I run a combination of Tektro 720's and old Shimno XTR cantilever brakes with Kool Stop pads in Velo Orange cartridge holders. I just changed out my rear pads from a set that was in the parts box and now my fronts are about due to, I can't remember when I last changed pads, so that means its been quite a few months. When I'm not in school, I'm commuting 3 times a week, without fail, plus the occasional pleasure ride or errand run.

    I'm heavy too, 280 right now, and my commute takes me to and from Capitol Hill/First Hill through either the U-district or Fremont, so it is literally uphill both ways, or more pertinently at least one serious downhill each commute. I regularly drop down Boren from First Hill and have enough stopping power in the rain and haven't used up my pads quickly.

    Switch to something like these and cantilevers become a whole lot more manageable when it comes time to change the pads:
    http://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...aded-post.html
    ISO: 22" GT Rebound frame, year 2000 model

  12. #12
    Senior Member Medic Zero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    You're going through a set of brake pads every month? On my road bike I have a mixed Shimano 105/Ultegra groupset, and iirc I have ultegra pads in the brakes. The reason my memory isn't entirely to be trusted is that I have done at least 3000 miles on those pads, and there's plenty of life left in them yet.

    On my touring bike, with Deore V-brakes, I guess I have got something like 2500 miles out of each set of brake pads, even though that is a heavy bike and I take a fair bit of baggage with me. So all in all, I cannot imagine how one would get through a set of brake pads every month. Maybe you brake more than I do. LOL.

    Anyway, give the ultegra pads a try if they fit your set-up. They seem pretty durable, and I haven't noticed my braking surfaces wearing faster than usual.
    I used to burn through cheap pads that fast when I was a courier downtown and hauling cargo on my racks in the rain.
    ISO: 22" GT Rebound frame, year 2000 model

  13. #13
    What, me worry? Telly's Avatar
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    You're wearing them down way too fast. I'm a very heavy rider on a laden heavy bike (everything should reach 320-330lbs), and it's been raining all through this last winter here and I just changed my brake pads after 4,000 km of city use with plenty of sandy grit since I also ride by the seaside.

    How often do you clean the breaking surfaces and the pads on the rims? I've noticed that if I neglect to clean them after a couple of rides, the brakes tend to sand the rims because of the grit.

  14. #14
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    You have good brakes if you can lock each wheel when riding in the rain. To minimize wear, lightly squeeze on the brakes for 1-2 seconds prior to heavier application. This will allow the pads to remove large contaminants from the rims to minimize wear. Anticipate the need to stop in advance so that you don't have to apply heavy braking. Use the rear brake only to supplement the front brake. The rear tire always has more road contaminants which will quickly wear out pads and rim. Also use 400 grade sand paper to clean the rims if you see excessive contaminants.

    The Kool Stop "red/salmon" compound works well with a compatible cartridge pad holder.

  15. #15
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    I agree with most of what has been said. The Salmon pads seem to work best for me as well. As an alternative consideration, you might want to consider disk brakes for your next bike, particularly since you ride in the rain so much. I am more comfortable with disks when riding in the rain, and they work well in the dry as well.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Big Pete 1982's Avatar
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    Maybe it's not the pads, but the brakes. I had Tektro brakes on a CAAD9 and they always felt way underpowered. I would have to really clinch down on them to slow down. Now I have Ultegra brakes on my CAAD10 and I feel like I have at least twice the stopping power and I haven't had to change pads yet with about 3000 miles on them. And I live in the same crappy weather as you.

  17. #17
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    My wife rides almost daily in Portland on what is a pretty heavy bike and guess she is considered an Athena.. and she is a goddess.

    With Tektro V's and Kool Stop dual compound mtb pads (we ran salmon Thinlines for years) we are getting 4000-5000 miles per front set and she goes through the same brake pads at a much faster rate than I do because I think stopping is over rated, live in another city that isn't so wet, and only hit the curb at a buck fifty.

    The Kool Stop Eagle pads are deeper and longer wearing and also come in the salmon compound.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by whitenhiemer View Post
    Hey Guys,

    So, I'm just curious to what other people are using. This is my 3rd set of brakes this year, I seem to go through about a set a month or so. Right now, I'm using some tektro brakes that came standard with my bike Giant Escape City, on my old road bike I had over the counter Shimano Road Brakes. I live in Seattle and there is plenty of rain, so I know that rain and Rim brakes don't agree with each other. I'm looking for the most efficient set of brakes that I can find.

    They need to do the following:

    * last more than 400 miles
    * survive in the Rain
    * preferably with replaceable pads (so i don't have to worry about readjusting my brakes all the time)
    * fit my 700cc x 32mm Hybrid Rims

    If my brakes need to be replaced every month, so be it, I know I'm a heavy rider, I know I ride mostly in the rain, I know there are lots of hills on my ride. I've seen the salmon brakes form Kool Stop and the Shimano Ultegras, but I'm not familiar enough with any of them to make an informed decision without just doing a lot of expensive trial and error.

    Woodward@
    Wow, you're running through quite a few brake pads super-quickly. As someone else posted, I'd guess your wheels are worn and that's what's causing such frequent brake failures.
    - Dan \m/

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