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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 07-07-11, 09:36 AM   #1
MK313
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Kool Stops REALLY work

The brakes on my commuter have felt a bit spongy to me since I got the bike. They were also worn down & needed to be replaced. I replaced them with Kool Stops on Friday, then forgot about it until this morning (my first commute back). There is a big hill at the bottom of our development & when I hit the brakes for the first time, I nearly went over the bars. Those things have some stopping power!
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Old 07-07-11, 09:54 AM   #2
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Yes, great product - and very important component to say the least. I use nothing but Kool Stop Salmon.
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Old 07-07-11, 10:34 AM   #3
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Awesome pads. Nothing more need be said.
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Old 07-07-11, 10:52 AM   #4
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I love their salmon pads. They work beautifully in the Pacific Northwet.

Also, when you're cruising down a hill, feather the breaks instead of grabbing them and pulling hard.
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Old 07-07-11, 10:54 AM   #5
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Putting the salmon pads on my bike made me reconsider if I even need disk brakes, even here in the 9 month rainy season. The salmon pads work really well.
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Old 07-07-11, 11:01 AM   #6
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Ditto. OEM pads got "gritty" if there was even the slightest amount of moisture in the air. Salmon MTB/BMX pads are as smooth as silk, quiet, and they feel solid at the handle. Highly recommended.
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Old 07-07-11, 12:04 PM   #7
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I first tried Kool Stop Salmon pads on my commuter-touring bike last year and quickly switched over all of my bikes. Not only do they stop better in general, but they are worlds better when it's raining or wet. Also, they don't turn your rims/sidewalls all nasty with black grime the way most black pads do.
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Old 07-07-11, 01:32 PM   #8
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They're great. I use them on my bike and love them, won't buy anything else.
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Old 07-07-11, 01:55 PM   #9
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Yep, they're great. My old commute was an old Norco road bike with marginal brakes especially when loaded with panniers. The Koolstops salmons did the trick and I still use 'em.
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Old 07-07-11, 02:24 PM   #10
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I have my OEM brakes but want to switch to the Kool Stops. On hill descents, the brake pads up front grind away; I have very little pad left at about 600+ miles. Trashed those brakes in under 4 months!
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Old 07-07-11, 02:43 PM   #11
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Have Koolstop salmon pads too, work great, but they wear out rather quickly. Then again, minor complaint when you take a speedy decent and your stock brakes feel inadequate. A few dollars more for a much greater peace of mind is definitely worth it.
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Old 07-07-11, 03:49 PM   #12
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I actually think the next pads I buy are going to be the VO 'squeal free' pads. At this point I just want something that never squeals.
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Old 07-07-11, 04:02 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Sundance89 View Post
Yes, great product - and very important component to say the least. I use nothing but Kool Stop Salmon.
I would think that in bone dry Arizona you'd want the black compound, but it seems everyone prefers salmon, everywhere.....makes me wonder what the black compound kool-stops are good for
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Old 07-07-11, 04:20 PM   #14
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I would think that in bone dry Arizona you'd want the black compound, but it seems everyone prefers salmon, everywhere.....makes me wonder what the black compound kool-stops are good for
Bone dry is right. That's why half the state is burning down. It's been a while, but I remember back in the day I scoured old posts and reviews, asked for recommendations, but still the Salmons were the pads that people suggested to get, even in AZ. They've worked so well that I have just kept re-upping rather than taking a chance on what I didn't know. Maybe I'll try the black compound if only out of curiosity next time.

Last edited by Sundance89; 07-07-11 at 11:34 PM.
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Old 07-07-11, 05:08 PM   #15
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I use the salmon pads, but I don't really notice much of any improvement over OEM pads. Then again, everything stops slow on old caliper and cantilever brakes.
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Old 07-07-11, 07:27 PM   #16
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Can anybody help me out? I want to stop better too!

I went to Kool Stop's web page and couldn't find a way to figure out which pads I'd need to replace my (original) non-threaded Shimano M65/T cantilever pads. Kool Stop has a pad finder on the site, but it doesn't work yet. Just thought I'd check here before I email or call them.
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Old 07-07-11, 07:59 PM   #17
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Can anybody help me out? I want to stop better too!

I went to Kool Stop's web page and couldn't find a way to figure out which pads I'd need to replace my (original) non-threaded Shimano M65/T cantilever pads. Kool Stop has a pad finder on the site, but it doesn't work yet. Just thought I'd check here before I email or call them.
Support your LBS. Kool Stop Eagle II's have a non-threaded shaft and would probably work. Lately I have been using Serfas pads. V-brakes make any kind of pad stop like a disc. But you can't ignore broken spokes with caliper brakes the way you can with discs... ...
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Old 07-07-11, 08:23 PM   #18
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Can anybody help me out? I want to stop better too!

I went to Kool Stop's web page and couldn't find a way to figure out which pads I'd need to replace my (original) non-threaded Shimano M65/T cantilever pads. Kool Stop has a pad finder on the site, but it doesn't work yet. Just thought I'd check here before I email or call them.
I emailed Kool stop on a Saturday with the brand, etc of my brakes. They emailed back within 2 hours & asked me to send a pic of the brakes I sent that & they gave me all of the options that would fit my bike. Send them an email (weird that they use an AOL account as their main contact addy) with a description of your brakes & a good picture of them & you'll be all set. My LBS carried one of the sets I could use in stock, so I was good to go.
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Old 07-08-11, 08:09 PM   #19
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I use Avid Shorty 6 cantilever brakes. With the original pads, for some reason the rear brake was more powerful than the front. I switched to dual-compound Kool Stops, putting in only the front pads first. It had a little bit more power, but the rear was still outperforming the front. I put the second set of pads on the rear and switched to a much shorter link wire on the front brake, and the power increased significantly. They give me good enough performance that I am comfortable making quick stops and riding down hills with the bike loaded full of groceries, though I know they could still be a little better, so I may move up to long arm cantis. Though the Kool Stops didn't blow away the stock Avid pads for dry braking power, they have a better feel when braking hard, don't make any noise (the Avids would scream if they got wet), stop way better in the rain, and don't get black gunk all over my rims.

Here's the rear brake with the original link wire. Notice how high the yoke is above the fender compared to the following picture:


And here's the front brake with the shorter link wire. It went from a 106mm wire to a 73mm wire and the braking got way better:


And look how shiny and pretty my braking surfaces are:
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Old 07-08-11, 10:03 PM   #20
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I actually think the next pads I buy are going to be the VO 'squeal free' pads. At this point I just want something that never squeals.
Those look interesting, but did you read the comments on the Epicurean Cyclist review? After initial success one guy reports that the squeal was back within 100 miles and the pads were toast within 200. I'd like to hear more first hand experiences.
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Old 07-08-11, 10:21 PM   #21
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The original brake pads barely lasted the first season of riding and I changed over to salmon Koolstops because of the glowing reviews I read here. So true. It's probably the least expensive upgrade I made on my bike and I'm really pleased with their performance all year round.
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Old 07-08-11, 11:13 PM   #22
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I use the kool stop salmons too. Their great! Mine are very squeaky though coming to a stop from 35mph+ downhill with full panniers.. I recently got a new set though, So that might be some of it.
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Old 07-09-11, 12:33 PM   #23
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I don't know: I've been thinking of Kool Stop's salmon pads, for a little while, but... they're SALMON-color... Couldn't they make 'em black? I mean, come on.
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Old 07-09-11, 02:54 PM   #24
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I don't know: I've been thinking of Kool Stop's salmon pads, for a little while, but... they're SALMON-color... Couldn't they make 'em black? I mean, come on.
They make black ones too, they also have great braking performance. The salmon ones are just supposed to be somewhat better in the rain, if that aspect doesn't matter to you the black ones will work just fine.
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Old 07-09-11, 03:09 PM   #25
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They make black ones too, they also have great braking performance. The salmon ones are just supposed to be somewhat better in the rain, if that aspect doesn't matter to you the black ones will work just fine.
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It does matter L.O.L. I want everything the salmon-color has to offer, but in black. I also want not to have to file taxes, anymore, but to still have income.
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