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Old 10-24-11, 08:53 PM   #1
BikeWNC
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Red vs. DA Brakes

I'm trying to decide whether to use SRAM Red or DA components on my new frame. My main concern is the effective braking provided by Red calipers as compared to DuraAce which I have always used. From what I can tell from my internet searches, DA is the standard by which all other brakes are measured. For those that use SRAM and ride in the mountains, do the brakes work well? Do you feel they have enough stopping power? I'm in the mid 180s# FWIW. Have to used both DA and SRAM and can make the comparison?

My wife has Red on her bike though at her weight stopping power is less of an issue. They work fine for her.
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Old 10-24-11, 09:04 PM   #2
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I love the Red brakes. I weigh about 210 and they were very good in the mountains of Montana this summer.... and believe me I used them quite a bit. I have only used Ultegra, not DA though, so I can't really compare. (Can't you put DA pads in SRAM calipers if you want?)
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Old 10-24-11, 09:09 PM   #3
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Hmmm, not sure about swapping pads.
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Old 10-24-11, 09:59 PM   #4
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I switched from DA7800 brakes to Sram Red. I'm 175 pounds...at first I noticed that the Sram brakes required more effort at the lever, 'but once the pads wore in to match the rims, the braking power got better....meaning they required about the same effort at the DA brakes, I've used both brakes in the mountains on 50 mph 12% grades....no problems
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Old 10-25-11, 05:06 AM   #5
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Although I didn't own my red equipped Tarmac too long, the brakes seemed to work fine. Even if they are not quite as effective as the DA, I really did not notice it. The stopping power was good coming down the mountains. I just had issues about everywhere else in the drive train.
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Old 10-25-11, 05:24 AM   #6
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Brakes just slow you down.
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Old 10-25-11, 05:52 AM   #7
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"What do I say to complaints that my brakes are no good?
I tell you this, Anyone can stop. But it takes a genius to go fast"
-Enzo Ferrari


"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough"
—Mario Andretti
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Last edited by Barrettscv; 10-25-11 at 06:03 AM.
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Old 10-25-11, 06:05 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by BikeWNC View Post
I'm trying to decide whether to use SRAM Red or DA components on my new frame. My main concern is the effective braking provided by Red calipers as compared to DuraAce which I have always used. From what I can tell from my internet searches, DA is the standard by which all other brakes are measured. For those that use SRAM and ride in the mountains, do the brakes work well? Do you feel they have enough stopping power? I'm in the mid 180s# FWIW. Have to used both DA and SRAM and can make the comparison?

My wife has Red on her bike though at her weight stopping power is less of an issue. They work fine for her.
I haven't used DA or Red brakes, but most people who have issues with brakes, it's not the brakes, it's that they are not set up properly. Even single pivot side pull brakes, which haven't been made in over 30 years, the issue was that they simply didn't stay setup properly, rather then they didn't work.
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Old 10-25-11, 07:51 AM   #9
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Set up properly, they'll easily lock up the front wheel or put you over the bars if you squeeze too hard.
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Old 10-25-11, 08:46 AM   #10
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I haven't used DA or Red brakes, but most people who have issues with brakes, it's not the brakes, it's that they are not set up properly. Even single pivot side pull brakes, which haven't been made in over 30 years, the issue was that they simply didn't stay setup properly, rather then they didn't work.
Agreed. If there's a problem with any reasonable brakes they're either not set up properly or the pads are bad (especially if old and hardened). But a slight quibble on the timeframe - my Cannondale is only 21 years old and has single-pivot sidepulls (Shimano 600 - now called Ultegra). They stop the bike fine (and could lock the wheels if I wanted to) and haven't needed adjustments other than replacing cables and pads.
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Old 10-25-11, 10:33 AM   #11
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Thanks for all the feedback. I've decided to "cheap" out and move my DI2 over to the new frame. If anyone wants a SWorks SL2 Roubaix frameset let me know.
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Old 10-25-11, 12:58 PM   #12
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Size and price?
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Old 10-25-11, 01:16 PM   #13
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PM me for details, it's a 58cm.
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Old 10-29-11, 03:49 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the feedback. I've decided to "cheap" out and move my DI2 over to the new frame. If anyone wants a SWorks SL2 Roubaix frameset let me know.
Where were you last spring?
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Old 10-29-11, 06:21 PM   #15
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Where were you last spring?
Don't you need a backup?
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Old 10-30-11, 05:39 AM   #16
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PM me for details, it's a 58cm.
A bit too big for me. Thanks.
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Old 10-30-11, 10:35 AM   #17
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I really do not think that Dura Ace brakes are any better than Ultegra or 105. They may be a tad lighter but that would be about it. Braking power in bicycles is not a major issue. Under hard braking the rear wheel will lock up and skid. So for the rear wheel, braking power is not an issue. The issue is the coeficient of friction of the rear tire. For the front brake, hard braking will cause the bike to go over the front wheel. Here the power of the brakes is not an issue either. The issue is you going over the handle bars. I would just bet that the Red brakes are more than capable of sending you over the handlebars for the front brake and putting the rear wheel into a skid for the rear brakes. Anything more than that is not needed.
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Old 10-30-11, 03:28 PM   #18
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PatW, I agree most double pivot brakes will have enough absolute stopping power but it's how that power is applied, how linear or how well modulated that can make a big difference.
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