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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 08-12-08, 11:09 PM   #1
Revtor
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'08 Jake - poor brakes.. what to do?

My GF recently bought herself an 08 Kona Jake. Nice bike, full tiagra, rack mounts, road triple. Perfect for her commuting/fitness/light touring.. She needs a new seat but other than that everythings great - except THE BRAKES SUCK! I mean, really bad. The bikes got a few hundred miles on it, so things should be seated by now, but they still are lacking stopping power. Even for me, I can crank on the levers and very poor performance.

Avid shorty 4's. Stock pads. Stock rims. These rims have grooves in the braking surface. The brakes seme to be set up right, no excess slop anywhere.

I have avid shortys on my poprad and the brakes are great.

anyone have similar issue? suggestions? Hopefully I can get some good pads and this will be gone!

thanks
~Steve
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Old 08-13-08, 06:13 AM   #2
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well, they are finicky but ultimately can be made to work really, really well.

I have a JTS and noticed a big jump in braking performance when I switched to salmon kool stops. That said, it got more sensitive to toe-in, not less. They also hold their performance much better in the rain, and aren't nearly as messy.

The brakes will never be as immediately grabby as MTB brakes (unless you install some like Specialized has begun doing on the tricross), but I can stop just fine.
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Old 08-13-08, 09:02 AM   #3
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allright, I guess new pads is the first step here..

thanks!
~Steve
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Old 08-13-08, 10:47 AM   #4
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Enough has been said about the coolness of the Kona Jake. It is god's answer to a fat guy's prayer asking to to ride fast on rough roads.

But the brakes........uhhhhh.

I went to my LBS 3 weeks after purchasing my '08 to get some salmon Koolstops. Shop guy talked my out of it, telling me these Swissstop Green compound brakes were the real deal. So I bit, and now I have mixed feelings about them. There were no significant improvements in dry weather, but found out they do not drop in performance in wet weather. I kept them, but I just wish they'd perform better when dry. I keeping my eyes peeled for a better solution. And yes, I have toed them in per spec.
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Old 08-13-08, 11:00 AM   #5
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I have the shorties on my Poprad, and yes they sucked. The koolstop pad upgrade solved most of the issues. I will be upgrading the brakes to the tektro 720's before the season starts.
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Old 08-13-08, 03:25 PM   #6
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I replaced the stock pads with a couple pairs of Koolstop Salmons and also replaced the stock yokes with some straddle hangers...made a noticeable difference.
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Old 08-13-08, 04:20 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Kojak27 View Post
Enough has been said about the coolness of the Kona Jake. It is god's answer to a fat guy's prayer asking to to ride fast on rough roads.

But the brakes........uhhhhh.

I went to my LBS 3 weeks after purchasing my '08 to get some salmon Koolstops. Shop guy talked my out of it, telling me these Swissstop Green compound brakes were the real deal. So I bit, and now I have mixed feelings about them. There were no significant improvements in dry weather, but found out they do not drop in performance in wet weather. I kept them, but I just wish they'd perform better when dry. I keeping my eyes peeled for a better solution. And yes, I have toed them in per spec.
Green pads usually are for carbon rims, with Koolstops at least.

Get the salmon or the dual compound Koolstop pads and spend a lot of time installing them perfectly. Avid Shorty brakes are very finicky, and the pads need to be toed in slightly and hit the rim perfectly in order to avoid squealing and for maximum braking power. Once you get them set-up right with good pads you should be fine. Also make sure there is enough tension on the return springs of your cantilevers.
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Old 08-15-08, 09:19 AM   #8
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Green pads usually are for carbon rims, with Koolstops at least.
With Swissstops, green is the wet weather one. So he chose the right one. I've got green Swissstops on my road bike, huge improvement over stock Dura-Ace pads, but that's not saying too much. I've also heard good things about the black Swissstops too, so you may give those a try when your greens wear out (which I've also heard doesn't take too long).
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Old 08-15-08, 02:22 PM   #9
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Have a 05 JTS that I built from up from a frameset. I mounted a set of shorty 6 cantis because I got a good deal on them. Braking was not great at first and I think I generally know how to adjust cantis. What did it for me was to 1) change to salmon Koolstops but also 2) use a shorter link wire. Avid ships their retail brakes with two link wire lengths. You might want to check which one is on your bike (there will be a "L" or "S" somewhere on the link wire). Alternatively you could use an old-fashioned yoke/straddle cable setup. Now I'm very happy.
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