Retrogrouch in Training
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Knee-deep in the day-to-day
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A brake is a brake, for the most part. Some offer more or less stopping power, but the easiest way to find out what you have is to throw it on and try it out. Does it give you adequate stopping power?
My best brake, ironically, is my trashiest: it's some cheap-o Acera rear brake, but it'll pitch me forward every time. In fact, Friday I did this awesome stoppie when this stupid woman decided to jaywalk right across the middle of Huntington Ave through slow moving cars and one very fast moving cyclist. 30 to 0 in like .5 seconds.
If the pads are old, they may not be as "juicy" as new pads. New pads or going with a set of Koolstops will give you better braking, too.