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Weak brakes when it rains

Old 12-03-17, 10:14 AM
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rami_94
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Weak brakes when it rains

Hi!
My breaks become very weak and ineffective whenever it rains. I changed the brake pads but it didn't change much. I tried wiping the rim with soap and water to remove any dust or debris but this didn't help either. Do you think the brake pads are not suitable for the rim or what can I do to solve this?

Thank u in advance!
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Old 12-03-17, 10:27 AM
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I put some Kool stop brake pads on my SS commuter and that helped a little. Kool Stop Brake Pads

You are never going to have great stopping power with wet rim brakes because of the physics--basically you need to dry off the braking surface before you get good friction. If you are looking for good braking powering in the rain the only good answer is to use disc brakes...
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Old 12-03-17, 10:34 AM
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You don't say, but..NB, Steel chrome plated rims are requiring very long in stopping distances, and even more so when wet..

but yes , like the other guy upstream in the big city, Kool Stop Salmon Compound are their wet weather compound.

FWIW, ... Kool Stop is an Oregon company, in a town part of metro PDX.



....
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Old 12-03-17, 10:35 AM
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Are you lucky!

You must have started bicycling since the time that we came to expect bicycle brakes to actually work. You have 2 choices:
1. Get yourself a set of Kool Stop salmon pads. They will probably be better than what you've got now.
2. Get yourself a late 60's bike that has chromed steel rims for riding in the rain. If you live you will gain a much greater appreciation for the Kool Stop salmon pads.
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Old 12-03-17, 10:45 AM
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Another thing about riding in rain, even with Kool Stop pads. It can be necessary to apply the brakes early, to squeegee off the water, before the brakes will actually start to grab. In other words, you need to brake much sooner than if the rims were dry. For example, when I ride on the hills in Seattle I often brake before I start going downhill, to make sure the brakes are ready to work when I need them.
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Old 12-03-17, 11:05 AM
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Remember drum brakes on cars? Same concept.
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Old 12-03-17, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Jon T View Post
Remember drum brakes on cars? Same concept.
Jon

yes, Sturmey Archer Makes Drum Brake Hubs for bicycles .. mine are 40 years old, and still work fine..

Unlike disc brakes they retrofit fine on a rim brake bike frame, & fork .. which is my use.








...
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Old 12-03-17, 04:21 PM
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You didn't specify, but if you have an old bike or a BSO with steel rims (as opposed to aluminum) you should not expect good wet weather braking. If you have decent brakes and rims, Koolstop salmon are your best bet.
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Old 12-03-17, 04:32 PM
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U didn't mention what brakes u have on the bike I have a few bikes and one has tekno brakes and another one has newer ultegra brakes and the ultegra brakes stop much better in the rain then the tekno brakes do when its dry out so think the brakes make a big difference pads do help tho but also tires make a big difference too.cheap tires scare the hell out of me in the rain
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Old 12-03-17, 08:30 PM
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The original poster did not mention the rim material nor the brakes pad he tried. Others have mentioned that chrome plated steel rims are especially bad in rain. If the rims are chrome plated steel, then one answer would be Fibrax pad with the leather insert. They improve stopping on wet chrome plated steel rims. Not so with wet aluminum rims or dry rims.
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Old 12-04-17, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Aubergine View Post
Another thing about riding in rain, even with Kool Stop pads. It can be necessary to apply the brakes early, to squeegee off the water, before the brakes will actually start to grab. In other words, you need to brake much sooner than if the rims were dry. For example, when I ride on the hills in Seattle I often brake before I start going downhill, to make sure the brakes are ready to work when I need them.

Best answer yet, everything I was going to say (except for living in Seattle).
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Old 12-04-17, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Get yourself a late 60's bike that has chromed steel rims for riding in the rain.
I didn't know chromed steel rims were better than aluminum ones when braking in the rain. AFAIK chromed steel rims are not as good as aluminum ones when braking in dry conditions.
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Old 12-04-17, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by curbowman View Post
I didn't know chromed steel rims were better than aluminum ones when braking in the rain. AFAIK chromed steel rims are not as good as aluminum ones when braking in dry conditions.
They definitely arenít better than alu rims. Chrome rims in the rain are a disaster for braking.
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Old 12-04-17, 10:36 AM
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But they're shiny One of my friends , when I got my UK S-A 'elite' alloy shell drum brake hubs , back in the 80's,

promptly got a set too, because he liked the chrome plated shininess of CP steel , but wanted better functioning brakes..

we cleaned out the old stock bin of <c> front track nuts, to have that shiny chromed too..




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Old 12-04-17, 01:13 PM
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I like the better quality shimano pads, wet or dry.
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Old 12-04-17, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by curbowman View Post
I didn't know chromed steel rims were better than aluminum ones when braking in the rain. AFAIK chromed steel rims are not as good as aluminum ones when braking in dry conditions.
You're missing his point. I can help explain it later if need be.
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Old 12-04-17, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by rami_94 View Post
Hi!
My breaks become very weak and ineffective whenever it rains. I changed the brake pads but it didn't change much. I tried wiping the rim with soap and water to remove any dust or debris but this didn't help either. Do you think the brake pads are not suitable for the rim or what can I do to solve this?

Thank u in advance!
We need a lot more information if we are going to help you. Tell us your bike, the brakes and take some pictures to post if you can. Good braking in the rain requires a lot of things to be right. Good brake pads as mentioned above. Good and good running cables and housings. A good match between your brake levers and the calipers. Also the rims you are using. (The chrome rims talked about above were famous for not stopping in the wet. Didn't matter if they were smooth, dimpled of serrated.)

Ben
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Old 12-04-17, 10:31 PM
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Try fibrax pads. It was the go to pads for rain and steel rims.

https://harriscyclery.net/m/itemdetails.cfm?id=5204

Had some luck with 99 cent only store Chinese brake pads (4 pads for a dollar), but they are a lot longer in length and may not fit.

For "dry conditions only", in my experience, Delta Aztec 2 pads out performed Kool Stop Salmon pads, but neither had any notable braking in the wet. Note: the Aztec pads will disintegrate in wet conditions, so there is a tradeoff and need to switch pads for wet/rain.

"Flintstone braking" is always an option if your shoes have the right soles to stop in the rain...lol. Kidding aside, use another bike for wet conditions, if possible.
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Old 12-05-17, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Aubergine View Post
They definitely arenít better than alu rims. Chrome rims in the rain are a disaster for braking.
I agree. I always give myself plenty of time to stop when it's raining.

I'm an old bike guy myself, so this thread title caught me off guard. Are newer brakes working on wheels with different materials (than chrome steel) known for reasonably quick stopping in rain?
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Old 12-05-17, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Roadwanderer View Post
I agree. I always give myself plenty of time to stop when it's raining.

I'm an old bike guy myself, so this thread title caught me off guard. Are newer brakes working on wheels with different materials (than chrome steel) known for reasonably quick stopping in rain?
For rim brakes, it’s more that some brake pads work better. The go-to pad in Seattle is Kool Stop salmon. But even then, things can be iffy. Disk brakes apparently work better in the wet, but I personally have not yet tried them.
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Old 12-05-17, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by curbowman View Post
I didn't know chromed steel rims were better than aluminum ones when braking in the rain. AFAIK chromed steel rims are not as good as aluminum ones when braking in dry conditions.
Got to read the whole posting, cur bowman.
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Old 12-05-17, 11:19 AM
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Where I live now, a friend has an old rod brake roadster, once the chrome layer was worn thru,

the base steel underneath offered more friction, but still you need to plan ahead as the stopping distance

is lengthened in the wet weather.
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Old 12-06-17, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Got to read the whole posting, cur bowman.
Oh, I get it!! I missed the "if you live" part.
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Old 12-06-17, 07:23 AM
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Anyone else noticed the OP has not replied with any more information?
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Old 12-06-17, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Anyone else noticed the OP has not replied with any more information?
Let's hope he managed to brake safely.
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