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Vintage Chromed Steel Rims and Modern Koolstop Pads-how well do they work?

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Vintage Chromed Steel Rims and Modern Koolstop Pads-how well do they work?

Old 08-19-19, 12:59 PM
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Vintage Chromed Steel Rims and Modern Koolstop Pads-how well do they work?

I have a set of vintage chrome steel rims on a bike I will be doing a complete restoration on. Here's the thing about the chrome steel rims, they are from the early 70s, approaching 50 years old, and there is NO RUST, not even surface rust, on these rims-Miracle. They are to put it mildly lovely.

They do add weight, but they are going to young legs, granddaughters, and so weight is less an issue. But this leaves the question of stopping. I am led to believe that when wet chrome steel rims don't stop as well as modern aluminum rims, but is this true if you use modern Koolstop pads?

Does anyone have experience in using Kookstop pads on chrome steel rims? If so how do they work overall and in the wet?

It is likely that this bike will not be ridden that much in the wet, but I would like to know what other's experience has been using modern Koolstop brake pads on chrome steel rims.

Given the condition of these rims on an intact bike from the early 70s I would really like to use these rims and keep the bike whole, but not if there's an issue with safety.

Thanks for your advice.
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Old 08-19-19, 01:10 PM
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Im using salmons on chromed rims and they work well.
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Old 08-19-19, 01:27 PM
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^^^^^^ Keyword = "salmon". Kool-Stop makes pads of many materials; for rain/snow, regardless of rim material, make sure you get salmon pads.
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Old 08-19-19, 02:59 PM
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I use Fibrax Raincheater pads on the Dunlop Stainless Special rims
https://www.harriscyclery.net/produc...-rims-5204.htm


The leather strip gives the required grip on the steel rims. They are not suitable for alloy rims.
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Old 08-19-19, 03:01 PM
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Yes, I left out that the Koolstop pads would only be the salmon pads, which I have on all my bikes and have found to work very well with aluminum rims in the fall/winter/spring while it rains and rains. LOL

So thanks for catching that, I am only considering the Koolstop salmon pads to use with these classic chromed steel rims. With primary concern stopping in the wet with chromed steel rims. Though so far it sounds like a good/doable combination.

Thanks for your advice/experience, any others?
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Old 08-19-19, 03:16 PM
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Rims are "DEA Super Chrome" with diamond cross hatching on the rim sidewall for braking.

And, Ooops under the camera's eye there may be a very tiny amount of surface rust, but again, a nearly 50 year old chromed steel rim, what a survivor.
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Old 08-19-19, 04:16 PM
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They work well enough to stop my 200lb ass on a 40lb gas-pipe special down Seattle hills in the wet with something approaching middling confidence. Which is better than the "wish and a prayer" level confidence inspired by the 40 year old black bricks that were on the bike when I got it.
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Old 08-19-19, 04:44 PM
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Kool Stop salmon pads help somewhat on chromed steel rims, but after doing a few drizzly rides on that combination, I would sooner rebuild the wheels with aluminum rims for anyone I cared about.
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Old 08-19-19, 05:04 PM
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Kids! Just let them use their foot wedged against the back tire and chainstays if the brakes fail! Remember that?

Seriously, this is something that has always puzzled me. I've had crummy braking performance on chromed steel rims, and surprisingly excellent performance. Kool-stop continentals in salmon seem to work well.

I have one bike, a Nishiki Sport mixte, that has steel rims and ordinary black brake shoes with Dia-Compe sidepulls. The braking is very good. I can't explain it. I once had a Schwinn World with a similar setup and the braking sucked.

Also, in the bmx world, I understand that some flatland riders prefer chromed rims because they can lock the wheels up easier with them. This seems contrary to many of the experiences I've read from road riders.

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Old 08-19-19, 05:08 PM
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On my Raleigh Sprite, Kool Stop continental salmon are OK in the dry, but still Flintstones in the wet. Those brakes are also pretty flexy so the caliper makes a difference also.
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Old 08-19-19, 09:18 PM
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The brakes are side pull Weinmann Type 730 front and rear. Drop handlebar brake levers that are child hand sized.
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Old 08-19-19, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
I would sooner rebuild the wheels with aluminum rims for anyone I cared about.
#granddaughtersdeservebetterthansteelrims


#butdeathstemforthemotherinlaw
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Old 08-20-19, 04:59 PM
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I've had rather poor experience with Kool-Stop salmon Weinmann replica pads on steel rims. The rims are 1950s Dunlop stainless rims. Brakes are GB sidepulls. Stopping is OK, but I can't get one of the brakes to shut up. It makes a horrendous and loud low-frequency moan. Coming off Cypress Hill on Eroica California was deafening. I'm starting to fear the vibration might cause metal fatigue at the brake pivot. Toeing in the pads doesn't help. I'll try different pads when I get around to it. Or, maybe oil the rims.
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Old 08-20-19, 05:46 PM
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Koolstop salmons on the chrome wheels of my Lambert and they work great. Way better than the regular pads!
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Old 08-22-19, 07:32 AM
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On my smooth steel rims, the Kool Stop Salmon pads I have are 10/10 for braking authority in the dry, but 0/10 for modulation. The compound is too grabby. So grabby that if any bearing or bushing is loose in the front half of the bike, it shakes and shudders the bike violently. In the wet.... well, they're steel rims. It's like the brakes on a barn find before making it safe. Temper your expectations.
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Old 08-22-19, 07:38 AM
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I think you'll be okay in dry conditions.
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