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Advice on Brake Pads for Carbon wheels

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Advice on Brake Pads for Carbon wheels

Old 11-14-19, 03:04 PM
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Advice on Brake Pads for Carbon wheels

I hope some of you can offer some advice regarding a high quality brake pad that you have used on your upgraded CV ride with a carbon wheel up/downgrade.
I am planning on using some CF wheels on my next build and see a wide range of choices and prices...what have some of you used with moderate cost and good results, are there some brands to stay away from?
Are there good ones that can replace the pads in my older campy brake holders or do I have to buy pads and holders?
Thanks, Ben

Last edited by xiaoman1; 11-14-19 at 05:22 PM.
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Old 11-14-19, 03:11 PM
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My yellow Kool Stops are soft. "They call them Mellow Yellow" (Jello) I use them on Zipp 343's (dimpled 303F/404R).
They make a heck of a whistling noise, and they wear quickly, very quickly. I had nothing to compare them to at the time.

My blue Shimano seem good, came with Dura Ace C35 full carbon wheels, and that's what I use them on.

I have red/black Campy that seem like normal pads, so I’ve not mounted them. They did not come in an unsealed package, so I'm not 100% sure they are for carbon.

I want an unopened package to say “for carbon” on it. I worry more about the wheels than stopping.

I was going to try @ldmataya's idea farther down this thread, but I'd already typed this in...

Last edited by RobbieTunes; 11-19-19 at 05:41 PM. Reason: What ldmataya said...
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Old 11-14-19, 03:49 PM
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Corima made brake pads supposedly specific to carbon rims/wheels.
The pads feel more like a synthetic cork than rubber. I have a set from them to go with my Zipp carbon/kevlar Predator disc rear wheel, but I have not tried them out yet as the wheel is for a still in progress funny bike project. I suspect they wear out fast as the pads feel quite light and delicate, compared to regular rubber based brake pads.

Last edited by Chombi1; 11-15-19 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 11-14-19, 03:56 PM
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I've been pleased with the blue pads I got from Williams. Unfortunately, they're no longer available.
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Old 11-14-19, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
I worry more about the wheels than stopping.
Exactly.. I'm about to relace a front into a rear just because I don't want to screw up the carbon. I figure 90% of my stopping is up front..
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Old 11-14-19, 05:48 PM
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I've been quite pleased with Token Brake Pads for carbon (also available for Campy holders.) Less than half the price of something like Swisstop. Only been using them for about 1,000 miles, no complaints so far. Quiet, easy to modulate, seem to be relatively slow-wearing.
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Old 11-15-19, 08:27 AM
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Thanks to all for the recs.
Best, Ben
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Old 11-15-19, 08:49 AM
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Kool Stop Dura2 Carbon #2 is all I use. They are black so look good on my LeMond. They also work just as well on alu rims. Another trick from cyclocross - about once a month or after any high mileage week take #150 sandpaper and gently clean the surface of these. They work like new afterwards.
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Old 11-15-19, 08:57 AM
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I have a set of Zipp 202 and 303 wheels. One bike has the Campy red pads for CF wheels and the other has Zipp pads (Gray). Both work nicely and have held up pretty well. I think I like the Campy pads a little better, but it might just be I like the 202’s better. The instructions on the Campy pads give all kinds of warnings to not use on anything but Bora wheels, but not an issue for me.

I have a set of no name cheapo pads I got from Amazon, that I used on my TT bike, theorizing that I would never be screaming down technical descents on it, and they worked fine but I only used them for about 100 miles and the bike is consigned to the indoor trainer now.
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Old 11-15-19, 09:37 AM
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C&V and carbon wheels, you mean wood rims right?

Cork for those most often, in the thickness you want of probably going to be ground and resin infused. More predictable performance.
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Old 11-15-19, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
C&V and carbon wheels, you mean wood rims right?

Cork for those most often, in the thickness you want of probably going to be ground and resin infused. More predictable performance.
Shhhh . We're trying to keep this on the down low. Don't tell Dad!
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Old 11-15-19, 11:16 AM
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Sorry to break it to you but some of the older carbon is getting to point where its legit classic status.
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Old 11-15-19, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by riva View Post
Sorry to break it to you but some of the older carbon is getting to point where its legit classic status.
old maybe....not classic
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Old 11-18-19, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
C&V and carbon wheels, you mean wood rims right?
Got It.

Cork for those most often, in the thickness you want of probably going to be ground and resin infused. More predictable performance.
Thanks look into this

Originally Posted by Spaghetti Legs View Post
Shhhh . We're trying to keep this on the down low. Don't tell Dad!
Cats out of the bag...too late!

Originally Posted by riva View Post
Sorry to break it to you but some of the older carbon is getting to point where its legit classic status.
Mine are there.

Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
old maybe....not classic
Speaking for yourself? couldn't resist...Just Joking

Thanks all for taking the time to reply..have a good one, Ben
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Old 11-18-19, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
old maybe....not classic
Originally Posted by xiaoman1 View Post
Speaking for yourself? couldn't resist...Just Joking

Thanks all for taking the time to reply..have a good one, Ben
Yep that is the truth......as my 22 year old reminds me on a regular basis......
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Old 11-18-19, 03:31 PM
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Speaking of old carbon wheels.. Shopping around I've seen warping, not sure if its from downhill brake heat or just natural aging. I'm guessing ambient ozone and UV are what "age" the old carbon out eventually if abuse doesn't get em.
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Old 11-19-19, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by riva View Post
Sorry to break it to you but some of the older carbon is getting to point where its legit classic status.
I think the Y-Foil is already a cult classic.
Showed up at a bike trail dedication on one, and a group of young, fit bearded guys grinned and nodded.
I had cred! When they blew by us later, it was "hey, ya, cool Y, dude."
To that generation, a Teledyne Titan is just an old grey bike.

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Old 11-19-19, 06:09 PM
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So, with the "best" pads, how is emergency braking in the wet with carbon rims?

Let's say
1 is wet steel rims with dried up old pads - don't brake, swerve!
5 is wet alloy rims with old pads - squeeze for all you're worth and the bike will eventually stop, its just scary
8 is wet alloy rims with salmon Koolstops - weak braking for the first wheel revolution and then good braking, enough that you have to modulate to avoid front lockup
10 is wet discs - good braking right away, modulation required

Where are wet carbon rims with the best pads?
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Old 11-20-19, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by riva View Post
Speaking of old carbon wheels.. Shopping around I've seen warping, not sure if its from downhill brake heat or just natural aging. I'm guessing ambient ozone and UV are what "age" the old carbon out eventually if abuse doesn't get em.
Yes, UV degradation is definitely something to watch out for for anything CF, made in the 70's and 80's as UV inhibitors were not always added to CF/Kevlar/resin composites, causing resin breakdown and eventually, delamination. Always best to try and get only wheeks that have UV inhibitors if it can still be confirmed. Paint on disc wheels might be good or bad for solid disc CF wheels as it might provide some UV protection, but can also hide UV damage.
Also try to get only old wheels that had minimal use/brake track wear, as a lot of old CF wheels were retired by their owners mostly because if this wear, which can compromise the wheel.
Tears and cracks on the skin of solid disc CF, wheels are also deal breakers.
One thing I would really check too, is the integrity of the aluminum hub attachment to the CF disc. Any sign of damage or looseness here is of course, not good.

Last edited by Chombi1; 11-20-19 at 09:00 PM.
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Old 11-20-19, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by jyl View Post
so, with the "best" pads, how is emergency braking in the wet with carbon rims?

Let's say
1 is wet steel rims with dried up old pads - don't brake, swerve!
5 is wet alloy rims with old pads - squeeze for all you're worth and the bike will eventually stop, its just scary
8 is wet alloy rims with salmon koolstops - weak braking for the first wheel revolution and then good braking, enough that you have to modulate to avoid front lockup
10 is wet discs - good braking right away, modulation required

where are wet carbon rims with the best pads?
6.5-7
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Old 11-20-19, 07:25 PM
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Another question. What do you guys with carbon rims do for your valve lock nuts? Am I seriously supposed to torque down that metal lock nut into my nice composite rim to secure it? SERIOUSLY? Or if not, how do you secure the valve?
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Old 11-20-19, 09:11 PM
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Why use the lock nut at all? The valve isn't going anywhere if the tire is inflated.
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Old 11-20-19, 09:34 PM
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You only need a locknut if you're running tubeless (I only put smooth stem valves in non-tubeless wheels) and then, there will be a molded plastic spacer to allow the nut to sit securely against the curve of the rim.
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Old 11-20-19, 09:40 PM
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I don’t use valve nuts with tubes.
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Old 11-20-19, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by riva View Post
Another question. What do you guys with carbon rims do for your valve lock nuts? Am I seriously supposed to torque down that metal lock nut into my nice composite rim to secure it? SERIOUSLY? Or if not, how do you secure the valve?
I don't use any.
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