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Rim brake pads

Old 06-01-23, 07:29 AM
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Rim brake pads

For us old school people still riding the rim brakes, is there a particular type of pad you prefer? I have an older Cannondale, mid level Shimano group set and the brake pads I think are original. They are not worn out but I get this grating kind of noise when I brake. It's as if there's sand or debris on the rim or pad but there's not. Rims are only a few years old and don't show signs of ware (I only ride this bike once/week at most?).

Thought maybe a decent set of pads might correct this sound.

UPDATE: sorry, i have Shimao R500 aluminum rims and this is on a road/race bike

Last edited by gthomson; 06-01-23 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 06-01-23, 08:17 AM
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Before I changed to carbon rims, I always used Kool-Stop pads. They work great on aluminum rims in all conditions.

With carbon rims, I use SwissStop pads. They stop better than the Reynolds OEM pads.
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Old 06-01-23, 08:42 AM
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I have Ultegra brakes on one bike and Mavic on the other. I use Shimano "Dura Ace" pads on both and they work fine. I rarely ride in the rain.
Shimano Dura-Ace R55C4 Rim Brake Pads | REI Co-op
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Old 06-01-23, 08:49 AM
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if you pull the original pads and inspect closely - there might be small bits of metal / grit - whatever embedded in the pad

the pads are also probably hard (if they are old)
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Old 06-01-23, 09:05 AM
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Kool Stop salmon works on all my rim brakes. May take a bit of searching to find them in the right configuration, but it's worth the time.
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Old 06-01-23, 09:24 AM
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I do have Kool Stops on my vintage steel bikes but didn't know people also use them on newer bikes. Good to know, thanks.

I have also removed the pads several times, wiped them off, took some sand paper to them to remove the hard surface and even brought them into my LBS and they said, all looked good (maybe the advice didn't come from the best source as I find like most retail stores, they hire teenagers that might not be the most knowledgeable)
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Old 06-01-23, 09:40 AM
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I like the blue BXP SwissStop pads. Yes, grit can get embedded in pads. Sanding them works if it's not too bad.
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Old 06-01-23, 07:38 PM
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+1 for Kool Stop.
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Old 06-01-23, 11:41 PM
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Kool-Stops on a couple of bikes, Jagwire on one or two others, Shimano basic road bike pads on another. As long as the pads are fresh they're all good. The only pads I've had trouble with were hardened from age, sun, ozone, etc.

The main issue is alignment and adjustment. Keep the rims clean. Occasionally use a fine to medium file or nail file to deglaze the pads (no sandpaper, emery board, etc, since the abrasive can be embedded in the pads). Deglazing pads can extend the life and usage. If you watched behind the scenes footage of pro cycling mechanics in the rim brake era they'd often deglaze the pads, especially before and after mountain stages.

On my early 1990s Univega hybrid with cantilever brakes, I use Kool-Stop Eagle Claw 2 (mix of salmon and black material) on the rear rim, Jagwire thinline long boys on the front (black only). The Eagle Claws are a terrific design for old school canti brakes *if* they fit. The plow shaped end makes the pad self-aligning and scrapes mud and debris off the rim. But when I moved up from 700x32 to 700x38 or wider tires there wasn't enough room to drop the front wheel without deflating the tire/tube. The Jagwire thinlines clear the tighter space between the fork and larger tires, and the pads are longer than usual, and curved to follow the rim shape, so they're very effective stoppers. The black material works as well as the salmon/black on the rear.

I think my 2010-ish era Diamondback Podium has Kool-Stop shoes with replaceable pads. I'm not sure there's much advantage over the one-piece shoe/pads, but the bike came with 'em so I use 'em.
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Old 06-02-23, 06:02 AM
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Having used lots of pads, I have no preference, they all work well if properly installed and set up. On occasion, when I am doing a thorough bike cleaning, I'll remove the wheels and then dress the pads with coarse emery cloth which removes glazing and debris. I will also wipe down the brake surface of the rim with a rag wetted with acetone. I do this maybe twice per year, it makes a big difference in brake performance.
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Old 06-04-23, 11:56 AM
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+1 for Kool Stops.
I’ve also had good luck with Jagwire.

I agree with a previous post, though. You might have some debris embedded in the pads you have now.
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Old 06-04-23, 10:17 PM
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I've used three styles of Kool Stop pads - black Campy replacements, curved V-brake with scraper ends in both black/salmon dual compound and all salmon (best), and their triple-compound CX Cross pads on tubular wheels for their narrow track. All work well.

I can report that 45-year old Galli pads can be scary.
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Old 06-05-23, 03:05 AM
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I have Shimano Ultegra brakes on a couple of bikes, and they stop very well. I don't know if it is the pads, but I'm pleased enough with the brakes to use the Shimano pads.
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Old 06-08-23, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK
I have Shimano Ultegra brakes on a couple of bikes, and they stop very well. I don't know if it is the pads, but I'm pleased enough with the brakes to use the Shimano pads.
The scariest experience I had on the Bianchi was on a moderate descent with new Shimano pads in Campag. sidepull calipers. KoolStop pads gave me noticeably better braking, but KoolStops with dual-pivot sidepulls gave me full braking confidence.
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Old 06-09-23, 10:56 AM
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I use those quick-insert type ones that you just slide in and secure with a small cotter-pin. Mostly I use house-brand ones from MEC (Canada equivalent to REI).
I would suggest if you have ANY concerns about grit, change the pads - they're (fairly) cheap and your rims come first.
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Old 06-10-23, 05:22 PM
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The rubber pads sound like they are old and hardened, which will cause the sound. Rubber pads should probably be changed yearly when you get a tune-up. I just use whatever the shop recommends.
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Old 06-19-23, 11:26 AM
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So I looked online and found the Kool stops which I have on my 2 vintage steel bikes but thought I would pay a visit to the LBS and try and support them. Good sign you're riding a trend on the way out when you can't find the parts. First store only had Shimano and Jagwire and no price which I hate having to ask for a price on something when they should simply be able to mark this on or near the product. Tried a 2nd bike shop that had nothing for rim brakes. Guy went back into his service area and found 2 service brake pads among the parts.

Might want to stock up on your favourite brand before they are no longer available!
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Old 06-23-23, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by gthomson
So I looked online and found the Kool stops which I have on my 2 vintage steel bikes but thought I would pay a visit to the LBS and try and support them. Good sign you're riding a trend on the way out when you can't find the parts. First store only had Shimano and Jagwire and no price which I hate having to ask for a price on something when they should simply be able to mark this on or near the product. Tried a 2nd bike shop that had nothing for rim brakes. Guy went back into his service area and found 2 service brake pads among the parts.

Might want to stock up on your favourite brand before they are no longer available!
I, too, try to support my local bicycle and auto parts stores, but if they don't stock something I need and can't get it for me in a timely manner, I never feel guilty about ordering it online.
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Old 06-23-23, 10:35 AM
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Koolstop.

And rim brakes work better and with less noise when you toe-in

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