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Koolstop Brake Pads - I'm Impressed!

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Koolstop Brake Pads - I'm Impressed!

Old 02-01-21, 10:12 PM
  #1  
Symox
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Koolstop Brake Pads - I'm Impressed!

Upgraded the old stock pads on three different bikes: road with calipers, hardtail with linear pulls and a gravel fixie with calipers.

I tried a combination of their black (dry weather), dual compound (all weather) and salmon (wet) and they all outperform the stock pads in terms of modulation, stopping power and overall feel. The dual compound and salmon did very well in wet weather. I think it is a slightly softer material than the black as I picked up bits of road grit in the salmon when riding in the rain but not on the black for the dual compounds.

If I had to choose, I would stick with the dual compound or the salmon as I feel the stopping power is slightly better in the dry but definitely in the wet than the all blacks. The difference in dry weather performance is subtle so I don't think it matters too much. YMMV I know the salmon pads are highly regarded and think it is KoolStop's bread and butter.

They may wear faster than other pads, but at about $10 a set, I don't mind changing them more often to get better braking performance.

Oh, and they are silent unless you lock the wheel suddenly (and they WILL lock the wheels if you are too enthusiastic with your brake lever pressure).

I highly recommend Koolstops.

P.S. They have great customer service and are made in the USA if that is important to you. It is to me.

Last edited by Symox; 02-01-21 at 10:15 PM.
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Old 02-01-21, 11:53 PM
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Second the salmons. Softer pads tend to wear faster but they offer way more bite and tbh salmons are cheap and long lasting compared to carbon pads like black prince, which cost like $35 and you can wear those out in one really hilly ride lol
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Old 02-02-21, 02:08 PM
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As I always say if they have Stop in the name they are likely to be good pads. I love both of the Stops Kool and Swiss probably some of the finest brake pads on the market.
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Old 02-02-21, 04:43 PM
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If I had to choose one...

It would be the salmon. Great stopping in dry and wet

only downside Ive found is they can pick up road grit in the wet. But when this happens I just clean them. MUCH better feathering control of the brakes than Shimano stock
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Old 02-06-21, 09:20 PM
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Koolstop are good. I use the Eagle 2 (Eagle Claw) salmon pads on my bike with cantilever brakes. But the slightly lower priced Jagwire black long, thin pads curved to fit the rim work just as well in mixed conditions. Main advantage to the Koolstop Eagle 2 and similar pads with the wedge end is they're easy to toe-in to reduce squealing. The Jagwire pad was a bit fussier to setup without squealing.

Ditto the replaceable inserts in cartridge type brakes. I have those inserts in Koolstop and Shimano brands. Both seem to work equally well.

Rim surface is a big factor too. Some of my older wheelsets use those 1980s hard anodized, low profile lightweight rims that are sorta grayish in color (Araya CTL-370, Wolber Super Champion Alpines). Those anodized surfaces are slick and demand better pads. The plain aluminum rims aren't as fussy.
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Old 02-07-21, 04:54 AM
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This season I replaced the stock pads on my CAAD 12 and my Guru Sidero with Swissstop and I couldn't believe the difference.
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Old 02-07-21, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Symox View Post
Upgraded the old stock pads on three different bikes: road with calipers, hardtail with linear pulls and a gravel fixie with calipers.

I tried a combination of their black (dry weather), dual compound (all weather) and salmon (wet) and they all outperform the stock pads in terms of modulation, stopping power and overall feel. The dual compound and salmon did very well in wet weather. I think it is a slightly softer material than the black as I picked up bits of road grit in the salmon when riding in the rain but not on the black for the dual compounds.

If I had to choose, I would stick with the dual compound or the salmon as I feel the stopping power is slightly better in the dry but definitely in the wet than the all blacks. The difference in dry weather performance is subtle so I don't think it matters too much. YMMV I know the salmon pads are highly regarded and think it is KoolStop's bread and butter.

They may wear faster than other pads, but at about $10 a set, I don't mind changing them more often to get better braking performance.

Oh, and they are silent unless you lock the wheel suddenly (and they WILL lock the wheels if you are too enthusiastic with your brake lever pressure).

I highly recommend Koolstops.

P.S. They have great customer service and are made in the USA if that is important to you. It is to me.
Ive always found the Salmons to be a bit grabby in the dry, but the wet performance more than makes up for this. Have had them on all my good bikes for as long as I can remember
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Old 02-07-21, 09:40 AM
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What sort of calipers you using?

I have koolstops on my XC bike. Very strong brakes . The black pads are awful in wet.

I'm curious whether my old floppy dia compe sidepulls would benefit from the multi weathers.
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Old 02-07-21, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
This season I replaced the stock pads on my CAAD 12 and my Guru Sidero with Swissstop and I couldn't believe the difference.
+1. My usual go-to is the BXP blue ones.
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Old 02-08-21, 08:47 PM
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Was sold on Kool Stops decades ago. Excellent pads which always gave me confidence, even stopping a tandem.
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Old 02-08-21, 10:32 PM
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I put them on mine and my son's BMX bike this year. Major improvement there as well.
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Old 02-15-21, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
What sort of calipers you using?

I have koolstops on my XC bike. Very strong brakes . The black pads are awful in wet.

I'm curious whether my old floppy dia compe sidepulls would benefit from the multi weathers.
My main bike has Shimano 105 calipers which I love.

I used the Kool Stops on my MTB with dia compe sidepulls and it was an immediate improvement.
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Old 02-15-21, 10:50 PM
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Road today in light drizzle and the salmon pads worked flawlessly. I LOVE these KoolStop pads and will continue to use them from now on

(btw, I'm no longer picking up bits in the pads - might have been bad luck that day)
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Old 02-16-21, 12:01 AM
  #14  
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Koolstop salmon for my rim brakes with alloy rims. Swissstop black prince for the bike with rim brakes and carbon rims. In the case of the latter, it's the best I've found, but I still don't like carbon rims and rim brakes.
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Old 02-16-21, 09:53 AM
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Never felt any difference between Shimano and Koolstop pads, but I have tried side by side. They both work. Only use black, no need for salmon.
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