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Brake Upgrade Suggestions

Old 09-27-10, 11:53 PM
  #1  
Jazzy Hands
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Brake Upgrade Suggestions

Hello,

I recently bought a CAAD9 5. It came with tektro brakes which I am not satisfied with. I live on a street with a fairly steep drop, and even when I fully press down on both the back and front brakes, I am not able to fully stop mid-descent (though I go down the hill slowly). This is dangerous for me, as my street ends at a T intersection, where both sides have less than 100 ft of visibility (I live in the mountains, and the roads are windy).
I am wondering of what would be a good way to increase my braking power: either new brakes or new pads - or both.
I am looking for something that is fairly inexpensive.

Thanks.
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Old 09-28-10, 12:06 AM
  #2  
alpha_bravo
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The Tektro's are miserable. I didn't realize until I switched them out. New pads are a good short term solution, but investing in a new set of calipers is a good idea. I got Rival brakes, and they've made a significant difference. In addition to saving weight, the Rival brakes have beefier springs which I can control much better. You can find them for very cheap online and they're a breeze to install at home.
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Old 09-28-10, 12:07 AM
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Fellow CAAD9 Tektro Brakes owner. Kool Stop Salmon Pads did it for me, should do it for you too.
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Old 09-28-10, 12:11 AM
  #4  
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I've had good luck with campagnolo brakes. Tektro brakes are OK but not that great in my experience.
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Old 09-28-10, 12:14 AM
  #5  
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Just get Koolstop Salmon Pads and you should be good to go. Costs a fraction of new brake calipers, so at least try the pads first.
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Old 09-28-10, 02:57 AM
  #6  
vantassell
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I had tektros and I just upgraded my front to a 105 brake and never had a problem again. Get whatever you can find a good deal on.
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Old 09-28-10, 03:37 AM
  #7  
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I have a CAAD5 that had C'dale brand brakes. The awful-ness came from the excessive ammount of angle that the pads met the rim with. You have to basically bend the pad to get it to contact the rim. Look close at how your brakes meet the rim and you'll probably see the same.

I researched a bunch and found that there's very little/nothing that makes one brake stop better than another*, provided they're all properly aligned. Some of the expensive brakes are actually worse because they trade rigidity and stopping power for weight. Fancier brakes replace simple nylon bushings for ball bearings which improves the feel of the brakes but doesn't do much for stopping power.

So I decided to go with Shimano Sora brakes (and good quality pads). Looking at the mechanical drawings the brakes are the same, right down to the part number, as the Tiagra brakes. At the 105 level you get the nice feeling ball bearings. And as you step up the Shimano line you get more and more fancy stuff like forged parts that reduce weight.

The Sora brakes stop great. Huge improvement over the old brakes. Slap on some quality pads and you'll be good to go.

* assuming we're talking purely about dual pivots here...
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Old 09-28-10, 03:46 AM
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just be warned... you won't realize how much they sucked until you react out of instinct like they were still there lol. I went from tektro to 6700 and that weekend, reacted to a very bad section of the road with nowhere else to go at 40+ mph and it was largely why I ate it (the 6" drop from asphalt to concrete and 4" rise on the other side being the rest of it). I assume the 105 series stuff is just as good once you get the 7900 pad compound like ultegra and dura ace have so I'd look on ebay.
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Old 09-28-10, 07:00 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Chris_F View Post

I researched a bunch and found that there's very little/nothing that makes one brake stop better than another*
* assuming we're talking purely about dual pivots here...

The design and materials of a brake make an enormous difference in stopping power, fading, and linear or progressive pull for power. Brake flex is an enormous power sucker, but perceived and real power also comes from lever flex, cables, cable routing, springs, the rim they are on, seat stay rigidity, etc. The same pair of brakes on a different bike can act differently. You are correct that often a design can remain the same, with step ups like bearings instead of bushings, and forged parts. However there will be a big flex and power difference between a die-cast brake and a cold forged one.

Many low end brakes do indeed stop just fine. Really just fine. Until, one day when you try a pair of Dura-Ace or Mavic SSC you realize, wow, those brakes not not fine, they are incredible.

Originally Posted by mazdaspeed View Post
I've had good luck with campagnolo brakes. Tektro brakes are OK but not that great in my experience.
His CAAD9 5 did not come with Campagnolo, and therefore Campy brakes without a release lever are not practical. Same goes for one of the best brakesets, the Mavic SSC. Yes, some people do it and squeeze the tire through, but why bother.

The bike came with 105, so look to new or used 105/Ultegra or Rival if you don't mind mixing for a cost effective and acceptable braking alternative to the Tektro. But yes, different pads may do it or your current pads are just glazed badly.

Last edited by teterider; 09-28-10 at 07:18 AM.
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Old 09-28-10, 07:29 AM
  #10  
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I had Tektro's as well, they do suck.

Kool Stop Salmon Pads will help, then scour Craig's List, Ebay, and other cycling related purchase websites until you find a good deal on a pair of Ultegra level brakes. Regardless of what other's say, the difference in braking is noticeable on the higher end brakes versus the Tektro and other lower end calipers.
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Old 09-28-10, 07:31 AM
  #11  
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the ultegra brakes 6700 are very noticeably better than the 105 I had from the previous year. They are very very strong and I nearly went over the bars on my maiden test ride.
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Old 09-28-10, 07:52 AM
  #12  
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Those Tektro brakes really suck. I tried adjusting them nine ways from November, and they still sucked. Decided rather than mess with different pads to try to and patch it up, I'd look for some good brakes instead.

Last week, I found a set of Ultegra 6600 brakes on ebay, new in box, $52.00 for the set. The difference in stopping power is night and day, and fixed the only glaring shortcoming of a really great bike.
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Old 09-28-10, 08:23 AM
  #13  
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Change pads first. The stock Tektro pads are bag-nasty pieces of crap. Two hard stops from 30 mph on my first set and they were never the same. No amount of alignment helped. I got rid of them as soon as I found that they were eating my rims.

Kool-Stop pads -- first black, then salmon -- both ruled compared to Tektro. The differences were that they don't fade, they don't turn to rocks, they don't eat rims, and they don't turn to goo in the wet. They made more of a difference than when I switched to 5600 105 calipers on the same wheels.

I'd say that the only practical reason to get new calipers is if the ones you have now don't have a centering screw. Besides that, the pads make the biggest difference, and they're a lot cheaper than new calipers.
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Old 09-28-10, 09:21 AM
  #14  
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i often wonder how much cannondale and others are actually saving by throwing cheaper brakes on an otherwise 105 equipped bike, should a full groupset not be as cost effective for them.

i for one, would be happy to pay 20-30 dollars more for a complete bike with groupset correct brakes, if c'dale would be willing to just pass the cost on to me. this is why i build my own bikes.

i'll echo the rest, good pads will help a lot, better, stiffer calipers with good pads will be better.
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Old 09-28-10, 09:34 AM
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well I was in the same boat as all of you fellow 9 5 owners. The tektro brakes stink, the arms flex and it makes for a bad feeling braking experience. Compared to the 6700 on my other bike it is night and day.

I wound up picking up a pair of Rival calipers for a decent price (115) and put those on. Very good, not quite as good as the 6700's but the Rival has a good solid feel to it.

The one thing I don't like about the Sram brakes is they dont have that little centering adjustment that Shimano brakes have. Thats a nice detail.
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Old 09-28-10, 09:38 AM
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My Tektros came stock with KoolStop black pads. They aren't the greatest, but certainly enough stopping power to lock up the wheel and make me go flying, which is more than enough.

Now, I also have some Tektro canti brakes on my commuter, and those in fact suck.
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Old 09-28-10, 09:38 AM
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I love my 6700 brakes. But on another bike i swapped calipers to Dura Ace 7800 and was very happy with them.
+ a bunch for cool stop pads too.
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Old 09-28-10, 09:44 AM
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I just bought a CAAD9-1 and those Tektro brakes are horrendous. I even swapped out the pads for Kool Stop and it didn't help much. Note that it really depends on the Tektro model. I did the same thing with my previous road bike that had "cheaper" Tektro brakes and the Kool Stop pads made a world of difference. Not this time. Brakes are the first thing on my list to upgrade.
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Old 09-28-10, 09:50 AM
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Lets be clear, Tektro has models, not all tektro brakes are the same. I have a set of TRP(the higher end tektro brakes are TRP) R920 that have been great for me. I have used Centaur, Ultegra and Shimano 105 brakes and the R920 really are the best I've used of the 3. And they are lighter by about 50-100 grams.
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Old 09-28-10, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Blue4Now View Post
The one thing I don't like about the Sram brakes is they dont have that little centering adjustment that Shimano brakes have. Thats a nice detail.
Yeah, that's why I'll probably keep my 105 brakes if I switch the drivetrain from Shimano to Sram.
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Old 09-28-10, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by coasting View Post
the ultegra brakes 6700 are very noticeably better than the 105 I had from the previous year. They are very very strong and I nearly went over the bars on my maiden test ride.
+1 I have Ultegra brakes on my Felt and 105's on my Jamis and the Ultegras have a much better feel and also stop better.
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Old 09-28-10, 02:09 PM
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I got those damn Tektros on my LeMond, but I think I'll try the new pads first. The OEM ones are 5-6 years old and they make a LOT of noise during stopping. Next year during the rainy season when I'm off the bike, I want to upgrade to 105s or Ultegra brakes.
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Old 09-28-10, 02:22 PM
  #23  
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Tektros are awful. As others say, Kool Stops are a huge improvement. But switch the calipers to Shimano. See Coolerics1234 comment
I just bought a CAAD9-1 and those Tektro brakes are horrendous. I even swapped out the pads for Kool Stop and it didn't help much
and Quels
My Tektros came stock with KoolStop black pads. They aren't the greatest, but certainly enough stopping power to lock up the wheel
Cut corners in other ways on a bike, but brakes are something that may save your life.
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Old 09-28-10, 03:19 PM
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Get new better pads.........save your money. Better brakes will cost ya, unless you care not.. 105's work well and are not to costly
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Old 09-28-10, 04:49 PM
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I tried both the 105 and the Sora brakes on my bike and the 105 wasn't worth the extra money on braking feel/effort/power. It felt a little nicer but the Sora is strong enough to lift the rear tire and modulatable enough to be perfectly usable. If you need a lighter weight component then sure, go with the 105. But if you want a brake that stops the bike then the Sora works. I know it's not sexy. I know you don't get the bragging rights. But you get a brake that does indeed work, and Sora is MUCH cheaper than 105. It's not a matter of just a few dollars.
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