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Is an upgrade from stock brakes worth it?

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Is an upgrade from stock brakes worth it?

Old 03-02-11, 09:39 PM
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carfeak222
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Is an upgrade from stock brakes worth it?

I have a 2009 Specialized Allez, and lets be frank, the brakes are crap! I don't even know what kind they are, but I am very underwhelmed. I noticed I can buy shimano 105 front brake for around 50 bucks, that seems too good to be true. Is it a worthwhile investment, will I notice a difference? Brakes are very important to me as I ride around campus and a city where there are many stop signs and people and cars jumping out in front of you!

(Didn't know if I should post in here or the mechanics forum)
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Old 03-02-11, 09:40 PM
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Have you tried different pads?
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Old 03-02-11, 09:42 PM
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No, but my LBS said they looked OK. I don't have the best wheels in the world either, not sure if upgrading would be a waste without good wheels.
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Old 03-02-11, 09:44 PM
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try new pads first that will make a bigger difference likely. i like swiss stop pads.
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Old 03-02-11, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by carfeak222 View Post
No, but my LBS said they looked OK. I don't have the best wheels in the world either, not sure if upgrading would be a waste without good wheels.
Two different issues, unless the problem is your braking track (which I doubt).
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Old 03-02-11, 09:55 PM
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Best thing since sliced bread.
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Old 03-02-11, 10:33 PM
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You probably will not see a shorter stopping distance with hardware swap, probably try a set of coolstop or clarks if the current pad is dying/rotten/used up, it's a small investment if you are happy with the result then you just saved 50 bucks for the unwarranted brake swap.

look and plan ahead before you hit the intersection, most accident can be avoided, those can't be probably will not be solved with an upgraded brake.
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Old 03-02-11, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Velo Gator View Post
Have you tried different pads?
This ^^
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Old 03-02-11, 10:43 PM
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Try out some new pads first, kool stop and swiss stop both make very good pads.
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Old 03-02-11, 11:08 PM
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New pads it is! Thanks for the brand suggestions!
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Old 03-02-11, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by carfeak222 View Post
No, but my LBS said they looked OK. I don't have the best wheels in the world either, not sure if upgrading would be a waste without good wheels.
Just because they aren't worn doesn't mean that they're any good. Get some Kool Stops or Swiss Stops as others have suggested.
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Old 03-02-11, 11:17 PM
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Excuse my ignorance but will this fit on my no name brakes? How will I know?

https://www.amazon.com/Swiss-Stop-Fla...9129334&sr=1-2
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Old 03-02-11, 11:23 PM
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Post a pic of your brakes. The one's you posted are for carbon rims (hence the green color).
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Old 03-02-11, 11:28 PM
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I have to say when I ditched my low end tektro for some ultegra calipers it was like night and day, I feel alot more comfortable in my stopping power now.
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Old 03-02-11, 11:29 PM
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"Ultralight dual pivot brakes, Teflon pivots, forged alloy w/ standard pads" is what Specialized describes them as. My wheels are definitely not carbon. So any links for specific pads from Kool Stop of Swiss Stop would be awesome! I'm having a hard time finding some that are compatible. Maybe these?

https://www.amazon.com/Kool-Stop-Bicy...4&sr=1-1-fkmr2
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Old 03-02-11, 11:47 PM
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All dual pivot brakes work best with trued wheels. The best brakes will not work well with wobbly wheels. First step is to true the wheels to +/-0.02". Second is to switch to Kool Stop pads or equivalent. Third, adjust the pads so they are no more than 0.03" from the rim. Finally, clean the rim with Scotchbrite and wipe clean with alcohol.
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Old 03-03-11, 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by kimconyc View Post


Best thing since sliced bread.
What is that? I don't think sliced bread is all that great.
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Old 03-03-11, 12:36 AM
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Sometimes brake pads can become glazed and don't grab well. You could try to take them off of the bike and clean them up with a piece of sand paper and see if that improves their stopping ability. I have Kool Stops and I am very happy with them, but some people think that Swiss Stop are better.
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Old 03-03-11, 12:42 AM
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Originally Posted by kimconyc View Post


Best thing since sliced bread.
I hit the Tacx website to figure out what the mystery item is and I can't find it. I am going to take a wild ass guess that it is some sort of device for cleaning brake pads. Am I right?

By the way, I have a bread slicer and freshly sliced bread taste better than store bought sliced bread, IMO.
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Old 03-03-11, 12:46 AM
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Thanks guys. So should I buy pads with the holders too to be safe like the link I posted above? Or do most Kool Stops pads fit a normal road bike brakes?
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Old 03-03-11, 12:47 AM
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From Tacx's website:

https://www.tacx.com/en/producten/fie...ereedschap.dot
Ingenious tools enabling brake blocks to be set easily to the correct position. For optimum braking power the brake blocks - with the wheel rotating in the forward direction - and the rim are to touch at the correct angle, with a slight toe-in. The BrakeShoe Tuner is suitable for racing and maintain bike wheels, with up to 36 spokes and rims up to 40 mm

Last edited by Squirrelli; 03-03-11 at 12:51 AM.
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Old 03-03-11, 01:11 AM
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Originally Posted by carfeak222 View Post
Thanks guys. So should I buy pads with the holders too to be safe like the link I posted above? Or do most Kool Stops pads fit a normal road bike brakes?
Odds are your current pad holders are Shimano compatible -- Shimano, Tektro, and Sram, among others, all use the same pad shape.
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Old 03-03-11, 01:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Squirrelli View Post
That's a neat gadget. I've seen mechanics get toe-in by wrapping a rubber band around the rearward end of the pad holder, too.
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Old 03-03-11, 01:51 AM
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My LBS installed new pads which made a little difference. I went ahead and bit the bullet with new SRAM Rival brakes. Even when actuated with Shimano levers, they still work great and I can now lock up my rear wheel if need be. Cost me $128 though!
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Old 03-03-11, 04:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Squirrelli View Post
Oh crap! ANOTHER gadget to buy, this place is evil..
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