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Soft compound pads for cantilever brakes?

Old 01-25-19, 06:28 PM
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Soft compound pads for cantilever brakes?

Couldn't even guess how many miles my rims got on 'em, over the last six years, 10,000+ certainly. Looks like I'll be hitting the road for 60 days this summer on those same wheels.

I've heard folks mention softer-compound brake pads here before, what brand were they?

Tks,

Mike

Last edited by Sharpshin; 01-25-19 at 06:32 PM.
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Old 01-25-19, 06:43 PM
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Kool Stop brand
"salmon" color. I have them on all kinds of brakes including Cantilever..
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Old 01-25-19, 07:01 PM
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Tks
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Old 01-25-19, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Sharpshin
Tks
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Old 01-25-19, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by 2manybikes
Kool Stop brand
"salmon" color. I have them on all kinds of brakes including Cantilever..

Next question is where do you find them for sale?
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Old 01-26-19, 05:47 AM
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Many places sell them on line and some retail stores too. And yes, I agree that the Koolstop Salmon are the ones to get. But I got mine from a now defunct internet seller.
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Old 01-26-19, 09:06 AM
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Since the OP question seems all wrapped up, I'm curious to hear from those who have used the salmon pads. Does the fact that they're a softer compound result in a grabbier pad? How is the pad wear compared to a regular, harder pad?
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Old 01-26-19, 09:33 AM
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sharp, re your rims, how much wear they have on them is important to be aware of. Put a straight edge ruler or anything up against the braking surface and you will see distinctly how much wear they have.
Im no expert, so cant recall the "deepness" that starts to get concerning, and that may depend on the rim wall thickness to begin with, but at least be aware of this. Folks who ride in the rain a lot and never wipe down their rims and clean the pads wear down rims a lot lot faster than those in dry areas and or who like me, do a wipe down right after rain riding. I am always surprised by how much road grim+grit goes onto my rags, and this helps a huge amount in stronger braking and less abrasive wear on your rims.

oh, also, once in a while detach your brakes so you can physically check the pads and clean out any stuck in bits of aluminum rim or tiny rock bits.

all that said, salmon coloured kool stops with their softer compound gives stronger braking performance and is supposedly easier on rims.

in 2010 I got a new bike to replace my old touring bike, both have cantis. I was unpleasantly surprised by how the new bike didnt stop any better than my 1990 bike. Rode it a season and then switched to the kool stop salmon pads , and immediately had stronger braking with less effort---sure, not night and day, but significant--and remember, Im the old motorcycler who always valued front braking power, so I was sold on them.
This bike has those interrupter brakes, the second set of brake levers on the tops of the drop bars, and with the stock pads, they didnt brake all that well--with the koolstops, they became useable.

Caveat--keeping rims and pads clean makes a big diff in braking power. Even with softer pads, deeply scored rims are never going to brake as well as nice new rims with proper pad to rim adjustment, ie pad contacting rim at its full area properly, but it should help.

also, I see no downside to softer pads. My koolstop front pads can last 4 or 5 years, sure Im not riding down mountains in the rain on dirt roads, but my point is that they dont burn out in a season--but realistically, you get into how one brakes, and my braking technique is never long drawn out dragging of the brakes, even on downhills.
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Old 01-26-19, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by 3speed
Since the OP question seems all wrapped up, I'm curious to hear from those who have used the salmon pads. Does the fact that they're a softer compound result in a grabbier pad? How is the pad wear compared to a regular, harder pad?
Yes.
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Old 01-26-19, 11:15 AM
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To keep them soft keep replacing them, as most rubber compounds harden over time..
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Old 01-26-19, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by 3speed
Since the OP question seems all wrapped up, I'm curious to hear from those who have used the salmon pads. Does the fact that they're a softer compound result in a grabbier pad? How is the pad wear compared to a regular, harder pad?
on my bike, they are not grabbier, as in "grabby", as in unpleasant and or "on/off"---but my cantis are setup well and my levers engage later than some others like. I prefer a mid engagement lever wise setup, as the real "meat" of the braking lever action is further in where my fingers are stronger and I can modulate well and get a stronger pull. Some folks think an immediate lever setup is "safer", to save time I guess in their heads, but for actual braking, a later engagement works better in my opinion--but note, Im not talking a ridiculous amount of lever pull before pad to rim engagement.

re wear, not an issue for me, but to repeat, your mileage may vary and anyone can wear any braking system down in no time depending on how they brake and the terrain and conditions.
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Old 01-26-19, 11:37 AM
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sharp, I mistakenly erased a response about the cantis on my 2010 tricross.

while they dont say the model on them, the spesh page on the bike says tektro wide and tektro narrow (narrow for rear--I assume its to avoid interference iwth panniers)

I looked at tektro pages, and I suspect they are the 720

https://www.tektro.com/products.php?p=47
https://www.treefortbikes.com/Tektro...ake-Front-Rear

both sides have adjustment screws, which is a big improvement over the 1990 stuff, which was a pain to adjust for tension and even, middle positioning.
they also use cartridge pads, easy to change out , just remove cotter pin, pull out old, slide in new (with some force ) and replace cotter pin.

**they are short pull, ie for use with road brake levers, so probably or possibly your bike is setup with long pull mtb levers, as I think your bike has butterfly bars on right?

andrew will most likey have more insight to long vs short pull, as well as the possible issues with an older frame and the dimensions he mentioned, which I know diddly squat about.
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Old 01-26-19, 11:54 AM
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I find the Koolstop Salmon to provide better stopping capability, not sure if that is what the question on gripy braking was all about.

I put the Tektro 720s on my rando bike, they do not work as well as some other brakes I have. But they certainly look like a brake should look. I occasionally think about replacing the 720s with some V brakes and travel agents, I have that on the front wheel on a different bike and it works very well with the Salmon pads.

A friend of mine says that rims last longer with the Koolstop Salmon pads than with harder pads.
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Old 01-26-19, 01:42 PM
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Kool Stop, in fact, calls their compounds like that, 'Rim Friendly' ...
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Old 01-26-19, 02:55 PM
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I have salmon pads on all three of my touring and cycle cross bikes and have been happy with them for many many years.
But I have heard good things about Swissstop brake pads so maybe someone can chime in with their experiences ?
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Old 01-26-19, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by robow
...
But I have heard good things about Swissstop brake pads so maybe someone can chime in with their experiences ?
I have never used them, but I know that Swisstop makes different versions of pads just like Koolstop does, so you should be careful you are comparing apples to apples.
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Old 01-26-19, 05:02 PM
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I really like Swisstop pads, but they are pretty hard to find in the US. Also only used the green pads, probably wouldn't call them soft.

The black ones are normal I think, yellow are carbon rim only if I recall.
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Old 01-26-19, 05:22 PM
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Also, for longer rim wear clean the pads periodically. Dirt and aluminum from the rims gets stuck in the pad, and wears the rim.
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Old 01-27-19, 06:58 AM
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Another Kook Stop user here. They are fine. Recently bought another set on Amazon.

BTW...Definitely head the warning about rim wear. This fall I had to have my rims replaced thanks to excessive wear. Surfaces were totally curved. The death knell was riding for three days of non-stop rain on gritty, hilly roads. After seven years of touring, commuting, gravel grinding and big-city errands, where you brake frequently, I feel I got my money's worth.
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Old 01-27-19, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
Another Kook Stop user here. They are fine. Recently bought another set on Amazon.

BTW...Definitely head the warning about rim wear. This fall I had to have my rims replaced thanks to excessive wear. Surfaces were totally curved. The death knell was riding for three days of non-stop rain on gritty, hilly roads. After seven years of touring, commuting, gravel grinding and big-city errands, where you brake frequently, I feel I got my money's worth.
I've never read up on what is considered too much concave wear to look for when putting a straight edge against a rim. I imagine its an easy thing to find out, but Im sure diff rims have diff wall thicknesses, so it may not be a clear answer, and experienced mechanics I've met have tended just to rub their fingers against a rim to judge it---also of course, if you dont ride in the conditions you mention, and hardly ever in the wet and grit, some wear could last for years and years.
One of my bikes has worn rims, but honestly, its taken that bike about 20 years to have the amount of wear on the rim, and I use it to commute and dont really have to brake hard much, very little in fact, so I figure I'll just keep riding it until something happens, then replace the front wheel with a new 26in front wheel I bought on clearout very cheaply a few years back.
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Old 01-27-19, 12:14 PM
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Swapped

Originally Posted by robow
I have salmon pads on all three of my touring and cycle cross bikes and have been happy with them for many many years.
But I have heard good things about Swissstop brake pads so maybe someone can chime in with their experiences ?
I bought a set of Kool Stop Cross pad holders used, which take Dura Ace pad inserts, to use on my Bike Friday Tikit V brakes,

rebadged Gevenalle, came with Swiss Stop pads, & I put KS salmon pads in the holders before I installed them..
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Old 01-27-19, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by djb
I've never read up on what is considered too much concave wear to look for when putting a straight edge against a rim. I imagine its an easy thing to find out, but Im sure diff rims have diff wall thicknesses, so it may not be a clear answer, and experienced mechanics I've met have tended just to rub their fingers against a rim to judge it---... ...
One of my neighbors is a bike mechanic, he blew out a rim a couple years ago on his commute to or from work. If a mechanic can't predict it on his own bike, I would not put a lot of trust in a mechanic rubbing their fingers on it.

And no, I do not have a better idea. Some manufacturers use some form of indicator in the rim surface but I do not know of a generic way to tell in all cases.

If I was worried about it on a particular bike, I would probably do an internet search to see if that manufacturer has a rim wear indicator, and what it is so I can see it on the rim.


Originally Posted by djb
... so I figure I'll just keep riding it until something happens, then replace the front wheel with a new 26in front wheel I bought on clearout very cheaply a few years back.
My rule of thumb when it comes to tires is that I want my best newest tire in front. Thus if I replace a rear tire, I will move my worn tire from the front to the rear and put the new tire on the front.

It never occurred to me that I should worry about which rim blows out first, but since I put more air pressure in my rear, my rear rim would probably blow out first. But I can't really say if I have worn the front and rear rims equally on my bikes with rim brakes front and rear.

Several years ago I blew out a rear tire on a motorcycle, and I managed to stay upright until I came to a stop. I am sure if it was the front that I would have been in real trouble.
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Old 01-27-19, 04:59 PM
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tourist, re the rim on that bike, the wear isnt that bad, and Im not concerned, but yes, the general rule of better stuff up front is a good take on things imo also. I did once start a slow leak on the front tire of a bicycle, noticed it on a downhill and I was lucky it was slowish, as the steering got heavier, which wasnt right, slowed carefully and sure enough it was deflating, but no dramas.

Ive lost the front in crashes in motorcycles, all on the track, and a few times in mylife on bikes, but yes, in general, one certainly doesnt want to lose the front....

I tend to think that rim failures will come with some weird noises and or pulsations with braking ,but Ive never experienced it. The bike Im referring to, come to think of it , its the rear rim that is more worn, and Im certain it was worn a lot by its previous owner ages ago, as I tend to brake much harder with the front, and the front rim is not as worn, but does have a funny uneveness at the rim joint area, buts its done that for years and years, so Im just careful with it and I use the bike now for winter commuting, so Im generally toodling along slowly, so no real braking going on. If that pulsing from the rim joint section gets worse, Ičll replace it with the one I bought, and just keep living with the worn rear rim until it goes too....
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Old 01-27-19, 05:36 PM
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After my comment on rim wear indicators above in post 22, I started wondering how my A719 rims look since I built up that wheel set in 2004 or 2005. So, a quick internet search gave me this:
https://www.cyclinguk.org/cycle/mavic-wear-indicators

Inspected my A719 wheels, no wear indicator showing.

Did an internet search for my Salsa Gordo rims, found nothing. I assume no wear indicator.

My other touring wheels have the Ryde CSS braking surface, those rims will last longer than I will, no need to worry about them.
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Old 01-27-19, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by djb
on my bike, they are not grabbier, as in "grabby", as in unpleasant and or "on/off"---but my cantis are setup well and my levers engage later than some others like. I prefer a mid engagement lever wise setup, as the real "meat" of the braking lever action is further in where my fingers are stronger and I can modulate well and get a stronger pull.

re wear, not an issue for me, but to repeat, your mileage may vary and anyone can wear any braking system down in no time depending on how they brake and the terrain and conditions.
The on/off grabby action is exactly what I was wondering about with the softer pad compounds. It seemed like it might react that way. Good to hear it isn't an issue. And I adjust my brake levers the exact same way. Immediate engagement is bad for power and modulation, imo.

Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
I put the Tektro 720s on my rando bike, they do not work as well as some other brakes I have. But they certainly look like a brake should look. I occasionally think about replacing the 720s with some V brakes and travel agents, I have that on the front wheel on a different bike and it works very well with the Salmon pads.
Tektro 720s are exactly what I put on my last touring bike. It had no disk mounts, so I had to stick with rim brakes. I read many good reviews for the 720s, and had always been unhappy with the performance of cantilevers, so I tried the 720s. I've read all of the tutorials on setting them up and the different effects of longer and shorter yolk cables, etc. I've adjusted them and gotten different levels of performance out of them, but never great performance. I say go ahead save yourself further thought and unhappiness with the cantilevers and make the switch to the V-brakes. They're so much stronger and a little easier to set up.
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