Author Topic: Best Brake pads  (Read 4252 times)

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Offline DWW

Best Brake pads
« on: April 26, 2011, 11:07:39 pm »
Getting ready for a coast trip from SF to LA. Have a Santana Tandem with the stock V brakes. What are your suggestions for the best brake pads available to help stop the beast? I have an Arai Drum Brake that I CAN install but don't want to if I don't have to (weight).

Your suggestions?   

Offline John Nelson

Re: Best Brake pads
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2011, 11:33:59 pm »
Almost anything other than Shimano seems to work better than Shimano.

Offline cgarch

Re: Best Brake pads
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2011, 11:57:50 pm »
Kool-Stops. Shimano brake pads are terrible.

Offline DWW

Re: Best Brake pads
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2011, 12:00:13 am »
Thank you. Do you recommend a specific Koolstop pad over another?

sackcycle

  • Guest
Re: Best Brake pads
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2011, 01:03:31 am »
Kool-Stops. Shimano brake pads are terrible.

Do you know what model of Kool-Stops for a LHT with Tektro brakes

Offline whittierider

Re: Best Brake pads
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2011, 02:31:34 am »
Thank you. Do you recommend a specific Koolstop pad over another?
Obviously you'll start with the ones that fit your brakes, but from there, the usual recommendation is salmon-colored if you do a significant amount of riding in the wet, otherwise black (unless you have carbon rims).  I don't remember why black is supposed to be better for generally dry conditions.

Our Burley road tandem came with cheap Tektro mini-V brakes.  With the stock pads, I could skid even the front tire, wet or dry, with one finger on the lever.  (I found out by accident and will never do it on purpose for demonstration or any other purpose.)  On our single bikes, we have black Kool Stop pads and can stand the bikes on their noses with 105 brakes, although I haven't tried it with a pannier load.

Edit: I should add that we do have the drum brake on the tandem as a third brake for drag on steep descents which not only eliminates the worry about blowing a tire from rim heat but also is much easier on the hands since I don't have to hold the levers the whole way down.  Do resist the temptation to shave down the drum's fins to save weight, as that will dramatically reduce its capability to get rid of the heat.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2011, 02:58:38 pm by whittierider »

Offline rvklassen

Re: Best Brake pads
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2011, 09:02:54 am »
Getting ready for a coast trip from SF to LA. Have a Santana Tandem with the stock V brakes. What are your suggestions for the best brake pads available to help stop the beast? I have an Arai Drum Brake that I CAN install but don't want to if I don't have to (weight).

Your suggestions?   

The consensus on the Tandem Forum is Koolstop Salmon or SwissStop Green.  My experience is with the SwissStop (someone recommended them as being better than the Koolstop, so I gave them a try).  They work very well, even when wet.  (They grip much better after one full turn of the wheel when wet).   SwissStop are harder to find though.   I may wind up with Koolstop when I need to change out the SwissStop Greens.

Offline Jason

Re: Best Brake pads
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2011, 10:54:18 am »
Another vote for kool-stops.  They work - rain or shine.  Have been using the same pair for about 3 years - on my 20 inch, and the last 4 months or so on the big bike; make sure to toe them in unless you want them to sing - I actually dig having squeeky brakes.

But yes yes yes - kool stops
singlespeed touring - life generally requires just one speed.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Best Brake pads
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2011, 12:32:17 pm »
The problem with Shimano pad is that the hardness of the rubber, is a little too hard.  They are generally durable, but the stopping power is not that great.

Other pad maker tend to offer hard and soft pads.  Softer pads have better stopping power, but are not as durable.  So if you want a softer pad, just be ready to carry spares (not a bad idea any ways).

You might want to add the drum break and use it as a drag brake.  On long descents, I used to worry about glazing my brake pads or over overheating my rims.  You can also crack a rim from the clamping force from a V-brake.  My current bike was built with bosses for cantilever (or V) brakes, but there is also a boss in the rear for a disc brake.  I use the disc brake as a drag brake on long descents. 

I will bet that long descents on a loaded tandem are scary.  That drum brake is set up to safely radiate the heat from sustained breaking.  Go with softer after market pad if you want, but I would also add the drum brake.
Danno

Offline cgarch

Re: Best Brake pads
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2011, 04:35:58 pm »
The problem I find with the Shimano pads is they do something ugly to an aluminum rim. I just put a brand new set of v-brakes on the tandem (also has rear disk which is the main brake) and on the first ride I found pieces of aluminum in the pad. I took the pads out and roughed them up with some 200 grit sandpaper, made sure they were clean, and they same thing promptly happened again. Never ever had that happen with the Kool stops. Rims FWIW are Velocity deep-vees and in good shape.

Offline peterharris

Re: Best Brake pads
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2011, 08:30:23 pm »
Another vote for Kool-Stops. The stock brake pads on my Trek (also v-brakes) were horrible. They made a nasty grinding noise and I was convinced they were going to destroy my rims - I could see very visible particles of aluminum embedded in the pads. Shortly after I bought the bike, I replaced the pads with Kool-Stop Tectonics. Awesome! Great stopping power, no more grinding noise, no signs of aluminum in the pads, rims are fine.

Offline briwasson

Re: Best Brake pads
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2011, 09:00:32 am »
I've run Kool Stop salmon pads for years on my tandem and now our triplet. Love 'em. Yes, they do wear faster, but just carry extras with you.

Also, unless you are a really light team, I'd put the drum brake on. You don't need it until you need it, and then you'll REALLY need it. Do one long descent on a loaded tandem in the rain and you'll never tour without one again!

Offline whittierider

Re: Best Brake pads
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2011, 03:00:31 pm »

Quote
I've run Kool Stop salmon pads for years on my tandem and now our triplet.  Love 'em.  Yes, they do wear faster, but just carry extras with you.

How long do you find that they last?  The pads on our tandem with Tektro mini-V's have 10,000 miles on them and still have plenty of life in them but they're not Kool Stop brand.  The black Kool Stops on my single bike have over 20,000 miles on them and still have a little life left in them.  I have the salmon-colored ones on another single bike with 18,000 miles and they're at about the same stage of wear.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Best Brake pads
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2011, 03:29:11 pm »
In my experience, the life of brake pads varies greatly. A cautious rider who does a lot of mountain canyon riding in the rain on gritty roads might wear out pads in 100 miles. A less cautious rider riding the flats on dry, clean roads might get a set to last 30,000 miles.

Offline DWW

Re: Best Brake pads
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2011, 08:03:18 pm »
Thanks to everyone. Kool Stop IT IS!