Please help me solve my rubbish brake conundrum

coombsfh
coombsfh Posts: 186
edited October 2011 in Workshop
Dear all,

Thanks in advance for any advice offered, this forum is usually pretty good for helping to solve problems.

Having done a search I am wondering what the problem with my brakes is, can you help me pinpoint it?

I am ~95kg, I ride a specialized allez elite and it has the brakes and pads it came fitted with (tektro cold-forged dual pivot ones) adjusted to be as sharp as possible without any rub.

I was out yesterday screaming down a hill and got very worried very fast. On the drops I started to brake and very little happened, I grabbed a fist-full of front brake and it just makes a kind of something-of-not-very-high-friction-sliding-over-a-wheel-rim hissing noise and doesnt slow me down a lot, even when combined witth a load of back brake too.

Needless to say that I stopped afterwards to inspect things and the pads are super close to the rims, the rims are freshly trued and unworn, the pads have loads of material left on them and the wheel rims felt markedly hot - not even warm but hot.

On my search I have heard people talk about switching pads for swiss-stop or even just standard shimano ones.

Does my problem lie with the pads or is it something else?

Fred

PS I am not willy waving but I was doing nearly 50mph before braking...is that level of vitesse the reason the brakes were rubbish?

Comments

  • Tektro brake callipers are fine but the pads the come with are quite frankly rubbish. Just replaced my Tektro pads with some Shimano 5700 105 cartridge shoes/pads and they are vastly superior.
  • Twostage
    Twostage Posts: 987
    +1 for cartridge brake pads. I don't know why but they do seem to have more grip. I get mine from uberbike.
  • jonni3
    jonni3 Posts: 57
    The standard Tektro pads are uber hard & I know the noise your referring to.

    I changed the cartridges in my Tektro R500's to a set of Kool-Stop Salmons, a softer compound pad, a lot better in the wet & vastly superior in the dry.
    Also they provide much better brake modulation & at £20 for the 4 not that much of an outlay for vastly improved confidence in your bikes braking ability.
  • pastey_boy
    pastey_boy Posts: 2,083
    Viner Salviati
    Shark Aero Pro
    Px Ti Custom
    Cougar 531
    Sab single speed
    Argon 18 E-112 TT
    One-one Ti 456 Evo
    Ridley Cheetah TT
    Orange Clockwork 2007 ltd ed
    Yeti ASR 5
    Cove Hummer XC Ti
  • ride_whenever
    ride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    ^^as above

    Switch out the pads for anything that's pretty soft. I'm currently liking the Ashima RPMX/Pro-G pads which are really really soft but have great feel probably due to the plastic backing making them a bit stiff in comparison to other soft pads.

    Do wear really fast but i'd rather go through pads than rims!
  • coombsfh
    coombsfh Posts: 186
    Thanks for all the useful advice guys. Once I have a job sorted I will look around for the pads regarded most highly and take the plunge.

    Whilst I am in one piece, I may have slightly larger testes than normal: "my brakes are rubbish and I still did mach 3 down a hill" etc... However being dead or broken is going to be hell to explain to my dog, missus and family!

    Noticed a good amount of price variability...are swiss-stop subject to the bike-bling tax or are they just that much better?
  • Without spending much money, the RAVX Thermafoils are amazing brake pads, best I've found yet...and yes, I've tried them all..

    Did a review of them on my blog site if you're interested :
    http://anotherdooratthe.endoftheinternet.org/2011/06/09/ravx-thermafoil-3-function-brake-blocks-inserts-5-minute-review/

    However, no matter which pads you switch to, make sure you wipe down the rim surface with something to remove any grease/oil/contaminants which may be there. No pad will give good braking if the surface of the rim has crap on it.
    Wipe the braking surface thoroughly with a clean rag.. if there's crap coming off it, then wipe it with some rubbing alcohol or smtg similar to clean the surface, THEN put your new pads on. Also, be sure to align the pads properly to be perfectly parallel to the braking surface..
    ........................
    http://anotherdooratthe.endoftheinternet.org

    Cycle related blog entries, including a few 5 minute reviews:
    http://anotherdooratthe.endoftheinterne ... y/cycling/
  • coombsfh
    coombsfh Posts: 186
    Without spending much money, the RAVX Thermafoils are amazing brake pads, best I've found yet...and yes, I've tried them all..

    Did a review of them on my blog site if you're interested :
    http://anotherdooratthe.endoftheinternet.org/2011/06/09/ravx-thermafoil-3-function-brake-blocks-inserts-5-minute-review/

    However, no matter which pads you switch to, make sure you wipe down the rim surface with something to remove any grease/oil/contaminants which may be there. No pad will give good braking if the surface of the rim has crap on it.
    Wipe the braking surface thoroughly with a clean rag.. if there's crap coming off it, then wipe it with some rubbing alcohol or smtg similar to clean the surface, THEN put your new pads on. Also, be sure to align the pads properly to be perfectly parallel to the braking surface..

    Thanks for such a comprehensive reply Sleeping_menace. really need some, did smack on 50mph down the same hill today and nearly turned my black bib shorts brown when it came to braking!
  • Wipe the braking surface thoroughly with a clean rag.. if there's crap coming off it, then wipe it with some rubbing alcohol or smtg similar to clean the surface, THEN put your new pads on. Also, be sure to align the pads properly to be perfectly parallel to the braking surface..

    Be careful some rubbing alcohol aka surgical spirit contains 2.5% castor oil so when the alcohol evaporates it will leave behind a greasy residue, found this out when burning it in my homemade camping stove.
    Focus Cayo Pro
    Cotic Soul custom
    Merida Cross 4
    Planet X Dirty Disco custom cyclocross
    Tern D8 clown bike
  • marcusjb
    marcusjb Posts: 2,412
    SwissStop green.

    Expensive - but if they stop you riding off the road, gotta be worth it!

    They are excellent in all conditions, not unkind to the rims and seem to last fairly well.