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help my brakes are going to kill me

caradalecaradale Posts: 34
edited November 2013 in Workshop
I bought a second hand Ridley Orion a few months back and im very happy with it except the brakes which terrify me. The brakes are 4ZA`s with 105 levers. I went out for about 35 miles on sunday and the roads were quite greasy in places and I have totally lost confidence in my ability to stop safely in a emergency. When on the hoods I cant seem to get enough pressure on the front brake for it to anything so I have to drop my hand down so I can get all my fingers round the lever, this works but obviously isn't ideal. The back brake is just as scary its either of or locked up and skidding. Are 105 levers adjustable so I can get more of my hands round them from the hoods. Any advice would be welcome, would better pads improve things though im not sure what I should be looking for or do I have to bite the bullet and put new brakes on it Ultegra perhaps. Thanks

Posts

  • sungodsungod Posts: 13,623
    i) check they are adjusted correctly

    here's how...

    http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-hel ... ke-service

    ...though imho park tool say to set them way too far from the rim, i'd go for c. 2mm

    2) make sure the rims are clean

    3) better pads can help a lot, koolstop salmon, or swissstop are both good, waaaaaaaay better than many of the default pads on a new bike
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • trekvettrekvet Posts: 220
    THe 105 levers are not adjustable; you only adjust at the caliper end. I would check the cables are clean inside and lubed (uncouple brake cable at caliper, hang bike by front wheel and run thin oil down the cables til it comes out other end clean. Do it outside :shock: ).

    As mentioned fit Kool Stop Salmon blocks, see http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/like/131051566489?hlpht=true&ops=true&viphx=1&limghlpsr=true&lpid=101&device=c&adtype=pla&crdt=0&ff3=1&ff11=ICEP3.0.0&ff12=67&ff13=80&ff14=101, these are available from most online bike shops. In my 50yrs. on the road you can't get a better block, but others' will no doubt say different. :)
    The Wife complained for months about the empty pot of bike oil on the hall stand; so I replaced it with a full one.
  • BozmanBozman Posts: 2,570
    I found koolstop salmon overrated, they are probably the worst pads I've used in 20 years of cycling.
    Swissstop green are a better pad.
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    Aztec road plus are very good except, koolstops are good too.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • Bozman wrote:
    I found koolstop salmon overrated, they are probably the worst pads I've used in 20 years of cycling.
    Swissstop green are a better pad.

    Pad preference seems to be such a genuinely individual thing.

    For winter use, on wet, dirty aluminium rims (OpenPro and Excellight to be specific) I find Swissstop greens disappointing and Koolstop Salmons better.
  • BozmanBozman Posts: 2,570
    Bozman wrote:
    I found koolstop salmon overrated, they are probably the worst pads I've used in 20 years of cycling.
    Swissstop green are a better pad.

    Pad preference seems to be such a genuinely individual thing.

    It's the same with saddles and tyres.
    These were used on alloy rims, I can remember coming home after a second ride in the wet and swapping them for an old pair of BBB pads I had lying around the garage< probably just me or......?
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 7,046
    Swisstop green are good, the blue are better though.
    AFC Mercia women - sign for us
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    Bozman wrote:
    I found koolstop salmon overrated, they are probably the worst pads I've used in 20 years of cycling.
    Swissstop green are a better pad.

    Pad preference seems to be such a genuinely individual thing.

    For winter use, on wet, dirty aluminium rims (OpenPro and Excellight to be specific) I find Swissstop greens disappointing and Koolstop Salmons better.

    We ride through scenery made of different geologies. The muddy spray that gets on the rims can have a completely different composition depending on where you are so it's reasonable to assume that some pads might be better in some places than others.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • thanks for all the advice and info guys, everything is clean and shiny and new cables so its not that, think I will invest in the salmons and see if that fixes it. On the reach to the lever thing it was pointed out to me that I have very short stubby hands at work today so I may just have to learn to live with that one until I can afford to upgrade to adjustable reach levers. thanks again
  • sungodsungod Posts: 13,623
    shimano's method for adjusting reach on 105 levers is with shims/wedges, they're supplied with levers but don't seem to come with complete bikes

    you can try lbs, they may have some in the spares box

    they look like this...

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Shimano-Ulteg ... 0629449814

    ...there are different sizes to give different degree of adustment

    did you check pad-rim distance? too near and leverage can suffer, too far and you may never get enough braking force
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • sungod wrote:
    shimano's method for adjusting reach on 105 levers is with shims/wedges, they're supplied with levers but don't seem to come with complete bikes

    you can try lbs, they may have some in the spares box

    they look like this...

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Shimano-Ulteg ... 0629449814

    ...there are different sizes to give different degree of adustment

    did you check pad-rim distance? too near and leverage can suffer, too far and you may never get enough braking force
    thanks I will look into the shims, yes I have now backed the pads away from the rim a bit more and that's definetley given me a bit more leverage.
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