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Upgrading Brake Calipers

richard36richard36 Posts: 346
edited January 2017 in Road buying advice
Would appreciate some advice.

I have an old SKS Cycles bike with Tektro brakes. I suspect they are the original calipers. They do however have newish pads on. The stopping power isn't brilliant and I'm wondering whether to upgrade to Shimano 105/Ultegra calipers. Several questions.

1. Is it likely to be the Tektro calipers that are responsible for the poor stopping power?

2. If so, can I switch the Tektro calipers for 5800 105 calipers or Ultegra 6700/6800 calipers?

3. If so, the price difference per caliper between the 2 is about £12 so is it worth getting the Ultegra ones?

Many thanks

Posts

  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,928
    The answer to question 4, What should I do? is "Buy some decent pads like Swisstop FlashPro and ensure they are correctly adjusted" ;-)
  • trailflowtrailflow Posts: 1,311
    1. Tektro's are widely known to be utter rubbish the old models in particular. So probably yes. But other factors like poor set up, cheap pads, dirty/contaminated rims, old censored cables + outers all contribute as well. So consider new cables and outers too.

    2. Make sure the new calipers have the same drop measurement as your current ones. The 5800,6800 wont fit your bike if it requires long drop calipers.

    3. Buy 5800 or 6800 calipers. They are both as powerful. Theres little difference between them. Here's a good comparison
    http://handsonbike.blogspot.co.uk/2015/ ... 0-and.html

    Skip 6700, they are no way near as good.

    Ideally the calipers should be matched to the correct brand levers with matching cable pull. If you are using old different brand levers they will not perform as optimally as they should. Modulation and power is going to be effected. But some playing around with the adjustment screw on the side. The 5800,6800 calipers have a good range of adjustment so will help find a happy medium. But either way they going to stop you better than any Tektro's. Even with mismatched levers.
  • richard36richard36 Posts: 346
    Thanks for your replies. I think I'll go for the 105 5800 calipers with the new cables and outers.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,332
    Tektros can't be that bad otherwise no manufacturers would use them, what they all do is fit generic blocks of rubber to them that are useless. As already mentioned get swisstop pads and carriers and ensure cables etc are free running, it's a cheaper upgrade and just as good imho. I've got tektro on my winter bike and 105 on my decent bike and both have swisstop pads they both work and perform pretty much equal to each other. What you do get with 105 and ultegra is less weight and better finishing.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • richard36richard36 Posts: 346
    Thanks oxoman.

    Having looked at my calipers I don't think I'm going to be able to get the 105 5800's so perhaps the Swisstop pads are the way to go.

    Thanks again.
  • richard36richard36 Posts: 346
    Just noticed that the Swisstop are for carbon rims only. I have steel rims on the SKS bike so assume the Swisstops aren't suitable.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,001
    richard36 wrote:

    1. Is it likely to be the Tektro calipers that are responsible for the poor stopping power?

    Difficult to answer this without having some kind of reference. Poor compared to what? If you've just climbed off a disc-braked MTB and jumped on a Tektro/caliper bike, then yes, performance will feel poor in comparison. However, as far as calipers go, there's no particular reason why those particular brakes should not work effectively as calipers.
  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,928
    richard36 wrote:
    Just noticed that the Swisstop are for carbon rims only. I have steel rims on the SKS bike so assume the Swisstops aren't suitable.

    These:
    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/swissstop-flash ... rake-pads/

    They look expensive but are for a full set.
  • Picked up a pair of Sram Apex calipers for my commuter. These come complete with swissstop pads for not too much more. A lot more cost effective way of doing it if they are the correct drop

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/sram-apex-black ... 60493162uk
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