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Quick and dirty solution to poor braking needed

timboothtimbooth Posts: 160
edited December 2018 in Road buying advice
I recently picked up a new commuter - a used 2016 Trek 1.1 - literally the bottom of the Trek range. Perfect.

This is the thing: ... ct/details

New bar tape, chain and tyres, plus mudugards and a rack, and it's been great for the last 4 weeks... except the braking.


I have swapped the front pads for some old Ultegra ones, from the spares box, but stopping distance is still scary.

So, what suggestions (from people with actual experience, rather than a reader-of-company-websites) do you have? I shold probably try new pads, before looking for new brakes, but recommendations on either, are muchly appreciated.



  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    Cleaned the rims?
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

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  • Ride to the conditions?
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • photonic69photonic69 Posts: 1,493
    These blocks are very good at cleaning the rims:

    Garryson Garryflex Abrasive Block - Fine 240grit ... hCbMW7Q6SS

    Use with soapy water and rinse well. Properly adjusted brake blocks with a smidge of 'toe-in'. Use a folded over business card under trailing end of brake block before tightening.
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    edited December 2018
    as we all know, brakes are for cowards but if you insist clean rims and fit some lifeline pads from wiggle - a fiver or so for 4.

    clarks are very good budget ones as well - less than a tenner for four and i used them for years on the communter with no problems.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • Look at the cables and housing. If there is a lot of friction, braking force at lever might not be transferring to the calipers.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 10,467
    Keep the rims clean to start with and I swear by swisstop flash pro bxp for my wet bike. Pretty much one of the better pads for aluminium rims. They will never be 100% for wet riding so ride to the conditions. ... KqEALw_wcB
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • jermasjermas Posts: 484
    Reading a review on your bike, the brakes are apparently lacklustre.
    I'd be inclined just to upgrade the front caliper to a shimano 5800 which are compatible with your levers (st-2400) and only cost £23
    They're a good caliper and will be much better than what you have on now. A set of brake inserts alone can cost £10 and might not increase the braking quality by much with a poor quality caliper- so at £23 it's good value.
    Check 49mm drop is compatible with your forks.
  • photonic69photonic69 Posts: 1,493
    Pad set-up/angle/toe in is crucial to braking performance. Great pads in quality calliper won't perform well if sub optimally set up. I had SwissStop BXP Pros in 105 calipers and they were not working too well. Turns out shop had them too low and the toe in was too great so only using about 1/3 of the pad surface. Set them up myself and performance was dramatically improved.
  • timboothtimbooth Posts: 160
    Thanks for the replies (most of them!) - I was a mechanic in my teens (20 years ago), so know how to toe-in brake pads, check cables, etc. I've also cleaned the rims with a rim rubber, and (obviously) ride to the conditions, but even when travelling at only 25km/h, the braking distance is unacceptable. Which is why I asked for brake/pad recommendations.

    Thanks oxoman - I will take a look at the swisstop flash pro bxp, and if that doesn't fix it, a 105 caliper might do the trick.
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