Brakes - and the improvement thereof. Gratis

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  • Help. First post.
    I have recently picked up my nice shiny new Genesis flyer, all is good in the hood apart from the brakes. They just don't seem to have the bite I have on my other bikes.
    Is there a quick way of improving the standard Shimano Brake pads ??
    I would normally buy KoolStop replacements but after laying out for a new bike, the shellsuit pockets are well and truly empty.

    Any tips greatly appreciated. Thanks

  • I don't know which brakes comes with the Genesis, but i had Shimano Sora on a bike and they works very well.

    Koolstop brake blocks are great but i think the problem is not your brake blocks and yes the adjustment?

  • Cheers
    They are Sora and adjusted to within a few millimeters of the rim but not rubbing.
    I have only done about 10 miles on the bike so far, I'm thinking they may just take time to bed in. Just don't fancy having to stop to quickly on the commute tomorrow!

  • Shimano road pads are shit and wear out rims too quickly. Koolstop pads are pretty nice but can squeal after a while.
    Undo the pads and run the braking surface across a file or sandpaper to roughen it up.
    While the pads are out, take to your rim's braking surface with a scourer (those metal things you use for scrubbing all the teflon off your pots and pans).
    Just buff all the road crap, brake pad residue, etc. off. Do it with soapy water and then rinse. Hopefully you will see loads of black water at the end.
    Do some big stops with your brakes can also help take crap of rim and pad but i'd do this before cleaning 'em

  • Thanks Hippy!

  • Mr 4130,
    Please ensure that your brake pads are making contact flat onto the rim. If the pads squeeeeeel then make them touch slightly nose in (toed in). If they still squeeeeeel then file them clean.

    Im not explicitly familiar with sora brakes but they might be the sort that cannot be toed in. This is correctable by bending the brake mounts (with the pads removed) using an adjustable spanner. Lots of bike shops wont do this, because it`s a bit brutal, yet it is often the only solution to not having to wait for your pads to wear flat against the rim. The good news is you should only have to do it once, then the brake is set.

    Use decent cable. Most bikes off the shelf use no-name tat. Recommend shimano.

    Every once in a while check that the brake is centred. Sqeeeez the brake lever while looking down at the brake. If the wheel is moved to one side by the brake then grab the whole brake and straighten it up, testing you progress with the lever. The brake will then feel more positive. If the brake moves too easily, check that the brake bolt is tight (it`s important).

    Occasionally clean the pads and rims. I use a file and wire wool respectivly. Remove bits of aluminium from the pads.

    Sorry, i went on a bit there, but i think that`s everything.

  • a good clean and oil of both brake calipers and cable and cable surround that should free things up and make them a bit more instantaneous
    a good dollops of oil on the rims too just to keep the rust away

  • LOL.. I prefer something like WD40 for its ease of application to the rim surface but oil will work too - ensure an even coat on both sides of the wheel.

  • Shimano brake pads aren't very good in the wet. Give it a few weeks until the paint wears off the rim and you will have more friction on the rims. If its not dry and better then you need to replace the pads. I wouldn't go near a new bike with scouring pads personnally. Let it break in naturally.

  • I'd rather have working brakes than slide my new bike under a bus but each to their own.. ;)

  • Wow the DRAMA. He could effectivly use his legs and jump stopping while the rims break in as many brakeless riders do!

  • Ride Brakeless

  • He asked about improving braking. I told. Letting pads and rims 'wear in' is a bit silly if the dude wants to brake.
    Also, the sh1t that comes off the rims ends up in the pads (especially Shimano pads) and this makes your braking worse AND scratches up your rim's braking surface.
    But, by all means, let them wear down "au naturale".

  • Stef Ride Brakeless

    He didn't say it was fixed. Could be running SS.

  • then fixed and brakeless

  • hehe okay okay :P

    'cept then he'll do like Merlin guy and skid.. bang! Puncture repair time..

  • lol

  • Thanks twosheds. The pads are bang on the rim but still a bit flaccid. Not even enough oomph for a squeal.

    Went to Condor cycles today to look for some replacements but they said they had nothing suitable and to just pull the lever harder !
    I did however notice that they started to work a bit better after I got caught in the rain today, so heres hoping.

    Its Singlespeed, My commute is a bit toppish and hilly for fixed.

    Thanks chaps for all your concern and heated debate !

  • another thing you might consider is mechanical advantage.
    if your pads are adjusted too close or too far to the rims there won't be a good leverage you can apply from the levers.
    i run them at least 1.5mm away from the rim on each side.

  • a good dollops of oil on the rims too just to keep the rust away

    is that a joke? how will a lubricant improve braking performance??!! oil will degrade the blocks too...if anything a bit of rust will improve braking performance, but what's the chance of him having steel rims nowadays?.....

    As my new friend, an ex Italian pro and now mechanich with the Selle Italia team recently told me, he gives his riders a wedge of lemon on rainy days....when the roads (and your rims) are wet rub the lemon in to the braking surface on either side to significantly improve braking performance....I guess the mild acid "roughens" up and cleans the aluminium surface a little bit.

    Best tip for improving braking performance ever!.....shorten the outer cable as much as you can without compromising your that really works....and don't "oil" your cables...use grease and plenty of it.

  • Yes, it was a joke winston.

    I used to rub Coke (that's cola not COKE!) on the rims of my trials bike. You can't modulate your braking but it makes the rims sticky as fsck and really helps lock the pads to the rim - which is kinda important in trials. Other riders rub road tar onto their rims. Don't do either of these to your road bike..

  • Pad / rim contamination by the grease monkey in the shop?

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Brakes - and the improvement thereof. Gratis

Posted by Avatar for Eddie4130 @Eddie4130