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I am interested improving the braking of the winter bike and wondering how, especailly after this mornings' rain fest of a ride.

It's got, new, Fulcrum Racing Sport wheels, Aztec pads (which were recommended for wet braking) and Shitmano Tiagra brakes.

It's not top drawer kit and I'm interested in the mechanics of the system to see where braking can be improved.

Better cable?

Tightening of the cable?

Change calipers?

Better pads?

30 comments

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Welsh boy [553 posts] 10 months ago
1 like

I upgraded from 105 to Ultegra calipers and I could not believe the improvement.  It might be worth looking on that well know auction site for some better calipers, the stock Shimano blocks were better in the wet than several aftermarket pads with a reputation as beeing good in the wet, I tried the Shimano ones and two other makes just to check and went back to the Shimano ones.  It would be worth fitting some new cables too.

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BarryBianchi [418 posts] 10 months ago
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Better cable?

Tightening of the cable?

Change calipers?

Better pads?

That plus cleaning your rims and pads.  I'm not sure Shimano are especially consistent in the pads they fit to various level calipers - well worth a try of some others.

 

And of course some disc brakes....

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turnerjohn [53 posts] 10 months ago
4 likes

Try degreasing your rims and pads....could have got contaminated .

swisstop pads I've found to be the best and whilst expensive they do last well (better than shimano I've found )

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davel [2501 posts] 10 months ago
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Pads are one of the first things I tend to switch when I get a new bike. Decent pads over stock ones is noticeable. The Aztecs seem to have good punter reviews - but I can't remember having used Aztec pads, so not sure what sort of step-up they are.

I'm a fan of Swissstop, I've used them for years and know their range, but kool stop (salmon for wet) have been raved about on here so I'll probably give them a go at some point.

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Canyon48 [1054 posts] 10 months ago
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I used 105 callipers and Shimano pads (before I switched to disc brakes).

I found what improved braking performance most was regularly cleaning the braking surface with isopropyl alcohol and filing the shiny surface off the brake pads.

I got fed up of doing this, so I switched to discs (plus I didn't want to wear away the carbon rims on my new bike!).

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madcarew [786 posts] 10 months ago
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Upgrading to ultegra calipers will make an enormous difference (prob available relatively cheaply on e-bay or similar), and getting rid of the aztecs. I've found them to be about the worst available. Kool stop are ok, but swiss stop and Dura-ace are about the best. And grease contamination on rim brakes is effectively a non- issue. The pads are  non absorbent and the aluminium grinding paste sees to any oil / grease in no time. 

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kil0ran [1050 posts] 10 months ago
2 likes

105 5800 calipers are a big upgrade over Tiagra, and relatively cheap. Generally considered to be as good as Ultegra but cheaper/heavier. If you're buying from scratch by all means go with Ultegra as there's not a huge price difference.

Certainly no issues here this morning when I needed to do two full on emergency stops due to SMIDSYs.  Hauled me up sufficiently from 30mph to the point I locked and snaked the rear wheel. Should add that I'm not exactly lightweight at 18st either.

My setup: Tiagra 4700 levers, 105 5800 calipers, standard Shimano Ultegra/Dura-Ace pads. Bare cable runs with just the barrel adjuster at the caliper to take out the slack.

Things to check:

1. Wind in both barrel adjusters

2. Loosen cable

3. Check all cable stops have the right ferrules - check the Shimano dealer manual

4. Lube cable

5. Centre calipers - there's a small grub screw for this on the 105 level calipers

6. Reinstall cable - put slight pressure on cable from lever to ensure it is seated properly and pull as tight as you can. Should be possible just using your hands but you can get a cable puller if needed.

7. Nip up barrel adjusters to take out any slack and balance the required lever force. I run my rear brake softer than the front.

One of my bikes has discs, the other rims. Kind of preferring the rim brakes, particularly after surprising myself this morning with their stopping power. 

 

 

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don simon [2530 posts] 10 months ago
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Interesting conflict on reviews of the Aztecs, I think thay're pretty rubbish and will begin a series of upgrades.

1. Change pads.

2. Change calipers.

3 . Change cables.

Then it's off to those Welsh hills... laugh

Thanks for the input.

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cyclisto [406 posts] 10 months ago
2 likes

Proper cable housing cutting and installation can do wonders. The rest is pads and tires.

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TypeVertigo [428 posts] 10 months ago
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If you can spring for it, on your next change of cables, try going compressionless. Should improve the power of any cable-actuated brake - rim or disc.

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Scoob_84 [448 posts] 10 months ago
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I've never had any issues with the shimano replacment pads. You can sometimes pick these up for around £5 a pair if you shop around online. These are consumable items so no point forking out and goign too exotic with these. 

Cable replacement (inners and outers) should be your next port of call. Depending on how much you ride your bike, i'll go for a new inner cables every winter and complete overhaul every 2 years as a minimum.

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iandusud [95 posts] 10 months ago
1 like

It may seem counterintuitive but I find that you get much better leverage if you don't set the brakes up too sharp, ie have quite a lot of travel on the levers. It just means adjusting them a bit more often.

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harman_mogul [303 posts] 10 months ago
1 like

+1 for correct cable-stop ferrules (assuming the outers are properly dressed)

+1 for SwissStop, costly but work well and much less grimy than others

And always the Mavic rim rubber to clean the rims from time to time.

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don simon [2530 posts] 10 months ago
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Swisstop BXP bought and fitted, they seem better than the Aztecs, but it wasn't particulary wet today. Next stage will be to upgrade calipers, if needed.

Thanks all and I'll keep updating here.

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BrokenBootneck [258 posts] 10 months ago
2 likes

Winter bike, better braking?

 

discs with wider tyres! 

 

 

 

 

Sorry sorry couldn’t resist!

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don simon [2530 posts] 10 months ago
2 likes
BrokenBootneck wrote:

Winter bike, better braking?

 

discs with wider tyres! 

 

 

 

 

Sorry sorry couldn’t resist!

Can I wear this one out before buying another one, please?

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996ducati [11 posts] 10 months ago
1 like

I might be mistaken but arent Tiagra calipers long reach? I had this issue when upgrading the Tekro to Tiagra long reach. Also +1 for Swisstop, really good upgrade. Another issue mine has which is very strange, the RS-010 wheels supplied as OEM are awful for braking. It doesnt matter what pads, what bike or what caliper, they are always really bad. Changing the wheels to my summer bike set using the exact same calipers and pads transforms the bike! odd hey! PS are you sure they are genuine Shimano Tiagra calipers? Often they are not and upgrading to original Tiagra calipers at around £25 each will make a noticable difference.

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don simon [2530 posts] 10 months ago
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It is entirely possible that they're not Tiagra calipers, they came on a Felt/Wiggle special. Caliper upgrade will be up a level and would consider putting Athena in thereas I know that they're decent.

Got to respect the comments from someone who can slip Ducati and 996 into their user name.  Awesome race yesterday and shame for both Dovizioso and Lorenzo...

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996ducati [11 posts] 10 months ago
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Check the calipers when you get 5 mins Don, Shimano put their name on the product so a genuine Tiagra looks like this http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/shimano-tiagra-r451-road-brake-calipe... If it isnt a genuine caliper it may be a good place to start, I bought one caliper to see if it was worth buying the second, it was! Check to see if the caliper is 49mm drop or 56mm drop, because this will determine which caliper you can use to upgrade.

Sadly the 996 Ducati is now gone although I still have a nice Italian in the garage but these days its carbon fibre and pedal powered and definatly no Termignonis!

Great racing but not the best result for Ducati  1

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don simon [2530 posts] 10 months ago
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There's no Shimano logo, but otherwise they look identical.

Looks like there's either a swap to the set of Veloce that I've got on the singlespeed, or some shiny new Athena.

Cheers for that. yes

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ChasP [42 posts] 10 months ago
1 like
don simon wrote:

There's no Shimano logo, but otherwise they look identical.

Looks like there's either a swap to the set of Veloce that I've got on the singlespeed, or some shiny new Athena.

Cheers for that. yes

If you put campag brakes on with Shimano shifters they may work well but you won't have a QR for removing the wheel (they're on the lever).

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don simon [2530 posts] 10 months ago
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ChasP wrote:
don simon wrote:

There's no Shimano logo, but otherwise they look identical.

Looks like there's either a swap to the set of Veloce that I've got on the singlespeed, or some shiny new Athena.

Cheers for that. yes

If you put campag brakes on with Shimano shifters they may work well but you won't have a QR for removing the wheel (they're on the lever).

Good point and bugger! Shimano it'll be then.

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hawkinspeter [2364 posts] 10 months ago
2 likes

It's well worth replacing the brake cable inners and outers - they can make a lot of difference to the performance when installed properly (no sharp bends and correct cable stops used).

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kil0ran [1050 posts] 10 months ago
1 like
don simon wrote:
ChasP wrote:
don simon wrote:

There's no Shimano logo, but otherwise they look identical.

Looks like there's either a swap to the set of Veloce that I've got on the singlespeed, or some shiny new Athena.

Cheers for that. yes

If you put campag brakes on with Shimano shifters they may work well but you won't have a QR for removing the wheel (they're on the lever).

Good point and bugger! Shimano it'll be then.

Go with 105s, unless you need long drop. Usually available used for around £30 on eBay, or £60 new.

 

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JohnnyRemo [247 posts] 10 months ago
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Serious questions - when did they start getting called "brake pads" instead of "brake blocks" and why have I never noticed before???

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davel [2501 posts] 10 months ago
3 likes
JohnnyRemo wrote:

Serious questions - when did they start getting called "brake pads" instead of "brake blocks" and why have I never noticed before???

I call 'pads' the inserts that sit in the shoe, and 'blocks' the solid all-in-ones without separate shoes, that attach to the caliper themselves.

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don simon [2530 posts] 10 months ago
1 like
JohnnyRemo wrote:

Serious questions - when did they start getting called "brake pads" instead of "brake blocks" and why have I never noticed before???

My apologies, I called them zapatas (or pastillas and no one would bat a eyelid) for a good few years and had forgotten the English word. It happens sometimes.

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don simon [2530 posts] 9 months ago
1 like

105 calipers bought and fitted.

Playtime tomorrow.

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alansmurphy [1868 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes

Have you stopped yet?

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don simon [2530 posts] 9 months ago
2 likes

Yep! And pretty much on a sixpence.

Off to the mountains next weekend for a proper test.  1