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I'm not sure if this makes sense, however, my cheapo mtb has got just terrible rear brakes and I have no idea why, there is plenty of meat still left on the brake pads (mind you they are the age of the bike, at least 8years old and I doubt their sale value when new has ever been more than 50p) 

I have changed the cables on the bike, adjusted the brakes at least 3x , there is a very very good pressure grab and action ,however they just barely stop you. The front brakes are fine and stop good.
Is this a thing or I have something else wrong?
I tried searching for replacement pads,however all I can find in the 55mm size I have are some very cheap poundshop quality ones,seems like the standard are 70mm? But I guess I need the 55mm size If I already have that,or is it possible to use larger size as well? Also what's a good brand I should be looking at?

 

6 comments

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StraelGuy [1552 posts] 10 months ago
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The stock pads in most budget brakes are appallingly poor. My Tektro brakes (now upgraded) came with terrible pads. Stock Shimano ones aren't much better. You can't go far wrong buying replacements from kool Stop.

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mike the bike [1111 posts] 10 months ago
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StraelGuy wrote:

...... Stock Shimano ones aren't much better. ...... 

 

Whilst I am no Shimano apologist, I'm a fan of a certain Italian company, I can't let the above comment go unchallenged.  Every 'Big S' brake system I've ever used, and there have been many, has been fine.  Of course the cheaper variants can always be improved, perhaps by using cartridge blocks, but I've never thought they were poor.  And without doubt the upper end stuff like Ultegra and Dura-Ace is simply superb.

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StraelGuy [1552 posts] 10 months ago
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They're very good, I have the same on my vintage mountain bike.

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Simon E [3414 posts] 10 months ago
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As Straelguy says, stock pads are usually rubbish. I've tried a number of brands and Fibrax ASH104 (ebay link) are excellent value and made in the UK. Kool-Stop's salmon or salmon&black are great if you don't mind paying more. IIRC a 70mm pad simply provides a larger contact area.

You need to align the pads so the front part touches the rim first so it doesn't squeal (or does that only apply to canti brakes? I can't remember now). There are lots of videos & tutorials online.

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BehindTheBikesheds [2430 posts] 10 months ago
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I bought a bike for a lady friend this September, a 10 +year old Raleigh Pioneer in decent nick but came with the standard fit one piece pads. These actually worked better on the rims than a set of brand new Fibrax. Sometimes rims and pads don't match up for no apparent reason, setting them up properly helps a lot.

I can't say I've ever had 'bad' pads, even ones which my friend bought from wilkinsons, just that there are pads that will stop you quicker but in turn you ride quicker and leave braking later or think you can brake at x speed at x point away, it just changes your perception of what is good or bad.

Most 'bad' v brake pads would seem absolutely incredible (in a good way) compared to brakes of 30-40 years ago on similar priced bikes.

You ride according to the stopping power you have, better stopping pads/braking system don't necessarily increase your safety.

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Yorkshie Whippet [643 posts] 10 months ago
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Have you checked the rim/pads for oil contamination from lubing the chain?