Tossing and Tortured 'Till Dawn

I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Hit and Miss:

In case you can't see it in this blurry picture, I changed brake pads on my bike yesterday. Let's just say I'd gotten ALL the use one can get from a set.

In doing so, I noticed one thing that worked very well, and one thing that didn't work at all.

Pet Peeve of the Day: the cartridge brake shoes on SRAM Rival brake calipers. Seriously, who thought of this? Cartridge brake pads have been around for a long time now. Shimano and clones have a little 2mm setscrew on the side on the pad-holder, I think it's a bit of added security that the pad doesn't fall off while riding. Properly installed, I can't see why you would ever need this, and Campy seems to agree, since it doesn't include a setscrew at all. SRAM's setscrews, though, are these little 1.5mm jobbers in the TOP of the brake shoe. See yellow highlight, above.

Again, who designed this? It's clearly a case of some too clever by half engineer who came up with something that looks pretty and works great, so long as the brake is on a stand in a clean room and not actually, you know, on a bike. Can you see, from the angle, how completely annoying this is to get out? And, of course, it faces upward. On a brake, which kick off a lot of grime, muck, and brake dust.

I had to spend a while fiddling with a pin, cleaning out the miniscule 1.5mm bolt head, then wishing that a ractcheting 1.5mm allen key existed. It doesn't.

Next, I removed the old pads, easy enough, and slid the new ones in. Replacing the setscrews, though, proved to be such a pain that I simply did not. Hopefully I don't die because of this. Somehow, I doubt it.

The award of the day, however, goes to Koolstop's brake pads. They are wonderful. How did I ever let the LBS talk me into buying a set of Shimano replacement pads? Koolstop pads are quiet, predictable, and their salmon pads are the best thing I've tried in everpresent Cascadian rain. If you haven't tried it, do: it's a noticable difference.

I didn't even know that they were based in the tiny little industrial area, half a mile from the house I grew up in. Check it out.


  • At 7:33 AM , Blogger KevinHedahl said...

    Yep, KoolStop is local. I didn't realize it until we were down at interbike and I was like ... hey, you look familiar.

  • At 5:08 PM , Blogger erikv said...

    Woah, I didn't know they were local, either. I get nothing but salmon pads for all my brakes, too.


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