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Loves to Suffer
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was considering ditching my Sora brakes for something nicer. They work OK, not great. I have changed over to better pads already. Will upgrading to Ultegra or Dura-Ace provide a quicker stop, and better modulation, or will they just look nicer (which is fine too!)? Of all the components on my ride, the brakes are the lowest spec/ugliest. I was thinking of going the eBay route for a lightly used or new pair.

Good idea or a waste of money/time?
 

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I went from mirage levers and veloce brakes to full chorus...braking just feels smoother and more sturdy...but no stopping difference that is significant enough to pop out,,lighter as well obviously
 

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n00bsauce
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Modulation and feel will likely improve with the right brake caliper selection and you will likely feel a difference. Stopping power will not likely increase but power is usually not lacking, even with pretty cheap brakes nowadays. Brake pads will make a difference. You say you've changed but from what (OEM?) and too what? I recommend Kool Stop salmon but just about any Kool Stop pads will be better than most OEM, even on high end brakes. SwissStop are also very good but they are a bit pricey and less available.
 

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I raced all last year on Sora brake calipers and the pads they came with (and 105 brifters), without any problems. I recently built a new bike with DA brifters and SRAM Force calipers (I guess they come with SwissStop pads?) and braking is a little more controlled but there honestly isn't a huge difference. The big thing for me is that they look nicer and they're lighter. They're also a little bit easier to adjust.

If you've got the cash, go for it, but it's not going to make a huge difference IMHO.
 

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The Trollinator
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You might want to check with your LBS to see if they'll let you try out a pair of brakes to see if they make any difference. It's also worth checking your braking surface on your rims.

Shameless Plug: I'm selling a set of Shimano BR-5500's if you're interested.
 

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Roadie with unshaven legs
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Mel Erickson said:
Brake pads will make a difference. You say you've changed but from what (OEM?) and to what? I recommend Kool Stop salmon but just about any Kool Stop pads will be better than most OEM, even on high end brakes.
That's what I was going to ask. I, too, recommend Kool Stop salmon pads, though my experience with the Kool Stop black pads isn't as good. All of my bikes, except for the FS mountain bike with disk brakes, have KS salmon pads on them and I don't think I'm going to try any other pad because these work so well. On a few of my bikes I have half salmon half black pads on the rear brake for better moderation and slightly less braking power but all of my bikes have full salmon pads up front.
 

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Zipp0 said:
I was considering ditching my Sora brakes for something nicer. They work OK, not great. I have changed over to better pads already. Will upgrading to Ultegra or Dura-Ace provide a quicker stop, and better modulation, or will they just look nicer (which is fine too!)? Of all the components on my ride, the brakes are the lowest spec/ugliest. I was thinking of going the eBay route for a lightly used or new pair.

Good idea or a waste of money/time?
Looks yeah, weight yeah, cool factor yeah but ... in 35 years of riding, I've never gotten into a situation where I came away saying 'Wow, I wish I'd had a higher level brakeset.' Hell, they all work.
 

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Moderatus Puisne
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what pads...

are you running now? If they are koolstop cartridge-type pads, you won't really notice the "upgraded" caliper arms.

IME It's only the realllly cheesy arms that flex so much you care.
 

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Resident Curmudgeon
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OES said:
Looks yeah, weight yeah, cool factor yeah but ... in 35 years of riding, I've never gotten into a situation where I came away saying 'Wow, I wish I'd had a higher level brakeset.' Hell, they all work.
I had said exactly the same thing. I just swapped one of my bikes from Campy Record to Dura Ace. I'm starting to like the Shimano stuff pretty well, but their brakes simply CANNOT compare to the Campy dual pivots. The Dura Ace brakes are good - there's nothing wrong with them. IME, after 49 years of adult riding, and having owned Shimano, Campy, Sun Tour and mixed gruppos, the Campy dual pivot brakes are absolutely the best going.
 

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Loves to Suffer
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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Hmmmm... Maybe I'll get the Koolstop pads and just polish up the brakes with the dremel and a polishing compound. If they were nice and shiny, maybe they would look nicer. I mean, what's the difference between Sora and Ultegra brakes, 50g ?
 

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Hello:

This week's Velo News had a detailed comparison test of nine different brakesets including some high-end ($400+) brands I've never heard of. IIRC, the Shimano Dura-Ace brakesets had the best combination of stopping power and modulation. The differences in stopping distances between the best and worst sets were upwards of 25%.

Chris
 

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n00bsauce
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Did they run the same pads on all of them or did they run the factory pads that came with each set? If the latter I would bet most of the difference could be attributed to the pads. Is the article online or only in the print version (I couldn't find it online).
 

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Roadie with unshaven legs
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Mr. Versatile said:
I had said exactly the same thing. I just swapped one of my bikes from Campy Record to Dura Ace. I'm starting to like the Shimano stuff pretty well, but their brakes simply CANNOT compare to the Campy dual pivots. The Dura Ace brakes are good - there's nothing wrong with them. IME, after 49 years of adult riding, and having owned Shimano, Campy, Sun Tour and mixed gruppos, the Campy dual pivot brakes are absolutely the best going.
What I'm wondering is if you ran the stock pads with these brakes or did you use the same pads? As mentioned before, I only run KS salmon pads and I keep reading about Dura-Ace brakes being the cat's meow so I was considering trying the brake calipers with my otherwise Campy bike but use KS salmon pads and was wondering if it was worth the expense and trouble. TIA!
 

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Here are more details about the Velo News tests:

They said they used the pads available from the manufacturer.

1. Ax-Lightness Orion Racing Brakes ($1,290) Swiss Stop Pads - Panic Stop Distance 10.02 meters

2. Bontrager Speed Limit XXX ($400) type of pads not stated - Panic Stop 8.7 meters

3. Compagnolo Super Record D Skeleton Brakes ($405) type of pads not stated . Panic Stop 8.11 meters

4. Caimillo Tech Negative G TI ($400) Swiss Stop Pads Panic Stop 7.24 meters

5. EEBrake ($543) type of pads not stated. Panic Stop 7.1 meters

6. Feather 199 ($400) had exact tolerances and a high quality finish. Unfortunately it had a 10.18 meter panic stop distance.

7. FSA K-Force. type of pads not stated. Panic Stop distance .7.58 meters.

8. KCNC CBi ($330) type of pads not stated. Velo News stated that "it will stop a bike" but the panic stop distance was 11.05 meters.

9. Sampson Stratics SL ($280) Swiss Stop pads. Panic stop distance 8.36 meters

10. Dura Ace 7800 ($320) type of pads not stated. Panic stop distance 6.44 meters

11. Dura Ace 7900 ($440) type of pad not stated. Panic Stop distance 7.18 meters.

12. SRAM Red ($290) pads SRAM's own compound produced by Swiss Stop. Panic Stop distance 7.71

So there it is.

Chris
 

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n00bsauce
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I'd like to read the whole article. Panic stops are a poor way to rate road brakes. Panic stops are uncommon and shear braking power is not as important as feel and modulation. Most of the time road brakes are used to scrub off speed, not stop, and most stopping is very controlled (think stopping for a stop sign). I'd like to see what other measures they used to evaluate the brakes.
 

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Resident Curmudgeon
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Squidward said:
What I'm wondering is if you ran the stock pads with these brakes or did you use the same pads? As mentioned before, I only run KS salmon pads and I keep reading about Dura-Ace brakes being the cat's meow so I was considering trying the brake calipers with my otherwise Campy bike but use KS salmon pads and was wondering if it was worth the expense and trouble. TIA!
Good question. I used the same pads on both bikes - KS salmon/black front & rear. Truthfully, I've never used the all salmon, but after reading so many positive comments about them, I plan to give them a try next time.
 

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In the Tour (German) magazine groupo review from February 2008, they compared DA 7800 with Campy and SRAM groupos, and gave the Campy brakes top marks.

I paid for the article online (paypal), and tried to have Google translate it--but got mostly gibberish. I was able to discern that one of the bases of comparison was how much wear each manufacturer's pads did to the rim. So a pad that picked up aluminum debrie and held it would score lower.

I'm surprised by the "panic stop" figures above mostly becaue the 7900 DA brakes had longer stops than the 7800 DA. I do recall, however, that Shimano reformulated its pad compound for the 7800 cartridges. I surmise that Shimano maximized stopping grip in that compound, but perhaps at the cost of greater rim wear (as evidenced by the Tour article). They may have backed off a bit from that compromise with the 7900 pads.

It may be that the different (longer?, curvier? thinner?) profile of the Campy cartidges/pads have an impact on their results.

Finally, the Koolstop salmon pads are billed as wet weather pads. I use them primarily on older bikes I'm building up for friends or family with older, annodized (usually 36-spoke) rims, because those rims are too "slippery" for black pads. I also favor them for women and younger teens who I perceive may have less gripping power in their hands. I assume that the only tradeoff is shorter pad life, but have no data to back this up. Squidward: any comments on pad wear/life with the full salmon pads, or how they treat rims? I use KS black/salmon pads front and rear on my road bike.
 

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Roadie with unshaven legs
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drewmcg said:
Squidward: any comments on pad wear/life with the full salmon pads, or how they treat rims? I use KS black/salmon pads front and rear on my road bike.
I don't have enough mileage under my belt to have worn out a set of any brake pads, yet. Salmon pads have a reputation for being easy on rims and have great wear characteristics. I will tell you that, with Campy pads ('06 Chorus) it sounds like sandpaper on the rims at times while the KS salmon pads doesn't. Also, I tend to be picking bits of sand and aluminum out of the Campy pads while I don't have to do this as much with my salmon pads.
 

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Frog Whisperer
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Mr. Versatile said:
I had said exactly the same thing. I just swapped one of my bikes from Campy Record to Dura Ace. I'm starting to like the Shimano stuff pretty well, but their brakes simply CANNOT compare to the Campy dual pivots. The Dura Ace brakes are good - there's nothing wrong with them. IME, after 49 years of adult riding, and having owned Shimano, Campy, Sun Tour and mixed gruppos, the Campy dual pivot brakes are absolutely the best going.
FWIW you can pick up all the Campy Veloce calipers you want for under 30 bucks a set.
 

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$1,290 for brakes... that is expensive to say the least.
 
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