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My bike (Felt) is spec'd with mainly Ultegra components except the brakes that are no name "dual pivot alloy with cartridge brake pads" - They sure don't have much power, but coming from MTBing with Hydrualic disk brakes - maybe I am spoiled. Would there be a noticeable increase in brake performance if I upgraded to Ultegra brakes or similar or do road bike brakes just lack power? Maybe try new/different pads? Anyone know what company Felt gets their brakes from?
 

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Agreed. New pads and either new cables or simply lubing the cables with a dry film lubricant can make all the difference in the world. I've abandoned Shimano's brake pads entirely - Kool-Stop makes a set of salmon colored pads that are wonderful. $20 for a set and they don't chew up the braking surface like the DA pads.

http://www.speedgoat.com/product.asp?part=41005&cat=30&brand=134
 

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I was in the same situation. Coming from a MTB with hydraulic discs that could easily send you over the bars on dry pavement to a road bike with Tektro dual pivots. I ditched the stock pads and replaced them with Koolstops. A world of difference with the new pads. It's worth trying, $20 for new pads vs. the cost for new brakes.
 

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I recently got a Felt F3C with those tektro brakes and thought the same thing. Replaced the front brake with Dura Ace and saw no real difference but a new set of good pads cured the weak stopping power. Having said that though, they still don't, and never will, have the incredible stopping power of a good Hayes or Shimano disc brake setup.
 

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KoolStops ... AND ... since you're (at least this time around) new to rim braking ... get used to a few concepts that'll help:

Keep your rims' braking surface clean. Just use a rag with some isopropyl once in a while and you'll be good.

Keep your pads' braking surfaces clean. Look at 'em periodically. Pick out metal bits or junk that's embedded. If they look "glazed," use a fine-ish flat file and file 'em lightly so you have fresh rubber hitting clean metal.

Then ... don't go over the bars ... and you'll be fine ;)
 
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