Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Its all in the Squeeze

If you have read my last post you will know that I have shown some interest in getting some Carbon Kool Stop brake pads. Kool Stops are supposedly the best brake pads on the market, this is because they sell themselves on;
  1. Performance (even when wet)
  2. Price (extremely affordable)
  3. Rim Life (Rim friendly pads = Less time with the bike doctor)
I have not actually bought any Kool Stop pads for my carbon rims yet, but what I have done is bought some Kool Stop SALMON (soft compound) pads for my regular training bike which uses alloy rims obviously.

So yer onto the first impressions, not going to waist any time with this one because THEY ARE AWESOME. I didn't in all fairness think that if I changed my pads that they would make my levers feel different. I WAS WRONG, they make a world of difference. 

  1. Progressive braking
  2. Really good performance in the wet
  3. They make my rims look shiny
Shimano Pads
Something that didn't ever happen for me when I had Shimano Pads was progressive braking, the brakes either felt like they were on or off. When I ride my bike, something that puts the confidence into the way I handle the bike is being able to adjust the speed in which I am slowing down. I feel that this is something Shimano pads 105/Ultegra and Dura Ace (all of which I have used) only allow to happen to a minimal standard. For me this happens because there is no squeeze in the pad, once the brakes are on there is very little give in the lever. 

When you stop with a pair of Kool Stops there is a really nice connection that happens between the rim and the pads. One of the first things that I noticed with the Kool Stops was that they are almost silent... Funnily enough this new found silent braking didn't inspire the question, are the brakes on? This was because I could feel that these bad boys were working their wheel stopping magic. They even provide that squeeze I didn't ever get from my Shimano pads, this long missed squeeze gives me confidence because they provide me with an R.P.E (rate of perceived exertion) that tells me if I squeeze my levers with x amount of force then I should stop in x amount of time or distance.

Kool Stop Pads
 If you ever buy a pair of these pads you will notice the arrow design on them which goes against the direction of the rim, this is to help shed water off the rim so that the lovely soft compound can caress and polish your rims to a nice silent but powerful stop.

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