Improving braking

BigAl68

Über Member
Location
Bath
Hi,

Just starting to put the bigger mileage in on my ken bird and I love riding it but descending scares me stupid. Living in Bath I don't have many little hills so I was wondering if changing the brake blocks would make much difference? The brakes are golden arrow and currently have standard shimano blocks. I see there are modern pads but mine are one piece block and pad. Can anyone recommend a new block that may give me a bit more confidence as I don't want to stop going up and back down hills.

Thanks

Alan
 

biggs682

Smile a mile bike provider
Location
Northamptonshire
Try koolstop salmon pads always seem ok to me
 
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BigAl68

BigAl68

Über Member
Location
Bath
So I need to buy some shoes that can take the pads then @biggs682? I see you can buy campagnolo, weinman and mafac blocks by koolstop so I will see if I can get the shoes to match. I am sure there all pretty much similar and around 40mm, would this be correct?
 

raleighnut

Legendary Member
Location
On 3 Wheels
I think a lot of it is down to where you have the levers set up. I just looked back at the pics and they are far too high up on the drops, I'd want a full 4 finger grip on those old brakes and there is no way you can get at them to do that.
 
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BigAl68

BigAl68

Über Member
Location
Bath
I am awaiting delivery, possibly tomorrow of a set of giro italia bars and a longer stem so I will see if they could go down a bit when I got them. Having to change as the sweep on the criterium bars aren't for me and the stem has always been too short.
 

biggs682

Smile a mile bike provider
Location
Northamptonshire
@BigAl68 all the koolstops i have bought came with the backing plates
 
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BigAl68

BigAl68

Über Member
Location
Bath
OK I will do some Google searching in the morning. Hoping to get out early on the bike and see if I can do 50 miles or a 100km if I feel good. Did a 45miler today and need to start building up over the next few weekends looking to do a 100km every weekend on the steel otherwise I will never manage the 100 mile at Eroica.
 

ChrisEyles

Veteran
Location
Devon
I upgraded from old stock pads to salmon koolstops on my 1960s Mafac Racers, and was very pleased indeed with the imporvement. They are definitely the first upgrade I'd try. Otherwise I remember seeing an article somewhere (perhaps Sheldon Brown's site) about how to fit a small "bridge" over the caliper to stiffen things up and improve braking performance, which might also be worth a go?
 
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BigAl68

BigAl68

Über Member
Location
Bath
DSC_1291.JPG
I haven't tracked any better pads down locally but did spend the morning swapping over the criterium bars and short stem to the giros and 120mm one. I also dropped the levers a bit @raleighnut and I am off out into the easter sunshine for a gentle 30 miles.
 

midlife

Guru
Great bars the giro! Lots of positions to keep the hands, elbows and shoulders moving. Especially on the tops :smile:

I'd have them a little more tilted down so the bottom of the bars are horizontal with the road but that's just personal preference b:smile:

Have a good ride, very misty Cumbria way!

Shaun
 
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