Upgrade FSA Callipers or Pads?

bpsmith

Veteran
Looking for advice from someone who has actually done this please.

I have FSA Gossamer brakes on my Bianchi a story are poor compared to the 105 brakes just fitted to my Defy 1.

I regularly read that people get good results from just swapping the pads only.

Has anyone experienced the stock FSA Gossamer brakes and then upgraded to better pads?

It's wasting £22 for new pads and then not being improved that I am worried about.
 

Smokin Joe

Legendary Member
You can get a 105 caliper for £25. I think mine came from CRC. You only need to swap the front, any old crap will do on the rear brake which does little anyway.
 
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bpsmith

Veteran
You can get a 105 caliper for £25. I think mine came from CRC. You only need to swap the front, any old crap will do on the rear brake which does little anyway.
I bought a pair of 105 brakes, for my Defy, for £44 a short while back. Been toying with maybe just swapping them onto the Bianchi. The Reparto Corse Bianchi striped FSA calipers would look odd on the Defy though, unfortunately. Add to that, the Defy is my Winter / Crap Weather steed and needs decent brakes.

Might be worth trying the front one out or maybe even the pads only first. Will give a good idea as to performance then.

To top it all, the front lever has started feeling notchy, rather than nice and smooth as expected. I suspect a full cable swap due too...
 
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bpsmith

Veteran
Swapped the pads from the 105 front calliper into the FSA front calliper. Did a brief spin up and down my shirt hill and was instantly different.

The downside is that the pads are gripping so well that the right calliper arm is moving forward a bit when initially braking. Not sure if I have experienced this with the stock pads and not noticed or whether down to the grippier pads?

Will start a separate thread as might get more hits.
 
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bpsmith

Veteran
For future benefit of anyone who searches this at some point.

Strip down and tightening of the FSA callipers has made these brakes amazing, with 105 pads fitted. Clearly the tweaking and replacement pads have shown that the callipers themselves are very good.

Considering they cost around the same as Ultegra callipers, they really should be, but the pads are nowhere near as good it seems.

Going to order some Shimano or even Koolstop or similar pads shortly. :smile:
 
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