Monday, 15 October 2012

First class stoppers...

Swissstop Green are first class stoppers
When I  bought the Tifosi I initially thought that the original brake pads fitted by the manufacturer were OK...that is until I tried them on a really fast descent. 
The brakes faded really badly and as I hurtled at speed towards a T-junction at the bottom of the hill I promised myself that if I eventually managed to stop and survive I would do something to improve the braking.  

I did manage to stop but only just and those brakes had done nothing at all to give me confidence in trusting  them again. 
Perhaps I had been spoiled by the great stopping ability that I get on the Felt with it's DuraAce set up but one thing that I knew for sure...the standard pads on the Tifosi had to go. 

Now of course it was always possible that the fault was with the Miche brakes themselves rather than the pads, but it seemed a sensible idea to start with the pads as they would be the cheapest way of making an improvement.. 
I spent a fair bit of time checking out the various pads that were available and the reviews that had been written about them. 
Two pads stood out from the rest because of the great reviews and their obvious popularity.. These were the Swissstop Green High Performance and the KoolStop Salmon and Black. 

The Swisstop were the more expensive of the two at about double the price of the KoolStop. 
They were appprox £48.00 for a full set for the bike (2x pairs) including the polished holders. Swisstop produce a number of different compounds for various applications including..... 
Black which is ideal for everyday use...
Yellow for carbon wheels..... 
and of course the Green High Performance which are the ones that I decided to purchase. 
These are described as a high performance all weather compound for aluminium wheels....the manufacturers describe them as having great braking power with smooth modulation. 

I must say that after fitting these to the bike the improvement to the braking was stunning...the braking power has improved no end with really smooth modulation and no fade on those steep and fast descents..just what I wanted. 

Since I purchased these I have done over 10,000 miles and have replaced the pads only once (although the second set will need replacing shortly)  ...the wear rate on these pads has proved to be pretty amazing. 
The second set were obviously purchased on their own without the pad holders as I now had those. Purchasing the pads without the holders works out at half the price (£24.00 2x pairs). 

I have been down that hill with the T-junction at the end on many occasions since that first plummet to the bottom with me having a death grip on the levers, but now I have every confidence in the stopping power of the brakes...

Based on my experience of these pads I can certainly recommend them and although the initial cost seems high, when you take into account the compound's superb wear rate and the peace of mind that they give I would say they are good value... 

As a point of interest - I purchased a set of the other pads- the KoolStop Salmon/Black- for my touring bike. 
These seem pretty good also and manage to pull up my fully loaded tourer very well - they are a vast improvement on the Tektro pads that were the original pads fitted. 

Comparing the two sets of pads I would say for the type of riding I do on the Tifosi I will continue to fit the Swisstop Green as I feel that they have the edge for fast riding.

11 comments:

Paul said...

Trevor, I've always used the Koolstop Salmon with great results. But I may just give these Swisstops a try.

Steve A said...

I'm a Koolstop Salmon guy as well.

Trevor said...

*Paul*
*Steve A*
I must say that the Koolstop Salmon pads are the most popular of the two sets mentioned in my post.
I think that this comes down to the price as the Swissstop pads are very expensive, even though in my opinion they just have the edge..

rlove2bike said...

Glad you got stopped the first time. The timing of this post could not have been any better, as I will be needing brake pads soon. Swissstop Green it will be.

Thanks for the post,
RL

DAN said...

I can remember putting these style of brakes on a road bike that I had. they worked great.

braddos72 said...

Great review.
I use Swissstop Black on 1 bike and Koolstop Salmon on my other and think the Swissstop are the better pad, although they are on Shimano whereas the Koolstops are on Sram so possibly the caliper makes a difference too?

Trevor said...

*rlove2bike*
I am sure that you won't be disapointed with them....

*DAN*
They are pretty good aren't they Dan..

*braddo72*
I am sure that the calipers do make a difference Neil...
I have tried both the Swisstop and the KoolStop on various caliper and wheel mixes...The Swisstops seem to have the edge with any combination though...

Chandra said...

Trevor:
I have at the Swiss blue pads on my Thorn.
All the others, with the exception of my Brompton, have KoolStop. I like both KoolStop and Swiss. The blue is a possibly a better stopper on snowy days, but we don't get too many of those here.

Peace :)

The bike shed said...

Fifty quid for set of brake bocks! Oh how we have come on - I remember baulking at a pound a set.

Envious though

Peter Roberts said...

I must confess that I have never given much attention to brake pads, Tektro are fitted to my bikes as they came with the kit. I recently had to change the pads but did not understand enough to know the difference- perhaps the improvements may be lost on me anyway as my descending speed is quite modest ( too much of a life spent in Risk Assessment ) I did wonder whether *harder * pads, which i took to be longer lasting may have a deleterious effect on the rims.

Trevor said...

*Chandra*
I have to admit I've not tried the blue pads Chandra...

*The Bike Shed*
That must have been in the days when a gallon of petrol was Fifteen shillings and sixpence Mark...lol

*Peter Roberts*
There are some hills around here Peter where you can achieve a descent speed of almost 50mph...
Every extra bit of braking power helps.
Mind you, even at slower speeds extra braking power has got to be good for peace of mind....