Do Tektro brakes suck?
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  1. #1
    pmf
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    Do Tektro brakes suck?

    Seems like every "Shimnao equipped" bike I see on the web or the LBS has Tektro brakes. I see Nuevation charges $110 for Ultegra brakes over Tektro. That seems like alot, implying that these things are pretty cheap.

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    Use the same pads on both and you probably won't even be able to tell the difference. Tektro make a wide range though, from cheap to expensive, so there could well be substantial differences in weight and materials, e.g. titanium vs steel.

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    I actually found the worst thing about the tektro brakes I got on my bike to be the pads themselves. The brakes themselves are good but the pads were terrible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by taralon View Post
    I actually found the worst thing about the tektro brakes I got on my bike to be the pads themselves. The brakes themselves are good but the pads were terrible.
    +1.... I have to agree with this.... Their pads suck. However, if you replace them with a pair of Kool Stop pads you'll be good to go and the Kool Stop pads really are an inexpensive upgrade.

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    By no means. Mechanically, even their inexpensive ones are fine for almost any use. But their pads are indeed lousy. Swap in some Koolstops and you have a perfectly functional brakeset. Their levers are fine, too, and a real bargain. BTW, Cane Creek levers are Tektros with prettier paint for more money.

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    If it stops your bike it should be good enough.

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    My wife's bike has some cheap no-name calipers (I believe they're tectros, but can't be sure), and the pads were pretty crummy and especially noisy. I swapped them out for some red Jagwire pads I had and they are 100% better all around, as good as my Ultegra calipers in performance. A really cheap and easy upgrade.
    Last edited by Camilo; 09-15-2011 at 03:07 PM.

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    I just put Tektro brakes on my latest build. They're identical to high-end Cane Creek ones. I tossed the pads that came with it and put on Kool Stops. They work identical in stopping power to my Shimano brakes with the same shoes.
    So the brakes with the shoes = suck, the brakes with good shoes = great value.
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  9. #9
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    I put some on my commuter. As everyone else has said, the pads have to go. I put Kool Stop Salmons on & the brakes were quite good. I don't think they were as good as my Ultegras or Dura Ace, but they were fine.
    Before you criticize someone walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them you'll be a mile away & you'll have their shoes.

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    I've seen sets being sold at ~$40 or so. I'd buy some for a beater bike and swap the pads. Knowing me, I prefer matched bits so whatever the gruppo is, I'd get the same brakes.

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    You might think that Tektro, after reading hundreds of bike board threads saying their brakes would be OK if they are fitted would better pads, would make some changes?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmoryl View Post
    You might think that Tektro, after reading hundreds of bike board threads saying their brakes would be OK if they are fitted would better pads, would make some changes?
    If the read them, there would be a small chance. But I'd bet that most people who use them never try different shoes. Tektro would be catering to 1% of its customers by swapping them out. Then, that would hurt the other brands and many local shops.
    I have a single track mind

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    I'll bet Tektro's marketing strategy is that when people are pricing lower priced bikes and / or calipers, they are price shopping pure and simple and (a) most likely won't even notice whether the brakes are as good as they can possibly be or (b) if they do decide to buy new pads, they don't even think back to what their cost would have been if they'd bought a better calipers/pads. They don't think of $realcost = $loworiginalprice +$ newpads. They only remember $loworiginalprice

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    My other bikes have old el-cheapo single-pivot calipers or disc brakes, so I can't compare directly, but I would echo that the stock Tektro pads seem to be poor. They especially eat up the aluminum brake track on my rims pretty badly.

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    the low end ones do. The came on my entry level cannondale. Pads helped, but when I moved to Force brakes I was amazed. Oh course, they don't compare to disks, but that's another battle for me to fight
    It's a fire road.............
    I'm on a road bike..........

    They have enough in common to blast down it.

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    The stock Tektro pads are downright dangerous, especially if you are (like me) new to road bikes and coming from hydraulic discs on a mtb - I nearly sailed through a busy intersection more than once before I discovered kool stops, now no issues with them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tasdevl View Post
    The stock Tektro pads are downright dangerous, especially if you are (like me) new to road bikes and coming from hydraulic discs on a mtb - I nearly sailed through a busy intersection more than once before I discovered kool stops, now no issues with them.
    I was shocked also. I just took my new (to me) road bike out for the first real time and what a difference. I was really let down by the brakes (dura ace 7800) compared to my elixer 5 and XT hydro setups... the pads are a little old though.

    Should I swap pads out if they have been sitting for 3 years or so?

  18. #18
    LC
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    Yes, swap the pads. Kool stops or Swiss stops should be installed on any bike that needs to actually stop. If your cheap then at least change out the front set.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vierzwanzig View Post
    I was shocked also. I just took my new (to me) road bike out for the first real time and what a difference. I was really let down by the brakes (dura ace 7800) compared to my elixer 5 and XT hydro setups... the pads are a little old though.

    Should I swap pads out if they have been sitting for 3 years or so?
    IMHO, yes. The older 7800 dura ace compound left a lot to be desired.

    You can try the koolstop dual compound, or salmon if its wet a lot.

    SRAM/Swissstop GHP2 (dark green) pads are great. I use them.

    The 7900 dura ace pads are way better than the 7800. You could try those too.
    It's a fire road.............
    I'm on a road bike..........

    They have enough in common to blast down it.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ziscwg View Post
    IMHO, yes. The older 7800 dura ace compound left a lot to be desired.

    You can try the koolstop dual compound, or salmon if its wet a lot.

    SRAM/Swissstop GHP2 (dark green) pads are great. I use them.

    The 7900 dura ace pads are way better than the 7800. You could try those too.
    +1 that the 7900 pads are excellent. I don't have a lot of comparison, but they're as good as any I've used, and often more available locally than other brands.

    I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who has compared the current 7900 pads to the current lower level Shimano pads which are a little cheaper.

  21. #21
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    I have Tektro R530 dual pivot and changing to kool stop pads made a world of difference. but the Tektro caliper return spring does feel alittle weaker than Shimano.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
    +1 that the 7900 pads are excellent. I don't have a lot of comparison, but they're as good as any I've used, and often more available locally than other brands.

    I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who has compared the current 7900 pads to the current lower level Shimano pads which are a little cheaper.

    Thanks a lot for the responses guys. I will try to swap out the pads and get a good feel before I report back.

    Thanks again

  23. #23
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    I have some kind of Tektro brakes on my 2011 Specialized Roubaix Apex... what model of kool stops or swiss stops do you recommend? I went to the kool stop webpage and there were many choices.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by new2rd View Post
    I have some kind of Tektro brakes on my 2011 Specialized Roubaix Apex... what model of kool stops or swiss stops do you recommend? I went to the kool stop webpage and there were many choices.
    It's worth the couple bucks extra to get one of the models with the spherical washers that allow easy and precise angle adjustment. So it's the Supra 2 if you want to go with the inexpensive one-piece pad, or the Dura type holders if you want fancier-looking metal hardware with replaceable pads. I'd go with the Supra 2. And I like the plain salmon compound personally.

    Kool Stop Salmon Brake Pads for Bicycles from Harris Cyclery

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCavilia View Post
    It's worth the couple bucks extra to get one of the models with the spherical washers that allow easy and precise angle adjustment. So it's the Supra 2 if you want to go with the inexpensive one-piece pad, or the Dura type holders if you want fancier-looking metal hardware with replaceable pads. I'd go with the Supra 2. And I like the plain salmon compound personally.

    Kool Stop Salmon Brake Pads for Bicycles from Harris Cyclery
    I agree, get the DuraType holders and pads. I got mine at Amazon. They line up real easy
    It's a fire road.............
    I'm on a road bike..........

    They have enough in common to blast down it.

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