Tektro(?) Brakes
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  1. #1
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    Question Tektro(?) Brakes

    I'm considering riding down long/steep roads, so good brakes are essential! So, presumably, name brand brakes should be used whenever possible? Yes?

    I'm looking at a bike that has 105 level components, with the exception of the brakes which are (supposedly) Tektro brand. However, I can't see any markings on the brakes which would (or should) identify the manufacturer!?
    This suggests that the brakes may be "cheaply" made, and therefore may not be reliable and/or safe? Is this the case?

    Should I be concerned about the lack of brake manufacturer markings?

    I've heard that prolonged and/or excessive application of rim brakes can cause substantial heat build up on rims. Heat is transferred to tires and tubes which increases tube pressure. This in turn may cause excessive pressure rise within tubes which may then rupture! Not good while speeding downhill!!

    So, what is the best rim and brake configuration to use on long downhill rides?

    Or, would it be better to use disc brakes? I understand disc brakes may be better suited for prolonged application, as brake heat is mostly contained within discs, disc brake mechanisms and hubs. So tube blow out due to excessive pressure caused by brake heat is unlikely in this case(?)

  2. #2
    Matnlely Dregaend
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    I have Tektro disc(k) brakes on my MTB. Every bolt and washer on it rusts like crazy and I have to coat them with Boeshield weekly to avoid that. My recommendation is to spend the extra $ and go with Shimano if you can, or even better Campy!

    As for braking down hills, that's only necessary if you have ability to fear...

  3. #3
    duh...
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    it's the pads that matter most

  4. #4
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    1, ok 2 words : KoolStop Pads.
    Quote Originally Posted by tconrady
    If I can get some more tomorrow.... I thought it'd grow on me but I'm not feelin' it....wait..
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  5. #5
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    Yup pads are very important. But good pads can only do so much to improve bad brakes. I ditched the tektro brakes on my road bike for that reason, admittedly I did upgrade to Dura-ace to match the rest of my bike. Having said that the latest 105 brakes are cheep to buy and with good pads, will serve you very well.

    However there is little to loose from riding with the generic brakes to see if you can live with them. If you don't like them they are easy to replace.

  6. #6
    Lemur-ing
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    I asked not too long ago about Cane Creek calipers and the response was more in the direction of that better pads would do the trick and the Cane Creeks weren't too bad.

    I do however, hate the looks of them just purely based on aesthetics.
    Quote Originally Posted by tconrady
    If I can get some more tomorrow.... I thought it'd grow on me but I'm not feelin' it....wait..
    Allez United!

    Glory, Glory Man United, and the Reds go marching on!

  7. #7
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    I say try the brakes that come with the bike. If they aren't good enough change the pads. If you still aren't happy, buy new brakes.

    Also this notion of rims overheating and tires being blown off is one that I think is an urban cycling myth. Tires can hold awful lot of pressure before blowing one off a rim. Even if this is true you would have to descend down the Alpe d'Huez with your brakes fully on before the rim would heat up to increase the pressure inside a tire and then blow off. If this is truly a concern do what is logical, scrub your speed, modulate the brakes, this would theoretically cool down the rim and second the brake pads wouldn't glaze up as much. I am not disputing that rims get hot, but not enough to blow off a tire, not in this day and age.

  8. #8
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    Exclamation

    All comments noted thanks.

    I was able to have a look at one of the brake pads. It was a generic pad with no makers name.

    Awhile ago, an assistant at a LBS said Shimano brake pads were quite good, and apparently better than KoolStop and (most) other brands(?) However, I understand that KoolStop pads seem to be highly regarded here on these forums.

    So, I wonder which brand of brake pad is really the best to use in terms of reliability, stopping power and durability?

    Had a ride on the bike, but not down hill. Brakes work as expected on the flat.

    I'm still undecided about swapping out the generic brakes for a name brand??

  9. #9
    Making memories
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    Have Heard Tektro Makes For Shimano

    Was looking at upgrading to 105 brakes for my daughter's bike but didn't when I was told the tektros on the bike were the same brakes as 105's. I bought some tektros for one of the extra bikes and they work great.

  10. #10
    duh...
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    Quote Originally Posted by vandalbob
    Was looking at upgrading to 105 brakes for my daughter's bike but didn't when I was told the tektros on the bike were the same brakes as 105's. I bought some tektros for one of the extra bikes and they work great.


    not sure about shimano, but certainly cane creek... compare 'em side by side and it becomes quite obvious

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by meeshu
    Awhile ago, an assistant at a LBS said Shimano brake pads were quite good, and apparently better than KoolStop and (most) other brands(?) However, I understand that KoolStop pads seem to be highly regarded here on these forums.

    So, I wonder which brand of brake pad is really the best to use in terms of reliability, stopping power and durability?
    The Shimano brake pads to a good job stopping, but KoolStop does a better job modulating braking as well as stopping in a variety of conditions.

  12. #12
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    In my experience the Tektro brakes are just fine. I think that Tektro makes both cheap and better quality stuff though. I would however switch to the Kool Stop Salmon pads, which are the best IMHO.

  13. #13
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    Change the pads. I've been through a lot of brakes over the years, and the difference between late '80's Shimano 600, modern Dura Ace, and even the much maligned Zero Gravity brakes is a hair, at best. All of 'em have more than enough power to stop you quickly. The real difference is in the pads. I've used Kool Stop and was unimpressed. Swissstop is the only brand I use now as they provide, IMHO, the higher friction coefficient. I use green Swissstops on my LEW VT-1s and on my allow wheels. Prior to the LEWS, I ran yellow Swissstops on Reynolds Stratus DV's. They are more expensive than Kool Stop, but I don't put a price on braking when descending mountains in rain or dry, or when it comes to avoiding the inattentive driver.

  14. #14
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    Exclamation

    I asked the LBS about the Tektro brakes and in particular about their pads. The LBS response was basically that the Trektro brakes and their pads do the job just fine.

    Hmmm!?

    I did notice a fair amount of aluminum wheel rim residue (whitish color) on the pads, even though the bike has only been ridden briefly on flats and not ridden in any dusty, dirty or wet conditions. The rims are Mavic Aksiums by the way.

    Nevertheless, I am considering going down very steep roads (something like 20% grade), so I want good pads. I'm still looking at other brand pads. At the moment, Swiss Stop brand is looking promising.

  15. #15
    HBR
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    I have a set of Tektro brakes which came with my 2005 Giant TCR-1. They are carbon wrapped for cosmetic purposes only?, not sure about which model. Have been very dissapointed with the braking power and have comtemplated upgrading to Ultegra or Dura Ace. But because I am tight, my next best option was to upgrade the pads. I considered he DuraAce pads but my LBS suggested I try the Koolstop duel compound pads.
    Had them about a week now and am very impressed with them. Braking power is significantly better, much smoother and quieter and very good modulation. The only thing that could be better now is less friction in the Jagwire cables, and a softer caliper spring to give a lighter feel at a lever. The DuraAce calipers have adjustable spring tension whereas my Tektros do not.
    I have found the Koolstop Pads to be the cheapest, most effective upgrade. If I got more serious, the DuraAce calipers would be my next choice.

  16. #16
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    Mid to upper level Tektro calipers seem fine, but the pads delivered on my wife's T brakes were awful. Hard and glazed. Tried cleaning/evening up pad surfaces with a clean flat file (as rec by LBS) which helped some. Switching to Kool Stop (or Shimano) pads made a WORLD of difference. My Ultegra brakes have a bit better modulation than wife's cheaper Tektro's w/upgraded pads, but the difference is much more subtle than the difference between pads.

  17. #17
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    I have two sets of tektro brake calipers and pads. one is on a felt f 90 the other I purchased for my litespeed build, they are from a f3 felt. I love them both. good feel. stop on a dime if I need to. I could switch to ultegra or da but what for?

  18. #18
    n00bsauce
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    I guess if you can afford Lews then $35-70 brake pads are affordable. I can't bring myself to spend that much when Koolstops are so good for so much less.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." Voltaire

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  19. #19
    monkey with flamethrower
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    Quote Originally Posted by meeshu
    I'm considering riding down long/steep roads, so good brakes are essential! So, presumably, name brand brakes should be used whenever possible? Yes?

    I'm looking at a bike that has 105 level components, with the exception of the brakes which are (supposedly) Tektro brand. However, I can't see any markings on the brakes which would (or should) identify the manufacturer!?
    This suggests that the brakes may be "cheaply" made, and therefore may not be reliable and/or safe? Is this the case?

    Should I be concerned about the lack of brake manufacturer markings?

    I've heard that prolonged and/or excessive application of rim brakes can cause substantial heat build up on rims. Heat is transferred to tires and tubes which increases tube pressure. This in turn may cause excessive pressure rise within tubes which may then rupture! Not good while speeding downhill!!

    So, what is the best rim and brake configuration to use on long downhill rides?

    Or, would it be better to use disc brakes? I understand disc brakes may be better suited for prolonged application, as brake heat is mostly contained within discs, disc brake mechanisms and hubs. So tube blow out due to excessive pressure caused by brake heat is unlikely in this case(?)
    I think you are completely over thinking everything. Tektro or Promax brakes will work just fine, not any more heat buildup than a Shimano or Campy or whatever brake you choose. Change the pad material if you don't like them, They aren't unsafe, just heavier than the name brand brakes. Tektro makes fine brakes, and for the poster that thinks they make Shimano brakes, they do not. I am quite certain that the do make the Sram brakes though.
    Do you really think that a bike company would spec unsafe product on their cycles and risk a hugeass business closing lawsuit, or a manufacturer would do the same? Stop worrying.
    Chances are, I posted this drunk.

  20. #20
    Big is relative
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    I had tektro brakes on my commuter. The original pads weren't very good. They were very hard and didn't perform well when wet. I swapped them out with some black Kool Stop pads and they are as good as anything I have ever used. The only thing I didn't like about them was that the hardware seemed to rust rather quickly. They still stopped on a dime, they just looked rusty.
    Retired sailor

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by blakcloud
    Also this notion of rims overheating and tires being blown off is one that I think is an urban cycling myth. Tires can hold awful lot of pressure before blowing one off a rim. Even if this is true you would have to descend down the Alpe d'Huez with your brakes fully on before the rim would heat up to increase the pressure inside a tire and then blow off. If this is truly a concern do what is logical, scrub your speed, modulate the brakes, this would theoretically cool down the rim and second the brake pads wouldn't glaze up as much. I am not disputing that rims get hot, but not enough to blow off a tire, not in this day and age.
    It happens but usually on very steep descents with very poor cyclists. I know of one case within the last 3 months, where the brakes over heated and popped the tire. I don't think it's due to pressure increase but in melting the tube when you pulse the brakes on an overheated braking track. It is rare but it happens.

    Oh, and Tektros are fine, change the pads if you need to. I find that when you are going 50+ down a hill you don't really tend to look at the parts on your bike. If they work, they work- and from experience tektros work fine for me racing @ almost 185lbs. It's only when you stop riding that you notice you have fugly no-name brakes. My D/As work better, but not at the cost to benefit ratio they represent.

  22. #22
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    Unhappy

    Gave the bike a brief test run by riding down (about 10 % grade at most) a short overpass. I could keep the bikes speed in check by using the brakes. But when I wanted to come to a complete stop near the bottom, I had a hard time getting the bike to stop despite applying fair amount of pressure on the brake levers!?

    Back home I checked the calipers, pads and wheels. There was nothing out of the ordinary, execept for the rear calipers. I noticed that when applying the rear brake, the right side brake pad would contact the rear wheel first and deflect, or push, the wheel over to the left by about 3 millimeters or so before the left brake pad made contact with the wheel!?

    The rear wheel appears to be true (picked bike up and spun the rear wheel), so that is not the problem. It would appear that the rear calipers are not quite set up right (misaligned?).

    Front calipers are OK. Both brake pads contact the wheel at about the same time when applying the front brake.

    Presumably there is a way to adjust the rear calipers so that both brake pads contact the wheel at the same time? If so, how do you do adjust the calipers? If not, then it's time for new calipers?

    EDIT: Figured it out! There's a small hex screw on top of the cailpers which when turned, is used to fine tune the simultaneous operation of the pads (centering?). The rear pads now contact the wheel at about the same time now.
    Last edited by meeshu; 03-22-2008 at 03:25 PM.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rubber Lizard
    I am quite certain that the[y][Tektro] do make the Sram brakes though.
    Please post how you know this.

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