Ride Report: 08.25.09, Kool Stop Salmons

This was actually a short test ride after mounting two sets of KoolStop Salmon Eagle 2 brake pads.eagle2-thread

The LHT had the stock Tektro Oryx cantilever black pads for the last 3500+ miles.  I really hadn’t noticed any wear until I removed them last night, and was surprised by the amount of aluminum dust impregnated in the pads, along with them being pretty close to the wear indicators.

The Koolstops had been recommended by a friend, and a quick google search seemed to confirm that they were a good pad.  I was told to expect a little better dry stopping performance and a lot better wet stopping performance; along with less wear on the rims.

My first observation is that getting the Eagle 2’s was a mistake.  With the 10mm nut, they are a royal pita to install using a standard metric box wrench.  A standard socket won’t fit, and I don’t have any metric deepwells.  I finally remembered that I have a 10mm hand driver that I carried with my rowing gear for mounting outriggers on European-made shells.  That proved to be the ticket, but all of this could have been avoided with the upgraded set of Supra 2’s, that have the up-to-date allen fittings.supra2

Once you get them mounted in the brake itself, adjusting is not that hard.  The toe-in is pretty intuitive since these pads have a natural slant on the contact end that you have to work around.  Because they are thicker than the Tektros, I had to let out the straddle cable ever so slightly to get a little more clearance.

So I get them mounted and coast down our short driveway and tap the brakes at the end: whoa!  Two immediate observations: there is definitely more stopping power, even when dry; and the modulation is infinitely better.  It is possible that the Tektros had degraded gradually and I just had not noticed, or that the Salmon compound, being softer, just is an inherently better product.  I rode around the street for a bit – back and forth, tapping the brakes soft and hard.  (my neighbors are used to it by now)  There was some initial squeal with the front rim, but that eventually disappeared; and I made some very minor adjustments.  Overall, my initial impressions were confirmed that there was some serious stopping power in these pads.

At dusk I got out for a very short ride and really didn’t notice anything regarding the brakes, which is as I would have hoped.  They work great for normal riding – like I said: much better modulation and sensitivity; and they have a reserve stopping power that might come in handy.  I’m really curious to test them in wet conditions to see how they live up to their reputation.

I suspect these pads might wear quicker than the Tektros, but for less than $20 for two pair from Pedal Pushers, I can live with changing them out a little more often.  At some point, I would like to try their dual compound pads, just because they look sexy.  A little more expensive, but sexy:mtb

Distance: 5.6 miles  2009: 866.3

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One response to “Ride Report: 08.25.09, Kool Stop Salmons

  1. I used to run these on my mountain until I converted it over to discs. Wait until you ride in wet conditions….they do a real nice job.

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