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How to Improve Wet Weather Brake Performance?(9 posts)

How to Improve Wet Weather Brake Performance?Fez
Dec 15, 2003 6:23 PM
Its fine in the dry.

Not great in the wet. Cleaning the rim surface and brake pad doesn't help much because everything gets immediately dirty again on the next wet ride. Is the only thing I can do is feather the brakes periodically on downhills to get rid of some of the buildup?
Get discs, Ceramic rims, or don't ride in the rain... { NM }gspot
Dec 15, 2003 6:37 PM
re: How to Improve Wet Weather Brake Performance?purplepaul
Dec 15, 2003 6:53 PM
Are you finding that you are unable to stop sufficiently well in the rain, or are you trying to reduce gunk buildup?

I've never had a problem stopping in the rain, but I do ride the brakes periodically especially when I feel I may need to slow down shortly. Otherwise, you can get a nasty little surprise in a panic where you're squeezing the levers with all your might because the rim's wet, and then, all of a sudden they grab like a vise.

As for rain gunk, not a thing have I found for that. Except to try to ride my backup bike and just let it stay dirty. This doesn't increase performance, of course, but it greatly frees up time I'd otherwise use to clean #1 bike.
re: How to Improve Wet Weather Brake Performance?Fez
Dec 15, 2003 8:25 PM
Stopping power is not great in wintery wet conditions. Probably because there is so much sand and salt on the roads. Wet braking is no problem in the summer.

Buildup around the brakes is not a real problem unless I go off road or on a gravel path. Then I hear a wet gritty noise when I try to brake. Probably not great for rims.

I've experienced everything you have written in your above post.
Didn't/doesn't someone make a product called "Rim Rakes"?The Walrus
Dec 15, 2003 10:47 PM
They were plastic strips, bent at one end, that mounted either on the brake pad or the caliper/canti arm; the angled end scraped the mud/grit/etc off the rim before it reached the pads. I have no idea how effective these were/are....just a suggestion.
Aztec rim rakes = oldschool crap...biknben
Dec 16, 2003 6:44 AM
There once was such a product made by Aztec. It was a two piece brake pad. The brake block was the same but there was an additional piece that extended out towards the back and then turned towards the rim.

When the brake were applied, this "rake" would contact the rim first and block debris from getting to the pad. It was great in theory but crap still got through. Eventually, depending on conditions, they were no better than anything else.
Kool-Stop salmon padsPmbH
Dec 16, 2003 9:53 AM
Work better in wet conditions than Shimano or Campagnolo pads. I haven't tried other aftermarket pads yet though.
Kool-Stop salmon pads have bent tipcyclopathic
Dec 16, 2003 10:46 AM
which helps to remove water/snow off the rim. Works more or less, at least 'till tip wears off.

To keep rims/frame cleaner, try Pedro's Bike Lust. Clean bike, then detail bike with Bike Lust. You might need to do it twice; silicon based formula seals paint/Al and helps to repel water/crude good luck
re: How to Improve Wet Weather Brake Performance?MShaw
Dec 16, 2003 10:03 AM
The only sure-fire way to get better braking in the wet is discs. Ceramic rims are a close second, but have issues every time you ride in the dry.

That nifty acclerating feeling is due to a layer of water being caught between your brakes and your rim. Once that goes away, you brake fine. Feathering is indeed the only way to get better braking. The buildup is a side effect of crap in the water being squeegeed out from under your brakes. Nuttin' you can do about it.

That's why I have two road bikes and a cross bike. Cross bike is for crap weather (as if it is ever nasty in San Diego! Even our BAD days are still good days everywhere else.)

Mike