Things I Like: Kool-Stop Salmon Brake Pads

Over the past 15-20 years, bicycle rim-brake technology has grown by leaps and bounds.  In that same time frame, my personal bicycles have been equipped with brakes that included single- and dual-pivot calipers, cantilevers, and v-brakes.  Eventually, every single one of those brakes sported Kool-Stop’s salmon compound brake pads (some, sooner than later).

The salmon-colored formula has been around for quite some time, and was originally sold under the Scott-Matthauser name (and manufactured by Kool-Stop).  As a young teenager, I remember upgrading my Motobecane’s Universal Super 68 sidepulls’ stock pads with Scott-Matthausers, and being blown away by the salmon pads’ incredible stopping power (even with the flexy, Italian calipers).

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Kool-Stop Dura2 inserts.

When trouble-shooting brake problems, Kool-Stop salmon pads are usually the first solution that I try.  Whether it’s brake squeal or shudder, poor wet-weather stopping, or stock pads that eat rim braking surfaces, the salmon-colored Kool-Stop pads put a stop to the problem (bad pun intended).  Additionally, I’ve found that the salmon pads perform better in sub-freezing temps, and require less (hand) force than conventional pads (regardless of which type of brake they’re on).

Kool-Stop offers salmon pads in dedicated pad/holder combos, or as inserts for existing shoes/holders.  For more information, visit the Kool-Stop website.

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