1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Kool Stop MTB pads

    Holy crap! Installed some of these pads today on my Hardrock and can't believe the stopping power. About flipped it when stopping from 4-5 mph!

    Only issue I'm having is the front brake squeals pretty loud if I get on them hard...no squealing in the rear though. Must have fiddled with them for about 2 hrs before giving up for the day.

    Tried toeing in a bit on the front but no luck...

  2. #2
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    Did you clean the braking surface on the rim?

  3. #3
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    cleaned them like crazy over the past two days because of all the black crud my old Shimano pads had caused. Should have replaced them sooner I suppose since those old pads were 1991-1993 originals... they were pretty glazed, hardened, and pitted when I pulled them off, even though the lbs said they were fine when I got a tuneup s couple weeks ago.

  4. #4
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Did you do the nickel/penny thing for toe in?

    You know, the Kool Stop pads are going to ruin you as a mark for manufacturers of cheap disc brakes.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  5. #5
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    Hadn't heard of the penny trick, but I did try the business card idea I'd read about. Probably won't be upgrading to disc brakes in the near future...I've had this bike since it was new in the early 90's and want to stick with it as long as it holds up...guess I'm a little attached.

  6. #6
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Business card doesn't sound thick enough to me, if I'm visualizing it the right way.

    The nickel/penny thing is to put a penny under the toe end, a nickel under the heel end, then squeeze the lever and tighten the bolt on the brake shoe. I'll actually tie down the lever sometimes - it's easier.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  7. #7
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    I've never used shims to set the toe angle but when the front of the pad first contacts the rim there should be a 1-2mm gap between the rear edge of the pad and the rim, I snug them flat against the rim first and then loosen and move the back edge of the pad out a hair. A little oil between the convex/concave washers makes fine tuning easier.

  8. #8
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    I've never had a problem getting rid of brake noise on V brakes.
    Disc brakes are a different story.

    I agree with the others that you didn't toe in enough. I've heard of business cards for centering disc brake calipers, but you need more than that for a V brake.

    Another thing you can try, if the pads are asymmetrical (post not centered), and not cartridge type, is to flip it around. I think they have an arrow on them that points to the short end forward, but on the front, it is better to put the long end forward, which lets the pad flex and hit the rim more gradually, and it also eliminates the problem of the long end interfering with the fork leg when you try to open the brake up.

    You can not do this for cartridge type because you will shoot the pad out of the holder and then you will be in a world of trouble!

  9. #9
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    I like that penny/nickel idea. Never would have thought of that! I did use a small clamp to hold the levers a bit though...helped out quite a bit

  10. #10
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    aaahhh - good old v brakes.....

    did you try using some sandpaper/emery cloth on the current rim to try and get the old stuff off, sometimes can help to do the same on the pads themselves.

  11. #11
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    91-93 would be pre-V brakes (at least it was on my bikes from that time) unless you were running some of the V-brake predecessors like Pauls or Curves, etc. I think we're talking canti's here?

    FWIW, I had the best luck with the Ritchey 'shark-fin' pads.
    Setting up a set of cantilever brakes well is practically a lost art form. V-brakes came along and were a million times easier to get dialed in and worked so much better, pretty much everybody made the jump.

    I've still got a few 3rd and 4th hand tools laying around the bottom of the toolbox. I don't miss those things one bit.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    91-93 would be pre-V brakes (at least it was on my bikes from that time) unless you were running some of the V-brake predecessors like Pauls or Curves, etc. I think we're talking canti's here?

    FWIW, I had the best luck with the Ritchey 'shark-fin' pads.
    Setting up a set of cantilever brakes well is practically a lost art form. V-brakes came along and were a million times easier to get dialed in and worked so much better, pretty much everybody made the jump.

    I've still got a few 3rd and 4th hand tools laying around the bottom of the toolbox. I don't miss those things one bit.
    Good point, but I think most of the advice here would apply to canti's and v brakes. IIRC, when V brakes came out, they were advertised as not needing to be toed in like cantis, but I used to do it anyway.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    Good point, but I think most of the advice here would apply to canti's and v brakes. IIRC, when V brakes came out, they were advertised as not needing to be toed in like cantis, but I used to do it anyway.
    Yeah, there are all sorts of tips that apply across both types WRT toe-in. A lot of the later and higher-end v-brake pads actually came with a toe-in-er molded right into them. V's were such a huge improvement. I remember early reviews saying they were so powerful they were dangerous, cuz they could flip you over on your face. MTB (Fi)ction - as out of touch then as now.
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  14. #14
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    Yeah, they are canti brakes... stock that came on this particular 91/93? Hard rock. I tried the penny/nickel thing after work and had a heck of a time. Ended up folding a piece of tape to the backs of the coins to hold them on the rim while making the adjustments. Took a little work to get the angle of the pads just right for when they line up on the actual rim, but I think I've got it.

    Noticeable toe in when I pull the brakes slowly, both sides touching the rim at the same time. And NO squeak that I've noticed at this point. Haven't gone out on a ride to test the theory at normal riding speeds yet, but it looks promising.

    Thanks for the tips!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky Mtn View Post
    aaahhh - good old v brakes.....

    did you try using some sandpaper/emery cloth on the current rim to try and get the old stuff off, sometimes can help to do the same on the pads themselves.
    Didn't go as far as sandpaper since I was worried about making things worse. Just a lot of rubbing with 0000 steel wool.

  16. #16
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Glad they're working better for you.

    I finally gave up on some cantilevers on my 'cross bike. But they were a bizarre design, with the wrong amount of mechanical advantage pretty much any way I sliced it. Thought it was me until I laid them out on paper and did a little math.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  17. #17
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    Well, had a good ride tonight with some flat riding and some steeper hills. Was pulling my youngest boy in his trailer on the ride as well. Brakes did great even going down a steep hill with a sharp corner at the bottom. Previously, even without pulling him, my bike had a hard time slowing down to take that corner.

    Only had one squeak come out of the front brakes... when a dog jumped out of the bushes in front of me. Normal riding though was completely absent from the squeal.

  18. #18
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    Nice!
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