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  1. #1
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    Avid SD-5 Linear-Pull brakes: Improving Modulation

    I just finished overhauling my Stumpjumper (with Avid Single-Digit 5 rim brakes), and the stock brake pads were badly worn so I replaced them with new SwissStop pads (the green ones). However, they now have virtually no modulation. How would I go about softening up the levers a bit? As it is they feel like the levers themselves are hitting the rims; on the other hand, I have managed to create true "suicide brakes".

    Any thoughts on how to go about doing this with these levers/brakes/pads?

  2. #2
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    the green pads usually used only for rims with ceramic braking surfaces

  3. #3
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    Yeah, I think the issue is likely a combination of the pads and a little in setup. Using the same pads (see step two), you can impart more modulation if you toe in the pads. This will provide more progression as you fully seat the pad into the rim.

    Step two is to swap out the greens (which will nuke your rims anyway) for the amazing dual compound, low profile Kool Stop pads. Those are one of the cheapest "amazing brake tricks" ever.

    Step three is to ensure your cables and housing are all slicky and clean inside. A gummy cable will make the brakes feel dead and rob you of modulation feel.

    The 5's themselves are fine brakes. Don't sweat that at all.

  4. #4
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    Actually they're different colors than Kool Stop: http://www.swissstop.com/Mountain.aspx - at the bottom the green SwissStop pads are for aluminum rims - blue are for ceramic.

    I'll try the toe-in though; I know that the cables are about as smooth as they get right now. I actually fixed a bit of stickiness that had been present ever since I got the bike by removing a slight kink that was present where the cable housing joins the noodle on the rear brake by cutting a 1/4" section from the cable housing - took me 5 minutes to get through it because I didn't have a tool suited to cutting kevlar/steel reinforced housing without crushing the end. I ended up using a Craftsman Accu-Cut (a great tool BTW) to cut through the rubber outer layer, then a superfine file with a v-shaped edge to "cut" the steel wires one by one, then the Accu-Cut again to cut the kevlar and inner layer. A bit of a workaround, but the cut was clean.

  5. #5
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    They work great now - the toe-in worked perfectly. Thanks!

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