Most powerful road brake?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by pletharoe

Hi All,

I'm about to get some lovely lovely zipps, but the only problem I have found with them is the braking. I've got 2010 campy chorus and tried platinum brake pads, but I'm still not entirely convinced that I've got enough power. Since the pads are (apparently) the best ones I can use, I'm wondering about a brake upgrade.

So - what is the most powerful brake on the market?


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by quaman26

Well, dura ace has been considered the gold standard for brakes but if you get the Dura Ace 7900 calipers, I think you will need to match it with the dura ace 7900 levers too.

by Weenie

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by prendrefeu

M5 are considered the outright most powerful brakes, far beyond 7900s and RED. (However they don't modulate very well)
As a Campagnolo user, you can use them easily as the M5 brakes do not carry a quickrelease, but those are already included somewhat on your levers.
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by BoSoxYacht


I'm sure it will work great, because no one ever has a problem with Avid hydraulic brakes :roll:

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by Alex_ucsb

EE brakes are really strong, however also really expensive.

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by Stolichnaya

Tour magazine (DE) did a test a few months ago of the big brand road brakes (current Campy, Shimano, SRAM and TRP) and Campy brakes smoked all the others in terms of both pure braking power and modulation. In fact the entire Campy line all the way down to Centaur ranked ahead of Dura Ace. I was surprised by this. The testing was done both in a lab and in the real world with a road bike set up with full sensors.

Unless you want to go for some exotica or go hydraulic, I would stick with your current brake calipers and optimize pad choice.

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by 1415chris

BoSoxYacht wrote: because no one ever has a problem with Avid hydraulic brakes :roll:
I'm getting your sarcasm, but some can take this sentence as a true :wink:

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by aermet

The strongest braking set up I've ever used is chorus 11 shifters with SRAM rival calipers. They are stronger than anything I've ever ridden by a huge margin.

I still cannot explain why that has been so. The setup was the strongest running on alum rims. I figured it had to do something with some voodoo age of the sram pads on the calipers or texture of the rims, I was baffled.

When reynolds MV32C's were installed, I expected to lose a lot of braking power. Reynolds blue pads were installed on the rival calipers, and they are 3 times stronger than my DA7900 shifter brake combo with the same pads on zipp 404 FC clinchers.

I honestly cannot explain why this setup works so well. Leverage ratio must be the same as red/force since they must all be compatible.

Rival calipers are very inexpensive, I think they can be had for $100/pair, and less than 10g separates them from the red calipers. If you can get your hands on a set to just to try out, I would wager that you won't believe the results.

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by Powerful Pete

Campa are excellent. As are Shimano. Cannot comment on SRAM as I have spent too little time riding them, but by all accounts they are fine.

Having said this, I have no issues whatsoever with Campa Record 10v shifters along with Negative G Ti calipers and Swisstop green pads. And [unfortunately due to my love of pasta] I am no lightweight rider.

So I would say setup and pad selection are major issues to consider.
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by Geoff

Also, there is much more to braking than just 'power', especially modulation. In road racing, I would argue that modulation is more important.

With proper set-up, the 'factory' brakes are more than a match for even the most steely-nerved riders among us. I prefer cork pads with carbon rims.

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by pletharoe

I agree that modulation is important. But in this town there are plenty of fast sections with drivers all too willing to pull out in front of you. I'm finding myself pulling through to the bars and barely getting a stoppie (weight all the way back). Since riding the carbon wheels I've found myself closer to the back of more vehicles than I'd like.

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by SebastianMerckx

I would agree with the above poster regarding setup. Heck, I've even gotten really good braking power out of Planet X Super Light brakes to the point where I have complete confidence even going down the steepest declines.

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by bm0p700f

Have you tried swiss stop pads.

Also Miche brake have proven quite good for me. I will use them again.

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by tommasini

Is the OP using a single or dual pivot in the rear. The single offers just right braking and modulation for me (and since this is WW's I must add is the lighter setup), but given your desire for more braking power, if you don't have the dual pivot on the rear right now, changing to that will help with your needs.

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by mvacolnago

I purchased a set of ciamillo gravitas 3 yrs ago. I have used them with 4 or 5 different wheel sets both aluminum and carbon. Short of disc brakes on a mtb I have never owned a more powerful, easy to modulate set of brakes. I used the reynolds blue pads with my reynolds wheels, The stock campy pads with mavics and now I am using the cork pads with my mad fibers. I weigh close to 200 lbs and I am very comforted to know I can stop as fast if not faster then the groups I ride and race with. They have been on several different bikes over the 3 yrs. All my bikes use campy SR 11 levers.

other brake sets I use

Campy SR 11 dual pivot
TRP 970sl

The only cons are they are a PIA to set up, you need to make sure the cables housings are the perfect length.

by Weenie

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