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Brake upgrade
I am new to the road bike life. I am looking to upgrade some components. First off, I have a Vilano Shadow. It is a nice ride. But naturally there isn't much info out there about it. I am looking to upgrade the brakes to Shimano 105's or maybe Tiagra . Any thoughts? The only specs I have "Brakes: Dual Pivot Alloy Caliper". But here is a link if that helps. Vilano Shadow Any input would be greatly appreciated.
Hi mumra06. Welcome to BT!

Before I spent the money to upgrade the calipers, I would go the cheap route and invest in new pads. Even entry-level brakes these days are a considerable improvement over what was on the market just 10 years ago. One of the ways that manufacturers keep the cost of their brakes down is by specing low-cost pads which, IMO, is counter-productive.

Find yourself some new pads from Jagwire, KoolStop, Shimano or other name-brand and give those a try.
I'm sure that your braking performance will improve but, if not enough to suit you - then consider the calipers to be the culprit. Your new pads can be saved as replacements for the new brakes that you buy.

PS: Even before I swapped pads, I would make sure that the current pads are adjusted properly for height and toe and making solid contact with the braking surface of the rim.

Wheelies don't pop themselves. (from a QBP fortune cookie)
RobAR, thank you for the wise advice. I will most certainly start with brake pads! I'm hoping they will solve my braking issues.
I have experimented a lot, admittedly with other types of brakes, but my results should be relevant, I have found, regardless of conditions, a Kool Stop in Salmon to be the best performer. I should know, I probably weigh 100 lbs more than you & I ride in town so I am on the brakes a lot of the time.
There again I don't use your type of brake, you might check with nfmisso, he's big & uses that style of brake. Big guys are harder to stop, so we tend to need good brakes.
These are taller (more brake track contact) & come with two pad types, but trust me, the salmon stop better, wet, dry, any temperature. I'm not sure if they fit your brakes though.

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