are you looking to replace the stock ones to save weight? or for better braking? more clearance? lots of recommendations, and we have a ton of content on this in our next issue, Issue 7, including pads, setup, and brake reviews.
well, here's the thing - i think you have a low-profile brakes, right? so if you want better braking you can either adjust those or change the pads or perhaps replace them, but if you want more clearance, you'll most likely get less power in your braking.
for low profile on a budget, the new avids are pretty nice as are the shimanos and both are easy to set up and can be quite powerful. but they're not huge on clearance.
I was considering the avids my brakes may not be adjusted correctly but the pads seem to be in good shape,they are also stock that came on my bike in 2006.thanks for your advice and by the way i just subscribed to cx mag,when will the #7 issue coming out.
Actually that not bad news,I think ill get a good tune up and do some adjusting then get some good pads.I rode my bike today and the brakes didnt work very good and i had to pull the lever almost to the bar, seemed weird after riding my mtn bike with discs all yr.
Get some Kool Stop salmon pads (file off the lip on them). Get news cables and housing at least. If you really trust your mechanic have them ditch the stock straddle cable/hanger. Get an old school hanger and set it up so it's three fingers above the tire and adjust the straddle cable accordingly.
The arms themselves are really a minimal part of the equation. All the "cantilever" breaks have about the same mechanical advantage. The high profile (TRP, Spooky, etc) brakes have better clearance but have way less mechanical advantage. That's just a matter of physics.