I go through about one set of pads per season on each of my bikes. While the salmon pads do wear a little faster than black or dual compound, these provide the best braking, even on dry rims.
Wet weather braking power is fantastic, even with cantilevers. I have slowly moved all of my bikes to cartridge holders, which is much more economical in the long run. I keep a couple of extra sets n my toolbox so I can swap out a bike at any time.
I ride 500-600 miles per month...and change brake pads twice a year regardless of wear... I think pads dry out or become glazed...and I like the modulation or feel of new pads. The Kool Stops feels softer than Shimano replacement pads...which I like...and you cannot beat the price
If you ride in wet weather, you need this salmon softer pad. It does make a significant difference compared to the standard stock-black (harder) pads that come on the bicycle. I run these pads year-round, and replace them more frequently because of the soft composition. But, I like the grab around the rim that the soft pads provide.
The design of Kool Stop brake inserts make it a snap to replace worn out pads. They provide good stopping power. The only negative is they seem to wear out a little fast (the orange ones more than the black pads of course - but overall they wear a little quickly).
... but I have to say, these are excellent brake pads. I was talking to a bike mechanic and he recommended them. Then I did some research online and saw that reviews were uniformly positive. My first bike ride with the pads was on a rainy day on Mt. St. Helens in Washington state. I could not believe how well the (salmon) pads worked on the steep wet roads. The pads seem to wear a bit faster than some other pads I've used but for the extra stopping power and increased safety and performance I think any slight cost differences are nothing. Now I'd feel negligent buying any other pads.
These are great replacements for DuraAce pads on my touring bike. Grip is positive and no fading even with a moderate load on a downhill. They don't wear down as fast as the Shimano pads. Also using the wet & dry pads during the rainy season. Stopping power while touringcommuting are not as demanding compared to training on my road bike so these work perfectly!
The bike came with Shimano pads but i found them to be noisy and rough on my expensive rims. I swapped the original pads for these. Great choice. Braking is every bit as good as the originals and the noise is gone. I find the Kool Stops treat my rims much gentler. A great plus as I hate to prematurely wear out the rims because the brake pad material was too hard.
I have been riding over 30 years, and have a taste for top dollar product only if they functionon. In my experience through out the years, the Kool Stop Dura Salmon Pads are the best pads for the money hands down. I often hear or read the most common question of which is better SwissStop or Kool Stops. Well that is a little bit of a complex answer. Both are the best pads in the business, yet there are differences. Kool Stop grabs almost instantly with great power in the dry with no fade under heavy application, and in the rain they stop very well except they have a couple second delay before grabbing and then again very quick strong power delivery. This can startle or even cause lock ups and skidding for some not expecting it. The Swissstops have far better modulation, which means no instant grabbing, rather very smooth initiation and then grab progressively stronger with more lever application. The other nicety is that in rain the Swissstops have no delay rather instant application even when wet, lending to a more predictable braking. For overall stopping power black pads from KS are close in my opinion to SS, but still not their equal, rather the Kool Stop Salmon(wet) vs. SwissStop GXP(Blue-wet) is a clearer winner as the SwissStops have better over braking power and much better modulation. The other key notes in both brakes is that neither cause any wear to aluminum rims, and also last about the same under similar use. The final thing to note is their cost vs performance, here is where the divide comes in as KS are far cheaper and more readily available than SS. So in final I run SS on my road race bike, and KS on my cyclocross rig, as they both certainly have their place.