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Best rim brake pads for road bikes

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Greatest rim brake pads for highway bikes

Whether or not you’re slowing right into a nook or pulling up at a junction, the results of an unreliable set of brakes don’t naked interested by.

Higher brake pads are a surprisingly low-cost improve, particularly for one thing that so dramatically results each your security and your efficiency.

>>>Watch: How to set up your brakes

A high-quality set of brake pads, with a compound particularly formulated for the circumstances, can have a transformative impact in your stopping distance.

The callipers, cable housing, and brake levers all have a job in figuring out how a braking system performs however it’s the pads which have the best singular impact.

>>>Watch: How to service caliper brakes

This information is highway bikes with calliper rim brakes solely. If in case you have a hybrid/mountain bike with V-brakes and pads with threaded stud, these received’t be appropriate. The identical goes for touring/cyclocross bikes spec’d with cantilever brakes that take a clean stud.

Which pad for which rim

Carbon rims and aluminium alloy rims require completely different brake pads. For carbon rims particularly, it is vitally necessary that the proper pads are used.

Carbon isn’t nearly as good as aluminium at conducting warmth, that means that they’ve a better tendency to warmth up. If the edges get too sizzling, you danger beginning to soften the resin that holds the carbon fibres collectively and inflicting your inner tubes to pop. The brake pads designed particularly for carbon rims are constructed to assist management the quantity of warmth construct up by sucking it away from the rim.

>>> Video: how to use your brakes properly

These pads shouldn’t be used on aluminium rims as a result of they’re fairly gentle and can put on rapidly. Additionally, if the pads are used on aluminium rims, little bits of metallic from the braking observe will embed themselves within the pads. If the pads are then used on carbon rims, the little bits of metallic will abrade the carbon and injury the edges.

We’ve cut up this information into finest brake pads for alloy rims and finest brake pads for carbon rims to make it simpler to search out the brake pads you want. Some producers require you to make use of solely sure makes of brake pad on their rims. In case you use a pad that isn’t advisable, you danger voiding your guarantee, so it’s best to double verify earlier than utilizing a distinct set of pads.

Greatest brake pads for alloy rims

With every product is a ‘Purchase Now’ or ‘Greatest Deal’ hyperlink. In case you click on on this then we could obtain a small sum of money from the retailer if you buy the merchandise. This doesn’t have an effect on the quantity you pay.

Kool-stop Salmon Dura 2




Best rim brake pads for road bikes

These pads have one thing of a cult following for the way effectively they carry out within the moist. The gentle compound is tremendous grippy, though that does imply they put on sooner than different pads.

Arguably, this isn’t a lot of an issue. In being fairly gentle they’re straightforward on the braking observe, that means that you just’ll get extra life out of your rims. Swapping pads slightly extra continuously is cheaper – and rather a lot simpler – than rebuilding your wheels.

The dura 2 is thicker model of this pad, so even contemplating the wear and tear price, you received’t even have to switch them that usually. There are variations of the compound which are appropriate for Campagnolo in addition to Sram/Shimano brake sneakers.

Purchase now: Kool Stop Dura 2 (Sram/Shimano) at Tredz for £9.99

Shimano Dura-Ace

Best rim brake pads for road bikes

This is likely one of the extra economical methods to get Dura-Ace elements in your bike. If you’ll have top-of-the-range elements anyplace in your bike, the half that controls your velocity might be the very best place for it.

These are versatile pads that provide highly effective and constant braking in each the dry and the moist. Naturally, the pads are solely suitable with Sram/Shimano brake sneakers.

Purchase now: Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 Brake Pads at Evans Cycles for £7 

Swissstop Flash Professional BXP

Best rim brake pads for road bikes

Swissstop’s nomenclature for his or her pads takes a second to get your head spherical, however it is smart as soon as you realize it.

If the identify has “flash” in it, the pad is nice for Sram/Shimano, if it has “race” as a substitute then the pad is appropriate for Campagnolo. “Professional” implies that the pad is thicker for an extended service life. Alternatively, there may be “evo” which is nice if in case you have significantly extensive rims which might solely actually settle for pads as soon as they’re half worn.

For alloy rims, you then have the selection of the “Authentic Black” compound or “BXP”. The Authentic Black is advisable for basic use, whereas the BXP is their moist climate compound. Given the stochastic nature of the UK’s rainfall, we’d suggest the BXP compound for every thing however the top of summer time and overseas coaching camps.

Purchase now: Swissstop Flash Pro BXP at Tweeks Cycles for £17.50

Greatest brake pads for carbon rims

Kool Cease Dura 2 Carbon Crimson

Best rim brake pads for road bikes

These are the best choice for cyclocrossers on the lookout for some actual braking efficiency on carbon rims and highway racers who aren’t postpone by the moist. Though carbon rims have a status of sketchiness within the moist, these pads ship confidence the place others don’t.

They could be a little troublesome to pay money for within the UK, however a undoubtedly value the additional effort for many who are involved about efficiency. Each Sram/Shimano and Campagnolo variations are manufactured.

Purchase now: Kool Stop Dura 2 Carbon Red at Bicycle Hero for £16.78

Campagnolo Carbon Caliper Inserts

Best rim brake pads for road bikes

These ship the robust and constant stopping energy you’ll anticipate from top-flight Campy pads. What’s much less anticipated is that Campagnolo additionally produce a Sram/Shimano model of those pads as effectively – in order that these on the darkish facet can take pleasure in very good braking on carbon rims as effectively.

Purchase now: Campagnolo Carbon Caliper Inserts for Campagnolo at Wiggle for £30

Purchase now: Campagnolo Brake Pads Inserts for Shimano at Bikester for £30.99

Swissstop Flash Professional Black Prince

Best rim brake pads for road bikes

As with the alloy pads, the “flash” means these are for Sram/Shimano and “professional” means the pad is thick. For carbon rims, there are two compounds to select from, “Black Prince” and “Yellow King”. Yellow king supplies slightly extra by way of absolute stopping energy – however what’s energy with out management?

Though the Black Prince compound won’t induce the identical stomach-flipping uncooked deceleration because the Yellow King, it does provide superior modulation. This lets you actually get essentially the most out of your breaks.

You’re in a position to get proper as much as (however not exceed) the boundaries of your tyres’ grip – that exact level earlier than the wheels lock up and the tyres begin to skid – the place you’re exerting the utmost braking pressure doable for the circumstances.

Purchase now: Swissstop Flash Pro Black Prince at Tweeks Cycles for £31.50

Shimano Dura-Ace Inserts for Carbon Rims

Best rim brake pads for road bikes

The truth that these are used extensively by the highest biking groups says one thing of their high quality. These are additionally comparatively cheap in comparison with the price of different Dura-Ace elements and ship assured braking efficiency in all circumstances.

In case you’ve already purchased your self some fancy carbon rims, it’s value getting some top-quality pads to go together with them.

Purchase now: Shimano Dura-Ace Inserts For Carbon Rims at Wiggle for £15

What to find out about brake pads

best rim brakes for road bikes

Cartridge vs blocks

Some brake pads come as a single brake block, whereas with others the brake pad capabilities as a cartridge that’s inserted right into a brake shoe.

A cartridge system is stiffer due to the brake shoe offering additional assist for the pad, making the brakes extra highly effective and responsive. They’ve the additional benefit that in terms of altering the pads, you’ll be able to simply pop the outdated pads out and slide the brand new ones in. You don’t have to readjust the brake place.

One-piece pads are cheaper to producer and so are sometimes spec’d on decrease worth bikes or bikes which are attempting onerous to return in under a sure value level. The brakes are inclined to really feel slightly mushier they usually are usually created from decrease performing compounds to maintain the prices down.


A softer compound will likely be extra grippy and provide higher braking – particularly within the moist. Nonetheless, as a result of the compound is softer, it’s going to put on sooner than a more durable compound. On the brilliant facet, a gentle compound is less complicated on the edges, that means they’ll last more earlier than you must change them.

A brilliant gentle compound may work effectively within the moist, however they could be a little too grabby within the dry. Utilizing a blended compound, or one that’s designed for the dry, will enhance the brake’s modulation. It’s subsequently simpler to manage the quantity of braking energy you’re exerting, so that you don’t by chance lock up a wheel.


Little bits of grit will be picked up as you experience, they usually embed themselves within the pad. Then, if you brake, these put on down the braking observe like sandpaper. It’s additionally comparatively straightforward to choose up contaminants which cut back the quantity of friction between the pads and the rim.

Frequently cleansing the braking observe and pads will improve each their longevity and efficiency. You need to use a devoted brake cleaner or isopropyl alcohol (90% or stronger). What you don’t need is to make use of something that can go away a movie behind, as this may cut back the ability of your brakes.

Cable housing

After the pads, the following most vital enchancment you may make to your brakes is upgrading to compressionless cable housing. If you squeeze the brake leaver, a number of the pressure goes into clamping the pads towards the rim, however some is misplaced because the cable housing is compressed.

By mitigating this, the brakes really feel much more responsive and fewer mushy, outright energy is elevated and so is modulation. That is additionally a comparatively low-cost improve and prices an analogous quantity to the pads.


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