Here are Some of the Best Bicycle Brake Pads to Choose From

If you’ve read any of our past articles, then you already know about this entire science that lies behind changing one of your bike’s components. So, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that even brake pads come in different shapes and sizes, and you need to do a little bit of research before buying a new pair. Not to worry, we did that research for you and we are going to give you a sneak peek into the world of bike brake pads.

Top 7 Best Bicycle Brake Pads Comparisons

Brand

Details

Our Rating

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Alritz Bike Brake Pads Set 

  • Dimensions: 2.8 x 0.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Weight: 1 ounce
  • Compatible with: v-brakes
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ODIER Bike Brake Pads 

  • Dimensions: varies according to the type of pads chosen
  • Weight: varies according to the type of pads chosen
  • Compatible with: several types of mountain and road bike brakes
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The Flying Wheels Complete Bike Brake Pad Set

  • Dimensions: 70 mm in length
  • Weight: 5.4 ounces
  • Compatible with: v-brakes
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BASEEING Bike Brake Pads

  • Dimensions: 70 mm in length
  • Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Compatible with: v-brakes
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Pioneeryao Sport Road Bike Brake Pads

  • Dimensions: 2.2 x 0.9 x 1 inches
  • Weight: 2.72 ounces
  • Compatible with: rim brakes
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Pangda Road Brake Pads 

  • Dimensions: 50 mm in length
  • Weight: 4 ounces
  • Compatible with: caliper brakes
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Hotop Bike Brake Pads 

  • Dimensions: 2.8 x 0.4 x 1.5 inches
  • Weight: 0.6 ounces
  • Compatible with: v-brakes

Brake Pads: In Depth

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They are considered a consumable and, even if they last longer than some of your other bike parts, they will still need replacing. As you can imagine, when they become worn out, they become a serious safety hazard, so whenever you feel that your pedaling is disturbed even in the slightest, it’s time to go shopping.

Rim Brakes

This is one of the two major brake pad categories. As you may already know, this category uses the wheel’s rotating rim as a braking surface. The pivoted cantilevers arms hold the brake padding in place and, when you press your handlebar lever, the pads will start pressing against the rim. This type of brakes is commonly used on mountain bikes, but some roadies and city cyclists are drawn to the simplicity of the mechanism as well. Rim brakes can be either cantilever or caliper and this is also a factor to consider when you’re out shopping for new pads.

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However, you can’t just choose any one of the available types of rim brake padding, as they need to match the style of the brake itself. Each type of brake will require a different type of pad, as well as matching bosses. What you can choose is the compound that should match your personal preference. You can opt for either the rubber part of the pad or purchase the pad and the backer together. Here’s your list of available options:

  • Ones for dry conditions are very good, very silent and extremely powerful… but only when they don’t come in contact with water. It’s important to have brakes that don’t reduce modulation and pads that make as little noise as possible, to make your riding experience pleasant and stress-free.

  • There are also wet weather padding, which can generally be purchased in either pink or red. They are softer and will provide your feet with a better grip in wet conditions, especially when it’s pouring outside.|

  • If your bike has carbon rims, then carbon pads are your best options. By using matching compounds, there are less change of your braking system getting damaged.

  • You can also opt for mixed compound pads, which are more suitable for people who want an all-year-round performance. They have a very particular design that allows the pad to be cleaned from dirt, mud and grime. The compound is also softer, to make sure you have added grip.

Disc Brake Pads

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Unlike rim brakes, disc brake pads have a circular metallic disc that’s located on the wheel’s hub. With the help of a caliper, this disc rotates and, by pressing the lever, the pads are applied to the rotor. The resulting friction is what brings your bike to a stop. When it comes to disc brake pads, you have to make sure that they fit your brake’s model. In other words, you can’t choose the design and shape of the pad, but you can choose the materials from which it’s made. Here are your options:

  • Organic brake pads (which are also referred to as “resin” pads) are mostly suited for summer use. They don’t require too much bedding in and one of their main advantages is being super silent. Sadly, they don’t perform very well in wet conditions, nor are they the best choice for steep or long descents. That’s because they tend to overheat and glaze more than other types.

  • Sintered brake pads (also known as “metallic” pads) are more powerful and suitable for bikers who find themselves facing longer descents. That’s because their construction makes them more heat-resistant. As you can imagine, they are also more durable and suitable for several weather conditions, so you don’t have to take out your bike solely on dry summer days. Unfortunately, they take a longer time to bed in and are way noisier compared to resin brake pads.

  • Ceramic brake pads were very bulky and noisy when they were first introduced on the market. Today, they are the most expensive type of brake pads because they have been polished and upgraded to last long and make as little noise as possible. Because of their construction, they are suitable for almost every weather condition and capable of giving you the best performance. Even if they come with a wide range of advantages, they are not suitable as racing brake pads.

  • Your last option is a combination of the two mentioned earlier. Semi-metallic brake pads are a mix of metallic and organic compounds that gather the best of both worlds. The level of noise they produce is somewhere in between the metallic and the organic pads, but they are way more weather-resistant than the latter.
  • Identifying the Pad Type

    As mentioned before, brake pads have different shapes and sizes, so you need to know if your rim brake system require a road, smooth or threaded stud.

    Smooth stud systems have a post which extends from the pad and connects to the caliper’s arm via a special mechanism. The post is thread-free. Smooth stud pads are very common on cantilever brakes. Threaded stud and road braking systems are quite similar in terms of appearance. Both of them are secured to the caliper’s arm. In order to tell them apart, you should know that threaded stud pads are characterized by the presence of four spacers: two of them are convex and the other two, concave. Road brake pads, on the other hand, have a thin washer, but they lack the four spacers previously mentioned.

    Top 7 Best Bicycle Brake Pads Reviews

    Alritz Bike Brake Pads Set

    • Dimensions: 2.8 x 0.4 x 0.5 inches
    • Weight: 1 ounce
    • Compatible with: v-brakes
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    There’s a reason why Arlitz’s pads sell the way they do. Made from native Taiwanese rubber and don’t contain any asbestos or emery, which are quite a safety hazard. This particular set includes 3 pairs of 70 mm pads which are compatible with v-brakes for both mountain and road bikes.

    Each of these pairs includes a pad for the left and one for the right side of your bike, so make sure you pay close attention to which is which before installing them on your bike. Since their design is slightly curved, they won’t hurt the wheel in any way. Every one of the break pads found in this convenient pack comes with 1 hex nut and 5 spacers. You will also receive an Allen wrench, for easy installation and removal of the pads.

    Pros

    • Extremely silent.
    • Made from a combination of rubber and aluminum alloy.
    • Curved design to avoid contact with the wheel.  
    • Allen wrench included.

    Cons

    • You have to pay close attention not to confuse the left and right pads.

    ODIER Bike Brake Pads

    • Dimensions: varies according to the type of pads chosen
    • Weight: varies according to the type of pads chosen
    • Compatible with: several types of mountain and road bike brakes
    bicycle brake pad, brike pad, bicycle pad

    Now here is a wide and generous variety of brake pads designed for different types of brakes. You have the possibility to choose from semi-metallic and metal compound brakes for Shimano, SRAM, Avid, Zee and more. The high number of compatible brake model are paired with quite some generous customer reviews that prove there’s something in this product page for everyone. Most of these pads are able to successfully withstand heat and perform with reduced noise levels. They are easily adaptable to most road conditions and durable enough to make sure they won’t need changing any time soon.

    Pros

    • Very good heat dissipation.
    • A wide array of models available for different brakes.
    • Powerful and smooth braking.

    Cons

    • Some metallic pads are thicker than expected.

    The Flying Wheels Complete Bike Brake Pad Set

    • Dimensions: 70 mm in length
    • Weight: 5.4 ounces
    • Compatible with: v-brakes
    Bicyckle brake pad, brake pad, bicycle pad

    For a price that’s close to nothing, you can purchase this set that includes 2 pairs of right and left brake pads. They are easy to install and have been constructed in such a manner as to avoid that plasticky feel that leads to a lot of annoying squeaking. Since they are made of native rubber, they are able to perform well in just about any weather conditions, while also being heat and abrasive-resistant. The pack is complete with a set of dished washers and nuts that will allow easy adjustment and installing of the pads. However, you will have to bring your own tools to mount the pads on your bike.

    Pros

    • Affordable price.
    • 2 sets of brake pads included.
    • Made from a soft but resistant rubber.  
    • Perform well in most weather conditions.

    Cons

    • Softness of the rubber doesn’t inspire too much stopping power.
    • Slightly thick compared to similar products. 

    BASEEING Bike Brake Pads

    • Dimensions: 70 mm in length
    • Weight: 4.8 ounces
    • Compatible with: v-brakes
    bike brake pads, bicycle pads, brake pads

    Another very affordable set of braking pads is the one delivered by BASEEING. They are pretty similar in terms of characteristics to The Flying Wheels set we spoke of earlier. The kit includes 4 brake pads (2 sets) that are compatible with just about any type of v-brake.  Suitable for aluminum rims, the pads are made from a special rubber compound that guarantees a low level of noise.

    The curved brake body is here to make sure that the pads won’t get in the way of your wheels. Sadly, the Allen wrench required to mount the pads isn’t included in the package. While it’s true that this set has a very low price, we feel that they are somehow too cheap (no wonder the seller’s page presents them as a “cheaper alternative”).

    Pros

    • 4 braking pads available at a good price.
    • Compatible with Shimano, SRAM, Avid brakes.
    • Made from a combination of aluminum and rubber.

    Cons

    • Plated eccentrics aren’t well-formed.
    • Produce quite a lot of noise. 
    • Hex wrench required for installation is not included.

    Pioneeryao Sport Road Bike Brake Pads

    • Dimensions: 2.2 x 0.9 x 1 inches
    • Weight: 2.72 ounces
    • Compatible with: rim brakes
    bicycle brake pad, brake pad, bike pad

    At double the cost of the previous 2 sets, you can get a beautifully-colored combination of brake pads from Pioneeryao. Be it black, silver, red, golden, blue of fiber, each one of these braking pads measure 55 mm in length, making them shorter compared to other models in this review round-up. The removable screw makes it easy to take the pads apart and remove them, which the grooves are meant to disperse the water to make sure that your feet won’t slip off the surface. Thanks to their all-weather compound, they should perform just as well in the fall as they do in the summer.

    Pros

    • Easy to install.
    • Available in a wide range of colors.
    • Surface features grooves to disperse water.

    Cons

    • Some packages are mislabeled to indicate that these are disc brake pads.

    Pangda Road Brake Pads

    • Dimensions: 50 mm in length
    • Weight: 4 ounces
    • Compatible with: caliper brakes
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    Aside from the 3 minutes spent trying to understand the “g” in “Pangda”, we found that this particular set of brake pads is fairly simple to use and decipher. You get 2 sets of both left and right pads, with an Allen wrench included for easy installation. Just like every other set in this round up, these babies also promised a reduced noise level thanks to the rubber construction. This should also translate in good breaking power in both dry and wet conditions, but we’ll leave that one for you to decide. Every pad comes with a nut and spacer, as well as a v-shaped pattern to allow water to roll off the surface of the pads.

    Pros

    • V-shaped pattern of the pads doesn’t allow water retention.
    • Heat resistant construction.
    • Suitable with most road bikes.

    Cons

    • May feel a bit hard at first.
    • Rubber feels to be of poor quality.

    Hotop Bike Brake Pads

    • Dimensions: 2.8 x 0.4 x 1.5 inches
    • Weight: 0.6 ounces
    • Compatible with: v-brakes
    bike brake pad, bicycle pad, brake pads

    If you are a fan of bargains, we’ve decided to add one more to this list: the Hotop brake pads. Available in black, blue and red, this 4 pad set is sold at a very good price, as long as you’re interested in products that are compatible with v-brakes. The curved brake body is here to make sure that the pads won’t get in the way of your wheels.

    As with most similar models, these also have a curved design to prevent wheel contact. The combination between the rubber and the metal used in the construction of the pads should be able to provide you with a durable and anti-slip product. The grooves that are found on the surface of the pads should be able to get you rid of water that causes your feet to slip while pedaling in wet conditions. Each of the 4 pads in the set comes with its very own nut and 5 spacers for proper mounting.

    Pros

    • Sturdy combination between rubber and metal.
    • Grooves present on the pads’ surface, to prevent water accumulation.
    • Slightly curved design to prevent contact with the wheel.

    Cons

    • They don’t last very long.
    • Some pads may require sanding before use.

    The Bottom Line

    Obviously, we can’t give you the best braking pads because it depends on the type of brakes that your bike currently sports. What we can tell you is the difference between all the different types of pads that are currently available on the market. We do love organic brake pads because they are easy on your brake rotors and they generate good friction without requiring a tremendous amount of heat. Semi-metallic pads are also decent, especially if you consider the fact that they are very resistant and provide a good cold bite. They are, however, noisier compared to other types of compounds, and they are also more abrasive.

    Ceramic brake pads may be tough, but they aren’t a very common choice. It could be because they are very expensive, or maybe because they aren’t as good at absorbing heat, which leads to possible overheating of your braking system’s components. Also, they were never conceived with performance in mind, so they are not suitable for racing bikes.

    If we had to choose the best type of pads, we’d go with the semi-metallic ones. Even if they make a lot of noise, they are also more versatile compared to the alternatives. They have a higher thermal threshold and perform better in a wider range of weather conditions. However, a regular commuter will be more than happy with a pair of organic pads. They are simple, quiet and provide you will all the stopping power you could ever need in the city.

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