Bicycle brake pads

Looking for bike brake pads? You are in the right place because we sell high quality brake pads at the best price.
Have you ever thought about what keeps you safe when you ride your bike? Nothing is more important than the brakes on your bike.
They are not only for your safety, but they also keep the people around you safe. Also, brake pads are not that expensive to replace; however, you should keep an eye out for brake replacement signs.
Either you can save some money or you can increase the life of your bike. Most of us end up riding gears, but we don't know the components that hold everything together.
Let's explore everything you need to know about bike brake pads and similar components.
bike brake pads

Best Bicycle Brake Pads

Introduction Brake pads are an essential part of a bicycle's braking system. They provide the friction needed to slow and stop the bicycle safely and effectively. In this article we will delve into everything you need to know about bicycle brake pads:

  1. What is a bike brake pad and how it works
  2. Types of brake pads: organic, sintered and other materials
  3. Differences between front and rear pads
  4. How long do brake pads last
  5. Signs that pads need to be replaced
  6. Procedures for replacing brake pads
  7. Best brands and models of bike brake pads
  8. Maintenance and care of brake pads
  9. Tips for effective braking and safety
  10. What is a bike brake pad and how it works

A bicycle brake pad is a flat, rectangular-shaped component that is pressed against the rim or brake disc to generate friction and decelerate the wheel. It is made of frictional materials such as resins, metals or ceramics.

The pads are housed inside the brake caliper, which is the element that actually squeezes against the rim or disc when the brake lever is pulled. The pads are therefore the contact surface that creates friction. Over time and use they wear down to the point of requiring replacement.

The most common types of brake systems that use pads are:

  • Pad brakes: the pads are placed on the sides of the rim, the caliper closes by adhering them to the rim
  • Disc brakes: the pads clamp a metal disc integral with the wheel hub
  • Drum brakes: the pads are inside the drum, integrated into the hub

The force applied by the lever is multiplied by the caliper system, allowing the pads to exert great pressure on the rim or disc. This creates friction and heat, dissipating kinetic energy and slowing the wheel. Proper modulation of the lever allows for precise metering of braking force.

  1. Types of brake pads: organic, sintered and other materials

There are two main types of material for bicycle brake pads:

  • Organic pads: made from natural or synthetic resins reinforced with fibers. They offer modulable braking power and good performance even in the rain. They tend to wear out faster.
  • Sintered pads: contain metal powders pressed and sintered at high temperatures. They have greater power and durability, withstand moisture and mud well, but are noisier and tend to overheat.

Other materials used are:

  • Semi-ceramic pads: mixture of organic material and ceramic powders. Good overall performance.
  • Ceramic pads: pure ceramic powders, very high performance but fast wear.
  • Metal pads: stainless steel foil, high power but poor modulability.

The choice depends on: type of bike and braking system, expected conditions of use, need for power or modulability, and sensitivity to noise. For example, disc brakes on mountain bikes require high-quality sintered pads, while quiet, soft organic pads are recommended for city bikes.

  1. Differences between front and rear pads

There are generally no major differences between front and rear brake pads, since both perform the same function by generating friction on the rim or disc. However:

  • The front pads are under more stress and therefore wear sooner, since the front wheel is responsible for about 70-80% of the total braking force.
  • On mountain bikes, the rear pads are often slightly smaller to reduce weight.
  • The material can be chosen different, such as organic rear and sintered front pads, to combine modulability in the back and power in the front.
  • Sometimes the composition is slightly varied, for example with a higher percentage of metals in the front pads.

In any case, it is a good idea to replace the pads of both wheels at the same time to ensure uniform equipment and balanced performance.

  1. How long do brake pads last

The service life of brake pads depends on many factors:

  • Pad type: sintered pads last up to 2-3 times longer than organic pads
  • Conditions of use: steep and continuous descent, mud and moisture accelerate wear and tear
  • Driving style: sudden and prolonged braking overheats the pads, reducing their life
  • Cyclist's weight and bike load: affect the energy to be dissipated during braking
  • Maintenance and cleaning: dirty pads wear out sooner
  • Type of brake system: disc brakes tend to wear out pads faster

On average, for normal use, the duration ranges from:

  • Organic tablets: 300-800 km
  • Sintered pads: 800-2500 km or more

It is a good idea to check the condition of the pads every 200-300 km and take action as soon as they reach the wear limit, so as not to damage discs or rims.

  1. Signs that pads need to be replaced

These are the main signs that the brake pads are worn and need to be changed:

  • The brake lever must be pulled closer and closer to the handlebar to achieve the same braking force
  • More and more fingers are needed to pull the lever and increase the pressure
  • Braking causes abnormal vibration and shaking of the handlebar or fork
  • The pads appear visibly worn, with grooves or thinning
  • You can hear the typical metallic sound of pads rubbing against the metal of the rim or disc
  • Braking you can smell burning and see smoke from the brake system

When these signs appear, it is best not to delay replacement so as not to jeopardize safety and risk brake failure. Better safe than sorry!

  1. Procedures for replacing brake pads

Replacing brake pads is simple, quick and can be done independently by following these steps:

  • Lift the wheel off the ground and remove it from the fork/frame
  • Open the clamp by acting on the adjustment screw or the appropriate release lever
  • Remove worn pads by sliding them out of the caliper
  • Clean the clamp from dirt, dust, or metal debris with a cloth
  • Insert the new pads in the correct position, checking the direction
  • Retighten the clamp until the pads are firmly locked in place
  • Check pad alignment and clearance, adjusting if necessary
  • Repeat the operation on the second wheel
  • Carry out a few braking tests to verify proper operation

For perfect success, use compatible pads, lightly lubricate the sliding elements, and tighten the clamp properly.

  1. Best brands and models of bike brake pads

Here are some of the best brands and models of bicycle brake pads:


  • SwissStop: pads highly valued for high quality and performance even in the rain. Eg. SwissStop FlashPro
  • BBB: wide range for all brake systems, excellent value for money. Eg. BBB Easy Brake Pad
  • Shimano: reliable quality original pads suitable for Shimano brakes. Eg. Shimano Ultegra
  • Kool Stop: US pads with special compounds, powerful and cushioned. Eg. Kool Stop Eagle 2


  • Trickerstuff: top-of-the-line German tablets, high metal doses. Eg. Trickerstuff Direttissima
  • Alligator: special sintered compounds, high performance. Eg. Alligator Serration
  • Shimano: cheap but effective solution. Eg. Shimano Deore XT
  • SwissStop: good compromise of price/quality. Eg. SwissStop Sinter
  1. Maintenance and care of brake pads

To ensure proper functioning and maximum service life of brake pads, care must be taken in their cleaning and maintenance:

  • Periodically check the wear and condition of the pads
  • Carefully clean dirt, mud, and debris from pads, calipers, and discs/rims using specific degreasers if necessary
  • Prevent oil or grease from contaminating the pads and friction surface
  • Lubricate the sliding points of the clamps with special pastes.
  • Always properly tighten the screws that lock the pads in the calipers
  • Avoid pad overheating with prolonged downhill braking
  • Protect the bike and pads when not in use from weathering
  • Replace pads at first signs of wear so as not to damage discs or rims

With proper maintenance, friction and braking noise are minimized, optimizing performance and safety.

  1. Tips for effective braking and safety

Finally, here are some tips on how to get maximum effectiveness and safety from your bike's brake system:

  • Keep brake pads clean, aligned and in good condition
  • Prefer to use the front brake over the rear brake
  • Do not lock the wheels but leave them ever so slightly free to turn
  • Modulate braking force via lever, no jerking
  • In wet conditions provide for increased braking distances
  • Alternate the use of the two brakes to avoid overheating
  • Dose the force to match the grip conditions at all times
  • Before the descents check the rideability and test the brakes
  • Always maintain a stable driving position and a low center of gravity

By adhering to these principles and using quality pads, you will always enjoy maximum safety and control of your bicycle.

Frequently Asked Questions about Bicycle Brake Pads

1. What are bicycle brake pads? Brake pads are critical components of the bicycle braking system, which are pressed against the disc or rim surface to slow or stop the bicycle.

2. How often should I replace brake pads? The frequency of replacement depends on usage, driving conditions and the type of pads. On average, they may need to be replaced every 1000-2000 km of use.

3. How can I tell when the brake pads are worn out? Check the thickness of the pads: if they are thin or have a smooth surface, it's time to replace them. Also, if you hear a squealing noise during braking, it could be a sign of wear.

4. What are the different types of brake pads? There are metal-based, organic and semimetallic pads. Organics are quieter, but wear out more quickly. Semi-metallics offer a good compromise between durability and performance.

5. How do I choose the right brake pads for my bicycle? Consider your riding style, type of terrain and weather conditions. Organic pads offer excellent modulation, while metal pads are more durable in wet conditions.

6. Can I use any brake pad with my disc brakes? No, it is important to use pads that are compatible with your type of disc brakes. Check the model and brand name of the pads recommended by the brake manufacturer.

7. How is the replacement of brake pads carried out? Typically, you have to remove the wheel, unscrew the pad retaining pin, pull out the old pads, clean the caliper, and insert the new pads. Consult your bike manual for detailed instructions.

8. What is the importance of properly breaking in new brake pads? New brake pads may require a short break-in period to achieve maximum braking efficiency. Perform some light, progressive braking to let the pads adapt to the disc surface.

9. How can I improve the performance of brake pads? Keep pads and discs clean of dirt and oil. Check caliper alignment periodically and adjust if necessary.

10. Can I switch from organic to metal pads or vice versa? Yes, you can change the type of pads according to your needs and preferences. However, you may need to adapt to different braking characteristics.

11. Are brake pads universal or brand- and model-specific? Brake pads vary between brands and models of brakes. It is important to use specific pads recommended by the brake manufacturer or consult a professional.

12. How can I keep my brake pads longer? Avoid sudden and prolonged braking that can overheat the pads. Keep the brake system clean and check for wear periodically.

13. What does "bedding-in" of brake pads mean? Bedding-in is the process of breaking in new pads. It consists of a series of light, progressive braking strokes to create an even contact between pads and discs.

14. Can brake pads affect performance in wet conditions? Yes, metal pads generally offer better braking in wet conditions than organic pads, which may have lower effectiveness.

15. Can I replace the brake pads myself or is it better to have a professional do it? You can do it yourself if you are confident in your mechanical skills. However, if you are not sure, it is best to seek professional help to avoid safety problems.

16. Do brake pads have an expiration date? Brake pads do not have a defined expiration date, but they should be replaced when they are worn out or show signs of deterioration.

17. What are the warning signs of worn brake pads? Jarring noises during braking, increased braking distance, an erratic or stressed braking feel are signs that the pads may be worn.

18. How can I reduce the noise of brake pads? Clean the discs and pads with a specific cleaner and make sure there are no contaminants such as oil or grease.

19. Are all brake pads interchangeable or are there differences between models? Brake pads vary among bicycle models and brake types. Always check compatibility before buying new pads.

20. What should I do if my brakes continue to be noisy despite replacing the pads? In some cases, the noise may be caused by vibration or contamination of the disc. Consult a professional to identify and solve the problem.

Remember that these answers are informative and general. For more accurate service, consult your bicycle's manual or ask a trained mechanic for advice.