Brake pads

Eyon Posts: 623
edited January 2011 in Road buying advice
Hi All,

sorry this is the 100000th time no doubt that this has been asked.

I am new to road biking but big into my MTB. Like all MTB riders going to road i'm shocked at how "underpowered" the brakes are!

My bike is a bottom of the range Specialized Secteur, im not racing its just for hammering out miles for the social and fitness aspect, so I'm not really wanting to upgrade the bike much.

However, the unbranded brakes on the bike make me feel pretty nervous, they really do lack in power, I'd hate to try them in the wet because even in the dry it felt bad enough. Without upgrading the actual callipers, can I just upgrade the pads for an increase in power?

I assume the pads supplied are cheep and of a hard long lasting compound, so something better cant go a miss.

What is recommended for this time of the year? Brand? What type of compound? Is it a case of "one fits all" or do each brake have a specific pad?



  • Omar Little
    Omar Little Posts: 2,010
    the pads used make a big difference - swisstop green or koolstop salmon are usually the recommended ones.

    not cheap but they do offer a big improvement - although still not quite mtb disc brake levels of performance.
  • seanoconn
    seanoconn Posts: 11,401
    Koolstop salmons and swisstop are by far the two most popular brake pads. personally i prefer the koolstops, the salmon colour is ment for wet weather riding. I use them all year round and they provide more than enough stopping power.

    Unfortunately all road bike brakes aren't the same, so without knowing a little more about your current brakes, i couldn't advise which to get.
    Pinno, מלך אידיוט וחרא מכונאי
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Buy some cartridge pad holders - the pads will be stiffer and it's easier change them too.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Eyon
    Eyon Posts: 623
    According to Specialized they are
    Light dual pivot brake, Teflon pivots, forged alloy, w/ standard pads

    They look similar shape to low end Shimano ones, I dare say a rip-off or out of the factory unbranded to drive the cost down. I was considering an upgrade to 105 soon but the pads is a cheaper option to increase the power I had hoped.

    I'm not expecting MTB power, but its terrifying doing 30mph+ down a hill then realising you have to think ahead with the brakes instead of pulling aimlessly at the lever roughly when you got to stop. Reading about the standard bike's pads are awful so I think I will look into either Swisstop or Koolstop, any ideas what ones might fit?