Brake pad replacement

phills Posts: 68
edited January 2015 in Road buying advice
Hi all, my brakes on my Ribble have never been great, especially in the wet. I keep my rim clean and try and adjust them to make them better but to no avail. They are Tiagra brakes with the pads that came with them. I've looked around for a decent replacement for them but am unsure of the exact ones I need. Would someone be kind enough to post a link to some good replacement pads for me. Many thanks!

Edit: Rims are R501's.


  • dj58
    dj58 Posts: 2,221
    New Shimano 5800 105's would be a good upgrade. Shimano R55C4 or Swisstop Blue BXP, Kool Stop Salmon Dura/Ultegra/105 inserts.
  • I'm a Koolstop salmon fan but tempted to try the blue BXP next time around (cause I like blue and it would match my new cables and bartape!)
  • phills
    phills Posts: 68
    That's great, thanks for the help. Will check out the Kool Stops.
  • There's two aspects, the calipers and the pads. Pads will give the biggest improvement for your money but don't discount calipers either. Although probably not as relevant for you but some bikes come with terrible caliper brakes (mine had Tektro) and changing the calipers to 105 made a massive difference.
  • phills
    phills Posts: 68
    I'm surprised. I assumed Tiagra was a low to mid range setup and thought the callipers would be reasonably expensive. Just check Wiggle and they are £13.99 each! How on earth do they make these things for so little money? Even the 105 version is only £24.49. Maybe I will upgrade the callipers as the cost is so low. Or maybe just upgrade the bike? :lol:
  • phills wrote:
    Or maybe just upgrade the bike? :lol:

    That's always a good solution ;)
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    If you want to spend some money I'd say new 105 calipers, then you'll get the metal cartridge style holders which should be better than the all-in-one Tiagra type blocks.
  • dj58
    dj58 Posts: 2,221
    There you go. ... _road.html

    "Compared to the previous 105 groupset (5700) Shimano made the brake system more efficient and increased brake power with 10%. This is mainly due to the new symmetrical dual-pivot brake caliper. The brakes are compatible up to 28c tires and also available in a direct mount version (BR-5810)."
  • ayjaycee
    ayjaycee Posts: 1,277
    I recently said elsewhere on this site that I replaced the original cheapo calipers (labelled 'Axis' but, I think, made by Tektro) on my Specialized Allez Elite with Shimano Tiagra calipers. Stopping power was much improved with the supplied Shimano pads but when I replaced those with Swisstop BXPs (navy blue), the difference was night and day. Not cheap but highly recommended. I seem to recall the the whole upgrade (ie. calipers and pads front and rear) came to something crowding £70 but, to my mind, it was worth every penny. Hope this helps.
    Cannondale Synapse Carbon Ultegra
    Kinesis Racelight 4S
    Specialized Allez Elite (Frame/Forks for sale)
    Specialized Crosstrail Comp Disk (For sale)
  • northpole
    northpole Posts: 1,499
    Sorry for the slightly lazy answer but I have always used the green Swissstop pads when replacing OEM pads. I'd definitely suggest you replace pads in the first instance before spending money on new callipers. Also make sure that you have the proximity of the pads nice and close to the rims to ensure maximum leverage when braking. Try the new pads for a couple of rides and only then if you are still not confident should you consider upgrading the callipers.

  • dj58
    dj58 Posts: 2,221
  • phills
    phills Posts: 68
    Hi all, thanks again for advice. I went for Kool Stop cartridge type brake pads in the end and the difference from
    the original Tiagra is massive. The pads I took off were very hard and almost plastic so no wonder the braking
    was bad with them. The new ones, can't remember the exact name but they are dark blue, are much softer
    and brake so well. I'm sure they'll wear down much quicker but now I have the cartridge type it's just a matter
    of replacing the pads.