It’s pretty much a given that having the right set of brake pads is of utmost importance when it comes to bike components. However, finding the best bike brake pads can be somewhat overwhelming, especially if you’re just getting interested in biking. Sure, you can always upgrade and customize your bike, but most people will be happy with the components as they are, perhaps changing the saddle, as it’ll be the biggest pain in… well, you can finish the sentence. Seeing as brake pads are consumable components, every bike owner will have to look for a replacement sooner or later. Here’s how to go about it.
The easiest way is to look at your current pads and go for the same thing, if it’s still manufactured. If not, you should look for the next best thing, and make sure they’re compatible. Once you’re done with that, you should have several products that fit the bill, and the only thing to do is choose one. Always, always go for quality. Don’t be afraid to splash out more than you planned. To save you some trouble, we made a list of the best bike brake pads for 2017, so feel free to check it out and see if there’s anything you like.
Comparison of the best brake pads
Reviews on the best brake pads of 2017
1. Shimano Dura-Ace BR-7900 Road Brake Pads
If you’re in the slightest interested in the inner workings of a bike, then you must’ve come across the name of Shimano at some point in your life. This is with good reason, as Shimano products are touted as some of the best quality components in the industry, and this applies to consumables such as the Shimano Dura-Ace BR-7900 Road Brake Pads. Much as the name implies, the pads are designed to go on road bikes, and they perform accordingly.
These are cartridge pads, so be careful to align them correctly. More importantly, be sure to check if your bike brakes are compatible with them. If the light’s green, and it will be if you have road caliper brakes, then you’re golden. The pads perform well in dry conditions and exceptionally so in wet conditions. Best of all, they keep things as quiet as possible.
One last thing you need to know about the Shimano Dura-Ace BR-7900 Road Brake Pads is that these are designed to go along aluminum rims, which might be confusing because their carbon counterparts have the same brand number (R55C3), so be sure to specify which one you want.
2. Swisstop FlashPro (Shim/SRAM Road) Brake Pads
The Swisstop FlashPro Brake Pads are intended for folks who really like to take care of their bikes, and aren’t afraid to splash out on brake pads. They easily outstrip any other item on our list in terms of price, but it’s barely of any consequence for two reasons: one, you pay for absolute quality; two, they cost less than an average teenager’s weekly allowance. Plus, they come in four distinct tastes, so you can match them with the rest of your bike – BXP, Black Prince, Yellow King and Original Black.
The pads are ideal for aluminum rims, less so for carbon rims. Another thing to note – although these pads perform perfectly fine in the rain, Swisstop does make other model that outperforms this one by several orders of magnitude. As far as how they attach, they’re bolt-on, and designed to be compatible with Shimano and/or SRAM.
With Swiss design, you can’t go wrong. The Swisstop FlashPro Pads are just the thing for serious cyclists, no matter if you ride an entry-level or a racing bike.
3. Kool-Stop Dual Compound Mountain Pads
One of the major names in the world of bike brakes, Kool-Stop is what happens when a company focuses on making a single product perfect. This is not to say they solely produce bike brakes, but if they did, their income wouldn’t suffer greatly. The Dual Compound Mountain Pads are exactly why the company is so highly valued.
For a start, the pads are Dual Compound – this means they are designed to perform well in both dry and wet conditions. And, do they deliver on that, boy howdy! The shape of the pads conforms to the curvature of the rims, which enables better contact and, in turn, better performance. This is important for mountain bikers. Speaking of rims, these go with both aluminum and carbon, high-end and low-end bikes, as long as you’re using linear pull brakes.
A word to the wise – these pads are specifically designed for mountain bikes, and they perform accordingly. You could install them on your road bike, but it’d be a waste of money, especially seeing how many great road bike pads there are.
Looking for mountain bike under 1000 dollars?
4. Avid 20R Brake Pad Set
The Avid 20R Brake Pad Set is just the thing for folks who like to get their money’s worth to the fullest, and with good reason. The pads are compatible with linear pull brakes, both front and rear, and can be used with both aluminum and carbon rims. With half-decent rims, these puppies will go a long way helping you not become a roadkill.
Installing these puppies takes only a few minutes, and there’s no need to go to a professional for that. Luckily, the set does come full with all the hardware necessary for mounting. The only thing you need to do is get the appropriate tools.
Whether you’re a pro or just beginning to take interest in biking, you can’t go wrong with the Avid 20R Brake Pads. They offer impressive performance, and with a short price-tag at that.
5. Dia Compe 76 Grey Matter Brake Pads
The Dia Compe 76 Grey Matter Brake Pads are easily the cheapest brakes pads on this list, and some of the cheapest pads on the market. Before you think that’s their only merit, let us stress some of their other selling points.
For a start, the pads are heavy duty, packed in metal holders for more durability. They are versatile, in that they fit any type of rims – carbon, aluminum and even steel. They’re universal, provided you use caliper model type bikes, and should fit anything from road, through touring and racing, to mountain bikes. They feature no bolts or nuts, just a stud with a self-locking mechanism.
If you’re the type of rider that prefers going without any bells and/or whistles, then you might want to check out the Dia Compe 76 Grey Matter Brake Pads, as they fit the description to the tee. Plus, they’re as inexpensive as they come.
6. Ventura Complete Bike 70 mm Brake Pad Set
The Ventura Bike Pads are just the thing for riders who want to get the best quality possible for as little as possible. This is far from saying the pads are not worth your while, quite the contrary. The full deal includes two sets of 70mm brake pads (four pads total), threaded, with asymmetric post.
These pads should do a marvelous job of not letting you become a stain on the windshield if used in conjunction with any half-decent rims, whether it was carbon, aluminum or steel. They’re universal in more senses than that, as you can use them on any type of bike – road, tour, race, or mountain, whichever jingles your jollies.
You don’t have to buy expensive parts to reduce the squeaking in your brakes – just go for the Ventura 70mm pads. A word to the wise – although these pads are easy to install, they are V-brake pads, which means it takes some finesse aligning them to the rim. The point is – ask for help if you’re not sure what you’re doing.
Whether you’re a novice or a professional, sooner or later you’re going to have to change your brake pads. A word to the wise – never go for second-hand or used pads, even if it means pinching a penny (or hundred). Nothing’s worth compromising your safety, and more importantly, that of your bike. In all seriousness, though, the last thing you’d want to do when shopping for brake pads is go full Scrooge McDuck; don’t be afraid to shell out some serious money to get the best quality. Although, to be fair, what you have to pay for these can hardly be called serious money, even if you go overboard. Still, whichever way you decide to go about this, always make sure you get your money’s worth. The best way to be sure is ask around, read as many reviews as you can, and see what sells best. Happy shopping!