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  1. #1
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    Disk Brake Pads; Materials

    Can anyone list the various materials used in disk brake pads?

    I've read that there are Resin (organic) pads and Sintered (metalic) pads and
    High performance compound disc brake pads, but I don't have a clue what the applications are for these. Also cost seems to range from $5 a pair to $25 a pair.

    Also, if pads were purchased for "training" whereas one wanted a decent performance and longevity as the priority, what would be the material, versus a strictly "racing" pad where one would expect great performance used only over a short (5 to 10 races) period before replacement.

    Do some name brands stand out above the others? And why the huge difference in prices.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    The variety is mind boggling. Here's the skiny; soft pads (like resin) wear quickly, don't wear the rotors very much, are generally quiet, bed in a little slower, wear out instantly in the mud and blood. Hard pads (sintered metallic fer example) don't wear very quickly in the mud, are grabby and noisy, bed in quickly, wear your rotors, and have worse modulation, prolly won't fade no matter what. Me? Dry, I use EBC soft on the front, Shimano resin in the back; wet, I use Shimano Metallic (SinteredMetallic fer sure) on both ends. My riding is mainly on clay and sand, during the rain however, we have mud and clear water crossings. My brakes are XTR, and it's very easy to change pads. I also have pre-bedded pads in my toolkit. good luck

  3. #3
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    "The variety is mind boggling"

    Thanks for the info. "Variety"? Are you saying there are many more types of materials than what you mentioned thus far?

  4. #4
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    There is indeed a large variety of pads available, every manufacturer chooses different mixtures of materials. A good description of the general rough categories and their properties w.r.t. brake fade can be found here and here. These are about car brakes, but MTB disc brakes are merely miniturized versions thereof with the same principles.

  5. #5
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    At one time I thought organic pads were the cats ass, but now sintered metallic (not semi) are my best choice. Too many wet/muddy rides. If I lived in the desert, then organics for me.

  6. #6
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    +1 for Cascades' links. Gave me the info I needed to decide that semi metallic pads will probably be best for me since I avoid mud, don't want extra rotor wear, and don't need the extra braking power. Hayes MX-4 brakes by the way, and also just found out via E-mail from Hayes that MX-2 and MX-3 pads are pretty much the same as the MX-4, and are interchangeable.

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