When riding a bike, how fast and smooth it can go and how well it can handle the elements is only half the battle. Just as important is how effectively the bike can stop and brake, which is what makes for a better and safer ride.
However, bike brake pads tend to wear out quickly, especially under heavy duty use. After a while, your brake pads will need to be replaced before they completely wear out, so you can have that strong and efficient braking performance that your bike needs.
Here are the best bike brake pads in 2020 for you to take your pick from, as well as a comprehensive buying guide to tell you everything you need to know about choosing the right brake pads for bikes that work for your needs and meet your demands.
Top 10 brake pads ranked:
I’ve evaluated dozens of brake pads for bicycles on the market, and these are the 10 best bike brake pads I’ve come up with. Take a look at each of these products and see how well they work for you, so you can make the right choice.
Whether you are looking for brake pads for wet, dry, or all weather conditions, and no matter what type of bicycle you ride, I’ve got recommended brake pads for you. You’ll find in depth reviews, as well as the pros and cons of each product on this list.
1. Kool Stop dual compound mountain pads
My top pick for bike brake pads is the Kool Stop dual compound mountain pads for linear pull brakes, which are threaded brake pads that feature a large surface area and curved asymmetrical designs that conform to the rims and offer an improved braking power.
These brake pads are perfect for the harsh demands of mountain biking, especially with their non-slip, noiseless, and predictable braking performance. These are made with dual contacts, making them more efficient, and work well for both wet and dry weather conditions.
Moreover, these pads also work efficiently at high speeds, ensuring that you are safe as you ride. And, you don’t have to worry about scratching your precious rims, whether they are made of steel, aluminum, or titanium.
2. Odier Shimano bike brake pads
In second place, and your next best bet, is the Odier Shimano bike brake pads, which are suitable for several types of mountain bikes and road bikes, and as such, come in a variety of sizes and components depending on what you need.
There are brake pads designed for Shimano, Sram, Tektro, Avid, and many more. All of the Odier brake pads are made of either metal compounds or semi-metallic compounds, and all offer a smooth and powerful braking power.
Plus, you’ll also get maximum adaptability, excellent heat dissipation capabilities, rotor protection, and a noiseless braking performance in various weather conditions, making these one of the best brake pads for bikes that you’ll ever come across.
3. Alritz bike V-brake pads set
Ranking third is the Alritz bike V-brake pads set, which come as three pairs of brake pads suitable for V-brakes on mountain bikes and road bikes, as well as a hex nut and plenty of spacers for easy installation.
Since these pads are designed for road and mountain bikes, you can rest assured that they can easily handle tough conditions and offer a superior braking power without posing any damage on your delicate rims.
These brake pads are made of durable materials including rubber and aluminum, which are what make these pads work excellent, without slipping, making noise, or allowing sand, dust, and stones to come into contact with your wheel rims.
4. Shimano disc brake pads & spring B01S
There’s also the Shimano disc brake pads & spring B01S, an in house Shimano product that, like all things made by Shimano, looks great, feels great, and works great. These brake pads are designed for disc brakes on most types of mountain bikes.
Perhaps its main selling point is that this product comes as a set of four brake pads made of high quality resin manufacturing without any addition of radiator fin, making these pads more superior, accessible, efficient, and well modulated, all without making noise.
All in all, these Shimano disc brake pads are high quality and durable pads that work perfectly in dry road and weather conditions, offer unparalleled performance, work on lots of different bike models, and are also relatively affordable.
5. Tektro V-brake threaded pads
Next up is the Tektro V-brake threaded pads, manufactured by a trusted and high quality brand, Tektro. These brake pads are designed to improve your bike’s braking performance with the pads’ long and wide design, making for a bigger tire grip area.
These threaded brake pads are made of slip proof rubber and designed with four slots for maximum efficiency and stopping power, giving you the control you need in navigating your bike through rough, wet, and muddy terrains. In short, these are durable pads, rain or shine.
Plus, these are also easy to install and mount conveniently due to their slip on design. If you want durable and high performing yet affordable brake pads for linear brakes, this is one of your best options, and are sure to give you a good value for money.
6. Dia Compe grey matter brake pads
One interesting and must try product when it comes to brake pads for bicycles is the Dia Compe grey matter brake pads, which, while not anywhere as popular as many of the other brands in this list, is still noteworthy, promising, and deserving a second look.
These brake pads are made for old school caliper brakes, and not only work surprisingly well, but also give off that charming classic and vintage appeal to your bike. What’s better is that these can be mounted on various types of bikes due to their stable metal holders.
In fact, these brake pads should work perfectly on many different types of mountain bikes, BMX bikes, and other types of sport and leisure bicycles. They are designed perfectly, are easy to use, and totally transforms your bike’s stopping performance.
7. Shimano road brake pads
If you’ve got a road bike, a great option for you would be the Shimano road brake pads, which are one of the few best sellers when it comes to brake pads for road bikes. These are an in house product produced by Shimano, a leading global brand when it comes to all things bikes.
These brake pads are made of high quality rubber that provide superior stopping power while being noiseless and non-staining. They are durable and are excellent for all weather conditions, guaranteed to work even against dust and water.
What’s particularly interesting is how these pads are manufactured, which allows them a significant increase in performance for both wet and dry conditions, amounting to as much as 20% for dry and 50% for wet road riding conditions.
8. Swiss Stop FlashPro brake pads
Another excellent choice for bike brake pads is the Swiss Stop FlashPro brake pads, which are one of the most suitable brake pads for sensitive aluminum rims that are prone to scratches. These pads feature abrasion resistance capabilities, solving that problem with no fuss.
This feature makes the brake pads fairly resistant to crumbling and cracking, and coupled with the highly durable BXP rubber composition, these brake pads not only provide great stopping power, but also do not overheat even with heavy duty use.
The design and engineering of these brake pads allow for a finer and more effective control of your linear braking performance from how the lower braking force is applied. Plus, these all weather conditions brake pads are easy and convenient to install as well.
9. Hotop V bike brake pads set
You might also want to try out the Hotop V bike brake pads set, which come as a complete set with four V brake pads, hex nuts, and spacers. These brake pads are designed with a curved feel that fits most bike rims that allow for a better stopping power without damaging the rims.
So, you can say goodbye to scratches, dents, sand damage, and diversion on your precious rims, and say hello to great quality and performance with durable and responsive brake pads that work effectively even in the worst weather conditions.
These brakes are made with a combination of non slip rubber and strong metal framing that makes the pads durable and long lasting. They are also grooved, so water doesn’t pool on the brakes, which is what reduces their braking performance.
10. Pioneeryao sport road bike brake pads
Finally, there is also the Pioneeryao sport road bike brake pads for road bikes, which come as a set of four brake pads for your front and rear bike tires. These rim brake pads are easy to install and high performing, and of course, compatible with most road bikes.
These all weather conditions brake pads respond efficiently in dry and wet road conditions, so you don’t have to worry about them losing their braking power as you ride through rain and mud, or stress on probably scratching your rims during dusty rides in the summer season.
In fact, these pads are even designed with surface grooves to help deal with water. Sure, they are a bit shorter than many other pads in this list, but that doesn’t compromise on their ability to effectively stop and brake.
Bike brake pads buying guide
There are tons of brake pads for bicycles, and it can be confusing if not difficult to know which one is right for your bike. How do you know which brake pads are compatible with your bike? And, how do you know whether the brand you’re looking at will meet your expectations?
In order to help you out, here are the most important factors that you need to consider before buying a pair of brake pads for your bike. Remember, worn out pads are a safety hazard, so you always need to have replacement brake pads on hand.
Type of brake pad
Brake pads mainly come in two different types, namely, rim brakes and disc brake pads. Each one works differently, and has their fair share of pros and cons.
Rim brakes operate through a simple mechanism, which is by pressing against the rotating rims of the wheel in order to stop them from spinning. They are connected to pivoted cantilever arms that hold the brakes in place when braking. These are mainly used on mountain bikes.
There are rim brakes for dry, wet, and all weather conditions, as well as those made with matching compounds designed for carbon rims.
Disc brake pads
On the other hand, disc brake pads are a circular metallic disc on your wheel hub, and work by applying pressure to the rotor which then creates friction and effectively puts your bike to a stop. These come in various materials, which affect how the brake pads perform.
They can be made of resin (organic pads), metals (sintered or metallic pads), or ceramic, which is the most expensive. There are also semi-metallic pads, which are weather resistant.
Brake pad features
In terms of choosing the best brake pads for your bike, there are a couple of important features to look for, such as the pad material and backbone, its performance against the weather, and how the brake pads are meant to be adjusted.
Material and backbone
The material of the brake pads usually depend on what type of brake pads they are. For example, rim brakes are usually made of rubber, while disc brakes are either metal or ceramic. This material affects how well the pads perform and how long they last.
The framework of the pads is also important, since you want brake pads that are durable and long lasting. They should be rust and corrosion resistant, and can handle pressure and impact.
Design and adjustment
The shape and size of the brake pads somewhat influence their performance. For one thing, longer and wider brake pads have more surface area, and can hold more of the bike wheel in place. It’s also important if the pads are curved, grooved, studded, threaded, and so on.
It is also a must to consider how easy it is to adjust the brake pads. What you want here are pads that are easy to install, easy to adjust when they come off of alignment, and easy to remove once they need changing.
Finally, it’s also essential to consider how the brake pads perform against the weather. If you live in a dry and hot area, you should get brake pads made for dry conditions, or wet condition pads if you regularly experience rainfall and snow.
This is because some brake pads deal better with dust than they do with water, and vice versa. The good thing is, there are all weather conditions brake pads that work well for both wet and dry weather.
Final Verdict: The best bike brake pads are…
One of the most important parts of any bike is the pair of brake pads that ensure your safety while riding. These brake pads also wear out easily, so it’s important for you to find a suitable replacement before that even happens.
Out of all the bike brake pads out there, nothing compares to the Kool Stop dual compound mountain pads. These are dual compound threaded brake pads for linear pull brakes that feature curved asymmetric designs and superior braking power in all weather conditions.