Old timer posters say cork is best

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by konky

We've heard Geoff and fdegrove big up cork brake pads as being the best for carbon wheels. But guys, specifically which brand is the best of the best.

P.S. by 'old timer' I mean how long you've been a WW contributer not your age. I'm sure you're both in your teens!
Last edited by konky on Wed May 02, 2012 3:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

by Weenie

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by Rick

I really don't have enough experience with different pads on carbon to make any claims about "best"; but I will say that the Reynolds Blue pads are working better for me on my Reynolds carbon rims than any brake pad on any prior aluminum rims I have owned. Good stopping, predictable, smooth, work when wet, etc. So they are at least "very good".

I should also probably mention, as I have in some other brake threads, that I apparently just don't use my brakes much. :lol:

One pair of brake pads can last me a decade. I replace them once in a while just because I "should". :)

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by Geoff

Hah! I wish! Seriously, I hung-up the race wheels after 16 years, which is probably longer that some of the forum-members have been alive.

I personally like the Corima cork pads best. They are inexpensive, light and perform really well on most carbon rims. Again, they are not 'all-weather' pads and are not for racing in the rain, but they offer the best 'feel' of any of the pads I have tried. I will also put-in a good word for the Shimano 'blue' carbon-specific pads. They are quite good and offer good modulation (which is the missing part of synthetic pad performance, in my opinion). They are pretty good in the wet (snow). I hope that they make it to production.

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by ergott

I don't have the time, energy or money to go buying every pad out there to compare them. I can say that the Enve pads are excellent. I use them on Smart rims, older Edge Composites rims and even alloy rims. They are a bit less grippy on alloy, but on carbon, they provide excellent modulation and stopping power is there. They also don't wear out too quick. I've used the first generation of Zipp's pads and Swiss Stop yellow pads in the past for comparison. I also used Corima corks a number of years back, and they were really bad. I hope the current cork pads are better than those were.

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by kgt

+1 on Corima. They work fine in the wet and don't ruin the rim even after thousands of kms.

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by upside

"Bontragers" work great and last a long time.

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by buikpijn

On my 'everyday' carbon set i'm using these;


they work like a charm for me; they don't polish my rim like cork pads do, they don't make any noise/squeaking and work well in the wet, and since they cost next to nothing i just ordered a bunch to try.

I like their combination of cork/rubber.

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by konky

Has anyone tried the Lightweight pads. I do like the SwissStop yellows but not the colour. I know they are made by SwissStop and guess they are like the yellows but black.

Thanks for the comments by the way.

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by doozer


lightweight (grey) pads are the same compound as the swissstop yellows (as far as i know). in any case they work just the same. Mine are worn now so going to try the reynolds blue for comparison.
Dance you cares away, worries for another day, dance your cares away, down at fragglerock.

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by Gregorio

upside wrote:"Bontragers" work great and last a long time.

I like bontrager pads the best. I have used corima, zipp, yellow swisstop and probably a few others.
Yellow ss work well in the beginning but seem to harden over time, and even sanding the surface does not restore them.
I think the bontrager pads have the most consistent feeling. Not sure if they are just cork tho, I think they are blended with some rubber compound

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by bones

Hmmm. I don't know about that. Having had cork for awhile I would say that they are awful on any rim that isn't carbon. They are just too grabby.

Corima's are the best. I don't like the Enve's.

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by em3

unfortunately, what is best may simply come down to what is recommended by the manufacturer...seems like all carbon wheel makers now REQUIRE that their recommended pad be used or else warranty is void.

For the record, IME the new Reynolds blue pads mated with Reynolds Forty Six carbon wheels, both stop and modulate better in wet and dry conditions compared to my stock Campagnolo pads used with Nucleon alum rims.


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by CharlesM

There are a good half dozen alternatives. ENVE, zipp new tangente, bontrager and shimano, Reynolds baradine...

All of these combo cork/rubber/fiber type pads are significantly better than standard cork and swisstop yellow(which used to be the best but simply are not any longer) in stopping power dry or especially wet...
Last edited by CharlesM on Thu May 03, 2012 2:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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by parajba

I had the yellow Swisstop on my 404 and hated it. Very grabby, no modulation, quite noisy. But very powerful, true.
Swapped to old style cork Zipp tangente. Loving it. Quiet, lots of modulation, decent longevity, not incredibly powerful but powerful enough, but very expensive. I think the red Corima (cork) works the same but for half the cost?

by Weenie

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by Mr.Gib

Rick wrote:I should also probably mention, as I have in some other brake threads, that I apparently just don't use my brakes much. :lol:
One pair of brake pads can last me a decade. I replace them once in a while just because I "should". :)

Wear depends on where you live and how much you weigh. I start every ride with a 60 kmh to zero braking effort. I live on a 15% hill with an intersection just before the bottom. At 190 lbs I kill my pads pretty quick.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

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