Disc Brake Pads - What's Best for Stopping Power

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
Mr.Gib
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by Mr.Gib

I did a search and found nothing current.

My question is for a road application: what type of brake pads will provide the greatest stopping power? Durability is not a factor. Neither is resistance to heat build up during long descents. I just want to be able to bring the bike to a stop as quickly as possible. The caliper is TRP HyRd which have been great. Right now I am using the stock TRP semi-metalic pad which are OK. Is there something better?

These brakes are compatible with pads with Shimano M525/M515 specifications.
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.

FIJIGabe
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by FIJIGabe

In my experience, the TRP organic pads provide great bite and don't fade at all, whereas metallic pads have some hesitation to bite, but once they do, are just as good. The drawback to organic pads is that they wear down pretty quickly (I was using it for CX, and in the mud, you're lucky to get one race out of them). Metallic pads will last you much, MUCH longer.
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CBJ
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by CBJ

I went with metallic again they have just been great all year for all weather performance. If there was more stopping power it would not be usable its much more about modulation which there is plenty off too.

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Calnago
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by Calnago

May I ask the obvious... why on earth do you need more stopping power?
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bmCube
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by bmCube

I use organic brake pads. Mine last already more than a year! I use them on my cyclocross bike in the mud and on the road in the winter.

bmCube
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by bmCube

I use organic brake pads. Mine last already more than a year! I use them on my cyclocross bike in the mud and on the road in the winter.

Mr.Gib
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by Mr.Gib

Calnago wrote:May I ask the obvious... why on earth do you need more stopping power?


How fast can you go from 60 km/h to zero on a steep hill? Have you ever tried? My alloy wheeled rim brake bikes all stop faster in this situation then my disc setup. Many very experienced MTB and cyclocross disc users have never come close to demanding this much from their brakes. Many road disc users may have slowed from this speed but not many have really tested the limits. And stopping on the flats, even from high speed is a breeze by comparison. I know the real solution is 180 mm rotors but hoping to avoid that. My stopping power is good, but it could be better.
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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hmai18
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by hmai18

At the extreme scenario you're describing, aren't you running up against the limits of tire traction anyway?

I usually run organic compound pads for 99% of my riding in the PNW, switching out to sintered metallic pads for 'cross races where I know I'm going to be slogging through 45 minutes of wet mud and am concerned about pad life. I've yet to encounter a race or general riding scenario where I thought to myself "gee, I wish I had more absolute stopping power."

Are your pads glazed? Are your rotors properly bedded in?

robo
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Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 8:01 pm

by robo

SwissStop pads work for me, I've found them consistently powerful and better performance-wise than Shimano pads. HTH.

jeffy
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by jeffy

came here to see if Calnago had posted iTT.

2/5 Disappointed the the answer wasn't "the ones that are fitted a few millimetres from the tyre sidewalls"
Last edited by jeffy on Wed Oct 19, 2016 3:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mr.Gib
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by Mr.Gib

hmai18 wrote:At the extreme scenario you're describing, aren't you running up against the limits of tire traction anyway?
Yes with the rim brakes but not with the discs.

hmai18 wrote: I've yet to encounter a race or general riding scenario where I thought to myself "gee, I wish I had more absolute stopping power."
Same here, no problems in a general riding scenarios. Haven't crashed since 1985 so braking must have been good enough most of the time. I'm searching for the extreme.

hmai18 wrote:Are your pads glazed? Are your rotors properly bedded in?
All is good. Well bedded, not glazed, not contaminated, etc. Set up is also very good. Short lever travel, rock solid feel - no spongyness whatsoever. Very pleased with the HyRd's. FWIW I have ridden some full hydraulic bikes (Shimano 785) and braking was no better then my setup. The only difference was you could do more with less hand effort in most braking situations. At the extreme hand effort was similar.
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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Fixie82
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by Fixie82

What rotors are you running? I've found some pad, rotor combinations work better than others so knowing what rotor you are running will help. Also some rotors just don't provide as greater 'bite' as others so it may be a combination of pad and rotor swap to get what you are looking for without moving up to 180mm rotors.

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Calnago
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by Calnago

Mr.Gib wrote:
hmai18 wrote:At the extreme scenario you're describing, aren't you running up against the limits of tire traction anyway?
Yes with the rim brakes but not with the discs.

Are you saying you can't lock up your wheels with the discs but you can with the rim brakes? Like has been said, it's the traction between tire and road that is the limiting factor for me. I can brake pretty hard if I have to, and I'm a big guy, it's always a balance between braking as hard as you can without locking up and losing traction or skidding out. On a steep descent with a major road crossing at the bottom, we often run into this scenario if we're cooking it on the downhill.
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Mr.Gib
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by Mr.Gib

Its an interesting situation. There are points with the discs where it feels like I couldn't lock the front wheel if I wanted to. In general I just am not getting the deceleration I expect. I have one bike that I use for travel that has Ultegra 6800 calipers combined with Sram Red and Pacenti Sl23's that is just unbelievable in the braking department. If I could get my discs to stop like that I would be pleased. I have also used mini V's that could really stop. In the end its a minor quibble. I won't run into a wall for want of braking.

Sounds like my semi metallic pads are as good as any. FWIW I use Shimano IceTech rotors.
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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CBJ
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by CBJ

Mr.Gib wrote:
Calnago wrote:May I ask the obvious... why on earth do you need more stopping power?


How fast can you go from 60 km/h to zero on a steep hill? Have you ever tried? My alloy wheeled rim brake bikes all stop faster in this situation then my disc setup. Many very experienced MTB and cyclocross disc users have never come close to demanding this much from their brakes. Many road disc users may have slowed from this speed but not many have really tested the limits. And stopping on the flats, even from high speed is a breeze by comparison. I know the real solution is 180 mm rotors but hoping to avoid that. My stopping power is good, but it could be better.


Well I have plenty of very high speed stopping experience with both road and mtb. I have ridden down hill mtb for many years where you easily reach 60 kmh and the DH dics brakes are of course amazing and no fading.

On my road bike I run 160mm front with R685 setup and metal pads and I have tons of stopping power. I have without a problem stopped quickly doing 92 km/h this year and that was on pads that were wearing out. I have ridden the same section on my old bike and dics without a doubt stop better with much less effort.

I think the best example of both the power and modulation was when a girl stepped out in front of me in the park going down hill and I was drinking from my bottle and I was able to stop and modulate the brake and get around her with one hand. Funny part was I would squirt water after her every time I applied the brakes as I could not avoid squeezing the bottle with the other and trying to rest it on the handle bar for a little control :D

If you have stopping problems I would make sure the rotors and pads are not contaminated or that the pads are worn down.

What brakes are you running?

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