It's always great to get pads in the office, as they're just one of those products that you can never have enough of. This time they've come from Disco Brakes and are in semi-metallic form, although they also offer them in Ceramic Pro, Ceramic Hard, Sintered and Kevlar so there's plenty of choice. We tested the Shimano XT compatible pads, but again there is a huge choice of brake brands to choose from.
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Before we go any further we must discuss the price. At £5.25 per pair from Disco Brakes you can’t help but ask yourself “are these things going to work at all?” Of course, we aren’t the sort of people to jump to conclusions so we put them to test. This particular pad popped into a set of Shimano XT brakes with ease and had no issues with misshapen springs or any other issue one may expect from a budget pad. Good start.
They bedded in really quickly and as soon as they did, the braking felt strong, progressive and consistent. They also provide good modulation, which means that you get a softer, more subtle feel at the leaver when braking than you might with really reactive ceramic pad. They remained consistent for the entire time that we used them. They still have some life left in fact, after a couple of months riding a few times a week in some pretty damp weather. Only occasionally when it was really wet did they make the odd brief squeaking noise but never any prolonged squealing like we’ve experienced from other pads before. This is due to how well they transfer heat away from the rotors. In very cold conditions riding in the snow high up in the mountains, they took a few moments to warm up at the start of the decent, but then so did we!
They have proved to be super durable as well as offering great stopping power. This is down to the construction process. More than just small slabs of metal, semi-metallic pads are made up of a mixture of steel, iron, copper and graphite, which provides a pad which is resistant to daily wear. This has certainly proved to be the case at least when riding trails and more cross country type outings. On really long downhill descents some brake fade was experienced, so for more gravity fed riding it might be worth looking at a ceramic pad. They are smaller in size than some pads so there is less surface area to grab the rotor, but we didn't notice any obvious issues from the size
These pads have lasted well, provided good stopping power, remained consistent in wet and dry conditions and kept the bank balance happy. At a fraction of the cost of some other pads on the market it's a no-brainer', at this price you may as well buy some and see!
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For more information visit Disco Brakes.
By Charley OldridCharley Oldrid is a man who spends a lot of time in the saddle. A highly experienced Mountain Bike Guide, having led trips all over world riding the finest trails he can find. His personal riding style can only be described as wild, getting sideways isn't an option on a ride with Charley, it's mandatory. If anyone can find the limit of a test bike, it's him.
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