Best Road Bike Brake Pads of 2021 – Ultimate Round-up

| Last Updated: January 23, 2022

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Bike brake pads are an important investment if you own a road bike irrespective of the type. Your bike’s braking system is perhaps the most precious system in your bike as it ensures safety and security; thus, you wouldn’t want anything compromising its performance. Plus, good-quality brake pads can really boost the efficiency of your brakes.

However, it’s not an easy purchase as there are many aspects to look into. Keeping this in mind, we have the ultimate roundup of the best bike pads, which will include all you need to know and more.

To find out more about it, keep on reading!

Comparison of the Best Road Bike Brake Pads

  • Smooth quiet performance
  • Low pad-wear ratings
  • Water function design improvements
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  • High braking performance
  • Provides excellent control
  • Made from durable material
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  • Best for the Money
  • Universal fitment made for most 50mm caliper brakes
  • Available in 2 colors
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  • Best Road Bike Brake Pads For Aluminum Rim
  • Dual compound construction
  • Threaded for optimized braking efficiency
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  • High brake performance design
  • Noise reduced construction
  • Usable in wet conditions
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Do Road Bikes Need Special Brake Pads? 

One of the top questions that pop into first-time buyers' minds is whether brake pads are worth the investment. Well, they certainly are! They essentially work to enhance the braking system of your bike and make it more efficient. 

They are installed on the rim, which then comes in contact with the wheel to stop when the rider applies friction and pressure. They can make stopping much more smooth, efficient, and quiet, especially in situations such as raining, when stopping the vehicle can be pretty tricky and dangerous. Thus, they prove to be an essential investment. 

What Makes Brake Pads Great For a Road Bike? 

An obvious question that comes to mind when looking for a brake pad is what separates a good and bad brake bad? How can you identify a good-quality brake pad? Well, there are certain features that need to be considered so one can easily spot this difference. These include: 


They need to be constructed with a material that ensures they are durable and reliable enough to handle wear and tear. Often, products are created with multiple compounds that work in conjunction to ensure noise-free, smooth operation. 


The product should be backed up with good service and warranty so that they turn to be a long-term investment. They need to have a long wear time, so they don’t start tearing up upon encountering little friction or heat. 


Many times, if a product is constructed with high-quality material, it tends to have a high price, which isn’t the ideal case scenario. Invest in a product that isn’t just affordable but also of good quality. 

Review of the Best Road Bike Brake Pads

There are many products on the market; however, not all of them are worthy of investments. Many products are duds, wasteful investment, and result in bad experiences. To avoid all this, we have reviewed some of the best bike brake pads, which will surely make great investments. Have a look!

Best Overall:
SwissStop Full FlashPro

Swiss Stop Full FlashPro Elite Break Pads, Original Black


  • Low pad-wear rate
  • Superior stopping power
  • Smooth and quiet performance
  • Compatible with Shimano and SRAM brake calipers 
  • Excellent wet weather performance due to deeper grooves


  • Slightly on the more expensive end of the spectrum 

What Recent Buyers Report

This unit is a consumer favorite for its impeccable design and the stunning performance it delivers. It is highly reliable and can work in wet and dry conditions equally well, which is quite an achievement. Overall, it has been able to garner a lot of love and appreciation from consumers.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Whether it is the design of this incredible product or the stellar performance it is capable of giving; the product is completely deserving of the best overall position. It is manufactured by a highly reliable brand, which ensures that the performance and design are up to the mark. 

The design has deep grooves so that the water can escape, allowing the unit to provide good performance even in wet conditions. The unit has been constructed with highly durable materials, which ensure that it has a low wear rate, making it a long-lasting investment. 

Bottom Line

Overall, this unit gets a lot of praise from the consumers and rightfully so. Be it the quiet and smooth performance or the incredible design; the unit is a complete delight to own. It is a great investment to make. 

Shimano Brake Pads R55C4

2 Pairs Shimano Brake Pads R55C4 Dura Ace/Ultegra/105 with Fixing Bolts, Factory Number: Y-8L298062


  • Easy to install
  • Quiet and smooth functionality
  • Features excellent stopping power
  • Cost-effective since it provides great features at a reasonable price
  • Constructed with rigid, sturdy, and hard material for excellent braking experience


  • Not the best performance in the rain 
  • Doesn’t come with brake shows included

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers are completely shocked by this unit's affordable nature, especially with the quality of performance provided. It is incredibly reliable and constructed to be highly durable. It provides great braking experience and has excellent stopping power. Buyers loved it. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

There’s a lot to praise this unit for and not a lot to complain about, which is one of the reasons why this completely had our attention. It is constructed with excellent-quality materials which ensure that it stays up well even in high-speed braking situations.

The overall design is incredible as it provides a smooth yet quiet performance. It is incredibly convenient for consumers, given that it is on the much more affordable end of the price spectrum. Also, the installation process is time and cost-effective, which makes it an even bigger catch for beginners

Bottom Line

To sum up, this unit proves to be a great investment. It is incredibly well-designed and constructed with top-notch materials to provide an outclass experience. The unit is definitely worth checking out, given the wonderful features. 

Best for the Money:
Origin8 Sport Road Pads

Origin8 Sport Road Brake Pads


  • Provides excellent mileage
  • Doesn’t make a lot of noise
  • Constructed with all-weather compound 
  • Good value for money as it is very affordable
  • Grooves help water escape, enabling excellent braking performance in the rain as well


  • Some buyers found that they require precise adjustment
  • Tend to wear out quickly over time as compared to others

What Recent Buyers Report

Consumers seem to be really impressed by this unit due to many reasons. It comes at a great price, which makes it highly accessible. However, this doesn’t compromise its stellar performance. Some buyers did find that it needed certain precise adjustments to work well, but the end results are worth the effort 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This unit is impeccable! It is surely a treat for those on a tight budget looking for a good-quality unit that works as well as this one does. The design is very impressive. It has grooves that help the water escape and thus enables the unit to provide incredible performance in the rain. 

It is constructed to work well in every weather and provide the same excellent braking experience. Many consumers reported that it provided much more mileage than what they expected, which is another reason why it's worthy of the praise. 

Bottom Line

All in all, this is a wonderful unit which is constructed with many details kept in mind. It comes with multiple features that ensure noise-free and high-quality performance. It is a great investment and is definitely worth checking out. 

Best Road Bike Brake Pads for Aluminum Rim:
Kool Stop Dual Compound Mountain Pads

Kool-Stop Dual Compound Mountain Pads for Linear Pull Brakes Threaded,Black/Salmon


  • Easy to install and adjust with rim-friendly compounds
  • Contains water grooves and a knurl-lock washer system
  • Highly durable with a hardened and reinforced steel backbone
  • Curved design allows the product to contour the rim in a better manner
  • Provides a nearly silent experience with the dual compound construction


  • Slightly more expensive for what they are
  • Red color isn’t as vibrant as it looked in pictures

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers are very happy with this unit. They find it quite reliable and long-lasting. The construction is incredible as it is designed to perfectly contour the rim. The red color isn’t as vibrant as it appears online, but the dual compound structure enables it to perform even better than an average brake pad. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This product has garnered many praises and appreciation for its impeccable design, which is backed by a highly reliable brand. The brand is known to use excellent-quality materials with incredible services, which is the case for this unit as well. 

This model is very convenient as it has a curved structure that allows its longer design to easily hug or contour the rim. Furthermore, it has water grooves and a knurl-lock washer system. This allows less wear and tear from factors such as vibration, water, etc. Moreover, it has a hardened and reinforced steel backbone, which makes it very durable.

Bottom Line

Overall, this unit is an incredibly well-designed and well-engineered product. It takes into account durability and performance. It is great for multiple weather conditions as well and is a hit among users. It is a worthy investment. 

Editor's Pick:
Promax V-Brake

Promax V-Brake Shoe 3 Color


  • Installation and adjustments are easy
  • Black compound provides high brake performance
  • Green compound provides good performance in wet condition
  • Brown compound is responsible for the low noise performance
  • Constructed with three compounds to provide excellent performance in rain and normal weather


  • Calipers that came along with the product aren’t of the best quality
  • Insufficient instructions which make things slightly confusing for consumers

What Recent Buyers Report

Users are largely very impressed with this unit. They find that it works incredibly well and provides a noise-free, all-weather performance at an affordable price point. Even though some buyers did complain that the installation process was a bit troublesome, the product is still a consumer favorite. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Promax V-brake caught our attention with its innovative three-compound design, which is quite unique. This design is primarily what enables the unit to perform so well under all weather conditions. The brand is highly reliable with years of experience in the market. It is also known to offer excellent after-sales service. 

The design is pretty unique; it has black, brown, and green compound construction. The black compound provides an all-round high brake performance. Meanwhile, the green compound allows the brake pads to provide excellent stopping power even in wet conditions. Lastly, the brown compound is responsible for low noise performance. The installation is pretty easy and hassle-free too. 

Bottom Line

Last but not least, this is an incredible product. Whether it is the highly innovative three-compound design or the easy installation process, this wonderful product outshines many others. This makes it a great investment and worthy of checking out. 

What Do I Need To Know Before Buying Brake Pads For my Road Bike? 

When it comes to buying brake pads for your road bike, there are certain factors that need to be given some thought. These will ensure that the product you buy is well-suited for your bike and proves to be a worthy investment. 


People often forget to check the compatibility of the brake shoe when they decide to replace braking pads. There are multiple shapes of brake shoes, and this becomes of importance if you are replacing an older brake pad with a new one. It’s important to know that SRAM and Shimano feature the same shape of brake calipers, whereas some don’t. 

Brand and Quality

It’s important to invest in a renowned brand that is reliable. As brand name takes a huge toll on the product’s quality, good-quality brands tend to be more conscious of their unit’s design and quality. Thus, look for a unit from a good brand known to manufacture top-notch units. Also, look into the unit’s construction and performance capabilities before taking a leap of faith and making the investment. 


One of the most annoying noises to exist is the squeaking upon applying the brake. It can be completely avoided if one looks for a unit that offers a smooth yet noise-free operation so that cycling and braking are peaceful all along. 


Brake pads are a small yet necessary investment to make. They can greatly increase the efficiency of your bike’s brake system, thus proving to be an essential investment, but people often don’t pay it much attention. 

Thus, we decided to compile the ultimate guide to buying the best road bike brake pads. This includes all you need to know about what they offer, how to buy good-quality ones, and some incredible product recommendations to consider. 

Hopefully, by the time you reach this section of the post, you will have a good idea of how beneficial bike brake pads are and which one to invest in.

People Also Ask

Consumers tend to have a lot of questions when it comes to their bike’s brake pads. Thus, we took the liberty of answering your most frequently asked ones so that any confusion you may have is cleared. Let’s take a look at these questions:

Are Bike Brake Pads Universal?

Yes, they are mostly universal. However, there are certain things that differentiate one product from the other such as construction. Brake pads may be constructed from different materials, which has an effect on its performance. Then there is the obvious difference in size and diameter of each product; however, that doesn’t have much effect on performance. 

When to Replace Bike Brake Pads?

If you find that the indents or grooves on your bike pads have been completely worn off and are making noise upon getting worked on, it’s probably because they need to be replaced. 

Why Do My Brake Pads Wear Out Quickly?

The most common cause of brake pads wearing out other than heat and friction is heavy braking at high speeds. This causes congested highways, which can cause a lot of damage to your brake pads. Furthermore, it's pretty much decided that front brake pads wear out faster than the rear ones. 

How Long Should Bike Brake Pads Last?

The mileage you get from your brake pads strictly depends upon the situation and the material. If you use them on bad commutes with high braking or in wet conditions, then they certainly will wear out quickly. However, on average, one should be able to get 500-700 miles from resin and about 1000 miles from a metal pad. 

How Do I Know if My Bike Brake Pads Are Worn?

There are a few ways you can check whether your brake pads are worn out. Firstly, you can see whether the indents or grooves are still present; if they are, then the brake pad is in good condition. Furthermore, the wear line should remain intact and functional. 


"I'm Linda's husband. We got married in 2018 and are loving life together. We met in one of my many competitive races and hit it off right away. Our best dates are when we're riding down a trail enjoying each other’s company in the beautiful Colorado weather. I enjoy writing about everything pertaining to bikes. "