Superstar Kevlar Compound disc brake pads review

Good compromise between sintered and organic

BikeRadar score4/5

Despite some teething problems (a faulty early batch), Superstar’s bargain brake pads have gone on to gain a devoted following. In addition to the usual organic (high performance in the dry but short lived) and sintered (long lasting, good performance in wet) options they also offer these Kevlar Compound pads, which are designed to offer the best of both worlds.

By adding Kevlar fibres to an organic pad, the idea is that performance will be maintained but lifespan will be extended significantly. That’s the theory, but how do they work in practice? So long as you fit and bed them in correctly, they’re very good indeed.

Initial bite is excellent and they take long downhills in their stride. While they don’t last as long as sintered pads, they’re definitely an improvement over standard organics, although they seem to be more prone to squealing.

It’s definitely worth taking your time during setup though – we managed to get through a set in just a couple of hours at a wet Cannock Chase after a sticky piston on our Formula R1s resulted in rotor rub which we were too cold/lazy to fix. This was entirely our own fault, but sintered pads would have lasted a lot longer.

We wouldn’t recommend the Kevlar pads for gritty areas like the UK’s Peak District, where sintered pads are a must, but they’re a good value alternative for riders who normally use organics. The initial outlay is slightly higher – £10 a pair, compared to £7 for Superstar's organic pads – but you won’t have to replace them nearly as often.

They’re also a good compromise for riders who find it difficult to choose between organic or sintered pads. And if you don’t get on with them, Superstar have a 45-day no-quibble returns policy. Four-pack bundles are currently available for just £25, making them even more of a bargain.

CW has been riding mountain bikes for more than two decades now. He's the first to admit he's not the fittest or most skilful rider on the hill, but that doesn't stop him sweating up the climbs to have a blast on the downhills.
  • Age: 38
  • Height: 189cm/6'2"
  • Weight: 70kg/154lb
  • Waist: 32in/81cm
  • Chest: 40in/102cm
  • Discipline: MTB, commuting
  • Preferred Terrain: Big mountains and flowing singletrack
  • Current Bikes: Whyte T-129 S SCR, Stanton Sherpa 853, Pinnacle Dolomite 6
  • Dream Bike: Evil The Following
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston Old Peculier
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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