Q&A - Which brake pads?

What's the difference between organic and sintered brake pads?

Q. What's the difference between organic and sintered brake pads?

Joe David, via email

A. Resin pads are softer compound, which means that they create less heat in braking systems with a low boiling point and are also less noisy. However they can wear very, very quickly in adverse weather conditions.

Sintered pads have an added metal shaving content (normally copper) which means they create more heat and noise. However they last far, far better in typical UK conditions, so we'd go for sintered every time over here.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK
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