Arriving at the BikeRadar towers this week was a box from Yorkshire based company Uberbike. Tightly packed inside was a range of OEM replacement parts, and we thought these new finned brake pads were particularly interesting.
Finned disc brake pads have been available for a good while now as an (arguably unnecessary) option to improve the heat dissipation from hydraulic disc brakes. The most popular finned pads come from Shimano, and despite being standard kit on a few of the firm’s more expensive brakes they tend not to be a popular aftermarket choice – with most riders instead swapping back to conventional pads.
This doesn't really come as a surprise. With a retail price firmly on the wrong side of £20 per end they command a hefty premium over normal standard parts. The other big issue with these is that once you’ve worn through the friction material the entire pads, including the expensive cooling fins, are spent.
That’s where Uberbike’s pads come in. Like Shimano and similar designs, the Uberbike pads use a metal backing plate complete with heat dissipating fins, but instead of the braking surface permanently being attached to the backing plate it arrives in the form of a removable insert. Once the friction material is used up it’s simply a case of swapping a new insert into the finned backing plate at a cost of £8.99 per brake. Did Shimano not do likewise for performance, or economic reasons? We don’t know.. but we’ll be putting the pads through their paces soon and will keep you posted.
Finned options are available for most common models from Shimano, Formula and Avid brakes, with all retailing for £13.99.