When it comes to cost-effective upgrades on cheaper bikes, it’s hard to beat cartridge brake pads (as long as your bike has rim brakes rather than discs). BBB’s basic option is a cracking value way to improve braking power and precision.
By sliding a replaceable rubber brake block ‘cartridge’ into a full length metal shoe you get a much more positive and predictable brake-to-rim contact than with cheap all-in-one pads, which use rubber moulded over a metal armature.
There’s also no chance of the internal metal stud taking massive gouges out of your rims if the pad wears down too far. Because you’re just sliding the brake block out and leaving the metal shoe in place on the brake, replacement with alloy or carbon specific brake pads is quicker and free from realignment hassle. At under £17 for a full front and rear set they’re a bargain.
This article was originally published in Triathlon Plus magazine.