Are you looking to replace your e-bike's disc brake pads? Well, it might be a little more confusing than it is straightforward. There are so many brake pads out there, not to mention the different pads offering a different braking experience.
To help you make the right choice and pick a safe and reliable brake pad for your e-bike, let's talk about what there is to know about the brake pads:
What Do Brake Pads Do?
Brake pads are pretty simple to explain. They are the part of the brake that touches the rim of the wheel. This is where they work their magic and grab the wheel so that it stops spinning and begins rolling.
To do this, the pads must be put under a lot of pressure. This pressure is generated by an arm that is connected to the brakes themselves. The pads are located on a pivot, which allows them to move with the rim.
What Type Of Pad Compounds Are There?
When talking about what a bike's braking pads are made of, we generally refer to it as a compound. This is because such pads are made by mixing various powdered additives with a binding agent. This is then put into high heat and, with a lot of pressure, forms the solid block that is to become the pad itself.
Now, different mixes of powders can affect the pad's properties, and here are the main types:
1. Organic Compounds
Organic compounds are the most widely used in brake pad production. Such materials are soft and provide a smooth braking experience. However, they do wear out fast and need to be replaced every few months.
2. Semi-metallic Compounds
These are, as the name suggests, a mix of metal and organic compounds. Because of this, they are a little harder than organic compounds. However, they also wear out faster, requiring replacement after a few months.
3. Metallic Compounds
Metallic compounds are often referred to as sintered pads. They are usually made of aluminum oxide and are, as the name suggests, very hard. This means that they offer a longer lifespan than their organic counterparts. However, their hardness can also result in a more abrupt braking experience.
4. Ceramic Compounds
Ceramic compounds are made mainly of ceramic and aluminum oxide and are also referred to as "ceramic-metallic." They offer the longest lifespan out of all the compound types and are non-asbestos.
Which One Should I Pick?
With all of that explained, which pad compounds should you pick when you are ready to replace the pads on your e-bike? Well, that truly depends on your needs. You might want longer-lasting pads so that you don't have to worry about them wearing out for a while. Or you might want smoother ones, as that's your preference.
Another thing to keep in mind is the conditions you will ride in. If you commute through conditions that are wet, dusty, and generally harsher, then it might be a good idea to go with a semi-metallic or metallic compound. If you ride mostly through dry conditions and don't mind changing pads after a few months, then you might want to go with an organic compound.
So there you have it, all the information you need about e-bike brake pads compounds and what they are made of. Now you know what to look for when you're ready to replace your pads, as well as what to expect from them, go ahead and make your decision. Ultimately, experience is the best teacher, and what you think will work for you may turn out not to. However, take this as a learning opportunity to help you understand what brake pads to opt for in the future.
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