I had in interesting question today that got me thinking. Are there any brake pads that are marketed specifically to be able to switch between alloy training rims and carbon race rims? As in switch wheelsets but using the same pads.

Generally i would think this is a bad idea as an alloy material that made it's way into the pad could then utterly destroy a carbon brake track.

Then i saw this on competitivecyclist.com

SwissStop makes it clear that there's no need to swap out pads from carbon-specific to non if you switch wheels from your carbon race-day gems to your aluminum training set. However, we'd recommend always checking your pads and removing aluminum debris before installing your carbon race-day wheels.

However after checking Swissstop's site for their yellow carbon compound pads, there was no mention anywhere of them also being compatible with alloy rims.

I would also tend to think the specific compounds like differ quite a bit and something that stops quick and quiet on carbon or basalt brake tracks would not have the same attributes when used on alloy.

Has anyone ever heard or seen such a thing?

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    Changing pads is seriously easy, and only requires one screw removed per pad. With the wheel out its even easier to access. I'd use two sets of brake pads. I'd also swap them a week before race day, and do some rides on the race wheels to find any faults.
    – Criggie
    Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 23:31
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    I would do the same personally, i don't see the necessity to save a couple minutes before a ride but a shop customer was dead set on finding some like i described so it got me thinking.
    – Nate W
    Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 23:33
  • Great question. Its certainly something that puts me off a set of carbon wheels, life is too short to spend it swapping brake pads every other week.
    – Andy P
    Commented Mar 22, 2017 at 14:39

1 Answer 1


Unfortunately not. Carbon pads would work on alloy rims but not effectively so you might end up in a pickle if having to stop quickly. If you tried to use alloy pads on a carbon rim then you'd have the same performance issues with the added effect of squealing like hell and leaving serious scores on your rims due to the material hardness.

Since its so easy to change out pads, i'd just keep some spares and swap out at the same time as your wheels.

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