I'm going to be riding my bike daily during the rainy Belgian winter (-2°C to +5°C). If it snows or freezes the roads will be covered with salt.

I'm using the 105 R7000 series hydraulic disc brakes.

I need to find out which pads would be the best during the above conditions:

  • Metal
  • Resin
  • Any other pads?

From what I've found it seems like the metal pads would be superior in those conditions but also louder, is this correct?

Anything else I need to keep in mind regarding braking in winter conditions?

1 Answer 1


Skipping over whether you should avoid trashing a Ultegra drive train by exposing it to European salted winter roads daily, and get a winter beater bike instead ...

Sintered pads will perform better in the wet that organic ones.

From https://www.worldwidecyclery.com/blogs/worldwide-cyclery-blog/mountain-bike-brake-pads-sintered-vs-organic

The biggest downside to organic brake pads is that they do not perform well in wet conditions. In wet and muddy conditions the brake pads can wear down even faster than normal and could also get glazed over keeping them from performing again in dry conditions.

Sintered brake pads will continue to grab as strong as ever in wet and muddy trail conditions.

The downside is noise and higher wear on the rotors.

The few negatives to running sintered brake pads is that they can make some noise. Depending if they are wet or have been really hot, sintered brake pads can be loud! Lastly, because sintered pads are made from a harder material, they can be harder on rotors. For most riders, this usually isn't a problem because it takes some serious abuse to burn up brake rotors.

  • Sintered is really the way to go in wet sloppy conditions. I have burned through resin pads commuting during the rainy season. The only thing I would add was that some cheaper rotors are listed as "not compatible" with sintered pads, likely due to the quality of metal used or hardening, I am not sure of the exact reason.
    – Rider_X
    Oct 8, 2019 at 21:42
  • Some (usually cheap) discs are made from 'soft' metal, so sintered chews though them. Apart form extra wear, no reason not to. In these conditions I would run sintered and not bother changing the discs if/when they wore out.
    – mattnz
    Oct 8, 2019 at 23:54
  • 2
    After coming back from the ride, wash the relevant parts: rotors, pads and callipers with COLD water to remove any salt. No hot water, because it will accelerate any corrosion that has already begun. If you have the possibility to use air blast from a compressor, use it to blow-dry the parts. Keep the chain clean and oiled.
    – Carel
    Oct 10, 2019 at 17:43
  • @Carel Thanks for the hot water tip.
    – Matthiee
    Oct 11, 2019 at 10:42
  • I generally run sintered pads on the tourer (in all conditions). Rotor wear isn't too bad with them, but when I briefly had ceramic pads the rotors suffered badly (then I did, by melting the resin holding the ceramic together on the back, after the front jammed)
    – Chris H
    Oct 11, 2019 at 11:49

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