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I have a touring/city/all road bike with the following brake setup

  • Sora levers (almost new)
  • Shimano "resin only" type rotors, close to needing replacement (reused from the parts bin)
  • Shimano resin pads (almost new)
  • TRP Spyre calipers (almost new)
  • Jagwire slick stainless cables (almost new)
  • Jagwire KEB-SL compression less outer brake cable (almost new)

Pads are in good condition. Rotors and pads are clean (no contamination).

To my knowledge, only Shimano makes "Resin only" rotors. Out of experience, I know they don't last as long. As to if there are supposed to brake as well with the dedicated Shimano's resin pads than a classic steel rotor with metallic or semi-metallic setup, I can't tell.

The braking force is a the best bad and somehow ruins the fun of riding. As soon as they heat up they get very noisy (not the contaminated pads noise). Since the rotors need to be replaced, I was wondering, out of experience, what type of rotors mixed with what type of pads would tend to offer more bite, all other things being equal.

Thank you!

2 Answers 2

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It's hard to give a definitive answer to this question, as organic pads from brand A are not equal to organic pads from brand B (some brands even have multiple types of organic pad compounds), same goes for metallic pads.

German Mountainbike Magazin did an extensive laboratory braking force test a few years back: https://www.mountainbike-magazin.de/parts/22-bremsbelaege-im-test/#bildergalerie

The pads with the highest braking force in this test all are organic ones. This correlates with my own experience. But it doesn't mean all organic pads are better then all metallic pads, especially when you compare cheap organic with expensive metallic pads.

Generally organic pads offer more initial bite, while metallic pads are getting stronger as they heat up (same goes for organic pads, but the effect is much more pronounced in metallic pads). Also, metallic pads take longer to bed in. On the other hand, metallic pads are more "robust". They last longer and overheat/fade later then organic pads but are often noisier. There is a third kind of pads, semi-metallic. They are an inbetween of organic and metallic pads.

Regardless of type, you need to bed in the pads correctly. If you get them to hot before they are bedded in, they may never reach full stopping power. Common practice is to repeatedly get up to ~30km/h and brake hard until nearly stopped. Each time you should feel the braking power increase. Repeat 10-20 times until you don't feel it getting better anymore.

As for discs: In my experience they don't make a noticeable difference in braking power. Don't use resin only discs, even when only using organic pads they wear out faster. Heavier discs with thicker material and less holes take longer to overheat and are less prone to warping and bending. Bigger discs can! give you more braking power and stay cooler, maybe to cool. Especially if you are a light rider, who doesn't break much, this can mean your brakes won't reach the optimal operating temperature and smaller, hotter discs could give you more power. You need to check with the bike/fork manufacturer what the maximum size is.

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The question currently is likely to be closed, since you asked for not only type but brand.

However, the "type" part of the question is answerable: sintered metallic pads offer more bite than organic resin pads. However, metallic pads have somewhat noisier braking.

Other drawbacks of metallic pads are that they are more expensive and eat rotors at a faster pace. However, they are more resistant against brake fading and the pads (as opposed to rotors) have longer lifetime with metallic pads than with resin pads.

Be sure to select rotors that work with both resin and metal pads, then you can use either pad type and the rotor doesn't restrict you at all.

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    Thank you for this, and I will edit the question to remove "brand".
    – SuperBab
    Nov 8, 2022 at 18:32
  • "sintered metallic pads offer more bite than organic resin pads." this is not universally true. As seen in my answer.
    – airace3
    Nov 9, 2022 at 10:54

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