Reviews | The Drive

Best Bike Brake Pads: Improve Safety with this Essential Item

Prioritize bike safety by investing in a great set of bike brake pads

With decades of combined experience covering the latest news, reviewing the greatest gear, and advising you on your next car purchase, The Drive is the leading authority on all things automotive.


The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.

BYDaniel Rika, Dorian Smith-Garcia, Linsay Thomas/ LAST UPDATED ON February 19, 2021

Biking around town or on the trails is a great way to stay in shape. If you’re biking through a city or in other local areas, you know how important it is to have high-quality bike brake pads. When it comes to safety, this isn’t where you should be cheap or cut corners. We’ve rounded up some of the top options in bike brake pads so you can find the right option for your bicycle.

Best Overall

Swiss Stop FlashPro Original Black Brake Pads


A bolt-on style brake pad that comes in a set of four. These brakes offer easy installation and a consistent ride.


If you’re tired of brakes that feature a rough stop, you’ll appreciate the smooth braking quality of the Swiss Stop models. You’ll also enjoy quiet operation that ensures you’ll come to a stop without a telltale squeak.


Depending on how frequently you ride, these brake pads may wear out quicker than you would like. In some cases, you can experience serious wear as quickly as a mile into using the new brake pads.

Best Value

Alritz Bike Brake Pads Set


A wallet-friendly set of bike brake pads at 70 millimeters, which is ideal for road and mountain bikes.


Solid construction that features rubber and metal alloy ensures that these brakes will last for a long time. You’ll also enjoy less noise and improved stopping power thanks to the curved design.


Novices to bike repair may find that these brakes don’t fit with existing brake connections if they don’t double-check the fit and current brake type. The brake pads may also produce increased wear on the rims.

Honorable Mention

SHIMANO 2 Pairs Disc Brake Pads


If you’re concerned about compatibility, then the Shimano disc brake pads are a smart option thanks to the wide range of compatible models.


They’re made out of resin, which offers better braking control. Installing them to replace old pads is a breeze and can be done in a matter of minutes, making these a smart DIY bike repair option.


The resin bike brake pads wear faster than other compositions, so you may find that you’re replacing these brakes frequently. In rare cases, the resin pad has completely separated from the metal backing while in use, which can lead to safety issues while you ride.

Best Bike Brake Pads: Improve Safety with this Essential Item

Best Bike Brake Pads Reviews & Recommendations 2021

The Swiss Stop FlashPro Original Black Brake Pads are tough and durable. Each is made out of a carbon material that increases its ability to stop quickly and safely. But unlike other brakes that may whine and moan when pressed — these are quiet. They also come with a sophisticated and sleek look as well.

As an extra bonus to you and your bike, the set comes with four brake pads so you have extra when and if you need them. As for their installation, they bolt on directly in place and are simple to do so. They offer better control and performance no matter if you hold down the brakes or softly feather them to slow to a crawl.

The brake pads can be a bit expensive when you compare them to other brands. Plus, You may end up needing the extra pair as the pads may not last all that long. If you do a lot of off-road riding on difficult terrain, the pads might wear down more quickly than they would on smooth asphalt. There have also been complaints that they may be too wide to install on certain bike models. They should fit but it may take some time to do so.

The Alritz Bike Brake Pads Set comes in a pack of three that each measure 70mm. Each is universal in design and makes a great choice for installing all kinds of bikes. Whether it’s a hybrid, road, mountain, or commuter bike, these install quickly and easily and you won’t need your own tools.

As our best budget choice, the brake pads are set at a friendly price as well. A great feature of the brake pads is their unique color choices. You won’t have to be stuck with a standard black design as they are available in red and blue as well. They are efficient, smooth, and quiet thanks to their metal and rubber blend. And even though they are cheaper than other brands, they provide an enhanced ride and boosted performance when it comes to slowing you down. 

Unfortunately, their budget-friendly pricing doesn’t do them any justice when it comes to their longevity. They may not end up lasting you all that long, especially if you push them to their limits with hard braking. Also, their braking power might be reduced if you tend to do a lot of wet-weather riding.

The name Shimano is synonymous with bicycles and its SHIMANO 2 Pairs Disc Brake Pads are as reliable as they come. One of the most surprising factors with these pads is their price. They aren’t overly expensive, considering the Shimano name, nor are they set too low to be considered cheap. They’re simple in design yet don’t lack on power or stopping resistance.

They are also one of the most compatible brake pads to make our list. They fit with a number of discs and are durable. Each is made out of a tough resin material for added strength, reduced noise, and increased control when you slam on the brakes. They are one of the best brake pads you can find when it comes to any DIY work as well.

However, the resin may actually wear down more quickly than other types of material. You may have to end up replacing these more often as well. Also, the kit only comes as a set of two. If you need replacements, you will have to buy more. You may get a few squeaks every now and then when pressing the brakes as well.

The Pangda Road Brake Pads are another inexpensive brake pad for your bicycle. Specifically designed to be compatible with road bikes, these measure 50mm. They also install easily and can be done so in a couple of minutes. But perhaps what may be their best feature is in how they are designed. 

They forgo the typical structure of a brake pad and instead include V shaped water-leaking tanks. This build helps ensure they don’t interfere in any way as to damage the bike’s tire. Yet it also increases grip strength and improves the overall braking power of the bike and reduces noise levels and whine.

However, as with other cheaper brake pads, these may end up wearing out more rapidly than other higher-quality brands. There have also been reports that the pads may start out with a bit of noise at first. If this is the case, they should quiet down after a couple of rides on any terrain.

As the name suggests, the Kool Stop Dual Compound Mountain Pads are indeed rather cool. They feature a unique design of a blend of orange and black that makes them stand out once installed on the bike. They are sleek, elegant, and work quickly and effectively when it comes to slowing the bike down, keeping you safer and out of danger.

Another great aspect of the bike brake pads is their price. They aren’t overpriced nor are they set too low. They are a mid-ranged brake pad that comes as a set of two. They give the bike more response time when you hit the brakes, are long-lasting, and are grippy, and ride smoothly over rough terrain.

The one major complaint has to do with their noise quality. Riders claim the front brakes whine if you hit the brakes suddenly. They may also moan if you grind down on the brake pedals. You may also want to test them out by breaking them in before using them on any extreme trails. 


Why Trust Us

Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

Learn more
  • If you ride your bicycle all-year-round, then focus on all-weather bike brake pads. They are designed to work in a range of climates and tend to be made of sturdier materials that can withstand a larger range of elements. 
  • For optimal performance, routinely check your brake pads for signs of wear and replace them regularly. 
  • An obvious sign that it’s time to change your brake pads is an audible screeching when you slow down. Other common signs include slower response times when you brake and wear on your bike brake pads. 


Q: What materials should I look for in a bike brake pad?

A: There are a variety of options when it comes to bike brake pad materials. Rubber is a very common and sturdy option that is relatively weather-resistant. But if your focus is on long-lasting brakes, you may want brake pads made from metal alloys or ceramic. The most popular bike brake pads tend to feature a combination of metal and rubber. 

Q: Which type of bike brake pad should I pick?

A: When shopping for brake pads, you usually have three options: rim brakes, disc brake pads, and combination brakes. The type you pick depends on the type of bike you have. Rim brakes are best suited for mountain bikes. Disc brake pads are usually the more popular choice and tend to be the standard for most bikes. The type of brake pad currently on your bike will dictate what you should pick, and opting to switch to a new brake pad style may require a serious investment.

Q:  What factors will influence the type of pad I choose?

A: Always check to see what type of brake pads your bike currently uses. If you’re looking to quickly and cheaply update or upgrade your pads, stick to the brake type that is currently on your bike. 

Final Thoughts

Safety should be a priority, and that makes our best overall selection, the Swiss Stop FlashPro Original Black Brake Pads, a smart choice.

Budget-conscious shoppers can’t go wrong with our best value option, the Alritz Bike Brake Pads Set.