DiscoBrakes: Semi-metallic brake pads (£9.79)

Brake pads can be a bit of a minefield with different manufacturers, materials and sizes but when it comes to changing pads most of us probably go for something different from the OEM offerings. Generally, they are more cost effective and often perform better than that from the manufacturer.

Discobrakes have been around for a while and cover everything you’re likely to need to overhaul your brakes. Road and disc pads, rotors, fancy coloured bolts and even coloured inner cables. It’s encouraging that many of these products have picked up positive reviews through the likes of MBUK, MBR and their sponsored riders Jose Antonio Hermida and Cedric Gracia but are their pads really worth the gamble? After all, everyone needs the coward levers at some point!

The DiscoBrakes website can be a bit of a minefield and looks a bit outdated but in there you’ll find pads for almost every brake system you can think of. The copper-free ‘Developed, tested and raced by MTB legend Cedric Gracia‘ piqued my interest but I opted for my usual semi metallic pads. These seem to be a good option around our local trails and generally find a happy medium between breaking power and pad life.

Going full geek on the pads the vernier calipers measured the back plates to be identical to the OEM Magura pads and the pad material to be very slightly thicker.

The pads were well on their way to being bedded in after 10 or 12 runs down the street, unlike Maguars suggested 30. Due to current Covid-19 restrictions I’m generally riding to local trails so left the remainder of the process to do on the road, this produced over the bar braking power!

I’ve been running the Discobrakes pads most days for a month in the rain, slop and snow and have to say I’m nothing but impressed. They are a bit noisy but in wet rides of sub zero temperatures this is completely expected – once they are warm on a longer descent the noise is minimal. The pads have a nice crisp initial bite point which has been consistent and confidence inspiring and I’ve had no issues with brake fade or glazing. Having taken the pads out after a month I’m surprised at how little wear they are showing.

All in all, if you’re looking for a well-priced, well-made pad that will go the distance DiscoBrakes are well worth a look. I’ll certainly be trying some more of their compounds.