Having used the Charge solidly since October in all weathers, the braking performance was starting to get a little slack. Being a real Heinz 57 bike the brakes are a bit of a mish mash. It’s currently running tektro R536 calipers and ultegra 6600 levers, with shimano single use pads. Now that I’ve fitted (read bodged) some wider touring mudguards on, the calipers unfortunately end up pinching against them. Partly because I was being a tight arse and fitting touring guards to a road bike but mainly due to the over worn pads!
Seeing as it’s only the winter bike I didn’t want to spend a lot so started by looking for replacement pads on eBay. Various cnc cartridge setups with multicoloured pads came up promising braking improvements in all weathers. There were too many to choose from and with no real ability to select one over the other it was frustrating. Moving to the big online guys like wiggle, chain reaction, and ribble, the reviews were all over the place and I’d have to wait and pay for delivery. Prices were also much of a muchness. I came to my senses and thought I should be going to the LBS, it’s brake pads ffs.
Bournemouth Cycle Works being the very LBS. I picked up some Shimano BR6700 Ultegra cartridge pads. Near identical to those fitted to my Ultegra 6800 brakes, familiar with the feel and power they provide, I knew they were a good option. At £15 a set they weren’t the cheapest but they leave me with the option for cheaper cartridge replacement next time around.
On the bike the pads fitted well with the tektro calipers, with cupped washers to help with rim alignment. The brakes needed little adjustment with just a slackening of the barrel adjusters to accommodate the extra pad thickness. The brakes felt positive with that nice audible clamp sound you get from well adjusted brakes, and they had a solid feel. They now also cleared the mudguards!
Out on the road it wasn’t long before the pads were bedded in and gave strong reliable stopping power. Hey I even managed to lock my rear wheel a couple of times even on wet rims. These pads don’t produce excessive dust, wear rims highly, fail in the wet, or cost the earth. Best for the money easily, and half the price of SwissStop greens.
Wow I wrote all of that about a £15 set of brake pads………..