Know Your.......................................

We caught up with Jon Wright, the tech man­ager at EBC brakes, to find out all that’s worth know­ing about pads.


FB: What’s the best way of bed­ding pads in for longevity?

JW: Just to ap­ply the brakes gently, and what­ever you do, do not grab them on them straight away! This means that the ma­te­rial can mate with the wear pat­tern of the disc, rather than patch­ing, which is the ex­act same thing you should be do­ing with new discs. This should nor­mally hap­pen for 100-150 miles be­fore the pads are prop­erly bed­ded in.

FB: How im­por­tant is it to choose the cor­rect pads for your type of rid­ing?

JW: Hugely! You have to se­lect the best ma­te­rial for the type of rid­ing you are go­ing to be do­ing, so think care­fully be­fore you go willy nilly. If you’re a bit stuck then you can check out the chart in our cat­a­logue, which is handy for show­ing the choices avail­able – but as a gen­eral guide there is a pad for ev­ery type of rid­ing and rider: from com­mut­ing to racing!

FB: How do you know what pads are right for you on the street?

JW: From us it’s nice and easy – all you do is se­lect from the choice given in the cat­a­logue. For at­tack­ing the streets we’d rec­om­mend a Dou­ble H sin­tered pad, as on the roads it’s just what you need for the per­fect amount of bite and feel com­bined with longevity. You lot have prob­a­bly all used them be­fore, as most bikes now come fit­ted with sin­tered brake pads as stan­dard. FB: How does that change if you’re on a race track? JW: Mas­sively! The force and heat gen­er­ated means that the pads need to cope un­der greater pres­sure, just like you’d stick a set of slick tyres on for the track. We even make a ma­te­rial specif­i­cally for race use that is pur­posely de­signed to deal with the ex­tra heat and pres­sure re­quired for harder /faster stopping re­quired dur­ing race con­di­tions…

FB: What’s the deal with or­ganic brake pads?

JW: Or­ganic pads are no dif­fer­ent from nor­mal pads, be­sides the fact that the base level ma­te­rial used to make the or­ganic items is ba­si­cally the re­place­ment for as­bestos ma­te­rial pre­vi­ously used in the man­u­fac­ture of brake pads; it’s es­sen­tially that bit cheaper and bet­ter for the en­vi­ron­ment! You’d usu­ally find these on 50-125 scooter/ light weight bikes, not grac­ing 1000cc su­per­bikes…

FB: How dif­fer­ent are sin­tered and semi-sin­tered?

JW: The semi-sin­tered is a com­pro­mise be­tween the or­ganic ma­te­rial and fully sin­tered pads, while the fully sin­tered pads are 100% sin­tered. This op­tion gives peo­ple more choice of ma­te­ri­als, per­for­mance and price as well, mean­ing ul­ti­mately that the rider has more choice when as­sess­ing his brak­ing needs!

FB: What are the pros of car­bon pads?

JW: It all de­pends on what you use them for and how you use them! For ex­am­ple a full blown Mo­toGP bike would use car­bon brakes, but needs a lot of heat just to get them work­ing. If you look at Mo­toGP bikes in the wet, a lot of them don’t even run car­bon discs as the tem­per­a­ture isn’t high enough for them to work, so although they will be bet­ter for re­ally heavy brak­ing, they only work when pushed to the very limit. Don’t let this put you off though, as car­bon pads aren’t just for the racers of the world; it’s a lit­tle known fact that on the flip­side we do use car­bon in some of our scooter pads and also in our off-road range of pads mainly to give more wear life.

FB: Should you change pads be­tween wet/cold and dry/hot?

JW: No not re­ally – mod­ern day fric­tion ma­te­ri­als can nor­mally cope with changes in con­di­tions just like the mod­ern tyres, as long as you aren’t on Mo­toGP spec pads! FB: How do you know if the pads are past their best? JW: You would nor­mally get a whole host of tell-tale signs such as ex­ces­sive lever travel or poor brak­ing per­for­mance, but a weekly check in the caliper to make sure the pads are still in a ser­vice­able con­di­tion would al­ways be rec­om­mended. What you need to look out for is that the fric­tion ma­te­rial is not too low and also that the caliper pis­tons are mov­ing freely and also all sid­ing sur­faces are clean, like the brake pins.

FB: And if you leave them on the bike af­ter they’re mullered?

JW: You wouldn’t be­lieve how many peo­ple let their pads go down to the metal these days! Not only does this ab­so­lutely de­stroy your brak­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties but will also ruin your discs while it hap­pens. Don’t be that guy!

World En­durance racers get eight hours from their pads. Neglect your brak­ing sys­tem and it’ll bite you back.

Dif­fer­ent pads of­fer dif­fer­ent qual­i­ties.

If you let your pads get this bat­tered, you’ll prob­a­bly need new discs, too.

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