Ceramic brake pads for cyclists who like high-speed descents

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Kogel is known for its ceramic cycling bearings. And now, there are ceramic brake pads, too. (Photo: Kogel)
Kogel is known for its ceramic cycling bearings. And now, there are ceramic brake pads, too. (Photo: Kogel)
  • Cyclists often don’t think about brake pad material until it’s too late.
  • Hydraulic bicycle brakes work great, until they overheat, and you lose braking power on a long descent.
  • Ceramic brake pads could be the answer, with their ability to resist brake fade, when things get hot.

Hydraulic disc brakes work on a simple principle, converting kinetic energy to heat. And the better your bike’s brake pads can deal with that heat build-up, the more secure braking performance will be.

Riders have a selection of choices when it comes to brake pads. Some mountain bikers prefer to sacrifice braking feel, for durability, by choosing a specific pad compound. But what if you want a brake pad that is guaranteed to perform better, as things heat-up on a long descent?

This is a significant issue for South African mountain bikers and road riders. With hot riding conditions being the norm, brakes work hard in South Africa.

mountain bike brakes
With their high temperature tolerance, these pads keep heat in the pads, instead of your rotors and callipers. (Photo: Kogel)

Braking power that doesn't fade

The American bearing specialist, Kogel, has a new ceramic brake pad that promises to retain its performance on long descents and sweltering days. Kogel’s Kratos brake pad compound uses a ceramic layer to optimize its heat absorption and in theory, it should help reduce brake fade, on a steep descent.

Ceramic brakes are proven in F1 motorsport, and they should work a treat for those riders who need more consistent stopping power on long descents.

Another benefit of Kogel’s Kratos ceramic brake pads, is how they are made. As a mountain biker or road rider, you should value sustainable sourcing. And Kogel’s Kratos brake pads don’t contain nickel or lead. They are also baked at 1000-degrees Celsius, making them much easier to bed-in, compared to normal brake pads. 

mountain bike
Ceramic pads don’t need bedding in, like most conventional brake pads. (Photo: Kogel)

You can fit them to many brake models 

Which brakes do these ceramic pads work with? Quite a broad selection.

Mountain bikers using Shimano XTR, XT or SLX brakes can use them. If your mountain bike features SRAM G2, Guide and Avid XO, the Kogel Kratos brake pads will fit, too.

And for road riders who want fade-free braking performance on that Franschhoek or Chapman’s peak descent? SRAM’s eTap AXS/ Level/Force/Red callipers will all work with the Kogel ceramic pads, and if you are on SRAM 22-series Red/Force/Level brakes, they are retrofit compatible.

Shimano groupset road riders? The Japanese component supplier’s DuraAce, Ultegra, 105, GRX, Tiagra, and XTR M9100 road and gravel bike brakes, will all accept Kogel ceramic pads.

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