best bmx brake pads

Choosing the right brake pads is crucial for BMX riders, affecting both their performance and safety. While there are numerous options available, the Slim by Four emerges as our favorite for 2023. Renowned for its exceptional stopping power and durability, it strikes an ideal balance for various riding styles.

Although the Odyssey Slim by Four is our top pick, it's important to note that the market offers a diverse range of other viable options. Each pad type caters to different preferences and requirements, making it essential to consider various alternatives. Whether you prioritize noise reduction, compatibility with specific rim types, or performance under unique riding conditions, there's a brake pad out there to suit your needs.

In this guide, we focus on why the Odyssey Slim by Four is our preferred choice, but we also acknowledge the richness of the BMX brake pad market. We'll explore the qualities that set the Odyssey apart while also highlighting other notable contenders. Get ready to discover a brake pad that not only meets but exceeds your BMX riding expectations.

Our top choices

Our Choice

our choice
odyssey slim by four

Odyssey Slim By Four

Widely available at a good price and loved by a huge majority of the market. Great for any skill level

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Cheapest

cheapest choice
cheap odyssey pads

Odyssey A

At under $10 you can't go wrong with these pads. They perform well and can be replaced affordably and easily.

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Upgrade Pick

upgrade pick
Éclat premium brake pads

Éclat Force

Made by a top BMX brand with quality and consistency in mind. You won't break the bank but you'll notice the difference.

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Overall Best BMX Brake Pads

odyssey slim by four best bmx brake pads

Odyssey Slim By Four Review

  • BMX-specific design
  • Symmetric shape for versatile braking
  • Custom inner frame enhances power
  • Two compound options for different needs
  • Strong stopping power
  • Clear pads may squeak
  • May collect dust
  • Not all compounds suit all rims
  • Strong grip may be too intense
  • Noisy when stopping hard
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photo credit  Photo by odysseybmx.com

The Odyssey Slim By Four brake pads are designed specifically for BMX bikes. They feature a symmetric shape, making them suitable for both forward and backward braking. A custom inner frame is included to increase braking power and reduce flex.

These pads come in two different compounds: black and clear. The black compound is considered the "Normal Compound," suitable for most riders and conditions. The clear compound is softer and designed to offer more grip, especially on powder-coated rims.

Users have noted that these pads are particularly effective when used with Haro Heffer 3 chrome hoops. They are praised for their excellent grip and durability. However, some users have reported that the clear pads can be noisy, and potentially disturbing in quiet neighborhoods.

Another point to consider is that these pads may collect dust, affecting their performance over time. One user mentioned planning to switch to Skyway Tuff II wheels to improve this issue. Despite this, the pads are generally well-received for their strong stopping power.

Specifications:

  • Hardware: In-bound bolt
  • Hex Key: 5mm
  • Thread: M6x1.0

Odyssey Slim By Four Clear (Soft) Brake Shoes



Best for Painted Rims

kool stop bmx brake pads in 2024

Kool Stop BMX Brake Pads 2024

    Durable steel backbone. Innovative angled tip plow. Effective in wet conditions. Secure Knurl-lock™ system. Excellent stopping power.
    Available only in threaded. Limited color options. Slightly heavier than some alternatives. May require adjustment for optimal performance. Specific to BMX bikes only.
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photo credit  Photo by koolstop.com

The Kool Stop BMX Brake Pads are a premium choice for BMX biking enthusiasts. Specifically designed for BMX bikes with direct pull brakes, these pads are notable for their unique features and high-quality construction.

Constructed with a hardened and plated reinforced steel backbone, these pads are built for durability. Their patented angled tip plow is an innovative feature that enhances braking performance, particularly noticeable in challenging riding conditions.

The inclusion of water grooves in the design is a thoughtful addition, as it improves the pad's effectiveness in wet conditions, a common concern for riders.

Furthermore, the Knurl-lock™ washer system ensures a secure and stable fit, perfect for dirt riding. The pads are available only in a threaded option, catering to a specific segment of BMX bikes.

In terms of specifications, each pair of these BMX pads weighs 61.7 grams, a reasonable weight that doesn't add significant bulk to the bike. The overall length of 78.5 mm and a pad contact width of 8.5 mm are within the standard dimensions for BMX brake pads, ensuring compatibility with a wide range of BMX bikes.

Highly recommended for painted or coated rims, these brake pads stand out for their excellent stopping power. This makes them a reliable choice for all weather conditions. Moreover, they are designed to be less prone to squeaking, a common issue with many brake pads, providing a more pleasant and noise-free riding experience.

Specifications:

  • Water grooves
  • Dual pivot adjustment
  • Dual compound
  • Better modulation
  • Length: 55mm
  • Brake Surface Length: 52mm
  • Weight: 61.7g

Kool stop BMX brake pads explained & review



Budget Pick

odyssey A cheap bmx brake pads

Odyssey A BMX Brake Pads

  • Available in three compound
  • Ideal for different rim type
  • Maximizes stopping power
  • Minimizes rim wear
  • Offers grip variations for rider preference
  • Limited color options
  • Specific pads for specific rims
  • May require trial and error to find the best fit
  • Not universally compatible with all BMX bikes
  • Clear pads may show dirt more easily
$8 from SourceBMX Affiliate Link

photo credit  Photo by odysseybmx.com

The Odyssey A Brake Pads are a notable choice for BMX enthusiasts seeking reliable braking performance. Offered in three different compounds – Normal (black), Medium (red), and Soft (clear) – they cater to a range of braking styles and rim types.

The black pads are recognized as the best overall option for most riders, striking a balance between grip and feathering. For those seeking more grip, the red medium compound provides a firmer hold with less feathering compared to the black pads.

The clear pads, made from a soft compound, offer the most grip, making them ideal for powder-coated and hard-anodized rims.

Odyssey's expertise in the brake business is evident in their development of these pads. They have crafted a perfect compound for any situation, focusing on delivering maximum stopping power while minimizing rim wear.

This consideration is especially crucial for BMX riders who demand high performance without compromising the longevity of their equipment. The availability of these pads in black for regular chrome or anodized rims and clear for painted rims allows riders to choose the best match for their specific bike setup.

The Odyssey A Brake Pads are a versatile and high-quality option for BMX riders. Their varied compounds cater to different rim types and riding styles, offering a customized braking experience.

The focus on maximizing stopping power and minimizing rim wear demonstrates Odyssey's commitment to quality and performance in the BMX brake pad market.



Premium Pick

Éclat force premium brake pads

Éclat Force Brake Pad Review

  • Lightweight design
  • Available in male and female bolt versions
  • Durable 6061-T6 alloy internal structure
  • Variety of compounds
  • Multiple color options are available
  • Specific compounds may not suit all rim types
  • Super soft compounds might wear faster
$18 from SourceBMX Affiliate Link

photo credit  Photo by eclatbmx.com

The Éclat Force Brake Pads is a great pick for a premium BMX brake pad. These pads boast a lightweight design and are available with both male and female bolt options, showcasing their versatility and ease of installation.

A standout feature of these pads is their internal structure, forged from 6061-T6 alloy, which promises durability and consistent performance under varied riding conditions.

Éclat offers these pads in a variety of compounds and colors to suit different preferences and requirements. The clear pads, made from a super soft compound, are ideal for a stronger brake setup, especially with chrome rims. They offer a sticky feel, ensuring maximum grip and control.

The white pads, designed with a soft compound, are better suited for painted or anodized rims and offer quieter braking than the clear pads.

Black pads use a medium compound and are considered a versatile choice, perfect for black rims and suitable for all-around brake setups.

With a length of 60mm and a weight of only 41g per pair, these brake pads are designed for minimalism and efficiency, without sacrificing braking power. This balance of lightweight design and robust construction makes them an attractive choice for riders who value both performance and simplicity in their BMX setup.

In conclusion, these pads are a well-rounded choice for BMX riders. Their combination of lightweight design, durable materials, and a variety of compounds make them a versatile choice for different riding styles and rim types. Whether you prioritize a stronger grip or a quieter ride, these pads offer options to cater to diverse needs.

Specifications:

  • Length: 60mm
  • Weight: 41g
  • Colors: Clear, White, Black

The BEST BMX Brake Pads?! Éclat Force Brake Pad Review



Additional Brake Pad Buying Tips

Noise Considerations

When selecting brake pads, noise is a key factor for many riders. Some brake pads are engineered to operate quietly, providing a smoother and less disruptive ride.

If you're sensitive to noise or prefer a quieter biking experience, look for pads that are advertised as low-noise or noise-reducing. These pads often feature special materials or designs that minimize the sound produced during braking.

Clear pads are known for creating more noise than colored, regular pads. However, people prefer them for colored rims that might otherwise get damaged.

Compatibility with Rim Types

bmx rims

The type of rims you have on your bike plays a crucial role in brake pad selection. For those with painted or coated rims, it's important to choose pads that won't damage the finish.

Certain brake pad materials can be abrasive and wear down the coating or paint. Check the compatibility of the brake pads with your specific rim type to ensure they won't cause any harm.

Riding Conditions and Their Impact on Brake Pad Choice

Different riding conditions demand different types of brake pads. If you're primarily a street rider, you'll need pads that perform well on smooth, paved surfaces.

These pads are designed for quick stops and consistent performance in urban settings. On the other hand, if you're into BMX dirt jumping, look for pads that can handle mud, dirt, and rough terrain.

Pad Materials

The material of the brake pads is a significant factor in their performance and durability. Common materials include organic (resin), semi-metallic, and sintered metal.

Organic pads are quieter and offer good performance in dry conditions but wear out faster. Semi-metallic pads are more durable and work well in a range of conditions. Sintered metal pads are the most durable and are excellent for intense riding conditions but can be noisy and wear out rims faster.

Riding Style

Your riding style should guide your brake pad choice. Casual riders might prefer the quiet and less aggressive performance of organic pads, while BMX pros or aggressive riders might opt for the durability and strong stopping power of sintered metal pads.

It's important to balance your riding style with the conditions you usually ride in to find the best brake pad for your needs.

Remember, the right brake pads can significantly enhance both your performance and safety on the bike.



Other Options

Throughout our testing, research and conversation with other riders, we found the following BMX brake pads were also very popular.



Frequently Asked Brake Pad Questions

What is the advantage of clear brake pads?

Clear brake pads, typically made from a softer compound, offer better braking power compared to the harder compounds used in black pads. This makes them particularly effective for doing stall tricks, as they function more like an on/off switch, providing instant stopping power.

However, they do have drawbacks, such as wearing out faster and eventually rubbing the paint off the sidewalls of rims, despite not leaving marks initially.

They are also less effective for general braking purposes, especially in dirty conditions where dirt on brake tracks can be problematic.

Should I replace both brake pads at the same time?

Yes, you should replace both brake pads at the same time, especially if they are on the same wheel (either front or rear). If your brakes are set up correctly, both pads should wear down at the same rate. Replacing them together ensures balanced braking and prevents uneven wear, which could lead to compromised performance and safety.

How can I make my BMX brakes easier to pull?

To make BMX brakes easier to pull, you can adjust the brake lever and the brake cable. Adjusting the brake lever for comfort involves loosening its clamp and positioning it at a more comfortable angle. Additionally, use the barrel adjuster on most brake levers to fine-tune brake performance; turning it counterclockwise reduces the lever's travel distance by bringing the pads closer to the rim. Some brake levers also have a reach screw, which can be turned clockwise to bring the lever closer to the handlebar, making it easier to reach and pull. This adjustment might require adding slack to the cable using the barrel adjusters.



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