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DiscoBrakes hose, disc and pad upgrades: Ridden and reviewed

We take a closer look at DiscoBrakes' comprehensive range of good quality, super-bright brake spares

DiscoBrakes
(Image: © Guy Kesteven)

Our Verdict

Massive range of good quality brake spares for brightening up your bike at a bargain price

For

  • Vast range of pad fit options
  • Solid all-rounder or specialist use pad compounds
  • Lightweight, good looking floating rotors
  • Bright, bargain-priced brake hoses

Against

  • No Centerlock or 140mm floating rotor options

DiscoBrakes offers pretty much everything you need to upgrade, alter or build your brake system apart from the brakes themselves. The company makes them in a bunch of colours at bargain prices and once you've navigated the huge amount of options for each part, the performance is well up to par. 

Brake pads

DiscoBrakes

(Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

We’ve been using DiscoBrakes' pads on- and off-road for several years and its range of 78 different pads takes you from the latest Shimano and SRAM road sets back to last century brakes from Cannondale, Hayes and Hope as well as obscure OEM only anchors. DiscoBrakes produces a far wider range of compounds - semi-metallic, kevlar, ceramic pro, hardened ceramic - than the usual sintered or resin/organic options too. There are even super-light alloy backplate options in some designs if you’re really watching the grams. 

Semi-metallic are the basic, cheapest pads which are totally adequate in most conditions and bed in quickly and easily. Ceramic pro is a great choice for mountain use as they offer the best heat dissipation but you’ll need to check them regularly as wear life is short. Copper-free (resin/organic) is the best bet for increasing life on softer Shimano rotors and they give plenty of power even on 140mm discs. Quiet running makes them a great ‘summer’ pad too, but they are the most expensive and they wear quickly in dirty, gritty use. Kevlar last extremely well but while DiscoBrakes list them as amongst the most powerful options, we find they don’t quite have the initial bite of original equipment SRAM or Shimano pads and they can feel a little wooden if they’ve been sat doing nothing for a while. 

That means our go-to set for the road and mountain bike (conditions aren’t much different in the UK) are the sintered pads. The bite is predictable and confident and they last well even on a dirty, day in day out commuting schedule. In fact, our current pair have been sitting in a fossilised SRAM Force rear brake for well over a year and still have meat on them. 

At £6.79 (semi-metallic) - £12.19 (copper-free) individual pair pricing is good, but the real win comes from the 4 pair packs starting at £19.49. DiscoBrakes also offers a range of different rim brake designs and compounds if you’re still stopping conventionally.

Rotors

DiscoBrakes

(Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

Yet again DiscoBrakes offers a range of brake rotors ranging from the alloy centre floating rotors we’ve been using to various single-piece designs including colour painted centres for a floating rotor look. The floating rotors come with black, blue, gold, green, orange, purple, red and silver anodised six-bolt spiders with a 160mm rotor weighing in at 103g (20-25 per cent lighter than a single-piece rotor).

They run straight and quiet even after heavy, prolonged braking too and the edge notches are rounded in a finger-friendly style. There are no 140mm or Centerlock floating option though and at £23.29 to £35.29 you can buy very similar rotors slightly cheaper if you shop around. Centerlock adaptors and spacing mounts (in different colours obviously) are also available.

Brake hoses

DiscoBrakes

(Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

If you really want to perk your bike up then DiscoBrakes’ replacement brake hoses blue, green, orange, pink, red, white and yellow are a great choice. Black is also available if you want to stay stealth or braided for an indestructible, industrial look.

The kevlar-reinforced hoses are tough and kink resistant but not so stiff they’re a fight to thread and they cut cleanly with a decent blade or snips. They’re available in hose only (1m £8.79 / 2m £11.29) so you can try and salvage existing fittings, or the easiest option is to get a whole fresh set of fittings too for £21.29 - £29.29. 

All the major brands are covered but if you’re looking for SRAM they’ll be labelled as Avid as the DiscoBrakes website isn’t quite at the cutting edge of online shopping in terms of design or organisation. 

Verdict

The number of pad options can be confusing but the core ‘copper-free’ and ‘sintered’ pads work great at a bargain price. The specialist compound and brake compatibility range is incredibly comprehensive, too. The rotors are well priced and work well as long as you don’t want 140mm rotors or direct mount Centerlock. The coloured hoses are a great way to brighten up your bike.