SwissStop Yellow King Flash brake pads £32.99
Full carbon rims are fantastic for their weight and aero properties, but it’s often in the all-important braking department that their superiority falters. Carbon fibre just isn’t the ideal material for which to slow a bicycle down.
It’s an area where aftermarket brake pads step in, here specifically from Swiss Stop with its Yellow King Flash pads. Stock pads just often aren’t up to the job of providing ample stoppage power, but these beautiful yellow strips of rubber [eh? – ed.]provide incredible braking performance that is well worth the upgrade over any stock carbon-specific pads your wheels might have been supplied with.
The Yellow Kings pads have replaced the standard carbon-specific pads supplied with a set of carbon wheels recently dropped into the RCUK office, and where the standard brake pads did anything but inspire confidence, the Yellow Kings did – in bucket loads.
Installation was straight-forward, and immediately braking power was up on the standard pads. In a range of conditions the braking remained strong, reliable and consistent, with excellent modulation each and every time the brake levers were reached for.
On long descents they’re foolproof, with none of the noticeable heat build-up that can adversely affect other carbon-specific pads. There was however an occasional squeal when really hauling hard on the levers following a long descent, but even then braking was rock solid and reliable.
As well as providing superior braking on carbon rims, it was also nice to discover they work reasonably well on aluminium rims, at least well enough to save you having to swap your brake pads every time you swap wheels. Perfect if you save your carbon wheels for special occasions/races/dry Sundays and ride aluminium rims the rest of the time.
Wear rate so far is also impressive, but not enough mileage has been logged up to determine their longevity – we’ll report back in a couple of months when more miles have been done. But so far so good.
Priced £32.99. each pack comes with four pads; available for Shimano, SRAM, and Campagnolo systems.