Brake Pads – Racing vs OEM

Ferodo Brake Pads Roesch Brake Pads EBC Brake Pads

Racing brake pads like Ferodo DS2500 and Roesch carbon fibre pads are much more expensive than standard replacement brake pads like Ferodo Premier but why?

The short answer is materials. The materials that go into racing brake pads are much higher quality than normal brake pads which give them an edge in a few ways. Performance in extreme driving. Ferodo DS2500 and Roesch brake pads maintain their friction even when they are extremely hot, for example driving on the track or in the mountains. Ferodo Premier, while a good brake pad, can overheat when you are driving quickly which means their friction against the disc reduces meaning less braking power. You can feel this when you are driving. When the pads are overheating you can apply the same pressure on the brake pedal as you did when the pads were cold but when they are hot the increased pressure does not lead to more braking power. In extreme cases pushing harder on the brake pedal with overheated pads can actually lead to reduced braking power.

So why does this happen?

Ferodo Premier has a higher coefficeint of friction than most brake pads. This is great for having strong brake when the pads are cold but this high friction means the pads create more heat the more they are used. Brake pads are a balancing act between good friction on the brake discs and good stopping power when the brake pads are cold and when the brake pads are hot. If the fricition is too high the pads work well when they are cold but when you drive fast this extra friction causes too much heat which leads to the brake pads gassing which reduces their friction against the brake disc. So racing brake pads by and large have a lower coefficent of friction than standard brakes pads like Ferodo Premier. This is to limit the amount of heat the pads create in hard driving. So brake pads are a balancing act between friction and performance under hard driving. For normal drivers the brake pads will have a high coefficent of friction, like Ferodo Premier. For advanced drivers performance brake pads have a lower coefficent friction meaning less braking power when cold but this lower friction value means the pads stay cooler when driving hard meaning they are more stable over a greater temperature range.
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