Summary of brake shoes for carbon rim and wheel

Posted at: May. 16, 2022

When using rim brakes on carbon rim/wheels, it is essential to use special brake shoes to reduce braking force and damage to the rim. In this issue, we introduce a collection of brake shoes for carbon rim wheels.

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When using rim brakes on carbon wheels, special brake shoes are required

When using rim brakes on carbon rimmed wheels, so-called “carbon wheels,” brake shoes for normal aluminum rims cannot be used. Special brake shoes for carbon rims are required.

If you use brake shoes for aluminum rims to brake carbon rim wheels, the following risks are involved

  1. the rim may deform due to high heat
  2. the braking surface of the rim is damaged

In particular, brake shoes used on wheels with aluminum rims may have minute metal fragments on the shoes when they rub against the rim, and these metal fragments can cause damage to the carbon rim.

Brake shoes specially designed for carbon rims

Shimano R55C4(Y8L298070/Y8L298072)

Shimano genuine carbon rim specific brake shoes, DURA-ACE R9100 grade, can be used with brakes that use cartridge type brake shoes. Shimano rim brakes are 105 or higher.

Although more expensive than regular brake shoes, these carbon-specific shoes are more affordable than other manufacturers at about $20 per set, and are popular because of their firm braking performance.

Swiss Stop Flash Series

Swiss Stop’s “Flash” series is one of the most popular carbon-specific brake shoes with outstanding performance.

The following two models are available for carbon shoes.

  1. FLASH PRO
  2. FLASH EVO

In addition, FLASH PRO is available in two shoe colors: BLACK Prince in black and Yellow King in yellow.

The price is higher than Shimano’s R55C4 carbon shoe at about $30 for two shoes, but they offer better braking control and finer braking, and are often referred to as “Swiss Stop’s FLASH PRO when in doubt.

Note that FLASH PRO also has a model for aluminum rims that looks similar to the one for carbon rims. The aluminum rim version is labeled “compound for alloy rims” on the package.

BBB CarbStop

Along with the Swiss Stop, the BBB CarbStop is the standard carbon brake shoe for carbon rims.

The BBB CarbStopp is a popular shoe because of its high braking power, low squeal characteristic of carbon rims, and the price of less than $30 for a set of four.

Lineline Performance Carbon Roadbrake Insert

This is a carbon-specific brake shoe from Lineline, a private brand of Wiggle, a major bicycle shopping site in the United Kingdom.

Although these shoes are very inexpensive, selling for less than $10 for a set of four, they have a reputation for “stopping well for hobby use,” but they also have many reviews saying that they “squeal strongly” and “seem to damage rims very much.

Brakes are a life-saving function. Choose shoes that are firm and reliable.

Carbon-rimmed wheels are lightweight and look cool, but in terms of braking, they inevitably have less stopping power than aluminum-rimmed wheels or disc brakes.

Even so, braking is an important function to protect your life, so don’t skimp on the $20 or so and use good brake shoes to protect your life.

You may think, “I have to pay a lot of money for brake shoes,” but the more expensive brake shoes are, the less aggressive they are on the rims, and if you can use your carbon wheels for a long time, the more cost-effective they will be as a result.

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