Disc brake pads
The plate is made up of two elements: the lining and the support. The lining is the part of the carrier that comes into contact with the disc during braking. It is necessary to change the pads when they are worn.
Depending on the trim, braking is more or less powerful and effective. It is therefore important to know the type of use and the style of bike you practice before changing your pads.
There are two types of fillings: organic (or resin) and metallic.
These are the most widespread, they offer better performance when cold, effective from the first braking, they are suitable for occasional braking at moderate speed . They tend to wear out faster.
The metal plates
Conversely, they offer better performance when hot and are really efficient on descents (descending mountain passes) or during heavy braking (mountain biking, freeride, etc.).
There are also “ceramic” plates. It is not the filling, but part of the support which contains a little ceramic - the latter resisting heat better than steel or aluminum. Like metal pads, they offer powerful braking, necessary in certain disciplines, and are resistant to high temperatures. Their prices are usually higher.
Manufacturers also offer semi-organic or semi-metallic pads which offer a compromise between the two materials.
It is recommended to change your discs if you change the type of lining of your pads.
For a new disc, it is recommended to carry out a small break-in (this process mainly concerns the discs more than the pads). The purpose of the operation is to allow the latter to leave a thin film of their lining (organic or metallic) on the disc. Breaking in also allows the pads to adapt better to the disc, and extends their life.
Each brand (Sram, Avid and Shimano) have their own break-in techniques which are relatively similar.
To do this, perform a few light brakings (about twenty) at low speed without stopping to ventilate the disc well.
Roll for a few minutes to ventilate the disc (10/15min)
Finish with a decade of more aggressive braking at higher speeds. (still without stopping for disk ventilation)