Gigapower Brake Pads

Gigapower Brake Pads

 

Gigapower Brake Pads

 

By Duncan Moore

 

Preview of the Gigapower Brake Pads

 

Gigapower brake pads are now in the UK and Duncan has a set to test.

 

I’m not alone in my quest for the best performance advantages available to me when it comes to my bicycles; whether that be lighter parts, an aerodynamic improvement or some other go-faster option, but I think I might be in the minority here right now because I’m going to now go in the opposite direction and talk about slowing down.

 

Thanks to writing reviews for CycleTechReview.com, I’m in the fortunate position that I often get sent kit out of the blue, or get offered review samples while I’m at shows and trade events, and that’s why I’m now talking about slowing down. I’ve been given a bike’s worth of Gigapower GB-352-XMB brake blocks.

 

Gigapower brake pads
Gigapower brake pads

 

Before I got the Gigapower brake blocks I hadn’t even heard of the brand, but a little research tells me that the company has been in business since 1970 when it began by producing engine gaskets for motorcycles before moving into motorbike brake pads and then onto bicycle brake pads in the early ‘90s. The full range of the company’s bicycle brake products is now available in the UK through www.gigapower.co.uk.

 

The pads that I have, the GB-352-XMB, are one of the company’s range of Campagnolo compatible applications – Shimano/SRAM options are available too – and these particular ones are described as having a semi-flexible ceramic fibre compound. It is claimed that the flexibility of the pads allows them to react like cushions offering better hand control. Personally, I can’t feel any difference from any other brakes I’ve used in that respect.

 

Gigapower brake pads
Gigapower GB-352-XMB Campag brake pads

 

Also worth making note of is the lack of corundum (aluminium oxide) or other metal materials in the pad compound. Aluminium oxide is an abrasive often found in other brands’ brake pads. While it might help with stopping power it will also grind away at your rims, and is one of the reasons you need specialist pads for use on carbon rims.

 

Something else about the pads that Gigapower makes big claims about is the lack of squeal, even offering a money back guarantee if they do squeal. The packaging proudly proclaims that no toe-in is needed when you install the pads, and so that’s just what I did. With the pads in place and set parallel to the rims it was time to ride. I tried braking gently and then pulling on the levers hard at various speeds; no squeal.

 

Gigapower brake pads
Gigapower brake pads have a semi-flexible ceramic fibre compound

 

Squeal free brakes will be a benefit to home mechanics who struggle to set toe-in, but how effective are the pads at actually stopping a bike?

 

So far it’s been mixed. I’ll admit I didn’t expect great things at first, then again I’m always cynical about new products, and new pads usually take time to bed in anyway. The Gigapower pads have proved to be no different. The stopping power isn’t outstanding yet, but nor is it bad. Previous experience would suggest that as the braking surface on the pads starts to wear slightly, effectively scrubbing any release agents or glazing off the surface, stopping power will improve. Only time will tell.

 

Then again it could just be that I’m being too harsh on the Gigapower pads, after all I can’t remember the last time I was on a ride that wasn’t wet after one of the wettest winters on record here in the UK. It could be that the braking is better than I realise, but the inclement weather conditions are masking the effect…

 

Gigapower brake pads
Gigapower pads have been working well in the rain…

 

One thing that I am definitely positive about is the price. The suggested retail price is £17.50 per pair but shop around and you can find them for as little as £14, which compared to authentic Campagnolo pads being nearly twice that makes them seem like great value.

 
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Gigapower

 

2 thoughts on “Gigapower Brake Pads

  1. Free from abrasives like aluminum in pad compound, Gigapower brake pads are sure easy on rims. There’s no squeal as claimed but the stopping power does improve with regular use. Lastly, these are not very expensive and Gigapower being a credible company, I do think these brake pads will last for a pretty good time!

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