What Disc Brake Pads for Shimano 105?

For road bike owners with Shimano 105 hydraulic disc brakes, understanding the appropriate brake pads for replacement is crucial once the existing pads wear out. There are different types of brake pads available for disc brakes, such as metal, resin, or semi-metallic, and each one has its own advantages and disadvantages.

We will explain the differences between these brake pads and help you choose the best one for your Shimano 105 disc brakes.

Metal Brake Pads

Metal brake pads, also known as sintered brake pads, are made of metallic particles that are bonded together with high pressure and heat. They are very durable and can withstand high temperatures and wet conditions. They also provide strong braking power and modulation, especially at high speeds.

However, metal brake pads have some drawbacks as well. They tend to be noisy, especially when they are new or not properly bedded in. They also wear out the rotors faster than other types of brake pads, and they are more expensive.

Resin Brake Pads

Resin brake pads, also known as organic brake pads, are made of synthetic or natural fibers that are mixed with resin. They are softer and quieter than metal brake pads, and they offer good braking performance and modulation at low to medium speeds. They also cause less wear on the rotors and are cheaper than metal brake pads.

Yet, resin brake pads have some disadvantages as well. They tend to fade faster than metal brake pads when they get hot, and they are less effective in wet or muddy conditions.

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Semi-Metallic Brake Pads

Semi-metallic brake pads are a hybrid of metal and resin brake pads. They contain both metallic and organic materials that are blended together to create a balance between durability, noise, and performance. They offer good braking power and modulation in most conditions, and they are less prone to fading than resin brake pads.

Semi-metallic brake pads are still louder than resin brake pads, and they still wear out the rotors faster than resin brake pads. They are also more expensive than resin brake pads.

Which One to Choose?

The choice of brake pads depends on your personal preference, riding style, and riding conditions. There is no definitive answer to which one is the best for Shimano 105 disc brakes, but here are some general guidelines:

1. If you ride mostly in dry and flat terrain, and you value quietness and low maintenance over braking power and durability, you might prefer resin brake pads.

2. If you ride mostly in wet and hilly terrain, and you value braking power and durability over quietness and low maintenance, you might prefer metal brake pads.

3. If you ride in mixed terrain and conditions, and you want a balance between braking power, durability, noise, and maintenance, you might prefer semi-metallic brake pads.

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How to Replace Brake Pads?

Replacing brake pads on Shimano 105 disc brakes is relatively easy and straightforward. You will need a pair of pliers, a 3 mm Allen key, a torque wrench, and a new set of brake pads compatible with your calipers.

Here are the steps to follow:

  • Remove the wheel from the bike.
  • Use the pliers to remove the retaining clip from the caliper.
  • Use the 3 mm Allen key to loosen the pad fixing bolt from the caliper.
  • Pull out the old brake pads from the caliper.
  • Insert the new brake pads into the caliper with the spring between them.
  • Tighten the pad fixing bolt with the torque wrench to 0.6 Nm.
  • Reinstall the retaining clip on the caliper.
  • Reinstall the wheel on the bike.
  • Bed in the new brake pads by riding the bike and applying the brakes several times until they feel consistent and responsive.

Where to Buy Brake Pads?

You can buy brake pads for Shimano 105 disc brakes from various online or offline retailers that sell bike parts and accessories. Some examples of brands that offer compatible brake pads are Shimano, Jagwire, Miles Racing, Cycle1st, etc. You can also check the reviews and ratings of different products before buying them to ensure their quality and performance.

Related: Magura vs Shimano Brakes: Compared


Choosing the right disc brake pads for your Shimano 105 hydraulic disc brakes is important for optimal performance and safety. Consider factors such as riding conditions, braking power, noise level, durability, and personal preferences when selecting between metal, resin, or semi-metallic brake pads. Follow proper installation procedures and bed in the new brake pads for optimal performance. Explore reputable retailers and brands to find compatible brake pads for your Shimano 105 disc brakes.

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