Brake pads to fit hydraulic rim brakes (such as the Magura HS33 or Echo Hydraulic rim brakes) come in various compounds designed for different setups and conditions.
One of the main considerations you should take into account when choosing brake pads is whether you run a 'smooth' or 'ground' rim. A smooth rim is one that has been left unmodified from new, so the braking wall is smooth. This offers better modulation of the brake but compromises performance in wet or dirty conditions. A ground rim is one that has been roughened up with a hand held angle grinder to provide extra braking performance, especially the initial 'bite' of the brake. The advantages of a ground rim become most apparent in wet or dirty conditions, however it often makes the brake noisy (a desirable characteristic for some riders!) and the grind needs to be refreshed to keep performance high.
Pads for smooth rims are of a softer compound and therefore do not last well on ground rims. Most pads for ground rims also work well on smooth rims once worn in.
Top tip: Always ensure that your brake pads are set up perfectly squarely with the rim sidewall, this ensures optimum wear life and performance.
TartyBikes Ltd, Units 3-4, Club Street, Bamber Bridge, Preston, PR5 6FN