Absolute Black has recently presented new graphene brake pads dedicated to bikes.
Graphene is becoming commonplace in the making of many bicycle components, but according to the British company, it is in this segment that it could offer the main advantages.
The new pads are the result of 3 years of studies and tests carried out in collaboration with companies already active in the automotive world and they come produced in Europe.
How they are made
The new Absolute Black pads use graphene, in combination with other materials, for both the pad compound and the backplate and cooling fins.
This combination allows you to take advantage of the excellent thermal conductivity of graphene to improve the cooling capacity of the pad. The key to everything, in a nutshell, lies precisely in this aspect.
The organic compound is made with “specially modified” graphene instead of copper, which according to Absolute Black guarantees excellent friction, durability, but above all transfers heat to the plates more efficiently.
There complete absence of copper it is another aspect to underline, since it is a toxic material. In California it will be banned starting in 2025 and in all probability it will suffer the same sort in Europe in the years to come.
Particular is also the structure of plates and cooling fins, made of steel, but completely coated with graphene. Even the radiator design helps improve heat dissipation, with the shape of the cooling fins varying by model. The lugs are available on all versions except those for the Shimano Deore.
What advantages do graphene brake pads promise
The main advantage promised by graphene brake pads is a 35% better cooling capacity than competitors.
At least that’s what the tests carried out in the Absolute Black laboratory say, partly explained in the video you find below.
According to the technicians of the English company, it is precisely the rise in disc and pad temperature that causes a decline in performance, as well as noise and increased consumption.
The better cooling capacity, therefore, should guarantee more powerful braking, but above all more constant and modular even on long and demanding descents. And, consequently, also greater safety and driving fluidity.
Based on what has been declared, it seems to us that the main advantages could affect heavier cyclists on long and steep descents, which put the braking system under much more stress.
The reduction in operating temperatures should also ensure greater silence, as well as one longer life, both of the pads and the disc.
With use, in fact, graphene gradually settles also on the surface of the disc and this should increase its life. Not to mention that working at lower temperatures the risk of deformation is reduced.
Duration and prices
According to internal tests with a pair of pads it is possible to ride up to 8,000 km on a hilly path.
The pads are a crucial element in optimizing the performance of a braking system and honestly we are really curious to understand how they go. We have just ordered two pairs for this and will be giving you some feedback in the coming months.
Of course, the prices for now are not attractive. We’ll have to see if it’s really worth it …
Disc 34 for Shimano Dura Ace, Utlegra, 105: 59.99 euros per couple
Disc 35 for Sram eTap AXS: 59.99 euros per couple
Disc 27 for Shimano XTR: 47.99 euros per couple
Disc 31 for SRAM G2: 47.99 euros per couple
Disc 15 for Shimano Deore: 35.99 euros per couple
For more information: absoluteblack.cc
To learn more about internal test data and methods: absoluteblack.cc/graphenpads
Furthermore, regarding the performance of the braking system, below you will find an article dedicated to the importance of a good running-in:
Breaking in your bike’s disc brakes: here’s how to do it right