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Trying to source Shimano Disc Brake Pads [L03A Resin]

  • 05-07-2021 5:08pm
    Registered Users Posts: 268 ✭✭ AxleAddict

    I've been spending the last week or so trying to source a couple of pairs of brake pads for my Shimano BR-RS505 hydraulic disc brake callipers. My bike originally came fitted with L02A pads and I've used a mixture of L02A [Resin] and L04C [Sintered] pads over the last couple of years. I'm due another change shortly and I've been trying to source some new pads - I prefer the resin pads because (in my experience) they 'bed-in' quicker and are much quieter than the sintered metal ones, at the expense of wear/longevity. I've since discovered that the L02A pads have now been discontinued and superseded by the L03A variant - which is apparently 40% more wear-resistant - which is great, but they seem to be out of stock just about everywhere I've looked - both online and in local bike shops - I should point out that I'm based in N.Ireland (Belfast specifically).

    The L03A pads are not the cheapest - £23.99 (~€28) - and I've come across other compatible pads online such as these:

    ...which are much cheaper - but don't have the additional cooling fins that the Shimano ones do, so not sure how good the heat dissipation is (I'm around 95kg). Wondering if they're worth a punt? Anyone else here who would normally use L02A/L03A/L04C pads tried anything else - and were they better/worse than the Shimano ones?

    The cheapest I've been able to find the L03A online (albeit currently out of stock) is at Decathlon:


  • Registered Users Posts: 135 ✭✭ David6330

    Have you tried other brake pad brands like SwissStop and Kool Stop to see if they offer the version you want?

  • Registered Users Posts: 868 ✭✭✭ darconio

    "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free."

  • Registered Users Posts: 268 ✭✭ AxleAddict

    darconio wrote: »

    Thanks for this - was just about to post that I had seen these - although it almost pains me to pay £14.99 postage to Northern Ireland - kinda cancels out the discounted price of the pads - but I may just end up getting them here anyway....

  • Registered Users Posts: 268 ✭✭ AxleAddict

    David6330 wrote: »
    Have you tried other brake pad brands like SwissStop and Kool Stop to see if they offer the version you want?

    I'm willing to consider anything as long as they're comparable quality to the original Shimano pads (and around the same price, or ideally cheaper)

    Looking at the SwissStop website it looks like the Disc 34 ExoTherm 2 discs are compatible with my setup:

    Can't see any pricing information though - I guess they don't sell direct to customers so will need to check for resellers/retailers online. From what I recall, SwissStop seem a popular brand for rim brake pads, no idea what their disc brake pads are like - will need to check reviews.

    Kool Stop I've not personally heard of - it looks from their website (that seems like it was developed in the 1990's - sorry!), that the KS-D625 is what I'm after - but no info about the pad material (although their website says they manufacture both organic and sintered pads). Again, no pricing information or ability to purchase directly from the website so will have to look for reviews and re-sellers online.

    Ultimately I would value safety over cost - don't want to buy a cheap disc pad if it's likely to come detached from the backing plate during a ride since I do ride fairly hilly terrain on occasion.