Aimed at higher end, competition quality callipers, Jagwire Sleek Rd pads provide superior braking prowess without sacrificing modulation so are logical alternatives for Shimano’s racier Dura Ace, Ultegra and 105 family. That said, those looking to bolster the performance of older top-flight single pivots might be pleasantly surprised but the sleek wouldn’t be a cost effective upgrade for lowlier models.
Quietly sceptical of pattern specific brake pads, I experimented by fitting ours to three markedly different callipers and achieved pleasing compatibility with a little spacer experimentation. Measuring 50mm long, compatible with polished, ceramic and carbon rims, these secret formula pads brought two comparable Miche and Tiagra callipers up a couple of notches, although the alignment and toe-in were more involved with the Italian marque. The Tektro were something of a red herring given, in the real world these pads cost more than the entire ensemble.
Decent stoppers encourage more spirited riding and coinciding with cable replacement, the Miche felt and behaved notably better. The pro are a medium four season’s road compound, although judging by the literature, their exact composition remains a closely guarded secret. More expensive models feature titanium hardware and other gram saving exotica but in practice, I’d sooner forgo the need for Ti prep and similar anti seize pastes –especially on mile munching Audax and/or winter trainers.
Performance seems identical come rain, shine, sleet and indeed snow, bringing my minimalist fixer to a breathtaking halt from thirty five mph along a notoriously steep hill while facilitating a punchier ride through rush hour town centre traffic. My relatively conventional road bike complete with laden oversized wedge bag leads me to conclude that outright power isn’t quite comparable with some but then, I never felt as if the wheels would lock, nor did the pads seem overly sensitive to heat generated by prolonged braking. In keeping with others in the Jagwire range, water channelling readily attracts debris with audible sidewall scouring effect so will need regular purging. Given the season, wear rates seem favourable with traditional rims but heavier riders running ceramic types will be changing them sooner.
Capable stoppers that are good value alternatives to high end OEM pads.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Jagwire Sleek road cartridge brake pads
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Pro Series Compound - Road
Superior braking performance
High-power with excellent modulation
Excellent wet weather control
Factual and to the point.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
Age: 37 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)