Not cheap but worth it for the enhanced braking performance they deliver
Weight: 52g Contact: www.extrauk.co.uk
These SwissStop GHP2 Full RxPlus brake-pads are just one of the variety of pad compounds from the Mendrisio based company that does a whole range of useful rubber and elastic products and not just bits for stopping.
Each of the SwissStop series pads are designed for a different rim or application; the black pads are for all-round use, the Yellow King ones are for carbon rims, Grey Economy are the performance to price ratio pads designed for everyday use and the Blue Sky pads are for ceramic rims. These green GHP2 (Green High Performance) pads here are designed for clamping onto aluminium rims and suited for harsh conditions, most likely where your cyclo-cross bike would be then, although they do this pad compound to fit a standard road caliper as well, and for mountainbike discs too.
These are the Rx Plus pads that include the holder and bolts that will fit some cantilever and linear-pull brakes (that's V-brakes to you and me) although if you have pad holders already you can buy the pads separately, and pads with an integrated post-mount are available to fit more archaic cantilevers.
Unsurprisingly you fit them to a cantilever just like any other brake pad, and once on and quickly tested up and down the road the performance upgrade is immediately apparent. The SwissStop greens feel significantly less wooden than the stock black pads they replaced, giving much more brake feel at the lever with less of a binary on/off sensation. And they stop noticeably quicker too, what's not to like? Extrapolate that quick test ride sensation to race and just riding around behaviour and you get more controlled and predictable braking in the dry, with the pleasant bonus of that effectiveness not dropping off dramatically in the wet and grime either where the green compound makes sloppy speed management a much more confident proposition than with normal pads, whether that's entering a corner at full chat during a race, scrubbing enthusiasm when just mucking about or emergency stopping in SMIDSY traffic. Although the pads are crenellated top and bottom the lack of any deep channels bisecting the pads means pointy muck and sharp rubble doesn't get lodged in them ready to unleash scoury grief unto your rims.
You'd suspect that the slightly softer compound doesn't last as long as something firmer but these have been wearing okay, not wearing quite as well as firmer off-the-shelf pads but the performance and feel of the SwissStop GHP2 is well worth that slight trade off, and one of the benefits of the pads compound is the lack of frying-bacon noise that you can get with cheaper, harsher compounds, you know, that noise that lets you know your rims are being slowly ground away. There's also plenty of anecdotal evidence that a softer pad such as these can help with the dreaded front fork judder some riders experience with certain brake and fork combos.
The SwissStop GHP2 will enhance the performance of any cantilever brake with more feel and better braking both in the dry and especially in the wet. At several times the cost of your standard brake pad they might not be the best choice for your everyday runaround, but if you value stopping power and predictability for racing or mucking about then they're worth it.
RRP- £24.99 (1 pair, or one wheels worth)
(also available as pads only, £24.99 for 2 pairs)
road.cc test report
Make and model: SwissStop GHP2 Full RxPlus 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?
Swissstop say they offer the best braking performance in all conditions for all types of bike with the four different compounds available. The GHP II is their high performance all weather compound for aluminium rims. Great braking power with smooth modulation, excellent in the dry and unbeatable in the rain. Extremely low pad and rim wear. With a complete absence of abrasive materials which damage rims they offer consistent braking from -20C to +40C and a silent operation.
I'd agree with all of that, although I haven't had a chance yet to test their -20C performance claims, or the +40C for that matter.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
High performance, all weather compound for aluminum wheels. Great braking power with smooth modulation.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well, a definite improvement over a standard brake-block.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The extra feel and stopping power, the green.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
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
I usually ride: It varies as to the season. My best bike is: The one I\'m on at the time
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: road racing, cyclo cross, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Fun