SwissStop's Disc 34 RS Pads are a great upgrade for any bike facing hard conditions. They remain silent in grotty weather, wear slowly and while they're more expensive than the stock pads, they don't cost a fortune.
SwissStop has provided the upgrade of silence with its Disc 34 RS pads. It might not sound like the best upgrade, but when you've heard the howl of contaminated disc brakes, you'll pay anything for a quiet system.
The 34 RS pads use an organic compound that, while offering quieter braking than the Shimano pads they replaced, don't seem to offer a noticeable difference in stopping power – and the Shimanos are slightly cheaper. That said, they performed well on steep descents, allowing me to slow down rapidly from high speeds. They also offer loads of modulation which further improves their performance in the rain.
Installing the pads is simple. Just pop the old ones out and slot these in. You'll need to do some bedding in of the pads but this is quick to do on a short ride. I just pulled hard on the brakes when heading down a couple of steep hills.
The pads are designed to fit all the latest Shimano callipers from Dura-Ace down to Tiagra, along with Shimano 'non-series' brakes. Once fitted, I can't say that I've had to touch them. It makes the pads very easy to live with.
As my testing has been done during a horrendously wet winter, the conditions have been perfect for exposing any issues with premature wear. Happily, the 34 RS pads seem to be holding up brilliantly.
The combination of silent braking, low wear rate and lack of maintenance needed makes these pads a great upgrade for a bike that is likely to see the rain. There aren't many upgrade options for your brake pads but thankfully, this is a very good one.
Quiet in the wet with a low wear rate – a very good upgrade
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road.cc test report
Make and model: SwissStop Disc 34 RS pads
Size tested: Shimano Flat Mount
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 says: "Disc RS delivers powerful braking and precisely balances the performance characteristics important to racers and everyday riders alike"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Dura Ace BR-R9170
MCX1 Flat Mount
A little more than Shimano's equivalent (£19 rrp).
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Silently and without need of attention.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The silence in what have been some dire conditions.
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. I've got a few friends with rather squeaky brakes.
Use this box to explain your overall score
They're very good: silent in what has been an extremely wet winter, and they've resisted wear well.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!
Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.