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These lightweight pads from Ashima are a great alternative to top end blocks if you're upgrading or building from scratch.
They certainly look very smart, with a brightly shining silver body and two differently coloured compounds in the block itself.
The compounds themselves are heavy with technology, the flexible snow-plough tip at the rear clears grot from your rim, the central orange bit does the actual braking and the heavily sculpted leading edge stops your brakes from squealing like a piggy. The braking surface also has a deep channel cut into the back to help disperse heat on long descents. Look into the channel and you'll see two pits, which serve as wear indicators. Once you can see daylight at the bottom of the pits, it's time to replace the blocks.
By way of comparison, I swapped out the old Dura-Ace blocks on my best bike and fitted these. The compound feels slightly softer than the D-A block. From the off they worked well, biting very positively without any neighbour terrifying squeal. The slightly softer compound also gives them an advantage on wet and muddy roads.
It will be a while before I can comment on their longevity but replacement pads are available for a reasonable £6.99 a pair. I'd guess that they'll wear faster than my old D-A pads, but that's a reasonable trade-off for the superior features you get. Riding on filthy Devon lanes, the snow-plough tip will definitely earn its keep, minimising the amount of grit finding its way to the braking surface and offering some protection to the rims.
Weight weenies on a budget will be delighted to learn that they weight in at around 25g per pair, which is fractionally lighter than D-A despite costing less than half as much.
Overall, I'm impressed with these blocks and they represent excellent value for money.
Top notch replacement blocks and ideal for winter use
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Make and model: Ashima Ultralight 3 colour 3 function brake blocks
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?
Ashima say, "This pad styles are the market leaders offering not only EBS technology on the braking surface but also include engineering performance and functional enhancements to the rear of the pad….pads don’t get more exciting than this!"
Woo! Big up yo' bad selves Ashima dudes!
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 40 Height: 5' 8" Weight: er....86kg
I usually ride: GT Rave - singlespeed conversion My best bike is: Guess SC1 scandium
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: time trialling, commuting, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed,