MTB: Organic or semi-metallic what are the best brake pads?

The pads are an essential component of our brake system. Choosing the right type of pads will guarantee better braking and a better feeling of safety in the mountains.


However, in the component market there are various types of pads made of different materials and with different performance and durability characteristics.


Organic or semi-metallic? Is one of the most common questions cyclists ask themselves when they must replace the old pads with ones that are capable of providing greater efficiency when stopping.


If you are one of the bikers who have had to face this dilemma or who still do not know the basic differences between organic or semi-metallic, do not worry because in this article we will solve all the doubts about it.


Pad holder


Before starting to evaluate the characteristics of each of the materials with which the tablets are made, we will analyze the components on which each of them is mounted.


Cyclists must be clear that the material of the pad is different from that of the support and that this, according to its characteristics, is also capable of providing greater performance when braking.


So, let's look at some of the differences in the materials of the support:


Ceramic material supports: they have the ability to thermally isolate the piston and caliper from the material of the pad. This aspect greatly reduces the risk of overheating.

Aluminum or titanium supports: they are much lighter than supports made of steel. Weight reduction is its main advantage.

Steel supports: although they are heavier, they are usually much cheaper and their performance is somewhere in the middle.


Advantages and disadvantages of using organic or semi-metallic tablets


Some best brake pads can be both organic and semi-metallic regardless of the materials with which the supports are manufactured. That is to say that a support in steel does not determine that its pickup has to be necessarily organic or metallic, no.

Once the doubts regarding the first theme are cleared, we will highlight the characteristics of both pieces.

Organic pills

Organic brake pads, also known as resin pads, are made from a mixture of materials such as glass, glass, and carbon.

The organic ones are the most recommended by experts in mechanics, since the compounds with which they are made make them much softer, allowing to obtain a better bite or better adapt to the design of the disc.




·        They are ideal for dissipating the heat that is generated in the discs of bicycles.

·        Its system is much more modular (better adaptation to the disk)

·        Cheaper than metal composite.

·        Its bite or initial performance is amazing (effectiveness in braking from the first moment without investing in running time)

·        They are less noisy (being softer they generate less noise than semi-metallic pads)

·        They transfer less heat to the calipers and discs, guaranteeing less wear and greater power and brake performance.

·        The Ferodo component (metallic fibers and threads) with which this type of pads is made improves the friction and durability of the disc surface.




·        They tend to crystallize at high temperatures and thus reduce the effectiveness of the grip since they are more sensitive to heat.

·        In adverse temperature conditions they often lose their performance capacity (it does not cover all areas of meteorology)

·        They have less useful life than semi-metallic tablets


Semi-metallic pellets, also known as sintered pellets, are made from the combination of heat-pressed metal particles such as copper, bronze, or iron, and some incorporate resin material (in lesser amounts than is used in organic ones).