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There are a lot of brake pad compounds and brands to choose from. It can be overwhelming to choose a compound type for your application, figuring out which brands’ compounds are intended for what and then seeing whether that compound exist for your car. We’ve narrowed the available brake pads down to compounds which are all suitable at a minimum for extreme street driving or track day use all the way up to the most serious race pads.
Two brands which are popular in this segment are Pagid Racing and Ferodo. They are both well-established companies with lots of manufacturing history, strong reputations and of course too many race wins to count.
The Pagid RSL29 compound, formerly known as Pagid RS29, is a long time favorite and reliable pad. It features very good modulation and release characteristics through a low metallic resin bonded material containing steel and aramid fibers. The friction level of the material maintains constant at a low-medium level.
Combined with easy bedding-in behavior, this compound is very popular in club racing, for track days, GT cars, touring cars and prototype endurance racing. Due to the excellent modulation characteristics, the RSL29 pads is also often used in sprint races.
This is a great starting point for a pad upgrade from OEM pads on any performance car.
The Pagid RST compounds are designed to comply with the latest requirements of rally, spring and stock car racing. The RST1 compound is an aggressive compound targeted at Rally and NASCAR applications and in most cases should be run with slicks. If run with DOT tires, the stopping power could cause brakes to lock, which would result in flatspotting tires.
For an E90 BMW M3, many have had success in using the RST1 compound for short races, balanced out with the RST4 in the rear.
The Pagid RST3 compound is one of the most popular pads in the RST range with a number of available applications. It is a medium-high friction metal-ceramic compound containing steel fibers. This provides a low heat conductivity, a good initial bite and excellent modulation and release characteristics. It is fade resistant up to 800 degrees C (1472 degrees F).
Due to the strong initial bite, this pad works well with slicks. For some cars running DOT tires it may lead to lockups and flat-spotting of the tires.
The Pagid RST4 brake pads are a medium friction compound with a high temperature resistance. With a high fade resistance, though a lower pad life, this is an excellent racing compound for open wheel and Formula cars. It has also seen use in NASCAR on long ovals. In most cases, this pad is best used with slicks.
As a rear axle material, we have seen this compound used successful on cars like an E90 BMW M3 in conjunction with RST1 front pads.
The Pagid RSC brake pads line is for use with ceramic composite discs. The RSC1 compound is an all-round pad used for race and track day cars, particularly for the low thermal oxidation of the disc surface fibers. It is a low metallic resin bonded material containing steel and aramid fibers.
Running this pad is a great alternative for a ceramic to steel swap, since it allows the ceramic discs to incur only minimal wear. The pad material is known to be compatible with all known types of ceramics brake discs.
The DS2500 pads are a great combo pad that works on the street and on track. For many cars which are only driven at the track occasionally, this is a great option. It features the low dust levels expected from a street pad, but has a reasonably high bite and good fade resistance one would expect in a track pad. This means that as the temperatures in the brake system go up, the response of the brake pedals is mostly the same.
Customers generally use street tires with the DS2500 series of pads, making it popular for those who like to drive their car to track events, go on spirited runs up the hills or even daily drive the car. If you plan to run slicks / racing tires and have a heavier car, Ferodo recommends using the DS1.11 or DSUNO pads.
The average friction coefficient of the DS2500 pads is 0.42 over the working temperature range of 20 - 500 degrees C.
Based on technology developed in and for endurance racing, the DS1.11 pad has a very flat torque curve, giving the driver consistent response through the brake pedal as temperatures go up. Made of heavy duty endurance material and built to last, it's durable for extended track use and very kind to discs. Those features make the DS1.11 a popular pad for race cars and dedicated track cars.
The average friction coefficient of the DS1.11 pads is 0.46 over the working temperature range of 200 - 700 degrees C.
The DSUNO is Ferodo's pad with the most bite. It features the flat torque curve of the DS1.11 pads, but increases the responsiveness of the brakes once they are at operating temperature. Featuring a heavy duty semi-endurance material, the torque output is the most controllable.
While it does wear faster, this is the most aggressive racing pad in the Ferodo lineup and thus the pinnacle of performance. We recommend using this pad only on race and full time track cars.
The average friction coefficient of the DSUNO pads is 0.48 over the working temperature range of 200 - 700 degrees C.
Both manufacturers provide handy friction graphs to show the differences between the pads.