Bicycle Association publishes advice on carbon wheels/pads safety issue

The BA been made aware of a safety issue which can arise from the need for very specific brake blocks to be used on some brands of carbon rims. If the user manual is lost and non-approved aftermarket pads (even those advertised as “for carbon rims”) are used, there is the potential for a safety problem.

These recommendations are for durable labelling of the rims, and for appropriate wording on packaging and online descriptions for pads sold as “for carbon rims” but which are not in fact compatible with specific brands of carbon rim.


(1) Carbon rim/wheel manufacturers

If your rims require specific brake pads, check that this is clearly stated on a durable label attached to the rim (many brands already do this). This means it will be obvious even if the user manual is missing that only specific pads can be used. Also, review the information you have online and ensure that customers can quickly and easily find details of which specific pads are compatible with your rims (for both current and previous product years).

(2) Brake pad retailers

Review the online product descriptions and retail packaging for all brake pads marketed as “for carbon rims”. Ensure that there is a warning visible to end users before purchase to the effect of e.g. “Check your rim or wheel user manual to confirm compatibility before use”or more briefly e.g. “Confirm rim compatibility before use”

(3) Distributors (pads and rims)

If either labels (on rims) or warnings (on pads packaging and descriptions) are not in place as above on relevant products which you distribute, request from your suppliers that they are put in place at the earliest opportunity. If you provide product descriptions for P&A to retailers electronically/automatically (for them to use in online shops etc.) ensure that appropriate warnings are included in carbon rim brake pad descriptions, as above.

Peter Eland commented

“We’d like to encourage stores to check the full details here, the BA welcomes feedback on this from anyone in the industry, whether BA members or not.

We’d would also urge any companies not already in membership to consider joining the Bicycle Association, not least for its function as a forum for technical discussion and a route for members to raise any safety issues at an industry level.

We hold regular technical meetings, offer one-on-one support and also update members frequently on topics including standards development, updates in regulations and best practice in compliance and documentation.”

To join the BA click here.