Better Braking than Aluminium, with Swiss Side Carbon Rims – WET AND DRY!

posted by Fabienne Dirksen
July 23, 2018

Did you know that the new Generation of Swiss Side full carbon rims offers better braking, with better modulation and controllability than aluminium rims, in both wet and dry conditions? Now full carbon rims are better all round compared to aluminium rims. This was the reason for Swiss Side to shift to only full carbon rims for the new 2018 model lineup.

In order to demonstrate this improved braking performance with real test data, Swiss Side performed back-to-back testing at the Swiss Stop brake pad research centre. Using the specially developed Swiss Stop Black Prince pads for which the Swiss Side HADRON carbon rims are designed, brake testing was done in both wet and dry conditions on the brake testing dyno. For the aluminium rims, standard Shimano Dura-Ace / Ultegra (R55C4) aluminium brake pads were used. The results showed what can clearly be felt when braking with the new Swiss Side wheels, which is a more consistent and controllable braking performance with better modulation, in all conditions.

In the following graph, the results are clear:

In the dry:

- The friction factor, which is the effective grip between the rim and the pad under braking, remains perfectly linear for the carbon rims over the complete braking event. The friction factor at the start and the end of braking is the same as the aluminium rim. This linear characteristic means that the braking force can be easily felt and controlled during the entire braking phase.

- The friction on the aluminium rim however doubles in the first half of the braking event and then fades. This means that the force on the brake lever needs to be reduced during the first part of the braking phase and then increased again at the end of the braking phase to maintain the same braking of the actual wheel. This makes the braking much more difficult to control and modulate. 


    In the wet:

    - The carbon rim setup in the wet, once again remains perfectly linear over the complete braking event. The level of friction & braking power is reduced overall compared to in the dry, but so too is the grip on the road in the wet. The actual braking power is higher than the aluminium rims!

    - The aluminium rim setup has less braking power than the carbon wheel and also has a non-linear response meaning once again, less controllability of the braking power.


    Now every rider is better off with full carbon construction Swiss Side HADRON wheels:

    - Improved stiffness and lighter weight.

    - Longer life due to less wear of the rim surface, (the pads are designed to wear, not the rim). Also improved life from the full carbon construction, which does not lose strength and become brittle with time like aluminium (improved fatigue life).

    - Better braking performance in both wet and dry.

    - Better aesthetics with the all-black, full carbon look.

    Both the HADRON Classic and the HADRON Ultimate wheels use the identical carbon rims and are supplied with the Swiss Stop Black Prince brake pads in the box. Get your set now at