Disc Brake Newbie - Compatibility Questions

My disc brake pads are getting worn and need to be replaced. I have no need of anything special - road bike, no long descents, usually ride in dry conditions, etc. Just looking for a “best value” replacement.

My brakes are SRAM Rival AXS hydraulic, and came with 2Piece Road, Level, DB, Elixir Disc Brake Pads (MODEL ID: DB-PDS-EL-A1). I believe that DB means the pad material is organic. The backer material is steel. Not sure what Level or Elixir mean.

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I found identical replacements for $25/pair, but have heard good things about Jagwire pads. Are the DCA779 a suitable substitute? Amazon is selling these Jagwires for $11/pair, but they say they are for mountain biking. Are they compatible? Any other brands I should consider? Thanks!

As long as the Jagwire ones are marked compatible then you’re good. I would be hesitant to trust my braking performance to Amazon and try to ensure I bought pads from a reputable dealer.

Not saying it won’t work, just skeptical of Amazon.

My questions are primarily around compatibility - it’s not as clear as I’d like. As best I can tell, I need organic pads (since my existing pads are organic and I’m not replacing the rotors), and they need to be Elixir. I don’t think the backing material (e.g. steel, aluminum, or titanium) matters for my use cases, and I don’t know what “Level” means.

Elixir and Level are two other types of MTB brakes which seem to share the same pads.

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just get identical oem replacement pads

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You can switch to metallic pads if you want…but for your described usage, there is really no benefit. But just because your existing pads are organic doesn’t mean you are locked into organic.


What you need for compatability is pads with the same shape (of the metal backing plate, mostly). There are gazillions of different brake pad shapes. The pad composition - organic, metallic, sintered, semi-metallic or anything like that (the names amd composition varies between companies) has nothing to do with compatability, but with braking performance. There are differences in initial bite, overall power, temperature resistance, perfomance in the wet, how long they last, how loud they are.

If you just want brake pads that fit, just look that they are marketed for your brake type. If you want the brakes to feel exactly the same, buy the same pads as before. If you’d like to tweak the braking performance, have a look into different pad materials (that are available for your brake type).