First Impressions: Gevenalle Brake Pads

Disc brakes may get all the attention these days, but rim brakes aren’t going away anytime soon. For those riders looking to improve their brakes’ performance–or appearance–Gevenalle has just the ticket with their new road and cross pads.

Founded in Portland, Gevenalle started out as Retroshift. The company initially made a name for itself by offering affordable integrated brake/shift levers. In recent years, they added derailleurs and cassettes to the mix. Now Gevenalle is showing love to rim brake riders with their colorful brake pads.

Gevenalle’s brake pads are available in two models–road or cross. The former are compatible with standard caliper brakes, and the latter are designed for use with cantilever or linear-pull brakes. Both models feature Kool-Stop inserts, and cross models are available with steel or titanium hardware. Prices range from $48-$120 depending on hardware and pad choice.

And then there are the colors… When I was a BMX-riding shop rat, the coolest parts were available in red, blue, or gold anodized finishes. During the mountain biking CNC heyday, rasta and 3D violet (aka, purple) were the hot colors. Gevenalle can help you relive those glory days with no less than eight anodized finishes (all featuring laser-etched logos).

Rather than reinvent the wheel, or in this case, brake pads, Gevenalle spec’s Kool-Stop inserts for both the road and cross pads. Salmon and triple-compound pads are available for alloy rims, along with Kool-Stop’s carbon-compatible #1003 red formula. During this test period, I spent most of my time on road pads with triple-compound inserts. gravel grinder Gevenalle Kool-Stop brake cross cx

Grey road holders with triple-compound inserts.

Installing the Gevenalle pads was quick and uneventful. Any differences in thickness between the old and new pads required only a turn of the brakes’ barrel adjusters. Like all Kool-Stop pads, break-in time was minimal. While the Gevenalle’s holders lacked wheel guides, I didn’t notice their absence when installing wheels on any of my bikes.

Kool-Stop pads and inserts are often recommended for improving braking power and modulation. The company’s salmon compound is a favorite for wet-weather use, but I prefer the triple-compound pads as they tend to be less grabby and quieter in cold weather. An added benefit of the triple-compound inserts is that they’re extremely durable–mine show virtually no wear after hundreds of miles.

If your brakes came with molded, one-piece pads, the Gevenalle pads will be a huge upgrade. You can expect better power, quieter braking, and less wear and tear on your rims thanks to Kool-Stop’s rim friendly compounds. And if you want to just add a little pizzazz to your bike, Gevenalle has got that covered, too.

Disclosure: Gevenalle provided review samples for this article, but offered no other form of compensation in exchange for editorial coverage.