Rims have their specific brakes for both front and rear wheels. the difference in the material of brakes and wheel would bring a noticeable difference in the stopping power of the brakes and also two non-compatible brakes and rims would cause damage and ruin the brakes and rims.
Yes, it is possible you can use carbon brake pads on aluminum rims.
But the above line is not for all the carbon brake pads , these are also different in their nature and material depending on their price ranges, their are sapecific carbon brake pads which can eat and rub the aluminum rims with consistency over time, it shows that not all the carbon brake apds pads universal, so before buying any new brand of carbon brake pads, make sure these are normal brakes so that these would perform highly better on both aluminum and carbon rims.
carbon brake pads are made of plastic and fibers and do not contain any solid particles and small pieces of metals, even if you have swapped carbon brake pads from an alloy rim to another aluminum rim, it also works fine without any disturbance, but if you want to swap aluminum brake pads from aluminum rims to carbon fiber rims, then you are ruining your carbon rims because this setup is non-compatible and it is not possible to replace carbon pads with aluminum brake pads on carbon rims.
When carbon brake pads are used on aluminum rims then small particles of aluminum metal would penetrate deep within the center of the brake pads and these will stay permanently although these would cause any bad effect on aluminum rims because the metal is not affected by the same metal or plastic fiber material of the brake pads. old used carbon brake pads are used for aluminum rims, but old used aluminum brake pads are not used for carbon rims, you have to purchase new aluminum brake pads for your carbon rim.
Swapping Of Carbon And Aluminum Brake Pads And Rims:
Swapping is possible but if both rim and brakes are compatible with each other as discussed above while swapping, it is necessary to clean or service the pads of both aluminum and carbon brake pads, it is a must in each and every swapping of brakes with different rim materials.
No matter if both rims and brakes are compatible, you have to clean the pads thoroughly if you are swapping old used pads from front to rear tires and vice versa and if you are swapping pads from another bike brake pad. even if you are swapping the front and rear wheels of your bike, it is necessary to swap brake pads and clean them deeply before installing them on different wheels.
Is It Better To Upgrade Carbon Brake Pads On Aluminum Rims?
Basically No, because the braking working of this setup is not as much powerful and good as compared to carbon pads with carbon rims or aluminum pads with aluminum rims. it is a cheap setup and it is mostly done in those situations when there is no other way to save bucks from spending on new compatible brake pads when you are forced and helpless, but it is not the most compatible setup for bikers and mostly those riders which are racers, always avoid from these types of brake setups, because the terrains are aggressive and hard and this setup loses its ability to stop your bike on downhill terrains or when you are at higher speeds, then mostly crashes happen due to these setups.
But if you want to commute on the terrains or if you are using your bike for local chores, groceries, stores, pavements, and streets then it is not a big issue, this setup will last long if used in a limit.
How do Aluminum Brake Pads Affect Carbon Rims?
Aluminum brake pads are solid and hard materials that will constantly start rubbing the brake track surfaces of the plastic carbon fiber rims and also makes a squeaking and irritating noise, even the stopping power of this setup is also not much powerful because of the non-compatible setup. after some months carbon rims would completely destroy and the diameter of the brake track surface decreases and becomes thinner, many chances of bursting the rim arise on the terrains if the rim got scratched with the nailed rocks and grown roots.
Wheels With Different Carbon And Aluminum Brake Track Surfaces:
Swapping of carbon and aluminum brake pads is only possible if the rim material is different from the brake track material of the wheel, in simple words if the rim is aluminum then the brake track surface should be carbon material for carbon brake pads, but if the rim is carbon then the brake track surface should be aluminum metal for aluminum brake pads. these are the better quality wheels that are used and installed in bikes but these are a little bit different from normal wheels, these are also expensive with high price ranges.
Difference In Heat Capacity:
carbon fibers heat up more early than aluminum rims, it is the reason carbon brake pads and carbon rims hardly make a compatible and better setup than aluminum brake pads and aluminum rims. it is usually bad for aggressive ridings like if you have mountain biking, BMX, and gravel biking, rails need hard braking, prolonged pulling the levers of the brakes results in stuck brake pads with the rim, and if the setup is non-compatible then never expect longer lifespan from carbon rims with alloy brake pads and vice versa.
Durability Difference Between carbon And Aluminum Brake Pads:
Aluminum brake pads are not durable as carbon pads, difference is present in the rubber material of both pads and also the thickness and diameter are not the same between both pads, all of these things would make a noticeable difference between both of them, and these would not perform better with carbon and aluminum rims.
Lifespan Of Carbon And Aluminum Brake Tracks?
Aluminum rims and their braking surfaces have a longer life span than carbon surfaces, but the main cause of damaging and destroying rim brake tracks depends on the terrains and the riding style of a rider, they are fully new rims that last less than 10 months but the same brand would also last for more than 10 years, those terrains which are rough and contain muddy and dirty water reduces the lifespan of carbon rim, in winter and rainy seasons and if the trails have snow all around you have to swap your wheels from carbon to aluminum. better brake pads would also increase the lifespan of the rims.
10,000 km to 15000km of riding is the estimation of the lifespan of carbon rim brake tracks, it is the maximum traveling, but if you ride harsh through wet terrains, then your rim tracks would start ruining after 1000km of riding.
How To Increase Lifespan Of Carbon And Aluminum Brake Pads?
- Brake pads need regular cleaning because dirt and small shards of metals will decrease the working capacity of brake pads.
- Avoid riding on deep muddy terrains so that the rims would not dip within the sand, after returning from every ride wash the brake tracks with water, and after washing wipe the rims with a dry cloth.
- Store your bike in dry places at night time.
- Carbon rims have poor braking in wet and rainy trails as compared to aluminum metals.
- After every ride check the position of both pads of brakes, and maintain their level so that both should stay parallel to each other on the left and right sides of the rim.
- If you are a beginner rider then avoid too much braking on downhill and uphill terrains, sudden pulling the levers of the brakes on smooth terrains would also decrease the lifespan of brake pads.
- If you are a mountain biker or BMX rider, then too much braking on cornering and twisting trails would also affect brake pads badly.
- If you have installed brake pads in the wrong pattern then, these would not touch fully with the rim tracks and the edges of the pads start rubbing, and the other area would remain at a distance from the rim, it will also affect brake pads and ruin half pads.
- If you have installed new and expensive wheelsets, and the brake pads are poor, then it will also ruin and decreases the lifespan of new wheelsets.
Negative Effects Of Old Brake Pads:
When pads become old, dirt and mud and small pieces of debris would be stuck within the pads and when you pull the levers of the brakes, this dirt would rub constantly with bike rim brake tracks and after a few months, the rims will ruin and destroy, old brake pads need to be replaced as soon as possible with the new brake pads.
But if you want to clean these old brake pads, then clean or cut the upper layer of the pads, in this way the thickness of the pad would decrease but at least the rim would stay tuned.
If you live in a cold atmosphere with snow and rain then it would be better to shift and replace your rim brakes with disc brakes, you would face brake pad problems in the future.