Brake pads are connected closely to the tyres of a bike and are activated when a rider squeezes the brake levers. The entire purpose of a brake pad is to slow down a bike and they are generally no more than a few inches long. Brake pads are mostly made out of a strong rubber and come with a new bike when purchased. There are different types of brake pads and it is important to purchase a bike that has good quality brake pads as they control the speed of a bike and will last longer. Brake pads can be bought individually and after a while it is advised to do so as they are made out of rubber and can be worn down.
Disc brakes consist of a disc attached to the wheel hub with brake callipers fixed to the frame to hold them. This type of brake pad has extreme stopping force and is considered the more elite option, thus is priced higher to rim brakes (below) as a result. These types of brakes are most commonly found on high quality mountain bikes as well as some urban bikes.
Rim Brakes are made from rigid and long-lasting rubber and are suitable to be used on either wheel of your bike. They are the preferred option for most riders due to their effectiveness and reliability whilst still being reasonably cheap. Rim Brakes act by pressing into the rim from either side, using friction to slow the wheel and the bike as a result. Buying a trusted brand of rim brakes helps to ensure maximum usage.