If they work and don't make horrible noises.....when they're worn out!
Which is to say when they are about half the thickness they started out as.....or worn to the wear indicator mark if they have one.
As to suggestions for what to get...it really does depend on what you want. The best blocks in terms of stopping power tend to wear quicker than ones that last longer. Some feel better than others and offer a more progressive feel. I am sure many people will express a preference for one brand over another.....but I have happily used, Clarkes, Shimano and Jagwire blocks......and on cheapo grotty bikes that I have repaired for others (where instructed to keep the cost to a minimum) even used Tesco or Wilkinson own brand blocks and found they were better than what was fitted!
I've currently got Clarks, Koolstop and some other make in stock. I don't buy Shimano.
One way to make brake blocks last longer is to brake less. The old adage I was taught by my elders and betters was: Brakes are for emergencies only.
I replace them every couple of years, and that's using softer salmon ones on the front, and grey/black ones on the back. The front ones go first - maybe after a year or two, and the back ones last longer.
My riding is spread across three or four bikes though.
I get through them quite quickly, i think my friend half my weight gets through about 1 pad to every 3 of mine
I find theres a massive difference between stopping power, the common £3 ones are decent enough but having tried some £15 Ashima ones theyre much sharper and better in the rain. Id probably use the cheapy ones all the time if i wasnt stopping a lot of weight.
Thanks guys. I commute and leisure rides about 60-70 miles per week and changed them about 3 months ago and they are about half gone. Very confusing all this shoe and pad malarky. Think I will maybe get a decent set of koolstop shoes then order pads online as and when. Cheers
Where on earth can you buy Kool Stop blocks? I can find the pads everywhere but the blocks are really hard to get hold of. Or are the pads a generic size that fit most blocks? If so got a link to some that will?
I should note I'm looking at the Dura style one's for a road bike with regular rims. ta!