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Hitching a ride
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Sure, I've been running a set of the cheapest ebay ones I could find on a bike right now, probably about 30 hours on them for xc use. They seem to work fine. The resin non finned for Shimano, I think they were $2 shipped for the pair.

This low price makes sense to me because the construction is basic and the materials are pennies. For a chunk of ceramic that you smash into a chunk of steel, the big companies sure do charge for them.

Another cheap component I'm using is the $10 BH90 brake hose knockoff. It's literally indistinguishable from the $30 Shimano one.
 

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6,503 Posts
I bought a set of truckerco pads, then bought a small mountain of them. I like them as much as i like sintered shimano pads.
 

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I tested various (ebay) cheap brake pads in the last 2 years, all were Magura MT's, either the small, 4-piston ones, or the 2 pistons (I ride the MT-trail model).

The best I've found (4-pistons models) so far were the gold semi-metallic, sold through Bikein e-seller. They proved to be silent, offered great power and modulation. They lasted the whole season (45km vertical climbing/descending in total, trail riding), but they wore down my rotor (front) to 1.77 mm (from 2.0mm) during that period of time. Some could say ... what you save on pads, you pay on rotors.

Also, I tested a 2 piston-model pad set, this one fully metallic (black one). Unfortunately, they stayed noisy (high pitch metallic noise), and glazed after a few rides. The pad compound is very hard (difficult to sand off the glazed surface). I ditched them.

Next test are going to be the ceramic compound (red one).

This said, I know Magura (and probably Shimano), advice against any metallic content in the pads, since they conduct heat and may bring the oil to boiling point. If I were to live on the West Coast, I'd probably stay away from anything but resin pads, but my riding area is quite flat compare to Colorado/BC.
 

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1,987 Posts
One issue you need to be aware of with cheaper pads: the way the pad material is bonded to the backing plate. Some brands have holes in the plate and pad material fills in the hole to bond. These are good. Others have raised pegs and the material bonds to those. When the pad material wears down, these pegs don't and will eat into your rotors if you aren't careful. I found out the hard way. First picture is cheapo, second picture is Avid.
 
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