The Power of Choice!
For better or worse consumers are faced with an endless number of choices when it comes to after-market bike components. These parts may be identical to the parts originally stocked on a bike or they may be different in that the alternate part is more durable, a different colour, lighter, or more versatile.
"Will these metal brake pads fit my calliper so that I can see the benefit of increased stopping power?" "Can I change to these handlebars with a 17º back sweep for a more comfortable riding position?" "Do these lightweight cranks fit my current bottom bracket?" "Are the mounts on my fork suitable for a cage so I can carry some more gear?" The problem for riders exists where all of these options are available and on offer but there is no tangible link back to their specific bike. How then do they determine which parts are compatible?
If you can imagine it, your bike comes fitted with a set of brake pads which you now need to replace, you jump on your favourite online site and suddenly you are met with 62 different options! The reality is, that of these 62 options, there is actually only 3 that will fit your current bike, and of these 62 options there are 2 other pads that look almost identical to what you need, but these will not fit your bike!
When looking at the photo above, you could mistakenly believe that the pad furthest to the left could be interchanged with the pad next to it. You might also be surprised to know that the three pads in the middle are all the same shape and the non-finned option will fit in every calliper the finned version will, but not vice versa, and some disc brake rotors may not allow you to run the metal compound version of this pad. However, the keen observer will immediately identify the pad furthest to the right as one that does not match any of the remaining pads. I'm sure you can understand that there is nothing worse for a rider than purchasing a component online, waiting for it to arrive, for it then to be incorrect! Only then to have to go through the hassle of returning it and the trouble of finding the correct part. Then the next week you find yourself having lost 30 minutes down a rabbit hole swapping between several websites, reddit threads and tech documents trying desperately confirm if a B05S is the same fitment as the B03S Shimano pad that you have in your hand and if the B01S that you pulled off your other bike last week is different again?
The answer is actually, yes, all of these pads are all exactly the same in terms of fitment. Whilst there are three different codes used by the same manufacturer they are all suitable replacements and are instead superseded models of each other, which, ironically are still all available for purchase. Bike Matrix will allow riders to select their bike on their favourite participating store, it will then remove all options that are not compatible and only show riders in stock components that will fit their bike. No longer will anyone have to stare at the 62 options and wonder which one fits their bike, instead, just the 3 suitable options will be shown. Bike Matrix will remove confusion and allow riders to buy with confidence.