How To Improve Brake Performance - An Introduction

The basics of high performance disc brake kits.


When it comes to your automotive brake system there are really 3 major components that will have a dramatic influence on your overall braking performance. The brake rotors, the brake pads, and the brake calipers. Let's look at what each one is responsible for, and how we can maximize them.

Sparta Brake Rotors

Brake Rotors

Brake rotors have the unenviable job of converting rotational energy into heat energy. Basically they are a huge heatsink. As the calipers press the pads against the brake rotors, the friction of the pads against the rotors generates heat. That heat needs to go somewhere, so the rotor absorbs that heat energy and then uses the ambient air as well as its rotational motion to expel that heat.

Sparta Brake Pads

Brake Pads

The brake pads are designed specifically to create friction when in contact with a brake rotor. The catch here is that they need to generate this friction in a consistent, or at least predictable way, across a wide variety of temperatures and weather conditions. They are made of much softer materials than the rotors, so they wear down as they are used, but this is what allows them to continually create high levels of friction.

Sparta Brake Calipers

Brake Calipers

The brake calipers are responsible for the squeezing pressure that forces the brake pads against the brake rotors generating that all important friction. The calipers will apply and release the pressure on the pads in sync with pedal pressure. These can vary in size and features, but their overall job is the same.



What improvements can you make?

The best place for most people to start when they want to improve their braking is to purchase a high performance disc brake kit specific to their vehicle. Sparta offers

our All-in-One brake kit called a 1BK which includes rotors, pads and brake fluid that are all engineered specifically to work together to maximize your brake performance with no modifications to the vehicle. High performance pads, fresh fluid and a good set of rotors can make a dramatic improvement to how well you vehicle stops. If you want to go a step further, you can choose our All-in-One brake kit 1BK+ that has rotors, pads, fluid and stainless steel brake lines as well, for improved pedal feel and driver feedback.

Sparta Big Brake Kit

If that isn't enough, you can go with an oversized brake rotor and caliper kit, often referred to as a Big Brake Kit (BBK) or Big Brake Upgrade. Sparta offers a wide variety of BBKs for street use or for racing, at various price points. These kits often include performance brake calipers, and performance brake pads and rotors as well as the hardware and brackets to allow you to mount these larger components to the car. Typically these kits increase your brake rotor size by 10-25% and often include better calipers with more clamping force for increased friction, as well as pads that have increased bite. These kits are great, since they include all of the pieces to fit these new oversized brake components to you car with standard hand tools. Plus they offer extended brake fade resistance for track days, spirited driving or heavily loaded vehicles like off-road and overlanding setups. The only thing to be cautious of is that some kits may also require a larger wheel and tire setup to make room for the bigger brake rotors and calipers.


We hope this helps you get an idea of some of the ways you can upgrade the brakes on your car or light truck. Feel free to check out our full range of high performance disc brake kits.