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Old 12-19-2018, 01:42 AM   #1
FirstWinter
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CSG Spec Brake Compounds Review Thread

Here’s some of my thoughts on @CounterSpace Garage’s new CSG spec C1 sprint brake pads.

I’m not an engineer so I’ll skip the numbers and super technical stuff. You can speak to CSG or a brake friction specialist if you want to know more about that. I’m just your typical track guy and will give you my thoughts on these pads after using them. At the end of the day you’re the driver and the ideal car setup has to work with you in harmony. It’s easy to get lost scrutinizing the details, but the numbers can only tell you so much about braking feel and response.

I used these pads this past weekend at Thunderhill East (Bypass) and thoroughly enjoyed this compound as I put it through its paces. I find them to be an improvement upon compounds I have tried in the past (Winmax W6 & Project Mu 999) albeit at a higher price point. As I’ve developed as a driver, I found better value in higher priced compounds over time. There may be a higher cost up front but they have proven to have better brake characteristics, lifespan, and component wear (less costly long term) in my experience. That isn’t to say pads which cost less are worse but different price points exist for a reason. Every driver has a different need for their setup & I would advise you to speak with a vendor/manufacturer to find what works for you specifically

Throughout the day I experienced no fade lap after lap and the pad was consistent with each braking zone. It has a strong bite, but not like some compounds where it feels as if the car is about to do a stoppie. The C1s had a broad range of modulation with which I could easily change how much brake pressure I used. This was key in the morning sessions with rain as I could modulate in the braking zones without depending on ABS. As the track dried up in the later sessions I found the modulation perfect for trail braking and getting exactly how much braking pressure I needed whether it was to bleed off a tiny bit of speed or a much harder stop.

They are very easy to use and works just as well for a novice driver as it would someone more advanced. They have a medium coefficient friction and pair well with with street tires (200TW+) but I suspect they are able to handle stickier tire compounds as well. It’s intuitive in nature unlike some pads where it seems you can never get it right because they are too much brake for lower grip tires or others where it’s not enough brake and you end up overshooting the braking zone.

These characteristics which make it a great track pad translates directly over to street driving as well. The ease in modulation works perfect for all situations in street driving whether it’s stopping quickly because someone cut you off or whether slowing down in traffic. You will find the right amount of braking force no matter what.

They’re available in multiple sizes including OEM and BBK. They’re not listed on CSG's website but I was able to get them by email.

Use was in a 2015 Scion FRS Street Class car in 86 Cup & 86 Drive Challenge.
Tein SRC (10k/12k)
CSG spec Brembo GT BBK (Front)
CSG spec C1 pads (Front + Rear)
Project Mu G-four 335 brake fluid
225/45/17 GT Radial Champrio SX2
17x9 +40 949 Racing 6UL

I know there’s more of you out there who run these pads & other CSG pads as well. Don’t be shy to share your thoughts & feedback!

TL;DR: It brak real gud

CSG C1 brake compound
- Medium coefficient friction
- High fade resistance, highly consistent lap after lap
- Broad range of modulation & excellent control
- Very easy to use & instinctive feel
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Last edited by FirstWinter; 12-19-2018 at 02:30 AM.
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Old 12-19-2018, 10:46 PM   #2
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Very interesting review and much appreciated! I’m running Project Mu Racing999 sintered pads I absolutely love them - what specifically do you prefer about the CSG Spec C1s over the Racing999s? Do you know who actually manufactures the pads for @CounterSpace Garage?
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Old 12-19-2018, 11:03 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by RJasonKlein View Post
Very interesting review and much appreciated! Im running Project Mu Racing999 sintered pads I absolutely love them - what specifically do you prefer about the CSG Spec C1s over the Racing999s? Do you know who actually manufactures the pads for @CounterSpace Garage?
No idea who manufactures them but I'm interested in knowing as well if CSG is willing to share. For all I know they're made of the tears of CSG drivers and tiger blood

The CSG C1s are at about 30% higher price point than 999s. I like these well because the medium friction coefficient match the sponsor tire (SX2) well in 86 Cup/86 Drive Challenge. The 999s loaded the tires too fast but with the C1s the modulation helps control braking better while stopping just as fast. CSG has other pads available with other friction coefficients as well and even some endurance pads I believe.

I find the C1s to have a greater depth of modulation control & supposedly life (I'll have to see in the long term) than the 999s. You could say they're technically superior to the 999s in most aspects as you're getting a higher tier pad. There are pads in the market which are better than the 999s too but they're at a much higher price point (>$600). Either way higher level pads last longer so they're actually cheaper in the long run. I find most drivers once they try nicer pads tend to stick with them or go even higher end of the spectrum.
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Old 12-20-2018, 04:17 AM   #4
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I guess that it's not in business interests of CSG to share manufacturer details. In my mind imho it might be someone like PMU Racing (not consumer oriented PMU) or Endless, from pads above consumer price range and of more real racing pad compounds that usually seem too expensive to pay for too budget minded ones, when they can get "almost that" for half the price.
About C1 IIRC their THE selling point is consistency/same friction across very wide temp range, down cold throughout to very hot. Reminds me how CSG Mike once spoke well about PMU Racing pads (hence my guess about possible vendor).
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Old 12-20-2018, 09:26 AM   #5
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Thanks for the review
I have a set of these in my garage waiting to go on my car, look forward to getting them out on the track.
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Old 12-21-2018, 02:11 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by churchx View Post
About C1 IIRC their THE selling point is consistency/same friction across very wide temp range, down cold throughout to very hot.
Spot on. Put it better into words than I could. I suck at putting into words how setup feels and describing it. Trying to work on that but yes that's exactly how the C1 behaves. I guess I sorta touch it when I keep talking about the modulation, which in hindsight can seem a bit vague.
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Old 12-21-2018, 03:13 AM   #7
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I'm on C2 front and C11 rear with Essex Sprint.
NA with 265mm cup2 or 235 AD08R.

My feedback is pretty much the same.
It brakes like you want it to. I was especially looking at a good release carracteristic, and it's perfect.

Obviously no fade.

Noise is low when pad transfer to the disc is done.

Other flaws in the brake system will show. Like flexing Essex Sprint calipers.
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Old 12-21-2018, 11:12 PM   #8
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C1 / C11

I've been racing on Fuji Speedway 8Beat JP-2S. I run Kumho V700 245/40r17. My personal best is 2:02.47 in early Nov. This season, I have used multiple brake setups;
1) Stock caliper, front / rear pads xxx (cannot disclose) custom one-off endurance racing pads
2) CSG Brembo 326mm kit, front pads PFC 08 / Rear pads xxx (cannot disclose) custom one-off endurance racing pads
3) CSG Brembo 326mm kit, front pads CSG C1 / Rear pads CSG C11

I also have extensive track experience on dual-purpose pads such as HC+, 999, and MX72+, before contacting CSG for some help. Dual-purpose pads are not in the same league as racing pads mentioned above, on track..

Here are my impressions on the CSG setup;
- No fades
- Very little heat transfer to the calipers. They help keep the caliper temps low, even compared to PFC 08
- Superb modulation. Works extremely well with 2018+ ABS
- Superb wear characteristics. Good for 500+ laps at Fuji Speedway. C1 is a sprint pad...
- Very little attack on the rotors. I believe I can do 2 seasons (1 season: 4 race weekends + 250 test laps at Fuji Speedway) on a set of rotor
- CSG don't have any stock and that sucks. Order one VERY early if you need them

Things to consider...;
- You really need to understand the heat - myu characteristics of this brake pad. The graph shown on their website is actually quite a good representation of how the pads feel under load
- I am not sure how the pad will work with the "flexible" stock caliper setup. This is a true racing compound. If you don't use it with proper caliper setup, you "may" loose your opportunity to really dig into the performance that this compound can offer

I have decided to stick to my current setup. I have no reason to change. I will keep it this way next season.

Last edited by Speedy Nick; 12-21-2018 at 11:22 PM.
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Old 12-21-2018, 11:30 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by RJasonKlein View Post
Very interesting review and much appreciated! I’m running Project Mu Racing999 sintered pads I absolutely love them - what specifically do you prefer about the CSG Spec C1s over the Racing999s? Do you know who actually manufactures the pads for @CounterSpace Garage?
In my opinion 999, compared to CSG C1;
- Chucks (Crumbles)
- Modulates less well. Combines less well with ABS
- Transfers too much heat to your calipers
- Eats rotors

Meaning I cannot test nor race without having a fear of loosing brakes at the end of long home-stretch or at the Dunlop, where you brake from the 100m yardstick driving 200kph...
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Old 12-22-2018, 03:39 AM   #10
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Speedy Nick: i don't think that mentioned racing caliper design is must for use of CSG spec pads. Fitting grip tires though might be, as otherwise it might be harder to properly bed them due harder to get heat with non grippy tires & less speed, but until that is done, one may not see all those good bits of them, as in they may squeel, they may not be that easy on rotors, they may not provide as consistent braking .. but simply because bedding on non-grippy enough tires is harder and thus possibly not yet done.
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Old 12-22-2018, 12:56 PM   #11
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Speedy Nick: i don't think that mentioned racing caliper design is must for use of CSG spec pads. Fitting grip tires though might be, as otherwise it might be harder to properly bed them due harder to get heat with non grippy tires & less speed, but until that is done, one may not see all those good bits of them, as in they may squeel, they may not be that easy on rotors, they may not provide as consistent braking .. but simply because bedding on non-grippy enough tires is harder and thus possibly not yet done.
My point is quite similar to MaximeT. On C1, you will notice that you will need a well judged pedal work to get the maximum performance out from it. C1 provides higher bite when heated up even during the braking zone, meaning you need high pedal force while you heat them up during initial phase of braking, and then gradually release it towards the turn-in, once heated up.

Stock calipers do flex under these loads. As well as some of other calipers... Delicate modulation require perfect braking system. You don't get that with the stock setup.

I hope this clarifies my statement.
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Old 12-31-2018, 01:34 AM   #12
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Thought I'd chime in with my experiences on the pads as well. I use the C2 pads paired with the AP Racing Sprint kit on the front and C1 pads on the OEM rears for my 14 BRZ.

I came from the PMU Racing999s and think that the CSG pads are much more predictable and linear in pedal feel. The initial bite felt great and inspires confidence. I used them with both 245/40R17 GT Radial Champiro SX2 on 17x9.5 TE37SL as well as 225/45R17 RE-71Rs on 17x7.5 Enkei RPF1s.

I had a coach with me at Autobahn Country Club in Joliet and we were doing back to back sessions (8 30 minute sessions in total each day for two days) with zero fade or surprises from the brakes. He drives Porsches and Radicals at the track and said the pads were similar in feel and predictability to the Pagids on his Boxster.

I can't speak to longevity because I managed to get one of the AP Racing calipers stuck out and dragging on the pad, but it didn't have bad wear with what we put them through for those sessions.

The only real downside I've noticed is that they are loud AF on the street. Coming from the relatively quieter PMU Racing999s, it definitely embarrassed my passengers lol. But I switch back to G-Loc GS1s after the season is over so it's not horrible.

We did set NA BRZ track records at Autobahn South on those days even with my shot suspension, so there's that

Last edited by nschs10; 12-31-2018 at 01:59 AM. Reason: C2 on the front, C1 on the rear (not the other way around)
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Old 01-02-2019, 10:41 PM   #13
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I run the CSG C1 pads and I absolutely love them. I've run Winmax W4s before and while the W4s were a decent pad, the C1 were a night and day difference on GT Radial Champiro SX2. I'm on stock power and don't run other tires than the SX2, but my experience is pretty much the same as most others who have already commented. I had heard before that when it comes to brake pads that you get what you pay for, and I can safely say it's very much true. I drive a '17 BRZ with the Performance Package Brembos, if it helps.

I'm not the most technical person but the strongest point is definitely its consistency and predictability. I've never experienced fade (thank goodness) and these definitely have not faded at all. It feels like the pads have a very linear response when I use them at the track which really helped me get adjusted. I didn't have to worry about the pads heating up to optimal operating temp and suddenly biting really hard in a way that disrupted my braking. With the W4s I kind of used them as an on-off switch because of the way that they responded, but the C1s were intuitive and responsive enough that I found myself modulating the brake without really thinking too much about it.

I also run these pads on the street! They're pretty much silent once you bed them in, so that's a huge plus for me. No having to swap pads between track days! Having that stopping power on demand and not having to worry about it on the street gives me peace of mind, especially because the streets of Socal can be wild at times...

I would definitely recommend the CSG compound brake pads to anyone looking for a track pad for their 86. What's really cool is the CSG compounds aren't just limited to the 86 platform. They can be cut for a variety of applications/cars, so if I did have a different track car (COUGHS2KCOUGH)... Well, I would definitely know what pad I would use as a baseline.
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Old 01-03-2019, 01:27 AM   #14
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TDLR: CSG C1 is probably the closest thing to a silver bullet brake pad that people can get at a reasonable price.

The 2018 season of 86Cup was the perfect test bed for the C1. Multiple drivers between different classes, from Unlimited boosted cars running high grip tires, down to Stock class cars on 260TW tires; all drivers can easily make good use of the C1. The wide operating range of these pads, while remaining absolutely consistent is critical, especially to developing drivers. These are pads that will grow with the driver, taking the abuse of a novice and still being able to dance with the footwork of seasoned veterans.

The C1 will show you that it is just the tip of the racing pad iceberg. These are gateway racing pads, together with the PMU 999, that will make you realize they are not just there to stop the car. Racing pads have many different characteristics that affect how your car handles, giving the driver the ability to choose which corner to transfer the weight instead of just dropping the equivalent of anchors. Quality race pads will give that additional control the driver needs.

It's amazing that CSG is able to produce these pads at this price point in such a niche market. Before I start sounding like a shill for CSG, I recommend you to take advantage of these pads before it's too late.



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