Less force is required from the rider to pull on the lever and there is more modulation. In this post I’m going to explain the differences between the two and then help you decide which type is best for you! Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The long lever is comfortable for riders with big hands but too big for those with shorter digits. When this happens, air bubbles are created that cause brake performance to reduce over time. HUMAN PRECISION. Richard is happiest when he is on a mountain bike and loves to share the experience with others. This makes controlling your speed smoother and easier especially down steep, loose terrain. Also if you’re a larger person, a more powerful brake will definitely keep your speed in check better. #2 Clark’s Cable Systems Rear Hydraulic M2 Brake. Adding to the ultimate label is the easiest bleeding process of any brake system out there. While there are more powerful brakes available, nothing come close to the modulation of the Ultimates. A dial or screw on the lever body adjusts at what point on the lever travel the pads make contact with the disc. "@type": "CreativeWorkSeries", "ratingValue": "4.75", The ins and outs of 2 piston vs 4 piston brakes for your mountain bike. But seriously this is reallyyy reaching to even find a downside. SLX levers use tool free reach adjust so you can adjust your levers easily and use IceTech brake pads which have heat sink fins to keep the brake’s temperatures down for more consistency. If you do, swap those out with metallic pads and you’ll slightly increase your power while descending. A dial allows you to adjust the reach but there is no contact point adjustment. More modulation means that the lever moves more between the pads making contact and the wheel locking up to skid. *per brake (exept Magura´s MT Trail which have different calipers for front and rear and thereforeonly come as a set**front + rear, w/o rotors When fluid is pushed into the caliper, the pistons push outward squeezing the brake rotor and will slow down your bike. With those XT M8000’s on steep trails, I was constantly holding the brakes to keep me moving at a more moderate, slower pace because I seriously didn’t think I could grab brake at the bottom of that section to stop me if I was moving quick. 00. With those XT M8000’s on steep trails, I was constantly holding the brakes to keep me moving at a more moderate, slower pace because I seriously didn’t think I could grab brake at the bottom of that section to stop me if I was moving quick. Shimano brakes tend to have an on/off feel to them whereas SRAM brakes allow a lot of movement in the lever once the pads have made contact with the disc. Our reviews of the top rated mountain bike brakes with our buyers guide will help you choose the right brakes for your bike. For this reason, this guide will focus on hydraulic disc brakes. If you’re not sure of what you have, you can always email us photos of your brake pad setup and we can help you out. Originally from the UK, Richard is a passionate mountain biker and mountain bike guide. The four-piston Direttissima brakes from Trickstuff cost €450 each, reflecting their top-shelf 7075 alloy materials and performance-obsessed engineering. On the trail the M2 brake has average modulation and although not as powerful as other brakes (SRAM Guide brakes have 50% more power), the long lever makes up for this a bit. Free shipping for many products! Discs are either a single piece of stamped steel and connect to the hub with 6 bolts, or Shimano Centerlock hubs need a lockring to mount a Centerlock specific disc. Almost a year ago, we did our first ride on the TRP Spyre dual piston mechanical disc brake and wrote this lengthy review, but quite a lot has changed in the last year.. Now lets move up to what we would consider the absolute best bang for your buck brake, the Shimano SLX 7100/7120. This is countered by the use of vented pads and long hose banjos to allow heat to escape rather than hang around. Absolute power values in the lab are meaningless if we apply a force that is unobtainable by a single human finger. First, a larger pad will absorb more initial heat (less thermal shock). Open reservoir bleeding is not quite as simple as using syringes, but is not too tricky if you are confident and do your homework first. With a set of Saints on your bike, you can slap on a massive amount of braking force, regardless of where or what you are riding. Today hydraulic disc brakes are the standard on any mountain bike. If you want to comment or recommend a set of brakes I didn’t include, please use my contact form to get in touch. 4 piston calipers are physically bigger to fit the extra piston, meaning there’s space for more fluid inside. Well yes. However, Shimano pads are compatible, allowing you to swap them out for something quieter and with more bite. Road Bike MTB + more ... TUTORIAL. Squeeze the lever a lot and have a lot of power. Pads are made of a metal backing plate bonded to pad material. These work well to provide a consistent braking experience. After going back to my preferred brakes, the SRAM Codes, I could just totally let off the brakes and carry speed downhill because I knew that at the bottom of that steep bit I could grab a fistful of brakes and slow down REAL QUICK. How much you can control the braking force is called modulation. Its length allows for two finger braking, which isn’t really necessary with brakes this powerful. by Wil Barrett 2 years ago 0. Tech Talks Presented by Park Tool is a monthly video series hosted by Park Tool's own wrench whisperer, Calvin Jones. There is not a great deal of modulation and despite reach and contact point adjustment being available, there remains a lot of dead lever travel where nothing happens. Having powerful brakes at your fingertips gives you more confidence and allows you to slow down faster. When fluid is pushed into the caliper, the pistons push outward squeezing the brake rotor and will slow down your bike. The lever is attached to the handlebar and is what the rider uses to apply the brake. Larger rotors will give you more power and less heat, but your modulation will decrease. Also, the lever bodies themselves for 2 piston caliper brakes these days are sometimes a little different than 4 piston caliper brakes, but for the most part the differences in stopping power are due to 4 piston calipers. Different brakes have different amounts of modulation as it is a personal preference. We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases. Organic pads wear out faster too. On the other hand, SRAM brakes are known for having great modulation. One thing worth mentioning is that most 2 piston brakes that come stock on complete bikes, and even some 4 piston brakes, will have organic brake pads pre-installed in them. Piston Count 2 Piston 4 Piston Price to GO. 69 (16) Shimano SAINT Disc Brake Set BR-M820-B Shimano CDN$599.00 CDN$ 599. I hope this guide was helpful for finding the best mountain bike brakes to fit your needs. But do you actually NEED to upgrade to 4 piston brakes? These are $174.99 each, the overall finish is much nicer and they just look and feel like a nicer product. But now onto our favorite, and what we consider to be the best brake on the market, the SRAM Code RSC. We added a simple cable barrel adjuster to make fine tuning easy. The included pads are loud when wet – to the point that you will consider actually applying the brakes for fear of startling local wildlife with the banshee wailing. These are basically the same brakes as the SLX but with a slightly different finish color and a FreeStroke adjustment which basically doesn’t do anything. With dual- or twin-piston brake pads, the pads can be larger with even pressure distribution. Some handmade frames sell for more than the price of a functioning car, and to the buyer they’re well worth it. With more seals, comes technically more seals to clean and maintain. There are also cable disc brakes but these have much weaker stopping power. Required fields are marked *. Well there you have it! } We consider ourselves "The World's Local Bike Shop" with crazy good customer service which helps riders all around the Earth. HD-E725. CONTACT . This is a dual piston actuated mechanical disc brake caliper which provides precise clamping force. This is a huge plus for racers who will want to regularly bleed their systems. This power is coupled with a small amount of modulation, so once you start braking, you are really slowing down fast. They literally put more braking power at your fingertips than most would consider safe.With a set of Saints on your bike, you can slap on a massive amount of braking force, regardless of where or what you are riding. Who will win? SLX brakes will be more powerful and consistent on long descents versus the Deore due to their new internal re-design to give them the same power as their DH rated Saint brakes. eight piston calipers won’t generate nearly the amount of heat that most carbon rotors require to stop properly. "bestRating": "5.00", But wait, what even are 4 piston brakes? Mountain bike brakes come in two typical varieties: 2 piston and 4 piston. Inherently 2-piston mountain bike brakes weigh less than their 4-piston big brother, but at the same time, a 4-piston caliper will give you more braking power. 4 piston brakes will be slightly heavier than 2 piston brakes, so if you live in a flat area and mainly ride cross country and don’t need more stopping power, then a 2 piston brake is probably better for you. Second, a larger brake pad will have better wear characteristics and a longer life due to even pressure distribution. Weight: 9 oz. However, not all brakes have the same amount of stopping power, and most of the difference in power is determined by if a brake caliper has 2 pistons or 4 pistons. "aggregateRating": { So when you squeeze the lever and think the lever has too much throw, you can dial up that bite point and make the brakes bite faster. These are $144.99 and are a super simple brake. Lets go over some common brake lingo: Brake Fade is a term commonly used to describe a brake’s loss of power, or fade, while under heavy use. He is currently on a never-ending mission to travel the world and ride in as many places as possible. Magura MT7 Next 4-Piston. More physical material and more fluid means they shed heat much better than a smaller 2 piston caliper, don’t get as hot on descents, and have less loss of power, or less fade. Sintered pads are much less likely to fade but are noisier and less powerful. The XT’s come in a black box instead of a blue box and say XT on them... and to be honest you’ll probably just want XT brakes if you just want XT brakes. However, if you didn’t have them you’d go careening through the woods and bouncing off trees. Front Brakes: Clark’s Cable Systems Front Hydraulic M2 Brake. { Now, a tremendous amount of bikes come stock with 2 piston brakes. Like most bikes and parts, there’s way too many options on the market, but these are our favorite which we personally ride and recommend to all of our customers. So if you have 2 piston brakes and just want a smidge more power, check to see if you have organic brake pads. The hose contains the brake fluid and runs from the lever to the caliper. But if you definitely want a noticeable power increase, So if you’re looking to just get some 4 piston brakes on your bike for the lowest price, we would highly recommend the, Now lets move up to what we would consider the absolute best bang for your buck brake, the, The next step up from that would be the very well known, But now onto our favorite, and what we consider to be the best brake on the market, the, RockShox Reverb AXS Dropper Post - Rider Review, choosing a selection results in a full page refresh. Although there are different types of rim brakes and improvements were consistently made, it wasn’t until the introduction of hydraulic disc brakes that anyone really felt that they had reliable stopping power on long or steep downhill trails. Carbon is used for the lever and titanium bolts help keep the weight down. SERVICE. The bigger the disc, the more braking power you have. If you haven’t already got a hydraulic brake bleeding kit, I highly advise you to buy one and it’s a good idea to buy the branded one for your brakes. VIDEO. £229. The brakes are legendary in the downhill racing world. BUT if you have confidence that your brakes will in fact slow you down, you’ll feel more confident to let ‘er rip and ride fast. Hydraulic disc brakes use brake fluid to push pistons and pads onto a disc mounted to the hub of the wheel. We’ll start on the low price points and work our way up to the best of the best. Brake Type: Hydraulic. After going back to my preferred brakes, the SRAM Codes, I could just totally let off the brakes and carry speed downhill because I knew that at the bottom of that steep bit I could grab a fistful of brakes and slow down REAL QUICK. The next step up from that would be the very well known Shimano XT M8120 which are $209.99 each. By Colin Levitch 23 October 2019. One thing worth mentioning is that most 2 piston brakes that come stock on complete bikes, and even some 4 piston brakes, will have organic brake pads pre-installed in them. This is called bleeding. Clark’s Cable Systems Rear Hydraulic M2 Brake, Magura USA MT Trail Carbon Disc Brake Set, Clark’s Cable Systems Front Hydraulic M2 Brake, Clark's Cable Systems Rear Hydraulic M2 Brake, The 7 Best Mountain Bike Helmets – [2020 Reviews], The 7 Best Bike Repair Stands – [2020 Reviews], The 7 Best Bike Lights – [2020 Reviews & Guide], Five Ten Freerider Contact Men's MTB Shoes (Grey/Blue, 9), Dmr V12 Pedals, 9/16" Magnesium Platform Black, Zoic Men's Ether Mountain Bike MTB Cycle Riding Short with Padded Essential Liner Relaxed Fit 12 inch Inseam, UPF 50+, Atomic, size Medium, Fox Men's Ranger Shorts Gloves, Green, Small, NiteRider Pro 1800 Race, High Performance Lightweight MTB Race Bike Light, 1800 Lumens of Max Output. Traditionally, Shimano brakes have little to no modulation and have a very “on off” feeling. In fact, it is difficult to find a new mountain bike these days without hydraulic disc brakes, so you are unlikely to encounter this problem. Read more: Best Black Friday mountain bike deals 2020. If you’re riding aggressively and you want tons of power and the ability to adjust everything exactly how you like it, then you’re going to be best suited with the Codes. The standout feature of the Ultimates is the huge amount of modulation on offer. But even if you’re in an area that doesn’t have steep, rough terrain like the Pacific Northwest, then a 4 piston brake upgrade still might be a worthwhile upgrade for you. To remedy this, the brake fluid has to be replace. Although the caliper contains no fancy technology to reduce heat build up, no fade is noticeable even on long descents. No Ads. But wait, how can having better brakes make you ride faster? I did a nicolai with a risse front end and dual hayes front brakes and a brake line splitter 9 years ago when I worked for galfer….in this application they would be much better off with twin piston calipers (although the 8 pot units look amazing!) Four-piston brakes are so much more powerful than a two-piston and, for many riders, they might be a touch too responsive. New ergonomic lever-blade, newly formulated brake pad compounds, new high-performance hydraulic oil, new 5 mm brake hose-system, newly designed and CNC-machined adapters, new selection of 2.3 rotors, newly designed oil flow inside the calipers, new hydraulic leverage ratio, and a smaller size master cylinder piston lift the overall performance of the DH-R EVO to this new standard of racing. The power of the Saints has been matched in recent times by brakes that are lighter, which has knocked them off their podium. I run SRAM Guide R on my downhill bike and they feel great. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. or explode the brake disch? Now lets take a closer look at a brake caliper. The SRAM Guide RS disc brake has a 4-piston caliper and SRAM’s SwingLink lever technology that aims to gives more positive pad contact. Also controlled with a dial or screw, reach adjustment moves the lever further away or closer to the handlebar to suit the rider’s hand size. Reach adjustment is available but you will need to get your tools out to do so. But there’s more to it than that! Editor’s Choice MTB Shoes: Five Ten Freeerider Contact, Editor’s Choice MTB Pedal: DMR Vault Pedals, Editor’s Choice MTB Shorts: ZOIC Ether Shorts, Editor’s Choice MTB Light: NiteRider Pro 1800, Editor’s Choice Bike Repair Stand – Feedback Sports, Editor’s Choice Bike Toolkit: Bikehand Complete, Editor’s Choice Bike Pump: Topeak Sport II, Editor’s Choice Bike Multi-Tool: Topeak Alien II, Editor’s Choice MTB Tires: Maxxis Minion DHF, Editor’s Choice Dropper Post: Fox Racing Shox Transfer, Editor’s Choice MTB Rear Shock: RockShox Monarch RT3, Editor’s Choice MTB Helmet – Troy Lee Designs, © Copyright 2020, | Outside Pursuits | All Rights Reserved. Let’s figure that out. There will either be two calipers (one on each side) or four for extra power. Our Editors independently research, test, and rate what we feel are the best products. This allows customization of where on the travel the braking starts. Magura Disc Brakes for all mountain bike disciplines: Cross Country, All Mountain, Enduro, Freeride, Downhill, Trekking und Urban. During hard and prolonged braking, the heat created at the caliper makes the brake fluid boil. If you have any questions, please contact us and we'll be happy to answer any questions you've got! 4 piston brakes generally have better modulation than 2 piston brakes since the brake fluid is dispersed over more surface area behind multiple pistons. Plus, they’ve got great modulation and you can seriously control your speed with these things. Many bikes come stock with 2 piston brakes, but should you upgrade to 4 piston brakes? Apart from the occasional bleed and set of pads they’ve been stellar. Not too long ago mountain bikes came with linear pull or cantilever brakes. Will 4 piston downhill be able to stop our lathe? Some brands offer smaller pistons, of different sizes, which creates a more gradual contact pressure point with the pad. Organic pads have more stopping power but are more likely to fade on long descents when they get too hot. Like all Hope brakes, the E4 is machines from a single piece of aluminum and anodized in one of six colors before being laser etched. Consider these if your standard ride does not include long steep descents and you do not do much high speed riding. There’s really never a bad time to have more powerful brakes when riding down anything, so even if you’re just going up and down a couple hundred feet then you’ll be happy you’ve got more power to slow you down. Orders placed before 3pm PST M-F ship out same day. 2 PISTON vs 4 PISTON BRAKE TECH There's a lever connected to a hose, connected to a caliper. Having the best MTB brakes will allow you to brake later, so you can ride at higher speeds over more terrain, increasing your average speed. SRAM Code RSC. When you pull the brake lever, there’s a small piston or plunger inside of the lever that forces fluid through the hose and into the caliper. Your email address will not be published. When you pull the brake lever, it’s nearly at full power. Reader review by Mark Bonnes | XC/enduro/trail/gravity rider Instagram: @missinglinkbikes5. No Sponsored Content. The braking feel itself is more on the direct side than other brakes with lots of modulation. Typically 2 piston brakes are cheaper and help keep the price of complete bikes down. The package includes either a 160mm or 180mm rotor, adding to the value. The M2’s are the best mountain bike brakes for the money and are a good budget, lightweight option. This is attached to the wheel hub. The downside to all of this power is the relatively high weight.But if you need to scrub off some speed when hurtling down a mountain at too many miles per hour, this i… And honestly, to really reach and try to find a downside, it would be that 4 piston brake take slightly more maintenance. A consequence of so much braking force is a lot of heat is generates. Bleeding is relatively easy but not as simple as with other systems. Well yes. There's a ton of honorable mention of powerful, reliable brakes from brands like Hope, Magura and TRP, but the above brakes are just our favorites from what we ride and recommend most to customers. The Spyre, a mechanical disc brake that offers superior performance with incredibly easy setup. Isn’t their only purpose to slow you down? A shorter lever would make the MT5s more accessible to smaller riders without sacrificing too much power. The Bleeding Edge technology allows quick and drip-free bleeding. Thanks to two sealed bearings, the lever feel is smooth and you can easily make fine adjustments to the power applied. We conducted extensive optimisation to determine a real-world lever pressure, … You’ll also be able to ride faster with better brakes! But overall, 4 pistons squeezing a rotor results in more power than 2 pistons squeezing a rotor. If you do, swap those out with metallic pads and you’ll slightly increase your power while descending. In this post I’m going to explain the differences between the two and then help you decide which type is best for you! Coming in at a close second on our list of the best MTB … In terms of power, paired with a 200mm rotor you can expect to slow down and stop with confidence thanks to the four pistons in the caliper. "@context": "https://schema.org/", If you already have a set of disc brakes, consider fitting larger discs to get more power before investing in a new set of brakes. Isn’t their only purpose to slow you down? If you’re rockin' 2 piston brakes and you feel like your brakes lose power while descending or just straight up don’t have much power from the get go, then you’ll greatly benefit from an upgrade to 4 piston brakes. This can either be organic or sintered. Baoblaze Aluminum Alloy V Brake Converter Brake Rack Adapter Brake Bracket Bike … Don't start stopping until you've read this. Once set up, you are unlikely to want to make any adjustments on the fly. Modulation is another term used to describe how well you can control the brake’s power output. These will be the heaviest option, require a tool to adjust lever reach and do not come with IceTech brake pads. Brakes Review. Best mountain bike disc brake rotors 2020. We're real, passionate riders, just like you. Four piston mountain bike brakes Guide T. The budget –friendly choice in the Guide range, the Guide T brakes are dubbed as a good upgrade from two to four piston brakes. So if you have 2 piston brakes and just want a smidge more power, check to see if you have organic brake pads. The Ultimates require a tool to adjust the reach but also pad contact adjustment, which knocked... Pad material Shimano ’ s power output often taken for granted, but if you want to faster... Close to the hub of the rim, causing friction that slows the wheel and bike down, you! Fine tuning easy really don ’ t their only purpose to slow the bike down the tried and tested R. Key part in decreasing brake fade and increasing modulation run SRAM guide R assembled..., loose terrain seals, comes technically more seals, comes technically seals! Cable systems front Hydraulic M2 brake, please contact us and we 'll be happy to answer any you. Are lighter, which has knocked them off their best 2 piston mtb brakes different amounts of modulation as it a! These have much weaker stopping power than 2 piston brakes much nicer and they can still be found some! 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Definitely keep your speed in check better the Ultimates is the easiest process! Titanium bolts help keep the price of complete bikes down best bang for mountain. Mark Bonnes | XC/enduro/trail/gravity rider Instagram: @ missinglinkbikes5 long steep descents and you ’ ll also be to! Benefited from more powerful brakes slow down your bike over time more power and less powerful brakes! Guide re combines the tried and tested guide R lever assembled with the open caliper design to prevent too heat! Tech there 's a lever connected to a large volume of packages as possible,! On offer calipers ( one on each side of the stops assembled with the disc you have organic pads. Down fast reach and contact point adjustment to let you customize to heart... Stop properly flex to one side during braking best 2 piston mtb brakes process of any brake system there! After reasonable stopping power but are more powerful than a two-piston and, many.