2021 TRP Quadiem Review

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2021 TRP Quadiem Review
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Posted: Feb 24, 2021 at 16:09 Quote
I got a set of 2021 TRP Quadiems for my 2019 Stumpjumper Carbon Comp LT after 4 weeks of waiting, and I thought the community would be interested in a write up on how I think they feel compared to my previous SLX's. I specifically bought them for more modulation and more stopping power. This whole event was catalyzed by the new Specialized Butcher T9's, which basically glue themselves to the hero dirt I've been riding on through winter.

2021 TRP Quadiem Notable Specs
* 4 Piston - Hybrid Composite Steel Pistons
* 5mm Brake Hose - Basically a Shimano hose with the same Shimano Olive. Not the weird 5.5mm directional olive that was used on their older 5.5mm hoses.
* Mineral Oil fluid
* Left/Right Hoses ship plugged for easy install, both ship with 1.8m of hose to run either front or rear.
* Ships with "performance" Resin pads.
* Utilizes 1.8mm rotors. More standard than the 2.3mm rotors on the DH-R Evo.
* Compatible with Shimano D Type pads.

Brakes Being Replaced
* 2019 Shimano SLX M-7100 Two Piston w/ Resin Pads
* Kept same sized 203mm & 180mm rotors, but upgraded from RT-66's to RT-86's.

Shimano Deficits:
* Poor Modulation. When running metallic pads the brakes were basically on or off. It was scary. Swapped to Resin pads for more modulation which helped, but the modulation was still meh, and the rear tire was still very difficult to keep from locking up.
* Low front stopping power. The rear's had plenty, but the SLX's were never able to give me that full lockup power on the front end that you know other brakes can provide.

Results:
After bleeding the rear Quadiem I had a direct comparison against my still installed front SLX with regards to modulation, and it was pretty comical how much more the Quadiem lever gives you after initial contact relative to the SLX. The SLX hits, and then the rest feels like lever bending. The TRP's hit, and then give you a solid 1/2"-3/4" of lever squeeze as you start to really squeeze. I almost thought something was wrong since it was so different. Nope...front's felt the same after install/bleeding and those were a lot easier to bleed.

After break in I took them over to Santa Cruz for a couple runs on dem steeps.

The increased modulation basically felt like ABS on the first run. It was crazy. The rear tire didn't feel like a f****** boat rudder anymore but still locked when I give it a nice pull. Yisssss.

However, the fronts didn't give me the lock-up potential power I was hoping for. They pull like a dream, but when you're all squared up on a non-tech 30% decline trying to shorten your brake zone to the shortest possible...well...you're still gonna overcook it without locking up haha. I can say that my front end confidence went up noticeably through techy zones, where I previously would never have dabbed the front brake. Now I can brake a little in those rooty/rocky areas without having to worry about my front end slipping out from underneath me, even in the wet.

I can't say much about reliability yet since I've only had them a short period of time but they haven't complained at all. No leaks, no squeaks, no wondering bite points. They do have a little turkey gobble that I hope to ignore since I don't want to shim them, but my SLX's did that too.

Cons and Conclusion:
I want to start the conclusion by saying the need for increased power is a result of the tacky dirt and gradient I'm riding. In summertime, when the dirt isn't as tacky, my SLX's got the job done. On most trails outside of Santa Cruz the SLX's got the job done. Also, I'm aware of the existence of 223mm rotors, which would increase power.
With that out of the way, the Quadiem's provide you with a redefined definition of "control" when talking about braking (relative to the SLX's). I almost thought they were broken, or I had done something wrong, because they give you so much more lever modulation. The power is equivalent to or greater than my SLX's, which did good.. The resin pads broke in quickly and aren't going to break the bank.

I'd recommend these for two kinds of riders. Anyone riding an XC, Trail or Enduro bike that doesn't dabble in 30%+ gradient downhills...&...An aggressive trail rider or enduro rider on a budget - me - I saved ~$160 by going with Quadiems over DH-R Evos. I can't say if that $160 would be worth the power on a trail bike, but absolutely for someone on a downhill bike.

Cons:
* No caliper bleed screw. They use plug. You need the little M5 adapter or whatever size it is to connect to your syringe. I was able to "recycle" my shimano bleed screws and replace the plugs, which worked, but it still wasn't that clean.
* The Shimano bleed funnel won't work with these guys. Again, it's a different thread size. Buy the TRP bleed funnel for $15 before you attempt a bleed.
* Can't replace the pads without removing the wheel. Not "top load" like the DH-R's or the Slates or my SLX's.
* This isn't a con, but it's curious...The Quadiem calipers look unique among TRP's product line. The Slate T4's, the DH-R Evo, and the Ebike calipers all look pretty similar. The Quadiems still use the older GSpec DH caliper with the fins. I speculate that they did this because they don't care about the weight penalty on their "stronger" Trail brake. I think the DH-R's are optimized for weight savings.

Posted: Feb 25, 2021 at 13:18 Quote
Remonster wrote:
* This isn't a con, but it's curious...The Quadiem calipers look unique among TRP's product line. The Slate T4's, the DH-R Evo, and the Ebike calipers all look pretty similar. The Quadiems still use the older GSpec DH caliper with the fins. I speculate that they did this because they don't care about the weight penalty on their "stronger" Trail brake. I think the DH-R's are optimized for weight savings.

Santa Cruz has many downhill gradients steeper than 30%. Do you not ride them, or is it because of the lower speeds on those trails?

Also, your last point is most likely due to saving costs on development and production. R&D and tooling is pretty expensive and, if the old ones work well enough, might as well reuse them with the low volumes that they sell.

Nice write-up.

Posted: Feb 25, 2021 at 18:07 Quote
iliveonnitro wrote:
Remonster wrote:
* This isn't a con, but it's curious...The Quadiem calipers look unique among TRP's product line. The Slate T4's, the DH-R Evo, and the Ebike calipers all look pretty similar. The Quadiems still use the older GSpec DH caliper with the fins. I speculate that they did this because they don't care about the weight penalty on their "stronger" Trail brake. I think the DH-R's are optimized for weight savings.

Santa Cruz has many downhill gradients steeper than 30%. Do you not ride them, or is it because of the lower speeds on those trails?

Also, your last point is most likely due to saving costs on development and production. R&D and tooling is pretty expensive and, if the old ones work well enough, might as well reuse them with the low volumes that they sell.

Nice write-up.

You know, I actually checked my strava to get an idea where the "steep" zones were. Max gradient I saw was 46% haha. I don't think a large percentage of the riding community does that kinda decent though.

Lock em Up is the steepest I've ever ridden and I don't know what that measures at. It's definitely more than 46%.

Not to toot my own horn but I don't really like non steep trails anymore. Pedaling on a decent is hard haha. Max speed I've hit is 32mph down Chupa.

Posted: Feb 26, 2021 at 20:41 Quote
I'm guessing you bled with Shimano mineral oil? I've used Tectro oil before and my brakes felt slow at the lever and "packed up" when squishing the levers quickly. Bled them with Shimano oil and the issue was gone. These were Shimano breaks btw.

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