Pinkbike Product Picks

Dec 13, 2013
by Mike Kazimer  
TRP Quadiem SL Brakes

TRP, a division of Tektro focused on producing higher end offerings for both road and mountain bikes, recently released their Quadiem SL brakes, which are designed to be capable of handling everything from DH to enduro race tracks. The brakes have an in-line master cylinder and use mineral oil to actuate the four composite pistons housed in each caliper. There are two different versions available, with the SL getting a two piece rotor design and carbon fiber lever blades. The levers have a tool free reach adjust and a hinged clamp to allow for easy installation. Available with 160, 180 or 203mm rotors. MSRP: $239.99 (each). Weight: 314g w/out rotor.

TRP Quadiem SL review test
TRP's Quadiem SL brakes feature carbon lever blades, a tool free reach adjust, and a four piston caliper.

Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesInstallation of the Quadiems was very straightforward, aided by the fact that the brakes are extremely easy to bleed. The bleed kit (available separately) has a syringe that screws into the port on the top of the lever body, and another that fits onto the caliper. Push the fluid from caliper up to the lever, and once the fluid is bubble-free you're finished, as simple as that. There was enough pad clearance that we didn't have any trouble quickly getting a rub-free setup.

The first ride on an unfamiliar set of brakes can be nerve-racking, but a day spent doing laps on short, moderately pitched trails had us convinced that the Quadiems were bedded in and would be able to handle something steeper and more sustained. Luckily, the Pacific Northwest has plenty of terrain to put brakes to the test, and a good portion of our testing took place on a local downhill trail full of tight chutes and steep rock rolls where extended periods of hard braking are required to remain in control. The Quadiems handled it without any pumping up or fading, and with plenty of power to slow things down in a hurry. Modulation isn't the brakes' strong suit though - they have a distinct on or off feel, with a strong initial bite. The modulation improves once the brakes are applied, making it possible to creep down long steep pitches without skidding, but it takes time to get used to the immediate power that the Quadiems possess.

The ergonomics of the Quadiem's carbon lever blades could use a little more refinement as well. The width of the lever blades decreases slightly towards the outside, and the curve at the end of the isn't as deep as other brakes, making it feel as if our grip on the lever wasn't as secure as we'd like, especially in wet conditions. The reach adjust worked well, but it would be nice to have detents with each turn of the knob rather than having it spin freely. Pad life is in line with other brakes on the market, although unlike some of Tektro's other brakes, the pads shape is unique to the Quadiems, which means you might want to stock up on a spare set or two before embarking on an extended road trip. Overall, the Quadiems are a step in the right direction, offering plenty of power and features like carbon lever blades and two piece rotors, but a little more refinement is necessary before they are at the same level as Shimano or Avid's benchmark four piston offerings. - Mike Kazimer

Spank Oozy Stem and LTD Handlebar

Spank's Oozy component line is intended to be strong enough for trail and all-mountain riding (they meet the same testing requirements Spank uses for their gravity products), but at the same time be light enough to run on an XC bike. 3-D forged from 6-series aluminum, the Oozy stem has a 35mm stack height and features what Spank calls their True 0 Degree Rise, which is accomplished by having the clamping area slightly lower than the main body of the stem. A unique hourglass shape is used for the body of the stem, a design Spank says helps keep the weight down while maintaining a high resistance to twisting and torque. The 65mm stem we tested weighed in at 160 grams, and is also available in 50 and 75mm lengths. MSRP: $69.90 USD.

The Oozy LTD handlebar is constructed from 7-series aluminum and comes in at 216 grams for the 740mm version, a weight more typically associated with carbon fiber handlebars. The bar goes through seven butting and eight heat treatments during the construction process, and is also work hardened at the clamping area to increase strength. The bars have 4 degrees of upsweep and 6 degrees of backsweep, and are available with 5 or 15mm of rise. MSRP: $89.90.

Spank Oozy LTD handlebar stem review
The Oozy product line is aimed at hard charging trail and all-mountain riders.

Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesSince their installation, the Oozy stem and LTD handlebar have remained strong and silent, surviving the test period without issuing any creaks of complaint. A slipped pedal that led to a solid knee to stem impact allowed us to fully appreciate the rounded rear profile of the Oozy stem, and while it didn't make the smashing of skin against aluminum any less painful, it did mean that we weren't sliced by any sharp edges. We didn't notice any undue flex from either the bar and stem, and found the bend of the handlebars to be comfortable even on multi-hour rides. 740mm is still a little narrow for our preferences, but for riders seeking a lightweight bar in this width, the Oozy LTD is definitely worth a look, especially since its weight is comparable to that of a carbon fiber bar, but at almost half the cost. - Mike Kazimer

Ryders Eyewear Hijack Sunglasses

For over 25 years, Ryders Eyewear, based in Vancouver, British Columbia, has been making sunglasses for cyclists with the goal of offering high performance products at an affordable price. The brand's offerings have grown over the years, and they now offer a wide range of eyewear, everything from snow goggles to sunglasses. The Hijack is part of Ryder's sport collection, and has features such as hydrophilic nose and temple pads to keep them secure even during high motion activities. Our review pair of glasses had a yellow photochromic lens that is designed for usage in very low to bright light. The lens automatically adjust its tint when exposed to UV rays, which alters the amount of transmitted light between 76 and 21 percent. Ryders offers darker tints for riders who spend more time in very bright, direct sunlight, but as much of our riding takes place in the forests or during cloudy weather, the yellow tint was an appropriate choice. Fit: Medium. MSRP: $79.99 USD.

A photochromic lens makes the Hijack sunglasses useable in a wide range of light conditions.

Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesWe found the Hijack sunglasses to be light and comfortable, and they remained in place even on the bumpiest of trails. The adjustable nose piece is a nice touch, making it easy to ensure that the sunglasses remain secure and centered. The photochromic lens worked as advertised, changing tint depending on the light conditions. The transition between tints is smooth enough that we never noticed it happening - the lens would darken in bright sunlight and lighten up in the shade, but it was a subtle enough shift that the look of our surroundings remained consistent. We often ride without sunglasses due to the fact that there is usually a persistent cloud cover that makes it especially dark in the woods, but the yellow tint made us much more likely to grab these without worrying about them making it difficult to see in thickly forested areas. The glasses did fog up on us once, but that was during a period of extended, slow speed climbing in a sleet / rain storm, challenging conditions for any sunglasses. Once we took them off for a second and aired them out they remained fog free for the remainder of the ride. In addition, the Hijack's lenses have remained unmarred by major scratches despite multiple muddy rides and a few direct encounters with pointy branches. We couldn't ask much more from a pair of sunglasses - the Hijacks have done their job without issue, keeping our eyeballs protected from UV rays, flying mud, and anything else that might be encountered on a mountain bike ride. - Mike Kazimer


  • 104 0
 TRP/Tektro brakes are perfect for the person that likes the price of simano zee brakes but cant stand the quality. One buyer said, "I couldn't stand the perfect modulation or perfect lever design of my shimanos, but I really liked the price. Thanks tektro"! Another rider had an equally positive review," Ill buy any thing that is made of carbon regardless of quality".

I am looking at getting some to add to my parts bin!
  • 8 1
 What you say is true only if you buy the more expensive ones, and even then they run about $20 less a piece. Not bad when you consider zee is the cheap model. Apples to apples you get $180 a piece vs $250 a piece. Better modulation will cost you $70. Might not be worth it when you are making a cheap DH build and you have to choose between quality brakes and quality wheels.
I like these tektros because I am hoping to see them on a lot of cheaper DH rigs and also it is always nice to see new mineral oil brakes on the market.
May they convince avid to switch fluids.
  • 4 16
flag the-mountainbart-experience (Dec 13, 2013 at 5:48) (Below Threshold)
 I'd rather pay 70bucks less for a wheel set and put the money where it will make a difference to your riding...
  • 18 2
 Wheels make the biggest difference to your your riding since rotational mass effects handling and unsprung weight influences suspension performance. Braking is pretty high up there too, but wheels are king. And at a combined cost difference of $140, you might actually get a lot more wheel on the low end, depending on budget. Maybe some halo or atom lab wheels instead of weinaman junkers.
  • 6 0
 @ FUglio Though that was one of the funnier things i've read in a while, i think taletotell is right. Its shimano zee and the TRP quandiem are not an apples to apples comparison. I for one am one of those weird riders that likes a brake with gobs of power right away. And i tell you this much, i'd rather run these than any Avids.
  • 4 0
 So are Shimano Zee brakes slide on (and then tighten down), or are they like the video where you can clip them on after putting the grips on? To me, thats a major selling point. I'm constantly moving around parts since I can't really afford to have 2 full bikes worth of components.
  • 2 6
flag TomBasic (Dec 13, 2013 at 13:58) (Below Threshold)
 VTwintips, the brake clamps are hinged (it says so in the article, and you can see it in the picture). This means you "can clip them on after putting the grips on."
  • 7 1
 Right... which is why I asked about Shimano Zee brakes, because I can't really tell.
  • 3 3
 lol. Quite the attitude for someone ironically commenting on reading comprehension.
  • 4 0
 @VTwintips - Shimano's Zee brake levers have a hinged clamp as well - no need to take your grips off.
  • 4 0
 "The bleed kit (available separately)" Freaking silly! All companies should include a kit especially since many brakes need a bleed right out of the box.
Sick RYDERS though!
  • 4 0
 I just still cant fathom that there is this much competition in the brake market! Why on earth would anyone ever buy these over Shimano Zee's?!?!
  • 1 3
 @VT is use lock on grips and done see a full hinge usefull
  • 3 0
 where is the "none of the above" box? cuz i would be checking that one
  • 2 0
 I had Tektro mech disk brakes once on an old bike. I rode down a hill on a road and the brakes overheated so badly that I had the worst brake fade I've ever had of 30 years of driving cars, trucks, motorcycles, quads, road and mountain bikes. They could have killed me, I will never touch any of their products ever again.
  • 1 0
 @Fuglio I don't use a lock on and do see a full useful. (I've got small hands so I want to keep the diameter low).
  • 1 0
 damn that video was actually pretty awesome...
  • 79 12
 For the brakes to be at the same level as Avid, they would have to be a pile of shit.
  • 5 3
 Haha Smile
  • 10 3
 I don't know, I'm a big fan of my Avid Code brakes. I've had trouble with the cheaper Elixirs, but the Codes keep on ticking.
  • 6 1
 One of the best comments I've seen on Pinkbike. Simple but so amusing.
  • 3 2
 Thanks, I'm hit and miss, miss mostly. ;-)
  • 2 1
 Zziplex hits the nail on the head. with this comment. I will never ride avid again... ever.
  • 22 1
 "The bleed kid (available separately)" too bad the kid doesn't come with the set, it'd be nice to have someone else bleeding my brakes...
  • 3 1
 haha nice catch!
  • 12 0
 After riding on Shimano brakes I don't see how I could switch to anything else. Just feel the perfectly designed lever and you will be sold.
  • 4 1
 They are the best brakes on the market both for performance and value, other brakes shouldnt even exist
  • 2 3
 more brakes on the market = greater possibility of not having shimanos on your next bike. not good.
  • 4 0
 I had a pair of Hijacks and liked them, but they didn't interface well with a POC Trabec I got later. So try them on with your helmet first if you can before buying.
  • 1 0
 the trabec is weird that way, they don't work with my oakley radars either, the straps are set far out so you can't put the arms over the straps but the helmet is weirdly shaped so you can't put them under either
  • 1 0
 I've found my Ryders Face glasses to work well with my POC Trabec, it's such a good combo. Both are so comfortable I forget they're on my head.
  • 1 0
 I think glasses with sloping arms (like my mec logics, they fit well) fit better than straight armed sunglasses like the radars, either way kind of a pain that poc would design it that way but whatever
  • 1 0
 I like they way POC designed the Trabec with more temple protection and material around the ears, but I could see it not working with some glasses. That said, I'm glad that the Ryders have that little bit of curve to catch behind my ears, but the arms aren't that thick so they don't pinch between the helmet and your head. And the face and nose fit is so much better than my old glasses.
  • 3 0
 Been wearing the Ryder's for a couple of years now, including the Hijack, and they're pretty good. A fraction of the price than Oakley's. In the UK they sell them in some ski shops if you want to check them out.
  • 3 1
 $240 a brake???? Jesus I paid $192 / brake plus $45 a wheel for Ice tech rotors n adapters for brand new m820 saints!!!!!!
Explain to me how this no name brake is comparable to world class downhill brakes ?? This brake is up in the hope /saint league????
Yet in the review they feel on and off no modulation and even state they are not comparable to shimano higher end line yet more expensive???
Why would anyone buy these???
  • 4 1
 It has a name, the TRP Quadiem SL brakes.
  • 2 0
 cool to see a write-up on the oozy--products i am personally considering. Question: what grips are on that bar? Anyone know? Thanks!
  • 1 4 not too sure but these look similar
  • 3 0
 Grips are specialized sip grips I'm pretty sure.
  • 2 0
 I'm guessing Specialized too.
  • 1 0
 lol @finnrambo those are nothing like the ones on the spank bars...
  • 2 0
 Was looking online for XGT grips. then realised XGT was on the bar and the grips are see through...derp!
  • 1 1
 no I meant similar, figured if nobody could figure out what grips actually are then he'd at least know of a grip that's almost the same
  • 1 0
 thanks guys! those do look like the specialized grip... seems like they'd be comfy with no outer lockring, but still lock-on security...
  • 3 1
 Yes, HundyWZM is correct - those are the Specialized Sip grips.
  • 2 0
 No comments on Hijack?
I'm pretty interested in it and I want it but I couldn't get it in Japan unfortunately.
Common Ryders Eyewear...!
  • 4 2
 Racket ball goggles cost less, stay on your face well, and don't fog easily. You'll never catch me spending more than $20 on eyewear.
  • 1 0
 those brakes look nice but I haven't gotten a good hands on test with them so I would be skeptical on spending $240ea in comparison to the X0 or X9 trail brakes
  • 2 0
 I was put off by the look of the lever, too long and straight as if meant to be used with 3 fingers. I like a more molded feel. Also they noted the modulation isn't all that great, which is the number one thing I look for. They use miner oil which is nice but the price point puts them up against too many tried and true brands. Maybe tektro could use an steel lever and rotor sell them for 75 then i would look twice.
  • 1 0
 edit: the lever isn't all that bad after looking at them on the web site.
  • 1 0
 The levers look like an avid vut the master cylinders liik like a muffed up shimano so I'll stick with my zees
  • 2 3
 2011 and newer codes are the best lever on the market. Wish avid used those on their elixir's as well.
  • 2 0
 try photochromic lens. just great, you´ll have a pair of glasses for all year
  • 2 0
 I have a set of their shore goggles with the polarized lens. They're absolutely amazing and quite cheap for the quality they put in. Bummed out I couldn't get the photochromic lens, it's one of the things I'll probably upgrade soon enough.
  • 1 0
 @bizalich, specialized makes the SIP lock on grip with a near identical design that are pretty sweet.
  • 1 0
 right on, thanks!
  • 2 0
 TRP very nice keeping it sweet n simple !
  • 2 1
 Ryders sunglasses ruined my life!
  • 1 0
 +1 for the Oozy Stem, so stiff, light and looks the biz!
  • 1 3
 The sunglasses should help when taking a flight with all the anxiety of hijacking. This is what I think. Now I will reconsider it.
  • 2 3
 maybe the handlebar, but nothing is better than atlas :-)
  • 4 4
 There is; (my) Thomson Smile
  • 3 4
 I have a Tioga Taskforce and it has never let me down. Trollololo
  • 1 0

Can you elaborate on your love of the atlas bars?
  • 1 0
 Have to agree with Extremmist. Been using the Thomson X4 paired with Easton Havoc carbon bars for over a year now and had no creaks or anything in that time.Really good dampening too.
  • 1 0
 I have had this same set-up for about 8 months now, and will say it is the stiffest stem bar combo I have tried. Bars are almost to narrow but the weight is nice. I am guessing the bars being reviewed here are still made with the zinc doped aluminum. Bars are seriously strong. This combo is far better than atlas.
  • 1 0
 I have the Spank Lounge bar (760 I think) and the quality is amazing! never regretted the purchase!
  • 1 0
 I just switched from a Sunline V1 to an Atlas on my trail bike and am getting all kinds of wrist pains now. It might just be a bit too wide uncut (785mm) or I'm thinking too much back sweep? thoughts?
  • 4 2
 jeffsworks if the bar use primarily on a trail bike then less backsweep is likely to be the cause of pains, and then the wider the bar is the worse it gets as more of your weight is supported on the thumb base area of your palm, rather than evenly on the whole base of your palm. That is experience mostly while you are pedalling seated a lot and have lowish cockpit. For bikepark riding I can live with 7deg backsweep no problem, but for trail riding I need 9deg. However the more backsweep you have the worse is it for your "elbows out" stance on descents - compromise
  • 2 0
 Probably there isn´t any big diffrent in these diffrent products. In this discussion there ist Atlas, Tioga, Thomson, Easton, Spank, Sunline...but for me it is atlas, because of crashes and the right design for my cockpit! :-)
Happy X-mas to all of you (and your handlebars) guys!
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