Review: TRP's New G-Spec Trail SL Brake

Dec 19, 2018
by Mike Levy  
TRP G-Spec Trail SL Brake


TRP has managed to position itself as a serious contender in the brake market over the last few years, thanks in no small part to their downhill-focused G-Spec Quadiem stopper that shot to the top of the class when talking about modulation. That brake was made for the likes of Aaron Gwin, but the high-performance arm of Tektro has a new G-Spec model out, this one being a lighter weight brake intended for use on a trail bike.

The G-Spec Trail SL employs the same four-piston caliper as the DH brake - but with different sized pistons - combined with a lighter weight perch. It retails for $149.99 USD per end without rotors, making it $30 USD pricier than the budget-oriented Slate 4 and putting them up against SRAM's $154 USD (w/ rotor) four-piston Guide RS brake. So, let's find out how the two compare.

TRP G-Spec Trail SL

• Intended use: trail
• Mineral oil system
• Four-piston caliper
• CNC two-piece caliper
• 14/16mm pistons
• Tool-free indexed reach adjust
• Weight: 312 grams (front, w/o rotor)
• MSRP: $149.99 USD
• More info: www.trpcycling.com

Rotors range from $29.99 USD to $59.99 USD, and that does bump the price of the Trail SL up past where the Guide RS sits. They're available in all the sizes, as well as both six-bolt and Centerlock mounting, and you can find a ton of small parts on their website; if you prefer to fix things yourself, you can probably order what you need instead of having to go to a shop.


TRP G-Spec Trail SL Brake
The trail bike-oriented G-Spec Trail SL lets you tinker with reach via an indexed dial. There's a four-piston caliper at the other end that works with Shimano pads, too.


Design

TRP makes a point of saying that the Trail SL's finned caliper is the same as what's used for the downhill-oriented G-Spec Quadiem, but that's only partly true. While the Quadiem caliper is home to four 16mm diameter pistons, you'll find 14mm and 16mm pucks inside of the Trail SL's. Both use the same pads, though. The idea with the differently sized pistons is to have the smaller ones lead by just a hair so as to have a controllable initial bite, with the 16mm pistons delivering more power later in the lever's throw.

Externally, the two-piece caliper looks massive compared to the pared-down blocks of aluminum from everyone else, but TRP has machined a load of cooling find onto its roof. It also has the new sleeker bleed fitting and, just like with the Quadiem, you can fit a set Shimano brake pads if that's what you're into.

Up at the other end, the Trail SL's master cylinder and lever blade look like a Weightwatcher's version of the Quadiem's setup. You'll spot the same indexed reach adjustment dial, as well as the same lack of adjustable bite point; TRP makes no apologies for that, instead choosing to go with a simpler, possibly more reliable design.
TRP G-Spec Trail SL Brake
The caliper is finned to better shed heat, and it uses two 14mm pistons and two 16mm pistons for better modulation.

The clamp is hinged to make life easy, and it plays nice with both I-spec II and Matchmaker mounts as well. It's worth noting that the similarly priced Guide RS sports the same tuning options.


Mondraker Foxy Carbon XR 29 photo by Justin Kious
Dry and loose? That's when some extra control comes in handy, and the Trail SLs have it.


Performance

The brake's name makes it impossible to mistake their intended use, but I went ahead and bolted them onto Mondraker's 150mm-travel Foxy Carbon XR 29 that is most definitely not a trail rig in most parts of the world. Squamish's often steep singletrack is also most definitely not your average trail riding, either, so I ran them with 180mm rotors front and rear that work well for my 160-ish pound weight. Not your average trail riding then, but if TRP's weight-conscious four-piston stoppers work well here, they'll probably well everywhere.

When I reviewed the DH-friendly G-Spec Quadiem, I said, ''First, they've been impressively consistent,'' and ''They offer a remarkable amount of feel and modulation, especially for a four-piston brake intended for downhill use.'' Yeah, I liked 'em a lot, and it's no surprise to me that I could start the G-Spec Trail SL review by using similar words.

If you read that original G-Spec Quadiem review, you'd also know that they offer that relatively gentle initial grab that I prefer over that stick-in-the-spokes power that, while certainly not useless, is also a lot easier to come by than telepathic-like modulation. The Quadiem doesn't really have that brick wall type of power, but what they do have is class-leading modulation, and TRP has done well to carry that same thing over to their four-piston trail brake.


TRP G-Spec Trail SL Brake
TRP G-Spec Trail SL Brake
The indexed reach adjustment refused to migrate during my time on them, and the dial is easy to turn.


I used my set of Trail SLs with metallic pads (they come stock with semi-metallic pads installed) and found the power to be enough for my needs and 160lb-ish mass, but also down just a touch compared to the Guides with the same sized rotors. That said, TRP's power comes on in a very linear, direct, and easy to understand way, possibly because there's no tricky linkage driving the plunger as there is on some of the competition. Or maybe that's not the reason why, but my braking fingers tell me that there's certainly something different going on regardless.

As you might expect, that kind of control is nothing but a boon when it's wet or you're near your personal limits. Sure, I think the Guide RS has more outright power, but TRP has 'em beat when talking about modulation. Same goes for Shimano, too, but the big Blue S has a ton more initial bite than anyone else bar the Germans at Trickstuff.


TRP G-Spec Trail SL Brake
Fade? Pump up? No and no.


Squamish is full of the kind of descents that make your brakes fade and the bottom of your feet burn, but TRP's trail-oriented stoppers proved themselves to be consistent performers. Okay, at 160lb, I'm not the heaviest guy out there, but I can certainly get two-piston brakes to wither under me. That's no surprise, of course, and it's also no surprise that these four-piston brakes don't. I also had exactly zero reliability concerns; the reach setting didn't migrate, there were no weird moose-moaning noises, and I experienced no pump-up, either.

Okay, no fence sitting here: SRAM's Guide RS or TRP's G-Spec Trail SL? The price difference is kind of a wash, although you'll end up spending more on the latter because you'll also need to spring for a new rotor. Outright power? The Guides take it, no question. Modulation? SRAM has always been among the best, and they still are, but TRP has got them with on that front. Reliability? It seems like every brake has its share of people who've had major issues, but Guides have never given me trouble. Neither has anything from TRP, so it's I'll call it even there as well.

So, if I had a set of the Guide RS brakes on my bike and they were performing, I wouldn't run out and buy a set of Trail SLs. On the other hand, if my bike needs a new set of brakes, I'd pick up a set of TRP's new stoppers. Now, if they had an adjustable bite point - if any of TRP's brakes had it - there'd be nothing left for me to moan about.



Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesI don't think it's out of line to say that it'll be awhile before TRP has the clout of the more well-known brake companies, but I'd also argue that's only because we're far more used to seeing the likes of SRAM, Shimano or whoever else on the bikes that we drool over. I suspect that'll change in the future, especially if TRP keeps offering no-nonsense, functional brakes that have class-leading modulation. Mike Levy








129 Comments

  • + 65
 There must have been some very clever marketing people at Tektro. They've been making loads of brakes for a good while, hydraulic disc brakes too. But it was always value stuff for the OEM market. Then they went straight into the top end of the DH market under a different name and people seem to associate them with just that, not the cheaper Mongoose bikes. I sometimes wonder if Suntour should have done that too. Even though you'll find their forks on the bikes of the top DH, freeride (Rampage kind of stuff), 4X and XC athletes they still somehow don't seem to be considered top picks by the mainstream media (like Pinkbike). What if they would have marketed their top forks something like SRP before they signed with the Polygon team. Oh it would be droolworthy material. And performance? Oh boy, right up there with the best!
  • + 18
 Suntour made it with DVO ;-)
  • + 16
 aaand CST whit Maxxis ;-)
  • + 3
 @cabala: "Suntour made it with DVO " wasn't it Marz guys?
  • + 14
 @ka81: dvo has people from marzocchi working for them and suntour makes their forks
  • + 7
 Yeah, some people at Marzocchi (already part of Tenneco by then) weren't happy with the way things were going and went their own way. So it wasn't technically a company started by Marzocchi, just by people who've been at Marzocchi when they were doing great. Just like X Fusion was created by people who previously worked at Fox. I think Suntour is so big that they do indeed make parts (or complete forks) for other manufacturers as well. Wouldn't call it a part of Suntour though, it is more that they produce just like Asian companies also produce tires and frames for western brands. CST with Maxxis is a great comparison though.
  • + 1
 @ka81: DVO Topaz looks nearely identical as the Suntour Triair.
And yes Suntour manufactures for Dvo
  • + 7
 @cabala: this is the real deal! Wonder how many people know who Cheng is?
  • + 0
 It's the other way around. The sun tour looks like the dvo @NotNamed:
  • + 1
 Also they use the same factory. Dvo purchased part of it. Auntie doesn't make dvo. Dvo does. It's just in the same building. @NotNamed:
  • + 6
 @cabala: Shine heart wig company did it with General Electric.
  • - 7
flag Kramz (Dec 19, 2018 at 10:32) (Below Threshold)
 Here's my qualm with a lot of things in general. You can buy a bicycle at Wal-Mart for 100 dollars. Like it's obviously not going to be very good, but let's say you double that price, that should theoretically make an out of this world bike, no!? You've taken a functional bike, and made it twice as good, have you not?
  • + 2
 @Kickmehard: nice reference there!
  • + 1
 @Losifer: cheers, I was sweating for awhile that no one would get it.
  • + 1
 that's so true, but a small detail: TRP went for the winning Gwin. They wouldn't be on the map the way they are now had they been sponsoring Polygon
  • + 2
 "TRP" as a brand has been around for a while. Tektro just decided to invest in MTB exposure (Gwin) and R&D for a new set of high-end brakes.
  • + 1
 edit out
  • + 21
 "The idea with the differently sized pistons is to have the smaller ones lead by just a hair so as to have a controllable initial bite"
Actually the idea of a 4 piston brake with different sized pistons is to archieve even pressure on the pad surface. I bet they cannot control which piston goes out first, it just depends on the friction of a rubber seal.

I always get the feeling with brake tests that there are huge deviations in power because of pad/disc combination, bedding in, bad factory bleeds etc.

Pinkbike should do a brake test rig shootout with equal pads and discs, it will leave lots of discussion material for the comment section.
  • + 1
 Piston diameter mostly change the pressure applied. The pads are usually worn out with some angle and different pressure from front to back can fix this.
  • + 20
 @qreative-bicycle: my girlfriend says piston diameter maters.
  • + 16
 @harrybrottman: and that is why she left you
  • + 5
 This is as close as it will get to the test you'll like to see:

enduro-mtb.com/en/best-mtb-disc-brake-can-buy
  • + 3
 @JuanFco: I know this test but it seems faulty, they found the Guide to be stronger than Code and XT stronger than Zee
  • + 1
 @JuanFco: Thanks for that link. Extremely comprehensive.
  • + 1
 @SickEdit: yes and no, at the end they went for equal lever pulling across models. Maybe up to that finger pulling force the duals are in from of the 4 pods and the 4 pods only create more power when pulling harder on them ? At the end of the day you are spreading the pressure on more surface than on 2 pistons so maybe the extra friction of the surface is not enough to compensate for smaller surface/greater pressure ? A bit like an arrow will go through a body easier than an axe but when the axe is applied with moe power it makes more damage ?
  • + 13
 I've been through Saints, Guide Rs, Guide RSCs, Hope E4s, and finally the Quadiems. The Quadiems are going NOWHERE and are easily the best brakes I've ever used. Fit them with Saint pads and they have the best bits of all of the other brakes, with none of the downsides (I even have tiny baby hands, and the lack of bite point adjust isn't a problem). If these are half as good, I'll be recommending them to a lot of customers!
  • + 4
 what's the drawback for you of the E4s? Weight? I've had a set of E4s for almost two years and not a single issue.
  • + 0
 Quadiems Are not better then Saints! I got a par of G-spec’s that my son didn’t want and have ran Saints forever and they are not better! And the finned Saint pads don’t fit these brakes either!
  • + 2
 Agreed
  • + 0
 I'm saving up for Trickstuff. Everything else is plastic toys.
  • + 3
 @MX298: Duh the finned pads dont fit, the non finned ones do that have been around since the m810 days
  • + 2
 @MX298: I've been riding Saints m810 and Zee since 2010 and always loved them. My GT Force was fitted with TRP Slate T4 and I have to say that I like them very much. They are probably down on power and jumping from one brake to the other needs some time to adapt as Shims have 0 modulation. But once you get used to the TRPs you can appreciate the easy modulation when riding at your limit or in loose conditions. I'll spend a season on them on my Fury 2019 too that will be interesting, I'll probably put the Saints on it to compare through the season to compare arm pump and speed. Another big plus is the very consistent feel of them, Saints have their reach changing all the time no mater how much you bleed them, if anything they get more consistent if you never bleed them, so far the TRPs are super reliable in terms of lever reach which I appreciate a lot too.
  • + 6
 The best brakes are the ones you set-up and maintain properly. I’ve had most brands and found that they bite differently and deliver power differently, but all are good enough once you get used to them if you treat them well. I’m 95kg on a 29er so do need power. I’m constantly amazed how often experienced riders don’t know how to clean-out, bleed, align etc etc brakes. So many people seem to get new brakes when there current ones could be made good with a little love.
  • + 1
 @WrenchRy87: I had some reliability problems with the E4s. I actually picked up the Quadiems when they were in being warrantied, and when the E4s came back I just sold them on. Just preferred the overall feel of the Quadiems (and I think they look better too, actually). I'm on an EVIL and I'm not particularly light, so weight is about the last of my priorities when it comes to brakes!
  • + 9
 TRP brake, takes shimano pads, lever next to an X0 shifter. My OCD isn't coping well here, I might freak out and brake something.
  • + 1
 I wonder what type of mineral oil they use. Unlike DOT, the oil is proprietary so even though I never had trouble with it, I only learned much later that I shouldn't install and bleed Shimano brakes with the Magura oil I happened to have in stock. I'm really lacking in the OCD dept so I thought it would be fun if they required Formula oil in there, just to mix it up. I honestly don't know what type of mineral oil they use though.
  • + 1
 @vinay: frankenbrakes.
  • + 4
 @vinay: All tektro hydraulic brakes use shimano mineral oil
  • - 4
flag konadan (Dec 19, 2018 at 9:31) (Below Threshold)
 @spaceofades: nope. You are wrong.
  • + 1
 @konadan: I run shimano oil in all my trp brakes and they work fine.
  • + 1
 @I bleed with shimano oil on my TRP brake abd no issue ... Mineral oil do a job
  • + 21
 @vinay: @konadan Our brakes are fully compatible with Shimano mineral oil and Shimano pads. You can use TRP, Tektro, or Shimano mineral oil to service our brakes. For service question feel free to contact us at info@trpbrakes.com anytime Monday-Friday 8am-4pm MST
  • + 4
 @TRPCyclingComponents: You guys are a class act
  • + 1
 @TRPCyclingComponents: They ain’t compatible with any bike...I can’t even use the G-Spec quadiems purchased here in Australia-they don’t ship with a bleed nipple on caliper, just a T15 screw. the supposed ‘agents’ over here have no idea what the correct part is...useless, as is the brake. I guess Gwin doesn’t need bled brakes to win races hey?
  • + 2
 @TRPCyclingComponents: That's a clever move. Shimano stuff is widely available so it shouldn't be too hard for your customers to keep your brakes in good working condition. I'm not in the market for new brakes, but I wish you all the best!
  • + 3
 @prattbrewboy: We are sorry to hear you had that experience. While our brake fluid and pads are cross-compatible you do need a TRP/Tektro bleed kit to service our brakes. Pending distributor inventory levels these can be purchased through our distributor in your country. This can also be purchased directly from our US office here: www.trpcycling.com/product/basic-bleed-kit Our basic bleed kit comes with two bleed fittings so one can be attached at the lever and one can be threaded directly into the caliper. We removed the bleed nipple in favor of a threaded bleed port. This helps improve the bleed procedure and was directly influenced by Gwin's professional mechanic's noting he was removing the bleed nipple to get the best brake bleed possible. Also, the caliper just looks sick with the bleed nipple gone.
  • + 0
 @TRPCyclingComponents: Hey Guys, I think it’s a fundamental error not to supply a bleed nipple with the brake. If your saying the brake is usable with Shimano oil then folk will think I can bleed this with my existing shimano syringe/oil. Wrong-invest another $50 to get the bleed kit you already have plus the essential bleed nipple. Seems like a cheap trick to upsell bleed kits. Am still unable to use my brake after a month of waiting as the wholesaler here does not know what the correct bleed fittings is-nor do I? Baffled & on the brink of sending it back and trying something else. Any suggestions out there?
  • + 1
 @prattbrewboy: I don't think it is a cheap trick, simply that they missed that you would have thought that. A cheap trick would to have their own proprietary type of mineral oil where using another brand would void your warranty. But instead they went with the widely available Shimano oil. Maybe you could try with www.epicbleedsolutions.com whether they have something for you. If not they are probably willing to sort that for you, especially considering the increasing popularity of TRP brakes.
  • - 1
 Think your missing the point-the issue is the sale of a brake that’s incomplete for use unless you purchase the associated bleed kit...which still doesn’t have the correct fitting. There is a Torx 15 screw where the bleed nipple is, thus no means to arrest the flow of oil during bleed procedure. The caliper on TRPs website has a black bleed fitting on it even@vinay:
  • + 1
 @prattbrewboy: Sorry, I've got to look into it probably to completely understand the issue. Except for a first generation Shimano Saint brake (basically XT with a different colour) I've been on Magura brakes pretty much exclusively. The Shimano brake has a nipple you can open and close but with Magura you just remove the screw and thread in the hose. Maybe slightly more messy but it was never an issue because I remove the pads before the bleed anyway. Either way, if the TRP/Tektro bleed kit doesn't have what you want, you may want to check with a third party like aforementioned epic bleed solutions.
  • + 0
 I have done my research mate. Here is the issue; TEktro have replaced the bleed nipple with a Torx screw which one removes like the Magura types you describe. Trouble is TEktro haven’t bothered to update their website or end user documentation, both of which describe using a 7mm open end spanner-a la shimano-to close/open the bleed nipple. You have to call the US to ascertain the brake has superseded the user info/bleed kits as the wholesaler here does not know/won’t share the knowledge @vinay:
  • + 1
 @prattbrewboy: I think they got rid of the bleed nipple because it leaks and is useless.
  • + 0
 Yeah man, someone had a great idea, just forgot to tell everyone else????@jewpowered:
  • + 1
 @prattbrewboy: your logic is flawed, the threaded bleed fitting is universal. You could buy one mineral oil bleed kit and it would work for many different brakes on the market. Furthermore, expecting a brakeset to come with a bleed kit is ridiculous; would you say a new set of SRAM Codes are incomplete, because they don't come with a full Bleeding Edge bleed kit? If you don't have a single threaded syringe, and aren't willing to shell out the $50, you probably shouldn't be bleeding your own brakes to begin with.
  • + 1
 @prattbrewboy: are you gonna be okay? Do you need me to call you a waaaaaambulance?
  • + 2
 @prattbrewboy: Apologies for the misunderstanding we do not claim to be compatible with a Shimano bleed kit. We state the fluid, pads, and bleed procedures will work between both brands. While this means you will need a bleed kit it does mean you will not need special fluid. With TRP/Tektro producing over 6 million hydraulic brakes a year for the past 15 years all using the same bleed fitting, you should be able to find a bike shop near you that has the correct bleed fittings to service your brakes.

As most major hydraulic brake brands (Sram, Shimano, Magura) we also require a specific bleed fitting to service our specific design. Due to our bleed port design being different than Shimano at the lever a TRP/Tektro bleed kit has always been required to service our brakes or (Sram, Shimano, Magura). Since our basic bleed kit comes with all the bleed fittings required there is no need to also have the bleed nipple on the caliper. The bleed fitting accomplishes the same thing as the bleed nipple. This allows the nipple to be removed for lower weight, easier cleaning, and improved aesthetics (yes all minor benefits but benefits nonetheless).

If you can not get sufficient information from your local wholesaler we suggest contacting us at info@trpbrakes.com and we can provide any information you need.
  • + 10
 Less power than a guide?

Oh no.
  • + 6
 Yeah, I'd just pick up a pair of SLX brakes for the same price as one of these...
  • + 21
 @cvoc: Fun fact, Shimano launched 4-piston deores (BR-520) few months ago without making any fuss about it Smile Probably the most affordable 4-piston brakes on the market right now
  • + 6
 @winko: how is the modulation of the 4 piston Shimanos?

I (personally) hate the way Shimano brakes are so grabby / on off feeling. Are the 4 pots better? Looking for brakes for my new build at the mo. The Hayes are super expensive in Australia and have not much support here -others are recommending Formula Cura 4. Fall back will be guide rsc.
  • + 1
 @harrybrottman: yes.... I think.... I’ve ridden the XT 4-pot brakes and they feel a little more powerful and easier to modulate than my 2-pot XT. Still not as much modulation as SRAM/ nearly every other brake
  • + 1
 @harrybrottman: I have them and was on Guides for a long time. They have a lot more initial bite, but are a lot better if you want to run your levers closer to the bars.

I've found the modulation to be good enough. You can't grab a handful of brake and get away with anything like you can with the Guides, but they have a lot more power. Personally, I find it fairly easy to manage them in comparison to other Shimano brakes I've used.
  • + 1
 Yep surprising, it just sounds like a no go with a big red flag to me!!
  • + 2
 @harrybrottman: I've been running saints with different sized rotors on all of my bikes because I felt like they modulated better then the normal XT/XTR stuff. When I did my last two builds (Trail bike and dj) I used the new XTs and really like the way they modulate. I am intrigued by the TRPs but I think the XTs for the same price are a great deal.
  • + 1
 @harrybrottman: I have the two piston Cura and they are plenty powerful-I can only imagine the four piston version is amazing. Sorry @t1maglio meant to post above...
  • + 2
 @harrybrottman: I have Saints on a Nomad and I'm a big guy. They will throw your dick in the dirt if you're not careful. Grabby is not a good word for the Saints, I like "toggle switch", either full on or full off.
  • + 1
 Thanks guys sounds like the new XT’s will probably still be a bit too grabby for me - I like a lot of modulation particularly in the first part of the lever throw with the power ramping up later (so kinda the opposite of the Shimanos). I will be able to try the Cura 4 soon on a mates bike he says they are really good.
  • + 2
 @harrybrottman: the reality is that you get used to them fairly quickly. And then you’ll find it hard to go back to your old brakes. Think how many times you’ve pulled your brake. Your brain has learned x amount of finger pull = y amount of braking. So changing that is weird at first, but you learn quickly. So XT will be fine within three rides (ish). Or just stick with what you know. All brakes work good if you set them up well. Next time your phone goes try holding with your other hand as you talk. Even that will feel weird, but you’d get used to it after a while.
  • + 4
 So, I run Quadeims now, I ran Zees before.

The fit and finish of shimano is not comparable, shimano looks like spaceage shit compared to the TRP's bulk and basic lack of aesthetic machining. Fit feel and finish of the materials, shimano 9/10; TRP 7/10.

Reliability: I went through 3 sets of zees, 1 set per year due to leaking levers. Struggled with pad contamination from having to constantly bleed them and mineral oil is like herpes. TRP's in on month 14 without a hiccup and my fluid is way way cleaner than anything I ever got out of my ZEE's which were always black burnt and contaminated. For reliability: Zees6/10, Quadiums 10/10. My friends in bike service had similar lifespans with saint but I also have a friend with working 4yr old m820's.

Feel, The Zees could lock the wheel up on a dime, and I loved the confidence of them, but my dick fingers were always slowing me down, my fingers would get nervous and bam, I slowed down too much and threw off my weight balance. Totally user error, but now that I know better I don't miss the bite. My Quadiems give me what I want when I need it exactly how I want it. All this crap about modulation is hard to understand, but it boils down to, do I get as much braking as I want, not more or less; and quadieums are way more predictable with plenty of power to brake more than you have traction. Feel and use: Shimano 7/10, Quadiums 10/10.
  • + 2
 How in the world did you get fluid on the pads lol. You use the funnel at the leaver or take out the pads and use a bleed block if your doing a fuild change. I
  • + 0
 that little bit of oil that still manages to appear out of a frack or crevice or the bleed nipple, pluss when you bleed your brakes in the bike park parking lot multiple times, you cut corners and don't have all your tools.
  • + 1
 You bleed to get air out from the leaver not the caliper @jewpowered:
  • + 0
 @freeridejerk888: its hydraulics, you bleed to get air out of the system.

you crack me up, i can't tell if you are trolling or don't know what you are talking about
  • + 1
 I'm gunna guess your not very good a fixing things lol. You put a funnel in the leaver and pump the leaver to get the air out of a Shimano brake. Hence why I laughed when you said you got fluids on the pads. It's very far away. Only when you are changing fuild do you get mineral oil anywhere near the brake pads. @jewpowered:
  • + 0
 @freeridejerk888: quite the opposite I teach thick headed know it all's how to fix their shit every day.
  • + 1
 Well clearly you don't if you get fluid on your pads during a bleed LOL @jewpowered:
  • + 2
 So comparing these to the Sram RS is a bad thing... those brakes are horse shit! not sure if its the rotors or the actual pad but there is zero confidence with those brakes. Anyone attest to how these compare to the 4 piston XT's?
  • + 1
 I've got TRP's on my Remedy. Having an adjustable throw would be sick. Their way better than any brake I've used before as far as lever feel and modulation but I do miss the adjustable throw of the Shimano's. I like being able to pull them in a hair with nothing happening so you can pull them into a more comfortable position without initiating the brakes. Otherwise they're perfect.
  • + 3
 Can someone clarify the difference between the G-spec Trail SL and the Slate 4? Same design and different construction or entirely different designs?
  • + 1
 They look very different, from the lever/reservoir to the finned calipers. It seems like they are just sizing down a set of pistons from 16 to 14 for the g-spec trails.
  • + 4
 @SpillWay, in short, they are two completely different brakes. If you are asking which one is for you think of it this way. The G-spec trail will add a little weight but improved power for more aggressive trail riding. If you have never wanted more power with the Slate T4 take the weight savings and keep shredding.

The G-spec Trail SL uses a similar construction to our downhill brake but uses mismatched pistons to achieve modulation tuned for the slower average speed trail bikes are ridden at. It will have more power than a Slate T4 at a slightly higher weight. The Slate T4 which was designed several years ago was optimized for minimal weight with benefits of four-piston brake that won't break the bank...
  • + 1
 I ride TRP Slate 4 G-spec on my Santa Cruz V10 and Specialized enduro bike and no issue last summer. Easy to bleed, great modulation and a lot of power of course. I weight 160 pnd and No major trouble as sram fading lever or broken shimano slx-xtr piston on my enduro bike.
  • + 1
 These, shimano and possibly more brakes use a hinge to bolt master cylinder to bars. Are these often broken? It looks to me as a weakness ready to break in a crash.
Two bolts, designed to snap in an accident. Simpler to manufacture, cheaper to fix and won't ruin your day (as long as you take a cable tie).
  • + 1
 Smashed a Shimano clamp this year - whole new lever required. I doubt a bolt would break before the housing/face plate in any case...
  • + 4
 Please God let any comment be 1st under a brake article that isn’t just the same pun on repeat.
  • + 18
 Too late, you can't stop us now Smile .
  • - 7
flag browner (Dec 19, 2018 at 1:06) (Below Threshold)
 The same puns going round and round like a broken record or a braked disk
  • + 1
 Everything must die into below threshold eventually... norbs got robbed, looks like a session, randy, and now brake puns
  • + 3
 @kookseverywhere: So the end of the PB comment section DNA?
  • + 2
 The TRP Hylex brakes on my CX bike have been maintenance free and absolutely faultless for near on 3 years. If these are anything like that...I'd be more than happy to try them
  • + 1
 Hear me out. All mtn bike brakes are still $#!+. Please add weight to my bike in rotor thickness and triple or quadruple the oil volume. Then everyone can have better brakes. People complain about Saint brakes having too much bite. BS, just learn how to squeeze your lever softer. Holy crap! less arm pump. I want brakes with a huge oil volume, thick rotors and massive power. I can always adapt to using less finger force.
  • + 4
 Less powerful than a Guide RS? Yeah, no thanks.
  • + 1
 I like power lots of power modulation be dammed I want powerful brakes. I have the guides lots of power Shimano powerful Looking at these TRP brakes I would want them to have Saint or Code performance.
  • + 1
 Adjustable bite point? Why is it that it's pretty only Mtb that seems to want or have to have it? Brakes are brakes cheaper and more reliable trumps some silly dial that never gets used?
  • + 3
 yeah, who needs brakes, they only slow you down right?
  • + 5
 adjustable bite point is awesome. It's a very welcome feature I have on my brakes, and something I look to see if a new option has or not.
  • + 3
 @ka-brap: who has an adjustable bite point that works, cause not shimano, guides kinda and hope’sworks but it changes lever reach so WTF’s the point.

Read adjusting bleed process to get bite dialed on TRP is easy; got some quads on order so i guess thatll round out having owned all of them.

Shoudla got into mx... cant cost much more...
  • + 3
 Well I mean until hydraulic brakes were a thing every brake had an adjustable bite point...
  • + 2
 @Grosey: I'm running 2nd gen Codes and my bite point works really well. Those brakes have been so good to me that I've been running them since they came out in 2012.

I actually get to use an entire set of brake pads while having the same feel which is really a plus. It really comes down to the bleed procedure. I actually bleed them with an old set of worn out pads and a pad spreader rather than the bleed block because at the "worst" case scenario as far as feel goes, the pistons are slightly inboard towards the rotor.

This provides almost instant bite when the pad contact adjust is dialed all the way out (piston towards the caliper).

The problem I always run into is the amount of fluid loss when trying to get the bleed screw back in is a bit more than I'd like. Something that the newer gen guides and codes have solved. I've tried coming up with a solutions but have failed so far.
  • + 2
 @ka-brap: Yeah I thought it was silly, until I used it and now I'm sold
  • + 1
 Anyone have a recommendation for brakes for someone with XXL glove size. Shimano XTR and Saint levers feel too small for me leading to odd hand cramps.
  • + 3
 +1 for not using DOT fluid.. yuk!
  • + 2
 Mineral oil : check
Shimano pads : check

If it`s as easy to bleed as Shimano`s, then it`s a no contest !
  • + 1
 Powerfull: fail apparently...
  • + 1
 Bleeding is as simple as Shimanos. I've replaced my bikes to the Quadiems coming from Shimano. I love the modulation and plenty powerful enough for me. My riding bud replaced his XTs to the Quadiems because he hated the inconsistency of the Xts.
  • + 4
 Our bleed process is the same as Shimano the only this different is we use a larger port for the bleed fitting. This means you will need a TRP/Tektro bleed fitting for these brakes.
  • + 1
 @TRPCyclingComponents: I use the bleed cup on the Shimano's all the time due to pad wear. (That should say something about the Shimanos) It works and is really easy but having to do it throughout the brake pad life is a pain in the a$$. Do you have a bleed cup for the TRPs'?
  • + 1
 @Teebirdjones: At the moment we do not but we should very soon. That being said you can use a bleed fitting and hose half filled with fluid. This will accomplish the same thing as the bleed cup, allow air to rise and fluid to take its place.
  • + 3
 levers look like they are off hayes brakes from the early 2000s
  • + 2
 Yeah but .... Gwin.....
  • + 1
 is that a bad thing?
  • + 3
 What’s old is new again, those lever geometry were just right. Glad they use it.
  • + 1
 DGAF, because the levers feel good. And the g-spec quadiems get tons of compliments.
  • + 2
 This product should have at least mentioned as VALUE product nominee!
  • + 2
 WhaleBack Butt Shot FTW lol
  • + 1
 Strewth that's one fugly lever/master cylinder, no wonder they ain't seen on any droolworthy steeds
  • + 1
 Anyone else ever have to rebuild a TRP Spyre? Awfully hard to even consider TRP after opening up that caliper.
  • + 3
 Nope... My Spyres are ~3 years old and I've never had to touch them, and they're on my gravel/shitty weather commuter/kid trailer hauling bike. Never done a thing to them and they work as well or better than any cable actuated brake I've used. I'm a fan of Shimano Hydraulic Brakes, but the Spyres would definitely not turn me away from TRP...
  • + 1
 yeah, the whale back on entrails is a decent place to test brakes.
  • + 1
 Nice lever design, but I'm gonna stick with HOPE for life.
  • + 1
 I agree Mike, adjustable bite point is such a great feature.
  • + 0
 I’m sensing some friction here.
  • + 1
 Nothing’s changed
  • - 1
 Here I thought riding mountain bikes was all about not using brakes.
  • - 3
 "Clout"? Bruh
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