Aaron Gwin's DH Brake - Eurobike 2016

Sep 2, 2016 at 6:07
by Mike Levy  
Eurobike 2016


Eurobike 2016

It's probably fair to say that some people were surprised when Aaron Gwin, the most dominant male downhiller over the last few years, signed on the line to use TRP brakes. There was plenty of ''it's for the paycheck,'' type of comments, but word is that there's a different reason that the American went with TRP: they flew in a few engineers to ride and test TRP brakes with Aaron, and when it was all said and done he felt that TRP could deliver what he needed.

G-Spec Details

• Intended use: downhill
• Mineral oil system
• Four-piston caliper
• Ceramic pistons
• New lever blade
• Tool-free reach adjust
• MSRP: TBA
Gwin started the 2016 season on a set of standard Quadiem SL's, TRP's four-piston DH brakes, but the company has been making updates to the design throughout the year at the behest of Gwin, with the result being the G-Spec brake that's shown here.



Eurobike 2016
The appropriately named G-Spec brake is an evolved version of TRP's four-piston Quadiem SL.

The two-piece caliper sees the biggest updates, with the most visible being grooves machined into the body that creates more surface area and, in essence, cooling fins. The more surface area that the caliper has, the cooler it should stay during use, but adding cooling fins would obviously add weight. Instead of adding material, TRP machined into the caliper to get the same job done. While they were at it, the recessed area where the pads reside inside of the caliper body was shrunk ever so slightly in order to keep the pads from rocking back and forth when the brakes were applied. Most people would only ever notice this when at a standstill and rocking the bike back and forth, but that tiny amount of free-play need to disappear.

They also moved from the standard steel pistons of the normal Quadiem brake to four ceramic pistons, an update that shaved about 30-grams from the system's weight while likely also helping in the temperature department.


Eurobike 2016
Eurobike 2016
The caliper recieves extra machining to create cooling fins, and there is tighter pad clearance tolerances inside.


Up top sees some changes also. Aaron asked for detents in the lever reach adjustment dial - he counts them to make sure all his brakes are set up the same - so TRP added some clicks to the tool-free dial. There's a new lever to pull on that appears to be taller and with a textured contact surface, although it's different to the very custom blades that Gwin is pulling on. TRP is unsure if or when Gwin's preferred levers will make production, but it's interesting to see and hear how the more practical changes from the standard Quadiem SL came about to create the G-Spec series.

TRP isn't sure of an exact price for the G-Spec brakes yet, but you can expect them to be available sometime in early 2017.


113 Comments

  • + 191
 Braking news...
  • + 52
 Give me a brake.... sheesh
  • + 140
 "Stop" with the puns. A man of Gwin's caliper should not be subjected to them...
  • + 8
 don't stop there, tell me more!
  • + 41
 This makes for interesting disc-ussion
  • - 34
flag karoliusz (Sep 2, 2016 at 6:30) (Below Threshold)
 Now we know what makes Gwin so fast!
  • - 11
flag sideshowb (Sep 2, 2016 at 6:32) (Below Threshold)
 *deleted*
  • + 23
 Does Gwin even use his brakes? Or are they just for looks?
  • + 38
 Hose Idea was this?
  • + 15
 you guys should really cool off with this
  • + 21
 Available sometime in early 2017?

I guess it might be some time around Crankworx Rotor-ua.
  • + 24
 PB needs to clamp down on these pun threads.
  • + 27
 Puns leave me bleeding
  • + 18
 @bkm303: Not really, you just need to adaptor it
  • + 17
 Lord please let the pain fade from these Terrible Repetitive Puns
  • - 5
flag rcrdrvr (Sep 2, 2016 at 6:53) (Below Threshold)
 The competition will have to change their pads, or be left bleeding on the hill...Fin.
  • + 6
 @HundyWZM: chill out, here's our fine choice of mineral oils for aroma trp
  • + 4
 @WAKIdesigns: what about Olive oil...
  • + 8
 Stop padding out the comments with these useless puns. I keep having to scroll too far to get to the real disc-ussion.
  • + 70
 the puns are a different caliper today... i almost piston my pants!
  • + 9
 My lady loves mineral oil when i put the squeeze on her g-spec
  • + 3
 Halting attempts at bad puns should be cause for arrest.
  • + 1
 These brakes have deffo helped him to pist-on the competition this year.
  • + 3
 @Breeconay: If you just could have worked "applied" in there instead of subjected, you would have broken the internet!!!!!
  • - 2
 This thread causes air in my lines.
  • - 3
 knew this thread would happen, it's quite disconcerting.
  • + 2
 I'm bleeding through my eyes reading this.
  • + 1
 @sentenced2life: get yourself together, you were supposed to wipe that dot over there
  • + 1
 @Jim-laden She cant stop Brutus from engaging Her; so Popeye will Brake His face!
  • + 76
 "i want shimano saints to go with my minions"
  • + 27
 You mean Gwinions and Godes?
  • + 1
 i was thinking the same thing bro haha
  • + 49
 " with the most visible being grooves machined into the body that creates more surface area and,"

ahhh you mean the mud collecting channels
  • + 32
 Just make sure you change your mud on a regular basis for consistent thermal performance.
  • + 12
 fresh mud has better cooling properties than air, just in case! ;-)
  • - 3
 Cosmetic at best. Pseudo science at it's best.
  • + 1
 @DGWW: Correct. Ceramic pistons will conduct minimal heat into the caliper, thus the caliper won't be doing any useful dissipation either. I'm far from a fan of Shimano's current unreliable lineup, but their heatsink pad design is by far the best, and probably the only one that actually works well enough to be worth talking about (sintered metal pad, with alloy heatsink sandwiched BETWEEN the conductive pad material and the stainless pad backing). Everyone else should stop pretending that they have heat management (Avid, TRP, Hope, etc) when they don't.

Your stupid drillings/slottings all over the caliper are doing nothing, unless you're claiming that your brake actually conducts heat into the caliper (and thus the fluid - great). Heat needs to be removed either at the pad, or the rotor. "Ice Tech" does both, everyone else does neither.
  • + 27
 Is the contact point adjustment called the g-spot?
  • + 12
 If that's the case I'll never find it... might have to stick to my Hopes
  • + 5
 no it turns out that adjustment is just a myth......
  • + 17
 Wow, these look damn good. Nice to have another (relevant) competitor in the brake market. Hopefully the price is right.
  • + 40
 They'll be a few G's
  • + 13
 @teschenbrenner: What is the exchange rate between G's and Dollars? They don't have the over the top engineered look of Hope or Magura or Formula so I don't expect >$300 a set. The caliper looks pretty serious, but the lever looks pretty basic (though the finish looks excellent) so I'm hoping it will fall in line with high end Shimano and SRAM.

But now I'm thinking your just making a Gwin joke. In which case, take your updoot and i'll see my self out.
  • + 3
 I've been pretty stoked to see what Gwin and TRP came up with. I'm a huge fan of their road/CX disc brakes. Amazingly good feel for a mechanical disc. I haven't tried their road hydros but I've heard good things.
  • + 5
 @caketown: For the exchange rate you should ask Specialized and YT.
  • + 4
 @caketown: "updoot"

I lol'd. Have an updoot.
  • + 3
 I have been using the Quadiem brakes for a while now and I think they are really good. Nice linear feel and powerful. I don't ever think about them honestly, they just do the job of letting me go really fast, Some riders in the California Enduro Series have gotten on the trp slate model mid season and are having good results...
  • + 3
 @bkm303: I came looking for updoots...was not disappointed!
  • + 5
 @eriksaun: not thinking about them is probably the best complement there is.
  • + 1
 @caketown: Don't know if you were serious about the G-USD conversion or not... But G=grand=$1000 lol.

And the Quadiem SL brakes are already available; $180/each; $360 brakeset.
  • + 1
 @caketown: Also, TRP has the Slate T4 model for $120/ea. Also 4 piston tup
  • + 1
 @bkm303: better than the mechanicals....and they're good. Think the SPYRE is still the only dual actuated mechanical disc brake on the market?
  • + 1
 @therealtylerdurden: running these on my Pivot. Fantastic real world pricing for four pot stopping power. Smiles all round and pounds in my pocket.
  • + 17
 Just found out TRP / Tektro's headquarters are in Ogden Utah. Thought that was pretty cool.
  • + 16
 Right across the parking lot from Enve if I'm not mistaken.
  • + 8
 So, what I learned from this article is that TRP brakes are made by Tektro. I was super confused for a minute there.
  • + 2
 trp = tektro
  • + 2
 Tektro Racing Products. TRP
  • + 1
 I have been running TRP brakes for close to six years. I recently bought(3 months ago) the Slate T4's since my Quadiem's were getting old and worn.

I let my friend ride my Hornet with the T4's installed, he rides with Siants on his Explosif. He made the statement that the T4's and his Saints feel almost the same. As I was riding his Explosif I was noticing the same.
  • + 3
 Puns are better than the haters and people who constantly complain on PB. Humor is the best cure for PB blues
  • + 2
 Does Gwin use brakes at all.. me on the other hand will be sticking to my trusty vented hopes that are boiling at the bottom but have never let me down..
  • + 11
 Nothing better than Hopes...
  • + 2
 That is why I use Magura MT5s. My fat ass needs a lot of brake to keep my speed slow enough I don't crash.
  • + 1
 Hope is the last to die!
  • + 1
 @Jim-laden: Unless you drop the soap.. Then you lose all hope!
  • + 4
 its for the paycheck...
  • + 2
 Need to switch my pads after hearing this.
  • + 4
 @jabrones: Nothing wrong with a brotha gettin' paid! I don't blame the dude one bit.
  • + 23
 @hetfield1: @piersgritten Gwin does absolutely get paid as he deserves. He actually chose to work with us because he believed we already had a product capable of winning on. He also liked of our willingness to work with him and make the changes a rider of his caliber requires.
  • + 1
 @TRPCyclingComponents: so after all the years of brakes working and not working for various reasons.
Every bike mechanic has seen more than a few failures where the hose banjo meets the caliper.
From it getting knocked loose. Because it's on the outside of the caliper.
Sure this isn't gonna happen to Gwin because his bike gets worked on every three laps.
But it will happen to some people and they will lose their brakes.
This is a significant advantage that SRAM has over their competition.
Do you see this as an area of concern?
  • + 2
 @TRPCyclingComponents: Never mind.
I should have known this was just a marketing piece and I wouldn't get to reach anyone that actually knows brakes.
Carry on.
Just thumbs up and high fives no hard questions.
  • + 2
 @jflb: sounds like user error. That's to say, the user crashed and that's a massive error ????
  • + 4
 @jflb: At this point we do not see this as an area of concern. Now we can't speak for every bike mechanic but with all the feedback we have received from various test riders and our network of dealers (shop mechanics) this has never been reported as an issue. If you have a first-hand experience of banjos getting ripped off in crashes we would love to see that and hear your feedback.
  • + 2
 The Quadiem SL retails for $240...per wheel...
  • + 2
 You can find them for $180/wheel.
  • + 1
 They look super nice I want some
  • + 1
 I honestly did not thinkthat Gwin used brakes at all.
  • + 12
 The way we use brakes separates men from the boys... Once I heard two pros talk lines and then ride a steep shute and they said they go brakeless through all of it, then brake super hard in one spot near the bottom to be able to change line to the other side of the track to get into a corner better. The brakeless part didn't surprise me (even though I didn't dare to try it) but the fact how hard they dared to hit the brakes and then turn was what had risen my eyebrow... Most of us have no idea how hard brakes can be slammed, front brake in particular.
  • + 6
 @WAKIdesigns: Absolutely! The pros even brake faster than the rest of us.
  • + 1
 Pffft... My mini v's are good enough...
  • + 1
 Shimano-Esk lever
  • + 1
 basicly saint brake then
  • + 0
 It was for the paycheck. It's gotta be.
  • + 0
 I yhought tektro brakes where like walmart brakes???
  • + 8
 I got basic hydraulic tektros on my fat bike and im 250 lbs of chunky love. These brakes take a beating and havent failed me yet.
  • + 7
 Used to think the same about SR-Suntour, but now their forks are on my short-list for next upgrades.
  • + 11
 They're like the suntour of brakes. They make a lot of low end stuff, but their high end stuff (TRP) gets mad respect (at least in road and cyclocross racing). I have their Spyre mechanical discs on my CX bike and they're fantastic. Lighter, more powerful, better feel, and easier to setup/adjust than any mechanical I've ever used, and I've tried several.
  • + 3
 I have their Spykes on one of my bikes and if you were blindfolded you would swear they were hydraulic. If they could make a good looking, nice feeling lever...heck, it'd be hard to justify hyrdos.
  • + 2
 @Klainmeister: they do make a mechanical levers with reach adjustment, and the cable tension adjustment is basically bite point.... I wonder if anyone still makes the old mechanical servo wave levers...
  • + 2
 @Klainmeister: I concur, I have nothing but good things to say about the TRP spyke. after having mounted them on my Turner over a year ago.. of course, coming from a BB-7 mech, anything would feel superior.. Excellent feel and modulation.. Nice.
  • + 6
 Tektro makes quality brakes at an affordable price and is typically stocked on entry level mountain bikes. Most of us learned to ride on bikes specced with Tektro brakes unless you were lucky enough to get a mid to high-end rig for your first mountain bike.
  • + 3
 @DaFam4mDena: Glad to hear they are holding up and how stoked you are on the product!
  • + 8
 @bkm303: Thank you for the props! Tektro strives to make a quality product at the most affordable price while at TRP we strive to make the absolute best product possible.
  • + 1
 why would that be? Because they don't spend millions on marketing?

In fairness, these are Tektro Racing Products (TRP) and the "basic" Tektro stuff is priced too good to be true. Maybe give them a try and ask why others don't? Usually it's a brand snobbery thing...
  • + 1
 5000$ each
  • + 0
 weird that Aaron has brake sponsors, he never seemed to use one at all.
  • + 5
 well he has to stop at the bottom...
  • + 1
 haha this pun went over everyones head
  • + 1
 What rotors are those?
  • - 1
 I'm sure we could lever in one more pun!
  • + 0
 Off the chain Braking
  • - 3
 brake pad change only while removing the wheel - this is so oldschool ....
  • + 8
 Not really an issue though, taking the wheel out takes what, 5 seconds? Even if you are changing pads every week that isn't gonna be a problem.
  • + 8
 @Patrick9-32: yeah but then what else would he have have to bitch about??
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