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.
• 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. 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. 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.