At A Glance
TRP have made recent improvements to their hydraulic disc brakes, with close involvement from Aaron Gwin. Previously overlooked by many riders, TRP has come back into the mix and have been getting lots of attention, mostly due to the Gwin influence but also from brands starting to spec them on lower end bikes. There are plenty of subtle details that Gwin has specced for his signature model, but the overall appearance of the brake is less than subtle.Buy Brakes on
The levers are very moto-inspired, longer than average, with a pitted finger grip for added security in the slop. There is a nifty tool-free reach adjuster tucked away behind the lever to dial in the distance. It's not the easiest to get to with gloves on but is well protected and looks sleek. There is no bite point adjust, but this wasn’t an issue for me out of the box.
The four-pot callipers are equally as eye-catching as the levers with longitudinal fins to help dissipate heat. There is no option to top-load brake pads, with Gwin preferring to avoid potential flex in the calliper. This does make it tricky to check pad wear on the fly, and of course, it adds to the weight. The pistons are ceramic-centred to help heat transfer to the funky looking finned callipers, while the stainless steel piston coating feels lovely and smooth in operation and retraction. This is a brake designed for the highest demands of downhill racing.
On The Trail
The Quadiem G-Spec brakes are aimed firmly at the downhill market, but they have been tested in the all-mountain environment where I live in the North of England on my aggressively angled Starling Murmur. The main downside to their use on bikes that go uphill as well as downhill is their portly weight. The Magura MT5 front brake I have been using recently weighed in at 220g without pads, while the Quadiem G-Spec weighed in at 286g without pads.
The brakes came ready to set up with a bleed kit, adaptors, rotors and everything else needed including titanium bolts. The bleed system is much like a Shimano brake and was a breeze to set-up with firm lever feel.
It didn’t take long for the supplied brake pads to bed in, and they have lasted admirably since. There are 2 large pads per calliper rather than 4 smaller pads (one per piston) that I have been using in the Magura MT5s.
I personally like these brakes a lot. They don’t offer the instant grab of a Shimano, and they don’t look subtle, but the modulation and feel they offer is superb. There is plenty of power on tap from the 4 pistons without it feeling over-gunned. There may not be the raw power that some other brakes offer, but for all-around feel, they are hard to knock.
The Quadiem G-Spec isn’t necessarily the most powerful brake on the market, but it is plenty powerful enough, solid, confidence inspiring and offers superb lever feel and modulation. The Quadiem G-Spec is a chunky-looking brake with a hefty weight. Not one for the gram-counters, but if durability and reliability are high on your list, this might be the stopper for you.
This review was in Issue 56 of IMB.For more information visit TRP Cycling
By Tom HodgkinTom tries to hide it, but he is a veritable bike and gear geek, forever in search of technical improvements. He cut his teeth on aggressive hardtails, but has a passion for all things on two wheels. Having travelled the world riding bikes, his home is now the Lake District where he can always be found on a bike with his canine companion, Tilly, or shredding with friends.