So why not go with the non-hydraulic Spyre?
So why not go with the non-hydraulic Spyre?
Road CC gushes about the TRP Spyre. Gives it 5.5/6 stars. I liked my Spyre even before this review!
TRP Spyre mechanical disc brake
Sets the new benchmark for performance, modulation and ease of set-up for mechanical disc brakes
Meet the new boss: TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes are the best non-hydraulic road bike and cyclo-cross stoppers we've used.
TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes are cable actuated, but benefit from a dual piston design. This means that both pistons move equally against the rotor, as opposed to the single piston design of the Avid BB7 and Shimano CX75 mechanical disc brakes.
As you will no doubt have read, Dave reckons the TRP Hy/Rd mechanical->hydraulic disc brakes are the current best of the crop.
If your budget will stretch that far, and you have no issues with a design that combines cable actuation with hydraulic piston action, then there's no reason to read on. Just buy the Hy/Rds.
If you want to know how TRP Spyres compare against Avid BB7s, which were long held to be the best bet, read on....
Well, I have a few hundred miles on my Hy/Rd calipers now and my impression is a little mixed. They are unbelievably smooth and powerful, but that power seems to come at a cost. There is not much range for modulation. If you grab them fast in an emergency situation, you can easily skid or toss yourself forward hard enough to scare you. I ride a lot of steep and windy hills in Pittsburgh and do need to use brakes a lot as most hills are too windy here to let your speed roll out safely. When I grab them fast, they really bite. Enough bite to possibly cause an accident instead of avoiding one. Be careful and get used to these for a while.
I now have twice had the rear skid when stopping (once on dry asphalt and once when there was a tiny amount of gravel that would not normally have caused a BB7 to skid so easily. I have not had a BB7 skid in at least 5 years of riding.
On the positive side, they prolong fade far longer than my old BB7s, way farther. I am not sure I even have been able to start a fade actually while my old BB7s could easily hit that start point even when I tried hard to avoid it.
This seems like it would be a great caliper for a tandem (unfortunately our current tandem cannot use disc brakes). Let's hope TRP certifies them for tandem use as they are clearly better than BB7s in this application.
Oh, and it is impossible to get them to chatter or squeal!
I ride these on a new CoMotion Cascdia single touring bike by the way. They are overkill for this and I am wondering if I should have bought the Spyres instead...
No brake booster involved? Tempted to go this way on the tandem.
You could go with a smaller disk? This would soften the power a bit especially on a single.
You will find the power amazing and they are the quietest ever too. Just have to watch in a quick panic stop that they are grabby and may give you a skid when you are not expecting it. This probably will be much less of an issue with the greater weight and better rear wheel weight distribution of a tandem. I really think this would be the tandem disc brake dream as long as the heat capacity is adequate.
BTW, we are running avid HSX rotors which are very true and seem to provide great performance with these brakes.
The Hy/Rd just screams tandem to me...
Last edited by dwmckee; 08-31-13 at 10:28 PM. Reason: typo
More good info. Thanks again. I'll order 1 of each.
Speaking of frequent adjustments, I've noted with my Spyre that I will start out a ride with great brake feel (no booster!), but after a few big descents, the brake pads have worn, and these need to be adjusted. There is an adjustment knob on the Spyre, but if that isn't enough, a Torx wrench is needed to adjust the cable at its retaining screw.
On the Page Mill descent I was stuck on side of road, looking down at a 12% grade, disc brake barely engaging, adjustment knob played out, the rest of my group waiting for me at the bottom, stoker terrified, and without a Torx. I was in a fix! A climbing rider had a Torx, and it was such a relief to have my rotor back.
^^ And are you pleased with your set-up?
Not right now. The power is great, and the feel is good at first. However, the fluid expansion issue is a problem. It seems that these brakes are very picky in terms of adjustment. If they are not setup just right, you will have issues. Apparently, the caliper must fully return (no cable preload) to fix the fluid issue... But then I don't have enough lever pull (yes I have compressionless housings).
My experience is the exact same as uspspro with our Hy/Rd, kind of a love hate thing. I am going back to my Bengal until something better comes along.
Well... I ordered the new SRAM S700 full hydraulic lever/ disc brake caliper set for the right shifter / rear caliper. I already have an XX 10spd cassette and XX rear derailleur, so this will be directly compatible.
Theoretically, you can pair the "front" caliper with the rear lever, and gain 1mm of piston size. My rough calculations tell me that the 18mm pistons (rear) vs 19mm for the front results in a ~10% difference in clamping force for the same pressure provided by the lever. So the smaller rear caliper will have a firmer lever feel, and require a stronger pull compared to the larger "front" caliper (softer feel, more power).
I don't mind squeezing a bit harder (with the benefit of better modulation). I think the ultimate power is not really much different when considering the calipers independently. The only reason SRAM has the two piston sizes is so that, on a dual disc setup, the braking force will be front-biased when a rider applies the same force on both levers. This is similar to when Campy used to have a dual-pivot brake caliper in front and a single-pivot in the rear of their brake sets.
If I find a lighter effort would be nice (and this system proves to work well on our tandem), I may swap out to the "front" caliper. At the present time, only UK shops (Wiggle) allow for the purchase of a "Right/Front" setup, but they tell me the ETA for their supply is unknown at this time. US shops already have them in-stock. Eventually the calipers/levers/small parts will be available everywhere.
I should have it by this weekend!
I am going with a similar route in that I am going to use a new Shimano Ultegra DI2 hydraulic right lever and the corresponding caliper. I am going to accomplish this by splitting a system with a friend whom uses the left lever to run his rear brake. The new levers are supposed to be available this month.
BTW I spoke to Bryce at TRD about the problems a number of teams are describing here with the HY/RD. He says we should not have mess at all with the barrel adjuster to compensate for pad wear. As it is an open hydraulic system it should automatically adjust. I told him that I was careful to not start movement of the actuator lever with the barrel adjuster as he thinks we are not getting full throw and return so the system does not work as designed. I think that the extra cable length on the tandem may cause this if that is the case. He was not very interested in the real world experience and thinks we all have set them up incorrectly. Maybe if a few others call them they may realize there are problems. I did tell him that the braking is great at first but with pad wear it deteriorates quickly.
Way back in the day, well in the early 90's Hayes had a cable over hyd. caliper that was a closed system and I modified a fork/hub and used this on a tandem for many years. Worked awesome, shed plenty of heat and always worked. Could lift the rear wheel at speed. Miss that set-up. Still have it though a bit on the heavy side.
A few notes:
- The brake caliper looks awesome.. so small and sleek.
- The giant hood / master cyl isn't so bad looking.
- The lever feel is great out of the box
- Unfortunately the hydraulic hose, at 1800mm length, is too short.
- I bought a 2000mm avid cable that appeared to be compatible, but the banjo fitting is slightly different. Unfortunately, they are crimped on at the banjo end.
- Sram/Avid do sell a 2000mm "road" hydraulic hose (why didn't this come with the kit??). I just ordered this hose tonight. It should just make it in terms of length, there will not be much flexibility in routing. Tandems with extra long geometry will have to wait until more hose options are available.