Old 10-23-20, 06:20 AM
Long-term wear tester
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Seacoast, NH
Posts: 752

Bikes: Cycles Chinook travel/gravel/family tandem, KHS CX200 road/gravel, Voodoo Agwe fixie commuter, Gunnar Sport travel/road, Motobecane Boris fatbike

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We’ve used a handful of brake setups over the years on our tandems. I’ll don’t recall the exact details on some of the older ones, but here’s my rankings...
Worst: Cantilever brakes in general; U-brakes
Tolerable: Mini-V brakes; V-brakes with Travel Agent; Avid BB7 with 203mm rotor.
Good: Tektro Spyre with 203mm rotor
Best: TRP Hy/Rd; Sram HRD; Shimano BR-M8000; Shimano BR-M8020. All with 203mm rotors.

If we needed more stopping power or heat dissipation, we’d consider any of these as upgrades from the “Best” category:
finned brake pads
220mm rotors
rotors with better heat sinks, such as Magura MDR-P or Brakco DR-11FA

I strongly prefer brake rotors that:
a) are 2-piece floating construction
b) are riveted to allow the rotor to grow radially relative to the spider. This excludes all Shimano and Tektro rotors.

With any of the cable-actuated brakes, compressionless housing is a significant improvement over spiral wound.
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