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Best mechanical flat mount road disc calipers

Old 03-08-20, 05:08 PM
  #1  
SalsaShark
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Best mechanical flat mount road disc calipers

Hey all,
i have a Salsa Journeyman currently setup with the stock ProMax disc calipers which have performed flawlessly over the past 18 months and 6000 miles or so, on my foul weather/winter commuter. I told myself i would run the stock brakes until i had issues, then upgrade the calipers....well today i had an issue with the rear caliper and i am going to simply replace them both. They are flat mount mechanical style with 160mm rotors. I am going to keep the Sora mechanical levers, and like the hassle free operation of mechanical cable driven calipers, so i am not looking to run hydraulic brakes. This bike is ridden in pretty extreme winter conditions, so the replacements will have to be reliable in all weather. You all probably have more experience with different options than i do, so what is the best option for a solid, trouble free replacement?
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Old 03-08-20, 05:59 PM
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What went wrong with the rear caliper?
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Old 03-08-20, 07:00 PM
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I am not an expert or anything but my CX bike has Tektro mech disc and they have been issue free for 6 years now. I would use them again. But again only bike I have with disc is that one. I prefer rim if I can help it.
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Old 03-08-20, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by AnkleWork View Post
What went wrong with the rear caliper?
i havent disassembled it yet, but when the lever is pulled, the caliper applies pad pressure to a ceryain point, then 'slips' and the remainder of the lever pull leaves no pad contact with the rotor, almost feels like a cable slipping from not being tight enough, but it is something shifting position and releasing internally in the caliper.
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Old 03-08-20, 07:12 PM
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This is the best.
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Old 03-08-20, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
This is the best.
While I'm not opposed to spending some cash, that seems a bit over the top
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Old 03-08-20, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by SalsaShark View Post
While I'm not opposed to spending some cash, that seems a bit over the top
Hey, you're the one who asked for the "Best mechanical flat mount road disc calipers."

If you don't actually want the best, then you should give a price limit.
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Old 03-08-20, 08:58 PM
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I have TRP Spyre and I like everything about them, except it's hard to adjust them to get a nice short lever pull. They either rub a little, or the lever pull is long enough to come pretty close to bottoming out on the bar. I don't know if that's normal for mechanical discs or not. These are my first set. I chose them based on price and positive reviews.
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Old 03-08-20, 10:45 PM
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TRP Spyre.
Never had any problems adjusting them, one of the reasons I like them so much. You just adjust the outer pad in till it just starts to rub and back it off a little and then repeat on the inner pad.
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Old 03-09-20, 11:50 AM
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The hybrid cable/hydraulic brakes are marginally better, like the HY/RD brakes, but I don't think they're worth the extra cost and hassle.

TRP Spyre is pretty decent and is what I would do. It has the advantage of advancing both pads, unlike most cable actuated dics that only move one. Whatever you do DO use compressionless brake housing, it is completely worth the extra cost. Use fancy cables while you're at it. Mechanical discs are more sensitive to set up and it may be worth paying for a shop to face the caliper mounts on the frame with a tool so that the brake can run perfectly perpendicular to the disc if it isn't already.
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Old 03-09-20, 12:38 PM
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I really like my TRP HY/RD cable actuated hydraulic brakes (except for they're kind of ugly), but I don't really know how they compare to good modern mechanical disc brakes. Had them about a year, zero problems so far.
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Old 03-09-20, 01:12 PM
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Thanks for the input everybody. I have a set of the TRP Spyre calipers on order. Hopefully they will provide years of service.
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Old 11-01-20, 10:31 AM
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So the Klampers are the best?

Better than the Yokozuna Ultimate(Juin Tech GT-F)?

I like the idea of the Klampers(fullyand easily serviceable), but have no experience with single piston mech disk brakes.
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Old 11-01-20, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by showlow View Post
I have TRP Spyre and I like everything about them, except it's hard to adjust them to get a nice short lever pull. They either rub a little, or the lever pull is long enough to come pretty close to bottoming out on the bar. I don't know if that's normal for mechanical discs or not. These are my first set. I chose them based on price and positive reviews.
I also have Spyre flat mounts on my new bike and have had no problems getting a short firm lever pull with no rubbing. The "secret" is to get them properly aligned with the rotor before fully tightening the fastening bolts. It took a couple of tries when I first installed them but they have been great since.
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Old 11-01-20, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by SalsaShark View Post
I am going to keep the Sora mechanical levers, and like the hassle free operation of mechanical cable driven calipers, so i am not looking to run hydraulic brakes. This bike is ridden in pretty extreme winter conditions, so the replacements will have to be reliable in all weather.
Well... If you want a hassle free operation in extreme winter conditions, the best bet are Shimano hydraulic in my opinion. They're far better than anything mechanical. SRAM also work well but are not exactly hassle free.

Anyway, if you want mechanicals, TRP hy/rd are the best at a reasonable price in my opinion. They're ugly as hell though.
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Old 11-01-20, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Amt0571 View Post
Well... If you want a hassle free operation in extreme winter conditions, the best bet are Shimano hydraulic in my opinion. They're far better than anything mechanical. SRAM also work well but are not exactly hassle free.

Anyway, if you want mechanicals, TRP hy/rd are the best at a reasonable price in my opinion. They're ugly as hell though.
Thanks, i went with the TRP Spyre and they have been great so far. I definitely wanted to stay away from mineral oil systems, as the winter temps in my area would render them sluggish much of the season, as we frequently dip below 0°f and i need these to be reliable on winter road commutes. I have had very good luck with mechanical brakes over the years, and did not want to replace the Sora levers, which have also been very good in terms of reliability. With properly setup mechanical calipers using compressionless housing, braking power was never an issue. The stock ProMax calipers were good enough performance-wise, but just didn't have the longevity i hoped for, thus the upgrade.
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Old 11-01-20, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Tsafur View Post
So the Klampers are the best?

Better than the Yokozuna Ultimate(Juin Tech GT-F)?

I like the idea of the Klampers(fullyand easily serviceable), but have no experience with single piston mech disk brakes.
Be interested to know how well the Klampers work, the trp hy-rd are a little better then the juin tech for the fact that they keep the pads set properly as they wear while the Juin-tech require adjusting but I really like the Juin-tech. They work nice and smoothly and really clamp the rotor from both sides not to mention slick looking and light.
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Old 11-03-20, 08:23 AM
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I just got into my first disc road bike, using my sram force axs mechanical levers. I bought the Juin-Tech F1 calipers. They're OK, but use an old style brake pad, pre-2011, that limits pad selection - swissstop style 16. I also notice that the end of the pads with the hooks on them raises up slightly, so the hooks don't seem to function as intended. The pads sit slightly above the rotors, so eventually an unused ridge will form at the top edge of the pad. There is no way to lower the caliper, other than shortening the mounting legs. As a former machinist, I could do that, but I'd rather sell these nearly new calipers than do that.

I decided to order a set of the new Juin-Tech GT four piston calipers that use a newer pad style - swissstop style 27 with more pad material options. Haven't received those yet.
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Old 11-03-20, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
I also have Spyre flat mounts on my new bike and have had no problems getting a short firm lever pull with no rubbing. The "secret" is to get them properly aligned with the rotor before fully tightening the fastening bolts. It took a couple of tries when I first installed them but they have been great since.
Rotors weren't the problem with mine. I did all I could to get them as true as possible. I've since solved the issue by using good quality compressionless cables. That, plus some new brake pads totally transformed them for me.
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Old 11-04-20, 06:41 AM
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Flat mount TRP Spyres have proven to be the EASIST caliper to adjust that I have ever owned. Just loosen the mounting bolts, put the brake on full and retighten. They are self centering.

Very handy if you regularly swap wheels.
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Old 11-04-20, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by showlow View Post
Rotors weren't the problem with mine. I did all I could to get them as true as possible. I've since solved the issue by using good quality compressionless cables. That, plus some new brake pads totally transformed them for me.
+1 I had never used compressionless housing as rim brakes never needed it but TRP strongly recommended it for the Spyres. I used Jagwire "Pro" ($$) housing and it has been well worth the extra cost. The long housing runs, particularly for the rear brake, make compressionless housing a real benefit.

So far the OEM brake pads have been quiet and give good stopping power but what pad did you change to?
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Old 11-04-20, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Russ Roth View Post
Be interested to know how well the Klampers work, the trp hy-rd are a little better then the juin tech for the fact that they keep the pads set properly as they wear while the Juin-tech require adjusting but I really like the Juin-tech. They work nice and smoothly and really clamp the rotor from both sides not to mention slick looking and light.
I have both Klampers and Spykes on a couple of bikes. I haven’t had to take either apart and I really doubt I’ll ever see the need for either brake system. That said, the Klampers are really good but so are the Spykes. The Klampers are a little easier to adjust the pad placement. It can be done by hand or with an Allen wrench but I haven’t had to use the Allen wrench. The adjuster mechanism is super smooth.

The Spykes use a 3 mm Allen wrench and can be a bit delicate. Out of the box, the adjusters on the Spykes were too tight and the small wrench needed tends to round out the aluminum easily. I had to get replacements from TRP, which they sent to me without question and welcomed the information that they were too tight in the caliper body. It was a problem, however.

In terms of efficacy, I wouldn’t say one is better than the other. Both work well and effectively. The Klampers have a bit more of a bling factor but I wouldn’t say that they are nearly 3 times better. They do come in different colors, however.
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Old 11-04-20, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
The Spykes use a 3 mm Allen wrench and can be a bit delicate. Out of the box, the adjusters on the Spykes were too tight and the small wrench needed tends to round out the aluminum easily. I had to get replacements from TRP, which they sent to me without question and welcomed the information that they were too tight in the caliper body. It was a problem, however.
My Spyers came with the adjusters free enough that I had no problems using a 3 mm hex key to center the pads. Perhaps TRP took your experience to heart.

Note to the OP: If you can change your order, pay the premium and buy the Spyre-SLC brakes. Their arch that is pulled by the cable to apply the brakes is carbon, not aluminum, and should better tolerate the corrosive conditions you ride in. The weight difference is negligible so don't buy them for that reason.
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Old 11-05-20, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by showlow View Post
I have TRP Spyre and I like everything about them, except it's hard to adjust them to get a nice short lever pull. They either rub a little, or the lever pull is long enough to come pretty close to bottoming out on the bar. I don't know if that's normal for mechanical discs or not. These are my first set. I chose them based on price and positive reviews.
That definitely sounds like an adjustment issue.

I measured mine out of curiosity, and I have a very firm lever with just over 3/4" to go before the small shifter lever touches the bar tape.

Need to make sure rotors are reasonably true, get the pads under 1mm gap to the rotor, then fine tune with the cable tension adjuster. If needed, pull the arm brake arm closed just slightly when clamping the cable to add some pre-tension.
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Old 11-05-20, 04:07 PM
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Using very stiff yokozuna reaction cable housing, I found that the calipers would not center on the rotor, due to the force produced by the cable housing. I had to disconnect the cables and pull the housing out of the way, then actuate the clamping lever by hand, to get the calipers centered. Rotors are not laterally very stiff.
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