Greatest mountain bike disc brakes reviewed and rated by specialists

We tried and examined the perfect mountain bike disc brakes, overlaying price range, path, e-bike and four-piston choices. Do not begin stopping till you have learn this.

Energy is nothing with out management and the most effective mountain bike disc brakes provide each. The ability you should management your velocity, and brake with one finger to cut back fatigue and permit higher management and dealing with. We’ve extensively examined the newest hydraulic disc brakes available on the market head-to-head, and solely the most effective of the most effective make it to this information.

One other means to enhance your stopping energy is to improve your brake rotors and brake pads. Try these purchaser’s guides for extra:

Shimano Deore M6100 hydraulic disc brake photo

Greatest all-round disc brake that gained’t break the financial institution

Weight: brake 291g, rotor 199g | Rotors: 160, 180, 203 and 220mm | Ranking: 10/10

Causes to purchase: Spectacular energy and modulation, dependable, nice worth for cash, reaches full energy rapidly

Causes to keep away from: Levers can rattle barely, fiddly arrange

The Deore brake has a two-piston caliper mated to the corporate’s compact lever meeting. The lever blade is a folded aluminium development, nevertheless it’s stiff and robust. There aren’t any dimples on the blade however we had no points with a scarcity of grip. Near the pivot is an Allen bolt to regulate the attain, and the brake has Shimano’s acquainted, annoying, hinged clamp. You must push a small software into the aspect to get it to open, and the one on our take a look at brake really stopped working. 

Two onerous stops and this brake got here as much as full energy. The pads are resin they usually additionally make somewhat little bit of noise once they chunk initially, however the brake has loads of chunk and energy. Crucially there’s not one of the inconsistency that may plague XT brakes. The ability simply builds actually progressively, and it didn’t pull to the bar. Additionally, it actually didn’t really feel like we had been driving a two-piston brake – it was that good. We’re awarding the Deore finest on take a look at as a result of it’s nice worth, has a top quality end and a ton of stopping energy. 

Learn our full take a look at assessment of the Shimano Deore M6100

Hope Tech 3 V4 disc brake

Greatest mountain bike brakes for adjustability

Weight: brake 265g, rotor 173g | Rotors: 160, 180, 183, 200, 203, 220, 225mm | Ranking: 9/10

Causes to purchase: Big rotor measurement vary out there, adjustable and listed attain, simple setup, light-weight, highly effective, user-friendly, nice worth

Causes to keep away from: Attain adjustment stiff to function, an excessive amount of lever stroke earlier than engagement

Although this brake known as the Tech 3 V4 (adjustable Tech 3 lever mated to the V4 caliper) it’s really Hope’s downhill brake. However don’t let the tag put you off, that is simply gentle sufficient to go on a path bike and would additionally make an incredible anchor for an e-bike. This makes use of the third technology Tech brake lever which has attain and BPC (Chew Level Management) adjusted by two machined dials on the entrance of the lever blade. They’re listed and have a giant adjustment vary, permitting you to set the stroke precisely to your hand measurement, however they’re tremendous stiff to show they usually’re additionally pretty sharp, so are finest adjusted with gloves on.

The V4 caliper is a one-piece, CNC’d from aluminium and it homes 4 light-weight, low friction phenolic pistons and top-loading pads. The pads did squeal for the primary few rides, however this didn’t have an effect on efficiency. There’s loads of grunt and the lever has such a lightweight motion that you would be able to simply modulate the facility supply with one finger. Total, it is a light-weight, highly effective, user-friendly disc brake, that’s additionally nice worth for cash.

Learn the complete Hope Tech 3 V4 disc brake assessment

Hope Tech 4/E4 brakes

Hope Tech 4/E4 brakes are spectacular in some ways

Greatest for color matching and servicing

Weight: 290g (lever/caliper/hose), floating rotors 178g | Rotors: 160, 180, 183, 200, 203, 220, 225mm | Ranking: 9/10

Causes to purchase: Wonderful modulation and energy. Gentle lever motion. Hinged lever clamp is simple to make use of. A number of color choices.

Causes to keep away from: Lever form has crisp edges that may really feel uncomfortable. New pads didn’t final so long as anticipated.

This all-new Tech 4 is one thing of a radical departure for Hope, and alongside smaller enhancements contained in the caliper, represents a very new brake for the model. The largest seen change is that the up to date lever is significantly longer, bringing a claimed 30% strain improve in contrast with the Tech 3. There’s additionally a brand new hinged clamp that’s extra low profile to save lots of weight and play properly with shifters and dropper remotes. All of the tool-free chunk level and attain changes of the Tech 3 stay, so it’s nonetheless simple to get the lever angle and attain dialled in.

Arrange proper although, stopping energy with the brand new lever and pads is leagues forward of the previous Tech 3s. Their broad energy band builds up earlier than actually locking the wheel. This delivers superb management on the lever. Hats off to Hope; that is the model’s finest brake but.

Learn the complete Hope Tech 4 E4 disc brake assessment

best mountain bike disc brakes

Clarks Clout1 is the most effective wallet-friendly possibility

Greatest disc brake below £50

Weight: brake 307g, rotor 190g | Rotor measurement: 160 and 180mm | Ranking: 8/10

Causes to purchase: Unrivalled price range brake, fairly highly effective, simple to arrange and bleed

Causes to keep away from: C’mon… they’re below thirty quid!

At £29 the Clout1 is simply jaw-droppingly low-cost, and though it feels somewhat picket and has restricted rotor choices, it’s the proper brake in the event you’re trying to improve from a mechanical disc or put collectively a price range body construct. Efficiency-wise the Clout1 is an efficient brake for the cash. Modulation just isn’t its robust level, nevertheless it’s fairly highly effective, is useless simple to arrange and bleeding is easy. Pad put on has been okay nevertheless it’s noisy within the moist.

So simply the place precisely has Clarks minimize corners? Effectively, the clamp is single bolt so it’s important to take away your grips (and dropper distant) to slip the brake off the bar. And the reservoir design is straightforward and side-specific, so you possibly can’t flip it over to make use of on the left/proper with out unplugging the hoses and rebleeding. There’s no chunk level alter (usually the case on non-megabucks brakes) and the lever blade isn’t probably the most ergonomically subtle, however the Clout1 scores the place it counts: energy, reliability and consistency.

Learn our full take a look at assessment of the Clarks Clout1

best mountain bike disc brakes

SRAM Degree

According to pleasing really feel

Weight: brake 331g, rotor 210g | Rotor measurement: 140, 160, 180 and 203mm | Ranking: 9/10

Causes to purchase: Stable really feel, good motion, easy energy, delicate

Causes to keep away from: Can develop sticky pistons if ignored, barely overpriced, ugly clamp bolt and nut

Sitting in direction of the extra inexpensive finish of the SRAM vary, the SRAM Degree is one other brake you’ll discover geared up on many decrease priced mountain bikes. And with good cause. The Degree has a very nice motion, it additionally has a easy energy supply permitting you to be actually delicate when it’s slippery or free underfoot. It doesn’t really feel grabby and at all times appears to have extra to offer. In the event you don’t like Shimano’s stubby levers, that is all of the brake you want for path driving.

By way of brake energy and really feel, the SRAM Degree brakes are glorious. They really feel a complete lot like far more costly choices from SRAM. It’s onerous to clarify the distinction between the best way SRAM brakes really feel versus, say, Shimano brakes. A part of it (most of it?) is right down to the totally different lever form/sweep and a part of it’s the differing really feel of the development; they really feel concurrently firmer on the lever and extra give-y on the pad/rotor. Fact be informed, neither means is best than the opposite. However in the event you don’t get together with Shimano, SRAM gives you an incredible different.

Learn our full take a look at assessment of the SRAM Degree

Hayes Dominion A4

Hayes Dominion A4

Usually user-friendly 4-pot from Hayes

Weight: brake 306g, rotor 188g | Rotor measurement: 180 and 203mm | Ranking: 9/10

Execs: Nice worth and high quality, dialled attain adjustment, comfy, fine-tuneability

Cons: No chunk level adjustment

The A4 continues to be bought with out rotors and adapters, so including a D-Collection rotor and adapter goes so as to add about £55 a wheel, nevertheless it’s nonetheless nice worth and high quality. The Dominion A4 lever/caliper is heavier than the SRAM G2 Final, however Hayes claws a few of that again through the use of a lighter stainless-steel rotor. 

One of many distinctive options on the Dominion A4 is the Crosshair caliper centring, which is actually two tiny grub screws on the caliper tabs that push in opposition to the fixing bolts, permitting you to exactly fine-tune the caliper place and remove rubbing. This can be a intelligent characteristic, however we by no means actually wanted to make use of it as a result of the brake has actually good pad clearance that makes drag-free set-up a doddle.

With cartridge pivot bearings, the Dominion A4 has a lightweight lever motion. The ability supply is nice too and, when you really want it, there’s lots within the tank. A number of the adjustment options are somewhat superfluous, however they’re there in the event you want them. Total, it’s a high stopper; stable, dependable and nonetheless nice worth. 

Learn our full take a look at assessment of Hayes Dominion A4

Greatest e-bike disc brakes

These brakes aren’t only for electrical mountain bikes – in the event you like a extremely highly effective brake, want steeper terrain the place stronger braking energy is required, or are a heavier rider, you’ll really feel the profit these extra highly effective brakes provide.

Greatest e-bike disc brake

Weight:  brake 286g, rotor 195g | Rotors: 140, 160, 180, 203mm | Ranking: 10/10

Causes to purchase: New technology SRAM has efficiency, serviceability and reliability

Causes to keep away from: Caliper is tough to align and keep aligned

What makes this such a very good anchor is it combines the form and really feel of the Information lever with the stopping energy of the Code caliper in a extra inexpensive bundle. The lever form is equivalent to the Information G2 Final which we charge extremely, nevertheless it makes use of a less expensive aluminium blade, easy press-in bushing and attain adjustment, tuned through a dial on the entrance of the lever. You don’t get all of the bells and whistles of the G2 Final, however we consider the Information RE is simply as comfy, has a equally gentle motion and all the facility is on faucet when yon want it.

It does require somewhat bit extra taking care of although, and within the long-term it may really feel drained, however for the cash it’s actually onerous to beat, and is likely one of the finest performing disc brakes on the decrease finish. This brake repeatedly makes it into our end-of-year Editor’s Selection round-up of the perfect merchandise on the market. It’s really principally designed for e-bikes, however works simply as properly on analogue bikes because of its ample stopping energy, nice value and no-frills structure.

Learn our full take a look at assessment of the SRAM Information RE

TRP G-Spec E-MTB brake

TRP G-Spec E-MTB brake

Weight: brake 306g, rotor 204g | Rotor measurement: 160, 180, 203, 223mm | Ranking: 9/10

Causes to purchase: Massive rotor for elevated energy and higher warmth dissipation, simple to function, properly made, low-cost alternative pads

Causes to keep away from: Feels somewhat picket and fewer refined that rivals

TRP’s G-Spec E-MTB disc brake is designed for e-bike use, though to be truthful there’s nothing stopping you placing it on a daily analogue bike. The G-Spec E-MTB options embody a bigger 220mm rotor possibility that gives elevated energy and higher warmth dissipation. TRP has additionally upped the thickness of its rotors from 1.8 to 2.3mm. Once more, there’s extra steel, so it’s a much bigger warmth sink, and it additionally shouldn’t warp so simply. The two.3mm rotors can be found in each a floating design with a stainless-steel braking floor hooked up to a light-weight aluminium provider for about £55 (205g), or a full stainless-steel R1 for about £40 (266g). 

The G-Spec lever has a large blade with a dimpled floor for grip. There’s no contact adjustment, however on the within is a dial to regulate the attain. That is simple to function and doesn’t bind just like the one on the SRAM G2. It may also be eliminated when you’ve set it up, must you desire a bit extra clearance. The cast caliper options 4 light-weight hybrid pistons, top-loading sintered metallic pads and a chunky fixing bolt with a giant 4mm Allen head – you’re not going to spherical this off. 

Whenever you purchase the G-Spec E-MTB it doesn’t come constructed; it’s important to trim the hose and join the lever and caliper collectively your self. A spare olive and insert are included within the field, however you will have a £20 bleed package if you wish to do issues correctly, which clearly provides to the associated fee. After we first arrange this brake we seen a little bit of rotor rubbing, nevertheless it solely took a pair minutes for it to return as much as full energy. The G-Spec E-MTB is obvious trying, and does really feel fairly picket in comparison with SRAM and Shimano choices. Even so, it’s a stable, nice worth disc brake.

Learn the complete TRP G-Spec E-MTB disc brake assessment

Magura MT5 eStop disc brake

Magura MT5 eStop disc brake

Weight: brake 247g, rotor 182g | Rotor measurement: 160, 180, 203, 220mm | Ranking: 8/10

Causes to purchase: Stable lever really feel. Good worth.

Causes to keep away from: Fragile development. Lengthy bedding in course of.

Magura’s MT5 has been within the vary for some time, however that is the brand new eStop model designed for e-bike use. The flip-flop composite lever and alloy caliper weigh somewhat bit extra and have new decals, however in any other case it’s equivalent. The place the E-magic occurs is with the brand new MDR-P and MDR-C rotors, which can be found in a bigger 220mm diameter.

It boasts a extremely gentle lever motion, which is nice for decreasing fatigue. It’s additionally highly effective with glorious development, though this will flatten out when the lever comes too far inboard. The composite physique is fragile and we broke our unique pattern in a crash, nevertheless it does really feel stable in your hand when pulled.

Learn the complete Magura MT5 eStop disc brake assessment

How we examined the most effective mountain bike disc brakes

In addition to drawing on our in depth expertise of those brakes on take a look at bikes in a wide range of terrain and climate circumstances, all of them had been examined over the identical loop on the identical bike to spotlight variations in efficiency. We in contrast energy, modulation, set-up and ergonomics.

Most producers don’t embody the price of rotors or adapters within the total value of their brakes, so we’ve labored this out for you and included it within the information.

We’ve additionally weighed all the brakes and included the burden of a 200mm (or 203mm) rotor and lever/caliper. We’ve got not included the burden of the adapters as a result of, relying on the body and fork you’re utilizing, they is probably not needed. Consider round 80-90g for 2 adapters and all of the fixing {hardware}.

Greatest mountain bike disc brakes must know:

A mountain bike disc brake features a metal rotor, a rotor caliper (with brake pads inside) and a brake lever. Connecting the system is hosing full of hydraulic fluid.

In a perfect world you wouldn’t want to make use of the brakes that always since you’d rail each nook, blitz all of the descents like a chainless Aaron Gwin and cost down rooty singletrack faster than a supercharged professional. Nevertheless, the vast majority of use don’t have these expertise, we drag the brakes once we’re driving downhill, brake all the best way spherical corners and infrequently consolation brake simply because issues have gotten too scary. For us actually highly effective and dependable disc brakes are a should have, as a result of usually we’re hanging onto them for pricey life.

Fortunately yearly disc brakes grow to be extra environment friendly and extra highly effective, so you will get again into your consolation zone quite a bit sooner. You additionally get adjustable attain and chunk level, so if you completely must cease on a sixpence, your palms will likely be in the fitting place. Brake pads are additionally more durable carrying, which is an efficient factor with all that stopping you’re having to do and foul climate you’re driving in.

winter hardtail

Brake pads

Brake pads are available in two fundamental compounds – steel sintered or natural. The latter are sometimes fitted to brakes as a result of they’re barely cheaper nevertheless it you need higher stopping and longer life, particularly within the moist, you’ll desire a steel sintered improve.

Independently adjustment attain and chunk level

Attain adjustment

That is crucial adjustment on any brake as a result of it permits you to set the attain (lever spacing) to you hand measurement. The adjuster will usually be an annoyingly hard-to-reach grub screw however some brakes include small knob that you would be able to alter by hand.

Chew level adjustment

Technically this adjustment doesn’t transfer the pads any nearer to the rotor nevertheless it feels prefer it. It’s useful adjustment if you wish to run you levers inboard. SRAM calls this the Contact Level Adjustment, on Shimano it’s Freestroke.

We like huge rotors, we can not lie

Rotor sizes

Obtainable in numerous sizes, however the most typical are 160, 180 and 200mm. There’s extra mechanical benefit with a much bigger diameter rotor and so higher stopping energy.

Fancy rotors are the icing on the cake not totally important

Rotor development

Commonplace rotors are minimize from chrome steel and warmth handled and two-piece designs (together with floating rotors) have the metal braking disc floor riveted to an aluminium provider. The sort of rotor is lighter, more true and is much much less prone to warp however yep you guessed it – it’s going to value extra.


Relying on the mounts in your body/fork and rotor measurement it’s possible you’ll must run an adapter. Previously these had been included however most producers now promote them individually as a result of why must you pay for one thing you may not use or possibly they’re simply being low-cost.

Shifter mounts

A MatchMaker model clamp permits the shifter to be bolted on to the lever. It will likely be an extra value nevertheless it eliminates the clamp, saves weight and frees up bar area for junk resembling lights, computer systems, cellphone mounts and the like.

Olive and insert

These are the small elements used to lock the hose into the lever. Spares are included within the field as a result of in the event you shorten the hose you will have to interchange them.