We haven’t seen many groundbreaking changes in braking technology for the last few years, but instead we see all manufacturers improving the quality and reliability of them.
In this list we mention not just the most popular mountain bike brakes in 2016 but the some of the not well known ones that perform well too.
SRAM X0 Brakes
They aren’t the cheapest but at a $150~$190 USD for the brake lever and caliper you can enjoy one of the best brake sets available at the moment. They weight 310 grams and have all the special technologies from SRAM that makes these brakes one of the best in this list.
They use DOT 5.1 fluid, the lever is made of carbon and they are intended for Cross-Country or Trail use.
Shimano Race XTR BL-M9020 and BL-M9000
Top of the line Shimano. These brake sets are what most racers use and there’s a reason for that, they are light and reliable. At around 316 grams (race edition) for the whole set you will cut some weight from your bike as well as improving your braking power.
They use Shimano’s mineral oil and here are some of the features:
(from Shimano’s website)
- Lightweight construction
- Magnesium caliper and master cylinder
- CFRP lever blade
- Titanium mounting bolts
- Aluminum backed pad
- Improved modulation and control
- Balanced rigidity of BR/BH/BL
- Various levels of heat control
- Insulated piston (GFRP) & insulated pad coating and ICE TECHNOLOGY FREEZ rotor for more heaat resistance (vs. M987)
- I-spec ll
- Narrow band increases available handle bar space
Shimano SLX M7000
New this year is the M7000 brake set from Shimano. This is a more budget oriented alternative to the XTR and it perfectly balances performance, reliability and price.
Weights about 418 grams for the kit and can be found for around $80 a set (caliper and lever).
Formula R1 Brakes
Not as known as Shimano or SRAM but Formula brakes offer exceptional performance for around $85. These brakes are intended for Cross Country and Trail riding but can perform very well even on Enduro or light Downhill.
- They use organic brake pads
- 100cm front/165cm rear pre-bled hose
- Forged Aluminum levers and caliper.
Hope Tech 3 E4
The Hope Tech 3 lever comes with a E4 caliper and offers an excellent performance for all mountain enduro rider. They weight around 482 grams per kit and they come in colors.
They retail for about $220
- Titanium bolts
- Compatible with Shimano I-Spec shifters
- 5% power increase over TECH Evo master cylinder
- 2014 T6 aluminium alloy
- Top entry pad fitting