Working closely with Aaron Gwin himself, TRP has developed a new and revamped version of their Quadiem brake, the TRP G-spec. While rocking a very flashy, polished silver finish, there is a lot more to this brake set than meets the eye. From a new lever design with better finger position and dimples, to cooling fins on the caliper, these brakes are full of new features. This revised version looks to be a solid contender in a market that is primarily dominated by only a few companies.
The new lever design includes a tool free reach adjust, and as previously noted, a dimpled and drilled lever. The four piston caliper uses a hybrid steel/ceramic piston design, which should help out greatly with the heat running through these brakes. Also to help with the heat, cooling fins direct flowing air straight to the pads and pistons. A split hinge handle bar clamp finishes out the extremely clean TRP G-spec Quadiems. What else would you expect from Gwin himself?
From installation to a simple lever bleed, everything went smoothly. The TRP G Specs use mineral oil for the fluid and are easy to tune the lever feel with a quick bleed. The initial lever feel is similar to the SRAM Guides: a lot of modulation but a positive end stroke without a spongy feeling. After a couple break in runs, I headed out to the trails. Rocking these on the new Transition Sentinel, I was sure to get some speed going and see how they really performed.
Beginning with a steep section of trail, I had all the power I needed paired with 180mm TRP rotors front and rear. Having spent a significant amount of time on both the SRAM Guides and Shimano XT/XTR brakes, I have a good understanding of the pros and cons of each setup. The TRP, for me, is right in the middle of the two most popular brakesets. The G-Spec Quadiems have tons of modulation, something I prefer for scrubbing speed and holding manuals. They don't have a heavy bite like you get on the Magura and Shimano brakes, which for me is often too much. While SRAM brakes can work well with proper installation and a bleed, they often experience a fade in power on long descents and tend to turn a bit spongy at the lever. Power remained consistent with all my rides on the TRP G Spec brakes. Holding great power and being very consistent, I could definitely trust these brakes if I was coming in hot to a tight corner or holding a sick manual down the street.
While I may not have had the longest test period, I feel comfortable saying how much these brakes impressed me. All of my personal boxes are checked off, from good modulation to a consistent, progressive power stroke. These very well may find their way on to one of my personal bikes. With Aaron Gwin backing and designing the product, I wouldn’t imagine it would fall below average riders’ standards. While the flashy silver look might suit a lot of people, I think more riders would be on board with a black option, but that’s a rather small detail I can overlook to have a solid set of brakes.
© 2018 Worldwide Cyclery