There aren't many things on a bike that are more important than good brakes. Not only for stopping, but how they stop. Whether it's stopping in a controlled manner, locking it up, or the lever modulation, all of these things make a difference. Our friend Sean tells us about his new TRP G-Spec Trail SL brakes. Check it out!
I originally purchased the TRP Quadiem brakes not knowing that the TRP G-Spec Trail SL brakes were about to be released. When I ordered the Quadiems they were actually back ordered. Worldwide Cyclery's awesome customer service team contacted me, and gave me the option of updating my order to the TRP G-Spec Trail SL brakes! I was already super stoked for the Quadiems, but given that these are going on my beefed up Yeti SB130, I welcomed the small weight savings of the G-Spec Trails and was pumped that Worldwide gave me the option to change my order! So this review is actually for the TRP G-Spec Trail SL brakes and not the Quadiems :)
I've been a SRAM guy for years. My Yeti SB130 came with Shimano XT brakes which are great in themselves, but I was already planning on swapping them out for SRAM Guides at my first opportunity, and I had no intentions of going with anything different. Here's where Worldwide Cyclery's YouTube channel comes in. I watched a video review of the TRP Quadiems and was sold. Seen as somewhat of an in-between with Shimano and SRAM, I thought I'd give TRP a try!
I ended up going with the TRP G-Spec Trail SL brakes, and I couldn't be happier with their performance so far! Upon receiving them, I immediately noticed the "burliness" of the brakes. Completely blacked out, they have a look that you're probably either going to love or hate. I love them, but the look definitely isn't for everyone. I actually had my local shop install them, but from what they said, it was a fairly straight forward process and they didn't have to bleed the brakes. I'm not sure if that was just unique for my brakes or if that's pretty standard across the board with TRP. Either way, I got the brakes mounted up and were ready to ride.
The first ride out I immediately noticed that the modulation as well as the power of the TRP Trails. My XTs had an on-off sort of feel. With the TRP Trails, I found that I could ease into braking and just scrub a little speed when needed. The trade-off for all that modulation was that if I was coming in hot on something and needed to shut it down fast, I had to really get on the brakes quick and hard. First ride out I came off a jump a little off and knew upon landing I needed to get on the brakes to avoid blowing a corner. The TRPs had the power to keep me from flying out of the corner, but I had to really slam the levers to tap into the full power that I needed at that particular moment.I find I'm riding faster and braking later with the TRP Trails. They are incredible brakes, and I'm honestly planning on running them on all bikes going forward. One issue I did have was with the Matchmaker set that TRP sells. I thought I saw something about the TRP Trails being able to use the Matchmakers, but I (or the local shop) couldn't figure out how to get them set up properly. So if anyone knows how to connect the Matchmaker with the TRP Trails, let me know :)
Pumped on these brakes. They're rad. Definitely recommend if you're looking building up a bike or just looking to upgrade your current brakes!