Summary of mechanical disc brake calipers for road use

Posted at: Sep. 12, 2022

Mechanical (mechanical) disc brake calipers are ideal for ease of maintenance and as an upgrade from rim brake components. Models from major manufacturers are listed below.

Sponsored Link

Mechanical disc brake calipers from major manufacturers

Shimano

Shimano is shifting to hydraulic discs as its main choice for both road and MTB. In terms of road-oriented components, TIAGRA and above are hydraulic-only, and CLARIS has no disc brakes, so SORA is the only mechanical disc brake.

The ULTEGRA-grade BR-CX77 and 105-grade BR-R517 are no longer in production, so the two choices available now are the post-mounted BR-R317 and flat-mounted BR-RS305.

Both of these brakes work well, but are inferior to the EQUAL and TRP brakes described below in terms of braking power. However, Shimano is still the best in terms of availability of replacement parts and cost performance.

Model Number Manufacturer Type Weight Mount Type
BR-RS305 Shimano Mechanical - Flat mount
BR-R317 Shimano Mechanical 215g Post mount
BR-CX77 Shimano Mechanical 159g Post mount
BR-R517 Shimano Mechanical - Post mount

Growtac

EQUAL is a mechanical disc brake system released in 2022 by Growtac, a Japanese manufacturer famous for its roller stands.

The great thing about EQUAL is that even though it is a mechanical type, it provides a feeling and braking force similar to that of hydraulic brakes. The EQUAL was originally a brake with a high reputation, but once it was actually put on sale, users who installed it gave it high marks one after another, and it became so popular that it was frequently sold out in various places.

The top-class light weight of the brake caliper itself (136g) and the fact that not only flat-mount models but also post-mount models are available in the lineup are also factors in the high evaluation of this product.

As of 2022, they are the strongest mechanical disc brakes available.

Model Number Manufacturer Type Weight Mount Type
EQUAL Growtac Mechanical 136g Flat mount/Post mount

TRP

TRP is a higher grade of Tektro, a standard complete bicycle series. SPYRE and SPYKE (MTB) series are available for mechanical disc brakes, but the SPYRE series is for road use.

TRP’s SPYRE series has very lightweight brake calipers, with the higher grade SPYRE FLAT MOUNT SLC weighing 146 g. It uses the flat mount type, which is the current mainstream.

The lineup also includes the HY/RD FLAT MOUNT, a hybrid with mechanical wire pull and hydraulic pistons.

Model Number Manufacturer Type Weight Mount Type
SPYRE FLAT MOUNT SLC TRP Mechanical 146g Flat Mount
SPYRE FLAT MOUNT TRP Mechanical 154g Flat mount
HY/RD FLAT MOUNT TRP Mechanical & Hydraulic Hybrid 205g Flat Mount

SRAM

SRAM’s mechanical disc brake series is Avid, which is highly regarded for its braking power similar to that of hydraulic systems despite being mechanical.

The Avid BB7 and Avid BB5 are quite old models, but they are still available with compatible pads, making them surprisingly easy brakes to choose from.

Note that they are all post-mounted, so you will need a conversion adapter to install them on a flat-mounted chassis.

Model Number Manufacturer Type Weight Mount Type
Avid BB7SL SRAM Mechanical 170g Post mount
Avid BB7S SRAM Mechanical 197g Post mount
Avid BB7 SRAM Mechanical - Post mount
Avid BB5 SRAM Mechanical - Post Mount

Mechanical Disc Brake Caliper Comparison Chart

Finally, here is a comparison of mechanical disc brake calipers from the major manufacturers introduced so far.

Model Number Manufacturer Type Weight Mount Type
BR-RS305 Shimano Mechanical - Flat mount
BR-R317 Shimano Mechanical 215g Post mount
BR-CX77 Shimano Mechanical 159g Post mount
BR-R517 Shimano Mechanical - Post mount
EQUAL Growtac Mechanical 136g Flat mount/Post mount
SPYRE FLAT MOUNT SLC TRP Mechanical 146g Flat Mount
SPYRE FLAT MOUNT TRP Mechanical 154g Flat mount
HY/RD FLAT MOUNT TRP Mechanical & Hydraulic Hybrid 205g Flat Mount
Avid BB7SL SRAM Mechanical 170g Post mount
Avid BB7S SRAM Mechanical 197g Post mount
Avid BB7 SRAM Mechanical - Post mount
Avid BB5 SRAM Mechanical - Post Mount

In terms of specifications, Growtac’s EQUAL is still very superior. However, considering price, Shimano’s BR-RS305 cosmetics, and TRP’s SPYRE FLAT MOUNT SLC, which is almost as lightweight as EQUAL and available at about 2/3 the price, are also excellent.

If you are upgrading from a current disc brake car, which is mainly a flat-mount type, these are the three choices.

For older post-mounted cars, Shimano’s BR-R317 and SRAM’s Avid BB7S are excellent upgrades.

Sponsored Link

Mechanics New Posts