Frostbike First Look: TRP’s New Spyke Mountain Dual Piston Mechanical Disc Brake

Frostbike First Look: TRP's New Spyke Mountain Mechanical Disc Brake

After TRP introduced their Spyre dual piston mechanical disc brake for road and cross bikes, an interesting thing happened – they started getting a lot of requests to make a mountain bike model. Even with a number of excellent hydraulic brakes on the market, apparently fatbike riders especially were looking for a mechanical brake that was better than the current options and not susceptible to cold like many hydraulic brakes can be. In spite of the bumpy roll out of the Spyre, the performance of the brake is impressive and now after the recall new models are shipping to satisfied consumers. Enter the new TRP Spyke, a mechanical dual piston mountain bike disc brake.  Currently still in the prototype phase, it shouldn’t be long before these hit the shelves.

Thanks to TRP we got our hands on a prototype set after the break!

Frostbike First Look: TRP's New Spyke Mountain Mechanical Disc Brake

Frostbike First Look: TRP's New Spyke Mountain Mechanical Disc Brake Frostbike First Look: TRP's New Spyke Mountain Mechanical Disc Brake

Clearly labeled as a prototype, but the Spyke seems very close to production. Like the original Spyre, pad adjustment is offered through dual 3mm allen screws but is now labeled on the arm itself. This also happens to be a distinguishing mark between the recalled first generation Spyre, and the new improved model. If your brake has the 3mm Pad In written on the lever, you’re good to go. Almost identical to the Spyre, the Spyke is tuned for mountain brake lever pull ratio and perhaps a little more robust. The brake uses the same Shimano compatible brake pads as the Spyre so replacements will be easy to come by.

Frostbike First Look: TRP's New Spyke Mountain Mechanical Disc Brake

TRP will also be offering a Spyke branded brake lever that will match nicely to the calipers. Very simple in their construction, short of the barrel adjuster the levers are pretty spartan.

0226_8991 Frostbike First Look: TRP's New Spyke Mountain Dual Piston Mechanical Disc Brake

Obviously as prototypes weights are subject to change, but the caliper came in at 169g with pads which is only 10g heavier than Avid’s BB7 SL brake with pads. A single lever is 81g. The prototype kit we were given didn’t include rotors or hardware, but expect those weights to be identical to most other TRP brakes. Retail for the Spykes should be around $90 per brake which includes the rotor, and $40 for the lever pair with availability around April.

Frostbike First Look: TRP's New Spyke Mountain Mechanical Disc Brake

Frostbike First Look: TRP's New Spyke Mountain Mechanical Disc Brake

First Impressions:

Honestly, I didn’t think I would get this excited about mechanical brakes after going hydraulic on most of my bikes, but the Spykes seem to deliver. After going through a number of different brakes on my Pugsley that offered questionable performance in the cold the Spykes seem like they could be the answer. Much easier to set up than most other mechanical disc brakes, the Spykes offer impressive power above average lever feel for a mechanical. Best of all, they are silent – no rubbing, and quiet braking even on a used rotor. And that’s on the prototype. Personally, I’d hope the production lever will include a reach adjustment,  but if not other levers are easy enough to find. We’ll put these through the paces, and report back.

0222_8426

Also on display was the rest of the TRP line up including the RG957 Long Reach dual pivot rim brakes. Lance with TRP mentioned not many people know they exist and they are a great option for gravel grinders as they fit big tires.

0222_8427

If disc brakes and single speed is your thing, then TRP is also shipping the Hylex drop bar disc brake system.

 

Comments

Kitchen Patrol - 02/26/14 - 9:30pm

I just scored a sample of these for my Fat Bike and have about 60 miles on them so far. The work incredibly well, light weight, super easy set up and vertually no break in time. My BB7′s are going on Ebay, I am not going to miss those antiquated Avid brakes.
Glad to see mechanical disc brake innovation. Only a few years ago, parts makers relegated mech’s to low end MTB but with fat bikes for snow and disc road and CX, they are now in a renaissance

akbooyah - 02/26/14 - 9:51pm

So glad to see that they are coming through with this! Been waiting a long time for a better option than BB7s. It’s a shame to put those on $3k+ fat bikes.

Mark @ GRAVELBIKE - 02/26/14 - 10:09pm

So glad that they’re offering an dual-piston mechanical brake for MTBs.

The RG957s are great brakes. Clearance for 32-35mm tires (depending on rim, etc), and compatible with integrated levers.

maddogeco - 02/26/14 - 11:21pm

Whats the reason for choosing a mechanical disc brake over a hydro brake? Is it they work better in the extreme cold, maintenance? i can understand on a road bike when there aren’t many hydro options but on a mountain bike???

iperov - 02/26/14 - 11:53pm

maddogeco,
hydro dont work in cold,
hydro high maintenance cost and time to maintenance,
hydro have low travel

brake modulation? no thanks, i need just on-off thumbler that will blocking my wheel immediately, its working perfect on my hayes mx 180mm.

hsp - 02/26/14 - 11:56pm

How do these compare regarding weights vs xo, xx, xt, xtr brakes?

Heffe - 02/27/14 - 12:54am

These are cool, look as light as anything out there. I hate hydraulics, hard to work on. I really don’t want to deal with nasty brake fluid, I love working with cables and gears.

maddogeco - 02/27/14 - 1:11am

iperov,
Fair point, i guess im lucky enough to ride in 15-30°C all year round and its really even wet or muddy so hydro are a no brainer for me. But i will say i no more maintenance on my CX with shimano 105 mechanical disc than i did on my XC bike with Shimano Deore hyrdo brakes (excluding damage from crashes)

These the TRP’s might be a good upgrade on the ‘cross rig

Tim - 02/27/14 - 2:49am

Good news that these will be available. I wonder if they will work with Shimano’s latest gen of XTR Ice-Tech rotors- if so, these will be a big step towards the ultimate mechanical disc brake (something only I may be interested in).
On the other hand, why not use TRP’s road mechanical brake with an old cantilever style lever? Those levers can be had for cheap, and the last run of them had pretty good ergonomics.

Gunnstein - 02/27/14 - 6:13am

Yes, how does one choose between the road (Spyre) and MTB (Spyke)? For me it’s for a touring bike which rides mostly on paved roads, some gravel, sometimes with a heavy touring load, sometimes down long descents. 559/26″ wheels with 160 mm disks. Up to 140 kg total weight on the road.

The road version is 10% lighter. Should I presume the MTB version has better brake power? And better cooling?

(The bike has Magura MT2 hydro at the moment, so I’d need new levers either way. The front MT2 leaks oil onto the pads, even after service. And hydro is hard to get serviced when touring.)

ChrisW - 02/27/14 - 6:56am

@Gunnstein – the road Spyre brakes are designed by the amount of cable pulled by road (drop bar) brake levers, which is significantly less than the amount pulled by most MTB (flat-bar) levers. It doesn’t really matter what terrain you’re using them on, just match the brake lever type to the brake type.

CDG - 02/27/14 - 7:17am

Really excited about these for my bikepacking rig!

Gunnstein - 02/27/14 - 7:36am

@ChrisW: Like I said, I have to replace the levers anyway. The bike uses flat bar levers, but those exist in road and mtb versions too. So you’re saying it doesn’t matter at all, then? In that case I’d choose the mtb because it’s all black.

Jdog - 02/27/14 - 8:31am

As disc brakes move down market on the road, we are going to absolutely NEED a diac brake that does not rub at all when the bike is rolling. I believe a dual action, long stroke mechanical brake will be in very high demand in 2-3 years. This design, or one just like it is indeed a better solution than a single piston brake by any mfger. I am eager to hear more about these and how they perform.

Fear Rothar - 02/27/14 - 9:30am

I’m a big fan of 57mm reach brakes and I’m happy to see TRP bringing out a new, high-end brake in this category. Why, why, why do they not have an appropriate quick-release though? It makes no sense to have to deflate the nice, fat tyre, that the brake can otherwise handle, in order to remove or reinstall a wheel. It’s not as if TRP/Tektro have not recognised this problem before – witness the wide-opening cam quick-release on Tektro’s R539 an R737 models. An opportunity lost!

Eddie - 02/27/14 - 9:33am

After being stagnant for almost 2 decades, it’s good to see mechanical disk technology moving forward again. With cable stretch and friction being the only unavoidable disadvantage, I see no reason why mechanicals can’t feel 95% as good as hydraulics.

groghunter - 02/27/14 - 9:43am

I dig it, it seem pretty cool. although I have one complaint: split clamp or GTFO. MTB’s crash, and not being able to run teflon tape under the lever clamp forces you to compromise between braking power and lever survivability during a crash.

Jogan - 02/27/14 - 10:51am

I’m proud of the Bikerumor community for finally having a reasonable comments section without the ridiculous hating/trolls. Keep it up

Gunnstein - 02/27/14 - 11:14am

Replying to myself, I just realised: One reason to choose the MTB edition is that longer cable pull means less force on the cable, for a given force at the caliper. So less compression and wear on the cable housing/liner. That sounds like it’s worth those extra 15 grams.

Nick - 02/27/14 - 11:17am

@fear rothar,

The brakes you are referring to have a QR…look directly under the anchor bolt. Hard to see, but definitely there.

WoofWoof - 02/27/14 - 11:36am

I’ve been using the latest release Spyre brake on my Lynskey Monster X rig (29′er with drop bars) for about a month now. Love the ease of setup, ZERO brake rub when the bike is rolling along, and great feel at the lever. I use cross top levers in conjunction with my drop bar shifters, braking feels great with that option too.

The stock pads are nice for dry conditions, but I recently swapped for semi-metallics for better performance in sludgier conditions.

I would expect my positive experiences to continue with the Spyke brake.

Peter R - 02/27/14 - 11:54am

I’d like to chime in that I have the Hylex on my Salsa Fargo and they are superb brakes.

Fear Rothar - 02/27/14 - 12:03pm

@Nick,

I realise that the RG957′s do have a quick release. However, IMHO, it’s not a quick-release that is fully appropriate for their use. To expand upon that comment:

If they are fitted to a frame and fork that makes full use of them – i.e. with a fork length and bridge height that positions the pads at the bottom of the slot – they can handle 35mm tyres. However, with the regular style q/r which they have, if they are used with a 23mm wide rim, they will only open wide enough to allow a 28mm tyre to fit between the pads. Anything wider will require either a brake lever with a quick release, à la Campagnolo or TRP’s own (beautiful) RRL levers, or deflating the tyre.

The cam-style quick release on the Tektro 539s (http://www.tektro.com/_english/01_products/01_prodetail.php?pid=65&sortname=Brake&sort=1&fid=2) opens much wider and allows the brakes to be (easily) used to their full capability.

Mark @ GRAVELBIKE - 02/27/14 - 12:11pm

@Nick,

Fear Rothar is referring to the Tektro calipers that have a “two-stage” Q/R that allow for more tire clearance. The 957s utilize a conventional Q/R that doesn’t open as wide as the aforementioned version.

Fear Rothar - 02/27/14 - 12:26pm

Thanks @Mark @ GRAVELBIKE. I tried to post a reply saying much the same, but it seems to have disappeared into the ether.

Timquila - 02/27/14 - 3:12pm

Right-on Jogan!!! Couldn’t have said it better myself.

As a staunch BB7 fan over the years, I can’t wait to get my hands on some of these brakes.

fourthandvine - 02/27/14 - 3:27pm

Echoing @Peter_R, Hylex on my SSCX bike have been solid. They’re actually my first set of disc brakes ever so maintenance-wise there was a bit of a learning curve but I’ve found them to be awesome feel and stopping-wise. Occasionally scare myself going back and forth between them and my geared CX bike with cantilevers (shorty ultimates) – the discs always stop well, even in the wet when the cantilevers may as well be trying to stop with hopes and dreams.

STS - 02/27/14 - 4:44pm

In one of the photos the Spyke is shown installed onto the carbon leg of a fat bike fork. Who is the manufacturer of the disc brake rotor installed on that bike?

Kovas - 02/27/14 - 10:18pm

On the SPYKE calipers, is the pad adjustment indexed (the way it is on the BB7s?), or is it possible to truly fine-tune the pad adjustment with the 3mm hex?

Either way, I’m really excited about these possible Avid-killers…

DeeEight - 03/01/14 - 12:19pm

#1 Not a new idea, IRD had dual-piston mechanical discs several years ago for mountain bikes. RST had them even further back.

#2 Hydro’s which use DOT fluid work great in the cold.

DeeEight - 03/01/14 - 12:20pm

Also DOT 5 which is silicone based works fine in hydro’s that call for mineral oils.

Fear Rothar - 03/03/14 - 8:36am

@Kovas, the pad adjustment on the Spyres is not indexed. I assume the Spykes will be the same.

Anon - 03/03/14 - 5:50pm

@STS it is a Hayes F6 rotor

Cold Weather Rider - 03/05/14 - 5:20pm

It was -25 C on my ride into work this morning and the Juicy 3′s on my commuter work just fine. I ran BB7′s for a year and the cables would be trashed after about 2 months of salt, sand and slush. Anyone dumb enough to run a mineral oil disk brake on a fat bike probably shouldn’t be on a bike in the first place, let alone in the winter. A fully sealed hydraulic system works very reliably in about a million applications harsher than a bicycle brake (farm implements, drilling rigs, airplanes…). This is a solution for people who don’t really understand the problem.

mark - 03/12/14 - 8:38pm

beautiful brakes, I WANT!
why mechanical? i miss hydro but i don’t miss the damage every time i lock/crash my bike. i dont miss keeping a separate tool/bleed kit for each make of brake. i do like being able to disassemble, clean and refit my mechanicals with a multi tool. plus, i can choose from loads of levers

retorix - 04/03/14 - 2:39pm

One technical Question: What height is the brake pad?
It’s about compatibility with existing discs – I collected lots of them over the years.

Zach Overholt - 04/03/14 - 2:48pm

@Retorix, it uses the same pad as the HyRd, Spyre, and second Gen Parabox, which is a size and shape Shimano has used for years. http://www.trpbrakes.com/category.php?productid=1197&catid=187&subcat=0

Post a comment:

Comment sections can be a beautiful source of knowledge, conversation and comedy. They can also get pretty ugly, which is why we've updated our Comments Policy. If your comment isn't showing up or suddenly disappears, you might want to check it out.