When you like both the outdoors and the intense activities, mountain biking is one great hobby. The more you get into it, the more you realize that proper gear will help you enjoy your biking even more.
Buying a bicycle isn’t going to be enough, and soon enough, you realize that you have to service your bike, especially if you go biking alone. Brakes are the most significant control element on your bike, with disc brakes as dirt riding essential. The performance that brakes provide is exceptionally various, so you have plenty of features to consider when selecting. Weigh, cost issues, and overall value are essential when choosing your mountain bike brake. Here’s our selection to help you decide.
- Top Mountain Bike Brakes
- Best mountain bike disc brakes
- Best v brakes for mountain bike
- What aspects should you consider when selecting your mountain bike brake?
Top Mountain Bike Brakes
1. Magura USA MT7 Pro disc brake
The Magura USA MT7 Pro disc brake comes with aluminum lever 1-finger HC and adjustability for the reach and bite. It’s a hydraulic brake with post mount type and 4-piston caliper made from forged one-piece aluminum.
- You get everything you need for assembly.
- It’s lightweight and easy to use
- It’s healthy and sustains modulation.
- It has a one-finger operation.
- Not everyone goes for the neon yellow accents.
- When braking, the pads seem to move around
The disk brake uses the dual-piston build of the mt6 and improves with a second pair per caliper, which increases the stopping power. You will be able to double-down your speed, knowing that the brake will be there to the rescue.
Materials and rotors are similar to the MT6, but the extra pair of piston added to the calipers makes a difference. The design reminds of the Magura’s traditional moto brakes, with a lot of power for the downhill racing, at incredibly low weight. Every piston comes with its brake pad, and the fact that they’re top-loading makes the pad swaps fast. The carbotecture SL brake lever body is present, leading to the lightweight stiffness. As you squeeze the level for bringing the eight calipers to bear, you get more efficiency and sensitivity.
It’s a lightweight system with sound modulation. The system allows you to disconnect and reconnect the line at the master, rout it, and reconnect everything without re-bleeding the system.
You get everything you need for installation, but the cables are long, so be ready to cut. The bite and reach adjustments are easy to use, and the brake has a modular feel. It’s strong and improves modulation, and the one-finger operation lets you enjoy the riding even more.
Lightweight, easy to use, and improving modulation, the brake is an excellent addition to your mountain bike.
2. JGBike Shimano Mt200 Mtb Hydraulic Disc Brake Set
Many positive aspects highlight the JGBike Shimano Mt200 Mtb Hydraulic Disc Brake Set, but the fact that it comes ready to install out of the box could seal the deal for many bikers.
- It’s ready to mount out of the box.
- It’s efficient and powerful
- It’s a completed front and rear set
- It’s affordable and reliable
- It doesn’t come with rotors
- It’s not very strong
The set is made for front 180mm and rear 160mm rotors, and it comprises four brackets with adapter, for both are or pm mounts from older bike models.
You may safely rely on the brakes, especially since they’re more rugged than expected. It’s assembled as left for front reach, easy to adjust. It comes with b01s resin pads and enough length for the hose to change it to your bike. It’s hydraulic brake with incredible efficiency and power, considering the buck you’re paying. The brakes work consistently and are relatively quiet too.
Installation is straightforward, and the system comes pre-bled. The brakes run smoothly and let you do the upgrades you want for a good price.
Stay focused on the positives, as, for the buck you’re paying, the system will help you enjoy your mountain biking a lot more from now on.
3. Magura Mt Trail Sport 2701389 Bicycle Brake
Bikers seeking reliable performance for the brake without paying the extra buck should look at the Magura Mt Trail Sport 2701389 Bicycle Brake.
- It’s powerful and easy to operate.
- It comes with four pistons at the front and two pistons at the back.
- The modulation is excellent.
- It bites very well
- You will need a bleed kit.
- There’s a lot of plastic for the build.
The set is lightweight and offers excellent braking power. It features a 2-piston system in the rear and a 4-piston design in the front, which is almost perfect when riding under challenging conditions. No matter if you’re riding a technical descent or you’re cruising the cross-country trails, the German-engineered system will offer consistent performance down the mountain.
You will obtain complete braking performance due to the design with a shorter 1-finger HV lever, with carbotecture encoder for the housing and aluminum lever. The black/mystic grey anodized look becomes another selling point. The system has a Magnetixchange brake piston for effortless pad change.
The brake bites very well, and the modulation is excellent too. The power is impressive, the lines are long, and the bleeding is effortless and straightforward. The system comes entirely assembled.
All things considered, the brake system will be a definite buy for many mountain bikers out there.
4. Sram level ultimate disc brake
Best mountain bike hydraulic brakes Sram level ultimate disc brake isn’t for the biker who goes shopping on a tight budget. You will pay a pretty penny for the disc brake that will fit most mountain bikes tightly. As long as you’re ready to make the splurge, you will be enjoying one of the best combinations between adjustability and performance. Unless you’re a dedicated mountain biker, always going for the most challenging trails, you shouldn’t get the disc brakes. It comes with two sealed bearing and an adjustable lever that is easy to operate. The modulation is also excellent, so you will gain complete power over the brakes.
- Smart build for heat control
- It’s excellent to endure brakes.
- It’s lightweight and adjustable.
- It provides the right balance between bike control and power.
- It’s a tad pricey
- It’s for experienced bikers.
The open caliper design reduces the risk of overheating of the elements as it features a heat shield. Due to the titanium bolts in the system’s build, you will use a lighter structure. The brakes come with bleeding-edge technology, so you will be able to bleed the system regularly.
The 2-piston caliper and trimmed down lever reduce the weight, and the lever body maintains the carbon fiver lever blade and still pivots on bearings for quick lever feel and less hand fatigue. The lever comes with tooled reach adjustment and direct link action for a festive lever feel.
There’s titanium hardware in the build, and the stainless steel heat shields improve heat control.
As long as you know what mountain biking means to you, you shouldn’t sit on the fence and take the brake’s plunge.
5. Hope Tech 3 E4 Disc Brake Black
When we have to briefly describe Hope Tech 3 E4 Disc Brake Black, dependable performance is the expression to use. Thanks to the well-engineering, the brake is dependable whether you’re on a trail bike, dual-crown downhill sled, or endure rig. As a matter of fact, you may have noticed the brake so far as it stands out with the bright coloring and industrial look that resembles the motor brake.
- Reliable and constant performance
- Single aluminum body
- Excellent appearance and easy adjustments
- Powerful and easy installation
- You cannot cool down the system.
- It’s rather loud when wet.
They are sharp-looking brakes with appealing anodized and machined finish and color-matched rotors. But the brakes work as good as they look, with good power and smooth modulation that doesn’t vanish as you’re descending. Don’t expect the on/off feel with healthy bite right from the beginning, though. The brakes have a firm-level feel and precise bite point, but the power starts smoothly, which gives you better control over the braking force. The increased modulation allows fine settings for the speed, with low risk for skidding and better braking performance. After you dig deep into the lever’s travel, you notice a lot of power.
The caliper is CNC-machined from a rigid block of aerospace-grade aluminum for best rigidity and features four phenolic pistons for power and famous hope braking feel. The lever provides 5% more power than the previous model, with effortless adjustments (no tools required) and machined perforations on the lever blade for better grip.
The good outweighs the bad for sure, and the brake is one of the most reliable options to install for smoother ridings.
Best mountain bike disc brakes
6. Shimano M820 Saint Disc Brake Set
Even if the affordable price may be sealing the deal for many bikers out there, Shimano M820 Saint Disc Brake Set brings plenty of other good things to the table. The disc brake set comes pre-bled and one-way bleeding for effortless bleeds in the future.
- It ensures good power and control.
- It’s made for the front and rear side of your bike
- It’s easy to use and comes pre-bled
- The price is great
- It’s a tad heavy
- It produces a lot of heat, so that a ventilation system will be required.
The stopping power is impressive thanks to the ceramic 4-piston calipers, and the brakes come with ice tech pads with radiation fins. The short-stroke servo-wave design ensures fast engagement and good power, whereas the 15 finger levers have ergonomic pivot and reach adjust.
You get a clean system as the i-spec compatibility allows mounting i-spec shifters directly. The system is available for the front and rear side of the bike, so it’s such a reliable option for mountain biking. They work for downhill racing, as they ensure good braking power and safer feel.
The system offers a fair amount of braking force, even if you’re going to compromise on the weight. The brake is easy to use, and the overall value is excellent for the buck you’re paying.
A penny saved is a penny served, and the system will be a great addition to your mountain bike, without disappointing with overall value and performance.
7. Sram Db Guide Ultimate Front 950 Disc Brake
The new bleeding-edge technology of the Sram Db Guide Ultimate Front 950 Disc Brake provides fast and effortless bleeds, even though you will need a bleed adapter.
- It ensures excellent stopping power.
- It’s dependable
- It’s lightweight and has a low risk of overheating.
- It comes with bleed edge technology.
- The modulation could be improved.
- It’s not cheap
The s4 four-piston caliper will offer improved heat control, and the guide technologies make the system extremely reliable for mountain bike rides. The design is rugged, but the system is lightweight and has effective heat management performance. You have a more consistent and more dependable braking system, no matter if you’re close to a drop or heading into new trails.
The perfect balance between performance and adjustability makes the system such an excellent investment for mountain bikers. It provides incredible stopping power and control, no matter how fast you’re going. Even though it’s healthy, the system has a low risk of overheating due to the open caliper build.
The 2-sealed bearing makes the lever easy to set and to operate. The modulation is relatively good, providing the control you need for the ride. Should you like to bleed the system, the bleed edge technology will seal the deal for you.
Dependable, lightweight, and with excellent stopping power, the system will give you the confidence you needed for the fast riding down the mountains.
Best v brakes for mountain bike
8. Shimano Mountain Bicycle V-Brake
V-brakes are more affordable than disk brakes, but they can be very dependable and effective for mountain bikes. The Shimano Mountain Bicycle V-Brake has an efficient build with low operating forces, providing smooth and silent stopping power. The details’ attention is excellent, and the system has a mudguard for reducing the excess collection of mud.
- It’s reliable and affordable.
- It has a great look
- The stopping power is excellent.
- There’s one-finger control
- The adjustments are a tad limited
- You may need some extra tools for installation
The aluminum and allow the system’s metal build keeps your bike lightweight and capable of stopping effortlessly. The brakes come with parts and tools you need for installation, braking pads, including.
The pads and calipers are good quality, and you only need a finger to control the brake. The brake has a sharp appearance of the bike’s handlebars, and the matte and shiny medals looks are eye-catching. They don’t stick out too much and make a solid choice for the biker with a tight budget.
Attractive, affordable, and easy to mount and to use, the brakes are a suitable choice for bikers with a tight budget on any given day.
9. Shimano Deore Mountain Bicycle V-Brake – T610
The Shimano Deore Mountain Bicycle V-Brake – T610 make another popular choice for v-brakes for mountain bike, as they provide good performance without emptying your wallet.
- They’re made with high-quality alumi
- The performance is consistent.
- One-finger control is required
- You may choose between black and silver.
- Some find the installation more challenging than expected.
- There are some plastic parts.
The v-brake is made with high-quality aluminum so that your bike remains lightweight when taking the trails. You may find the brake either for the rear or front set. When you need to use the brakes for the front and rear wheels, you will have to buy two brakes.
The v-brake allows for excellent performance and control. You only need to use one finger to control the brake, so the risk for cramped hands is reduced. As long as you install it correctly, the system will let you stop within the shortest distance without putting too much effort into it.
The v-brake system looks nice and comes in black and silver colors. Instruction is easy to follow, and the brake gives a consistent performance.
All in all, the v-brake system is reliable, affordable, and easy to operate. Why not take the plunge?
What aspects should you consider when selecting your mountain bike brake?
If you’re into mountain bike riding, you’re not going to make many descents unless you’re using a reliable brakes set. Taking a look at the options could be confusing, especially if you’re new to mountain bike riding. Here are the most important aspects to pay attention to before purchasing:
Type of mountain bike brake
Three kinds of brakes work with mountain bikes, even if the disc type makes the most popular bikers’ choice. Mountain bike frames are made to take the rim-style or the disc-style brakes, so make sure you know the mounts you have before upgrading.
V-brakes, y-brakes are rim brakes. This type of brakes utilizes two pads on the wheel’s side for grabbing the rim, which slows down the descent.
The power is limited, and the performance isn’t unique in wet conditions, so bikers are slowly switching to better options.
Coasters may lock the rear wheel when you go back-pedaling. They were the first options for mountain bikers and seemed to make a comeback.
Most modern mountain bikes feature disc brakes as robust, consistent, reliable, and don’t add weight to the cycle.
Hydraulic or mechanical
When it comes to disc brakes, you have to choose between hydraulic and mechanical.
Hydraulic brakes utilize a piston-cylinder system containing fluid similar to the one in car or motorcycles. They provide the improved stopping power and good modulation, especially when compared to mechanical brakes.
Mechanical brakes utilize a steel cable for translating a pull on the brake lever into a force on the caliper at the disc. They’re more affordable than hydraulic brakes, easier to maintain, and have a lower risk of troubleshooting.
The rotor has to spread the heat generated by braking, so new patterns and materials are used for improving airflow and heat transfer, without adding weight. The rotor’s diameter is also essential for spreading the heat transfer, which is why gravity-oriented bikes come with larger rotors than cross-country models.
High-quality rotors are made with two pieces, which will reduce weight and increase heat spreading. Aluminum core and stainless steel braking surfaces are a perfect choice.
Nowadays, reliable manufacturers make adapters for customizing different rotors, and after-market models are also appealing as they allow customization for a small price.
Disc brake pads
Sintered, organic, and semi-metallic are the main types of disc brake pads to use on mountain pads.
They’re known as metallic pads and are typically utilized by gravity riders thanks to the high friction abilities. They provide more friction at high temperatures but work great under challenging conditions.
Semi-metallic brake pads will generate the better stopping power and make use for a longer time than organic pads.
Resin pads ensure better modulation and run relatively quiet. They don’t take intense wear, though, and don’t make the best choice for wet rides.
The way the position of the brake lever affects the stopping power is known as brake modulation. A high modulation system will cause less stopping power, whereas one with poor modulation may jump from low stopping power to complete stop with just a slight change in level pressure.
Disc brake systems provide less modulation than rim-based options, with better stopping power at the top end.
Best brakes come with adjustments for modulation, so that you may alter the distance from the lever to the handlebar. Every adjustment will impact modulation, and some systems will also let you modify the ration of the lever piston to the caliper piston for improved modulation control.
Q: Do hydraulic disc brakes require maintenance?
A: There’s little maintenance to do for the hydraulic disc brakes. Unlike the mechanical or rim brakes, the disc brakes have no cable that could clog from grime or dirt. Instead, they use a “hose” for carrying the hydraulic fluid from the brake lever to the caliper, which is also entirely sealed.
Q: When should you replace your rim brake pads?
A: Once the teeth (grooves) of the rim brake pads (v-brakes too) in the rubber are no longer present, you should replace the rim brake pads. Your rim brakes lose the responsitivity, so you should take a look at them. Replacement is necessary when the top layer of rubber is worn out.
New brake pads come with teeth/grooves/similar pattern in the pad.
Q: When do disc brakes need replacement?
A: Removing the wheel is requested, so you have to pull the caliper’s brake pad to see how worn they present. Disc brake pads are 3-4mm of the compound in the beginning. Replacement will be mandatory by the time to get to 1mm.
Disc brakes will eventually stop when they’re 1mm, and perform poorly altogether. For instance, when you pull the lever against the handlebar for quitting, you should see if they need replacement. If the layer of the compound is still thick, you only have to tighten the brake cable.
Q: Why should you switch to disc brakes?
A: Disc brakes are more robust than v brakes or cantilever. They provide strong braking performance without altering control and fantastic versatility in any weather conditions. They’re reliable and keep you safe, no matter how fast you’re going or how the trail is.
Q: Do all-mountain bikes work with disc brakes?
A: not all models rely on disc brakes, but modern models with complete suspension will be hydraulically activated. Disc-brake technology is now more affordable, and contemporary bike frames for mountain rides are made with disk brake for better versatility.
Q: Is it possible to use disc brake on any mountain bike?
A: Two things are necessary for equipping the mountain bike with disk brake. The hubs have to come with fittings for accommodating a disc rotor, whereas the frame and forks should come with mountings for disc calipers.