Mountain bike brakes integrate a uniform lever with power and durability for ever-changing terrains. The best mountain bike brakes are essential to control unnecessary skidding and falling, while letting you reach top speeds with maximum stopping power.
Shimano M820 Saint Disc Brake
Shimano is one of the high-end, best mountain bike brakes for downhill. With various features and uses of modern technologies, this Japanese mountain bike brake is ideal for extreme downhill racing and touring.
The M820 Saint Disc Brake is the newest edition in the Shimano line. Designed for downhill riding and racing, a 4-piston, double-diameter caliper can accommodate extra oil for temperature management. Besides, it also maintains the high-end modulation and improves pad wear.
The caliper features four self-insulating ceramic pistons that decrease the operating temperature by 50 degrees Fahrenheit and improves the stopping power by 20%. The 4-piston calipers use ceramic material and come with Ice Tech pads with radiation fins.
It comes with ergonomic levers, which you can customize using the tool-free adjustment. It is a large and specific brake for downhill and sloppy areas. It has I-spec compatibility, which directly lets you mount I-spec shifters to get a clean system.
This mountain bike brake comes with the Servo-Wave levers. These levers enable easy and quick pad contact, stroke, and reach adjustments. Besides, it includes a total of fifteen finger levers, each with ergonomic pivot adjustments.
- It has 20% additional stopping power in comparison with its previous editions
- This brake comes with a tool-free lever adjustment
- Excellent heat management
- It comes with four pistons
- It does not come with a rotor.
Magura MT5 Mountain Bike Disc Brake
It is one of the most effective mountain bike brakes at a reasonable price. When it comes to sheer braking, Magura MT5 Mountain Bike Disc Brake is the best and the ultimate pick. This brake gives a solid and durable performance for the enduro mountain bike.
The Magura MT5 Mountain Bike Disc Brake is one of the best mountain bike brakes for enduro. It comes with an aluminum metal model with a lever-type handle which is durable enough to endure long-range races. It uses long-lasting Royal Blood mineral oil and features simple bleed technology. Moreover, it has up to the point weight ratio performance.
This mountain bike brake is also an ideal choice for downhill, e-bikes, all-mountain racing, long trails, and many more. Hence, the Magura MT5 Mountain Bike Disc Brake is one of the best versatile picks so far. Like the other brakes, it also has a lever that has tool-free adjustments to give you a customization dialing feel.
This mountain bike brake comes with an ergonomic aluminum brake lever with two fingers. Hence, even when the terrain is uneven, rocky, or bumpy, you can have a smooth ride with excellent performance. Besides, the brake levers offer absolute comfort, making it easy for precise braking power, even in long braking situations.
It has a modern and effective flip-flop lever design which allows for easy and quick installation. Besides, it also has a multi-use flexible lever reach. It has magnetic pistons which can easily fit into the brake caliper, and it ensures quick and simple pad replacement.
It features carbotecture housing with a durable handlebar buckle. The use of carbotecture technology reduces the overall weight to a minimum and gives good enough braking performance.
- It uses impressive 4-piston technology
- This brake is perfect for enduro
- It has a good enough weight ratio performance
- The design provides comfort and accurate performance
- The cable is a bit lengthy.
SRAM Code RSC Disc Brake
This best mountain bike brake for heavy riders comes with more extra reservoir volume and piston power to ensure ultimate performance. It is built for heavy-duty riders, and the stainless steel heat shield cuts the thermal connection and decreases the fluid temperature.
Depending on our testing, we recommend this as the best mountain bike brake for heavy riders. Moreover, this mountain bike brake is ideal for rough, uneven, and bumpy terrains. It has a stylish black design with a mix of purple and blue round components.
This mountain bike brake comes with an ambidextrous mount which means you can use it for both the left and right sides. Besides, it includes tool-free adjustment options with the single-finger operation.
This brand has been in the market since the late 1980s, and now it is one of the top-notch brands of all time, which are prominent for their high-quality mountain bike brakes. It comes with a total of four pistons. The lever uses durable and long-lasting aluminum material.
The SRAM Code RSC Disc Brake is a fine tune and is the best pick for dial-in riders. These mountain bike brakes give extra pad control and contact. It takes little to no lever action.
All these features are suitable when riding down through the technical trail. When you apply the brake, it will be easy for you to stop the bike without any harm. It is also decent enough for constant use and even perfect for extreme conditions.
The lever uses SwingLink and Lever Pivot Bearing technologies for modern and extra smooth pull. Hence, you can go deeper by grabbing additional power.
- It has a stylish design
- This brake comes with excellent stopping power
- It has 30% extra volume in the lever reservoir
- It comes with 950mm hose length
- Sometimes a few issues arise with the codes
JGbike Shimano MT200 MTB Hydraulic Disc Brake
It is one of the most affordable mountain bike brakes of all-time. It has heavy-duty and durable materials, and you can use it for a long time.
The JGbike Shimano MT200 MTB Hydraulic Disc Brake is by far the best budget mountain bike brake. These mountain bike brakes from Shimano are another top-notch and perfect pick for versatile use. For entry-level or beginner riders, it is the ultimate pick.
The MT200 hydraulic brakes are the modern and powerful version in comparison with previous models. These brakes are accessible in two versions which are US or EU editions. It has two different hose lengths, and they measure 800mm/1500mm or 800mm/1650mm.
If you want, you are free to cut the cable to make it perfect for your bike. A famous Japanese brand makes these brakes, and they are known for manufacturing high-end and decent quality mountain bike brakes. You can set up the brakes within fifteen minutes as they are pre-filled and pre-bled.
They are designed to give you durable and instant braking using little to no rattling sound from the pads. As per our testing, we assure you these hydraulic brakes offer a smooth and decent performance.
You can use the mountain bike brakes for trail rides, races, fat bikes, e-bikes, and it is the best upgrade kit for mechanical disc brakes. Besides, it has a calm black design which looks good on every bike.
- It comes at an affordable price
- Good enough for versatile use
- The entire set includes rotors
- Durable and superior quality brakes
- Not the powerful brake.
Magura USA MT7 Pro Disc Brake
This brand came into the market in the 1890s, and all the Magura mountain bike brakes come with the usage of German engineering. It uses high-end 4-piston technology and develops a maximum amount of braking force.
The Magura USA MT7 Pro Disc Brake is so far the best mountain bike brake for trail riding. It comes with an extra pair of calipers with incredible stopping power. As per our testing, even when you are riding at high-speed, this durable brake works well.
The high-end Magura USA MT7 Pro Disc Brake comes with a similar double-piston design to the MT6 edition. Besides, you can find an additional set of pistons that comes with the calipers. This mountain bike brake has a simple yet effective design. Another impressive feature is, you can use it either in the front or rear end of your mountain bike.
It comes with a ton of power to fulfill the requirements to be perfect for trail riding and downhill racing. Besides, it is not heavy and weighs less. You will get a total of four pistons, and each one comes with its own set of brake pads. This mountain bike brake includes bite lever adjustability.
Due to the top-loading feature, it allows for super easy and quick pad swaps when necessary. Like the other Magura models, it also uses Carbotecture technology. The Carbotecture SL lever brake design results in lightweight, portable, and more stopping power.
Besides, this mountain bike brake comes with a bright and excellent modulation. When you apply the brake, the shaft's upright orientation to the handlebar gives you the best modulation and sensitivity. Meanwhile, the simplified pivot hardware decreases the overall weight by arranging the alloy.
- It comes with forged one-piece aluminum
- The package includes a 4-piston caliper
- Perfect for long or short trails
- It has an adjustable lever
- It is a bit pricey.
Five Common And Important Terms Of The Mountain Bike Brakes
- Rotor - Generally, the rotor is a metallic disc that is mounted in the center of the wheel. You can find it between the pads of the brakes.
- Lever - The lever of the brake has connections with the handlebar. It is attached to the caliper of the brake. The brake caliper pulls the rotor when the lever is depressed, which in turn causes the bike to brake.
- Caliper - Caliper is the spot where the braking occurs. When active, it includes the sum of pistons and then pushes the brake pads into the rotor
- Hydraulic or Mechanical Brakes - It is necessary to know the difference between mechanical and hydraulic brakes. For the mechanical brakes, a friction cord attaches the lever to the caliper. For hydraulic brakes, the hydraulic liquid replaces the long cable. To be precise, the mechanical brakes are affordable and are easy to preserve with less maintenance.
- Modulation - Modulation is simply the amount of braking pressure. It is applied when the lever of the brake is depressed. It also shows how force translates into stopping power.
Things To Consider Before Buying Mountain Bike Brakes
- Material - In the hydraulic brakes, the type of material plays a crucial role. The brakes mostly have durable and reliable material as it produces plenty of power while braking. Solid and high-quality materials include substances like 6000 or 7000 series aluminum and alloy. The lightweight carbon material is good enough as well.
- Quality - It is one feature where you should never compromise. When the brakes are not of decent quality, they are likely to break within a few uses. If you are in an extreme situation where you are stuck with a failed brake, there is nothing you can do to escape. In rear times, they might lead to severe injuries. Hence, it is essential to buy good enough quality brakes which are durable enough to perform for a long time.
- Rotor size - The big-size rotors may be a little bit heavy, but they come with extra space for cooling down the sustained descents. It also keeps them working optimally. Hence, considering the rotor size will make it easy for you to get the best mountain bike brake.
- Adjustability - Another factor to look at before buying mountain bike brakes is the adjustability. It helps in decreasing hand exhaustion after a long day in the trails. When you are riding on the road or downhill, your hands have to go through sudden turns, bumpy surfaces, speed breakers, twists, and many more. Hence, it is necessary to have the brakes with easy adjustability as they make your ride smoother.
- Bleeding system - It is one of the time taking and tedious tasks. But choosing the brakes which can bleed in an instant is crucial. This feature assists in tackling the pesky beads which you may get on your trail. The hydraulic brake system performs the brake bleeding process. Meanwhile, the brake lines deal with the air bubbles to give you a safe and long ride.
- Brake fluid - Generally, mountain bike brakes use either DOT fluids or mineral oil to operate their pistons. When it comes to water absorption, the DOT liquids are better in comparison with mineral oil brakes. You often have to take extra care while handling the DOT fluids, as they have the potential of damaging the paintwork of your bike.
- Pad removal - You can easily clean the brakes that come with removable pads. This method saves your time and effort of pulling out the wheel every time to clean the brake.
- Price - When you start searching for mountain bike brakes, you will find numerous brands that are expensive. Some are very expensive at hundreds of dollars, using them you can buy a new standard mountain bike. Hence you must check whether the brake has worthy features for spending your money or not.
As you know, the market is full of little to unknown mountain bike brake models, and it was a bit difficult for us to gather and test them. However, after examining all the available models thoroughly, we gave you the above list. All five products tick every requirement to stand as the best mountain bike brakes.
But, our top pick has to be the Shimano M820 Saint Disc Brake. It is durable, good enough for long-term use, perfect for race, trail, and outing. This mountain bike brake uses high-quality materials, easily accessible, and most importantly, it is popular among shoppers as their favorite pick.
To select the perfect fit mountain bike brake, we suggest you create your requirement list. Hence, after cross-checking the features, you are free to choose the mountain bike brake that surpasses your list.