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TRP Slate T4 Disc Brakes

Four pot anchors from Gwin's new sponsors

With Aaron Gwin and the YT Mob on TRP brakes for the season ahead, we thought we would take a look at what’s on offer from this brake specialist.

TRP (premium brand from Tektro) maybe a name you’re less familiar with in a market place dominated by Shimano and Sram, but our first impressions suggest that they have some very good options for trail, enduro and DH bikes.

TRP Slate T4 Brake 5

While it looks like Gwin will be using the TRP Quadiem SL brake, their high end stoppers designed for gravity use, it has been rumoured that he has been spotted with a combination of the Slate lever with a Quadiem caliper. He may well be working on new developments with TRP, so we’ll be following progress closely.

TRP Slate T4 Brake 3

With four pot calipers, carbon lever blades, semi-metallic pads and two-piece rotors the Quadiem SL brakes look promising and we’ve got some on the way to us here at Dirt. We’ll be looking at how they stack up against our favourite stoppers form our 2016 Dirt 100 line-up and report back.

 

The Quadiem SL brakes may look good, but price wise they are at the premium end of the market at just shy of £200 each end including rotors. With this in mind, we thought we’d first take a look at the TRP SlateT4, a more realistic option for the bulk of riders and designed (they say) for most riding from trail through to full on DH.

TRP Slate T4 Brake 2

The Slate is a good looking brake, a touch sleeker in the lever design than the heavier duty Quadiem brake. A short, well shaped lever blade has a textured surface for grip and is reach adjustable as with most modern brakes. The lever clamp is a single bolt and hinged, making fitting and removal easy and is compatible with ‘I-Spec’ Shimano gear shifters. This single clamp for gears and brakes cleans up the bars without the need to buy additional brackets and drops the weight by a fraction. A nice touch.

TRP Slate T4 Brake 6

The caliper is a four pot design (there is a two piston Slate X2 brake available) and runs on mineral oil as with Shimano hydraulic discs. The pads are semi-metallic and load from the top, making those last minute maintenance jobs a whole lot easier. TRP have made space in the caliper body for finned pads if additional cooling is needed. The hoses have ‘banjo’ fittings, allowing these calipers to be mounted in awkward positions or when routing is from an unusual angle.

TRP Slate T4 Brake 7

We’ve fitted these brakes (along with the TRP 2 piece rotors) onto a Kona Process 153 test bike (below) here at Dirt HQ, replacing a pair of ageing Avids. A hose trim and bleed was needed to get them installed and initial impressions of lever shape and modulation feel good. We’ll get them bedded in and see how they shape up against the best out there.

TRP Slate T4

TRP’s 2-piece stainless/alu rotors are sold separately (along with adapters), and are available in 6 bolt or Centrelock designs in sizes 140mm, 160mm, 180mm and 203mm.

With the weight, price and details looking promising, we’re hoping these will stack up well. How will they perform against one of our hits from this year’s Dirt 100, the Shimano XT M8000 brakes? Let’s find out…

WEIGHT: (Lever, caliper, hose): 270g (front)

PRICE: Pre-bled brake kit (Lever, caliper, hose): £89.99 each end.
2-Piece rotors, 6 Bolt: £32.99 – £36.99, Centrelock: £33.99 – £39.99

www.shop.upgradebikes.co.uk

www.trpbrakes.com

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