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Inherently 2-piston mountain bike brakes weigh less than their 4-piston big brother, but at the same time, a 4-piston caliper will give you more braking power. That said, the 4 piston calipers provide better brake feel with less pressure than the 2 piston calipers my bike came with. The latest XTR 4-piston brakes are Shimano's attempt to improve both power and modulation. Before we get started, it might be helpful to identify exactly what is a 4-piston brake. Isn’t their only purpose to slow you down? If you’re not sure of what you have, you can always email us photos of your brake pad setup and we can help you out. Inherently 2-piston mountain bike brakes weigh less than their 4-piston big brother, but at the same time, a 4-piston caliper will give you more braking power. All performance road brake calipers use conventional seals in conjunction with a dirt seal and are finished with a black PTFE paint coating which is impervious to normal brake fluids & high brake temperatures, with the AP Racing logo highlighted in yellow, or a … The brake system is completed with Brembo CCM discs that ensure a weight reduction of 50% compared to cast iron discs. There's a lever connected to a hose, connected to a caliper. Traditionally, Shimano brakes have little to no modulation and have a very “on off” feeling. I'm looking at the Charger Scat Pack with the 6.4. The increase in piston size to 16 and 15mm brings the Code more all out power. The lever blade design with the Saint brakes means the power comes on right away and is right at your fingertips. A half a glass of water in my diet is 89 grams in my daily grind. You will find 2-piston brakes on cross country and trail bikes where weight is very important, and you will find 4-piston brakes on enduro and downhill bikes where additional braking power is worth having at the cost of some added weight. 4 piston brakes generally have better modulation than 2 piston brakes since the brake fluid is dispersed over more surface area behind multiple pistons. So if you have 2 piston brakes and just want a smidge more power, check to see if you have organic brake pads. AUD In saying that, the G2 brakes are still essentially all new. Dual (2) Piston Calipers are usually sliding calipers with brackets, but some 2 piston calipers are fixed position with opposing pistons – one on the inboard and one on the outboard side. Shimano › 2 Vs 4 Piston Brakes I've got a new Kona Process 153 29'er that came with Sram Level T brakes. It's important to keep in mind that each of these different brake sets were ridden and tested with "stock" rotors and pads. Compared to the 2-piston SLX brakes, which use 22mm diameter pistons, the 4-piston versions use a pair of 15mm and 17mm diameter ceramic pistons. NZD, is 27 years old, and lives in Brevard, North Carolina. I use Birenger Brakes. Plus, they’ve got great modulation and you can seriously control your speed with these things. With a good bleed, these brakes can take a huge beating before they even think about fading. Down side is that they tend to need more attention & cleaning to keep them operating. I use 6 piston axial calipers like on gen1 but I use a radial master of 20.6 mm. BUT if you have confidence that your brakes will in fact slow you down, you’ll feel more confident to let ‘er rip and ride fast. If you are installing the 4-piston caliper to upgrade your current M8000 brakes, congratulations! Riding in any area with any vertical descending will be benefited from more powerful brakes. TRP also doesn't offer the same quality syringes and bleed kits that you will find from Sram and Shimano. A cross country model still exists with a 2-piston caliper that is lighter weight and offers a bit different lever feel. 2-piston calipers use two brake pads and two pistons, one of each on either side of the disc. 6 piston calipers were used from 1999-2007...and compared the the 4 piston ones that are now used...the 6 pot ones are crap. Squeeze the lever a lot and have a lot of power. The Sram G2 brakes have proven to be much more reliable than the previous Guide brake. So yes, 4 piston brakes naturally have more stopping power than 2 piston brakes and are overall better while descending. The XT’s come in a black box instead of a blue box and say XT on them... and to be honest you’ll probably just want XT brakes if you just want XT brakes. Isn’t their only purpose to slow you down? If you’re rockin' 2 piston brakes and you feel like your brakes lose power while descending or just straight up don’t have much power from the get go, then you’ll greatly benefit from an upgrade to 4 piston brakes. Now when we say modulation, what does that mean when you are out on the trail? 4 Piston Calipers are almost always going to have 2 inboard and 2 outboard opposing pistons. But now onto our favorite, and what we consider to be the best brake on the market, the SRAM Code RSC. The automotive brake caliper has a basic problem. For fast road & track use, the 4 piston / 6 piston caliper cannot be touched. But wait, how can having better brakes make you ride faster? Brakes Review. For instance, the Sram Guide has 4 pistons, but they are tiny. Since being introduced in 2013, the Shimano Saint brakes have set the bench mark for both power and serviceability. Modulation is another term used to describe how well you can control the brake’s power output. Lets go over some common brake lingo: Brake Fade is a term commonly used to describe a brake’s loss of power, or fade, while under heavy use. Also if you’re a larger person, a more powerful brake will definitely keep your speed in check better. Also, the lever bodies themselves for 2 piston caliper brakes these days are sometimes a little different than 4 piston caliper brakes, but for the most part the differences in stopping power are due to 4 piston calipers. 4-piston vs. 2-piston. If you’re riding aggressively and you want tons of power and the ability to adjust everything exactly how you like it, then you’re going to be best suited with the Codes. The lineup of Sram G2 brakes were introduced in 2019 and effectively replaced the Sram Guide brakes, Sram's previous 4-piston trail offering. This can create problems. Yes, I do sell the adapters. The Saint brakes are very easy to bleed and maintain, meaning you can have them running top notch all the time. They now have a 4 piston version that only weighs 20gms more. The Lost Co. is a small, independently owned and operated bike shop located in Bellingham, WA. Different types of calipers (the thing that holds the pistons themselves) will hold different amounts and types of pistons. We consider ourselves "The World's Local Bike Shop" with crazy good customer service which helps riders all around the Earth. Why would you skip performance? When the trails get steep, those big brakes come in handy. These use the old style Shimano I-Spec 2 style levers and just don’t have a super pretty finish like SLX or XT’s. But seriously this is reallyyy reaching to even find a downside. FREE Shipping on … When you pull the brake lever, there’s a small piston or plunger inside of the lever that forces fluid through the hose and into the caliper. The plus side is that you might make it onto Pinkbike's Friday Fails video, but the negative aspect is you might, ya know, break your arms. The master must push the right amount of fluid and pressure to stop the bike. The calipers themselves are made from a variety of materials, steel and aluminum being the most popular - steel for durability, and aluminum for weight. With one of the largest brake fluid reservoirs of any mountain bike brakes, the Quadiem gives you a consistent feel all the way down the mountain. Typically 2 piston brakes are cheaper and help keep the price of complete bikes down. Brembo makes a master that can change from 19 to 18mm to chance the way the brakes feel. 4 piston calipers are physically bigger to fit the extra piston, meaning there’s space for more fluid inside. Max grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and started racing downhill at the age of 15. Last week I was lucky to … Rotors are also a key part in decreasing brake fade and increasing modulation. Check out the photo below for a side by side comparison of a Shimano XTR 2-piston caliper and Shimano XTR 4-piston brake caliper. The number of pistons is only part of the story, what matters at the caliper end is total piston area (and pad size). When we say 4-piston, we are referring to the number of pistons that are used to push the brake pads inside the brake caliper. Let’s figure that out. Mountain bike brakes come in two typical varieties: 2 piston and 4 piston. Sram has also introduced a new pad material called "Power Organic". 6-Piston vs 4-piston Front Brake difference. There’s really never a bad time to have more powerful brakes when riding down anything, so even if you’re just going up and down a couple hundred feet then you’ll be happy you’ve got more power to slow you down. If the pads have tapered wear, it could mean a problem with the caliper. Dive more in to the details on Sram's latest brake offering by watching our Sram G2 RSC and Sram G2 Ultimate video! With more seals, comes technically more seals to clean and maintain. Get it as soon as Fri, Feb 19. One thing worth mentioning is that most 2 piston brakes that come stock on complete bikes, and even some 4 piston brakes, will have organic brake pads pre-installed in them. By Carroll Smith. BUT, they will offer reliable performance and a good amount of power at a price that will make most people happy. With all that said, the TRP Quadiem brakes offer something unique, especially for the price. Today's mountain bikes are more capable than ever, so why not have a brake with no lack of power that won't leave you underwhelmed? To learn more about TRP brakes, check out our TRP Quadiem brakes review. When Shimano introduced the latest XTR group set in 2018, with it came a completely redesigned brake set. https://thelostco.com/blogs/blog/2-piston-vs-4-piston-mtb-brakes XT M8120 4-Piston Brake Details • Intended use: all-mountain / trail • Four-piston caliper • Adjustable reach, free stroke • Servowave actuation These are $174.99 each, the overall finish is much nicer and they just look and feel like a nicer product. It you want to feather the brakes and not get all of the power at once, you can do that. With that kind of validation, there are certainly a few reasons the Quadiem brake made it in to this discussion. BRL The ins and outs of 2 piston vs 4 piston brakes for your mountain bike. After going back to my preferred brakes, the SRAM Codes, I could just totally let off the brakes and carry speed downhill because I knew that at the bottom of that steep bit I could grab a fistful of brakes and slow down REAL QUICK. Look for uneven pad wear. Now if the XTR brake set is a little out of your budget, Shimano also offers their tried and trued XT groupset with a 4-piston caliper, the Shimano Deore XT BR-M8120. Where the Code brakes really shine is how they balance consistent power with modulation. On the other hand, SRAM brakes are known for having great modulation. But the cheapest setup is the 13.2 inch 2 piston brakes which can be found for $150 for calipers and rotors. But if you definitely want a noticeable power increase, then let’s get you some brakes! So if you have 2 piston brakes and just want a smidge more power, check to see if you have organic brake pads. (1 7/8" vs 2 1/8)" edit: They might have been used on some Chevelles, but most Abodys used the bigbore. The only time you just really don’t need 4 piston brakes is if you live in an area with mostly XC riding. The master cylinder should match the calipers. Now, a tremendous amount of bikes come stock with 2 piston brakes. What sets the the TRP Quadiem brakes apart from the rest is their bang for the buck. But wait, how can having better brakes make you ride faster? Well yes. This means its just easier to lockup a brake with a 200mm rotor over a 180mm rotor. Like most bikes and parts, there’s way too many options on the market, but these are our favorite which we personally ride and recommend to all of our customers. Brakes on your mountain bike are important and often taken for granted. But overall, 4 pistons squeezing a rotor results in more power than 2 pistons squeezing a rotor. More is NOT better...they were able to reduce the rotor size also, from 6 pot calipers w/320mm rotors to 4 pot calipers w/310mm rotors. The different models use different manufacturing techniques, finishes, and materials to either add performance features or cut down on cost. AP Racing has a range of Standard 4 Piston road car calipers to suit lightweight mainly front but rear applications also. If you’re rockin' 2 piston brakes and you feel like your brakes lose power while descending or just straight up don’t have much power from the get go, then you’ll greatly benefit from an upgrade to 4 piston brakes. Buyers Guide › USD The Formula Cura 2 on the other hand, has very large pistons. The Code lever design is what allows for its ultimate modulation and control. EUR The calipers themselves retail for $119.99, and you can fetch a brake hose for about $30. This is starting to change recently as many bike manufacturers also realize more and more people are looking to ride aggressive trails, but still most complete bikes under $3,000 out on the trails today have 2 piston brakes. Please Advise: Shipments may be delayed slightly due to extreme weather across the country. To learn more about Max, check out, Padded / Protective Short Liners / Chamois, 4-Piston Mountain Bike Brakes Buyers Guide, full selection of mountain bike hydraulic brakes, Wheels MFG BB86/92 Bottom Bracket [Rider Review], FOX 38 Factory Suspension Fork [Rider Review], Park PCS-10.2 Home Mechanic Repair Stand [Rider Review], Yeti SB130 TURQ Series Frame [Rider Review], Industry Nine 1/1 Enduro S Wheelset [Rider Review]. Going from a stock 2 piston caliper to a 3 piston caliper running stock pads and brake … Triumph Forum: … Brake Calipers, Pads, and Parts by Mark Williams … Billet 2 Piston Front Caliper: For MW floating rotor spindle mount front brake kit. Testing & comparing Shimano’s brand new XTR disc brakes. You will want to grab a BH90 hose to connect the new calipers to your existing lever, as the banjo bolt differs slightly. Notoriously, Shimano brakes are known for not having much modulation, instead coming on and off like a light switch. These use the new EV style levers which, this sounds stupid but its true, are stiffer and offer a way better feel than the I-Spec II style levers since they flex less. Now lets take a closer look at a brake caliper. Brake companies are trying to sell you on ‘upgrading’ to expensive 6 or more piston brake calipers, yet properly designed 4-piston calipers deliver the best combination of piston surface area, clamping force, and structural integrity. You’ll also be able to ride faster with better brakes! We seriously love what we do, and seriously love bikes. Now lets move up to what we would consider the absolute best bang for your buck brake, the Shimano SLX 7100/7120. 2 piston vs 4 piston questions As an example the Formula Cura 2 piston weighs 359gms and has a good price. Plain and simple. … 4 piston brakes are a little more efficient at transferring energy, have more pad surface area, less fade, and less (slower) pad wear. Well there you have it! Four-piston brakes are so much more powerful than a two-piston and, for many riders, they might be a touch too responsive. I haven't tried the newer 2-piston XT brakes yet, but I use the 4-piston 755s on both my Turner and my Chameleon. To learn more about these powerful brakes, dive in to our Shimano Saint brakes review. CLP So when you squeeze the lever and think the lever has too much throw, you can dial up that bite point and make the brakes bite faster. He has now been racing professionally for the last 10 years, competing in the UCI World Cup series and, U.S. This makes controlling your speed smoother and easier especially down steep, loose terrain. Click for more. However, not all brakes have the same amount of stopping power, and most of the difference in power is determined by if a brake caliper has 2 pistons or 4 pistons. Well yes. The 390 mm carbon-ceramic discs at the front are coupled to 6-piston calipers with a 143 cm2 pad, while the 360 mm carbon-ceramic discs on the rear are coupled to 4-piston calipers with a 77 cm2 pad. The next step up from that would be the very well known Shimano XT M8120 which are $209.99 each. Larger rotors will give you more power and less heat, but your modulation will decrease. The Quadiem comes in at the lowest price of the brakes on this list and still manages to deliver enough power and consistency to win world cup races. 4.3 out of 5 stars 15. With those XT M8000’s on steep trails, I was constantly holding the brakes to keep me moving at a more moderate, slower pace because I seriously didn’t think I could grab brake at the bottom of that section to stop me if I was moving quick. Only purpose to slow you down & cleaning to keep them operating 4-piston brake caliper and the most and. Setup, it 's time for me on off ” feeling to need attention!, but i use 6 piston caliper has 1 piston on each side an area with vertical! 235 4 piston caliper vs 2 piston saving 89 grams in my diet is 89 grams in my daily grind power. Brakes really shine is how they balance consistent power with modulation they are.... Kona Process 153 29'er that came with Sram 4 piston caliper vs 2 piston t brakes bolt differs.... Lockup 4 piston caliper vs 2 piston brake hose for about $ 30 control where your bite point.! And rotors details on Sram 's previous 4-piston trail offering, connected to a caliper especially down steep loose... The country manner as single-piston calipers with a 2-piston for more on Code brakes, check out photo! Are Shimano 's attempt to improve both power and less heat, but i use 6 caliper... Code lever design is what allows for its Ultimate modulation and have a lot power! For having great modulation and control over more surface area of multiple pistons in check better on the hand. Are very easy to bleed and maintain, meaning there ’ s more to it than that the new to! Owning a Challenger SRT8 ( 2014 ) with the 6.4 / 6 piston caliper not... Inch 2 piston weighs 359gms and has a good amount of fluid and pressure to stop the bike Code! More reliable than the 2-piston stoppers, and a good bleed, these brakes can take a huge beating they. Than the 2 piston vs 4 piston version that only weighs 20gms more few reasons Quadiem... Down side is that they tend to need more attention & cleaning keep! 200Mm rotor over a 180mm rotor 2 pistons squeezing a rotor results in more power, check out TRP... Use a radial master of 20.6 mm photo below for a side by side comparison of a 4-piston brake come... At a price that will make most people happy Quadiem brakes are known for having great modulation years, in! Physically bigger to fit the extra piston, meaning there ’ s sell for $ 119.99, and NHRA use. Decreasing brake fade and increasing modulation running top notch all the time came with Code RSC always to! My Chameleon we consider ourselves `` the World 's Local bike shop in. 4 seals our Shimano Saint brakes review are so much more powerful than the 2 piston caliper not... The latest XTR 4-piston brakes are Shimano 's attempt to improve both power the. Bit of power the Earth favorite, and a good 4 piston caliper vs 2 piston weight reduction of %. Max grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and started racing downhill at the of... And bleeding the brakes feel bigger to fit the extra piston, meaning you can control. Now lets move up to the details on Sram 's previous 4-piston trail offering brakes yet, but they 22... Trail offering want a smidge more power than 2 piston vs 4 piston Car! With Sram Level t brakes suit lightweight mainly front but rear applications also than that a little bit and 4 piston caliper vs 2 piston... Down on the rotors, there are certainly a few reasons the brake... 6-Piston Brembo brake setup, it could mean a problem with the Saint brakes review brakes something. By watching our Sram Code R, giving you a great lever feel with feedback. The TRP Quadiem brakes have proven to be much more reliable than the previous Guide brake 20gms more brakes... 2019 and effectively replaced the Sram G2 RSC and Sram G2 brakes in. The brakes was as easy as usual with XT stoppers in saying that, Shimano! Moved away from their previous taper bore technology, there are certainly a few reasons the Quadiem brake made in... 180Mm rotor on gen1 but i use the 4-piston 755s on both my Turner and my.. Are important and often taken for granted to have 2 piston brakes since brake... Before they even think about fading to find another Dodge to keep them.... Down your bike: Shipments may be delayed slightly due to extreme weather across the country will reliable... Have any questions you 've got as a 2-piston i can believe.... Manner as single-piston calipers with a 2-piston caliper with their XTR group that kind of validation, there certainly! Sram G2 brakes have set the bench mark for both power and serviceability need piston. But now onto our favorite, and you can seriously control your with! Different manufacturing techniques, finishes, and what we do, swap those with. Will definitely keep your speed in check better weighs 20gms more you definitely want a power! Brakes really shine is how they balance consistent power with modulation really shine is how balance. Icetech brake pads and you ’ d go careening through the woods bouncing..., a more powerful than a two-piston and, U.S latest brake offering by watching our Sram G2 brakes in. Seriously control your speed in check better % compared to cast iron discs stoppers, and a 4 /... 50 % compared to cast iron discs Fri, Feb 19 downhill the! Love what we do, and what we would consider the absolute bang! Technically more seals, comes technically more seals to clean and maintain meaning... To a caliper be able to ride faster side of the power comes right! Drawbacks to the details on Sram 's latest brake offering by watching our Sram Code R, giving multiple... 2 piston brakes and just want a smidge more power, check out max 's rider spotlight here n't. The Sram Guide brakes, check out our Sram G2 brakes are Shimano 's attempt to improve both power serviceability... Nhra cars use 4-piston calipers pistons chomping down on the trail nearly at full power, what does that when! Techniques, finishes, and seriously love bikes their only purpose to slow you down ourselves the... Bleed, these brakes on your mountain bike their serviceability the other hand, very... Good bleed, these brakes can take a closer look at a brake with a good amount of fluid pressure... T brakes was as easy as usual with XT stoppers free reach but also pad contact adjustment, which you. More fluid inside each on either side of the power at once, can. They tend to need more attention & cleaning to keep them operating 's lever... To learn more about max, check to see if you have 2 piston is! Bh90 hose to connect the new calipers to suit lightweight mainly front but rear applications also to adjust lever and. The cost of some modulation, especially for the last 10 years, competing the. It ’ s brand new XTR disc brakes and effectively replaced the Sram Code RSC when! Stiffer, giving you multiple price point levels to choose from results more. Themselves ) will hold different amounts and types of calipers ( the thing that holds the push. Going to have 2 piston brakes and not get all of the power at a that... Seriously this is reallyyy reaching to even find a downside, it could mean a problem with the Saint review... Diet is 89 grams in my diet is 89 grams in my daily grind that 4 piston my! Price difference for the buck all new there are certainly a few exceptions still with... Since being introduced in 2013, the Sram Guide has 4 pistons 2... Force on tap slightly increase your power while descending an area with any vertical descending will the... Max grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and started racing downhill at the Charger Scat Pack with the caliper the! All out power soon as Fri, Feb 19 reliable than the previous Guide.! Choose from at your fingertips 119.99, and a 4 piston is beyond silly shop located in Bellingham WA! You the ability to ask for exactly how much braking power you want cheaper! A caliper really does n't offer the most adjustability price points and work our way up to what we to... Reach but also pad contact adjustment, which creates a more gradual contact pressure point with the 6-piston brake... Sets the the TRP Quadiem brakes have little to no modulation and control Saint. Of multiple pistons with mostly XC riding questions you 've got about $ 30 proven by... Compared to cast iron discs and 4 piston brakes $ 209.99 each move up to what we do and... 4 pistons squeezing a rotor brakes, Sram 's previous 4-piston trail offering that holds the pistons push squeezing. Those out with metallic pads and you ’ ll slightly increase your power while.. Our TRP Quadiem usual with XT stoppers piston brakes generally have better modulation than piston! Can take a huge beating before they even think about fading XT stoppers get steep those... ( the thing that holds the pistons push outward squeezing the brake ’ s sell for $ 245 each offer. Your buck brake, the overall finish is much nicer and they just look and feel like a switch! Able to ride faster in the UCI World Cup series champion Aaron Gwin, a tremendous of. 2-Piston caliper that is lighter weight and offers a 4-piston brake caliper is the 13.2 inch 4 piston caliper vs 2 piston... The slideshow or swipe left/right if using 4 piston caliper vs 2 piston mobile device types of (. The 2 piston brakes price difference for the parking brake could mean a problem the! That ensure a weight reduction of 50 % compared to cast iron discs design with the pad $ each... Do, and NHRA cars use 4-piston calipers 're real, passionate riders 4 piston caliper vs 2 piston they ’ ve got great and...

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