The Essential Guide to Finding the Best Bike Brake + Reviews
In case you are on the lookout for the best bike brake, this paragraph will help you decide on an excellent quality model. Our research team focused on comparing the popular models on the market, based on the feedback received by customers and experts alike, as well as sales figures. The conclusion is that the Shimano MT200 Disc Brake Set is the model most deserving of your money at the moment. The first great thing about this product is that it comes as a set, so it includes a 3-finger brake lever, a hose, and a 2-piston brake caliper. As expected from a product created by Shimano, it offers excellent quality through and through, and the caliper comes already filled and bled. Made from high-quality materials, such as steel, aluminum, and resin, this set is guaranteed to help you control your bike like few other similar products can. If this model is out of stock, the next recommendation we have in line is the Wake Mountain Bike V Brakes Set.
Multiple features ensure that you will absolutely love this set. The One-Way-Bleeding system used provides quick maintenance, which is an important advantage when using a hydraulic model. The 2-piston design of the caliper also offers excellent deceleration and superior control.
Be aware of minor nuisances, such as a rear brake line that is too long and the presence of a single mounting option.
You can rest assured that Shimano always delivers, and this set is no exception to the rule. Including everything necessary for a brake system to work, it provides a smooth and silent operation, superior to the competition.
The system offered by Wake includes the brakes and the pads, so it is ideal for anyone looking for a complete set. Cyclists who are accustomed to a V-style brake system will find it an excellent option. The brakes are made from alloy and plastic, but they are durable and tough.
To get the best out of this set, make sure to replace the pads that are not in line, quality-wise, with the rest of the product.
If you ever need a V-style brake system to replace your old one, you should opt for this model, as it provides you with superior quality at a decent price. It is created with durability in mind, as well as versatility, so it will fit most bikes.
Also To Consider
This set includes two pairs of mountain bike brakes, but you may find them suitable for a road bike, as well. You will also get the required cables and hardware with your purchase. The alloy and plastic combination ensures that the brakes will be reliable for prolonged use.
The manufacturer doesn’t provide the necessary instructions, so you will have to find online tutorials to help you install them.
In case you don’t require anything fancy, and you would rather settle for a universal model that comes with a reasonable price tag, you should check out this set. It is delivered with all the needed hardware, and it’s a reliable option.
9 Best Bike Brakes (Updated Reviews) in 2021
If you are looking for a set of brakes for bike, you will soon realize that the market is flooded with products. That could be a downside and prevent you from choosing the most suitable product. We are here to help you with a list of critically-acclaimed products, along with their ups and downs.
- 1. Shimano MT200 Disc Brake Set
- 2. Wake Mountain Bike V Brakes Set
- 3. Boao Universal Bike Brakes
- 4. Alritz Bike Brake Pads Set
- 5. Hotop 4 Pairs Brake Blocks Set
- 6. RUJOI Bike Brakes Set
- 7. Hyacinth Premium Bike Brake Pads
- 8. RUJOI Bike Brake Kit
- 9. SHIMANO R451 Caliper Bicycle Brake
- Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions
1. Shimano MT200 Disc Brake Set
Shimano is a well-known brand that supplies cyclists with superior bike parts, so this brake set is no exception. Using a hydraulic system, it is reliable and offers high performance in terms of consistency and control. You will find in the package a 3-finger lever, an SM-BH59 hose, and a 2-piston caliper, already filled and bled.
Among the many bike front brakes you can find on the market, this model stands out through superior quality. The slim lever is made from steel, while the master cylinder is made from painted aluminum. Due to its design, it is a suitable option for most bikes.
The hydraulic disc caliper is silent and reduces the noise made by the pads when stopping your bike. Because of the One-Way-Bleeding system, you will notice that the brakes require little to no maintenance, while the 2-piston design guarantees optimal control and deceleration.
If you are looking for outstanding reliability, this hydraulic disc brake set from Shimano is right up your alley.
The 2-piston caliper is delivered already filled and bled, while the One-Way-Bleeding system is in place to ensure that you don’t need to invest a lot of maintenance.
You will discover that this set works with different bike types and models, and its versatility is among the aspects that highly recommends it.
Only high-quality materials were used, such as steel for the lever, aluminum for the caliper, and resin for the pads.
The rear brake line is designed too long for most builds, which means that you will have to shorten it somehow to make it work.
You will only get one mounting option with your purchase, which is not at all understandable since the set includes brakes for both the rear and the front wheel.
2. Wake Mountain Bike V Brakes Set
The previous set is not for every budget, and if money is tight, we recommend one of the cheap bike brakes available that have garnered many cyclists’ attention. From the get-go, it must be said that it is a V-brake design, something that might not sound as desirable as other products on the market. However, for some people, this is a familiar setup, which means that they are more inclined to purchase it.
To give you a feel of the overall measurements, here are some figures that might interest you. The arch size is 110 mm (or 4.3 inches) long, while the brake pads included are 55 mm (or 2.1 inches) long.
It must be noted that this set belongs to the large family of MTB bike brakes, which implies that it is tough and durable. Just holding the brakes in your hand will tell you that the overall quality surpasses what is expected from the price tag.
Unlike other models available at the moment, these brakes are easy to install, and many cyclists will find that an added plus.
As they are made from alloy and plastic, you might expect them to be lightweight and flimsy, but that isn’t the case; they feel tough and durable.
You will find brake pads included with your purchase, so, all in all, this set offers excellent value for the price.
If you ride a V-brake bike, you should encounter no issues with this brake set, as it is made to fit 99% of all bicycles of this type.
You will find no instructions included with the package, so you will have to search for online tutorials to see how to install them correctly.
Another downside is that the brake pads don’t appear to be of the same quality as the brakes, so you may need to invest in better ones.
3. Boao Universal Bike Brakes
This set is an excellent deal for the money since you get two pairs of brakes at a reasonable price. They are among the affordable bike brakes you can find right now, and their overall quality exceeds expectations. While they are introduced as mountain bike brakes, they can actually be used on road bikes and other types, as well.
Besides the two pairs of brakes, you will get two brake cables, two end caps for the cables, and six end ferrules, so you will have all the needed hardware at your disposal. In terms of specs, you should also know the arch is 4.3 inches in length, while the pad is 2.1 inches.
Durability is superior, as the brakes are made from alloy and plastic and appear tough enough to handle the most demanding challenges. The manufacturer advises that you check your bike for having the correct mounting hole for this type of brake before placing your order.
If you are looking for brakes that work on any type of bike, this set is ideal as it is universal and can be mounted on mountain bikes, road bikes, and BMX bikes without a problem.
You will get two pairs of brakes with their corresponding cables and all the required hardware, so you should not encounter any issues with missing parts.
For prolonged use, these brakes are made from tough materials, so you can expect this purchase to be a sound investment.
Buyers receive an excellent deal for the money, as the price is competitive while the advantages offered are superior.
There are no instructions included, so it is entirely up to you to learn how to install and adjust them properly.
The chances are that the hardware delivered in the package is already covered in rust, so you will have to either clean the pieces or buy others.
4. Alritz Bike Brake Pads Set
Anyone searching for a cheap bike brake solution that doesn’t disappoint should take a good look at this model. The set includes three pairs of brake pads, which work on V-brake bikes. Ensure that you know what type of bike you’re riding before making a purchase since confusions between V-brake and C-brake styles are quite common.
The rubber used for the brake pads is of superior quality, so you can expect a long lifespan. The rest of their construction is made from aluminum alloy, which, again, contributes to their more than decent durability. In case you need pads for your mountain bike brakes, you will find these ideal.
Excellent attention to detail was invested in manufacturing these brake pads. There are sand-guide grooves present on them so that they make sure that no damage will occur to the wheel rims. They are also designed to curve a little and follow the wheel construction.
You will like how the manufacturer thought of everything when putting together this set, as each of the pads included has its own hex nut and five spacers.
Buyers receive a hex wrench that helps with the easy installation and removal when you want to replace an old pair of brake pads.
The aluminum alloy used for the construction of the pads is durable and guarantees that they will have a long service life.
Another thing about these pads that will make users happy is the attention paid to the overall design created to ensure that the wheel and its rims won’t be damaged.
The nuts and washers included in the set may be too long for your bike, so make sure not to throw away the old ones when replacing the brakes.
You might have to sand them a little since they can give off a loud, squeaking sound when you use them for the first time.
5. Hotop 4 Pairs Brake Blocks Set
If you are looking for brake pads, this set is an excellent recommendation for your needs. In this pack, you will find four pairs of V-brake style pads. The pads come with all the necessary hardware, such as hex nuts and spacers.
Because of their curved design, these pads should protect your wheels during use. The pads are 2.76 inches in length, 0.39-0.55 inches in width, and 1.5 inches in height. You will notice right away that they are lightweight and highly portable. Whenever you plan a long trip, and you need to make sure that you have replacement parts with you, this set will do in a pinch.
Other aspects will also please you. The twill tanks created to withstand water leaking are there to ensure that you are able to stop your bike even when facing adverse weather. A combination of heavy-duty rubber and metal, they are durable and dependable.
The braking ability of these pads is superior, while their design ensures that no sand damage will occur to the wheel rims.
Rest assured that the quality offered is more than expected for the money, as only high-quality rubber and metal alloy was used in making them.
All the needed hardware is in place, and each pad is delivered with a hex nut and five spacers, which means that nothing is amiss when you want to install them.
These pads are versatile and fit most V-brake style bikes; you will be able to install them on most bicycles as a result.
An Allen wrench is supplied, but it is not adequate for tightening the nuts, so make sure you have other tools at your disposal.
Another thing you may notice is that the pads tend to be quite large, which means that they will rub against the wheels until they wear out a little.
6. RUJOI Bike Brakes Set
When you purchase this kit, you get four V-brake pads and two sets of screws to install them. The brake arms are made from aluminum alloy, so you can count on their overall durability and long service life. Because they are made for V-brake style bikes, it serves to know in advance what kind of bicycle you ride.
One thing that makes these brakes stand out from the crowd is the possibility to adjust with ease the tension in the arms. The brakes come with a spring inside, allowing you to make them sit perfectly in place so that you can enjoy optimal performance.
The pads are made with rubber, which means that you can count on their stopping power. Also, rubber pads are better for your wheels and don’t cause the usual wear and tear observed with other materials. They are universal and work for most bikes with V-brakes.
The complete kit includes four V-brake pads and two sets of screws, providing you with the required installation hardware.
High-quality materials make these brakes an excellent option for your needs, as the aluminum construction of the arms ensures that they will have a long life.
You can easily adjust the tension in the brake arms for maximum performance; the ease of using this feature is a plus.
The 55mm rubber used for the pads is thick and heavy-duty, therefore it doesn’t cause problems and damage for the bike wheels.
Buyers receive a universal set that works for most V-brake bikes.
You don’t get replacement lines with your purchase, so bear that in mind when you have to get rid of your old brakes.
Installing them isn’t exactly easy, and you must expect to invest some time and patience into making them work for your bike.
7. Hyacinth Premium Bike Brake Pads
These are affordable bike brake pads that will satisfy your need for a good braking system that will never let you down. For any bike brake pads, it is essential that a hard-wearing material is used. In this case, the manufacturer used a unique formula that combines a specific type of fiber with nitrile rubber.
This combination ensures extreme durability for the pads and is superior to commonly used rubber. Since you may depend on your brakes under challenging circumstances, investing in a good quality option is paramount.
An interesting aspect of this model is that it comes with additional safety features. For instance, on the side, you will notice three white lines. When the first one wears out, you are reminded that soon, you should consider replacing them. The second line disappears when the braking effect decreases, and the last is an ultimate warning that you must replace them immediately.
A lot of damage can occur to the wheel rims due to sand, mud, and debris, so the curved design of these pads ensures that such issues are limited.
You will find these brake pads to behave exceptionally well even if you ride in rainy or snowy weather, a performance not many other models can offer.
Proper drainage is assured by the way the pads are designed, which means that you can expect them to have a long life and protect the wheel rims, too.
Buyers can install these pads on most bikes, as they are designed to offer universal compatibility.
A particular combination of a type of fiber with nitrile rubber makes them more durable than others.
At best, the instructions are minimal, which means that users need to figure out how to install them on their own.
Be aware that this model is not meant for braking at high speeds, and it’s just average in performance overall.
8. RUJOI Bike Brake Kit
This set contains everything you need to equip your bike with a reliable braking system. The brake arms are made from aluminum alloy, so they present many useful characteristics, among which durability ranks high. You will find this set ideal for almost any V-brake style bike.
You will be able to adjust the brakes in such a manner that they will be kept in place as they should, without harming the wheels in any way. The tension is adjustable due to the spring present inside, so achieving the correct position is a no-brainer.
When it comes to brake pads, the thicker the rubber layer is, the better. In this case, you won’t find the standard 55mm rubber employed on the pads, but 72mm rubber, so you can rest assured that the pads will last for a long time. The no-noise operation is another great plus offered by this kit.
You can rely on these brakes as they are made from top-notch materials and offer excellent durability for the money.
A thick layer of 72mm rubber comes with the pads, which means you won’t notice signs of wear and tear anytime soon.
Just equally important, the thick rubber pads offer excellent braking power, and they won’t put a strain on the wheel rims.
When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to opt for universal brakes, and this set fits most V-brake style bikes without a glitch.
Placing the pads in the correct position is easy due to the presence of a spring inside that allows you to adjust the tension just as much as needed.
The cables don’t work for any bike, and you might find them unsuitable in length; getting other lines should solve this issue.
Some hardware pieces may prove unreliable, so making sure you have the correct screws at your fingertips is highly advised.
9. SHIMANO R451 Caliper Bicycle Brake
Shimano is a household name that needs no introduction, which is why you can expect optimal performance from this model. When you are shopping for road bike brakes, don’t forget to take a look at this product made by Shimano, as it’s built with the requirements of such a bike type in mind.
The caliper brake comes with a 57mm reach, which means that you get tire clearance that goes up to 32mm. It is a dual-pivot model, so it provides light action but superior stopping power at the same time. The arch proportions are thought in such a manner that quick linear response is supplied flawlessly.
Because of how this brake is built, friction is kept to a low level, providing excellent protection for the wheel rim. The material used for making this model is aluminum with an anodized finish that guarantees long-lasting performance.
With this caliper brake, you obtain maximum performance and longevity for this type of bike accessory, and you can rest assured of the soundness of your investment.
Shimano uses only top-notch materials to make its products, and the aluminum with an anodized finish used for this brake guarantees a long service life.
The adjustable toe-in shoes are another feature worth mentioning and contributing to the superior performance offered by the brake.
The maximum wheel clearance you get with this brake is 32 mm, which is more than what you can find in most products on the market.
Because of the dual-pivot construction, you can expect smooth operation and superior braking power.
The standard pads delivered are not of the same quality as the product, so replacing them is highly advisable.
You will also notice that the rear mounting bolt is longer than expected, and you will need to invest in a replacement.
Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
Having good brakes on your bike is of the utmost importance as they can make a difference in dangerous situations. In case you notice that your bike no longer has the stopping power it used to be, it means that the brakes might have to be replaced. To find the best bike brakes, take a look at the guidelines described below.
A good fit for your bike
When you read the descriptions offered by manufacturers on their products, make sure you compare the recommendations listed there with the type of bike you ride. Even if some models have the term ‘universal’ in their title, it could mean various things. For instance, a V-brake is a good option for bikes with this type of brake, but not for those working with a C-brake.
Another aspect to bear in mind is whether the manufacturer mentions the type of bike the brakes are meant for. The best mountain bike brakes might not work on your road bike, just as the best road bike brakes might not work for your mountain bike. Such things are essential for purchasing a good quality brake system that works.
The materials used for making the brakes
The primary role of bike brakes is to stop your bicycle at a moment’s notice and do so flawlessly. However, they cannot do that if they are made from flimsy material and don’t provide excellent stopping power. The brake arms should be made from a material that can withstand a lot of wear and tear.
Aluminum alloy is preferred because of its high durability. As for brake pads, rubber is, without a doubt, the correct choice. You will find that the best MTB bike brakes usually come equipped with thick rubber pads that can stop the bike dead in its tracks when you activate the braking system.
Another matter of importance must be mentioned here. Rubber pads do not have the same damaging effect as plastic models on the wheels and rims. That means that you won’t have to worry about your brakes ruining the wheels with enough usage.
Take a look at the way the pads are designed
You certainly want your brakes to stop your bicycle when needed, but not at the expense of your wheels and wheel rims. That’s why it’s highly recommended that you take a close look at how the pads are designed. They should present some grooves that allow water to go through. This way, you won’t experience issues when you want to use your brakes in rainy or snowy weather.
Also, the pads need to ensure that mud, sand, or debris doesn’t remain stuck between them and the wheel, as that will cause a lot of wear and tear. Small details count a lot, so make sure to pay attention to the overall pad design when shopping for the best road bike rim brakes.
Ease of installation
Most brakes don’t require a lot of effort when installing them on your bike, but it surely serves to have everything you need when you need to mount them on your bike. The best downhill mountain bike brakes should come with all the necessary hardware, and it’s even better if the manufacturer thinks of including the required tool to tighten the screws.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the different types of bike brakes?
While there are many different products you can find on the market, there are mainly two types of bike brakes you should know about: rim brakes and disc brakes.
Rim brakes use a system that presses against the wheel rim until the bike stops. The parts that come in contact with the rim are the brake pads. You will find this type of brakes mostly on BMX-style bikes and road bikes. The main advantages offered are the lightweight construction and ease of installation and maintenance. In this category, you will find caliper brakes and cantilever brakes.
Disc brakes represent the other large category. These brakes are mounted on the wheel hub, and they use a metal disc. A caliper rotates the disc, and with the help of brake pads, the rotor is brought to a stop. They can be mechanical – a wire activates the caliper pistons – or hydraulic – in which case, a special fluid is responsible for starting the pistons.
Q: How does a bike brake work?
While each of the brake types described above has a different way of stopping a bicycle, the main principle is the same. All of them come equipped with brake pads, which have the critical role of squeezing the part of the wheel on which they are mounted to provide stopping power.
The disc brakes you can find have a complex appearance compared to rim brakes. They have to be mounted on the wheel hub, and the pads put pressure on the disc so that you can stop the bike. You will notice that these brakes have levers and lines that connect to the calipers. When pressure is applied from the line, the caliper pistons are engaged, and the pads squeeze the disc. The friction makes the bike stop.
For rim brakes, the process is simpler. The brake pads come in direct contact with the wheel rim. When you activate the brake, the pads squeeze the rim and the friction – again – causes the bike to be brought to a halt.
Q: Should I get disc brakes or rim brakes?
Disc brakes are growing in popularity, and it seems like they will slowly replace rim brakes in most cases. However, this doesn’t mean that you should jump on the bandwagon just because disc brakes are trendy. Here are some important considerations for each type.
Rim brakes are lightweight, and they won’t burden your bike. They are more aerodynamic than their disc counterparts, and when it comes to repairs, they are definitely easier to deal with. Last but not least, they are inexpensive, so many people prefer them.
However, there are solid reasons for the popularity of disc brakes. To begin with, they provide more stopping power, and they are more reliable in rainy weather. Adjusting the brake pads and the stopping power is possible, and you won’t run the risk of heating your rims. As far as performance is concerned, it is clear that they are the winners.
Q: How much does it cost to replace brakes on a bicycle?
Replacing your bike brakes is a good idea when you notice signs of wear and tear on yours. No one likes squeaky bike brakes, and they can be a sign that they no longer have the stopping power they used to. Having good, reliable brakes is essential for your safety, so don’t postpone changing them.
The cost of replacing your brakes depends on two factors: the price of a new set of brakes and the price of one hour of labor at your local bike shop. New brakes have a wide price range, and they can cost as little as 20USD and as high as 150USD, if not more. An average price for one hour of labor at a bike shop is usually 30-35USD, so it’s easy to do the math.
A good idea would be to change the brakes yourself. Especially if you use inexpensive brakes, paying for a specialist to install them for you would double their price, if not more.
Q: Are hydraulic bike brakes better?
Disc brakes can be either mechanical or hydraulic, so you may naturally wonder which ones are best. Hydraulic models are considered high-end brakes, and the main advantage they present is that they work better and provide the highest stopping power you can expect. However, they are expensive, which is something to keep in mind.
They present the advantage of allowing you to make a bike brakes adjustment without any effort. As for the stopping power, the main reason for their superiority is that you have to apply a lower amount of pressure to obtain the desired effect. As a consequence, you will notice better modulation.
Another thing that may convince you that hydraulic models are better is the way they are built. The system is sealed, which means that you don’t have to worry about contaminants affecting the hydraulic fluid. As a result, the braking performance is maintained for a long time, so such brakes are a sound investment.