The TRP Spyre Disc Brake Gets an Update, More Pad Adjustment

Almost a year ago, we did our first ride on the TRP Spyre dual piston mechanical disc brake and wrote this lengthy review, but quite a lot has changed in the last year.

Unfortunately both the Spyre and Spyre SLC (carbon arm) were recalled last December in a voluntary recall (which does not mean it’s optional for consumers, just to be clear, but means TRP was not forced to recall the brakes by the CPSC). TRP’s  Spyre brake replacements have since been shipped out, and the carbon arm Spyre SLC replacement brakes are shipping now. But what has changed with the brake?

At Frost Bike 2014, we took a look at the replacement brakes (we’re also testing a set now) and talked with TRP’s Lance Larrabee and David Biehler to get the low-down on the new brakes. The recall-related change was to redesign the ramps with larger grooves and ball bearings so that the bearings cannot be dislodged, even with the brake pads fully worn or removed. This change is an internal change that’s not visible to the user.

But how can you tell if your Spyre brakes are the new ones? There’s two ways. The outboard Torx bolt that connects the swing arm to the caliper (seen here) is gone. That bolt also obscured the deeper 3mm bolt that handled pad adjustment. Now, as you can see in the photo below, the 3mm bolt to adjust the brake pad is clearly labeled, and it’s now perfectly clear what tool is needed and which direction pushes the pad closer to the rotor.

The TRP Brakes' post-recall dual piston Spyre now has two adjustable pads, and clearer adjustment instructions. The confusing Torx hole to hide the 3mm hex adjustment bolt is gone. - Frost Bike 2014. © Cyclocross Magazine

The TRP Brakes’ post-recall dual piston Spyre now has two adjustable pads, and clearer adjustment instructions. The confusing Torx hole to hide the 3mm hex adjustment bolt is gone. – Frost Bike 2014. © Cyclocross Magazine

But TRP Brakes didn’t stop there with its improvements to the Spyre. They also added an adjustment bolt to the inboard pad, making both pads adjustable, as found in Avid’s BB7 mechanical disc brake line-up. Moving the pads in or out is not quite a tool-free adjustment, like you might be able to do with a fingernail on the BB7 in a pinch during a ride or race, but the 3mm Allen key is arguably more ubiquitous than the Torx T25 bolt found on the inboard pad dial of the BB7. The Spyre now retails for $89.99 per wheel including rotors, $10 more than when we first saw them last April.

TRP Targets Fat Bikes with Spyke Dual Piston Mechanical Disc Brake

If you think fat is fun and enjoy riding 4″ tires, TRP Brakes wants you to enjoy the same dual piston braking power of the Spyre, but on your fat bike with its new Spyke mechanical disc brake. Are these brakes fat bike specific? No, they should work fine on mountain bikes should you crave the simplicity of mechanical disc brakes, but they were created because fat bike riders wanted a mechanical disc brake that would perform in the coldest conditions without any fear of hydraulic failure.

TRP Brakes brings the Spyre to Fat Bikes (and mtbs) in the form of the Spyke, with a different cable pull for V-brake levers - Frost Bike 2014.  © Cyclocross Magazine

TRP Brakes brings the Spyre to Fat Bikes (and MTBs) in the form of the Spyke, with a different cable pull for V-brake levers – Frost Bike 2014. © Cyclocross Magazine

Is your local bike store out of stock of Spyre disc brakes? Don’t be tempted to grab a TRP Spyke. TRP modified the Spyre to have a cable pull that was compatible with a mountain bike or fat bike’s V-brake levers. Don’t try to fit these to your drop bar bike unless you’re using STI levers or Double Tap levers with a Problem Solvers cable pull adapter or running V-brake compatible brake levers like the Cane Creek Drop V.

TRP Brakes has a new lever for its Fat Bike Spyke mechanical disc brake - Frost Bike 2014.  © Cyclocross Magazine

TRP Brakes has a new lever for its Fat Bike Spyke mechanical disc brake – Frost Bike 2014. © Cyclocross Magazine

Brakes for Retro Gravel Bikes

Think TRP only has cantilever, mini-V and disc brakes for your off-road, drop bar adventures? Talking dirt with Lance Larrabee, he mentioned that the long-reach caliper RG957 brake is one of their most popular brakes, especially with the gravel crowd. Owners of long-reach caliper road bike frames often reach for this brake to accommodate fatter tires for dirt and gravel adventures, or full fenders. They also could be a nice solution should you have or find an old steel frame made for 27″ wheels (gravel bikes before they were “invented”) and want to run 700c wheels and fat tires.

TRP Brakes' most popular brake, although not new, might be the RG957, which is a long-reach caliper braker for road bikes built for fatter tires (think gravel) or fenders - Frost Bike 2014.  © Cyclocross Magazine

TRP Brakes’ most popular brake, although not new, might be the RG957, which is a long-reach caliper braker for road bikes built for fatter tires (think gravel) or fenders – Frost Bike 2014. © Cyclocross Magazine

The RG957 comes in three colors (silver, black and an Ultegra-like grey), feature forged TT6 aluminum arms, an alloy rim cartridge brake pad in adjustable pad holders, and pivots on Teflon® bushings. $179.99 per pair, and 169g per wheel.

More info: trpbrakes.com

See more cyclocross gear, bikes and other goodies from Frost Bike 2014