TRP Spyke Dual piston mechanical caliper 7 and then back to them for 3 months.

I first posted the review on March 29, 2018, but since then I have more tell, and I improved the review, now in 2019

Assembly:

When attaching the housing to chainstay make sure to account for housing movement, when going through travel, I had to only use one zip hook, and use a zip tie halfway on the chainstay to avoid the linkage movement to case braking.

Pros:

  • Easy pad adjustment
  • The Spyke brakes offer one finger braking, as powerful as the Shimano m615 brake, but without the issues of leaks and impossible to get seals(without contacting Shimano).The Pad mud gives protection against stones and dirt, so stores can’t interfere the pad/piston movement, So this is a great feature.But like all brakes they only give protection for this, rotors and the inside caliper is exposed, so I still get sand &dirt in there in wet conditions, there is no way to protect the pad surface, things will get in the rotor and can get stuck and make noises, so to prevent crunchy brakes after ride, spray water on the in to the caliper, I do this in shower.
  • The pads are held in place by a threaded pin, with a clip, which makes maintenance easier.
  • Smart bolt & pin hold the pads securely in place.
TRP Spyke_2861

Not Pro but not Con:

This might be a con for kids, or people with very weak fingers. not an issue I have, at least not now.

With the Spyke caliper, the lever is noticeably harder to press than with hydraulics, than a hydraulic brake, due to the stiff return spring. I noticed I my fingers got fatigued from braking after an ca 4-hour ride, but I rode so hard that I could not even pull a manual. After 7 months in March 2018, I Noticed my fingers got very fatigued by braking, I think this was due to braking a lot when riding on grocery rounds between several shops, and to home, a lot of stopping for traffic and,  but I went back to hydraulic brake, and I was less fatigued.
But I am pretty sure most people will get used to the heavier lever feel, I went back to hydraulic brakes for a while, but Shimano brakes gave me trouble, so I came back to TRP Spyke in 2019, and I was much stronger, and the heavier lever feel was not a problem anymore.

I have been back on TRP Spyke for several months.

I have several of these calipers, due ordering from one shop and it going slow so I ordered from another, but it was not a mistake cus of those barrel adjusters, good I have spares, but I need proper barrel adjuster.

This means I had to take barrel adjuster form a un used caliper and put it on the one on the bike.

I found a video showing how to reduce the pull force:

But I recommend to stay away from modifying the brakes, I don’t know how safe this would be, and it voids the warranty. I think it’s pointless to do it.

Cons:

  • can’t remove brake pads from the top or without removing the wheel.
  • The barrel adjuster snapped on one of the brakes, I touched accidentally hit my hand on the barrel adjuster and it just snapped off, none of the other snapped off yet. Good, I had spares brakes. but the barrel adjuster is clearly weak, it was quite soft, A crash could probably damage it snap it.
TRP Spyke Snapped Barrel adjuster_0001_DxO

The bolts have quite good tolerances at the head, tool fit tighter and with much less play than with shimano bolts. Butt eventually some of the bolts got rounded off slightly, but the tolerances are not perfect with some of the tools I used, which is important, I used fresh park tool Allen keys, which don’t have the highest tolerances, most tools have similar tolerances, if the fit was tighter it would wear slower, but this might also be a material issue, I don’t know which alloy is used for the bolts. the bolt was loosened and tightened over 20+ times over from the end of summer of 2017 to March 2018. but the tightest fit was with TengTools bits, it was great, minimal play, any tighter it would be too tight,.

  • The barrel adjuster on the caliper is weak, can’t handle the rear suspension. I managed to damage another barrel adjuster, this ttime not by hitting it with my hand, but due to just the rear suspension damaging the threads, and bending the barrel adjuster where the threads are slightly.

The threads were damaged, they were bent, had bumps, and were not turning properly, so I had take one from another un-used rear derailleur . Once I hit my hand on another barrel adjuster which resulted in it snapping in half. So I am sure if you get a hard impact on the barrel adjuster then it could snap off. The bolt does not seem to handle the suspension movement that moves the housing rocking the barrel adjuster damaging it, at least that’s my theory.

Still need a proper pic of the damaged barrel adjuster:

which would be placed here.

not so great unboxing:

Verdict:

Brake mounted and centred
On Nicolai/Geometron G1 Brake mounted and centred
180mm rotor
Hope Tech Boost conversion kit
2 rotor spacers used
No driveside spacer.

I eventually got strong in my fingers, and the stiffer lever feel was not a problem, this is a good caliper with one major flaw, the barrel adjuster is weak, fix that and you got a the whole package.

You really have to look after these brakes, you have to check if the pad adjustment is too loose, and add Loctite 243(or similar) if it is, which is easy to do, and does not take long to do, I check every single week, for some this might be too much hassle, for me it’s not a deal breaker.

TRP ML930 mechanical lever 5 months review

The lever body has visible flex while braking, But I can’t notice it while braking.

TRP offers a carbon version of this lever, which is ML940.

https://trpbrakes.com/category.php?productid=1016&catid=184

Pros

  • better ergonomics than Spyke lever, it got a rounder profile, not as great as Shimano’s shape.
  • Excellent barrel adjuster, it fits well into my fingers and makes it very easy to adjust the wire tension.
  • Lighter than the ML800 Spyke levers
  • Hinged mount for easy removal
  • Rech adjustment so these levers will work well for a kids bike.
  • I have these levers on both of my fuel ex 29ers, and they the levers on both survived crashes, on one it survived over the bar crash, where the bike landed parked upsidedownThe brake on the other bike like it survived a fall about 1 meter from a concrete wall.

Cons

  • Flex in the lever body when braking hard, Which also is present in the Spyke levers.
  • I could never get the reach adjustment bolt to fit securely for long, after some days the bolt would come loose, although I used Loctite 243 I think this is due to the flex in the lever body when braking hard, So I had to add Loctite often.
  • When the levers were new they were a significant amount of up & down play in the lever, which also is present in the Spyke levers, which increased over time. The metal bushings had some wear too, on the top and on the inside, which also contributed to the increased play, but there was significant play from the beginning, due to the bad tolerances, there was a small gap between the bushings and the lever body. The video below shows lever play after 5 months of use, but it was pretty much the same from the beginning.If you ride hard and the brake lever is pressed slightly at an angle due to the play it feels rough. All could easily be avoided if TRP had made it to a tighter tolerance, and used bearings or bushings, for the lever puller.But I have not found another mechanical brake lever that has these features.

 

 

 

 

 

  • the use of rivet for wire puller was a bad choice, it causes fast wear, and more play, than when they were new, and it already had a lot of play, In my opinion, bearings  or bushings would be a better solution. after some weeks of use the lever made some noises, due to the wear, I had to lube the moving parts, it kept getting worse, I continued to lube it regularly.

 

 

 

 

 

 


TRP ML 930 levers fitted on a 800mm Race Face Sixc handlebar, I have them setup 3cm from the grips.

A closer look at the components the Lever is put together with:

The return spring

Lever blade with all parts installed as it would be in the lever body. I managed to do some minor damage to the bolt, in a crash.

Clearly visible damage caused by play in the wire puller, there was significantly more play, in after few months of use, it was a bad choice to use rivets for the wire puller.

whole lever blade assembly: DU FLANGE bushings o lever, return spring, bolt & axle.

Weight vs more reliable reach adjustment. 

 

 

 

 I can’t call the M930 an upgrade or better than the  Spyke levers, the Spyke levers have the reach adjustment on the inside of the lever blade so the flex in the lever body won’t affect the adjustment, it’s also easier to reach, and adjust with a allen key.

I knew this could could be an issue on M930 levers , but I later found the Spyke levers, on chainreactioncycles.

 

Marzocchi Remote  & TRP Spyke lever_0289

 

Verdict:

this is not a perfect mechanical brake lever, neither is the Spyke, but due to the more reliable reach adjustment, I will use the Spyke lever instead.

But it’s not perfect, it has flaws, the rivets in the lever pullers for example.

A mix of these two levers, with the best elements, plus bearing would make a pretty good lever, but nothing like that exist yet to my knowledge.

2 Months Review of TRP Spyke caliper & Spyke ML800 & ML930 levers

Enter a caption
Lezyne Sv-10_2864

I have used these brakes for over 2 months on 2 bikes without any issues major issues.

And I have put these brakes through their paces.

I don’t think I have to wait much more than 2 months before publishing this review, as these brakes are mechanical brakes, So not much can go wrong, But I will update you if there is something more to write about.

Both levers good enough feel, but the ML930 has a smooth surface on the lever blade, the ML800 has a textured surface with a Spyke logo, but the white paint on the logo wears off after few weeks or days.

Spyke Levers:

The Spyke logo on the lever blade actually gives more grip as its engraved.

Pros:

  • Rech adjustment so these levers will work well for a kids bike.
  • Excellent barrel adjuster, it fits well into my fingers and makes it very easy to adjust the wire tension.

Cons:

  • up and down play in the lever blade
  • No hinged mount, so you have to remove the grips, but for me this is not a deal-breaker.

Product page: https://www.trpcycling.com/product/spyke-lever-set/

The brake levers combined with the Spyke caliper results in a rougher lever feel than Any hydraulic brakes I have tried so far,
this is due to the return spring in the caliper, it can really be felt through the lever body & lever, the return spring i nthe lever can also get rough, so you need to lube the moving parts in the lever to avoid sqeaking or other noises,

ML930 levers:

The lever body has visible flex while braking, But I can’t notice it while braking.

Product image

TRP offers a carbon version of this lever, which is ML940.

Pros

  • Excellent barrel adjuster, it fits well into my fingers and makes it very easy to adjust the wire tension.
  • Lighter than the ML800 Spyke levers
  • Hinged mount for easy removal
  • Rech adjustment so these levers will work well for a kids bike.
  • I have these levers on both of my fuel ex 29ers, and they the levers on both survived crashes, on one it survived over the bar crash, where the bike landed parked upsidedown
    The brake on tother bike like it survived a fall about 1 meter from a concrete wall.

Cons

  • Same up & down play as the Spyke levers

TRP ML 930 levers fittet on a 800mm Race Face Sixc handlebar, I have them setup 3cm from the grips.

 

Calipers:

38545312311_56f4755a28_o

The dual arm has is quite harder to pull up compared to Tektro single piston brakes, but this does not bother me This is caused by the return spring.

the Spyke brakes offer one finger braking, as powerful as the Shimano m615 brake, but without the issues of leaks and impossible to get seals(without contacting Shimano).

The Pad mud cover give some protection, but they definitely make a difference, mine was had sand on them when riding in wet conditions, there is no way to protect the pads, things will get in the rotor and can get stuck and make noises.

Note that this is the wrong way toclamp the wire, clam it agianst the arm. after soem testing I can say I feel the difference in power.

Pros:

  • well engineered, caliper, the narrow design gives good clearance so you won’t hit your heals on the brake.
  • the 3 mm piston adjustment, makes these brakes easy to set up.
  • barrel adjusters that are easy to use and by figners fit nicely on them, to adjust the wire tension I turn the barrel adjuster, and hold my finger on the swingarm, when I feel the arm move I back off.
  • With barrel adjuster both at the lever & on the caliper, you get a good amount of adjustment.
  • rubber seal helps to keep dirt from coming in the hoses.
  • Easy to align The calipers: To align the callipers with the Hope floating rotors, I screw in the outside pistons about ca 3 quarters, and the inside piston about ca 2 quarters, then I tighten the caliper bolts and loosen the pistons, which leaves me with perfectly aligned brakes.
  • easy to assemble, & get the cable clamped.
Note that this is the wrogn way toclamp the wire, clam it agianst the arm. after somw testing I can say I feel the difference in power. Even with the wire clamped wrong these brakes were powerful enough for trail riding, but you shou

Verdict, these brakes performed well so far, so far I don’t see any reason to switch to back to hydraulic brakes, But hydraulics.

To keep the brakes having consistent braking power and modulation, you only have to use thread lock on the piston threads and have proper wire tension, and check it regularly. And of course, adjust the pads inwards as they wear out.

The semi-metallic pads give excellent g braking power, and they held up well for a few months, and I think they will last a few months more.

If you get the Caliper & Rotor pack, caliper adaptors are included