Disc Brake Reviews: Post what you got!

The Spyre model is not available in NZ, but the HY/RD model is. Looks like a newer version of the Sypre. It seems like no-one has used this model on a unicycle yet, so I was wondering about whether it would work or not. I called the local supplier of these brakes today and asked them to measure the calipers’ width. The main body is 35mm across and is 40mm at the widest point (where the cable attaches to the caliper). Will this have enough clearance to use with a KH Spirit-mounted rotor?

One other TRP-related question - has anyone changed their Spyre or Spyke brakes to 180mm rotors? If so does this improve clearance and which adaptor did you use? (I’m still not entirely sure about front post to IS adaptors - are these all the same and interchangeable between manufacturers or do you have to use a TRP adaptor with a TRP brake and a Shimano adaptor with a Shimano brake and so forth?)

Larger rotors should help, but I don’t have any experience with the TRP brakes to be more specific. The adapters are generally interchangeable, with Avids being less so. As long as you use the orbital washers with the avid adapters they seem to work with other calipers, and you have to ditch the alignment washers to use non Avid adapters with avid calipers.


I’m glad to report that the TRP HY/RD model works brilliantly! Very easy to fit and no need to shim rotors or other malarkey. Clearance between caliper and KH Spirit 127/150mm crank is not an issue. Went for a quick test ride down the short but steep hill at the end of my street and liked the feel and power of the brake a lot. Can’t wait to try it on some really steep offroad hills!

I received today my Skeletal hydraulic kit. It looks neat and there is everything you need to be setup (brake ready to use, 160mm rotor, IS adapter, bolts, extra pads). It was cheap and I saw it on somebody’s build on the forum.

Can’t wait to give it a try :slight_smile:

Sooo… After much waffling I’m looking at adding a disc brake to my 36er. Since this thread is a little old now I thought I’d query the hive mind and see if everybody is still happy with their choice. Failing that I thought I could at least get some up-to-date advice :).

It’ll be outboard with Spirits and a D’Brake. I’ll probably start with a 160mm rotor and see how it goes. If clearance or performance are an issue then I may look at 180mm. If I go hydraulic then I’m interested in mineral oil only.

Disclaimer: The closest I’ve come to ever using a disc brake is squeezing levers in a bike shop. I’ve also never used brakes of any kind on a unicycle.

After wading through a whole mess of options these are the models under consideration:

  • TRP Spyre. I like the fact that it's mechanical, but clearance looks tight and it's the most expensive of the brakes I'm looking at.
  • Shimano M355 (Altus). The cheapest of the lot. If it's going to be solid then the price appeals. Will it be ok? Is a brake a brake? I'm not sure if the lever has reach adjustment, which may prove to be annoying.
  • Shimano M675 (SLX). Quite a bit fancier. The lever has on-the-fly reach adjustment. The caliper has an adjustable hose angle, which is a big plus.
  • Shimano M535 (Deore?) and
  • Shimano M596 (Deore). These two both sit between the M355 and M675 in features and price. To be honest, though, they would need to perform noticeably better than the M355 to grab my attention.

Brakes which I considered but are now pretty much out of the running:

  • Magura MT2. The price is appealing, as is the ease of bleeding. But I've read enough reports of flaky lever design that I'm hesitant.

I’m also open to other models if you know of any worth looking at.

At this stage I’m pretty tempted by the M355 (cheapest). If I was going to spend more money then the next step up would be the M675 for the adjustable hose angle. Can anybody with more disc experience offer suggestions or advice?

Hi, after cooking a p.o.s. Avid elixir r, I bought a shimano br t675 with long “touring” lever.
It has already done 3 rides, and I’m quite pleased with my choice.
Pads are without fins, but still powerful… The long lever makes it very easy to use the right amount of force, and plus it’s adjustable on the fly.
Of course, the avid was looking good, but IMHO poor quality.
I will maybe try the finned pads and the icetech rotor, just for fetish!

Interesting. The T675 looks very similar to the M675 but with the longer lever and no adjustable hose angle on the caliper.

Avids have already been ruled out - DOT fluid, annoying to bleed and don’t like being stored upside down/sideways.

The feature which is drawing me after sleeping on it is the adjustable caliper hose angle. It seems the M675 is the cheapest Shimano brake to offer it.

KH stock brakes.


Hello, new to forum. Enjoy the info. Thank you.

Q: does anyone know why KH 29er, which I’m in the market for now, comes stock with Tektro brakes in USA and Shimano brakes in Europe (this is from the UDC page)?

I’d much prefer Shimanos, based on this thread, and my past exceptional experience with Shimano fishing reels. Lol.

Any clue that KH might be transitioning to all Shimano; if so, I’ll wait.

Thanks. Steve in Chicago.

I ended up going with the M675 (SLX) with a 160mm rotor on my 36er and I like it a lot. I was worried it was going to be a bit too grabby but it’s nice and smooth. Quiet, too. I’m running it with the stock resin pads for now.

I added 1mm washers between the crank and the rotor. Without them the caliper was pretty much at the end of its adjustment range. Plus it’s always nice to have a touch more clearance between the crank and caliper.

Things I like:

  • The hose connects to the left side of the caliper. This keeps it away from pedals/cranks/feet in an outboard setup such as mine.
  • The hose connects to the caliper using a banjo bolt, so the angle can be adjusted. This further helps keep it tucked out of the way.

The above two points were really why I chose this model over the lower level Shimanos. All the models below it that I could find had fixed hoses coming out of the right hand side of the caliper body.

Some minor annoyances:

  • I can't get as much hose angle adjustment as I'd like because the d'brake gets in the way. You can see this in the photo of the left hand side of the caliper. This may not be a problem with a larger rotor as the caliper would sit in a different position relative to the d'brake.
  • In that same photo you can see that there's one spot where the caliper almost touches the d'brake. I actually had to relieve the d'brake a bit in that area as it was touching out of the box. Again, possibly not a problem with a larger rotor as the caliper would be in a different position.
  • The lever is offset. You can see this in the photo of the handlebar. I know it's all a bit wonky (my handlebar is bent) but for reference the cycle computer is centered. Not really a huge problem in practice, it just means that it's easier to reach the lever with my left hand than my right.

I also had to relieve the d’brake around the bearing holder to get it to clear the spoke elbows, but that’s a separate issue that has nothing to do with the brake itself ;).

All in all I’m very happy with it :). I bought a pair of them and I’ll probably be putting the other one on my muni-esque 26er when I get around to ordering some more parts.

thanks for your advice, I also like your likings. I think I will go with these!

Do shimano ice tech rotor fit on a KH/spirit setup?

Just wondering if shimano’s floating rotors fit on spirit cranks and a tabbed KH frame(2015) without clearance issues? I know the standard rotors fit great but the hubs of the floating are at least double the thickness.

Scratch that idea, I didn’t realize that ice tech rotors are made of a sandwich comprising of two layers of stainless steel with a layer of aluminum in the middle. I’ll just stick with the standard stainless rotors for crash resistance sake.

I ride the IceTech rotor and it works perfect. Never had any issues

Here’s my setup: http://unicyclist.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1617688&postcount=1252

That’s a nice looking uni!!! But that’s an SLX rotor and not the ice tech rotor, the ice tech have an aluminum hub that’s thicker:


Hm, now I’m a bit confused. I bought it as an IceTech rotor, two years ago, and you can clearly see the tree layers: steel, aluminium, steel. But the SM-RT66s you can buy now seen to be non-IceTech and all IceTech rotors seem to have the thick plastic spider…

I’m most likely wrong about your rotor if you can see the different layers, shimano changes things so fast it’s hard to keep up. I’ve looked at the newer style ice tech rotors at the bike store and there is some variance on the aluminum center hub as well, that’s why I was curious about clearance. Some have a stamped aluminum spider while others have a machined(thicker) style spider. I ended up ordering an SLX RT66 rotor to pair with my xt brake because I know that combo worked great on my kh26.

I’ve seen an XT Rotor with the aluminum spider on a KH Spirit setup. It was 180mm rotor, KH Spirit cranks on a Flansberrium frame. I’m very probably getting an XT rotor for my updated spring setup :slight_smile:

The thicker side of the rotor is on the outside, the beautifully finished side is facing the frame.

See this post

My .02 but I’ve got the SRAM centerline rotors on my fat bike and like them so much that I bought one for my unicycle.

Sooo much quieter than my standard SRAM BB7 rotors I’ve had before. It’ll be interesting to see how it does on a uni.