TRP HY/RD road disc brakes - First ride review (2024)

TRP HY/RD road disc brakes - First ride review (1)
TRP HY/RD road disc brakes - First ride review (2)
TRP HY/RD road disc brakes - First ride review (3)
TRP HY/RD road disc brakes - First ride review (4)
TRP HY/RD road disc brakes - First ride review (5)
TRP HY/RD road disc brakes - First ride review (6)
TRP HY/RD road disc brakes - First ride review (7)
TRP HY/RD road disc brakes - First ride review (8)
TRP HY/RD road disc brakes - First ride review (9)
TRP HY/RD road disc brakes - First ride review (10)

TRP announced its clever HY/RD cable-hydraulic hybrid road and cyclocross disc brakes calipers earlier this year – and we've been riding a production set on home soil since the Taipei Cycle Show in an exclusive early preview. So far they're mostly living up to their lofty performance claims with excellent power and control, good lever feel, and much better heat capacity than we expected.

SRAM has already announced its full-hydraulic road/CX brake options (with Shimano expected to follow suit later this year) but TRP's new HY/RD could still find a huge potential customer base given its compatibility with existing mechanical brake levers.

Our biggest concern was with heat capacity and fade, given the relatively small fluid volume and closely situated fluid reservoir as compared to a full-hydraulic setup. We're happy to say that the HY/RD has so far passed with flying colors.

Our most stringent tests included descents of Boulder's Flagstaff Mountain, which steadily drops more than 600m in just 7.25km (2,000ft, 4.5 miles) with maximum grades in the upper teens. We continuously dragged only the rear brake the entire way down so as to limit our speed to around 35km/h (22mph) to simulate a rider checking their speed down an alpine col. It's to hit nearly three times that speed on this descent, so the braking was substantial.

The rotor turned blue by the time we hit the base of the mountain but even then the caliper surface was barely 50°C (120°F). More importantly, we noted no fade in power or sponginess at the lever, which would otherwise denote some level of fluid vaporization. We got similarly reassuring results from repeated full-power stops from about 65km/h (40mph).

In fairness, ambient temperatures were only around 8°C (46°F) during that test but given the modest caliper readings we recorded, we're fairly confident the HY/RD will hold up well during peak summer months, too. According to TRP's Lance Larrabee, much of this high-heat performance is due to the HY/RD's Bakelite composite pistons – which transmit less heat from the pads than metallic ones – and the forged aluminum caliper body's generous surface area.

TRP HY/RD road disc brakes - First ride review (11)

With its narrow profile, heel clearance shouldn't be an issue

One of the biggest advantages of a hydraulic setup – even a partial one like these – is improved modulation and it's here where the HY/RD really shines. While the friction of the tires on the ground will still limit the peak power of any brake, the HY/RD's added control over a conventional rim brake still had flirting with that upper limit much more consistently. In addition, a recent spring snowstorm left heaps of treacherous gravel and sand on Flagstaff's tarmac but yet we had little trouble feathering the HY/RD calipers in the upper section's tight and steep switchbacks without locking up a wheel.

Lever feel was also very good with a more fluid and positive feel than most cable actuated systems we've used in the past plus better feedback once the pads contact the rotor – perhaps due to the HY/RD's symmetrical dual-piston design more than anything. The HY/RD's partial-hydraulic layout means the lever feel will never match a good full-hydraulic system. That being said, using a good compressionless housing system (such as Yokozuna or SRAM's new SlickWire) certainly helps a lot.

That partial-hydraulic system does, however, provide the HY/RD with pads that self-adjust for wear similar to TRP's older Parabox cable-to-hydraulic conversion system – not the most critical thing for road applications but a possible dealmaker for 'cross racers who are interested in discs but wary of their longevity in abrasive slop. We found the stock organic compound to offer good initial bite but TRP has wisely made the HY/RD pads compatible with Shimano for additional options.

TRP HY/RD road disc brakes - First ride review (12)

Pads are fed into the caliper from the bottom, and are compatible with Shimano

Generous pad clearance makes for easy setup and no-rub running and the HY/RD is admirably quiet when clamped hard, too. Though the caliper itself is about 30g heavier than Avid's long-running BB7 at 195g, the more streamlined hardware package ends up undercutting the BB7 by around 10g – plus it's heaps narrower so there are no issues with heel clearance.

Lever feel is very good but lever throw is unfortunately longer than we'd prefer. Larrabee told BikeRadar that the company is investigating future modifications to the mechanical portion of the HY/RD but for now, it is what it is – and the problem will be exacerbated for riders planning to pair these with Campagnolo or older SRAM levers. Overcharging the fluid reservoir helps but it's a tricky (and potentially messy) proposition that we don't recommend to casual users.

Otherwise, setup is straightforward although TRP will hopefully include detailed instructions (our samples came without production packaging). Users might be tempted to adjust the pad contact point with the adjustable piston shaft but Larrabee says doing so will only artificially advance the pistons and prevent the hydraulic system from fully refilling as it should – effectively turning the open system into a closed one and eliminating the self-adjusting feature.

That one hiccup keeps TRP from hitting a full-blown home run with HY/RD but aside from that, we're mighty impressed. Don't sell your old levers yet, folks.

We're set to ride TRP's new Spyre cable-actuated disc brakes momentarily so stay tuned for a First Ride Review on those as well.

TRP HY/RD road disc brakes - First ride review (13)

We had no issues with overheating in our mountain-descent tests

Price: $150 (£98) per wheel, including caliper, rotor and associated hardware

Weight: 195b (caliper only w/o hardware); 206g (caliper w/ bolts); 78g (140mm Lyra rotor); 101g (160mm Lyra rotor); 319g (complete front set w/ 160mm rotor, post mount)

Available colors: black/silver, silver/black

Pros: Excellent power and modulation, good lever feel, competitive weight, wide compatibility with existing brake levers, impressive heat capacity

Cons: Leverage ratio needs fine-tuning

More information:

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TRP HY/RD road disc brakes - First ride review (2024)


How do you break in new bike disc brakes? ›

Both brake pads must be worn in a bit for the first few rides: To do this, simply let the brake drag slightly while riding slowly, adjusting the microscopic unevenness of the brake pads and brake disc.

What are Hy-RD brakes? ›

The HY/RD is the latest iteration of our industry-leading efforts to bring hydraulic performance to the road/cross disc market. Using an open hydraulic system it's compatible with Shimano and SRAM 11 speed road shift levers.

How can I make my bike disc brakes more responsive? ›

Six simple tips for improving your disc brake power
  1. Lever position. Struggling for power or modulation? ...
  2. Bleed your brakes. ...
  3. Buy bigger rotors. ...
  4. Clean your rotors and pads. ...
  5. Buy new brake pads. ...
  6. Improve your braking technique.
Apr 21, 2021

Do bike disc brakes rub when new? ›

(Figs. 2 and 3). It is not uncommon for disc brakes on a new bike to make scraping noises, especially when cornering, when riding out of the saddle or when under other extreme loads.

What brakes are better than OEM? ›

OEM brake pads and rotors are made for your car by the same engineers who designed it, which can provide some peace of mind. However, there are plenty of brake pad options from aftermarket brands like Duralast and Brembo that operate as good as the original equipment brakes, and often even better.

How to change trp hy rd brake pads? ›

Remove the pads from the bottom end of the caliper. Using a disc brake piston setting tool or similar non-sharp implement, (such as a plastic tire lever,) be sure each piston is fully retracted by pushing it back into it's housing. Install new pads and spring assembly into the calipers.

What is O Reilly's brand of brakes? ›

Our BrakeBest brand offers good, better, and best options to fit any repair, upgrade, or budget. We also offer other top brands such as Wagner, ACDelco, and Bosch.

Is it worth upgrading to disc brakes road bike? ›

If you plan on going out in all seasons and are not shy of a rainy or snowy day, having disc brakes will give you a great advantage in bad weather. It's going to reduce the lag on your brakes, which could be the difference in avoiding an accident.

What is the best brake discs to buy? ›

Choose the best quality Brake Discs with company ratings and customer reviews
  • MAXGEAR. Leave a review. 7.27. ...
  • KAMOKA. Leave a review. 7.22. ...
  • JP GROUP. Leave a review. 7.17. ...
  • REMSA. Leave a review. 7.00. ...
  • CHAMPION. Leave a review. 7.00. ...
  • Barum. Leave a review. 6.75. ...
  • ABAKUS. Leave a review. 6.75. ...
  • KRAFT. Leave a review. 6.62. Leave a review.

Do disc brakes need adjusting? ›

Once set up, hydraulic disc brakes are self-centering, meaning you don't need to make periodic adjustments to the pads. When you pull the brake lever, the fluid will pump from the master cylinder into the brake caliper, pushing the pistons in towards the rotor.

How do I stop my disc brakes rubbing on my road bike? ›

Scraping or grinding noises occur if the brake rotors are not correctly centred between the brake pads. This is often because the brake callipers are not exactly centred. To fix this, loosen the screws securing the calliper onto the fork/frame, and pull the brake lever.

How tight should bike disc brakes be? ›

Pull the brake lever to see where your brakes need adjusting

Once your brakes are properly aligned, both brake pads will squeeze evenly against the rim of your wheel when you pull the brake lever. The brake pads should squeeze on the centre of the rim, without touching the tyre or protruding over the lip of the rim.

Why are my disc brakes so weak? ›

Disc brakes have pads that wear down over time due to normal use. This can lead to slower brake response times, and it can require more effort from you to engage your brakes. Look to see if your brake pads are glazed or significantly worn.

How long do disc brakes take to bed in? ›


All you have to do is make about 20 complete stops in the car – from 30-0mph – or about the same number of slow-downs from 50-20mph. This will start the bedding-in, for your customer to continue when you hand back the keys. This practice is particularly recommended when you have new coated brake discs.

Do new discs and pads need bedding-in? ›

Brake pads are one of the most important features when it comes to road safety and vehicle performance. In order to maximise braking performance and achieve optimal stopping power, all brake pads must be "bedded-in”, and they must be bedded in properly.

Do new bicycles have a break-in period? ›

Expect a Break-in Period

It's common on a new bike for components to break in over the course of the first several rides, which can affect their performance.

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