Review: The new Growtac Equal Brakes combine little size and big power!

Polarizing opinions aside, cable-actuated disc brakes aren’t going anywhere. And frankly, in many circles, these types of disc brakes actually seem to be more popular than ever.

As you may have guessed, I for one am a big fan of the mechanical disc brake. Mostly, just for the simplicity of ’em. There is no denying that they’re easy to set up and maintain.

Plus, if you ride your bike in remote, faraway places, like on a bikepacking trip, an adventure-filled long day ride, or even a double century, cable-actuated disc brakes are easier to repair on the fly as any ol’ brake cable will work in a pinch (plus you can easily carry a spare cable).

Also, most mechanical disc brake calipers on the market, including the Growtac, use the most common types of brake pads (Shimano K04, K03, K0s-RX). These types of brake pads will, more than likely, be available at any bike shop you might happen upon in your bicycle travels. All reasons why you might want to check out mechanical disc brakes. Specifically, the new Growtac Equal disc brakes.

On to the Review…

I received the pair of gold (and I mean gold!) Growtac Equal brakes from Igor at Velo Orange. Velo Orange is, as of this writing, the only place you can buy these brakes in the USA.

These brakes were destined for my Masi, so I received the flat-mount version of the brakes. But they do come in post-mount as well with the additional color of purple (exclusive to the post-mount version).

Masi Rando with Growtac Equal brakes

“What’s in the Box?”

Growtac Equal Brakes

Displayed like fine pieces of gold jewelry.

Growtac Equal Brakes

All the goodies are underneath!

The box that these brakes came in was a bit extravagant and large. But to be fair, the box was designed to “display” a pricey set of brakes and hide all of the goodies that come with them underneath. You don’t just get the brake calipers when you purchase these, you get everything you need to install the brakes except new rotors. I was impressed with the fact that they came with both front and rear compressionless (stiff) and non-compressionless (flex-a-mundo) housing, front and rear brake cables (for both road or mountain bikes), housing ferrules, cable ends, a bunch of different size hardware for the rear brake and the front flat-mount adaptor.

Weight and Installation

Growtac Equal brake weight.

Equal caliper (with pad) comes in at 137 grams.

The weight of the Equal brakes with the pads installed was only 137 grams per caliper. That seems very respectable.

TRP Spyre weight

TRP Spyre-C coming in at 135 grams…with pad (although not much of it is left).

I thought it would be a great idea to compare the weight of the TRP Spyre-C caliper that the Equal is replacing on my Masi. I thought the Spyre would be heavier, but it was two grams lighter… but I noticed that there is very little material left on the Spyre’s pads…easily 2 grams worth. So, I am going to say that they are approximately the same weight.

Paul Components Klamper weight

The Paul Components Klamper comes in at 182 grams (no pad).

OK, because I know that you’re all gonna ask… and also because I’m in the middle of doing a comparison review of the Klampers vs the Equals on the same bike and I have some of the Klampers on hand, I decided to do a weight comparison of the two… you know, just to whet your appetite.

The Paul Klamper caliper came in at 182 grams without the pads. I was a little surprised that the Klamper was 45 grams heavier. But, that being said, as much as these brakes are similar, it’s not quite an “apples to apples” comparison and the weight difference is not the end of the story on the Klampers vs. the Equals.

You’ll have to stay tuned… sorry (not really).

Installation and Set-Up

Growtac Equal rear brake caliper

Lookin’ sharp! Gold chain + gold caliper = golden!

As I mentioned earlier, I am installing these brakes on my Masi Rando bike with Shimano 105 brifters. The Equals are only available in a short pull version, so they will work great with drop bar levers or cantilever brake levers.

Growtac Equal Brake Caliper

Good lookin’ caliper.

The brake calipers are compact and light. I would say the finish on the calipers isn’t as elegant as the Klampers, as there are a lot of visible “machine markings”. This in no way was a big deal to me, but at this price point, it could be for others. I personally like the aesthetics and angles of the calipers a lot.

Having the actuator arm on top of the caliper instead of the side helps in keeping the caliper tight, small, and tucked in on the chain stay.

Growtac Equal Brakes

You can see the rubber plug has been removed to adjust the outside pad.

Set up was really simple. There were more steps than I’m normally used to when setting up my brake calipers to the rotor… but the result was a little better than I normally get… so take that for what it’s worth.

After looking through and following the instructions, which were really good BTW, Growtac suggests using the compressionless housing for best results. They included the non-compressionless housing likely in case the housing routing on your frame has you making some tough turns that the stiff stuff can’t make.

Once the caliper is on the bike (finger tightened) and the housing is cut and fitted, turn the barrel adjustor out 1 to 2mm, and turn the silver nut to lock it there.

Take the actuator arm and push it to the left completely to allow easy passage of the brake cable onto the arm and through the set screw. Once it is through, let the actuator arm back to its resting place. Pull the cables slack out and tighten the set screw.

Growtac Equal Brakes

You can see the “rotor-centering notch” right under the “D” of the model number on the caliper.

Then, using a 3mm Allen key, adjust the inner and outer pads to pinch the rotor. There is an actual “rotor-centering-notch” on the caliper to help you center the rotor “inside” the notch. You will pinch the rotor until the rotor is centered in the little centering notch, then tighten the caliper to the frame to the required torque. BTW, this little notch was super helpful in lining the pads up, and centering the rotor in the caliper.

Once the caliper is tightened to the frame, Growtac suggests squeezing the lever hard three or four times to seat the housing and end caps, then loosen the set screw and remove the extra cable slack. At this point, it’s time to adjust the pads back out, away from the rotor.

Growtac Equal Mechanical Disc Brakes

Once the pads are out, and the wheel spins freely, adjust the inner (fixed side) pad to where it is close to the rotor but no rotor contact is heard when the wheel is turned. Now adjust the outside (actuating) pad to match the amount of lever throw you find comfortable. Once that is determined, you can now turn the barrel adjustor to eliminate any further cable slack.

Blammo, you’re done and ready to ride!

Once this is finished, I found the result was a snappy and fluid lever feel that was easily adjusted to how I like my brakes to feel. That’s it. I know, when writing it out, it feels like a lot, but it’s really quite simple and easy to get it right the first time.

Growtac pad wear meter

Pad wear gauge on the actuation arm of the caliper

Another cool feature of the Growtac Calipers is the brake pad wear gauge on the actuator arm. The first three lines (left to right) are marking healthy pad usage….but, then at the flat line and triangle around the exclamation point (all the way to the right), that’s when you enter the Danger Zone, and you need to change your brake pads. Nice attention to detail.

How They Performed

I will get right to the point. These are the strongest cable-actuated disc brakes I have ever ridden to date. The brake’s strength was very impressive. I was able to pull an effortless, seated, on-pavement, skid with very little effort. I know that’s a weird, non-scientific thing to say, but I’ve never had a mechanical disc brake that was able to do that, effortlessly I mean. My Spyres have gotten close, but not without me helping them along by unweighting the rear wheel.

I already know that this is a very ad-hoc litmus gauge to test braking strength. To be transparent, I am a large human being, weighing in at 245lbs. To me, being able to throw down a skid, effortlessly while not aiding it, showed me something these brakes could do that other mechanicals I’ve owned couldn’t.

I guess the short story here, is that these are some strong-ass brakes!

Another thing worth mentioning is that these brakes have remained completely noise-free from the initial shake-down ride… not a peep.

Growtac Equal Brake

The Growtac Equals are a good lookin’ and quiet set o’ brakes.

The brakes were reviewed on a sufficiently used set of TRP center lock rotors, but they didn’t seem to be phased by that at all. And the Growtac’s pad break-in period was short and easy.

They performed very, very well on long paved descents. They seem to have great heat dissipation, suffering zero fading, or glazing of the pads. They were fantastic at stopping a 30-plus pound bike with a 245-pound rider from a speed in excess of over 40mph, over and over again.  This may be a surprise, but I don’t race, and I am not bombing all of the hills out there… but I feel that these brakes wouldn’t have an issue stopping you in either of those situations (racing or hill bombing).

One descent that I rode during this review has a few, really fun, twisty corners and one fast hairpin. When diving into these corners, and attempting to feather the brakes, was the point that I felt the lack of modulation came into sharp focus. Make no mistake, I knew there would be some modulation issues. Up to this point in the several weeks that the brakes were under review, I had noticed some of the lack of modulation already.

Remember, this is typically any cable-actuated brake’s nemesis….modulation, or the lack of it. And these brakes were no exception. Maybe swapping out the pads to a different compound or swapping the compressionless housing for the non-compressionless housing would help with the “feel” of getting some modulation. I’m sure the lever feel would be affected and not feel as snappy… but that aside, maybe it would help.

I want to emphasize that this is nothing new here and not exclusive to the Equals. Lack of modulation is or seems to be, the bane of all cable-actuated disc brakes. It’s also, in my opinion, the only argument for hydros over cable-actuated brakes… even then, it’s a weak argument. I personally feel the cable-actuated brakes’ benefits far outway the one negative. And for most riders not doing crazy, technical descents, it’s not a negative at all.

I found that the Equal’s lack of modulation was completely manageable and easily dealt with and compensated for on all of my rides with these brakes.

Tech, Price, What’s Included

Equal brakes are developed and manufactured in Japan. And like I mentioned earlier in the post, are only available through Velo Orange!

Retail $350

They come in these colors:

  • Gold
  • Grey
  • Red
  • Blue
  • Black
  • Silver

Tech stuff:

  • Cable Pull: Road, short pull
  • Weight per caliper: 135g
  • Pad Actuation: Single piston
  • Adaptors/Mounts Included: Front: 140mm or 160mm rotor. Rear: not included*
  • Japanese-made cables and housing included!

What’s included in the box:

  • 2x Growtac Equal Flat Mount Brake Calipers
  • 2x road brake cables
  • 2x mtb brake cables
  • 1x front flat-mount adaptor for 140mm or 160mm rotor.
  • 2x compressionless housing (stiff)
  • 2x non-compressionless housing (flexy)
  • Bunch of housing endcaps
  • Mounting hardware for the rear brake

* Please note that if you are mounting these brakes onto a frame designed for a 140mm rear rotor without adapting, but plan to run a 160mm rotor, you will need a rear flat mount adaptor.

In Conclusion

I really liked these brakes. As I have them set up on my bike, they are a tremendous cable-actuated disc brake set and for sure one of the best I’ve tried. In the varying applications that I used these brakes in over the past several weeks, it is my opinion that the Growtac Equal disc brakes are plenty strong for most (almost all) braking applications.

They are easy to set up and the lever feel is crisp and snappy instantly. The actual braking felt great almost immediately after the initial set-up. The lever feel has stayed consistently sharp and responsive throughout the review period, with a very solid and confidence-inspiring contact with the brake pads.

I do love that you get everything you need (sans rotors) to set up your bike for $175 a wheel. I know that’s not “cheap” and it’s about $100 more (per wheel) than the TRP Spyres. But, for a high-end brake caliper, machined from aluminum, that comes with everything you need (again, sans rotors), with the massive stopping power these brakes have, that price seems reasonable to me…plus the bling factor of the gold is off the charts!

With the lack of modulation feeling that the brakes have, it did take some getting used to and I eventually learned to work with the brakes. And in all fairness, maybe if I had spent a little more time with them, it would’ve been something I could easily get used to. It’s hard to say. Since the Growtacs have so much to offer in the braking power department I think I would gladly trade off a little less power for a little more modulation.

All and all they are well-built brakes that seem to be very high quality and super strong… I would definitely recommend these brakes to any lover of the cable-actuated disc brake.

www.velo-orange

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Eliot Specht
Eliot Specht
4 months ago

At $350 a set I would have expected a dual-piston rather than single-piston mechanism.

Tim
Tim
4 months ago
Reply to  Eliot Specht

The internals on dual piston cable brakes have to be miniaturized so that the inner half of the brake fits in the small area next to the spokes; smaller ball bearings hold up less well to the stress of repeated braking.
One piston brakes suffer from no such problem, as there is no complex mechanism getting crammed into a tiny area.
That in short is the reason both boutique cable brake makers (Paul and now Growtac) have stuck with single actuation. Paul even extensively prototyped dual piston brakes and gave up on them.

TypeVertigo
4 months ago
Reply to  Eliot Specht

At the same time, many cars use essentially a single-piston design in their disc brakes too.

In a sliding or floating brake caliper, only one piston is actually being moved by hydraulic fluid; the other piston is fixed. When you apply the brakes in a car so equipped, the brake caliper slides on pins such that when the one piston moves, both sides of the caliper clamp on the brake rotor.

The dual-piston mechanism you see on the TRP Spyre or any bicycle-use hydraulic brake is closer in concept to the “fixed” brake calipers used on performance cars.

I have to agree though: The price on the Growtacs (and by extension the Klampers) is definitely steep. I quite literally bought my Shimano ST-RS685 + BR-RS785 bundle on eBay for a lot less than the price of a pair of these brakes alone.

Tim
Tim
4 months ago
Reply to  TypeVertigo

As I recall, there was at least one faux two piston MTB cable brake with the design you mentioned. It was made by IRD. Not sure why that design never took hold in the MTB world.

Fara
Fara
4 months ago
Reply to  Tim

Diatech made one back in the late 90s. The floating caliper rattled and rubbed all day long, they sucked.

Simon M
Simon M
4 months ago
Reply to  TypeVertigo

Floating brake calipers on cars have the main reason to enable narrower wheels. The turning point of the steering should be towards the outside of the tire (if you use a imaginary line in the middle of the tire), in the case of a brake failure your car will automatically pull the steering towards the failed side (and stabilize the car), if it’s inside from the middle it will destabilize and pull the steering towards the other side. Since floating calipers have the piston inside you can use narrower wheels and still have the turning point outwards.
Also floating brake calipers are simpler and cheaper, high powered cars with very wide tires often use calipers with pistons on both sides, but also motorbikes, and hydraulic bicycle disc brakes

Bob R Huerta
4 months ago
Reply to  Eliot Specht

If it balances from the top — that’s equal.

Tim
Tim
4 months ago

It’s great to see some new life being breathed into cable brakes, this is the first really high-end cable brake to hit the market since 2015 (when the Klamper arrived); it’s great to see a major publication take the time to do a good review of them.

Tim
Tim
4 months ago

Long live cable brakes! I’ve been on the same set of BB7s since 2003 and will soon replace them with these.
I do think saying “lack” of modulation is a bit much; I don’t know which noun I’d use instead, but in my experience the difference in modulation between dry and wet brakes is small but noticeable. I’ve ridden cable brakes down the steepest and scariest stuff I’ve ever done, stuff where you need to very, very nearly lock up the wheels, and I’ve never thought that extra smidge of modulation would have made a difference.
Much looking forward to the Klamper vs Equal mano a mano (freno a freno?)! Thanks for the review, Ron!

TypeVertigo
4 months ago

Thanks, good review. I’ve been curious about these. Personally I’m just a little miffed these Growtacs got released only just now, after I had upgraded from TRP Spyres to Shimano BR-RS785 hydraulics. Had these released four years ago I may have taken them into serious consideration.

Any issues with hand fatigue on longer descents? That, along with the heat soak from the Spyres on very steep slopes, was the main reason why I made the hydraulic switch.

Will wait for your comparison with the Paul Klampers.

jeff
jeff
4 months ago

Would love to know how these compare in power to the Juintech F1’s. if these were $250 then i think they would do better. single piston and $350 is pretty ridiculous to be honest. more choice is always better but this is like THM releasing another 1500 crank set. does not really do much for the average rider.

Tim
Tim
4 months ago
Reply to  jeff

Dual piston sucks. The moving parts all have to be super tiny to fit between rotor and spokes. There’s a reason that only one company of note makes dual piston cable brakes, which is again that they suck.
As for the price, it is indeed high, but does include both ordinary and compressionless brake housing as well as, FWIW, a good range of colors.

Froze
Froze
4 months ago
Reply to  Tim

I too have a Masi Giramondo with the same dual piston TRP brakes; I have had zero problems with dual piston disk, and I use the bike for loaded touring. I have found the TRP brakes to be very powerful and easy to modulate. Also both the pads and rotors are still original after 11,000 miles. This bike did come with 180mm front rotors and 160 rear, the new Giramondo have gone to 160 on the front, not sure why they did that, I think I prefer the larger rotor on the front for better cooling and stopping power?

Elemental
Elemental
3 months ago
Reply to  Froze

A 160/160 rotor setup on a Giramondo for loaded touring is more than adequate and I prefer it to a 180 front for all road touring. And if you are getting 11k miles out of mediocre stock TRP pads then you aren’t braking much (not atypical for loaded pavement touring w/out steep twisty descents).
in any event, Spyres are adequate with proper setup but are easily outclassed by Klampers (which should be the case given the $ difference). The Growtacs seem to be a compelling alternative to Klampers in more bling colors.

Dinger
Dinger
4 months ago

Nice to see continued innovation in this space however I think $350/set is a bit of a reach. Comparing these and say, 105 STI levers to the 105 Hydro setup shows a price gap of about $100/set. While these sound like they perform very well for a cable actuated brake I doubt they’re as good as a full hydraulic setup. I guess I’m wondering what the take rate will be at this price.

TypeVertigo
4 months ago
Reply to  Dinger

Exactly my sentiments.

If one is fine with buying older 11-speed hardware and Post Mount calipers, the ST-RS685 + BR-RS785 bundle is pretty good value for money especially now that it hasn’t been the latest and greatest for a few years. I don’t imagine it would be a chore to swap the calipers for Flat Mount versions if the frame needs them, either – CMIIW.

Tim
Tim
4 months ago
Reply to  Dinger

The idea that hydraulic fluid is magical and that using it automatically gives the best possible braking is, judging by comments in the internet at least, nearly universal. In my personal experience though, the performance gap between a hydraulic brake and a well set up cable one is noticeable but small; I’ve ridden a lot of brakes, both hydro and cable, and find the performance gap between the two to be noticeable but still small.
About the price of the Equals… it is high, but it is a niche, boutique product made by a small company. Right now there are three cable brakes for flat mount- Paul Klampers, TRP Spyres and now Growtac Equals. The Klampers are great brakes, but they are really at heart a heavy duty brake that is overkill for road use, while the Spyres and Equals are pared down to near the minimum possible weight. The Equals occupy a small niche- light weight, boutique cable brake; they’ve carved out a near monopoly for themselves and the company is taking advantage of that. I do think the price is a bit steep, but were I the owner of Growtac I’d likely be charging something similar.

Ken
Ken
4 months ago
Reply to  Tim

Juni tech does alsof have flat mount.. works great imho

Tim
Tim
4 months ago
Reply to  Ken

True, but that’s a slightly different niche- hybrid cable-hydro brakes.

Dinger
Dinger
4 months ago
Reply to  Tim

“the performance gap between a hydraulic brake and a well set up cable one is noticeable but small.

Though perception is subjective, I think most would agree that the difference is pretty large. Even a fresh, newly setup cable brake will suffer from the unaviodable flex of the cable/housing system and the result is less power and less accurate feel/modulation. After the system wears a little (pads, cable/housing deterioration & contamination) it goes downhill. Hydraulic certainly isn’t “magic” but it gives engineers much more control over pressures and being a sealed + self adjusting system results in very consistent performance over the wear life of the consumable components.

Tim
Tim
4 months ago
Reply to  Dinger

I know I’m just one person, but I have a lot of experience with both brake types. For most people I guess, hydraulic is better for the reasons you named.
However, the benefits of hydraulics aren’t important to everyone. Take me as an example. The MTB trails I ride on close when it rains, so I can’t ride when it’s wet, so the cables work smoothly for years. I also don’t mind adjusting my brakes- every four or so rides, I turn a couple of dials on my caliper and it doesn’t bother me at all. I realize others ride when it’s wet and do mind turning those dials; I know I’m in a small minority here. As for power and modulation, the steepest, slowest, sketchiest stuff I’ve gone down I did on cable brakes.
I got these results with BB7s, Speed Dial levers, metal pads, 6″ rotors and well-cut standard housing run full length to the rear brake without any hard bends. The performance gap as is, is indeed narrow, but I’d get far better results with bigger rotors, compressionless housing and Servo Wave levers.
I grant that road mechanicals in particular are problematic because Shimano in particular has moved the goalposts on cable pull/ mechanical advantage, so it’s unpredictable whether a given brake-lever combos will work well or not. Also, internal cable routing and the bend around bars make cable brakes work worse.

Sean O'B
Sean O'B
4 months ago

The idea of clamping a brake cable using a set-screw makes me nauseous. In addition, cable clamps for a pivoting arm, like the actuating arm on this brake, should pivot, like those used on side-pulls/dual-pivots and higher end canti’s.

Brian B
Brian B
4 months ago

Nothing to do with these brakes, but I love the chain holder on the frame. Once a staple now a rare sight but oh so helpful when needed

Crash Bandicoot
Crash Bandicoot
4 months ago
Reply to  Brian B

Agreed, I once looked into getting a custom Mosaic built and one condition is I wanted to get a braze on chain holder. The shop I was working with told me Mosaic won’t do that because I guess people kept forgetting the chain was on and pedaling away with the chain on the holder damaging the frames and crashing. Not sure if it was total BS since I moved on to a different brand and frame material.

The Dordogne Cyclist
The Dordogne Cyclist
4 months ago

Bought a set of Equal’s from Gentle Jaunt in Germany for a Giant Revolt Pro build.

I have some experience of cable pull disc callipers as I have used TRP Spyre’s which were poor and hard to get a good brake.
Juin Tech F1. They were Ok but not brilliant and then failed with oil seal and were ditched.
I am running a set of Paul Klampers on a Ti Gravel bike and they are awesome. Very powerful and very easy to take a part and service.

I am hoping that the Growtac Equal will be as good or maybe better than the Klampers
.
I love the fact that I can use any groupset that I fancy and because its a cable set up I have lots of great value options. I am using Dura Ace 9000 11spd cable brake groupset for the rest of the build when the frame finally arrives in France in early August.

Crash Bandicoot
Crash Bandicoot
4 months ago

Dumb question but what is the actual appeal for products like these over hydro disc brakes? I have Spyres on one bike and 105 hydro on another and the Hydro is far less of a pain to get set up, is lower maintenance and offers, superior performance on the road, the spyres are great but mostly I bought those because of cost and having a nearly new R8000 groupset. There must be some appeal over running hydro with some RX4 calipers in whatever hope anodized color you like or the stock shimano/sram/campag offering. Always wondered why you see Klampers and stuff on high end bikes, is it just for travel?

mattydubs
mattydubs
4 months ago

I think it’s a few things, somewhat alluded to in the article:

  • Brake cables can be found anywhere in the world. Hose and the correct fluid for your hydros may not.
  • With the Klampers, you’re getting a brake that’s made in the US by hand.
  • Sometimes mechanical can be easier to set up (YMMV).

That said, I prefer hydros and find the difference to be much larger… especially on the RX4s I have on my “rowdiest” gravel bike (the SRAM version, fwiw).

On the RX4s: they are absolute overkill (that bike has a dropper, MTB gearing, and big tires… the perfect tool to ride 5-10 miles to a trail and underbike your way to miles of smiles). They are well made, though. The downside is that, like most Hope brakes, they are a bit of a PITA to maintain. Initial setup requires a lot of work to make those finely machined pistons move, and they don’t like doing that… even after thousands of miles and many bleeds. As a result, they can get noisy quick. I put them on for fun and looks, but would not recommend them. Way more brake than you really need, to boot. I have a less “rowdy” gravel bike with Red hydros that are much more my speed.

TypeVertigo
4 months ago
Reply to  mattydubs

Interesting feedback on the RX4s. Thanks. I was under the impression they’d be better than the BR-RS785s I have, which they probably are in terms of outright power and retardation, but wasn’t prepared to hear about the finicky nature of actually living with the things.

My own experience with hydraulics is mirrored by Crash’s. Much less maintenance than the Spyres I used to run, more power, less hand fatigue, better heat management too it seems. I can understand the risk of busting a hydraulic brake hose on a mountain bike, but on road and/or gravel bikes that seems like much less of a concern (and one area, perhaps, where internal routing is actually a benefit?).

Crash Bandicoot
Crash Bandicoot
4 months ago
Reply to  mattydubs

I’ve heard the Rx4s are a bit of a nightmare to setup and bleed which explains why they’re actually relatively cheap (for a milled made in UK product in anodized colors), I was going off more the color palette vs performance. I do always wonder why people think brake cables are easier to source. I feel like at 4am in the middle of nowhere I’m far more apt to find DOT fluid or mineral oil/one of the million mineral oil substitutes that you can use in a Shimano set up vs a bicycle brake cable.

Sean O'B
Sean O'B
4 months ago

I tried to make this comment yesterday, but it seems to have disappeared into the ether.

Clamping a brake cable using a set screw is poor engineering. It should use a pivoting cable clamp, as seen on dual-pivot/side-pull brakes, to lessen stress on the cable.

Tim
Tim
4 months ago
Reply to  Sean O'B

15 people upvoted a complaint about the choice of bolt on a cable disc caliper. And this as the discussion was effectively ending… Looks to me like a single person pressed the like button fifteen times.

Sean O'B
Sean O'B
4 months ago
Reply to  Tim

Even as the person who made the observation about the bolt, 15 upvotes for that seems very unlikely!

Bob R Huerta
4 months ago

Machanical is the way to go — more bike adaptive
then automobile hydraulic over done systems.
I hear you will have to equip with hydraulic power steering next….

Mecanico do paladar
Mecanico do paladar
4 months ago

Had the Juin Tech preciously, both the 2 piston and 4 pistons version.
Always managed to have them well installed and got good braking power.
The 4 pistons better than the 2 piston. Very important to use high quality cable housing and assuring the ends are as protected from moist as possible. (Capgo housing has very good performance)
Using the Equal for a couple of months and way more powerful than the 4 pistons Juín.
Even swapped my rear rotor from 160mm to 140mm.
I use them in my gravel, that goes everywhere my MTB goes, ups and downs is my thing.
Sometimes in technical and long descents I boiled the Juin and had to wait for them to cool again.
Never had that issue again.

You can change all the screws for titanium ones, even the boring Philips on the pivot.
https://youtu.be/ltLOVKjLUE8
Recently also replaced the rubber taps with ergal screws. Lost one of the rubber…

Cristoffel
Cristoffel
4 months ago

I had exactly the sam experience. On my roadbike I switched to the Juintech GT (4 piston) from the TRP Hy/rd for more stopping power. They worked nicely under normal conditions, but on a ride with lots of steep descents I boiled them. I replaced the oil with one I know to be of good quality, but I never trusted them again. So when the Growtac Equal came out, I immediately ordered a pair of purple post mount ones.They perform absolutely great! The stopping power is comparable with the hydro setup I ride on my gravel bike, and I don’t miss anything in the modulation department. I use them with compressionless Jagwire housing (just because I already had it on the bike) and it works flawlessly. Maybe the perfect middle ground between the two different housings provided with the brakes. My only gripe I have now with the Shimano aluminium core discs I use. They are more prone to bending under heat and thus more noisy. Will switch back to a sturdy steel disc.

Tim
Tim
4 months ago
Reply to  Cristoffel

What levers did you use with your road brakes? I’m curious because road cable brake performance varies a lot, which I believe is caused by the differing cable pulls of various road brake levers- Shimano SLR Plus, Shimano Super SLR, Campy, etc.

Cristoffel
Cristoffel
3 months ago
Reply to  Tim

I use Shimano Ultegra R8000 levers

MDP
MDP
4 months ago
Reply to  Cristoffel

I also experienced better performance in the Juins after rebleedind them.
In my opinion they need to be rebleed more often than regular hidraulic brakes.
Its a simple process that can keep the Juins in good performance.

Tim
Tim
4 months ago
Reply to  MDP

From what I have heard, though, accessing the hydraulic cylinder voids the warranty.

MDP
MDP
4 months ago
Reply to  Tim

Indeed, but who wants to run a brakeset with boiled oil inside that affects negatively the performance?

Tim
Tim
4 months ago

WARNING: Those bolts are not Phillips- they are JIS (Japanese Industrial Standard). If you use a Phillips screwdriver you can easily strip the bolt head. So you’ll have to track down a JIS screwdriver to work on these brakes, which in my view is a disadvantage of these brakes. Nothing shipped to outside of Japan, and certainly nothing that demands high torque, should use JIS bolts, which most people have never even heard of, are easily mistaken for Phillips and easily damaged by it.

MDP
MDP
4 months ago
Reply to  Tim

I have several bits, tried the one that fitted better and was quite easy to remove the bolt.
Currently has a torx custom tuned titanium bolt.

Tim
Tim
4 months ago

Also, that’s really interesting that the Growtacs are more powerful than the Juintechs.

MDP
MDP
4 months ago
Reply to  Tim

Indeed!
I have more power in the rear using the current 140mm rotor than previously using 160mm and Juin 4 piston.
It is what it is, my sincere user opinion.
Growtac was a very good surprise.

Tim
Tim
4 months ago

BTW- what levers did you use with your road brakes? I’m curious because road cable brake performance varies a lot, which I believe is caused by the differing cable pulls of various road brake levers- Shimano SLR Plus, Shimano Super SLR, Campy, etc.

MDP
MDP
4 months ago
Reply to  Tim

Hi Tim, I have Sram Red AXS brake levers.

kimbo305
kimbo305
3 months ago

>You will pinch the rotor until the rotor is centered in the little centering notch, then tighten the caliper to the frame to the required torque. BTW, this little notch was super helpful in lining the pads up, and centering the rotor in the caliper.

Since the caliper is installed to the frame at the end of this procedure, that means the rotor permanently “lives” in the notch, right? In other words, the notch isn’t only an alignment aid, but also a permanent tight clearance during normal use?

Or is there some rotation as the caliper is tightened that pulls the rotor free of the notch?

Sean
Sean
2 months ago

I’m keen for some of these over the Klampers purely based on their alignment with where my cables exit fork/frame. My only concern is the manual says ‘not to reuse the pad retaining thru bolt’… That seems to limit the use of other pads (since it’s unique) and why? What would be the issue? I’ve watched the strip/rebuild video on Growtac’s page; it’s a pretty sturdy looking bolt????

Sean
Sean
2 months ago
Reply to  Sean

…Growtac replied to my query; their concern with reusing bolt is because thread lock will degrade and lead to bolt possibly unthreading while riding. But they did say the thread lock good for 4 or 5 in/outs and then either replace bolt (with theirs) or thread lock. So, they’re back on my list – in fact have ordered a pair 🙂

Rafael Espinal
Rafael Espinal
2 months ago

Can I use this brake system on a electric bike?
My actual brakes has a problem , I have to change my pads brakes every month due to I use a lot my e-bike. THIS BRAKE COULD FIX THIS PROBLEM ?THESE BRAKES WILL LAST LONGER THAN MY CURRENT BRAKES?