Velo Orange gets the exclusive on new Equal Mechanical Disc Brakes from Japan

Check this out! Velo Orange is now the sole importer and distributor of Growtac products in the US. Growtac is a Japanese engineering and manufacturing company focused on cycling products. They are making a big ol’ splash in the market with their new Equal mechanical, short-pull disc brake sets.

According to Velo Orange, the Equal disc brakes “provide excellent modulation and power with a compact and lightweight design – perfect for your gravel, touring, or all-road bike.

In testing, we’ve found that the modulation is linear and predictable, the caliper and system stiffness is confidence-inspiring, and the lever feel is natural and comfortable – offering superior performance compared to most other mechanical disc brake calipers on the market. ”

Compared to most other mechanical disc brakes we’ve seen, the clamping mechanism has been pivoted 90º, making it flush with the top of the brake instead of the side. It will be interesting to see how these perform compared to other mechanical calipers.

Kits include calipers, cables, and housing, and are available in Post ($390 USD) and Flat ($350 USD) mount options, as well as a big, variety of anodized colors like grey, red, purple, very berry, gold, black, blue, and silver. These brakes are designed, engineered, CNC’d, and packaged in Tokyo, Japan.

Specs:

  • Cable Pull: Road, short pull
  • Weight per caliper: 138g
  • Pad Actuation: Single piston
  • Cables and housing by Nissen of Japan included!

I will be getting a review pair of these bad boys and will get you the skinny on them pronto…stay tuned!

Check out Velo Orange for more great products for you and your bike!

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FrankTheTank
FrankTheTank
4 months ago

What pads do they use?

Chimpy
Chimpy
4 months ago
Reply to  FrankTheTank

shimano road specific pads like K03S/K04S

K-Pop is dangerous to your health
K-Pop is dangerous to your health
4 months ago
Reply to  FrankTheTank

Shimano M05 style

Tim
Tim
4 months ago
Reply to  FrankTheTank

Shimano road pads, this according to Growtac’s website.

TypeVertigo
4 months ago
Reply to  FrankTheTank

They use the Shimano “B01S” brake pad shape, as per the installation manual posted on Velo Orange’s site. For reference, if you’ve used any Tektro or TRP brake within the past 10 years, it’s the same as the pads used on those too.

Tim
Tim
4 months ago

I know the world has largely moved beyond mechanical brakes for largely good reasons, but I for one really like mechanical brakes still and am super stoked that someone has made a really high-end brake when it seemed like they would never see any future development. Would love to see these compared to the only other high-end mechanical, the Paul Klamper.

TypeVertigo
4 months ago
Reply to  Tim

Same. That’s the comparison I’d like to see. Interesting that Growtac’s caliper is still a single-piston design fundamentally, just with the actuation arm pivoted 90 degrees. They’ve used it to introduce a visual brake force scale as well (the manual discusses this in more detail).

Astro_Kraken
Astro_Kraken
4 months ago
Reply to  Tim

So fast and easy to adjust.

John
John
4 months ago
Reply to  Tim

TRP Spyre, no significant flaws in my experience.

T.S.
T.S.
4 months ago
Reply to  John

TRP Spyres with good cables and housing are legit. Why you would want a single side actuation mechanical disc brake over a decade past when the bb7 was the best brake around is beyond me…

Chris
Chris
4 months ago
Reply to  T.S.

BB7’s don’t come in flat mount unfortunately. I’d get them if they did.

Tim
Tim
4 months ago
Reply to  T.S.

Dual piston mechanical brakes are not automatically better than single piston ones. In fact, dual piston brakes are probably worse overall- the mechanism that moves the inboard pad has to be made very small to fit into the small small gap between the caliper and the spokes and therefore is not likely to be very strong or rigid. This is exactly the reason why Paul of Paul Components chose not to go with a dual piston design; he also prototyped dual piston designs, found them wanting and opted for good old single piston.

Super A
Super A
4 months ago
Reply to  Tim

I own bikes with both mechanical rim and hydraulic disc. I have experienced the pros and cons of both but the faff of hydraulic bleeds will tip me towards mechanical in the preference department. I’m all for cool innovative tech that works as well as hydraulics do, but I have to live with them too as I do most of my own maintenance. With other life commitments and lacking a consistently reliable LBS, time is precious. What y’all think?

Greg
Greg
4 months ago

Not a big fan of the cable clamp method, which tends to destroy the cable and make it very difficult to make small corrections. The little cnc ball cable ends are fun though.
Also curious to see the internals, how it keeps the moving pad square, what kind of rolling elements it uses to combat friction.

kevin
kevin
4 months ago
Reply to  Greg

The ball cable ends are from Forager Cycles

Chi
Chi
4 months ago
Reply to  Greg

yup that’s the reason i perfer the spyre vs the lighter spyre slc

JEG
JEG
4 months ago
Reply to  Greg
Key
Key
4 months ago

I own a pair and it is great. Easy to install, no mechanical trouble, lightweight( caliper plus sti), controllable and stops well. I also love it because this has colors. Mine is shinny red and looks so special. Only things to consider are included outer cable is so stiff that might make some installation issue, and brake is not light as fluid caliper.

Tim
Tim
4 months ago

Come to think of it, I’d like to see a comparison of this and the Klamper with a plain old BB7. If blinginess is the real reason to get this brake, then that would be good to know. (Remember that hydraulic users are not immune to buying for bling, either- is there any strong reason to buy XTR brakes over Deore ones?)

Dockboy
Dockboy
4 months ago
Reply to  Tim

Potential reasons to go with XTR mostly live in the lever – free stroke and tool free reach adjust on the 4 pot XTR add functionality. The XTR calipers are supposed to be stiffer, from a 1-piece design, and they use ceramic pistons for heat resistance.

Not necessarily a huge upgrade, but some practical advantages.

Tim
Tim
4 months ago
Reply to  Dockboy

OK, that’s all true. XTR is over 3x as expensive as Deore, though. The adjustable free stroke is a serious advantage, not sure at what level that shows up.

Super A
Super A
4 months ago

Looking forward to that review. I’m guilty of saying the animus directed at mechanical disc brakes is because we simply need better mechanical disc brakes, whether wholly mechanical or a hybrid mechanically actuated hydraulic caliper. Perhaps these are another step towards that nirvana. The Paul calipers are wonderful, but that price! Shimano and SRAM could be waiting to acquire the small innovator who nails it.

MDP
MDP
4 months ago

Any retailer for Europe?

scaldedmonkey
scaldedmonkey
4 months ago

if the fancy aglets are included, i’m in.

Chris White
4 months ago

The cable routing is the most apparent advantage of these over Paul Klampers – it appears to be more in line with where most internal routing points the housing, which is a problem on certain frames with the Klampers. In contrast, having tool-less pad adjustment is an advantage for the Pauls.
I’ve also experimented with all of the road cable disc options and only the Pauls give no-compromise performance, if you can ignore the price. These Growtac brakes still aren’t cheap, but it would be great to know if the performance is similar.