Top 11 Mountain Bike Hydraulic Brakes

Looking for new brakes for your mountain bike? We have compared a number of well-known hydraulic disc brakes to determine the best mountain bike disc brakes.

You can travel at greater speeds when your bike is equipped with quality brakes. Sound like an oxymoron? Maybe, but it’s true.

The consequence of being aware that you can put on the brakes quickly and expertly is that you feel more comfortable pushing nearer to the maximum speed limit. Consequently, you become a faster and more controlled rider.

For more control on a bicycle, having strength is not enough; having the capacity to precisely change your braking power by applying small changes to pressure on the lever gives a great deal more manageability than just a binary option of completely on or completely off.

By doing that, you can stop inadvertent sliding and it will result in decreased stopping capability and command of the bike.

Some brakes feature four pistons in their callipers, while others have two. Using four pistons provides greater braking power, however, it will add extra weight.

Having the capability to change the lever is beneficial in order to maintain control and lessen hand fatigue.

Those with shorter hands will want a shorter lever reach, which usually comes as a standard feature. Additionally, being able to adjust the “bite point” of the brake may assist in getting the location that gives their digits the most control.

In practical terms, you should pick stoppers with minimal upkeep necessary, which can usually be found with hydraulic units (except for rare brake bleeding) and have the ability to quickly replace brake pads when needed.

When examining the top-of-the-line mountain bike disc brakes, we consider power, responsiveness, advancement in performance over time, precision, and durability. There are also plenty of assembly and disassembly sessions to determine how simple the brakes are to upkeep and repair.

1. Shimano XTR 9120

Shimano XTR M9120 XTR Disc Brake

Confidence in your bike and equipment is essential to successfully navigate difficult trails. Shimano XTR 9120 Trail hydraulic disc brakes for mountain bikes is acclaimed as one of the best available, delivering outstanding and reliable stopping power while also providing superior lightweight control.

These brakes are produced to remain at a moderate temperature and keep working effectively even when extreme braking is required due to specialised heat diffusion properties on both the calliper and brake pads. This ensures you have predictable and consistent braking power.

Levers and brake pads that can be adjusted with great flexibility allow you to get your brakes exactly as you prefer them.

It’s never been easier to tackle any tricky terrain than with the Shimano XTR 9120s. Shimano provides a variant of the XTR 9120 that is less bulky, which is beneficial to those seeking an improved performance.

2. SRAM Code R


If you’re iSram Code R Rear Brakesnto downhill mountain biking, then the SRAM Code R disc brakes might be the perfect fit for you. The robust construction of these hydraulic disc brakes allows for a strong braking force.

The even braking modulation feature allows you to quickly reduce your velocity without fully locking up your rear wheel, which means you have complete control when you stop. SRAM Code R brakes have been designed with certain aspects to enable their dependability and consistent performance, even when put under a lot of strain.

This hydraulic brake for mountain bikes comes with adjustable levers and easy-to-change brake pads, making it an excellent value for the money.

3. Hope Tech 3 E4

These Hope Tech 3 V4 callipers are top-notch hydraulic brakes that can handle anything and last for a long time. This is realized through skilful engineering, fabricating the calliper from a unitary block of aluminium alloy.

You can have complete assurance that this brake can be tailored to fit your exact preferences with the adjustable lever. It ensures ultimate relaxation and tranquillity. These brakes are excellent value for money, as they come with readily available brake pads which can be easily replaced and come in a variety of colours.

These brakes are excellent for any type of cycling thanks to their compatibility with most rotor sizes, providing consistent braking power and allowing you to feel secure while riding in any environment.

4. Shimano SLX M7000

Are you in search of cost-effective and dependable brakes? If so, the Shimano SLX BR-M700 disc brakes may be the ideal choice for you.

Do not make the mistake of underestimating the quality of these brakes because of their price—they are excellent. The products manufactured by this highly respected company have incorporated their best innovations into even their most basic offerings. The appeal of these items lies in their neat and effortless construction, their hassle-free upkeep and repair, and their lasting sturdiness.

Shimano SLX M700 ensures that when you’re blazing down the trails fast, your power to stop is strong and your control over braking is consistent.

5. Magura MT7 Next 4-Piston

This brake has been designed specifically for riders who need a lot of stopping power, especially those who enjoy going downhill quickly.

Those who partake in downhill and enduro riding will likely be very satisfied with the acceleration that comes from using the four-piston system.

The rotor is pressed with 4 pistons, as opposed to the regular 2, which boosts the stopping force. This implies that if you’re driving downhill quickly, you can make sure to stop directly when you use the brake.

6. Shimano BL-MT501/MT502

Shimano BL-MT501/BR-MT520 4-Pot Hydraulic Disc Brake

Shimano BL-MT501/MT502 brakes are very cost-effective, but do not skimp on performance; they work impressively well despite their lower price tag when compared to other more expensive hydraulic mountain bike brakes.

A useful characteristic of this item at such an economical cost is the hinged clasp that makes affixing the brakes to the handlebars simple.

The levers designed to be specific to either the left or right side contain Shimano’s ServoWave link, allowing the pads to be pushed further in at the initial stage of the lever’s actuation than the later part.

This allows for better regulation and gives Shimano the opportunity to create a larger gap between the pads and discs – perfect for muddy circumstances. The pads are secured using a split pin, which makes them easier to make, but may be more difficult to switch out.

The brake tubes have a predetermined angularity and the hose for the back brake is 1700mm, which could turn out to be too short for the trendiest downhill or trail bikes.

It is difficult to find any serious issues with Shimano’s four-cylinder brakes, even considering a few minor flaws. These brakes provide a large amount of decelerating power and the lever has a distinct, confident feel.

7. Shimano Deore M6000

SHIMANO Deore M6000 MTB Hydraulic Disc Brake Set Front&Rear 2xRT56 Rotor Option - Picture 1 of 8

Shimano’s Deore brakes have served as our preferred option when shopping for discs on a budget. They operate efficiently while being much cheaper than other options, so why waste time exploring other alternatives?

The M6000 utilizes features taken from more advanced Shimano models, like clamps on the bar and adjustments with an Allen key, so it is far from being a very basic structure.

Power and modulation are satisfactory, producing a good balance of prominent lever action and even force allowance when the lever is pressed harder. The lever being offered is sturdier than most, and it offers a great deal in terms of its price value. So, it’s an unbeatable purchase.

8. SRAM Code RSC

Sram Code RSC Front And Rear Disc Brake Set

SRAM’s Code Brake is a favourite among downhill and enduro racers, as well as electric cyclists, due to its high level of stopping power. This RSC edition is comparable to the Code R but offers more customization possibilities.

The lever is highly versatile. This accessory can be affixed to either side of the handlebar and it comes with a removable clasp that has a jointed hinge. There is no need for tools to alter the positioning of the lever or the level of pressure needed to activate it. Inside, a large reservoir helps increase heat resistance.

The lever allows the pads to be rapidly engaged, and the further you push the lever during the stroke, the more subtle the response becomes, resulting in greater control.

This calliper has four pistons and its pads are kept in place with a screwed-in fastener. Our testing revealed that these were just as effective as any other choice obtainable on the market in terms of providing power.

Although there is a bit more to the process than with other brakes, bleeding is still an easy task to do. The fixing of hoses is very simple because of the barbs that are screwed in and the olives that are screwed on.

In general, these brakes have a terrific sensation, the best possible craftsmanship, and are simple to keep up.

9. Clarks Clout 1

It is definitely worth applauding Clarks for their remarkable achievement of providing a well-functioning hydraulic disk break at a cost of only £24.99, or an even lower price if two are purchased, which is a bargain at £44.99. That price includes a 160mm or 180mm rotor.

This is not really intended to be used in situations such as when the front hose is too short for more adventurous mountain bikes, however it includes an olive and barb to trim the hose. This bar clamp does not have a hinge, so it is necessary to remove the clutch. It is easy to fit the lever, and it feels very sturdy in comparison to its cost.

Although not as strong or effective as more costly options, the Clout functions reasonably well. If you replace a basic bike’s economical disc brake system that is controlled by cables, it will be much better than what you currently have. Do not anticipate a vigorous output, however the amount you are paying for it is exceptional.

10. Formula Cura

The Formula Cura brake, with a sleek look, consists of two pistons and is designed for use on light, swift mountain and downcountry bicycles.

The lever has a double-sided structure, making it suitable for either a front or a rear brake. The brake has a split clamp that is easy to attach to a bar and has a nice, polished look to it.

Hoses that are 2,000mm long should be suitable for even the biggest bikes, and they attach to the brakes at predetermined spots.

When it comes to operation, the levers with the good shape are easy to press with not much strength required, although the brakes with the biggest four pistons produce more braking power, the 24mm pistons provide the user with enough clamping force.

The issue of the lever assembly and the lack of lever alteration is a concern, but all in all, these brakes are visually appealing and work very well.

11. Hayes Dominion T4

The Dominion T4 is a lighter model than the Dominion A4, weighing 40g less. It also has a design that allows it to be used on both sides of the bar accessory. It is simple to attach, and there are choices for accepting SRAM’s Matchmaker and I-Spec clamps.

The T4’s bar is constructed of carbon fibre and has a glossy surface that may be a bit slippery. The provided clearance for adjustment is abundant, and our experiment revealed that the space to alter the grasp was 1cm distant through the initial draining.

The T4 starts giving power quickly, yet there is a slight squishiness at the response that might not be favored by everyone. The strength available was remarkable, causing barely any strain on the fingers.

Things to consider when buying mountain bike hydraulic brakes

Mountain bikes continue to be amazingly proficient, largely due to advancements in tires and the abundance of technical terrain and bike parks. Plus, riders are finding new ways to refine their techniques.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a competitive cyclist hoping to win races or somebody who just wants to be safe and secure while riding, mountain bike brakes must deliver in all regards.

All of the brakes meant for mountain biking may have diverse features and performance even though they are all for the same job.

Bikes that are created for the purpose of tackling steep, challenging descents are designed to be extremely sturdy with the most powerful brakes available. Some bikes are meant to be lightweight and ideal for riding over country, or just taking a leisurely ride on a trail.

The ultimate determinant of which brakes to select will be based on the kind of riding you do and how much you are willing to expend. Check out this article to find out all the factors that should be taken into account when purchasing hydraulic mountain bike brakes, and then get back to biking!


The price of bike components, including hydraulic disc brakes, can differ widely. If you want the top quality hydraulic brakes for your mountain bike, be prepared to pay a hefty price.

You can get some fairly good deals but you might have to allow for them not being ultra-lightweight, not having highly adjustable features, or not having optimal ergonomics.

What’s in the box

Pay attention to what is included with the brake package, as some contain complete sets of components like the caliper, handle, hydraulic hose, and rotor. Other brake packages have each piece on its own. You will require all components of the brake system to finish putting it together.

Style in riding

The brakes you should pick depend on what sort of mountain biking you do.

Someone who balances their bike across downhills or rides through more difficult terrain is best served with a sturdier brake, while those who ride cross country or trails might better benefit from a smaller, more lightweight option.

Rotor size

The bigger the rotor, the more power is generated when brakes are applied. Bikes that are utilized for downhill and enduro biking, which involve going up and down longer and steeper hills, often come with much larger brakes – ranging from 180mm to 200mm.

Bicycles intended for cross country and trail-style riding, which normally involve shorter, less steep declines, usually have rotors that are 140mm to 180mm in size.


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