Skip to content

TRP 970SL Brake review

I’ve been riding these brakes for a little while now – certainly long enough to know how they work, feel and generally perform. About time I told you a bit about them then…

I’ll admit, there’s always been ‘something’ about TRP brakes which has put me off – I won’t say I can’t pin-point it, because I know exactly what it is: ‘Tektro Racing Products’. Yup, I was being a brand snob. There’s just too much of a connection to cheap Tektro brakes on bikes where the manufacturers are cutting out groupset components to hit a price point. Regardless, I saw these on a Colnago C59 in Sigma Sport, decided they looked great and decided to take the leap.

Those who have been reading Brain Farts for a while will know I have a bit of a light weight brake fetish, having been through a set of KCNCs, a set of M5s, a set of EEs, some Ciamillo Gravitas, a pair of Token and now these. A connoisseur of the über light brake perhaps. How do these rate then?

They’re good, I’m impressed.

My KCNCs were light, but flexy. The M5s were light and stopped you incredibly well, but had next-to-zero modulation. The Tokens work well enough but don’t particularly shine. I struggled to get the Gravitas setup right, although they did show glimmers of promise. I love the EEs so much I bought a second set for the Baum. The TRPs are easily as good on setup, power and feel as the EEs – for those who don’t like the quirky looks of the EE brakes but want something aside from standard groupset brakes, you may well have your answer here. And I say that having come straight off of a set of bog standard SRAM Red brakes, which stop better than most of their light weight counterparts.

Fitting and setup was an absolute doddle. I couldn’t find anything anywhere to tell me if the red Swissstop pads that come with the brakes are designed for aluminium or carbon rims, but I reasoned that as long as I didn’t use them on aluminium first they’d be fine on carbon – they’ve done a fine job so far, although haven’t been free from squeal as my riding buddies will no doubt agree (I must re-adjust them before I next ride…).

My only complaint with them was the quick release – I say “was” because with the way the brakes arrive and the lack of clear instruction to suggest otherwise, I left the rubber grommet where it was when the brakes arrived. In doing so the paint came off of the edges where the cable adjuster slips through. Do that too often and the brakes will look tatty pretty quickly. However, in pulling this review together today and having seen other shots of these brakes online I now realise the grommet should sit between the cable adjuster barrel and the brake arm. Oops (you can see it squished into the quick release slot in the shot above, and actually if you look at the Sigma Colnago shot above, they’ve done the same!).

It’s worth noting that I used a set of the EE brake pad holders on these and that was an easy and direct swap from the standard ones. For anyone who swaps wheels regularly, or wants to be able to but currently doesn’t because of the faff of changing pads I really cannot recommend them enough. You can literally change pads in 10 seconds flat:

EE Brake Pad Removal

Look great, perform well. Not particularly cheap – aside from the lack of instructions around the quick release which resulted in the paint scratch they’re damn near flawless, even if they’re not the lightest brakes I’ve used.

Bike Tart approved.

Rich [@RichTheRoadie]

More Opinions...

How To Tidy Cabling

A little while back, my good lady wife’s bike was in need of a spring clean so I took the opportunity to finally cover something I’ve been meaning to do for ages – cables. But this is not so much a ‘how to setup and tune your brakes and gears’ and more like ‘how to keep…

Go on then, tell me more...!

F U C I

Didn’t I already write a bit on what I thought of the crotchety old men of the UCI and bicycle design?

Go on then, tell me more...!

SeaSucker Review

Our car was big enough for all of the baby stuff plus her bike, surely?

Go on then, tell me more...!

earHero Review

Headphone use on bikes is always a hotly debated internet forum topic…

Go on then, tell me more...!

Fit for use

Last week it happened, I met the ground with a thud.

Go on then, tell me more...!

The Schlumpf

It’s every rider’s little dirty secret. I’m sure it’s the same theory for all activities, but for cycling deep in the back of every cyclist’s mind they secretly like to think themselves as being ‘hardmen’. Some just think it, others are quite overt about it but either way it lingers there, simmering under the surface.…

Go on then, tell me more...!

The Hype Cycle

I’m allergic to production bikes. Ok, that’s not strictly true, but I will generally avoid most production machines – usually based an irrational dislike of the brand, a less irrational dislike of the available colourschemes, ill-suited geometry or a combination of the above. Recently, on the hunt for a new project, I had a (rather…

Go on then, tell me more...!

Bikes are boring

I bet that title caught your attention!? Let me expand on that. Bicycle ‘design’ is boring and I mean both in terms of visual appeal and in terms of design and designing. It’s funny when you think about it but somehow, in the world of bicycles, we seem to have ended up with a never…

Go on then, tell me more...!

Be seen – Orfos bike light review

Orfos lights started as one of those Kickstarter campaigns that did rather well. What was the final result…?

Go on then, tell me more...!

What Type of Cyclist Are You?

At the London round of the Rollapaluza National Series during the week a conversation got my cogs whirring… Nick Hussey, Damien Breen (of that most excellent In The Saddle blog) and myself were talking – it was like a mini bloggers convention (although not ‘mini’ in that any of us are particularly short I might…

Go on then, tell me more...!
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Scroll To Top