Best Road Bike Brake Calipers [Review] in 2021
written by Cycle expert Alex Bristol
Check out the results fast – here are our review winners
Brakes are among the most important parts of a bike. Without reliable brakes, accidents are likely to happen because you won’t be able to stop instantly in case of an emergency. Now that’s the last thing we want right?
Upgrading with a new set is the most exciting part of your bike journey as well as the most important safety feature.
However, you need to be careful when choosing because there are different types of brakes for road bikes and not all of them will be compatible with your bike. It can be a tedious job at the best of times.
But not to worry I’m here to guide you through.
I’ve researched 15 different products looking at weight, performance, and ease of installation on your bike to help take away the confusing features and get onto the good stuff.
I shall also reveal what makes caliper brakes to be so popular amongst many other cyclists.
But more on this later let’s jump in.
We’ve spent the time so you don’t have to:
My Top Best Road Bike Callipers
Origin8 Classic Road Caliper
If you are searching for a functional bike caliper for your road bike, Origin8 Classic Road Caliper is one of the best on the market.
It has a modern and smooth finish and it is very easy to install. The dual-pivot design also enables it to have remarkable stopping power.
You will never have to worry about your brakes failing with this bad boy.
I personally love Origin8 because of its quality for the price. With the Shimano build quality at sub-Shimano pricing, you can’t go wrong. The stopping power is excellent, and the caliper returns well while being easily adjustable.
Simply these are excellent for the price point. If you don’t care about what brand names your bike has on it, then you really can’t go wrong with these brakes.
They’re compatible with any short-pull lever, the pads are good, and they’re easy to install. please note, they are recessed mount.
Overall this product is a steal for the price point, don’t just take it from me look at what others have said about this product!
Functional front brake
Excellent stopping power
Could be longer
Latest deal: Origin8 Classic Road Caliper
Hope Tech 3 E4 Brake
If you’re looking for an excellent disc brake that’ll allow you to push the limits and pace without the worry of an unreliable disc brake then Hope Tech 3 is the one for you.
This is a supermodel for excellent stopping power, the solid ergonomic caliper is constructed from one-piece CNC-machined T6 aluminum alloy giving you reliable and durable brakes.
It even has a 5% better-stopping power when compared to other models.
The machining and overall quality is an example that should be followed for all other bike brands, you should take a look for yourself!
Solid ergonomic caliper
5% better stopping power
CNC-machined T6 aluminum
Latest deal: Hope Tech 3 E4 Brake
SRAM Brake Caliper
For those who are looking for budget friendly brake calipers that will give you the best value for money, SRAM Brake Caliper is the best.
They are available in 5 different colors and they are purely designed to provide excellent performance.
Now here’s the deal…
Their construction features a dual pivot performance which combines with an external centering adjuster. The Swiss stop brake pads makes them easy to switch the brake pads and they also provide a responsive riding performance.
They are easy to install and also easy to adjust. Overall this is a great product that won’t break your bank. This product was designed to not only serve good looks but also high performance.
Excellent low profile brakes
Easy to install
Latest deal: SRAM Brake Caliper
Shimano Ultegra BR- R8000 Brake Calipers
As compared to other road bike calipers on the market, Shimano Ultegra BR-R8000 Brake Calipers provide the best performance.
If you are planning to upgrade your bike or you have just purchased a new bike, these calipers offer the performance of Shimano premier group at a very affordable price.
These brakes have a very decent look and they help to improve aerodynamics and rigidity. As a result, you will find that they are more powerful as compared to other calipers.
Again, they provide very smooth rides when riding on uneven terrains. They also have a barrel which provides a quick-adjust to prevent punctures.
You might be wondering: what’s the catch?
There is none, go check it out for yourself. This may be the next favorite edition to your bicycle.
The best brake calipers
Excellent brake control
They have a fantastic look
Latest deal: Shimano Ultegra BR- R8000 Brake Calipers
Tektro R539 Fixie Track Road Bike Short Reach Dual Pivot Brake Calipers
Tektro R539 Calipers are very easy to install and are excellent for entry-level road bikes. Whether you’re looking to get back into cycling or start from scratch having a quality road-bike caliper is the best way to start.
They have a very decent price which makes them a great option especially for those who are on a budget.
Apart from their affordable price, these calipers are very easy to adjust. They also provide a smooth and powerful braking performance as compared to other cheap models.
When they are properly adjusted, these brake calipers are very effective. They also have a great look and they are highly responsive for a 700c x 28.
I know what you’re thinking, why did I make you wait this long?
Well as they always say, save the best till last- go have a look!
Easy to adjust
Powerful braking performance
They flex too much
Latest deal: Tektro R539
Road Bike Caliper buyers guide
There are so many ways to upgrade your road bike why not start with the brakes. Not only will it allow you to push the boundaries, pick up the pace, and race towards your goals without the consequences.
Nothing we all hate more than failed brakes and the panic that takes over your body when you go to pull the brakes and they fail- we’ve all been there once in our biking experience.
With the options I’ve given you today that’ll be the last thing you’ll need to worry about.
Before going on my next biking adventure I always check my brakes to ensure they’re up for the challenge.
With many choices nowadays it can often be tedious, but with this guide, I’ll help you through what to look out for before clicking buy.
Things to look out for would be finding the right budget that fits for you then following my guide in order to find the best one possible. Cheap brakes may not be as effective so paying a slightly higher price for quality is something I would recommend.
If you pay more you should get a lighter brake without having to lose the stiffness and accuracy, it’ll give you that improve feel and more durable and long-lasting.
What are the benefits of using caliper brakes on road bikes?
Even if disc brakes are more advanced and more effective than caliper brakes, the popularity of caliper brakes remains unmatched. Some of the benefits of using caliper brakes include;
- They are easier to maintain as compared to the disc brakes.
- They are lighter
- You will also find that they are more affordable than the disc brakes
- In terms of design, caliper brakes look nice.
- Their quick-release wheels are very fast and easier to change.
- Another benefit is that their spares such as blocks, QR levers, and cables are easy to find.
How to determine the best brakes for your road bike
When upgrading your bike, choosing between disc brakes and caliper brakes might be a bit confusing. However, you should consider the following.
Price– In case you are on a budget, caliper brakes are cheaper than disc brakes. However, don’t go for the cheapest caliper brakes because they might not give you the best performance.
Weight- If you want to make your bike more lightweight, you should look for caliper brakes because they have a sleek design. On the other hand, disc brakes are likely to slow your bike down especially when climbing.
Performance– Disc brakes are the most effective brakes because they use a hydraulic system. As a result, they are very powerful which makes them the best option if you will be cycling on wet surfaces.
Ease of installation– Setting up caliper brakes is easier than installing disc brakes. You should also note that caliper brakes are very easy to maintain and repair.
Type of your bike– What you need to know is that it is not possible to interchange the braking systems of a bike. If you are using a caliper brake system, you should stick with it. Otherwise, you may need to buy a new frame, wheels, and other components if you opt to upgrade the bike with disc brakes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between disc brakes and caliper brakes?
The major difference between the two lies in where the force is being applied. For caliper brakes, the braking force is applied at the point where the brake pads get into contact with the rim. On the other hand, disc brakes apply the braking force on the rotor.
Which is the best caliper brake for road bikes?
If you are searching for high-end caliper brakes for road bikes, Shimano Ultegra BR-R8000 Brake Calipers provides the best performance. They are a bit expensive but the truth is that they are worth the price.
Choosing between disc brakes and caliper brakes might be very confusing to most cyclists. What you need to know is that disc brakes are more effective than caliper brakes.
However, they are more expensive and they may also slow you down especially when climbing hills because they are not lightweight.
Again, replacing caliper brakes with disc brakes might force you to buy a new frame, wheels, and other bike components.
Instead, you should look for high-end caliper brakes that provide excellent stopping power like the Shimano Ultegra BR-R8000 Brake Calipers. If you are on a budget, Tektro R539 Calipers will still be a great option.
Keep pushing the boundaries but stay safe, happy biking!
Content Manager at Pedallers
Alex is a cycling expert at and focuses on reviewing bikes, accessories, and general cycling. He searches for the most up to date products that match the needs of cyclists across the world. Whether it's recent news or the best bike set-ups, Alex is a trusted source for anything around cycling.