Best Road Bike Brake Calipers [Review] in 2020
Last Updated on July 29, 2020
This guide has been written by Cycle expert Alex Bristol
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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. In case the brake system in your bike is not functional, you can upgrade with a new set.
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. Caliper brakes are the most common types of brakes for road bikes and in this article, we shall review the best road bike brake calipers on the market. We shall also reveal what makes caliper brakes to be so popular.
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Our Top 5
Origin8 Classic Road Caliper
Top Choice Item
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 a remarkable stopping power. You should also note that you can find this caliper in multiple colors and sizes. Again, both the rear and front options are also available.
Functional front brake
Excellent stopping power
Could be longer
Latest deal: Origin8 Classic Road Caliper
VGEBY 1 Pair Bike Brake Caliper Set Aluminum Alloy
Prime Picked Item
The first thing you should note about these brake calipers is that they have a dual pivot design which means that the braking force is very sensitive and direct. The rotating part uses self-lubricating bushing which minimizes friction resistance. As a result, they provide a strong braking force. The linear braking curve and the sleek design provide a better handle feeling. They also have several quick release gears and you can also adjust the brake handle without any problem. The clear contact feeling provides balanced rigidity and a great stopping power.
Dual pivot design
Great hand feeling
Latest deal: VGEBY 1 Pair Bike Brake Caliper
SRAM Brake Caliper
Best Value Item
For those who are looking for budget friendly brake calipers that will give you the best value for money, SRAM Brake Caliper are the best. They are available in 5 different colors and they are purely designed to provide excellent performance. 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.
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 provides the best performance. If you are planning to upgrade your bike or you have just purchased a new bike, these calipers offers 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.
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 good for entry-level road bikes. They have a very decent price which makes them a great option 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.
Easy to adjust
Powerful braking performance
They flex too much
Latest deal: Tektro R539
What are the benefits of using caliper brakes on road bikes?
Even if disc brakes are more advanced and more effective than the 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 the 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 in 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 on where the force is being applied. For caliper brakes, the braking force is applied on at the point where the brake pads gets 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 bike?
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 the 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 brake 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.
Content Manager at Pedallers
Alex is a cycling expert at and focuses on reviewing bikes, accessories, and general cycling. She 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.