TRP G-Spec Quadiem Brakes
Words by Nic Hall | Photos by Nic Hall
Braking control equals speed, and control is what the new TRP G-Spec Quadiem brake is all about. Aaron Gwin took two years to help the development team at TRP produce the Quadiem, one of the largest brakes we have ever seen. The market is full of high end, four piston brakes with power on level with many moto brakes. So what makes the Quadiem stand out? The absolute highest level of modulation and control available.
The Quadiem starts life as a forged block of aluminum that undergoes a CNC process to produce an absolute monster of cooling fins and oil capacity. The caliper body is more reminiscent of my KTM brakes than other downhill offerings. While surface area is large, the actual weight is right in the middle of the pack at 312g.
The caliper might steal the show on looks, but the lever is also well thought out. A steep bladed design puts single finger placement right on the machined dimples. Tool free reach adjust with indexed clicks makes tuning the lever a breeze. XT/XTR and matchmaker compatibility are little touches that show TRP is thinking about even the smallest details on these brakes.
Bleeding was simple as well, a two-syringe kit easily connects to bleed nipples and into the master cylinder. Mineral oil runs this system and is my preferred fluid, as it is not caustic to paints or plastics and is readily available.
After spending time on an enduro bike, then on a dedicated downhill rig for a week in whistler, my initial thoughts on these brakes were on the lack of absolute power despite the hefty looks. But after thinking about how my braking style changed with the Quadiem, I have come to appreciate the finer aspects of the brake.
Lever feel is unique, the pull is relatively short with practically zero free travel before engagement. Modulation is all within a few millimeters once contact is made, but feedback is outstanding. I found myself using less force when braking, leading to less hand pump and more enjoyable park riding. Once lever reach is set up, the best comparison I have to this brake’s lever feel is a high end set of street bike brakes.
Initially, we were somewhat puzzled at the lack of initial bite and absolute power these brakes supplied. But that soft initial contact coupled with modulation for days actually made my riding faster and pushed my braking points further into the corner. Swapping to metal pads definitely increased maximum power but did not negatively affect the modulation at all, which is quite impressive.
The Wolf’s Last Word
TRP had us questioning the Quadiem as a DH brake because of its flat out stopping power. However, after seeing our speeds increase, we can say control is king. The G-Spec Quadiem is all about control and gives you the ability to shed just a touch of speed when coming into a corner, which makes the Quadiem our choice for the master of modulation. We do realize however, and even had some situations of our own, when we want flat out stopping power. We’re not all Aaron Gwin and capable of riding anything at any speed and if you’re a rider who makes frequent emergency stops at the top of steep sections or is looking for a brake to bring your puckered carcass to a hault anywhere on the trail, these may not be the best option for you. If you’re a pinner who loves feeling every little input on the trail and have the skills to let a brake open up your speed, then the Quadiem’s could be your ticket.
Lacks All Out Stopping Power
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