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.
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.