TRP Spyre brakes as seen on my Raleigh Tamland Two
Many folks have asked me over the time I have had my Tamland Two about the brakes on it. The TRP Spyre calipers are a unique brake and are a direct competitor with the aging Avid BB-7 mechanical brake. Okay, let’s cut to the chase right away. The TRP Spyre brakes are definitely better brakes than the Avid BB-7’s are. I have used almost every variation of the BB-7’s since 2003, and I have owned several sets of them. They were unapproachable in terms of feel and performance by any other mechanical brake, and if you were lucky enough to find a good mate in levers, they outperformed many earlier hydraulic brakes. However; SRAM has done pretty much zero in upgrades to this design which has now put them off the back to TRP’s Spyre. (The mtb version of this caliper is the “Spyke“, by the way.)The dual activated pads give these brakes a far smoother feel, in my opinion, than BB-7’s, and the power is a bit better as well. Matched with my Ultegra 11 speed levers, the Spyre brakes have great modulation, feel, and take less effort to operate than any BB-7 set up with drop bar levers I have used or worked on. The pad contact feel positive, not mushy at all, without being “on-off” or grabby. Some of my BB-7 set ups feel okay at first, but mid-braking performance shows a sudden tendency to grab, making modulating them a chore. Not so with the Spyre.Finally, these brakes are quiet! They will make a high pitched whistle on occasion, but that is seldom. In fact, I’m almost shocked if they do that. Otherwise, I highly recommend these. Now also available in a slightly lighter “SL” version with a carbon actuation lever.NOTE: The TRP Spyre brakes were stock components on the Tamland Two which Guitar Ted purchased for himself. TRP has not bribed nor paid us for this review and we will always strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.