The trickle-down effect of bike technology has reached a point where Tektro are making hydraulic disc brakesets that you can buy for R1000! Hydraulic disc brakes, in case you don’t know, are the most under-rated evolutionary step in mountain biking. The better you stop, the faster you can go and the more confidently you can ride. It’s a win-win-win situation. The only setback, until now, has been the cost. In order to test the Draco 2 brakeset properly, we asked the importers, Omnico, to fit them to a high-performance bike. So they sent them on the Cannondale F29 we were testing. Our previous experience with Tektro brakes has always been a rim brake or a mechanical disc brake and always on entry level bikes.
The cast aluminium levers are ergonomically well designed, offering optimal reach/leverage and space for two fingers comfortably. Modulation is pretty consistent, but don’t expect the smoothness of high-end disc brakes. They’re not interchangeable, to make sure to get the brake orientation right from the start… They take mineral oil. The calipers are an open system design with a dual piston. Once they’d bedded in, we were unhappy with the alignment, which prevented free wheel movement. After some fiddling we managed to improve it. The fact that the forces on a Lefty are probably a little asymmetrical didn’t help, but we did eventually get them aligned to our satisfaction.
Braking performance was good. It was actually better than we’d expected and on par, with Shimano and SRAM/Avid entry-level models we’ve ridden. We did experience some noise in dusty, dry conditions, but that’s not specifically a Tektro thing. We did some research and found that replacing the brake pads with Shimano resin pads seems to eliminate the noise and improve braking performance. But that’s not our experience, just what we read.
We rode these brakes for at least eight weeks on a variety of trails, both with 160mm rotors (also available in 180mm). We had to keep reminding ourselves that they’re just on R1000, which is remarkable and pretty much eliminates any reason to still ride any bike without hydraulic discs.
COLOURS: Black; Red; White
CONTACT: www.omnico.co.za; 021 300 1500
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Originally published in TREAD Issue 23, 2013 – All rights reserved