best mtb brakes reviews

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Last Updated on January 26, 2022

Riding your top rated mountain bike at top speed is great. You can reach your destination in time or simply move faster than other riders on the same trail do. However, riding at top speed also means that you need to have full control over how fast your bike moves. Otherwise, you risk running into an accident and possibly injuring yourself. Here, you need the best mountain bike brakes to control your motion. 

Whether you want to make an emergency brake or you want to slow down a bit when descending hard, these brakes will go a long way to keep you safe. 

But with the many options out there already, which one should you choose for your bike? Whether you’re into disc brakes, you prefer hydraulic brakes, or you still fancy the old school V-brakes, here are some good options that you should consider. 


Top Rated Mountain Bicycle Brakes Comparison & Rating Chart







Shimano M820 Saint Disc Brake Set, Rotor and Mount...

10 x 9 x 3 inches

4 pistons

306 grams

15 finger levers

Hope Tech 3 V4 Front Brake Black

8.8 x 8.5 x 3 inches

4 pistons

1.54 pounds

2 levers

SRAM Guide Ultimate Disc Brake and Lever - Front,...

8 x 8 x 3 inches

4 pistons

1.15 pounds

aluminum lever

Shimano DISC Brake Assembled Set, DEORE,...

9.8 x 9 x 2.5 inches

1 piston

1.3 pounds

aluminum lever

SHIMANO Mountain Bicycle V-Brake - BR-T4000





Best MTB Brakes Reviews - Front & Rear Brakes Revealed

1. Shimano M820 Saint Disc Brake Set

Shimano pays close attention to the most essential details when designing braking systems. And the M820 is one of their latest breakthroughs in the disc brake sets.

Designed for performance, and weighing only 306 grams, this set is a good choice for the best mountain bike under $500 riders who want the best value for their money. 

You begin to notice just how well these perform when racing downhill.

From proving excellent braking power when descending hard to allowing you to make emergency stops when you have to, the M820 Saint Disc Brake Set will make you feel a lot more secure on any trail. 

The safety assurance of the M820 is what makes them nearly as laudable. But the set tends to generate a lot of heat, especially during those long hour rides when you have a long distance to cover. Even then, a ventilation system can help you control this heating. And vented pads are usually the best bet in such a case. 


  • This brake set promises great braking power, thanks to the 4-piston calipers 
  • Support emergency stopping


  • Pricey

2. Hope Tech 3 V4 Front Brake

Hope Tech 3 V4 is an investment that’s likely to last for a long time to come. Fix this on the front of your mountain bike and it’ll provide long-term service.

 And maybe you won’t even itch for an upgrade. It sports an aluminum body. But at 1.54 pounds, which isn’t a weight you expect from an aluminum build per se, this will add some weight to your handlebar for certain. 

One of the things we love about the Tech 3 V4 is that the contact points are easy to adjust.

Furthermore, the anodized finish ensures stepped up scratch resistance, so the brake doesn’t lose its glossy appearance.

When it comes to performance, we think Tech 3 V4 brakes are quite consistent, especially because it has good responses with minimal instances of delays. However, there’s no mechanism to prevent overheating. 


  • You can easily adjust the reach and contact point of this brake
  • Made of aluminum for strength and durability
  • Scratch and element resistant, thanks to the anodized finish


  • Quite expensive for a front brake

3. SRAM Guide Ultimate Disc Brake

SRAM’s accessories are popular for their quality. And this Guide Ultimate Disc Brake is an example of their almost perfect innovation.

For the price, you get what we like to describe as a perfect mix of adjustability and performance.

At the very least, this braking system will give you the stopping power you need to control your bike’s speed on any trail.


With 2-sealed bearing, this brake’s lever is not only easy to adjust but also easy to operate. The modulation isn’t superior, but it’s just good enough to give you the control you deserve.

We love the open caliper build, as it helps ensure that the components don’t heat up too much.

Thanks to the Bleed Edge technology, this brake will appeal to you if you’re a cyclist who would rather regularly bleed their system. 


  • Titanium material gives this brake a lighter feel
  • Good stopping power on any trail out there
  • Open caliper design easily prevents overheating


  • Not the cheapest option in the market

4. Shimano Deore M6000 Pre-Bled Disc Brake

The M820 isn’t the only best model in Shimano’s bike brakes product line. Even the Deore M600, which comes after the M615 model, is a good option in its series.

Something easily noticeable about this is the price point. Going for under $100, Deore M6000 is the best MTB brake for cyclists on a (tight) budget. 

This disc brake features a Servo Wave, which is ideal in altering pad movement and enhancing braking power.

 When it comes to reliability, there are no cheaper brakes to depend on nearly as much as you would these. 

You get better lever pull consistency from these, even in the filthiest weather conditions out there. 


  • These are reliable and they perform well on different trails
  • Better stopping power from such an inexpensive bike brake


  • We wish it had more stopping power than it currently does
  • The pads wear out rather fast
  • Doesn’t include heat shedding fins

5. Shimano Mountain Bike BR T4000

Disc and hydraulic brakes are the big deal these days. But this doesn’t mean manufacturers have thrown the V models down to dust.

Take the Shimano BR T4000, for example. They’re one of the well-made picks in the brand’s V-brake series.

And they perform just as well as their upgrade. 

If you have an older mountain bike sitting in your store or you need reliable brakes for recreational mountain biking, these ones should be good enough for you.

 The set is for front and rear shaft of your bike. In the package, you will get mounting hardware for easy setup. 


  • Good for old mountain bike models
  • Good performance
  • We like that these can fit just about any bike


  • Not as robust as hydraulic or disc brakes

Harold Whitford

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About the Author

My name is Harold Whitford, a husband, father, and avid cyclist with a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Management from the University of Delaware. Having been in the industry for more than 15 years, I have a number of the road race and national time trial championships in my bag.

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