I'm new here so Brake compatibility question...

by jasonm945   November 21, 2013  

I have been MTBing for years but have only recently taken to the road and am a bit of a biffer!
Question is, I have 105 levers (5700) and currently run some tektro calipers, I was wondering if I could run SRAM Apex calipers (are they compatible) and how they compared with 105's?

Many thanks in advance.


4 user comments

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They will work, but depending on which Tektro calipers you have may not be an upgrade.

posted by drfabulous0 [403 posts]
21st November 2013 - 22:18


Road brakes vary based on the length of the drop - the distance between the nut and the pads. Deep drop are for bikes with more clearance, they usually have room for mudguards.

Check whether your current ones are standard (39-49mm IIRC) or deep drop (49-57mm). 105s will be standard, and I doubt Apex would be any better than that.

Pad choice also makes a big difference to performance, particularly in the wet. I'd fit Kool-Stop Salmon or red&black dual compound pads.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2050 posts]
21st November 2013 - 22:35


The calipers I have a Tektro R540's with stock pads and seem to slow me down rather than bring me to a halt. There is no sense of being able to yank the brakes for an emergency stop!
I have heard that the stock pads are rubbish, but as I can get a pair of SRAM calipers for £30 or 105's for £40 I thought this would be a more cost effective route in the long run.
Hence asking the compatibility question.


posted by jasonm945 [17 posts]
22nd November 2013 - 5:14


Personally I would get the 105 calipers that go with the levers, simply because they have been designed to work together as a unit. By this I mean that different manufacturers levers have different 'pull ratios' determined by the pivot point location on the lever arm and where the brake cable terminates.

This lever 'ratio' affects the amount of cable pulled through by the brake lever for any given amount of rotation of the brake lever itself. Whilst pretty much any brake caliper will work with any brake lever, you will find that some calipers will require more pull on the lever than others to get the same braking force at the rim, which to some will give the impression that a caliper is 'weaker' than it actually is, when coupled with a lever that has a lower pull ratio than the caliper was designed for.

Also as others have stated simply changing break pad compound can often turn what feels like a poorly performing brake caliper in to a proper bike anchor.

posted by tbecher72 [11 posts]
22nd November 2013 - 7:13