First Ride: TRP HyRd disc brakes

We go for a spin on TRP's brand new anchors ahead of our full test

by Mat Brett   May 3, 2013  

We have a set of TRP’s brand new HyRd disc brakes in for test here on and we thought we’d give you a quick guided tour before fitting them to a bike.

As you can’t fail to have noticed by now, disc brakes are coming into the road bike world and there’s absolutely no doubt that they're going to have a massive impact on the market. They’re going to be big, big news, it’s as simple as that.

So far, the biggest player to have entered the fray is SRAM with their HRD brake which will be available later in the summer. These will be priced at £429.99 each (a single shifter and brake caliper).

But TRP, the posh arm of Tektro, already have the Spyre mechanical disc brake out there, launched at Taipei International Cycle Show back in March, as well as this HyRd model.

The HyRd (you pronounce it ‘high road’) is what TRP call a mechanical interface hydraulic disc brake for road levers. That might sound a bit of a mouthful but what this essentially means is that it’s a powerful disc brake that you can operate with standard mechanical road levers.

In the past, TRP offered a Parabox hydraulic junction box which you had to fit if you wanted to use standard levers with hydraulic brakes. It was (and still is) a clever little device that converted mechanical cable pull into hydraulic braking force.

You don’t need a Parabox with the HyRd brakes – they’re self-contained. All the cleverness, including the master cylinder, is in the caliper. So you use normal mechanical levers, fit the HyRd to a disc compatible frame/fork, and you’re away.

You can use the HyRd with 140mm rotors but TRP suggest 160mm as the much-preferred option. The composite pistons in there are designed to isolate heat and TRP reckon there are no problems on that front here.

I mentioned earlier that SRAM’s HRD brakes will cost £429.99 each (that’s the lever as well as the caliper). The TRP HyRd is £109.99 per brake. That price doesn’t include the lever, but you’re still looking at a considerably cheaper overall price.

Okay, so Lance Larrabee from Tektro USA came visiting yesterday to drop off the new brakes, and we went out for a quick ride, taking in the Two Tunnels (amazing; you have to ride through these if you get the chance) and some big hills outside of Bath.

Lance and I take the same bike size so we did a quick swap to give me the chance to use the brakes (Lance’s bike is a Volagi endurance model, by the way, with a seat tube attached only to the top tube, not to the seatstays, but that’s another story).

First impressions are that there’s a whole lot of power on offer here. If you want to stop in a hurry, you can. If you’re going superfast on a steep descent and you need to stop suddenly, the HyRds will haul you to a halt very quickly.

The other thing you notice is that the HyRd brakes are very progressive, so if you don’t need all that power you’ll never apply it accidentally. Rather than being either fully on or completely off, you get tons of scope to vary your braking.

The other benefit to that is that if you do brake too hard and lock up the wheel, it’s easy to let off just enough pressure to get it moving again while still braking hard.

Like I said, these are very much initial impressions. We’ll get the set of HyRds that Lance left with us fitted to a bike and ridden over our usual routes over the next few weeks and we’ll be back with a full report.

Incidentally, we visited Tektro/TRP in Taiwan recently and we’ve also interviewed Lance on all things brake related, so expect a full feature covering all of that shortly.

For more info go to or UK distributor

9 user comments

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I was struggling to work out why the thing looked like it had had a close encounter with the ugly stick but then I read on...

That's a really clever piece of kit that overcomes one of the fundamental obstacles to upgraded to disc brakes (along with the mounting points). The only disadvantage I can see is cable-stretch which would be accentuated by the additional length to the callipers. But in terms of cost and adaptability, it sounds like a winner.


posted by arrieredupeleton [586 posts]
3rd May 2013 - 14:38


For "very progressive" I read "cable stretch".

posted by druidh [6 posts]
3rd May 2013 - 15:02


druidh wrote:
For "very progressive" I read "cable stretch".

Then you're not a very good reader.

posted by Mat Brett [2136 posts]
3rd May 2013 - 15:51


How much stretch do you actually get with modern cables? Have to say I've not noticed any with the last three sets of cables I put on.

posted by adscrim [131 posts]
3rd May 2013 - 16:47


Off the point I know, but that Volagi frame looks great - presume they are not available in the UK?


posted by pastaman [251 posts]
3rd May 2013 - 20:03


pastaman wrote:
Off the point I know, but that Volagi frame looks great - presume they are not available in the UK?

Volagi don't have a UK importer, no. Presumably you could get one sent over from the States, if you paid the import duty.

Lance's bike is a Liscio 2, I think. It's designed as an endurance bike. The idea of the seat tube not being attached to the seatstays is for extra compliance, and it has a long wheelbase for stability.

posted by Mat Brett [2136 posts]
3rd May 2013 - 20:52


Cables don't stretch - the ferrules bed into the frame stops and at the ends of the outer. Use a decent quality outer cable e.g. Goodrich, make sure the ends are ground square and you'll never have a problem IME.
With such a small fluid reservoir, it would be interesting to see how they would cope on long high, speed descents where heat build-up could be a problem

Make mine an Italian with Campagnolo on the side

posted by monty dog [420 posts]
4th May 2013 - 9:01


I'm desperate to get my hands on a set of these. Why can't I buy any?
Twittering: @toomanybikes

Philiprints's picture

posted by Philiprints [24 posts]
7th May 2013 - 10:27


I started the adventure of building a disc cross/touring bike years ago in a time where all the manufacturers would ask "discs on a road bike! Why?". I live in the foothills of the Rockies and discs are far superior, period. I have tried every mechanic caliper out there. I have been patiently waiting for Sram and Shimano to get drop bar hydraulics together. They finally did and screwed all of us who have perfectly fine 10spd packages. Thank you big guys for screwing your customers.
Anyway, I just bought some Hy/Rd calipers. Simply, they work great. I use Yokozuna housing and PowerCordz. The brakes feels 97% like hydraulics. They stop smooth and powerful, have excellent modulation, and are very simple to set up. They are a little less powerful than the XTR m988 Trails I have on my mountain bike but not by much. My only gripe is that they are bulky looking. My wife assures me that they look fine and actually kind of cool and motorcycle'ish. I told her on our last ride that I don't care how they look anymore. If I just don't look down, they feel like true, smooth, powerful hydraulic brakes. I am very happy with their performance. There is one detail that is important to know when installing. Use TRP brake adapters. I have Sram 180mm adapters and the caliper sat a few millimeters to low. I spaced it back up with some washer shims, so no problems now, just FYI.
My set up : Custom Ti Cross frame, Sram Red 2012 levers, Red 53/39 crank, XX long cage rear derailleur, X0 xg-1080 11-36 cassette, Industry 9 Ultralight 29'er wheels, 180mm rotors F/R
To address the previous comment regarding long, high speed descents.... I ride up to Shrine Pass, from Vail pass, from Dillon, CO (9000ft-11,146ft). There are no longer faster descents than that. Some of the grades are 13% I have hit 50+ mph (sustained). My bike with panniers, myself, and gear, is over 300lbs. They brakes do not fade at all. Period. They run like sports car brakes. I can go as fast as I can handle into turns, braking late to maintain speed. The Hy/Rd brakes are fantastic. I accidentally branded my calf with my front rotor it was so hot, no fade, not even a little.

posted by hyintensity [1 posts]
17th August 2014 - 16:03

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