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Verdict: 
High performance stoppers for fast audax, winter training or touring that look the biz too
Weight: 
171g
TRP RG957 Deep Drop Brakes
9 10

The deep drop RG957 brakes from TRP provide stopping performance akin to the top end race brakes on the market. They don't come cheap though.

There has been a real shift in the last couple of years towards performance bikes that will also take full mudguards, Kinesis' GF Ti V2 or Dolan's carbon Dual are two such examples but while you can deck them out with carbon wheels, top end finishing kit and groupsets, brake options that could match that performance have always been a little on the limited side.

In the RG957s case your £129.99 gets you an all round top end set of calipers with stainless steel bolts and fittings which are so easy to set up. They weigh 171g front and rear which is about on par with most deep drops. I'm not going to complain about the weight, I'd rather have the material there for stiffness.

The arms are forged from TT6 aluminium before having the slots CNC'd creating a very smooth looking caliper where everything fits together perfectly with no play in the mechanism at all. The cable adjustment wheel is easy and comfortable to use and it's the little things like this that give the feeling of quality.

The brake pad slots are positioned to allow a pad reach of 47-57mm and there is loads of clearance for large tyres. I tested them on a bike shod with 23mm tyres and SKS Raceblade mudguards and there was oceans of space to go larger both in terms of mudguard width and tyre size.

In use the performance is easily on par with my Campagnolo Skeleton calipers which I rate as some of the best road brakes on the market. The RG957's are very stiff and provide progressive braking with loads of feel at the lever. TRP's own alloy compound pads work great too especially in the wet. You've still got to clear the initial layer of water off of the rim but after that braking is just as good as in the dry. Wear is looking pretty good too.

Overall the RG957s are very impressive both in terms of quality and performance easily matching short drop road brakes in terms of stopping power.

It's that consistent all-weather braking that in my opinion makes them good value for money. The matt black ones we've got here also look pretty cool in an understated sort of way. You can also get silver or grey though should you wish.

Verdict

High performance stoppers for fast audax, winter training or touring that look the biz too.

road.cc test report

Make and model: TRP RG957 Deep Drop Brakes

Size tested: n/a

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

The RG957's are aimed at bikes using mudguards or larger tyres for touring, audaxing and so on. There is certainly plenty of clearance there but also plenty of performance.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

*Forged TT6 alumium arms

*Inplace Road CNC adjustable pad holders

*Cam Style Quick Release

*Stainless Steel hardware

*Spring tension adjustment

*Color: Black, Grey, or Silver

*Reach: 47-57mm

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
9/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Absolutely brilliant, amazing stopping power regardless of the weather conditions.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The way they look and the build quality.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The price is going to divide opinion but I reckon this is a prime example of you get what you pay for.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

Finally deep drop brakes that have the performance to match top end short drops.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 35  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: Whatever needs testing or Genesis Flyer, fixed of course!  My best bike is: Kinesis T2 with full Centaur Red

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,

 

Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.

20 comments

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STATO [551 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

£130 is a lot for a brake with a rusty bolt  7

Would be good to see a comparison to other deep drop brakes irrespective of pads, as we all know a pad change on cheaper brakes can bring them seriously close to performance levels of the big£ models. In fact thats exactly what i did to my (equally rusty) Miche deep drops, £19.99rrp incidentally.

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honesty [76 posts] 4 years ago
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Ignoring pads, how do these compare to R650s? Time for a group test  1

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stuke [335 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes
honesty wrote:

Ignoring pads, how do these compare to R650s? Time for a group test  1

I've ridden pretty much every deep drop brake available, be that on a test bike or through buying them myself and these RG957's are the best out there at the moment. The key is the stiffness of the caliper arms which means they brake the same as shorter reach standard road bikes.

The R650's come close and are obviously cheaper but aren't an option if you're a Campag user  4

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Chris James [449 posts] 4 years ago
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The brakles look nice. As a minor aside, the Dolan Dual takes conventional, not deep drop, brakes.

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wrevilo [108 posts] 4 years ago
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Wow that's an expensive set of brakes! I have a set of Tektro R737 on my Racelight T2 with the blue BBB pads and shoes.

Originally I had the bike fitted with the cheap Miche deep drop brakes, but the arms were not quite long enough.

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andyspaceman [255 posts] 4 years ago
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They'd be just the ticket for a bit of Genesis Equilibrium upgrading. I've got the Shimano R650s on mine, which are fine, but if / when they need replacing it's good to know there are other options.

It's a brilliant descending bike, but I do get a bit of judder on the R650s at speeds north of 40mph.

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marcusjb [13 posts] 4 years ago
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They do look cool (apart from the rusty bolt), but that is a pricey calliper brake for sure.

650s are an exceptionally good brake - I've certainly never be looking for more road than is available in 3 years of using them coupled with Swissstop Greens.

I'm all for shiny cool looking things - but I'm not sure I could entertain that sort of price.

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watlina [88 posts] 4 years ago
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I built up a Ribble 365 this last winter and went with the R650. They've been a excellent brake and at £51 for a pair from Ribble (inc 10% discount) they where good value compared to these TRPs.

The TRP RG957 is a bit lighter a 171g per caliper compared to the R650 at 185g but for a winter bike it didn't matter so much.

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jimc101 [80 posts] 4 years ago
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Fail for the rusty stainless bolt (trying to look like a year old Avid), and the the price is high, although suspect the street price will be significant lower.

For the TRP pads, they are pretty bad, recently swapped a set of TRP pads, which were stock on CX 9 brakes, to Swissstop BXP's and it changed the feel of the brakes from ok-ish to working really well.

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jacknorell [996 posts] 4 years ago
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Like others have mentioned... couldn't they include a high-spec stainless set of bolts for £130?

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giobox [361 posts] 4 years ago
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Glad to see someone finally take deep drop brakes seriously. For me, this has been the worst part of a Kinesis TK3 setup.

Great that it's in black too - shimanos top end deep drop R650 only comes in silver, which looks awful with a black shimano groupset. That said, I still use R650s with a black 105 group, the performance of the other options to date has been so bad. Personally I think the R650 still performs poorly compared to Ultegra or DuraAce stoppers.

Those suggesting a pad change - it really hasn't helped on the cheap long drops I tried. I think the issue is that the longer calliper arms just don't have the stiffness to brake as well as short drop brakes. I would happily drop 130 quid on these if they are as good as the author suggests.

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Lungsofa74yearold [293 posts] 4 years ago
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stuke wrote:
honesty wrote:

Ignoring pads, how do these compare to R650s? Time for a group test  1

I've ridden pretty much every deep drop brake available, be that on a test bike or through buying them myself and these RG957's are the best out there at the moment. The key is the stiffness of the caliper arms which means they brake the same as shorter reach standard road bikes.

The R650's come close and are obviously cheaper but aren't an option if you're a Campag user  4

Re the bit about not being able to run. R650's with Campag - I've got a pair hooked up to Old style Centaur levers and they work perfectly (much to my relief!)  4

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drfabulous0 [409 posts] 4 years ago
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pastaman wrote:

Re the bit about not being able to run. R650's with Campag - I've got a pair hooked up to Old style Centaur levers and they work perfectly (much to my relief!)  4

Sssh! Don't tell everyone that everything works together if you know how, that's not what the manufacturers want you to think.

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kide [29 posts] 4 years ago
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Mixing some fishing contraptions with fine Italian bike jewellery is nothing short of blasphemy. I think that's the problem.  29

Avatar
stuke [335 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes
pastaman wrote:
stuke wrote:
honesty wrote:

Ignoring pads, how do these compare to R650s? Time for a group test  1

I've ridden pretty much every deep drop brake available, be that on a test bike or through buying them myself and these RG957's are the best out there at the moment. The key is the stiffness of the caliper arms which means they brake the same as shorter reach standard road bikes.

The R650's come close and are obviously cheaper but aren't an option if you're a Campag user  4

Re the bit about not being able to run. R650's with Campag - I've got a pair hooked up to Old style Centaur levers and they work perfectly (much to my relief!)  4

I was referring to aesthetics rather than mechanics  4
It doesn't bother some I know but I just can't bring myself to mix groupsets

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Flying Scot [1005 posts] 4 years ago
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How about a stud version for vintage frames?

It's a high price low volume unit, so perhaps a chance?

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Lungsofa74yearold [293 posts] 4 years ago
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Do Campag make long drop brakes? I looked, but couldn't find any. Hence, the need for the 'fishing contraptions'. Maybe the makers of 'fine Italien bike jewelry' need to up their game?! And before anyone has a go, I love my Centaur / Proton combo. I also love my fishing tackle setups too  4

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therevokid [1020 posts] 4 years ago
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Had R650's on my GF Ti V2 - whilst good they lacked
"oommph" or "bite" or whatever you want to call it. These
have been a revelation in that respect. Oddly mine haven't
gone rusty on the QR bolt like the review set and mine've
been out in some pretty foul weather !!!!

And I "had" to have matt black as the rest is black/carbon
'fine italian bike jewellery'  1

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NeilXDavis [125 posts] 4 years ago
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Pads make the biggest difference - some swisstops installed on my long reach Tektros turned them into decent brakes. Cant see many forking out for the TRP's personally...

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Richard D [124 posts] 4 years ago
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Just swapped out a set of Miche deep-drops with Koolstop pads for a set of these TRP calipers. And although I haven't experienced them in the wet, yet, I'm MUCH happier with the performance of the TRP brakes. Plus they look a lot better, and radiate "quality" where the Miche only ever managed to suggest "cheap".