The 7 Best Hydraulic Disc Brakes

video play icon

This wiki has been updated 13 times since it was first published in November of 2018. Traditionally found only on mountain bikes, hydraulic disc brakes are now seen on a wider variety of bicycles because of their superior stopping power and ability to hold up in all types of weather conditions. Regardless of whether you're an alpine warrior or simply a city slicker who rides for exercise, installing one of these selections will help ensure you don't skid into a car or off a cliff. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Magura MT7

2. Hayes Dominion T2

3. Shimano Deore BR-M6100

Editor's Notes

March 18, 2021:

Mountain bike brakes are frequently redesigned and rereleased, so we have an entirely new crop of hydraulic levers and calipers to recommend this time. For plenty of stopping power on a modest budget, the Shimano Deore BR-M6100 is almost impossible to beat. If you want to spend even less, you can get by with the Clark's Cable Systems M2, but experienced riders will notice its relative lack of power.

At the top end, the well-known Shimano XTR BL-M9100 are a very good choice, especially for bike owners who care about aesthetics. In terms of pure stopping power, though, almost nothing can touch the Magura MT7, which has plenty of pros and very few cons. We also want to bring special attention to the Hayes Dominion T2 and Hayes Dominion A4. The A4 is about as burly as bike brakes get, while the T2 is significantly sleeker and more lightweight thanks to its titanium components. With either Hayes Dominion model, though, one of the best things is that they aren't the most expensive choices, despite being among the best performing.

January 10, 2019:

It's important to note that, in addition to installation, these may require some maintenance. There are bleed kits available if you want to make sure there is adequate fluid after a winter left in the garage. However, it might be smart to consult a professional to make sure they're working properly. The top selections include rotors, calipers, and levers because if this is your first set, you'll need all of those things.

Special Honors

Trickstuff Brakes This high-end German manufacturer is no stranger to enthusiasts. Whether you need something that can withstand sudden stops on steep downhills or featherlight brakes suitable for long-haul competition, they almost certainly have something for you. Of particular note are the all-around high-performing Direttissima and Direttissima Tour models, as well as the ultra-lightweight Piccola and Piccola HD. trickstuff.com

Formula Cura 4 Sleek, compact, and dependable, this top-of-the-line option is suitable for anyone from casual to competitive riders, although its steep price tag does limit its accessibility. Nonetheless, if you want the most precise, powerful, and well-engineered option on the market, this line is worth a look. rideformula.com

4. Hayes Dominion A4

5. Sram Level Ultimate

6. Shimano XTR BL-M9100

7. Clark's Cable Systems M2


Christopher Thomas
Last updated on March 20, 2021 by Christopher Thomas

Building PCs, remodeling, and cooking since he was young, quasi-renowned trumpeter Christopher Thomas traveled the USA performing at and organizing shows from an early age. His work experiences led him to open a catering company, eventually becoming a sous chef in several fine LA restaurants. He enjoys all sorts of barely necessary gadgets, specialty computing, cutting-edge video games, and modern social policy. He has given talks on debunking pseudoscience, the Dunning-Kruger effect, culinary technique, and traveling. After two decades of product and market research, Chris has a keen sense of what people want to know and how to explain it clearly. He delights in parsing complex subjects for anyone who will listen -- because teaching is the best way to ensure that you understand things yourself.


Thanks for reading the fine print. About the Wiki: We don't accept sponsorships, free goods, samples, promotional products, or other benefits from any of the product brands featured on this page, except in cases where those brands are manufactured by the retailer to which we are linking. For more information on our rankings, please read about us, linked below. The Wiki is a participant in associate programs from Amazon, Walmart, Ebay, Target, and others, and may earn advertising fees when you use our links to these websites. These fees will not increase your purchase price, which will be the same as any direct visitor to the merchant’s website. If you believe that your product should be included in this review, you may contact us, but we cannot guarantee a response, even if you send us flowers.