First Impressions: TRP RG957 Brakes

TRP is widely known for their gravel-friendly cantilever and linear-pull brakes, but the company also offers a wide range of high-performance caliper brakes. One model–the RG957–combines long-reach compatibility with modern aesthetics for a brake that’s equally at home on paved or unpaved roads.

TRP_RG957_Front

Plenty of clearance with 30mm (actual width) tires and 25mm rims.

The RG957 ($179.99 MSRP) brakes share many of the features found on TRP’s other road calipers, including forged-and-machined aluminum arms, stainless steel hardware, Teflon® bushings, and inplace adjustable pad holders. At 170g per-caliper, the RG957s are on par with 47mm-57mm reach brakes from Shimano and Velo Orange. TRP offers the brakes in three finishes: matte grey (which we tested), matte black, and polished silver.

Installing the RG957 brakes is just what you’d expect with dual-pivot sidepulls–quick and easy. The brakes’ fittings take standard tools, and the cable adjusters are easily operated with one hand (even while riding). Despite repeatedly switching between rims of various widths, the brakes always remained in adjustment. TRP’s deep drop calipers cleared 32mm cross-type knobbies with room to spare, and accommodated full-size fenders with narrower (25-28mm) tires.

TRP_RG957_Rear

The RG957’s in-place holders offer easy adjustment and pad replacement.

Paired with modern integrated levers (we used SRAM‘s Force 22 and new Rival 22 controls), the RG957s deliver powerful braking with a mildly progressive feel. Whether braking from the hoods or the drops, modulating the long-reach TRP stoppers was predictable and consistent. Part of the credit goes to TRP’s alloy rim compound brake pads. The RG957’s pads required virtually no breaking in, and remained quiet during our test period. The pads’ wet weather performance was better than expected, with little difference in power in wet or dry conditions.

Some riders may scoff at the thought of using sidepulls for off-road use, but we found that the RG957s actually outperformed many cantilever and linear-pull brakes. Not once did we find ourselves wishing for more braking power when riding dirt and gravel aboard bikes equipped with 25mm-32mm tires. Discs and v-brakes may work better for larger, more aggressive tires, but for road-style tires, the TRPs proved more than adequate. If you’re building up an all-roads bike that requires 47mm-57mm brakes, the RG957 should definitely be on your short list for consideration.

Disclosure: TRP provided review samples for this article, but offered no other form of compensation in exchange for editorial coverage.

11 thoughts on “First Impressions: TRP RG957 Brakes

  1. Can you perform a test to compare them with cantilevers and center pull brakes? I am currently using Paul centerpulls on my DeSalvo and find them far superior to Shimano long reach sidepulls on a Terraferma or Paul cantilevers on a Litespeed Blue Ridge.

    • I can tell you that the 957s stop better–and with less effort–than any cantilever(-equipped bike) I’ve ridden in the last five or six years.

      Currently I have no plans–or the equipment needed–to test centerpull brakes. Most riders who require the tire/fender clearance offered by centerpulls will most likely choose cantilever, linear-pull, or disc brakes due to their popularity and availability.

  2. Hi, which fenders did you test them with (width is what I’m after) ? I currently have a very similar setup (BMC frame in orange, even 😉 ) using Tektro r539s, which are fine with upgraded pads, but I’d be willing to switch if I could get a little bit more fender clearance out of the TRPs.

    Thanks!

    • I’ve used them with SKS P35 and Toba Frank (30mm) fenders. Mike at Black Mountain reported that 40mm Honjos will clear the frame/fork.

    • I, personally, prefer the TRPs, as they seem a better match for SRAM levers (power/modulation-wise). The Grand Cru calipers are slightly stiffer, and have more fender clearance, however.

      • I have a many tens of thousands of miles on my Grand Cru brakes and a few thousand on the TRP’s, which I just bought to compare. I’m using Campy levers and cables.

        The Grand Cru’s are much stiffer. I wouldn’t say it’s a little, it’s pretty noticeable.

        Is stopping really affected? I don’t really know, but I doubt it. I tried a 40mph decent on the TRP’s and they seemed to do fine, even though they are noticeably mushier…

        That being said, brakes just slow you down.

  3. It was un-clear from both posts about these brakes, does the QR open wide enough to clear 32s or do you have to deflate the tires to get them in there?

    • It will depend on the rims’ width, the tires’ actual width, and how close you run the pads. On the front, the Q/R will open wide enough for a 32mm tire (on a 25mm rim, lots of pad clearance). In back, I have to partially deflate the tire.

  4. I purchased the Toba Frank (30mm) fenders and I have been having issues trying to figure out the installation for the back wheel fender. The hook that connects to the back break bolt seems that is going to be loose when connected to the fender unless I use some pliers:

    http://i.imgur.com/hpwZm3A.jpg

    http://i.imgur.com/jflB5ce.jpg

    I haven’t installed the fenders on the bike yet because I want to figure our if I’m supposed to somehow secure the hook to the fenders. Do you have any recommendations?

    Thanks!

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