The personality of your bike is heavily influenced by your choice of eMTB or MTB brakes.

Finding the right balance of power and modulation is critical to fine tune your setup. We carry the best brakes in MTB. Proven performance. Great service life. A variety of modulation and snap (or power) offerings.

Scroll down to shop or click on the tab to learn more about our favorite 2 and 4 piston brakes.

Differences between Shimano, Magura, Hope and TRP Brakes

The “personality” of your brakes will greatly influence your bike’s trail behavior.

At we carry the class leading brakes from Shimano, Magura, Hope and TRP. All of these brakes offer confident and reliable performance in a wide range of terrain for different riding styles.

Let’s look at how Shimano, Magura, Hope and TRP balance power and modulation so you can shop the best eMTB or MTB brakes for your riding.

We’re going to look at the brake lever and caliper assuming a comparisons on the same size and style of rotors (since rotors have a large impact on your bike’s modulation and power too!)

Overall Braking Power

Having enough power to get you slowed down in the braking zones of a trail is critical to your bikes behavior. If you have to stay on the brakes later into the next corner or set of terrain your bike isn’t going to reset it’s suspension to neutral which will change it’s behavior. You want to know when you pull those binders the bike is going to slow down. And all of these brakes will do that, obviously bigger terrain and conditions should gravitate to the 4-piston brakes versus 2-piston options.

All four brands offer rideable brakes with appropriate power.

TRP probably have slightly more total power of the four, but it would feel very close for most riders in most conditions to the Shimano and Magura power output as well.

Hope has previously been a touch lower on overall power, but with the latest Tech 4 evolution Hope’s total power has come up as well.

As we mentioned above some power control is from the rotors you spec – so if you’re looking for more power out of any of the brakes a larger rotor is a good way to do it. Conversely if you prefer more modulation a higher power brake with a smaller diameter rotor is often an ideal option.

Modulation: How Much Power How Soon

Modulation is defined as how available power is applied through lever movement. Brake’s modulation is partly determined by the internals of both the lever body and caliper as well as the physical dimensions of the lever.

Absolute class leading brakes with excellent modulation are built by Magura and Hope. These apply power consistent with lever pull with a range of control in and out of the lever pull.

Since brakes like Shimano and Magura offer similar, class leading, levels of total power how that power comes on (or modulates) is a deciding factor in your brake’s personality.

Shimano Brakes

Shimano brakes bring power on quickly. This is in part due to the short lever found on the Shimano brake lineup which reduces the total amount of lever throw so each incremental movement of your braking finger tends to apply more overall power than a longer brake lever.

Riders who are greatly effective with Shimano brakes almost “abs” their brakes with quick finger movements. Some Shimano riders gravitate to smaller rotors to provide a bit more modulation.

Magura Brakes

Overall Magura brakes tend to bring power on more subtly through most model and lever combos. This allows riders to set a bike’s attitude during cornering while allowing easier access to a little power, some more power, even more to full power.

Magura has special brake levers that increase how quickly the power comes on such as the shorter 1 finger HCW and HC lever. Riders looking for the ultimate in setup can shop the HC3 lever with adjustable throw as well as an adjustable leverage rate for Magura MT7 brakes.

With the level of modulation Magura brakes are known for riders often can ride larger rotors for maximum power without creating “jumpy” or setups with over aggressive bite.

4 piston and 2 piston options provide even more control of setup. With a minimal weight difference more and more riders lean towards 4 piston brakes for the additional power and heat capacity. 4 piston MTB brakes allow trail riders to look at smaller rotors for improved modulation without sacrificing power or too much heat capacity.

Hope Brakes

The latest generation of Hope brakes brings their overall power into the conversation with Shimano and Magura.

Hope have always featured great modulation through lever / caliper design as well as the longer lever design.

Hope offers two caliper options the E4 and V4. The E4 is slightly lighter and potentially a bit more precise in feel with 2 different piston sizes on each side of the 4 piston calipers. The V4 caliper utilizes the larger diameter pistons throughout for the best overall power and heat capacity.

TRP Brakes

The latest evolution of TRP brakes has brought them into the conversation with the other class leading brands listed here.

TRP’s DH-R EVO HD-M846 brakes have an incredible amount of power, just a bit more than the Shimano and Magura.

Moreover the TRP brake’s modulation sits between Shimano and Magura. This is likely due to the longer lever compared to the Shimano which gives the brakes a bit more “feel” through their engagement.

Questions? No problem our team is here to help. Chat with one of our sales team to help define which brakes are best for your riding style and specifics.

Want to learn more about MTB brakes and setup? Take a look at some of our brake specific blog content!

MTB Brake Content: Reviews, Tips & Tricks

Learn how bigger brakes can improve small bump compliance

Read a 3 year review on Magura MT5 brakes

View a Magura MT7 First Ride Review

or read our Tips & Tricks: Brakes section

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