Best Mountain Bike Brakes: Boost Your Stopping Power

Brake harder and stop more quickly with these mountain bike brakes

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PUBLISHED ON November 5, 2019

If you are in need of new brakes or want to replace your stock ones, we’ve got a list of the best mountain bike brakes to consider. Over time, your old ones will wear down, and your stopping time will be reduced, which makes biking more dangerous. To avoid hitting trees or rocks, here are a few of the best mountain bike brakes on the market.

  • Best Overall
    Shimano XT BL-M8000 Disc Brake

    A sturdy and reliable disc brake for any mountain bike developed out of a light and durable aluminium alloy.


    It provides excellent stopping power and modulation. It includes a 22mm ceramic piston for increased stopping time and integrated fins to dissipate heat while your brake.


    The product is on the expensive side for disc brakes. You may need to take them to a professional just to make sure they work properly.

  • Best Value
    SRAM Apex Brake Caliper Set

    High performance and long-lasting brakes for your mountain bike made out of a strong alloy.


    They are light yet durable and feature a dual-pivot for increased and powerful response time. They are simple to install and stop on a dime.


    Their reach can be shorter than you need. You may have to make some modifications, such as drilling out the mounting hole for the brakes.

  • Honorable Mention
    Tektro Mountain Bike MD-M280 Disc Brake Caliper

    A fine-tuned mechanical disc brake for mountain bikes designed with a sturdy aluminum body for enhanced durability.


    The lightweight brakes feature 160mm rotors and a stylish and sleek design. They are easy to adjust when needed and slow down the bike quickly, efficiently, and quietly.


    Installation can be a hassle if you do it by yourself, as it can take a while to connect everything properly.

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  • If you are working with disc brakes, be careful not to put too much pressure on the disc. They are thin and lightweight and can bend or bow easily.
  • If you have extra cable, don’t worry. You can trim it down to the exact length you need in order to connect it to your brakes and handlebars.
  • Think about using a professional bike detailer to install any new brakes to ensure they function effectively.


Q: How do I replace my mountain bike brakes?

A: Disconnect the cables from the handlebar controls, and then feed them through to the actual brakes. You can remove the brakes by loosening the screws holding them to the wheel.

Q: How long do bike brakes last?

A: Pads will be the first to wear out, and they don’t tend to last that long. Check them after strenuous rides to make sure they are still in working order. Brakes can last several years, but it depends on how often you ride and how difficult the terrain is. If you ride daily, then you need to change your brakes more frequently.

Q: Why are my bike brakes squeaking?

A: Noisy brakes are something you will deal with from time to time. New brakes may squeak because of condensation, dirt, or debris that builds up inside of them. However, if the noise gets worse over time, it may be time to replace the pads.

Final Thoughts

For one of the best mountain bike brakes that offer reliable and quick stopping time, consider the Shimano XT BL-M8000 Disc Brake

You can choose the less expensive SRAM Apex Brake Caliper Set, which features a durable design and a quick response time.