The SRAM Guide Brake offers great power and modulation at a competitive weight and a reasonable price.
The MT5 delivers a tremendous amount of controllable power at a reasonable price for a high-end brake.
UPDATE: the price for the FSA Afterburners is now $90 lower, and we’ve added to our review a note on the brakes’ durability. If you’re looking for fantastic lever feel and great stopping power for an XC or trail bike, read this.
In 2.5 months of testing, the SRAM Guide RSC brakes have been reliable and powerful, while providing outstanding modulation.
The Elixir 9 Trail brakes maintain the elements we liked about Avid brakes in the past, but also offer some important improvements.
The Hope Tech Evo M4 brakes are ultra reliable, stack up extremely well against the competition, and are at home on nearly any ride—from a general-purpose trail bike to a true downhill race bike.
The Shimano XTR Trail brake is a solid option to save weight without compromising stopping power. And after a season of testing, our reviewer has yet to experience any fade.
Avid’s XO hydraulic disc brake set got put through its paces, and impressed at every step.
THE ONE brakes by Formula are some of the lightest and best performing brakes out there. (Especially with one highly recommended, relatively expensive upgrade.)