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Hello everyone, I'm new getting into the sport of mountain biking, but I do have a question about brakes.
There are two bikes I'm currently comparing, and I notice one has Tektro, and the other, Shimano. This trend has been noticed in nearly all budget friendly mountain bikes.


What truly is the difference? Is one better than the other?


Specifics- I am specifically thinking of Tektro HD-M290 and Shimano M315


Thanks in advance!
 

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both are entry level, use mineral oil and are similarly easy to maintain. No big difference.
they will work fine assuming the rest of the bike is entry level too.

To get something better, it would have to start with Deore or higher.
 

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Tektro brakes don't attract a lot of love but it's a shame as they are absolutely fine. In terms of reliability, power and feel they are at least as good as Shimano equivalents. In fact Tektro brakes are very, very similar to shimano to the point of using the same pads at times. The ones I've encountered anyway. I put a set on the commuter I built up a few months ago.

I certainly wouldn't be put off a bike because it had Tektro brakes. You are missing out on nothing.
 

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Tektro brakes don't attract a lot of love but it's a shame as they are absolutely fine. In terms of reliability, power and feel they are at least as good as Shimano equivalents. In fact Tektro brakes are very, very similar to shimano to the point of using the same pads at times. The ones I've encountered anyway. I put a set on the commuter I built up a few months ago.

I certainly wouldn't be put off a bike because it had Tektro brakes. You are missing out on nothing.
FWIW, I have Tektro Draco on my fatbike and Shimano M396 on my hybrid. I like the Draco better since there us less lever travel before "biting". Neither have bitepoint adjustment, so that may just be a combination of rotor and pad.... both use rotors of their respective manufacturer.

That's what the bikes came with. The M 396 bother me due to that and I have Deore on the way hoping Servo Wave will help.

None of the entry brakes are what I would consciously buy, but both served me well and are easy to service and have plenty of cheap pads.
 

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FWIW, I have Tektro Draco on my fatbike and Shimano M396 on my hybrid. I like the Draco better since there us less lever travel before "biting".
If anything I would say that Tektro brakes look and feel a bit better made than the Shimano ones around the same price. Even when you get up to XT level the levers feel loose and a bit cheap. No complaints about reliability or performance but build quality certainly doesn't look any better than Tektro.
 

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I rode Tektro brakes for 2 years/3000 miles. I replaced the pads twice. For the most part they worked fine but I was frustrated with the stopping power at times and the looseness of one of the levers that could never get adjust right. So last week I put a Shimano XT on the rear with a new rotor and rode a couple trails. It feels better all around. Smoother braking, more power, better lever feel. Not night and day difference but a nice upgrade. Haven’t done the front yet because I’m trying to decide between 180/203 and 2 piston versus 4 piston. Leaning 2 piston with a 180.

So to answer your question the Tektro brakes work fine and if you love the bike and ride a ton you can upgrade to Shimano SLX for about $80 each or XT for about $95 each and have really great brakes. It’s a fairly cheap upgrade for a nice improvement.
 

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I put a Shimano XT on the rear with a new rotor and rode a couple trails. It feels better all around.
Sure but the Shimano M315 he's talking about it not XT. If you buy a better brake then it might well be better but I'd say that these Tektro brakes are at least comparable to cheaper Shimano brakes.
 

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I really like SRAM brakes but Tektro and Shimano brakes work just fine and the distinction is really just preference; all of them do the same thing.
I like the absence of DOT brake fluid and jamming up brakes though. Which both Tektro and Shimano seem to be able to provide. SRAM, not so much.
 

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Not been my experience at all. I like being able to buy brake fluid at Wal-Mart at 3 am. Again, just preference.
But you NEED to buy new fluid when you need it because once you open the seal the hygroscopic fluid will absorb water. Mineral fluid you only buy once and can keep until you run out.

With all my bike tools and parts I'm fine ordering and waiting a few days. But for brake fluid you can't wait? Does Walmart also sell bleedkit and pads when you are in a hurry at 3 am?
 

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But you NEED to buy new fluid when you need it because once you open the seal the hygroscopic fluid will absorb water. Mineral fluid you only buy once and can keep until you run out.

With all my bike tools and parts I'm fine ordering and waiting a few days. But for brake fluid you can't wait? Does Walmart also sell bleedkit and pads when you are in a hurry at 3 am?
I have the bleed tools for both types of brakes already in my garage.

Cars have been using hydroscopic brake fluid for many decades now and they seem to be doing just fine. Even most of the world's supercars are using it.

Mineral oil has its caveats, too, e.g., it's more temperature sensitive than brake fluid.

I think the auto industry probably wishes that hydroscopic brake fluid hadn't become the industry standard, but since it is, old habits die hard.

There is no utopia in this world, but like I said, it's just preference. I like the way my SRAM brakes function and I consider it a benefit that the fluid is cheap and available down the street at the parts store. It's so cheap I can throw it out once a week if I feel like it. To me, that is way more important than some remote possibility that several years from now, my brake fluid will degrade to the point that performance diminishes.

I know older SRAM brakes had some serious issues and I wouldn't fault people for being annoyed with that, but mine are great. YMMV.
 
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