TRP Hylex Long Term Review

I’ve had the TRP Hylex brakes on the Salsa Fargo for about a year now.  I’ve done an overnight camping trip, a lot of exploration rides, some Forest Park rides, and the Fargo has been the exclusive commuter to and from work for about 2 months now.

So let’s start with the basics, I am running 160mm rotors front and rear and everything is stock on the brakes to this point. Rotors and pads have preformed a decent job.  Modulation is nice, and I like the lever feel on them.  I’m not a fan of squishy feeling brakes, I prefer more of a firmer feel, and with how these are setup, they fit the bill.

If this bike was being used as a “true mountain bike” I’d probably be running a larger front rotor, but 160mm front and rear works just fine. 

Wet braking performance is adequate, but not as good as my Shimano XT-785 brakes with Ice Tech rotors.  There is some squeal and shudder when riding in wet weather.  It’s not the most horrendous braking I have had with discs, that award goes to Avid BB5 & 7 mechanical brakes, which these guys replaced.  I’d like to see how these brakes work with shimano pads and Ice tech rotors.  When these pads wear out, that is probably what I will try.  TRP was smart and kept the pads compatible with Shimano’s basic pads (I don’t recall the part #).  Dry braking is of course stellar.  Way better than the original Avid mechanical brakes and on par with your basic SLX, level brakes.

The hoods are fairly long, but the lever reach is adjustable via a small allen screw accessible through the front of the lever

Reach adjustment accessible via small holes in the front

I had originally dialed the brakes levers in a bit, but backed them off at one point to the original setting and have not touched them since.

The stock housing length was fine for the Fargo, but if you are a taller person with a bigger bike, you may need to go with longer housing.  My setup is a size small gen 1 Fargo, if you’re running say a size 58cm or larger cross frame, the housing length might be an issue, then again it might not, I’ve got nothing to compare it to.

If you’re looking for a drop bar hydraulic setup for your bike, I’d highly recommend taking a look at these TRP Hylex.  If you need your shifters integrated with your brake levers, these are going to be a no-go.  I run the Fargo with bar end shifters, so these were high on my list for an option.

Full wet season setup, fenders and rear rack

Disc brakes are working their way more and more into touring bikes, cross bikes, road bikes, etc.  The Hylex is a completely valid option for your build, think singlespeed cross bike or bar end equipped tourer or road bike.

I can’t think of many more hydraulic options that don’t require you to choose between Shimano or Sram shifting.  TRP has the Hy/Rd mechanical-hydro brake.  That would allow you to get into hydraulic for around the same price as these and you’d keep your existing shifters.

It’s not even fair to try and compare these to the mechanical options on the market.  Having ridden both the Avid BB5 and BB7 brakes, those just can’t keep up with the Hylex.  Mechanicals are not quite dead yet.  They are far cheaper than the hydraulic options out there and they allow you to use any shifter you want (even Campagnolo).

In summary, I’d give these a big old “2 thumbs up”.  Well worth the investment and fit my needs perfectly.

Thanks for reading,


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Mike Rickher says:

    Thanks for your review. I am currently modifying my daily ride, single speed with drop bars to Hydraulic brakes. This is one of the few options for drop bars.

  2. Grullz0r says:

    Gevenalle now makes modified Hylex, with their own shifters integrated on the lever.
    Have these on my commuter with Alfine 8 transmission, really satisfied of this setup’s quality!

    1. Paul Kendall says:

      I also picked up a pair of the Gevenalle\TRP brakes and ordered the 10 speed shimano mountain bike compatible shifters. XTR mech with clutch on a bike with drop bars….WOW!

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