Best Mountain Bike Hydraulic Disc Brakes – Review and Buying Guide

Having the best mountain bike hydraulic brakes is indeed a wonderful stroke of luck because it helps you ride with elevated confidence and enjoy the ease of slowing down quickly. The MTB hydraulic disc brakes allows you more smoother braking than mechanical disc brakes do. Therefore, hydraulic brakes will indirectly improve your speeding by making you confident to stop quickly.

As a downhill mountain biker, I don’t care much about budget because safety and longevity are much more important. Back in 2017, when I was new to mountain biking, I guess I broke the rules while purchasing the hydraulic disc brakes by choosing the priciest one with bad performance.

If you also wish to get the best hydraulic brakes for your mountain bike, you need to be careful while making the final decision. The cautious choice is because the market has a lot of low quality and pricy hydraulic disc brakes for you, which might seem the best but are poles apart when it comes to performance.

Best Mountain Bike Hydraulic Brakes Overview

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
Best Overall Best Overall HOPE Tech 3 E4 Hydraulic Disc Brakes
  • Best For: Downhill Mountain Bikes
  • Material: Aluminum Alloy
  • Weight: 0.0625 lbs.
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Editor’s Choice Editor’s Choice SHIMANO Deore XT M8100 M8120 Hydraulic Disc Brakes
  • Best For: MTB Rides
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 1.3 lbs.
  • Significant Feature: Best 4 piston MTB brakes
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Best for Enduro Bikes Best for Enduro Bikes Magura MT8 Pro 1 Piece Brake System
  • Best For: MTB Enduro Bikes
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 0.51 lbs.
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Best XC Brakes Best XC Brakes SHIMANO SLX M7100 Hydraulic Disc Brakes
  • Best For: XC Bikes
  • Material: Alloy
  • Weight: 1.3 lbs.
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Best for Beginner Bikers Best for Beginner Bikers Shimano MT200 Hydraulic Disc Brakes
  • Best For: Enduro and Trail Bikes
  • Material: 3-Finger Steel Lever
  • Weight: 1.85 lbs,
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Most Popular Most Popular Magura MT7 Pro Hydraulic Disc Brakes
  • Best For: MTB Bikes
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 0.57 lbs.
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Budget Friendly Budget Friendly CNC MTB Hydraulic Disc Brake Set
  • Best For: Mountain Bikes and BMX
  • Material: Aluminum alloy
  • Weight: 0.21 lbs.
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Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Clark’s Cable Systems Hydraulic M2 Brakes
  • Best For: Beginner Cyclists
  • Material : Metal
  • Weight: 1.25 lbs.
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Which factors to consider while purchasing the hydraulic brakes for the mountain bike?

When you purchase the MTB hydraulic brakes, following are some essential pre-purchase considerations that you should keep in mind so that you don’t end up buying hydro disc brakes that are a waste of money! 1. Type of mountain bike ride

2. Brakes modulation, performance and durability

3. Size of the rotor

4. Operational smoothness

5. Disc brake pads and your budget.

However, there are no worries because I have compiled MTB hydraulic disc brake review and buyer’s guide for you to make the right decision. Therefore, please keep reading to choose the best one!

Top Best MTB Hydraulic Brakes Review

1. HOPE Tech 3 E4 Hydraulic Disc Brakes – Best Downhill MTB Brakes

Specifications

  • Best For: Downhill Mountain Bikes
  • Material: Aluminum Alloy
  • Weight: 0.0625 lbs.

HOPE Tech 3 E4 disc brakes are highly recommended for the downhill MTB rides whereas V4 for Enduro rides. They are build with premium quality aluminum alloy.

Hope E4 hydraulic disc brakes come with bleed kit, bore cap tool as well as 4 extra pistons and are very easy to install.

They offer the widest range of modulation and braking power. Also, the bleeding process is easier than any other DOT fluid system.

When it comes to hydraulic disc brakes, I always get confused between Hope Tech and Shimano disc brakes because both build high quality hydraulic disc brakes according to the braking power requirements of mountain biking. But you may have noticed that Hope Tech have a sort of religious following across the mountain bikers. What makes Hope Tech superior is that they are specialized in disc brakes manufacturing. They are into bike disc brakes business when disc brakes were almost unheard of on bikes.

In terms of performance, the Hope Tech E4 hydro disc brakes are quite different than all other hydraulic disc brakes available in the market. Especially, the braking power is much more gradual and consistent.  During downhill rides, when I pull the lever, I know exactly what I’m going to get.

However, HOPE Tech 3 E4 disc brakes require a bit more maintenance. If you are shuttling and hanging the bikes up, the hope disc brakes let a little air into the system when the lever is up in the air. So, you will need to bleed them more frequently. Other than this, in the last 3 years I’ve had no issues.

What I Like?

  • Easy to install
  • Lightweight and strong construction
  • Smooth braking

What I Don’t Like?

  • Require more maintenance

Why I suggested HOPE Tech 3 E4 Hydraulic Disc Brakes

I also own the mountain bike equipped with Shimano XT’s but I am in love with Hope 3 E4 hydraulic disc brakes because they have more adjustment option and made from single piece of aluminum on each part. I personally will not go to anything else if I have a choice.


2. SHIMANO Deore XT M8100 M8120 Hydraulic Disc Brake – Best 4 Piston MTB Brakes

Specifications

  • Best For: Mountain Bikes
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Lever Adjustability: Free-throw, tool-less reach
  • Caliper: 4 piston
  • Weight: 1.3 lbs.

The second option in the line of best mountain bike hydraulic disc brakes is Shimano XT M8120 brakes. I have XT on my Santa Cruz Mountain bike, great brakes and found them flawless in the last 2 years.

Shimano XT hydraulic brakes are more powerful than HOPE Tech 3 E4 but not as smooth. Shimano XT brakes are better modulated. If you gently squeeze the brake, the Shimano XT stops where the hope tech disc brakes scrubs a bit of speed off.

Shimano hydraulic disc brakes are also competing Magura disc brakes because both have almost similar properties. Both of them use mineral oil, of which I’m a big fan. The only thing I hate about SHIMANO Deore XT hydraulic disc brakes is its big levers but when it comes to performance, XT levers do a wonderful job.

Shimano XT are my second love after Hope Tech 3 E4 brakes. However, out of convenience, I would stick to Shimano as compared to Magura. In a pinch, you’re much more likely to find service parts for Shimano than Magura.

What I Like?

  • Excellent construction
  • Powerful braking
  • Ease of maintenance
  • Reliable
  • Easy to bleed

What I Don’t Like?

  • Get hot early
  • Noisy pads

Why I suggested Shimano XT Disc Brakes

If you’re concerned with maintenance, don’t bother with Shimano XT disc brakes. They have bullet-proof construction and even a Starbucks guy can bleed it, whereas Magura and Hope Tech E4 hydraulic disc brakes and are very difficult to bleed.


3. Magura MT8 Pro 1 Piece Brake System – Best Enduro Bike Brakes

Specifications

  • Best For: MTB Enduro
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 0.51 lbs.

In the last 4 years, I have ridden Hope E4 and V4, Shimano XT and XTR, SRAM Guide and now Magura MT8 brakes for enduro rides. When it comes to enduro MTB, the Magura brakes are far better than the others. Also, Magura MT8 are the best choice of popular enduro MTB rider Catharine Pendrel.

The pads are magnetically drawn to the pistons so they always retract. Magura MT8 brakes have the feature where more fluid can be transferred to the caliper by removing the wheel and squeezing the lever so pad contact does not have to be adjusted by bleeding the brakes (Shimano doesn’t do this, SRAM does).

After 700 miles of enduro ride, I have not had to mechanically center the brakes at all. I can’t say that about SRAM Guide hydraulic disc brakes or either of the Shimano models. The calipers are also forged out of one piece of material rather than being a split design which makes them stiffer.

Also, Magura actually makes brakes that are used on BMW motorcycles which are DOT rated and the others only make bicycle brakes so there is more experience making units that are made to withstand more real world stress.

For mountain bike enduro rides, I will never choose Shimano or SRAM. Magura MT8 hydraulic disc brakes offers the high-end braking power and stability. Also, they braking performance is very smooth and are very easy to install.

What I Like?

  • Easy to install
  • Smooth performance
  • Great design
  • Needs less maintenance

What I Don’t Like?

  • Warranty only cover leaks

Why I suggested Magura MT8 Hydraulic Disc Brakes

Aside from the finicky bleeding, Magura MT8 hydraulic disc brakes are awesome and are the best brakes I’ve ever tried for enduro bike rides. Unfortunately, they have the worst maintenance/setup reputation!


4. SHIMANO SLX M7100 Brakes – Best XC Mountain Bike Brakes

Specifications

  • Best For: XC Bikes
  • Material: Alloy
  • Weight: 1.3 lbs.

Shimano SLX hydraulic disc brakes is another great option for mountain bikers. It offers excellent stopping power.

Shimano SLX M7100 disc brakes are amazing and easy to maintain. If setup correctly you would definitely have a progressive response under braking.

SLX are excellent for normal Trail rides but at 235lbs they couldn’t handle the DH Park

If you are looking for cross country mountain bike disc brakes, go with 2-Piston Shimano SLX brakes. Because if you mostly ride XC and you don’t have an Enduro bike or Downhill bike for the crazy downhill stuff, 4-pistons is really not needed. Just added weight.

Personally I run 4-piston Shimano XT or Hope Tech 3 E4 because most of the time I’m riding enduro down a canyon or down some steep graded stuff when it just sucks your bike down with ease.

What I Like?

  • Matchless durability
  • Versatile design
  • Silent functionality
  • Best for XC MTB

What I Don’t Like?

  • Slightly expensive

Why I Recommended Shimano SLX Disc Brakes

SLX is a great value, at a certain point some other brakes might be too pricey of a upgrade. If for you’re looking for XC bike disc brakes then go no further, Shimano SLX is the best option for XC Rides.


5. Shimano MT200 Hydraulic Disc Brakes – Best Hydraulic Mountain Bike Brakes

Specifications

  • Best For: XC Mountain Bikes, E Bikes, Fat Bikes
  • Front Rotor: 180mm
  • Rear Rotor: 160mm
  • Weight: 1.85 lbs.

JGbike Shimano MT200 MTB Mountain Bike Bicycle Hydraulic Disc Brake Set has excelled over the market-worthy competitors because it is unbeatable in terms of the smoothest braking, highly durable construction, compatibility with a wide range of bikes, and ease of assemblage.

These features render these brakes the best mountain bike hydraulic brakes that you should consider purchasing in the current year to enjoy excellent speeding with ease of braking wherever you like.

JGbike Shimano has remained in my use since it was released, and I must appreciate the makers of this bike for equipping these brakes with highly versatile passing. You will be glad to learn that these brakes are made with a three-finger steel lever. Therefore, if you are an entry-level biker with smaller hands, these brakes will help you in easier accessibility to enjoy exclusive braking power. In addition to this, the versatility of these brakes also reflects from the lesser pad rattling, and thus the amount of noise is minimal.

Unlike other conventional mountain bike brakes, JGbike Shimano hydraulic disc brakes are admirable for their highly silent functionality, thus not distracting you while enjoying your mountain ride. The lever of these brakes is easily reachable, and therefore you will be at ease installing it quickly without facing any issues. These brakes are highly reliable because they consistently give the best performance during our testing. Also, the durability of these brakes will amaze you.

What I Like?

  • Matchless durability
  • Versatile design
  • Silent functionality

What I Don’t Like?

  • Slightly expensive

Reason for Recommending Shimano MT200 Hydraulic Disc Brakes

In light of our experience with premium-grade brakes like JGbike Shimano, I strongly recommend you to go for these great brakes. They offer you a wide range of features like quiet functionality, easier accessibility, remarkable durability, and ease of installation. Therefore, if you opt for this product, I assure you that it will be delivering its best performance. Therefore, this is a must-consider option!

You May Also Want To Read!


6. Magura USA MT7 Pro Hydraulic Disc Brakes – Best Enduro Brakes

Specifications

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 0.57 lbs.
  • Actuation: Hydraulic

Magura USA MT7 Pro Hydraulic Disc Brakes are the most famous and best mountain bike hydraulic brakes that offer you a lightweight body, highly durable construction design, and ease of installation. That is why you should purchase these best brakes to enjoy braking on the different steeper terrains in wetter weather conditions without facing any worries.

Thanks to the manufacturers of the Magura USA for using premium grade aluminum for making the handle of these brakes. At the same time, the rest of the body is also made with good-quality aluminum and other metallic components. The four-piston caliper will be easier for you to install and use these breaks. The actuation type of these brakes is hydraulic, and thus they are highly compatible with a wide range of mountain bikes.

The most distinctive feature associated with the Magura USA is the ease these brakes provide you in stopping at any dimension. This is possible because the makers of these brakes have used highly innovative downhill and enduro rides. Another plus point of these brakes is the lightweight design that does not add to the overall weight of the mountain bike and thus allows you to enjoy a comfortable journey.

What I Like?

  • Ultra-light body
  • Ease of the range adjustment
  • Innovative pressure point

What I Don’t Like?

  • Suitable for smaller hands

Conclusion of Magura USA MT7 Pro Hydraulic Disc Brakes Review

Suppose you have checked the list of the mountain bike hydraulic brakes but cannot decide the final product. In that case, I have the best suggestion for you based on the results that I obtained after rigorous experimentation. I am indicating towards the premium quality option like Magura USA. If you opt to purchase these brakes, you will enjoy all the benefits I have just outlined here. Go for it!


7. CNC MTB Hydraulic Disc Brake Set

Specifications

  • Best For: Mountain Bikes, BMX, Road Bikes
  • Material: Aluminum Alloy
  • Weight: 0.21 lbs.

CNC MTB Front and Rear Line Pulling Hydraulic Disc Brake Set have made a particular position in the market because it has a unique blend of smoother braking, all-weather resistant body, and highly durable construction.

That is why if you opt to purchase these best mountain bike hydraulic brakes, you will be enjoying all the benefits associated with them, like premium-grade construction design, highly engineered structure, and easy-to-use tools coming in the package.

When I purchased CNC MTB, I loved this set for all the features that it offered, but I was highly impressed by its complete braking system that offered a high-end performance in the face of extreme weather conditions. Also, the smoother braking that I enjoyed with these brakes is far better than mechanical braking sets. You will be glad to learn that these hydraulic brakes are highly responsive whenever required compared with the conventional brakes available on the market.

Another praise-worthy feature associated with the CNC MTB is its excellent performance in case of the wettest weather conditions in addition to the steepest downhills. This outstanding performance is indeed attributable to the cable-pull type hydraulic caliper. This caliper on the frontal and rear side is prepared with superior-grade aluminum material. Also, there is a brake pad movement facilitated by the presence of the oil cylinder arranged in the two-way position. So, the smoothest braking is guaranteed with these brakes.

What I Like?

  • Excellent compatibility
  • Lightweight and strong construction
  • The high-end all-weather performance

What I Don’t Like?

  • Instruction manual absent

Why I Mentioned CNC MTB Hydraulic Disc Brakes

If you have checked the number of hydraulic brakes for your mountain bike but still are not satisfied with their performance, I have the best suggestion. I am indicating towards the premium grade brakes like CNC MTB. These brakes will give you the best performance no matter what steepest trails you are riding on. Therefore, I strongly recommend you to opt for these great brakes. This is a worth considering option!

Have a look at recommended mountain bikes under $750 with top-notch hydraulic disc brakes


8. Clark’s Cable Systems Hydraulic M2 Brakes – Best Cheap MTB Brakes

Specifications

  • Best For: MTB
  • Material: Metal
  • Weight: 1.25 lbs.
  • Disc Rotor: 160mm

Clark’s Cable Systems Front Hydraulic M2 Brakes is an unavoidable option for the versatility in design, durability in construction, and smoothness in braking. That is why professional mountain bikers love to use these best mountain bike hydraulic brakes to perform best on their international championships.

In addition to these features, you will be glad to learn that these brakes are highly economical compared with the conventional brakes on the market.

I had shortly purchased these brakes when they were released, and I am highly satisfied with their consistently best performance. These are two-piston hydraulic brakes that allow you to enjoy an unparalleled level of smoothness in braking over challenging trials or wetter weather conditions.

These 160 mm hydraulic disc brakes are the best companions to opt for if victory and speed are your ultimate goals. In addition to these features, the more accessible lever accessibility adjustment feature is also admirable.

Another best feature associated with Clark’s Cable Brakes is its compactness and lightweight design. These two features make these brakes unbeatable when it comes to braking power. Also, I should be grateful to the manufacturers of these brakes for adopting the highly durable yet lightweight construction materials to make these brakes.

What I Like?

  • Highly economical price
  • Ease of accessibility
  • Highly durable and stable

What I Don’t Like?

  • Shorter cable length

Concluding Remarks about Clark’s Hydraulic M2 Brakes Review

Clark’s Cable is a package of happiness for all-mountain bikers ranging from entry-level to professional because these brakes are unbeatable in terms of smoother performance, noise-free operation, and highly durable construction. Considering my experience with these brakes, I would like to strongly recommend you purchase them to have the best experience of braking.

Planning to change mountain bike brakes? If yes, make sure to use mountain bike work stand to repair bike perfectly

MTB Hydraulic Brakes Buying Guide

After reading about the top-notch and best mountain bike hydraulic brakes, I hope you will now be in a better position to opt for the best brakes for your bike. If you succeed in this decision, you will enjoy all the benefits that I have outlined about different high-quality brakes. However, carelessness about the essential features may cause you to waste money and time.

To help you with this important decision, I have compiled some essential factors that play a significant role in the quality determination of hydraulic brakes for mountain bikes. Therefore, please continue reading to know more about these pre-purchase considerations. Here we go!

Ease of Installation

Based on my experience with the wide range of hydraulic brakes, I feel you should always go for the brakes that are easy to install. If you opt for the right kind of brakes from the top brands, as we discussed, they will provide you with a step-by-step guide. In this case, you will not have to invest money in getting help from a trained mechanic. Therefore, you need to check this before clicking the purchase button.

All-Weather Performance

Another important pre-purchase consideration that you should not forget is to check the durability of your brakes. If you go for the high-end costly brakes, they will give you the best performance no matter what type of weather or terrain you are driving upon.

Such hydraulic brakes are made with premium quality materials that enhance the lifespan and perform well no matter how severe weather conditions. Therefore, you need to opt for brakes that are strong enough to function in all circumstances. Some good options are:

FAQs about MTB Brakes

What are the best mountain bike brakes?

Different hydraulic brakes perform well for your mountain bike. However, some of them have shown the best performance consistently, and thus I suggest you procure them. They include CNC MTB Front and Rear Line Pulling Hydraulic Disc Brake Set, JGbike Shimano MT200 MTB Mountain Bike Bicycle Hydraulic Disc Brake Set, Magura USA MT7 Pro Hydraulic Disc Brakes, and Clark’s Cable Systems Front Hydraulic M2 Brakes.

Why are hydraulic brakes preferable over the conventional brakes?

Several professional mountain bikers have indicated the suitability of the hydraulic brakes for mountain bikes based on their experience. The main reason for preferring them is their lightweight yet powerful performance and their smoothness in braking.

Final Thoughts about MTB Hydraulic Disc Brakes Review

It’s time to give our final thoughts about the review and buyer’s guide on the best mountain bike hydraulic brakes. I hope you will be in a clear position to opt for the best product that I have just outlined. I have also narrowed down our choice to the top product, and that is:

You may share your worthy suggestions and thoughts with us in the comments section. Thank you and take care!


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1 thought on “Best Mountain Bike Hydraulic Disc Brakes – Review and Buying Guide”

  1. I just want to commend the author of this article. After scrolling through at least 40 or so articles in the past few weeks on XC hydraulic disc brakes, none of them are as well written and intuitive as this one. Seriously thank you

    Reply
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