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Tektro vs. Dura Ace - Can you tell the difference?(8 posts)

Tektro vs. Dura Ace - Can you tell the difference?BowWow
Oct 2, 2003 12:10 AM
Consider the following brakesets. Imagine identical koolstop salmon pads on each set. Do you think you could tell which brake was which in a blind test?

Tektro - 32.31/set
Sora - 39.66/set
Tiagra - 40.77/set
105 - 67.21/set
Ultegra - 97.94/set
Dura Ace - 171.43/set

I sincerely think the 400% price difference is not recovered in a 400% improvement in braking performance...

I've ridden Tektro and was very impressed with their light touch and excellent braking power. Couldn't tell the difference between them and 105's or my friend's ultegras...

Any thoughts?

Steve

P.S. The prices were gleaned from airbomb.com - not a bad place for those little parts the other online guys don't handle - like mount kits for computers, bolts, etc.
ho hum...C-40
Oct 2, 2003 1:17 AM
Cheap parts are nothing new. Like with all products, there is a point of diminishing returns, but I think you're well below that point. If you were experienced in manufacturing, I'm sure it would be easy to disassemble the cheap brake and figure out where the shortcuts were taken to reduce price. The main contributors to the low price are cheap labor and low overhead. Kind of like generic grocery products, with no advertising costs.

The higher price products will have better finishes and MAY last longer. There is also no need to replace the brake pads with something better.

How does the weight of your cheap brakes compare? With bike parts, the price often doubles just because the component is 10-20% lighter. Some folks are willing to pay $80 for a 215 gram handlebar instead of $40 for a 260 gram bar, for instance. In the case of ultralight parts, the light ones may even have a substantially shorter life.
$1 / gm testgeeker
Oct 2, 2003 6:21 AM
A reasonable rule of thumb I've seen is that $1 / gram is a good "sanity check" threshold for weight savings. Anything below this level = good, over = overpriced. Don't know published weights, but I'd imagine anything through 105, probably Ultegra is OK, and Dura-Ace is pricey (OTOH, people always pay up for "top of the line").
Nope.jw25
Oct 2, 2003 7:37 AM
At least not while riding. Both modulate well, have a light feel at the lever, and both will stop my bike.
However, there are a few nice tweaks to the Dura-Ace, as you'd expect. The cable adjusters are nicer - the Tektros get a barrel with separate locknut, that needs to be loosened, adjusted, then tightened back down, or the barrel tightens itself back down, meaing you get softer and softer braking. The Dura-Ace has spring-loaded barrels, so a quick twist and you're done. Not a big deal, but if you switch wheels often, and use rims with differing widths, it's nice.
Second, and this is a tiny point, is the tension spring of the Tektros, or rather the plastic bits between them and the brake arms. Both of mine have cracked and come off, and now I need to add a drop of oil every few weeks to keep them from creaking under braking. I've tried fitting a replacement, but finding a plastic tube of the right size, and durable enough to last, has proven difficult.
Overall, though, the minor weight increase, and large price difference, has made them more than worth it. The ones I purchased, from chucksbikes.com, came with cartridge pads that accept Dura-Ace sized replacements, and are fitted with Kool-Stop salmons at the moment. Highly recommended pads for all weather conditions.
Overall, I'd place the Tektros at the Ultegra level, and once the name's polished off, who's to know?
I would guess so,TJeanloz
Oct 2, 2003 7:45 AM
I can tell the difference between Dura-Ace 7700 and Dura-Ace 7400 brakes, so I'm guessing I could tell the difference between DA and Tektro.

For everyday riding, no big deal. For going really fast down a twisty descent, the difference becomes apparent quickly.
Thanks for the input! For $8 more I think I'll try the Tiagra... nmBowWow
Oct 2, 2003 9:08 AM
Yes, I canPmbH
Oct 2, 2003 9:47 AM
Maybe not between Tektro and Dura Ace, but I can tell the difference between Tektro and Ultegra.

I had Tektro brakes on my old bike. After 5 months of riding, I started to notice what I thought was flex in the front caliper when braking. It turned out to be the bushing between the two sides of the caliper was worn enough to allow the calipers to wiggle on the brake bolt, causing the front brake to be twisted forward several milimeters upon braking.

I then checked the back brake and noticed a significant amount of movement in it as well. I bought Ultegra brakes the next day and never had another problem.
Good answer! More research to come - weights, durability, etc. nmBowWow
Oct 2, 2003 10:06 PM