Budget Brakes Install & Test | Tektro M285


During my last two Under 24-Hour Overnight (U24O) bikepacking trips I found it a little more challenging spinning the pedals and moving the weighed down fattie. I thought I was out of shape and/or carrying extra weight on the bike.  I later
 discovered the problem when doing some unladen back woods exploration . . . both my front and rear brakes were dragging.

I removed and cleaned up the stock DB5 calipers, examined the pads and cleaned up the rotors. I took another quick spin in the w
oods and the bike rolled easy, but after a little while it got more difficult to pedal. Having another U24O on the radar I had to fix this.

Frank's Pond U24O
Clam Cove U24O
Dead Wold U24O
Gisborne Lake U24O



A quick look at the interweb and a visit to my LBS I discovered that the stock DB5s do start to give trouble after a while, and while bleeding may fix the issue . . . once they start giving trouble they continue to give trouble. I could possibly rebuild the DB5s, but I did not have the time. My LBS recommended that I replace the entire braking system.

While it would be ultra cool to get a set of flashy four-piston stoppers with finned calipers, they would probably be overkill for a bike that is primarily used for exploration and bikepacking. I wanted something inexpensive and reliable. While my LBS had some of those ultra cool brakes, they recommended Tektro M285 for the front and rear.


Newfoundland Fat Bike Fatbike Fatbike Republic Tektro M285 Budget Brake Brake Replacement

The Tektro M285 kit came in a labeled plastic bag and not a fancy box . . . which contributed to their lower cost. The kit included: pre-bleed lever and caliper, 160mm rotor, rotor bolts, caliper retaining bolts, 160/180 spacer and pads. There were also a few more bits and pieces if I needed to shorten the hose. This was a complete kit.

Newfoundland Fat Bike Fatbike Fatbike Republic Tektro M285 Budget Brake Brake Replacement

INSTALLATION


I popped the fattie in the bike stand and started by loosening the rear caliper.

Newfoundland Fat Bike Fatbike Fatbike Republic Tektro M285 Budget Brake Brake Replacement

Then back up to the front to remove the grip, shifter and brake lever.

Newfoundland Fat Bike Fatbike Fatbike Republic Tektro M285 Budget Brake Brake Replacement

I then traced the cable routing through the tangle at the bars and down the frame, cutting and removing all cable ties.

Newfoundland Fat Bike Fatbike Fatbike Republic Tektro M285 Budget Brake Brake Replacement

I wanted to make sure that the Tecktros followed the same route as the old DB5s so I routed them along the old cable.

Newfoundland Fat Bike Fatbike Fatbike Republic Tektro M285 Budget Brake Brake Replacement

I removed the rear DB5 brake system and loosely installed the Tektro caliper.

Newfoundland Fat Bike Fatbike Fatbike Republic Tektro M285 Budget Brake Brake Replacement

I then popped on the brake lever and slipped on some new cable tiles. I did notice that the Tectro hoses were a little larger in diameter than the stock hoses on the DB5s.

Newfoundland Fat Bike Fatbike Fatbike Republic Tektro M285 Budget Brake Brake Replacement

Turning the bars left and right to ensure that there were no pinch points, I then tightened up the caliper, lever and cable ties.

Newfoundland Fat Bike Fatbike Fatbike Republic Tektro M285 Budget Brake Brake Replacement

Before I popped on the front Tektro system I dropped them on the scales to see how they weighed in comparison to the DB5s.  Only 22g heavier.


Newfoundland Fat Bike Fatbike Fatbike Republic Tektro M285 Budget Brake Brake Replacement

The front brake system was a little quicker to install as it was shorter, with less routing and less cable ties. I only had to worry about routing around the Wren.

Newfoundland Fat Bike Fatbike Fatbike Republic Tektro M285 Budget Brake Brake Replacement

And the final part of the brake swap was the installation of the new rotors. Removing the old ones with a torx bit I noted the direction of rotation.


Newfoundland Fat Bike Fatbike Fatbike Republic Tektro M285 Budget Brake Brake Replacement

I dropped the new ones on and torqued them down with the supplied bolts. It was convenient that the new rotor bolts already had a dab of lock-tight on them.


Newfoundland Fat Bike Fatbike Fatbike Republic Tektro M285 Budget Brake Brake Replacement

Reinstalling the wheels I did a final adjustment of the calipers and took a quick spin around the neighborhood to set the pads. Not having replaced a braking system, the entire process took me about 45 -60 minutes.

TESTING

Two days after the install I headed out for a Under 24 Hour Overnight (U24O) bikepacking trip to the Avalon Wilderness Reserve.  I had visited the area a couple of years ago, but being over 1000 km2 there was lots to explore.


Newfoundland Fat Bike Fatbike Fatbike Republic Tektro M285 Budget Brake Brake Replacement U24O

Loaded down with a pile of gear I headed in over the rough road that was littered with water crossings, hills and descents. As I was heading into the middle of nowhere with untested brakes . . . I was a little nervous.


Newfoundland Fat Bike Fatbike Fatbike Republic Tektro M285 Budget Brake Brake Replacement U24O

After 50+ km with a laden down fattie I have to say that the Tektro M285s worked great. To be honest, after the first 10km I forgot about the brakes and only remembered after a few deep water crossing when they squealed coming out the other side.


Newfoundland Fat Bike Fatbike Fatbike Republic Tektro M285 Budget Brake Brake Replacement U24O

The Tektros slowed the heavy bike when flying down descents, stopped the bike when I needed a break and allowed the bike to roll when it needed to roll.


Newfoundland Fat Bike Fatbike Fatbike Republic Tektro M285 Budget Brake Brake Replacement U24O

FINAL THOUGHTS

These dual piston, budget minded hydraulic stoppers were easy to install and worked right out of the box. While mineral oil is touted to be better in winter, the budget conscious organic pads may need replacing a little sooner.

I am quite happy with the Tektro M285s thus far. They will remain on my exploration minded Norco Sasquatch and I will report back with any updates.

RIDE FAT !



Comments