SRAM’s DB8 mineral oil brakes require less maintenance

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SRAM’s latest brakes use a proven design, promising lower maintenance. (Photo: SRAM)
SRAM’s latest brakes use a proven design, promising lower maintenance. (Photo: SRAM)

Hydraulic mountain bike brakes work great, but they can be annoying to maintain.

Even the best hydraulic disc brakes eventually get air or contaminants into the system. And that reduces lever feel and stopping power.

Most mountain bike brakes use DOT fluid, requiring a seasonal bleed. And unless you are a confident DIY mechanic and have a space to mess, bleeding hydraulic brakes can be chaotic – and frustrating.

The alternative is to use mineral oil, extending the brake bleed intervals to every second year.

Riders use a different bleed kit for these mineral oil brakes, to prevent accidental contamination. (Photo: SRAM)

Making hydraulic brakes cheaper to own

Mineral oil doesn't have the same level of performance as DOT fluid, but for riders on a budget, it make a lot of sense.

SRAM has shown its new value brake offering in a market where new bike and component prices are at all-time highs. The DB8 is a powerful four-piston hydraulic brake option that uses mineral oil.

These new DB8 brakes will be ideal for novice riders or those within to trim their mountain bike maintenance budget.

mountain bike brakes
You'll feel a bit less power pulling these levers, compared to other SRAM brakes. (Photo: SRAM)

Mineral oil versus DOT fluid

Evolved from SRAM's very successful Code range of high-performance brakes, these new DB8's use the Code calliper design and brake pads.

If mineral oil brakes require less maintenance and have the same design as SRAM's best Codes, what's the sacrifice? Power.

These DB8's are 10% less potent when you pull that brake lever. That 10% margin of ultimate stopping power might matter to expert riders in steep and technical terrain – but not to beginners.

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