Tektro Gemini Hydraulic Disc Brakes Review [Dirt Bike]
The Tektro brand has been around for a long time.
It also has been issued as OEM gear on a lot of mid-level mountain bikes such as the Specialized Rockhopper. So, for many of our readers, this is the first hydraulic set you have ever used.
As with any bike system, we riders will push them hard enough to find their flaws. Especially when it is a system that is ubiquitous as this one.
Disc brake whine is something that we all deal with. And the Tektro Gemini is going to have some of that as well. Typically this whine comes from contaminants on the rotors or pads. Even a drop of oil or soap can ruin the pads, stopping your braking ability and creating a painful squeal. You can use isopropyl alcohol to clean up the rotors, but if the pads have been contaminated, they are ruined, and it is time to replace them.
Bleeding brakes are one of the core skills you will need to learn when you go hydraulic. Don’t be intimidated by this.You just need a bleed kit, the proprietary Tektro oil, and a syringe. They typically sell this together in a kit.
Most riders also swap out their oil once a year to improve performance.
Most hardcore riders look to upgrade to the Shimano SLX when their pocketbook can afford that. There are just enough benefits (plus, the flexibility to go to a 180mm rim) that attracts people up to the upgrade.
Also, cheaper brake rotors tend to flex under hardcore braking, and it can lead to a bit of ticking. Some riders will upgrade the rotors on these to a stiffer rotor to get better performance out of their existing brakes.
Anymore, it is hard to find these brakes. Most people are going with the more current Tektro Auriga Comp.
Frankly, I think Tektro gets hated on a little bit in the industry the same way folks hate taco bell when they are sitting at Chipotle. The deal is, that just because they specialize in an entry-level brake, does not mean that we should write them off. It is a reliable brake, highly repairable and there are many cyclists who have been riding this brake for a decade or more.
And, as a benefit, they are extremely beginner-friendly when it comes to maintenance.
If you want to upgrade and do it affordably, invest in some stiffer, 160mm rotors. This will help remove the flexing that some of the more entry-level bikes experience and give you a more professional ride at minimal cost.
And, with any brakes, be conscious about keeping the soap and oil away from these. I realize that you have to get the mud out, but you are going to have to do it without using soap, or it can create even more problems for you.
An excellent brake, hard to find on the market, built by a reputable brand and easy to upgrade.