The 2011 Tektro Auriga Pro is the Taiwanese answer to market mid-level braking systems. This means that they will fight with Avid’s Elixir 5 or Hayes’ Stroker Trail. The weight of these models is about the same for lever, caliper and rotor, so they can compete with equal forces in this class.
I haven’t made their life too easy, because I took them on a grueling descent. Of all issues pursued, Auriga Pro scored best in braking performance. Equipped with a 180 mm rotor, they manage to stop the bike when needed and give you good control of the bike on turns.
Nevertheless, I was not impressed with modulation. Responsible for this situation is that the lever-feel is not one of the greatest. In addition, grip at the end of the aluminum-made lever is not among the best and must be operated with two fingers to stop the bike securely. However, if we consider the cost of the brakes, which is lower then that of competition, the situation changes. On average, Auriga Pro is offered with up to 50-70 euros less than other well-known manufacturers’ brakes. If you consider further increase of braking power and act with one finger, you should consider rotors larger than 203 mm, but with a major drawback: a rotor weighs 186 grams!
Continuing fast descents, I noticed that fading is almost nonexistent and I was surprised because I expected lower results in this issue. Basically, Auriga Pro allows you long braking, without losing power. Only on very steep descents they show their weaknesses. It is in this price class too that we should appreciate the very easily adjusting of the distance from the handlebar to the lever: is performed using a roller type valve installed directly on the handle. It is simple, elegant and very practical because it spares you the setting with a small Allen key.
Noise is unfortunately on the agenda, as pads are largely responsible for the acoustic disturbance. Where strongly heated, they set the tone of the symphony. But if you do not care too much about this, you should know that at some point you get used to the noise and you won’t even get to hear it after about 2-3 km of descent.
In conclusion, the 2011 Tektro Auriga Pro is more than an attractive alternative in this segment. It provides excellent braking performance, even if it loses a few points in terms of modulation and weight. However, the offer is unbeatable because Tektro know how to offer their products at competitive prices! If until recently these brakes were only available as standard equipment on some bikes, they can now be purchased separately. They are recommended for fans of mountain biking, All Mountain or even Freeride (with 203 mm rotors) but not for XC riders, one of the main reasons being increased weight.
Weight: 481 grams (180 mm rotor)
Use: All Mountain, Freeride