Q&A: Pot Luck

Why do some brakes have more than one piston on each side?

Q: Why do some brakes have more than one piston on each side? 

Jed Robertson

A: The idea with multi-piston (or ‘pot’) brakes was that the different piston sizes move in sequence, pushing one end of the pad onto the rotor before the other for a more subtle application of power. They certainly feel great, but are inevitably heavier and more complex. Advances in brake leverages, heat displacement and overall smoothness mean twin pot brakes are now far more controlled than they used to be, too, so these simpler, lighter units are still the dominant brake species.

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