Bontrager Speed Limit Brakes review

Great performing brakes with a hint of classic old school styling

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £89.99 RRP | USD $180.00

Our review

Great performing brakes with a hint of classic old school styling
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The Speed Limits weigh just 270g per pair – 9g lighter than top end Campag Record Skeleton and SRAM Force, and 44g lighter than a Shimano Dura-Ace brake set. They feature Bontrager’s new PowerAmp linkage design – essentially a double cam which allows a single pivot design that provides the stopping power of a dual pivot brake, comparable to Dura-Ace according to Bontrager tests.


On the road in wet or dry the Speed Limits’ braking performance really is impressive; they’ll shock you with just how much stopping power they provide against similar brakes at this kind of price.

At first glance, the new Bontrager Speed Limit brakes ooze class, and are reminiscent of classic Campagnolo brakes of years gone by. They’re the latest addition to an expanding Bontrager component range and have been designed to be the lightest and best performing brakes at this price.

Okay, they look a bit on the chunky side, and aren’t the most aerodynamic for the time triallists among you, but the large cross-section arms provide extra stiffness/ power and help with the responsive feel.

The only downside in terms of the workings, compared to similarly priced Shimano, SRAM and Campag brakes, is that the quick release lever, which is very neatly tucked away at the top of pivot, is very basic and, to save weight, has no adjustability; you only have the option of release or closed, while its competitors have multiple adjustability indents through the turn of the quick release. If you’d rather have the weight saving then this won’t bother you – you’ll just have to make sure you set the brakes up to your preferred feel from the off.

Bonty has included its own-brand brake pads which are a Bontrager formulated rubber compound, and they seem to work particularly well in wet conditions with the alloy rims we tested them on. You can also get carbon rim-specific pads. The shoes provided are compatible with Bontrager and Shimano pads.


Overall the Speed Limits perform extremely well, look great and weigh little. They’re well worth looking at if you’re in the market to upgrade, and the price includes a five year warranty.

Product Specifications


Name Speed Limit Brakeset (08)
Brand Bontrager

Description Best in class weight at only 270g per pair. PowerAmp linkage provides Durace class stopping power. Wide cross section arms give maximum stiffness and responsive braking feel. 5 yr warranty. PowerAmp linkage provides leverage ratio of a dual pivot brake but without the weight penalty. SwissStop brake pads.
Weight (g) 270