TRP’s flagship EuroX Mag brakes tick all the key boxes for a pro-level cyclo-cross cantilever, and come with a premium pricetag to match.
They’re freakishly light at just 112g per wheel (including pads, straddle cable and all hardware!) thanks to their magnesium arms, aluminium pivot bushings, alloy and titanium hardware, and simplistic layout.
In comparison, a full set of more pedestrian cantilevers would typically add 100g or so – a substantial improvement from a percentage standpoint and one that feels heavier than you’d guess when you’re hitting that run-up late in a race.
The wide-profile stance makes for gobs of rim clearance for racing through typical ‘cross-season muck and the stiff sandwich plate-style arms yield very good braking power and modulation provided you’re careful with the setup – and setup is indeed the key here.
As with nearly all brakes of this type, adjustments are a bit limited compared to more conventional low-profile arms (like TRP’s CR950, for example), but the EuroX Mags are better than most thanks to their built-in barrel adjusters and clever Inplace Adjust pad holders that allow for a bit of toe-in movement.
The separate straddle carrier means you can easily tune in power versus lever feel and rim clearances to your liking, too, as opposed to more restrictive one-piece straddle wires.
Still, pad height is only adjustable by angle – not translation – so the blocks don’t always hit as flush as you’d like until they wear in, and there’s no spring tension adjustment, either.
The detail work on the EuroX Mag is impressive when you look closely enough. The arms are coated in a durable finish to prevent corrosion (even multiple wheel changes and cable releases have yet to mar the surface), the anchor set screws use stouter 2.5mm heads instead of 2mm ones and include trick knurled ends to prevent cable slip, an extra set of carbon-specific pads is included, and even the cable crimps are anodised to match the rest of the red anodised alloy hardware.
Also noteworthy is the fact that the cartridge holders are sized for road pads – not mountain bike ones – leaving you with more options when choosing pad compounds especially for carbon rims.
Ironically, the biggest problem with the EuroX Mag is that TRP did such a good job of upgrading the base level EuroX that it’s really tough to justify the Mag’s £219.99/US$329.99 (front and rear, not front or rear) price tag.
For just £73.98/US$139.99, the aluminium EuroX now includes toe-adjustable pads (albeit different ones) plus an integrated barrel adjuster – and with only 40g or so of extra weight for the complete set plus longer-wearing brass pivot bushings instead of aluminum.
Granted, the aluminum EuroX model doesn’t include the fancy titanium and anodised alloy hardware but the difference leaves an awful lot of cash left over for entry fees and gas.
Without a doubt, well-to-do ‘cross racers looking for the latest and greatest will find a lot to like in the EuroX Mag brakes. More budget-minded riders would be better served with TRP’s aluminum EuroX version though (or even the carbon version at £199.99/US$279.99 a set) but there’s little debate as to which ones are most lust-worthy.