The Postmodernism Era: Irreparable or Unavailable E-Bike Components

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Mazovia, Poland
Starting in 2017, TRP (Tektro Racing Products) included the Zurich -- or the high performance hydraulic disc brakes suitable for European S-Pedelecs, or the 45 km/h e-bikes treated as mopeds by Euro laws -- in its offer. The Zurich were not only high performance brakes (with the calliper set with a huge radiator for perfect brake cooling), equipped with semi-metallic brake pads but also the brake lever assembly had a sensor to activate the mandatory STOP indicator light. The brake lever ends were balls like in any motorcycle, for safety concerns.

The industry believed that Speed electric bikes would catch in Europe, but the manufacturers were wrong. People were unwilling to pay a lot for a Speed e-bike. They did not want to register and insure the S-Pedelec, wear a good helmet, and be excluded from bike paths. As the outcome, the S-Pedelec has almost become an extinct species in Europe. To make the long story short: TRP discontinued the Zurich brakes after making a big batch for several e-bike manufacturers. (At least the TRP Q20.11 brake pads have been easily available as these are used on many TRP brakes).

Now, I noticed I totally lost the rear brake stopping power on my Vado 6.0. The verdict was clear: the hydraulic pump in the brake lever assembly failed.
  • No service kit for the Zurich brake lever assembly is available
  • No new brake lever assembly can be bought
  • No small parts or internals for the brake lever assembly can be bought
  • TRP Zurich brake sets are unavailable.
Now, my Vado 6.0 has become crippled.

Yes, I could ask Specialized. I'm sure the brand still keeps TRP Zurich sets in its warehouses. If I tried buying a new brake set, I think it would cost an arm and leg! (Yes, I will ask the LBS for the availability and price!)

Me & brother have researched the replacement options. A German online store has had the TRP Slate Evo HD-M807 full set of both hydraulic brakes at ridiculously low price of EUR87! (The RRP EUR 300).


II had no other choice but to order the full set as it was far cheaper than any other option, and the set looks compatible. I could even keep the existing Zurich calliper!

Yes, I would lose the STOP indicator sensor but it still works on the front brake lever (I always use both levers for braking).
It looks like an isolated case. However, it illustrates the lack of longevity of e-bikes in general. Now, let us think of... electric cars. How many years would an electric car last? Would you buy a 7 years old used electric car? What if a vital electric car part has been discontinued? (I do not want a heated electric car debate; just worried).
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It is a big concern. What can help is small third party companies who see a need for replacement parts and jump in with solutions. This has kept the car business going for years. If the e bike or EV is a popular enough model with many sold I expect these companies will step in. For instance I follow on instagram, a UK e bike motor repair company who seem really good at dealing with out of warranty motor repairs. As my Vado SL is now out of warranty I intend to look them up if/when I have a motor problem again. For spare parts Ebay is your friend! I scour ebay weekly and have constant checks on the lookout for tyres and drive train components for all my bikes & I'm constantly surprised at what turns up and what value can be had.
Thing is with ebay - put a 'want' notice on what you are looking for. Might not be there toady, or one with price that's ok, but in time one might well pop up.
Rás, you are great! Thank you!
I'm going now with the M807. (The price of the full Zurich set is not crazy - interesting what Specialized would say).
On the other hand, both US sets are used. I wonder whether these are not identically broken as my brake is 😊
On the other hand, both US sets are used. I wonder whether these are not identically broken as my brake is 😊
Check with the seller & check the ebay rating of the seller. If less then 100% then don't buy. Most sellers are good at replying to questions and up front about damage as they don't want to damage their ebay rating. It's not infallible but if the seller says its working it should be working. If they say something like don't know if it works or check photos for condition then it is a big risk. But also check if they'll post to Poland and what shipping costs. As a used item you shouldn't be stung with import duties but its a bit random.

Upon receiving the shipment with the full set of F/R TRP Slate (HD-M807) hydraulic disk brakes (post mount, 4-piston), my brother had to spend some time to understand the technology. The brakes had many details that made them different from TRP Zurich!

For the start, the brake set came filled with the hydraulic fluid (mineral oil). The brake lever/hydraulic pump assemblies were closed with threaded plugs. The provided hydraulic lines were closed with tiny threaded plugs including miniature O-rings. The other end of each hydraulic line was already connected to the main brake, which was pre-filled with the mineral oil, too. Each brake was equipped with organic brake pads and the transportation spacer. If the user were happy with it, installing the whole brake set should be trouble free and instant.

Unfortunately, my brother was trying to shorten the hydraulic line to the proper length, and moreover reuse the existing Zurich main brake. It has turned out the connections of the Slate and Zurich were incompatible. Even more funny was the fact the bleed hole thread at the brake lever assembly was Shimano but not TRP Zurich compatible! Moreover, the Zurich came with a refill valve while it was not present on the Slate.

All in all, my brother could replace the complete rear Zurich brake set with the complete Slate set. Only the post mount spacer of the Slate was not high enough to accommodate the 180 mm brake rotor, so the Zurich spacer had to be reused.

The Slate brakes are not as powerful as the Zurich, and are not that well air cooled. However, the new brake works nicely, and its performance (for example, smaller pistons) is not critical for the rear wheel. The most importantly, Zurich brakes have been discontinued, and the price of the whole TRP Slate set of 87 EUR was an incredible bargain...

Meanwhile, we discovered that TRP brake pads for Zurich and Slate were identical to Shimano DS03... The latter are easily available.


The TRP Slate brake has replaced the TRP Zurich (the latter being a premium e-bike brake, discontinued).


The brake lever/hydraulic pump assembly.


Tektro Racing Products (TRP) are the same to Tektro as Technics was to Panasonic. I hope the new brake will live up to its brand name!
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