There are two main types of calipers: floating (or sliding) calipers and fixed calipers. Floating calipers move in and out relative to the rotor and have one or two pistons only on the inboard side of the rotor. This piston pushes the entire caliper when the brakes are applied, creating friction from the brake pads on both sides of the rotor. Fixed calipers, as the name implies, don't move, but rather have pistons arranged on opposing sides of the rotor. Fixed calipers are generally preferred for their performance, but are more expensive than the floating kind.
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