The initial bike of this all-mechanical brake system is not dissimilar to its hydraulic cousins. However, once you are into your braking, the stopping power doesn’t increase dramatically the harder you pull the lever, the way it does with a hydraulic system.
The £169.99 levers are a marvel to look at, but are a bit of a misnomer. The feel and ergonomics of the £47.99, 9g lighter Speed Dial SL are better than that of the Ultimate.
The Avid BB7 is still the best mechanical caliper available, though. It has a smooth action, with the actuator arm rotating on ball bearings. The inboard and outboard pads can be independently adjusted. It's decent value at £45.99 for caliper and rotor.
The ludicrously priced Avid Speed Dial Ultimate levers boast titanium hardware, adjustable leverage ratio and sealed cartridge-bearing pivots.
Cable disc brakes are a more robust option for jump bikes, plus the lower level of stopping power won’t be an issue.