Ashima’s radical semi-composite PCB (Pan Cake Brake) is super-light for any money, but actual braking performance and feel means it’s worth waiting for its imminent replacement.
At 328g for a full 180mm front setup, the PCB is one of the lightest hydraulic brakes on the market, despite costing less than half the price of most super-light options. This is partly due to a composite master cylinder and the unique pistonless calliper design but Ashima’s super-light cutaway Airotor, alloy rotor bolts and a really light cutaway mount adaptor also help a lot.
Unfortunately there’s a lot of wobble in the lever blade from new, and the square body and fixed underside hose exit make it really hard to sync with shifter pods. The alloy rotor bolts need utmost care not to round out, too.
Ashima’s “unique” squeezy lever feel and serious lack of modulation also failed to find any fans among our testers and it’s well below par on power even before torque drops as temperature rises. The good news is that there’s a totally new brake in the pipeline which will hopefully fulfill the potential of a promising idea.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.