Small ‘Evo’ tweaks on Hope’s Race X2 brake mean a big power increase for this potentially super-light hydraulic stopper.
The luxuriously Lancashire machined minimalist Race master cylinder and X2 calliper with titanium fixings aren’t new. By moving the blade pivot and using a roller rather than a direct drive onto the cylinder, Hope have increased both efficiency and leverage, adding 15 percent more power to the system.
That puts it right up among the most powerful trail brakes in the 183mm rotor format we tested it in. More importantly, it makes the far lighter (261g) 160mm rotor version that Hope specify as standard a viable option for trail and not just race use. This means the Race is in the genuinely super-light category at a significantly lower price than the opposition, despite the obvious amount of CNC work that goes into it.
The short lever is reach-adjustable and gives a very smooth, accurately modulated feel with drilled out grip section adding useful grip in filthy conditions. Reliability is excellent, backup is second to none and resin pads make the brake a lot quieter, although sintered sets will last longer when it’s wet.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.