The Race Day Pro Caliber from Gary Fisher is as uncompromisingly race orientated as its name suggests, with Fisher making huge efforts to reduce mass wherever possible.
The original Heckler Superlight celebrated its tenth birthday last year. But while it looks very similar and still weighs suitably little, the Superlight for the next decade is a whole new beast.
The cheap and cheerful looks hide impressively heat-resistant performance. It's not the most powerful unit - max torque with a 180mm rotor is similar to most 160mm rotor brakes - but the feel is consistent and controllable.
Gravity lunatics swear by the basic Hayes brake and it's obvious why. The long lever and big 203mm rotor means stonking stopping power, although the blunt, abrupt feel means control is learnt not guaranteed.
Magura's new Louise is a striking brake with love/hate responses from our testers. The deep U-section carbon lever blade and big body give a very solid feel with easy bite point adjustment via a dial.
LX is Shimano's workhorse brake. The two-piece calliper means the lever feel is softer than Saint/XT and others, but it's consistent and controllable. The brake comes as a ready-to-ride front and rear lever and calliperset for £120.
The distinctive Power Reserve Geometry lever angle gives a massive power assist and control advantage. The 185mm rotor feels more like 200mm and begs you to leave stopping till the last second.
This is the cheapest multi-pot brake. Sequential contact of the six cylinders means smooth delivery of power, and the big lever and braided hose let you really haul the brake on to compensate for average torque.
This is a tricked version of Hope's standard £120 Mini Mono that drops the low weight even further. Power is good rather than outstanding with the 160mm rotor, but the firm lever feel gives very accurate feedback and control.
Hope's new monster Moto copes with the most extreme demands. Power on the trail is huge and it recorded the largest torque on the dyno. Feel is rock solid too, with subtle, consistent control that's a real boost in sketchy conditions.
Lightweight carbon chic but extremely flexy and expensive
You can spend a lot of money on a fancy CNC machined stem, or you can buy a really well designed, really cheap one like this. The thin four bolt clamp and super light (126g) weight of this tiller might cause doubts considering the price.
Saint is Shimano's heavy duty DH/ freeride group - not that you'd know it from this slimline stopper. Typically for Shimano, power for a given lever heave is low and, even with a 203mm rotor, it's nearer other brakes with a 160mm rotor.