You know a product is crazy cheap when you triple check the price with the manufacturer and still don’t quite believe it. But Clarks really does box up a consistently reliable and controlled set of front and rear hydraulic disc brakes, complete with rotors and adaptors, for only £40.
Unsurprisingly, however, they’re about as simple as they could be. The closed single bolt clamps mean you need to remove your grips to slide them on, but we’ve found they sit alongside any shifter style just fine.
The hose exits at a fixed angle from the single-piece caliper, which might leave an untidy loop before you can clip it onto your frame/fork. It does, though, exit from the inside edge, which reduces the chance of causing any accidental damage.
The mineral oil internals are relatively easy to bleed and it’s compatible with Shimano pads (even finned Ice-Tech ones). Changing pads also significantly boosts the otherwise meagre power levels, but you can always upsize the rotors too.
Control and modulation are slightly wooden, but not painfully so and they’re noticeably better than anything else under £60. Reliability of the several sets we’ve used long term over the years has also been relentlessly consistent.
The rotors and adaptors might be surplus to requirements if you’ve got existing hardware but they’d be good value even if you didn’t get the brakes as well.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.