Hope’s super adjustable, super reliable, machine sculpted, multi option brake hasn’t changed for a while. It has bucked the wider industry trend and has actually dropped slightly in price which sounds like a win to us.
Hope is rightly proud of the fact that all its brakes are machined from forged billet, anodised in six different anodised colours (red, orange, blue, purple, silver and black), extensively laser etched and then hand assembled in its Barnoldswick, North England factory.
The same anodised colours are available on the alloy centres of the optional £40 floating rotors, while single-piece steel rotors are £26.99. All rotors are machined, heat treated and aligned in house in Barnoldswick too.
As well as the distinctive machining contours and angular rather than flowing forms of lever and brake caliper, the design of the Tech 3 lever is unapologetically industrial too. Small metal adjuster dials for totally independent and very obvious bite point and reach adjustment protrude directly from the base of the blade for easy on the fly adjustment of feel.
Alternatively there’s a slimmed down Race Evo E4 lever version with titanium and alloy bolts, and only tooled reach adjustment that saves 40g. Either way, the lever blade is drilled for predictable grip even if you’ve hand planted a muddy puddle or slimey rock.
The levers are Shimano I Spec shifter compatible with SRAM combo mounts also available, and they sync fine with most shifters and remotes.
Pads are top loading for simple changes and while open reservoir bleeding is messier than a syringe or funnel system, it’s reasonably easy. The four piston caliper does need more care to line up though and the sintered pads can sometimes squeal and squeak when dirty.
The hose sits inboard on the four cylinder caliper for protection against crash or uplift damage and braided metal houses are available as an extra tough upgrade.
In terms of performance, brake feel is firm and slightly clinical rather than warm and rich in modulation like most modern brakes, so while lab tests show power parity with SRAM’s Guide and Shimano SLX it doesn’t feel as powerful deeper in the stroke. That means you’ll probably want a 200mm rotor on there for a competitively powerful feel on the trail.
The pads last well in all weathers though and it’s a very consistent and super reliable performer. Hope’s factory direct support is legendarily helpful and price is excellent for the quality of construction and long term after sales service.
• Weight: 469g (with 180mm rotor and adaptor)