This UK featherweight matches Hope’s lightest brake with its lightest lever and rotor plus some Ti bolts to create a deliciously sculpted cross-country brake.
The Race EVO X2 hasn’t been changed for several years but it’s still in the premier league of XC stoppers. The Race lever does without the external bite point adjustment rocker and reach adjust knob of the Tech 3 lever, but you can still adjust the perforated, laser-etched lever for reach.
The lever body is machined into minimalist contours around the shield-shaped reservoir while the two-piece diamond format clamp and similarly pared-down caliper are attached with ultra light titanium bolts. While we tested our set with Hope’s normal width two-piece rotor in 183mm diameter for accurate comparison, using the purpose-designed, wafer-thin 160mm rotor drops weight to a seriously light 288g.
Unsurprisingly, power takes a hit too, and even with a 180mm rotor and decent dynometer figures the lever architecture and slightly wooden character make it feel adequate rather than authoritative on the trail. Squeal can be in an issue in some conditions, but the lifespan of the supplied sintered pads is excellent. Hope reliability is legendary too, as is its reputation for going beyond the call of duty in the rare event you do have a problem.
You can add power and adjustability by opting for the Tech 3 EX2 (417g) or the four-pot Race Evo 4 (428g) if you’re not as concerned about weight.