Hope’s new Tech 4 V4 is billed as its most powerful brake to date, with new lever internals and externals boosting the potential braking force.
Hope Tech 4 V4 specification
The new Tech 4 lever is the main story, with a complete revision over the older Tech 3 lever that boasts new lever geometry and improved internals, claimed to reduce friction and aid feel.
The most notable aspect is the longer lever, which Hope claims adds 30% braking pressure to the system. The lever is pretty flat in profile along its length, with a small nubbin at the end to keep fingers connected, and some dimpling to aid grip.
The lever’s reach is adjustable with a small external dial, as is bite point, via a similar dial. This makes it easy to get the lever position and feel just as you like it.
The lever pivots on smooth roller bearings, and internally, seals have been redesigned to reduce internal friction. Combined with a weaker lever return spring, Hope says that the lever feel should be lighter.
The lever body attaches to the bar with a simple and effective hinged clamp. Matchmaker clamps for Shimano and SRAM shifters, as well as dropper levers, are available. These have also been updated to give a wider range of adjustment.
However, thanks to the long lever we had no issues getting a decent shifter position by positioning the clamp inboard of the brake lever clamp.
Hoses on Hope’s brakes are long, so there shouldn’t be any issue fitting these to big DH bikes. The majority of riders will want to cut the hose, though.
Fortunately, bleeding the brakes is a fairly simple process. There’s a dedicated reservoir top cap and bleed pot, but we’ve had success just topping the reservoir up as we bleed without the pot. It’s a messier process, though.
The one-piece CNC’d caliper holds four pistons, and a pair of long pads. Green ‘Racing Compound’ pads are supplied from new.
Six piston cap colours are offered, while the lever and caliper come in black or silver. The hose leaves the caliper via an adjustable banjo to aid with hose routing.
We found that ‘normal’ +20mm Post Mount adaptors for using the brakes with bigger rotors interfere with the piston architecture of the calipers, so recommend using Hope’s own adaptors to circumnavigate this issue.
Hope Tech 4 V4 performance
I found it necessary to bleed the brakes upon fitting, as the two brakes had a different feel to each other, with a lot of lever travel between the bite and eventual maximum pull.
This also contributed towards a bit of difficulty getting both levers’ bite point and lever reach set equally to my preference. As such, once hoses have been cut I would recommend a full bleed.
I also feel that the finish on some aspects of the lever build could be improved. The lever reach and bite point adjust dials are both fairly sharp, and a colleague of mine found similar with the edges of the lever blade dimples.
Once fitted and bled, the brakes deliver Hope’s customary feel with noticeably more power than the Tech 3 V4 brake.
The green Racing Compound pads bed in quickly, and offer a moderately powerful early bite. It’s not unpleasantly grabby, but is more immediate than previous Hope brakes in my experience.
The lever pull is smooth, and lighter in feel than previously, too. This makes scrubbing speed nice and easy on the trail.
After the initial power is applied, there’s quite a bit of lever travel required to get to the upper echelons of the brake’s output.
I found the power delivery progressive and predictable, however a colleague found that the set he was riding didn’t display quite as much modulation as I found.
His required the levers to be pulled quite hard before all the power was delivered, which he found tiring.
When you do pull all the way, there is plenty of stopping force on offer, though. This makes the brakes suitable for any gravity or electrically assisted riding in my view.
Hope Tech 4 V4 bottom line
The new brakes are a marked improvement over the previous-generation brake, with additional power largely thanks to the longer brake lever.
The feel won’t suit all (no brakes do), but I’d suggest if you’re a fan of Hope or Magura brakes’ feel, then you’ll get on well with these new stoppers.
Though beautifully finished, I have questions over the fine finishing details, such as the sharp edges. To get the best out of the brakes, I recommend a full bleed.
How we tested
This year, our expert reviewers have tested a selection of the best mountain bike brakes, split into two broad genres.
First, there’s a selection of the most powerful stoppers, aimed at downhill, enduro and electric mountain bike riders. We’ve kitted these brakes out with 200mm rotors front and rear to get the most out of their four-piston calipers and tested them on an e-MTB and our enduro bikes.
The second cohort is targeted at cross-country and downcountry riders, who still need plenty of stopping power without upsetting the scales. These two- and four-piston brakes grab onto 180mm and 160mm rotors in our testing, fitted to our downcountry test rig.
Before hitting the trail, we gave each brake a full going over in our workshop. Hoses were cut to get the brakes fitting neatly and to check out how easily they’re bled at home. We weighed and measured them, making sure no detail was missed.
We lined our levers up against SRAM and Shimano shifters to see which play nicely and weighed up the balance of cost and spec in order to reach our conclusions.
Brakes on test
- Clarks M4 review
- Magura MT7 Pro review
- TRP Trail Evo review
- Hope Tech 4 V4 review
- SRAM Code R review
- Hayes Dominion T4 review
- Shimano XT M8120 review
- Magura MT8 Pro review
- Hope Tech 4 X2 review
- Shimano XTR M9100 review
- SRAM Level Ultimate review