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Hope Tech 4 X2 brakes review

Trail-bike brakes with tons of adjustment on offer

Our rating 
3.5 out of 5 star rating 3.5
GBP £175.00 RRP | USD $220.00
Hope Tech 4 X2 mountain disc brakes - best for XC / Downcountry

Our review

A solid brake with decent power versus weight, but there are niggles which detract from the overall score
Pros: Good power-to-weight ratio; plenty of adjustment; easy bleed
Cons: Lever adjustment finish could be improved; sprung lever contributes towards fatigue
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Hope’s lighter-weight caliper is paired with its new Tech 4 lever, boasting 30 per cent more pressure – does this make it the downcountry brake of choice?

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Hope Tech 4 X2 brakes specification

The lever clamps on to the bar with an easy-to-use hinged clamp.
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The Tech 4 lever is all new, with Hope offering it across its range of XC, trail, and enduro/DH brakes.

It features a new lever blade that’s longer in length than the Tech 3 lever, giving additional leverage.

The CNC’d aluminium blade has a subtle bend halfway along its length, as well as a knurled end to stop fingers pulling off the end during hard braking. The blade features dimples where the fingers pull, to offer improved grip.

The blade also pivots on sealed roller bearings, while internal seals have reduced friction, with Hope claiming that this allows a lighter spring rate for the lever return. The lever has both bite point and lever reach-adjustment tool-free dials.

The lever clamps on to the bar with an easy-to-use hinged clamp. Shifter and dropper lever mounts are available, with Hope claiming that there’s 30 degrees of angle adjustment, as well as the ability to run them either side of the lever clamp – given the overall length of the brake levers, this is beneficial.

In our stopping tests, power sat somewhere between dedicated XC race brakes and more enduro-leaning offerings.
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The one-piece X2 calipers hold two pistons, and push on Hope’s Racing Compound pads, designed to give impressive initial bite and high overall power. The hose banjo is adjustable, aiding rear triangle hose routing. Piston caps can be specced with one of six colour accents, while the calipers and levers are offered in silver or black.

Bleeding the brakes is easier with Hope’s bleed pot and replacement top-cap system, however the Tech 4 lever requires a different top-cap to the Tech 3 lever.

We’ve had reasonable success with a more traditional repeated filling of the reservoir, though of course it’s a little messy. It’s not quite as sophisticated as syringe-based offerings, but with patience, I’ve found a good bleed can be achieved.

I tested these brakes with Hope’s floating rotor. Hope offers the X2 caliper with a Flat Mount option – commonly found on road and gravel bikes, but also mountain bikes such as the Orbea Oiz.

Hope Tech 4 X2 brakes performance

Power is delivered early in the brake’s stroke, with the race pads grabbing the rotors in an assertive but controllable manner.
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Hope’s CNC’d finish has many admirers, however I found that the overall finish, especially on the lever adjustment dials, to be a little sharp – I’d like the edges to be a little softer, to make adjustments a little more comfortable on workshop-weary hands.

The adjustments themselves are broad in their range, so getting the individual levers to your preference is fairly easy. However, I’ve found balancing both levers to be a little tricky at times.

This is because I’ve had some variability in the factory bleeds across the four Hope brakes I’ve recently tested (including two Tech 4 V4 systems).

I found this diminished once we’d bled the brakes, and cut the hoses to length. If you feel your fresh brakes are a little ‘wooden’ or spongey I’d recommend giving them a bleed, even if you’re on a factory bleed currently.

Power is delivered early in the brake’s stroke, with the race pads grabbing the rotors in an assertive but controllable manner. The bite is fairly instant, but avoids being harsh or overly grabby on slippery terrain.

There then feels to be a fair amount of non-progressive lever travel, where power levels only grow marginally. Then, at the very end of the stroke, the full force of the brakes can be felt.

This results in plenty of power modulation – it’s easy to control the application of power through the lever pull. Some will love this classic Hope feel, some, though, may find the brakes’ long lever travel, before the maximum power is achieved, not to their taste.

In our stopping tests, power proved mid-table, sitting somewhere between dedicated XC race brakes and more enduro-leaning offerings.

The lever blade is sprung, and though the lever internals and pistons have been designed with reduced friction, they don’t have the lightest feeling lever around. Likewise, the spring, acting against your finger’s muscles, can contribute slightly towards hand fatigue.

Hope Tech 4 X2 brakes bottom line

The hose banjo is adjustable, aiding rear triangle hose routing.
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The Tech 4 X2 stands out as an excellent trail bike brake, bridging the gap between skinny two-pot stoppers and those with eye-popping power.

On the surface, the construction is excellent, though dig deeper and I felt the finish could be improved a touch.

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However, riders who like plenty of adjustments, want a light but powerful brake, and like Hope’s signature feel will appreciate the extra power the Tech 4 lever provides.

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

Product Specifications

Product

Price GBP £175.00USD $220.00
Weight 272g
Brand Hope technology

Features

Features Hose length: 2,000mm / 2,000mm
Aimed at: XC / Downcountry
Brake type Hydraulic disc