Trickstuff's Piccola brake is about as light and exotic as it gets.
The pits at a World Cup cross-country race are often full of rarely seen and ultra-light goodies, but few are more exotic than these Piccola brakes from Germany's Trickstuff. You may have seen their four-piston Direttissima stoppers before on the Polygon UR Team's bikes, and I was blown away by the outright power of them when I got to do a few runs on Mick Hannah's prototype Polygon DH rig during last year's Crankworx event. So. Much. Power.
The two-piston Piccola brake is something entirely different, though, with Trickstuff claiming that the sub-270-gram weight for a front system (with a rotor) makes them the lightest on the market.
There isn't anything in the way of extra material on Trickstuff's lightweight brakes.
Trickstuff has used four sealed bearings up top - two for the lever pivot, two for driving the plunger - and there's lightweight hardware all around. The lever, which is tall but has also been pared down to only the essential material, activates a perpendicular master cylinder, and the system runs on paint-friendly mineral oil. You can mount your shifter to the brake perch, too. Colors? Yup, Trickstuff has a ton of different options on that front, and you can mix and match as you see fit.
The Ocho has one crown, one fork leg, and is all Cannondale.
Speaking of exotic, Cannondale's new single-crown, single-sided Lefty Ocho is about as wild as it gets. I've already written way too many words about the Ocho's development
, but here's a quick recap.
The 100mm-travel Ocho is designed for cross-country riding and racing, and the single-sided design is possible in large part due to the fork's three-sided stanchion tube that rolls in and out of the upper leg on three strips of roller bearings. Cannondale has been doing the Lefty for ages now, but it's always been a dual-crown, single-sided fork with a four-sided stanchion. The old Lefty 2.0's one-piece crowns and leg kept it from being compatible with a lot of bikes, though, whereas the single-crown Ocho can be mounted to the front of pretty much any modern machine.
Carbon fiber stanchion guard and motor-inspired hose routing? Check. Quick-release brake mount? Check. The Ocho ain't your average cross-country fork.
Internally, it's air-sprung and features Cannondale's all-new Chamber damper. There's a lockout, because cross-country, and it requires the same Lefty-compatible hub as Cannondale's other forks. Oh yeah, there's even a clever brake mount that pops off by rotating a locking cam, making it easy to get the front wheel off without needing to mess around with a bunch of bolts.
The Ocho can be had with either an aluminum or carbon chassis, and for 27.5'' or 29'' wheels, but you'll only be able to get the fork (strut?) by buying a new Cannondale for 2018. I'd expect to see it for sale on its own the following model year, though.