There are a few different options to choose from if you need a lot of stopping power but don't have a lot of money, including the new M4 brake from Clarks that retails for just $99 USD per end. The British brand's catalog is full of cable-operated and dual-piston offerings, but the 252-gram M4 is their first enduro and downhill-focused stopper.
Down at the caliper, Clarks has gone with a two-piece design that's held together with large bolts, no doubt to save on some manufacturing costs. But the caliper isn't just a big chunk of metal - they've done a good job at removing extra material and making it look shapely. The pads are unique to the M4, though. Clarks will offer the brake with 160, 180, and 200mm rotors, and they'll be both e-bike and analog-bike versions.
At $99 USD, could the M4 bring big power without a big price?
Up top, the lever is quite long and with a pronounced hook at the end, and reach is adjustable by using a small hex key rather than turning a dial. More cost-saving. The perch is hinged, too. Like their other hydraulic brakes, the M4 runs on mineral fluid.
Would you consider the $99 USD M4 brake, or will you stick to the more well-known names?
MRP says that their 'Chocoluxe' internals lower friction by 37-percent compared to the original Ribbon fork.
MRP didn't have any all-new products in their booth, but there's an important update to their suspension forks that's worth taking a closer look at. Friction is the enemy, of course, and they're saying they've reduced it by a massive 37-percent compared to the first-generation Ribbon fork via their 'Chocoluxe' internals.
The strange name comes from the brown color of the Norglide material, and MRP has used it at the air-spring seal head, damper seals, damper IFP, and for "damper support." They're claiming that it's a much more stable material when temperatures are changing, like when your suspension starts to warm up after extended use, or if the humidity is high. Does it actually work? They had a display to play with at their booth that had both new and old pistons on a dummy shaft. The old piston slid up and down by hand, but it'd stay wherever you left, whereas the Chocoluxe piston was far easier to slide up and down, and it would actually fall under its own weight. The new internals will be put to use on all of MRP's forks, too, not just their high-end stuff.
MRP's updated Wave2 chainring is said to offer better retention and less noise.
Other MRP news includes a revised Wave2 chainring design that's said to offer better retention and compatibility with Shimano's 12-speed chains. That comes from a re-shaped narrow-wide tooth profile that's supposed to be quieter, too, and there's also a new version that'll fit Shimano's latest XTR M9100 crankset. Weights start at 38-grams.
Looking for a bit of bling?
While not exactly new, Formula's four-piston Cura brake is simply too gold to ignore. The top-end is the same as the standard Cura stopper, including the tool-free reach adjustment, but it's all different down at the bottom with four 18mm-diameter pucks and different pads. Pricing is a bit different than Clarks' M4, though, with them going for $218 USD per end.