Review: Hope's Race Evo E4 Disc Brakes are Beautifully Made, with Lovely Modulation

Aug 2, 2019
by David Arthur  
Hope Race Evo E4 disc brakes


British company Hope has long been one of the a familiar disc brake brand in the mountain bike world. Its range is large and inclusive, but we’ve picked the stripped back Race Evo E4 to test here as it’s a brake that both appeals to cross-country, trail and enduro riders wanting a powerful brake that keeps the weight low.

Hope has long been a favored aftermarket brake, but with SRAM and Shimano brakes offering generally very good performance, and brands like TRP, Hayes and Magura upping their game, Hope probably isn’t the straightforward no-questions-asked upgrade it once was. All Hope brakes are still manufactured in Barnoldswick in the UK and the after-sales service is second to none, though.
Hope Race Evo E4 disc brakes

• One-piece CNC caliper
• Lightweight drilled alloy lever
• Titanium hardware
• Top entry pad fitting
• 140 to 205mm rotor sizes
• Wide-angle hose connector mount
• Machined in Barnoldswick, England
• Matchmaker compatible
• 227g (front, w/o rotor)
• MSRP: $290 USD (lever / caliper)
• More info: www.hopetech.com

Hope Race Evo E4 disc brakes
Compact machined front brake caliper.
Hope Race Evo E4 disc brakes
Four pots for max power.


Design

The Race Evo brakes are all about saving weight without sacrificing braking performance. They’re aimed at cross-country riders wanting to increase their braking performance, or trail and enduro riders wanting to shave off a few grams. CNC machining is Hope’s bread and butter, the brake levers and calipers are exquisitely machined from aluminum. The quality of design and finish is very good; Hope has been honing this over a very long time.

The levers have a split clamp for easy installation and they’re MatchMaker compatible for neatly integrating shifter pods. The levers are ergonomically shaped and have holes drilled into the blades - a throwback to the 90s for anyone old enough to remember the scary era of extreme weight saving. One of the clear weight-saving measures is the removal of the tool-free bite point and reach adjustment on the front of the lever. This restricts the adjustment to just the lever reach via a small Allen tool, which is a bit of a compromise but trims weight. Also trimming weight is the use of titanium bolts.

At the other end of the hydraulic hoses, four 4x16mm phenolic pistons are incorporated into very compact and neatly designed brake calipers. It’s a post-mount interface and Hope provides a full range of adapters to suit all frame and fork designs and rotor sizes. The caliper is the same as used on the Tech 3 R4 enduro brake, the main difference being in the lever design. Pads are easily removed via top-entry, and it’s easy to visually asses the pad wear when you’re washing and servicing your bike.

You could use any disc rotors you want, but staying on brand I was supplied with a set of floating disc rotors. Hope offers standard, floating and vented. I paired a 200mm front rotor with a 180mm rear. There is a wide range of sizes to suit most bikes. The floating rotors have a steel brake surface riveted to an aluminum central carrier which is designed to better deal with changes in temperature. The vented rotors add internal fins to provide a claimed 15% reduction in heat buildup. The vented rotor only comes in a 203mm size.

Hope Race Evo E4 disc brakes
Slick CNC machining and titanium bolts to save weight.
Hope Race Evo E4 disc brakes
Floating rotor design in three sizes.

Installation

Installing the brakes was mostly straightforward, though getting the rear brake hose through my Stumpjumper Evo was far from the pain-free process I had hoped for and required more disassembly than I had expected. This meant I needed to bleed the brake, which I found to be a very easy process and nicely explained in one of the company’s tech videos. With brakes fitted and bedding in process completed, I got on with the task of testing them over several months on all my local trails, from all-day cross-country jaunts to downhill sessions.

The Hope Race Evo E4 disc fall into both cross-country and trail categories, and since I’ve been trying to trim my Stumpjumper EVO's weight a little I chose these brakes over a burlier option. I wanted to see if they provided adequate power for my needs while offering the low weight I also craved, a tricky balancing act for any component, not least the brakes.


Performance

After several months of testing, my last impression hasn’t changed from my very first ride impression. I’ve been more than happy with their performance and lack of issues. There’s plenty of power at the bite point with a very smooth and progressive lever feel, enough reach adjustment to dial them in to suit, and a lever shape that feels good in the finger. Brake feel is a very personal thing, we probably all have a preference for how a brake delivers its power. The Hope’s don’t have that stick-in-the-spokes power the moment your finger so much as graces the lever. Instead, there’s a very smooth and progressive build-up of power with a nice amount of lever travel, and a modulation that lets you apply the right amount of braking force in every situation. They have a clear bite point but it’s perhaps a little softer and later in the lever travel than some brakes where the bite point can come suddenly the moment your finger touches the lever.

Having the bite point come later in the travel makes braking very predictable and consistent. Some people might prefer the bite point to come much earlier in the lever travel, but if you want bags of silky-smooth modulation and control, the Hopes score highly.

There’s no lack of power when you fully grab a load of brake, though. On some of the gnarliest technical trails I rode, I had as much control as can be expected when you’re faced with roots the size of tree trunks and boulders causing tires to skitter around wildly. Any concerns that the weight-saving measures compromised the braking performance proved unfounded, there was no shortage of power when I got the Evo up and trucking. I was able to stop in an emergency, like that time I came into a corner a bit out of control and overshot it and had to pull on the anchors hard to avoid the big drop over the other side. I can see more aggressive riders probably running 200mm rotors front and rear, but I had no issues with brake fade. Perhaps if I was heading to the mountains or doing some serious bike park runs, I'd size up the rear rotor. For regular trail/enduro riding, it never caused complaint.

Hope Race Evo E4 disc brakes

Hope Race Evo E4 disc brakes
Reach adjustment - don't forget your multitool.
Hope Race Evo E4 disc brakes
203mm is big enough right?

The lever shape is perfect for single-finger braking too, as is my preference for braking. Its perhaps a bit on the thin side and the hook at the edge could be a bit longer for really locking your finger into place. The four-piston calipers with the bigger front rotor provided plenty of confidence in high-speed situations. I quickly developed faith in the brakes to get me out of every sketchy situation I put myself in, whether intended or inadvertently. I found it easy to modulate the power, I was never unintentionally locking a wheel, it’s easy to feather in just the right amount of retardation for every situation.

The braking performance is consistent on longer runs with no hint of fade or lever drift. Granted, I don’t have any alpine descents to test the heating to the max, but on my longest runs, but I experienced no issues with heat. The four pistons help there compared to smaller two pot brakes. The lack of a bite point adjuster might be a deal-breaker for some - if you do want the bite point adjuster then it’s worth checking out the Tech 3 E4 brakes.

Over the long-term, I had no issues. The brakes occasionally emitted a bit of very low-level scrub/squeal sound, but during actual braking, they were quiet as a whisper. After several months of testing, the brake pads still have plenty of life left in them yet. I took a set of Code brakes off my bike to fit these Hopes, and I’ll be honest, I’m in no rush to swap them back over. I’m very happy with the Hope upgrade.

Would I buy these brakes? Yes, I probably would. There are undoubtedly cheaper options, but they’re made in the UK, the brakes are endlessly serviceable (I know many people running 10-year Hope brakes because they can still get spares for them) and Hope’s customer service is excellent. If you’re happy with the brakes on your bike there’s probably no reason to rush out and buy these, but if you want a brake with superb modulation and distinctive looks, then go check them out.



Hope Race Evo E4 disc brakes
Takes me right back to my childhood...


Pros

+ Modulation
+ Easily serviceable
+ Lightweight
Cons

- You'll need to buy the Tech 3 E4 brakes for tool-free adjustment
- Expensive


Pinkbike's Take
bigquotes The Hope Race Evo E4 brakes are beautifully made with superb power delivery and lovely modulation. Where the Hope brakes score highly for me is the control they offer. The power comes in a very consistent and predictable manner, with lever travel that feels natural and smooth to the bite point. The lever travel is light and I experienced no brake finger fatigue on longer runs. If you prefer easier adjustment, go for the Tech 3 E4 brakes, but otherwise the Evo E4’s are a top choice and perform brilliantly. David Arthur







136 Comments

  • + 48
 Fairly sure the E4 caliper is not compatible with Hopes vented rotors....

I'm also a bit confused about the reviewers claims that the brakes made a few noises but were silent in use? If they are making noises when you arent using them you have serious issues... I imagine that the culprit was either misaligned calipers or bent rotors. Neither of these issues should really be making it into the review as they are set-up issues not Hope issues.

A bit disappointing that the reviewer never got the brake hot but still commented on lack of fade. If it helps I can confirm that in extended steep terrain, the very similar V4 caliper will emit the occasional honk to let you know it is hot, but fade is minimal and they cool down quickly (or at least stop honking) after a few seconds of laying off the brakes.The V4 may perform better than the E4 here due to its wider caliper slot, I couldnt really say.

Lots of typos in the article.

Sorry to be a grumpy bastard.
  • + 6
 I’ll mention that several of the floating rotors our shop gets in come in with a sort of wave in them that roughly correlates to where the rivets are places (could be from shipping but I doubt it considering the amount of bubble wrap QBP uses). And with it being a floating rotor, they can be a real pain in the ass to straighten and cause them to make a slight noise you can here on the stand, but once the tires hit the dirt you can’t hear it much anymore.
  • + 1
 @schulte1400: hope’s floating rotors have a bit of play in them. They’re never totally straight doesn’t effect the brake at all.
  • + 51
 > The lever shape is perfect for single-finger braking too, as is my preference for braking.

That line got me. My cap is great for wearing on my head as well, as is my preference for hats.
  • + 4
 @thenotoriousmic: Is this something only new Hope floating rotors have? I have two floating V2 rotors (2012?) and one floating 225 mm rotor (even older), they don't have play in the rivers at all. The only sound they make is the tinkle sound when they cool down after really hard braking. Asking out of curiosity.
  • + 3
 Grumpy gits 4ever
  • + 1
 @adam102: yeah they’ll still do it slightly but they’re much stiffer.

It’s all in the name floating rotors there’s an expansion gap behind the rivets where there is a slight bit of play. Easy to knock them out of true but they will straighten again if your calliper and pistons are properly aligned with use.
  • + 1
 @thenotoriousmic: Yeah, that's what I thought they should be like. But my 3 particular samples are solid as rock, strange. I'm planning to order new ones, in custom sizes, if that's still possible anyway. I will see later if the new ones have some play in them.
  • + 23
 Funny thing... I read reviews here about XT brakes, SRAM brakes, Hope brakes, and so on. Go down to the comments, and no matter what brake it is -- if you were to believe what you read -- it would seem as though we are all out there sliding around, out of control. My observation out on the trails is that this is not the case. Everyone out there seems to be moving along and stopping just fine. So what's up?
  • + 5
 There are so many variables when it comes to braking that it generates lots of opinions, kinda like tires. Some people want instant power, some people set their levers to touch the bars before lock-up. Both riders will be fine, it's just their preference. I've had Hopes, Shimano, SRAM, Avid, TRP, and Magura brakes throughout the years and all will work, just requires either finding your preferred setup or adjusting your riding style. Now, if we get to outright failures...haha well, some are better than others.
  • + 2
 Bit like those utterly unrideable enve rims that thousands of people are running with no issues.lol
  • + 3
 I've run Hope, Hayes and now on XTR's and with basic maintenance and set-up all have worked very well with little or no issues. I think some people are just unlucky with production runs or don't have a clue re. maintenance and we all get to hear about it in the comments. Never tried Avid's though...
  • - 2
 The way to ride a bike is buy it, ride it until it breaks, then buy another one. All this and that, "my finger modulations"; a hydraulic brake is basic shit, it's like as basic as a lever, it's not like they can't make them properly in 2019.
  • + 2
 @tremeer023: "don't have a clue re. maintenance..." Yep. I had the notorious Avid Elixirs. The pinhead at the shop was only bleeding them at the lever, and I was having frequent issues. So I learned to bleed them myself by watching the SRAM how-to video on YouTube. No problems after that -- maybe a bleed every couple years. Amazing what happens when you follow simple instructions.

Other than that, I suspect a lot of it is just urban legend. Some bro heard from his brahs or read here in the comments that Avid brakes suck, man. They don't stop. And that XTs suck, man. They have an inconsistent bite point. Hope sucks, man. Not enough power. So what's left? Magura? Suck. It all sucks. Except that just can't be true.
  • + 2
 Something we can all agree on is that Avids suck balls
  • + 2
 @cuban-b: I had an Avid on my dirt jumper and thought it was the best brake in the world, compared with the Tektro it replaced. That death trap failed completely on me more than once, which is scary when you’re running only one brake. I guess it’s all relative.
  • + 1
 @TheR: I had the XT 8000s and they did have a wandering bite point! It was annoying, but I used them for three years until I sold them on the bike. It never caused me to crash, but almost a couple of times. I would normally buy them again for that reason.
  • + 1
 @jaame: Legit point. So here’s the question — where do you go? All these other brakes suck, too from what I’ve read.

I’d recommend the 4-piston XTs I’ve been using for a year without incident, but I’ve heard those suck. I had great performance with my Avid Elixirs, but @cuban-b tells me we can all agree Avid sucks balls. (That and i don’t think they even make elixirs anymore).

Good luck out there!
  • + 1
 @TheR: just being cheeky. You guys take comments section super seriously huh
  • + 1
 @cuban-b: Same here, really. It’s just funny — one of these brakes gotta work, right? One thing I thought of — maybe the dry conditions here in Colorado are just easier on parts. Maybe @jaame has problems I don’t because the mud of the UK takes its toll. Maybe there isn’t a single answer. I certainly don’t have one.
  • + 2
 @TheR: I actually own a functional avid brake on my dh bike lol
  • + 2
 @TheR: that was in bone dry dusty hot high humidity Taiwan that I had those brakes. It’s not an atmospherics issue in my opinion. It’s a design fault. Previous to the m8000 I had the M775 and they never had that problem. That was the older design with the radial master cylinder.
I’m getting codes next week on my new bike (assuming yt gets their finger out and sends it) and I am eager to try them
  • + 21
 Fuck I love the high quality British machining on Hope's parts. Please never change. The industry is a much better place when brands design, engineer, and fabricate their own stuff.
  • + 22
 Recently pulled my set of 17 year old M4s out of a drawer, bolted them to a spare parts bike contraption for a mate and took them out for a ride. Didn't even need a bleed.
  • + 3
 i still use M4s on one of my bikes, and I'm not thinking in swaping them, because oI'm only interested in free problems performance.
Compared with Guide RCS I do have on another bike, using same brake pads (on hopes & guides), Guide have less power (desacellaration, needing more space for equal speed) & need special tools to bleed.

Brake feel is very personal, but would frankly swap out my RCS for a set of M4s
  • + 14
 Can they tone down the silly graphics a bit? HOPE HOPE Race Race Race. EVO..Race striped lever... Why cover up the beautiful CNC work?
  • + 3
 agreed. the branding is terrible, especially on the reservoir...
  • + 1
 Take the logo paint off...
  • + 1
 @ridestuff: It's not paint - the parts are anodised then laser-etched.
  • + 7
 Hope makes some great looking great preforming reliable as shit brakes. Colors to choose from too. Only down side is it’s not as easy to get parts for a lot of my local shops don’t stock anything hope so it’s online and few days if you need somthing fastv
  • - 39
flag pinnityafairy (Aug 2, 2019 at 5:43) (Below Threshold)
 My Shimano brakes work excellent. Every shop in the country has parts for them and I never have to wait. I can buy four sets of brakes from Shimano for what one of these cost. I don't use brakes anyways unless some squid on the trail is in my way on his electric moped. Breaks and water bottles are for beginners.
  • + 6
 @pinnityafairy:

Water bottles are for beginners?

Please do explain?

This should be good.....
  • + 4
 @jlawie: you might be waiting a while. I think it's a bot. Such is the level of cliche in that bio..
  • + 6
 @jlawie: Water bottles are for beginners, until dehydration give you a kidney stone.

@freeridejerk888: I'm confused. Is "reliable as shit" good or bad?
  • + 1
 Im not sure why I’m being down voted I said everything is amazing about hope except for parts being easy to get at local shops. Weird crowd today haha @TheR:
  • - 6
flag pinnityafairy (Aug 2, 2019 at 10:43) (Below Threshold)
 @jlawie: bottles are for infants and babies what more explanation do you need. Don't forget to sterilize your nipples before you suck on them. Have you ever seen a hydration bag laying on the trail?
  • - 8
flag pinnityafairy (Aug 2, 2019 at 10:44) (Below Threshold)
 @jlawie: for the goods the squid has double cages for the backcountry Shred. After dropping a thousand feet of elevation both of the squids bottles are gone now listen to him cry like a baby. Come here big boy I'll let you suck on my hose.
  • + 2
 @pinnityafairy:

Lol. As expected...a load of b0llocks
  • + 2
 @pinnityafairy:

By that same stupid theory..

Hydration packs are for camels?!?
  • - 2
 Oops I made a mistake. Went and compared prices and I could get five sets of shimano's not four.
  • + 3
 @pinnityafairy: "none of what you said makes any sense, but I've had a pretty boring day, so rock on, and good luck finding people to ride with" -Confucius
  • + 1
 @Coldspringer: www.pinkbike.com/photo/16572335
I ride with my trophy wife. She rides like a girl. None of the guys can ever keep up.
  • + 4
 @Coldspringer: a man with his hands in his pockets feels useless a man with holes in his pockets feels nuts Confucius
  • + 10
 i have e4 and what amazes me most is the feeling of the lever- that pure mechanical cling when you let the brake off
  • + 3
 Last bled my old M4s umm... 5 yrs ago I think, and as usual it took all of 3 minutes. Power, feel, modulation and performance has been exactly the same for around a decade now. The Guide RE's I just ripped off the other bike lasted one park day, I think they are constructed by a team of my ex girlfriends because every time I thought I knew what was gonna happen I got a surprise- some good, mostly bad, but never the same. V4s now in their place so I can go back to riding without fear of being punished.
  • + 3
 I almost shitted in my pants before a turn the other day because i swapped my bike with a friend and went from my Hayes Dominion to E4 hopes. These brakes really lack power, their name is appropriate though, you really need to hope to stop in time.
  • + 2
 Agreed. Whenever you read "great modulation", you need to understand between the lines "poor braking power". That's true for Hope and TRP...
  • + 1
 Yeah I dont believe the whole plenty of power thing either. Those brakes and guides and a few others aren't great for power. Having come off of less powered brakes, I don't get why anyone wants these aside from XC. Its SOO much nicer having a modern brake that has power and some modulation.
  • + 6
 @Minikeum: Maybe Hope, not TRP. I run TRP brakes on my bikes. With the TRPs, you want more stopping power, you just squeeze harder. There is linear connection to lever movement and amount of power going to the rotors. For the those used to the "no brake"/"all the brake" style of brakes (Shimano Saint/Zee) it can feel weird at first as you seem to have less braking power for the muscle memory of the index finger. But once you get used to the ramp up, you won't go back. TRP is great too because they use Shimano pads.
  • + 4
 @Minikeum: TRP (non AG versions) came stock on a bike I got last year. It was one of those things where the overall value of the complete bike kit made it worth getting some brakes I may not end up being happy with. Truth is they are the best brakes I've ever had. The feel is so solid and predictable I'm always happy when I hop on the bike. Tons of one-finger power is not sacrificed for 'modulation'. I have Guide RSC on my other bike which are fine but lack the 'solid' feel of the TRP.
  • - 2
 This is simple physics, more modulation more force needed for the same brake force, e.g stronger fingers. The servo ramp in Shimano creates a much greater fluid force without lever force but lacks the granularity to allow modulation across a human usable stroke.
  • + 1
 @CycleKrieg: If you have to squeeze hard, the brake doesn't have much power. The definition of power is relative to the lever force. Even the weakest alivio brake can stop anything if a you squeeze the lever in a vice.

Nonetheless, the quadiem is a decent brake.
  • + 4
 Strange that. I could use my pinkie to stop dead on mine. Broken pinkie at that. Might have been your mates were set up wrong or not looked after.
  • + 1
 Found the same on my e4 brakes, tried with different pads and rotors, not the power i would like for enduro riding (wich the e stands for i thought) ... gave them away and mounted my 2011 code brakes ... way better (although not perfect)
  • + 1
 @CycleKrieg:
I had a lot of Shimano and Sram brakes before trying out the TRP G-Spec Slate 4.
At first I was disapointed by the lack of power.
I than switched to the green Swiss Stop pads which finally gave my the bite power I wanted from them at the start.
Other than that I love those brakes and the moto design looks so awesome.
They are still not as powerful like my Guide RSC or my Code R brakes, but the modulation is spot on for trail riding.
  • + 3
 i had saints for a lot of years and than changed to e4. the saints are pure beasts and you have all the power on your fingertip. e4 you can modulate all day and feel how pads squeese rotor (not in mushy feel like srams) but when you smash it (and i really mean you have to smash them) they have a lot of power. its not effortless feeling like saints but its not like you are asking them something they dont want to do
  • + 0
 The most disappointing brakes I have owned are Tech 3 E4 brakes... After many bleeds and pad combos, I could never get them to feel right. Combine that with their super uncomfortable lever shape, I just had to give up on them. Back on Code RSCs and couldn't be happier.
  • + 0
 ..
  • + 0
 @jonathansixtysix: How the hell are you even braking with your pinkies unless your arms are crossed in front of you? Wink
  • + 1
 @endlessblockades: it's not all black or white tho. That's beauty of some of the newer brakes. Linear modulation sucks, just like those Guide RSC, especially at higher speeds. I had to really pull to drop anchor. There was nearly zero ramp up (think suspension progression) in power. At least on a 29er with 180mm rotors.

On the other hand the Codes (and some other brands like Trickstuff/Hayes I believe) have plenty of modulation BUT the power totally ramps up. There is no sacrifice unless you need super power like MT7's on a DH bike. Its nice not to have to compromise and that is the ideal for a modern AllMtn brake imo.
  • + 2
 @Svinyard: I haven't used a rotor smaller the 200 for years. The trend is towards 220-245. Well be seeing those on the wagon-wheelers soon.
  • + 0
 I've tried many brakes and the E4 seems to outpower the rest. I mean I guess shimano have that light switch feel to them, but I think my E4's have just as much stopping power as the shimano's I've ridden, just less twitchy. I think any brake will feel like shit if it needs service, rode plenty of those as well
  • + 1
 @jonathansixtysix: ah the legendary hope brake user who says the hope brakes you have or tried that are weak as piss must be set up badly. This is what ALL Hope fans say. However I’m a massive hope fan I’ve had all their brakes pretty much from the old c2 to the new v4 and all were reliable,brilliant looking but weak as piss compared to its rival. Saint,code pisses in the v4. Xt,xtr,guide is better than the e4 and this brake is even weaker as it’s the race lever which loses 10% power over the tech 3. I know how to set up any brake perfectly well. After 25 years of riding/racing dh at a decent level so I should. My conclusion is hopes are outstanding brakes which lack power. This opinion is backed in any independent brake test or review by pretty much all bike publications. You only need to look at piston sizes in both the master cylinder and the slave pistons to see why they lack power compared to the rest.
  • + 3
 @Svinyard: you really shouldn’t be using 180 rotors on a 29er then moan your brakes are weak! The bigger wheels create huge torque and will pull through a trail brake with 180 rotors. This is why dh teams are moving to 220 rotors and even some enduro guys are using them too. People need to understand how the forces are put on a brake system. I’d only use a dh brake these days tbh. Our wheels are bigger and most of the trail brakes were designed in the 26 inch era
  • + 2
 Got the X2 race on the XC FS bike and X2 Tech 3 on the Single speed. Flawless brakes, all my friends (shimano/sram/magura) agree they feel amazing compared to their brakes. They're a touch finicky about setup, if you don't have them centered you'll have low power. I'm 180# and had zero issues descending in Colorado with them last summer.

Also, watch the exchange rate with this Brexit stuff, you can get them for a steal when the politician play their games and sink the GBP.
  • + 1
 @davidccoleman....Every cloud....
  • + 5
 The race levers are my favorite. I love these brakes.
  • + 3
 Reliable as hell, great modulation, not the best power, least convenient bleed (but super consistent). Had T3E4 on 4 bikes now, feel the same as day 1.
  • + 1
 I had a set of M4s (pre-evo) with stainless hoses and 203mm rotors front and rear. I absolutely loved everything about them, but the power was just not there. Like, worse than SLX on 180mm rotors bad (but better modulation of course).

I tried everything from new pads, rotors, exhaustive cleaning, bedding, everything; just couldn't get them working. At the time when I'd done some reading, it wasn't an uncommon problem.

Have they truly fixed the issue, or does the bling & price have people overlooking the power shortage?
  • + 1
 I’m looking to buy new brakes but bigger folks say the hopes don’t have the power to keep you safe over extended descents. Looking for a clear review from a 200+ lb. person who occasionally shuttles to know what these are capable of
  • + 1
 @stonant:
I had the E4s on my touring tandem. They did fade badly. That was with 450 lbs on a bike that can go 45 MPH. I switched to the V4s. They do not fade.
  • + 2
 @stonant: I'm 235-245lbs ish geared up. From the M4s I went to m8000 XTs (2 pot), then Saints.

While the Saints aren't perfect (you get the odd lever feel inconsistency), they're proven, easy to service, reliable, and don't fade. I wish I'd just gone with them first (they were also half the price of the Hopes).
  • + 2
 @stonant: hi, I’m 220 lbs and have a pair of V4 on my Nomad. Use it mostly on gnarly alpine trails including racing two Megavalanche (3000m down for 22km length, plenty of opportunities to burn your brakes) so far.

Bite point never moves, fad can happen on short period if you drag the lever for too long, but overall extremely satisfied with it, would not buy anything else. Got MT4 on another bike, more power but also a lot more reliability issues ;(
  • + 1
 @stonant: I'm 330 lbs I ride park and do long descents and I run Zees with fulletal.pads and icetech rotors and never had an issue.
  • + 4
 I am riding a set of M4's that are going on 8yr old now. My experience does not match yours. I can honestly say they are the most powerful brakes I have owned. I had a set of X2's for a time which were a close second. This is comparing to: SLX, Guide R, Guide RSC, Level T and XT.
  • + 1
 @andyd33: interesting, thanks for the input. Makes me wonder if there are manufacturing inconsistencies or something.
  • + 3
 @Mngnt: i run a set of e4 on my dh bike. They where on clerence. I am a big guy at 200lbs. The only trail where i have had problems with overheating is 7km steep dh trail. Next move is v4 caliper, but have never had problem with lacking power. In bike parks too.. The only loss of power is when you drag them for longer period and they heat up. But when you let the brajes of for a few seconds they cool down. And by far easyest bleeding proces, and simple to get the spare parts. I have bent a lever once, otherwise no problems. Would recomend to anyone. Just if you are planing on big alpine desents, go with the v4 caliper. Bigger caliper and pistons, and thicker rotors.
  • + 0
 If yours felt the same as the ones I tried, they also seemed to have a firmer lever return spring in the master cylinder, so even without putting any effort into the pads, your hand would need to work harder. That, combined with what seemed like a lack of clamping force, definitly felt like the squeeze force:stopping ratio was lagging. Hope seemed to make a number of models like that in the early 2000s, so I am glad to hear that new ones seem to have more bite. The company has so many fanboys that it's tough to tell how the parts really stack up head to head with other brands.
  • + 3
 @stonant: I have the Tech 3 E4's on my bike (I'm 200lbs no gear) and I couldn't be happier with the performance. The power build up is very linear compared to the on/off of Shimano XT, but you can still stop in a hurry. The only thing I've noticed on long descents, for example San Juan Trail, is that they start to howl a bit but the power remains the same.
  • + 3
 I have ran mono6 ti brakes on my dh bike since 2005 and mono mini brakes on my trail bike since 2005 as well.. Amazing brakes for reliability.... Some times i do wish they had a touch more power but i can't trade off the awesome modulation. But what i found, using hope pads, that rotors make a huge difference in power, i have used both Shimano and hope rotors, but galfer rotors made a huge improvement, prob the best rotors i have ever used
  • + 5
 How do they compare to Shimano Zee?
  • + 5
 No comparison to XT 4 pot and G2?
  • + 11
 Exactly. No comparison, the Hopes are just awesome.

Really no cons, because "race" brakes often have less adjustment in the name of weight, and the price really isn't crazy when you're talking about brakes that just work and never need thinking about, beyond "it's been a while, probably need new pads and\or rotor soon".
  • - 2
 @just6979: if only no DOT...
  • + 18
 @Lagr1980: I think its been established dot fluid is the best thing for brakes,
  • + 7
 @zyoungson: also for bikes? When's the last time you heard about Shimano or Magura brake fluid boiling? When riding the performance is the same (neither one boils). Maintenance wise, DOT is far more corrosive and attracts moisture (no long term storage of open cannisters). Mineral has to be replaced more often in my experience, also because water tends to pool together.
Bottom line I see no clear decisive advantage to either and wouldn't base my brake buying decision solely on the fluid used, even though I sightly prefer mineral fluid.
  • - 2
 @zyoungson: shimano mineral oil has the same boiling point as dot3, doesn't absorb water from the air, and isn't corrosive. There isn't a single benefit to dot fluid imo.
  • + 2
 @just6979: Maybe they're great but every one of us is intimately familiar with Shimano or Sram brakes.
Not comparing these to something we know makes this review hollow.
  • + 7
 @clink83: i think you are wrong on that. I was told by a race mechanic that the reason you can have a great working Saint brake at the top of a run and then have it go dead in the middle of the run is that the mineral oil vaporized and thus added air to the system at the caliper. The brake can then be pumped up to get the bubbles into the reservoir because mineral oil reconstituted itself. He said he had only ever seen DOT5 fluid boil once (if you use a lower DOT fluid, it will boil at a lower temp), but once it does, it becomes a different fluid and will no longer work. Gwin once had a double brake failure at a World Champs on Saints. Next race he was on Codes. His TRPs use mineral oil, though, so maybe they manage heat better? Im not sure.
  • + 7
 @Rubberelli: yep they’re wrong on that. Mineral oil overheats way faster and once it does it needs a full rebleed for the reasons you’ve mentioned.
  • + 10
 @clink83: The fact that it doesn't absorb water is actually a disadvantage in my eyes. A Dot brake with water in the system will still work, although not perfectly, but when water gets inside a mineral oil brake the fluids can't mix and a total brake failure is far more likely...
  • + 6
 @jzPV: you got it.
Water and mineral oil don't mix so your boiling point is the one of water (once water is on the system) so 100degC.
Water and Dot do mix, boiling point becomes the one specified as wet boiling point. Never as low as water thought.
  • + 3
 @acali: Hmm, I seem to have forgotten to add the sarcasm> tags up there...

Of course some comparison is useful! But seriously, Hopes are in another ballpark: solid feel, great modulation, longevity, ease of maintenance (bleed just like a motorcycle/car: just need a piece of hose and a bottle, maybe a small syringe to make it easier to stay clean when topping off the reservoir, but you can just pour it in if you want!), even mixing and matching parts (all Hope levers can be used with all calipers for prioritizing weight, power, cooling, etc).
  • + 3
 @jzPV: Exactly. This is the primary reason why DOT is used in motor vehicles. It's more relevant for cars than bikes because their brake system has more possible entry points for water.
  • + 2
 Definitely reviewed by a brit... "Lovely" is in the review title haha. I've wanted a set of Hope brakes forever, these could bloody well be the ones.
  • + 0
 Probably Irish to be more precise
  • - 1
 I love everything about my Hope Tech 3 E4 brakes except the lever, it is the most un-ergonomic one in my opinion. I wish Hope would make a single finger lever blade or some third party would make one that is much like what Shimano has. But that is just me
  • + 3
 When are 243mm rotors going to be available?
  • + 1
 Are they easy to bleed? One of the biggest reasons I have shimanos--super easy for even a "challenged" person. I have always wanted hopes. Absolutely beautiful.
  • + 5
 Easier than Shimano, I'd say. You can bleed them using just a bit of hose and a bottle of dot fluid, and you don't even need to take the pads out to do it. Hope have a god video online to demonstrate, but it basically put the ose on the bleed nipple, oprn the master cylinder lid, loosen bleed nipple, squeeze lever, tighten nipple, release lever, and keep repeating (and topping up cylinder) until all bubbles are out, and that's pretty much it.
  • + 1
 @honourablegeorge: Shimano can be bled by simply filling up a funnel, screwing it to the lever and opening the bleed nipple.
  • + 1
 @mnorris122: Yeah, same for Hope if you have the bleed kit, if not, the above works
  • + 1
 "The lever shape is perfect for single-finger braking too, as is my preference for braking." bruh, its 2019. people stopped two finger braking before v-brakes.
  • + 1
 Whenever i have used hope brakes they have been the most overrated brakes ever. Lacking power, lacking feel, over priced! Wouldnt buy these over Sram, Shimano, Magura etc.
  • + 2
 Also worth noting the vented rotors only work with V4 callipers as they have a wider opening to accommodate them.
  • + 11
 That's what she said
  • + 1
 @jlawie: boom tish
  • + 2
 I’ve been saying for ages Hope needed a lever update. Can’t wait to try these out.
  • + 2
 Where are those new 6ti’s going on market??
  • + 1
 I hate tool-less lever adjustment. I would much rather set it and forget it with tools, and loose the knobs.
  • + 1
 The Brits do have a command of the language and brakes. Hopes do look nice with all the G code machining going on.
  • + 1
 Just got the tech 3 E4 and they are by far the best brakes I’ve ever had!
  • + 2
 TRP Quadiem, half the price, just as powerful, more reliable. Get some!
  • + 1
 Pair these with V4 calipers and you got the best brake money can buy without question
  • + 0
 Probably ok if you are a light rider. My experience of e4's is they are weak brakes. Good modulation is hopespeak for not enough power.
  • + 10
 Really I weigh 220LBS and of all the brakes I have run Hope have never had a power issue. I am talking 5000' down in 4.5 miles. Plus they are made in England by adults......
  • + 5
 @downhillnews: same experience, never had any issues with hope power. actually seek out hope brakes when others prove to be lacking power.
  • + 3
 Not had e4s but have had v4s for 2 years. I'm 90kg kitted up and ride a hybrid XL Geometron with 203mm front rotor and 180mm rear. No issue with power at all.
  • + 2
 If they are centered correctly then they have great power. Most of the people center them so that the pads dont rub on the disc. You have to cenfer the line on the caliper with the disc and then the pistons will centre the pads and you will have more than enough power. That is said from a 200lb guy without gear that has t3e4 on a downhill bike and has used them from alps to bikeparks. Cheers
  • + 1
 This article has long been one of the a familiar writing brand in the mountain bike world.
  • + 1
 Can somebody name those grips?
  • + 1
 Renthal traction.
  • + 1
 @panaphonic: thanks very much
  • + 1
 Standard Hope awesomeness
  • + 1
 Did the Evo brake write the title itself? ????
  • + 1
 swiss stop catalyst rotors work great with these.
  • + 1
 Cons brakes only slow you down
  • + 0
 Now if they'd just some abit of hc3 lever action it'll be perfect.
  • - 1
 Modulation ..... Don't make me laugh !!!!
  • - 1
 Great modulation and terrible customer service... what's not to like!
  • + 3
 Customer service in UK is exceptionally good, but I guess that doesn't help you!
  • - 3
 Your mom has lovely modulation
  • + 4
 And yours goes to college
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