Tech Week 2023: New Shoes, Brakes, Lights, & Grips

Oct 26, 2022
by Mike Kazimer  
photo

photo

photo
photo

Giro Formula Pro Shoes

Giro's new Formula Pro shoe was designed to meet the needs of the modern trail rider, with a relatively low weight, a dual-dial Boa fit system, and a carbon composite plate for pedaling efficiency. Sensor rubber is used for the outsole, with deep lugs to help with off-the-bike traction – this isn't just a road shoe that's been revamped for mountain bike use.

Polyurethane overlays are thermo bonded to the upper fabric (translation: a rubbery material is glued to the shoe) to protect it from abrasion, and the toe box is reinforced for extra protection.

When it hits stores early next year, the Formula Pro will be priced at $300 USD. There's also a 'regular' Formula that uses a single Boa dial, and retails for $250 USD.

The Formula and Formula Pro will be available in three different colors in sizes 39 – 50, with half sizes for 42.5 – 45.5. The Formula Women's model will be available in 2 different colors in sizes 36 – 43, with half sizes from 37.5 – 42.5.


photo


Ergon GXR Grips

Ergon's newest slip-on XC grip is now available in 32 or 34 mm diameters. The German-made grips are constructed from Ergon's AirCell rubber, and weigh in at just 53 grams per grip, including the end cap. The GXR has a slight taper to its shape – it's a little wider on the outboard side where the edge of a rider's palm rests. The surface of the rubber has some texture to it, although it's fairly minimal, making the grips comfortable with or without gloves. The grips come in black, blue, red, or orange, and are priced at $24.95 USD.


photo

photo
photo

Trek Commuter Pro RT Light

The days are getting dramatically shorter in the Northern Hemisphere, which means it's either time to hibernate or get out the lights. Trek's latest solution for brightening up the night is the Commuter Pro RT.

As the name suggests, it's partially aimed at commuters, with features like a 'Commuter Kind Beam', which focuses the beam on the road rather than shining it into an oncoming rider's eyes, a daytime running light feature, and the ability to wirelessly pair it with Trek's Flare RT tail light.

When it's time to get off the road and into the woods the Commuter Pro RT has a 1000 lumen high beam setting that's bright enough for proper singletrack riding. At full power, the run time is 1.5 hours, and the 500 lumen medium setting increases that to 3 hours.

The Commuter Pro RT is priced at $159.99 and comes with a USB-C charging cable and adjustable hard mount.

photo

photo
photo

Hayes Dominion T4

Hayes launched the new Dominion T4 brakes earlier this summer, a lighter weight version of the well-received Dominion A4. The 50 gram weight savings per brake is achieved via a carbon fiber lever blade that's manufactured by Reynolds, the elimination of the tool-free reach adjuster, and a generous helping of titanium hardware. The four-piston caliper has also had any excess material removed from it, and there's also a composite reservoir cover on the lever body.

A set just showed up for review, and so far they've delivered the ultra-light action and smooth power the original A4 brakes are known for. Look for a full review once I get in enough miles on these stealthy stoppers.

MSRP: $325 USD per wheel.



Tech Week 2023 is a chance to get up to speed on the latest mountain bike components, apparel, and accessories. Click here to view all of the related content.



Author Info:
mikekazimer avatar

Member since Feb 1, 2009
1,710 articles

108 Comments
  • 101 0
 I'm here to give a positive review for the Hayes Dominions. Went from Magura for years to try them out and they are awesome. Lever feel is spot on for 1 finger braking, easy to modulate and plenty of stopping power.
  • 20 0
 +1. It’s a great brake. Just a word of caution, go with the larger levers if you have bigger hands, the small levers always felt super weird to me til I swapped.
  • 25 0
 Also cannot speak highly enough of Hayes Dominions. Anyone who wants an amazing set of brakes should consider these. I went with the regular A4's for both of my bikes and I love the light lever feel and stopping power.
  • 20 1
 I have Dominion A4s on both my long and short travel bikes, extra weight be damned. They are amazing in all aspects, and are reliable. I haven't had to bleed my 2 sets in nearly 2 years with zero problems. None. Zilch. Nada. But I will bleed them this winter. They truly are a high performance, set it and forget it kind of brake. If you like not having brake problems or issues, a well bled A4 brakeset are the best money can buy at the moment.
  • 11 4
 A Semi Good / Bad Review:
My A4s leaked oil out the reservir cap and let air in. From Day 1. Warrantied and sold. The lever feel was really good, but different as it's so silky smooth it almost doesn't give any force for your finger to rest on in the dead stroke. It's hard to explain. I was fine with the power and modulation but not blown away. I also wish the dead stroke was shorter and i could never get it any better. Their caliper alignment process with the set screws is absolutely money tho!

Replaced with TRPs DHR Evos to see what their bandwagon is all about. So far so good.
  • 12 0
 For those old enough to remember, Hayes was the OG hydraulics disc brakes to come onto the MTB scene more than 20 years ago. I'm running Shimano XTs now as they came with my bike and work just fine. But I am curious about the Hayes hype. I'm also curious about their sister company Manitou suspension performs as their OG suspension from 20 years ago also impressed me back then.

Is it nostalgia - or is the Tier 2 vendor tries harder for real?
  • 6 0
 @smoothmoose: they seem to be trying to get back to their OG status once again. I think they lost a lot of the market when they started going downhill.
  • 17 0
 @smoothmoose: I'm running Manitou suspension on my Spur. The R7 Pro fork and the Mara IL shock, and I have nothing but good things to say about them. They are far more consistent with damping compared to a competing Fox or RS product. In addition, they use much less air pressure to set proper sag, which means less wear on seals over time. For comparison, my Mara shock has 130 psi for my sag, while I would need 190+ psi to set sag on a SidLuxe. Technically, that would extend service intervals a little longer. I have been impressed with Hayes products. I feel that they're investing much more in to their R&D instead of their marketing department compared to the big players. The brakes have been designed and engineered by people who KNOW how brakes are supposed to be. And the same with their suspension. I suggest giving them a try. Most people that do become converts. And their at-home serviceability is on par, if not better than RS products. Downside is parts availability, but it has gotten better in the past 2 years.
  • 9 2
 Also a big hayes fan. I even have an old set of A4's repurposed for my bikepacking bike lol. But, I would not sacrifice the reach adjuster for some minor weight savings. If you're already riding a bike that requires insanely powerful 4 piston brakes, what is a couple of grams here or there?
  • 8 0
 @pisgahgnar: I think the reach adjust is there, just no longer a dial you can turn with fingers. a tool is required
  • 9 1
 @smoothmoose: I can't speak for Manitou, but Hayes did a great job with the design of the Dominion brake. Lever shape is great. With the small adjustment screws on the caliper mount, setting the brakes up without rub is SOOOO easy. Bleeding is simple and effective. The brakes have PLENTY of power. predictable ramp up of power as well without the squishiness that SRAM brakes have.
  • 9 0
 I’d like to try them but here in Canada there is ZERO support for anything Hayes, Reynolds or Manitou. They have a distributor but they literally are impossible to get hold of. If you’re reading this, figure your shit out.
  • 9 0
 Yes, another positive review here for the Dominion A4. Lovely light lever action, loads of power, consistent and fade free.
  • 6 0
 Same here, had mt trail sport mt5 and mt7 and as much as I liked them they weren't reliable at all. The dominion have the best lever feel ever and so far reliability havent been an issue.
  • 4 0
 @Nwilkes: Thanks for the warranty brakes! I'm a +1 for loving them. Couldn't see spending the extra dough on the EVO's but those were the other choice if I didn't already run A4's on my other ride. Great Customer Service as well
  • 5 0
 @smoothmoose: Mezzer fork and Mara Pro shock are both phenomenal.
  • 6 0
 I want to talk about the set screws on the mounting holes. How is that not already a thing on other brakes????
  • 1 0
 @pisgahgnar: Yeah, the Dominion T2 makes some sense, but I don't really get the point of the T4, and I say this as a HUGE Hayes/Manitou fan.
  • 1 0
 @zmums: how are the bigger/regular levers for small but not tiny hands?
  • 1 0
 @Nwilkes: so you had a faulty unit, were satisfied with them even with their malfunctioning, but then didn't give the probably far superior replacement set a chance and sold them?
  • 2 0
 @smoothmoose: I far prefer my Manitou suspension to my Fox suspension on both sides of the bike. From what I've read, most people prefer their Dominions over Shimano and SRAM.
  • 1 0
 @notthatfast: can't you order from the US and do the maintenance yourself or drop the parts at an LBS for a fee?
  • 1 0
 @tolyho: Hey man, glad they're working out!! Frankly, I got impatient and wanted to ride so pulled the trigger on EVOs while waiting for the Hayes...so that was part of it too. Hope the east coast fall shredding is prime for ya
  • 4 0
 @Mac1987:
I work at an LBS. It took months for us to get parts for a Reynolds hub because the US distributor refused to deal with us because there is a Canadian distributor. After 6 months of literally zero response the US supplier had no choice but to help us because their Canadian counterparts were less than useless. Not impressed.
  • 1 0
 @ybsurf: how is the power compared to the MT7? I’m sure the modulation is but those MT7’s seem to be known for big power
  • 2 0
 @Svinyard: mt7 were more powerful but not by much. Lever feelings way better and no master cylinder issue like the magura.
  • 4 0
 Yeah I really like my A4 as well. Now Im curious about these T4.. the A4 are great but but these are newer! lol.

Really, my own take is this:

Pros:
- smooth, precise, feel great, modulation is in between shimano and sram I love it
- Adjusting the caliper is easier
- For some reason I dont seem to need to bleed them as often as my sram
- great heat management (and they're not black so heat up less in the sun..)

Cons:
- special-ish olives if you need to swap em (or else, leaks!)
- contact adjust screw is not great quality and it feels like you're going to strip it if you use it. Thanksfully you dont really need to use it on these brakes.
- expensive pads and replacement bits
  • 2 0
 @Mac1987: couldn’t tell ya. Probably fine, but I’ve got big ol hands. 6’3” and all that stuff
  • 5 0
 @emurray877: Dominion gang!
  • 2 0
 @notthatfast: I’m not sure who the distributor you were in touch with, but I’ve always gone through S4 suspension. I haven’t dealt with them for anything Reynolds, but when sending them suspension for warranty/service or ordering parts they have been amazing to deal with. When emailing it’s always been quick replies, their service is fast (with a new service shop in whistler now) and they are always happy to help and answer questions. You can even get them on the phone when you call.
  • 1 0
 @smoothmoose: Assuming they're not old enough to remember the Shimano Oil-Lite hydraulic disc brakes from 45 years ago that is. But technically as far as aftermarket widely available disc brake systems went, Pro-Stop and Amp-Research beat Hayes by a number of years as did Formula and Hope. A late friend had Pro-stop disc brakes front and back on his Grove Innovations hard tail back in 1992.
  • 2 0
 @norcorider-13:
Interesting, I didn’t know S4 was a distributor. That certainly wasn’t who Reynolds US put us in touch with. Was a Montreal based company. Will try S4 in the future.
  • 1 0
 @notthatfast: S4 is a Montreal based company.
  • 1 0
 @ybsurf: S4 doesn't really deal with Reynolds hubs. They really just seem to do Manitou and Hayes. Pretty sure they're talking about Damco.
  • 2 0
 @babathehutt: That feature is called Crosshair and Hayes holds the patent for it. Not sure when it expires, but it's been around a minimum of five years, i.e., we will likely need to wait another twenty years for it to show up on other brakes.
  • 1 0
 @edthesled: There are four montreal area distributors of note. Damco, Babac, HTC (formerly known as Cycles Lambert) and S4. Babac is also the Genesis cycles distributor for Canada.
  • 1 0
 @notthatfast: S4 suspension is an official dealer and service center for Hayes and Manitou. They have spare parts and ship in all of Canada.
  • 2 0
 @nyhc00 I'm Glad to hear your report. They have an amazing 1 finger lever for sure. Some co workers are using them on trail/xc bikes and love the contact point.
  • 1 0
 @deeeight: Yeah, Damco would be the one of those that distributes Reynolds products though. S4 does Hayes and Manitou but not Reynolds. QBP also does all 3, but those brands are likely blocked for Canadian shops.
  • 3 0
 @edthesled:
Did a little research and the company we had trouble with was "D'Amour Bicycle & Sports"
Looks like I was wrong in assuming that since they distributed Reynolds they also did the rest of the Hayes range, turns out they're just Reynolds and Sun Ringle.
Smithtech is the official distro for Hayes - haven't dealt with those guys yet.
Will do my research a little better next time (though make no mistake, D'Amour are absolutely useless)
  • 2 0
 @notthatfast: Yup that's Damco.
  • 29 5
 I can't tell how whelmed I am
  • 12 0
 Sure you're not just gruntled?
  • 8 0
 @knutspeed: maybe, but I could also be bobulated
  • 17 2
 What did those shoes hit on the way down the production line to come out looking that bad?
  • 13 2
 I don't know but can we please stop trying to make camo on everything happen?
  • 3 0
 @VtVolk:
Thats not camo, melted leftovers….
  • 1 0
 @VtVolk: agreed. Outside of the military, I can't think of a single thing that looks better in camo.
  • 5 0
 @Mac1987: Well, that is because you cant see it!
  • 3 0
 @mtb-jon: haha okay, should've seen this one coming, but it was somehow hard to see...
  • 1 0
 @Mac1987: Nice!
  • 11 1
 Ooooh, carbon levers for the Dominions! I hope they're available aftermarket for my A4s. I couldn't give a rat's okole about the weight, but carbon is so much warmer on the fingers in the cold. Same with plastic pedals, but luckily those are cheap.
  • 2 0
 I thnk they are grippier too when your gloves are wet. If I could get carbon levers for my TRP quadiems it would save like a pound haha. They are huge.
  • 2 0
 I’d just send em an email
Ya might be able to!
  • 8 0
 That Giro shoes ticked al the boxes for me, until i saw the price tag. I think I'll pass
  • 2 0
 Agree. Giro fit my wide feet really well, and that carbon sole is appealing. I love a stiff sole- one of the reasons why I don't go back to flats. Flexible soles give me foot cramps on long climbs. I don't love a stiff sole $300 much tho haha.
  • 5 0
 Pretty interesting to see that light be branded 'Trek' and not 'Bontrager'. Is this the beginning of the end of the Bontrager brand?
  • 5 0
 Giro + all other shoes manufactures. Please make wide sizes in all these cool new shoes!
  • 2 0
 Lake shoes are the only ones I have found that do a legitimate wide. They are ugly and expensive, but they are comfortable.
  • 1 0
 @kungfupanda: Yeah I wear those and size up. Just wish they were wider and more durable
  • 1 0
 @phazedplasma: Have you tried their EXTRA wide? They only sell it in a few models. Crazy wide!
  • 2 0
 "When it's time to get off the road and into the woods the Commuter Pro RT"

You probably don't want a "commuter kind beam" in the woods. I've used lights with those beam patterns, and while yes they're great on the road, they kind suck on trails. Trail riding doesn't need a beam with a cut-off, and it just ends up putting way too much light directly in front of your wheel and not enough up ahead. Best beam for trails is just something with a reasonably wide and especially smooth beam, like Outbound (so awesome), Glo-worm (great with the wide or combo lens), or even Bontrager/Trek's Ion Pro (not as wide as the aforementioned, but way better than anything with a cut-off).
  • 8 3
 $325 per wheel???
  • 24 1
 If you don't care about that carbon and titanium the regular version is $250 per wheel.
  • 5 40
flag madmon (Oct 26, 2022 at 8:09) (Below Threshold)
 1000 Canadian dollars for a set of brakes by a company that let us all down with crap stoppers now wants my trust at a monstrous cost.... smh
  • 17 1
 @madmon go ride a set of dominions once... then comment. They make a normal non ti/carbon version that is cheaper.
  • 6 0
 Like Kaz mentioned the A4’s are friendlier on the wallet and can be found occasionally on sale for 10-15% off. They also come with a second complete set of sintered pads that saves an additional $60 or so usd. After 2 years use, my only complaint is Dot 5.1/4 fluid vice mineral oil, although bleeding them is much easier than I’ve experienced with SRAM/Avid. Otherwise, they have plenty of power like saint/codes with the lightest lever feel of any other brake I’ve used (Hope, Shimano, SRAM/Avid, etc.). They seem to have a bite point and modulation between Shimano and SRAM/Avid. For ref, I use them with Shimano post mount hardware and 203mm rotors without issue. Almost forgot, the lever bodies can be swapped sides and flipped if scratches occur like SRAM/Avid brakes.

As far as the the extra dough for T4 weight savings, I’ve yet to be on a trail going up or down wishing my brakes were lighter. Plus I’ve never been able to bend a lever back into shape after a spill made out of carbon Wink
  • 7 1
 @madmon: The brakes have been on the market for several years now. There are a lot of comments here and reviews online. I would choose these over any Level, Guide, and most Code brakes and any Shimano brake. They are better than Magura, and I prefer the lever shape of these over TRP(though TRP brakes are also amazing) I think they have earned the trust back. The brake is a completely new design that doesn't really have anything to do with their old brakes.
  • 3 1
 But hey, you lose the option of tool-free reach adjust for only 75$ more than the standard one
  • 3 1
 @madmon: new owners, new management, new designers, new design, great reviews. So really not the same I'd say.
  • 1 5
flag Danzzz88 (Oct 26, 2022 at 13:38) (Below Threshold)
 Still I built a set of Shiguras with XTR levers for the same price as just one of these brake...£80 each for the levers, £50 each for the calipers, £10 for fitting kit and £20 on a bleed kit...total £240 or $279...arguably noticeably more powerful than these, reliable and great lever feel. Even a set of HOPES is cheaper than these and granted although the Tech 3 levers sucked a bit and we're underwhelming power wise the new Tech 4 appears to have solved all the issues with the previous gen. I literally cannot see any reason to pay this much for these brakes even if they are good brakes when you can build or buy a more powerful set for less money.
  • 5 0
 @Danzzz88: You might've saved a couple coins but tossed any resemblence of warranty or support, so there's a legitimate reason to buy a brake system from new and not cobbling a set together
  • 3 0
 @therealmancub: I can get a set of cura4s including discs for 230 euros new...
  • 3 0
 @qman11: between hopes and dominions at $250 a wheel I don’t know why anybody would ride codes or xts
  • 2 0
 @olafthemoose: right! Better modulation than Codes, with more power than Saints... Dominions will go on every bike I own.
  • 2 0
 @qman11: I like my Code RSC a lot but they don’t ramp up in power enough.

Are the A4’s really as powerful as the Saints? I love how perfect of a bleed you get on a Dominion with their double port. Modulation is spot on.
  • 1 0
 @therealmancub: who cares about warranty when you are paying half the price for a better performing set of brakes....I literally can build another complete new pair of Shiguras and still will have only spent the same money as these in total and the chance of every single component going faulty and having to spend that much is next to zero. So far they have been running 2 years completely trouble free...not even needing a bleed and offer more power than these.
  • 3 0
 @bashhard: I call this move the Porsche
  • 1 0
 @Svinyard: I highly encourage you to try and find a set to try out. Anyone I have met says the exact same points. I felt them back when they were prototypes, and have had them on my bikes ever since.

Bleeding dominions is a very similar procedure to sram brakes, using both caliper ports is not necissary every bleed too which is nice!
  • 1 1
 @qman11: like I said once bitten not the 3rd time Hayes made some of my epic rides a nightmare some years ago once a company has failed I can not go back it's my nature so don't hate the messenger. I broke 3 GT frames in 2001-2002 and will never buy into that brand again.
  • 2 1
 @madmon: I guess that's fine. It's a weird reason though. Like your neighbors grandpa was a jerk so you won't give your neighbor a chance despite his grandpa being dead.
There are a lot of good brakes out there so it's nice to have options.
  • 2 0
 @madmon: I completely get this. Same reason I will never buy SRAM brakes again. Juicy’s broke me
  • 2 2
 Trek light is ridiculous. Here's the real sleeper. I got one, several buddies got it, it's amazing. And super easy to get a cheap GoPro mount adapter if you want to helmet mount:

Olight BFL 1800: www.amazon.com/dp/B09MYMHDQJ

GoPro adapter: www.amazon.com/dp/B07MHT9XQC

If you go the helmet route, you can just unscrew the bar mount interface and the light is a smooth cylinder. Amazing build quality, glass lens and perfect reflector. And....CHEAP!
  • 4 0
 Real 1800 lumens, or chinese lumens?
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: Real deal. Olight is legit. You can find a lot of their products reviewed by Charles Bridgtec, total flashlight porn channel: www.youtube.com/c/CharlesBridgTec/videos
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: Ha, yea, saw that a while back. 8 quadrillion lumens, 8 hour run time! Big Grin
  • 3 0
 The Manitoulluminati has the pitchforks ready for Kaz's Dominion review!
  • 2 0
 I have Dominion T2, and A4. They are great. I have no reason to think T4 would be any worse.
  • 1 0
 Are GIRO shoes still narrow AF? I don't even have wide feet and the toe box was cramped.
  • 1 0
 They make high volume versions of some of the models. Those are the only ones that fit me. They’re great shoes, but yeah, on the narrow side.
  • 3 0
 @slow-cal: High volume models are no longer available. The lasts are definitely wider than the old lasts though. I've got wide feet and I can even ride Empire VR90s without issue.
  • 4 3
 $25 for push on grips, Ergon? Really? My ODI Longneck push on grips cost less than half that.
  • 1 0
 I seem to be a princess and the pea when it comes to grips. These grips are SUPER comfy and really durable. There might be cheaper options, but they'll last. So I'm not too concerned about price if my hands are happy.
  • 1 0
 I'm love a more budget friendly version of the Dominions
  • 2 4
 $325 per wheel? Wow. Those Hayes brakes better be f*ckin fantastic.

At those prices, one of them costs twice as much as an entire set of Shimano MT420s at retail price.
  • 5 1
 @maxc: as do Saints, but these don't have wandering bite points, sudden loss of power after sitting still for a month, or require a bleed every other ride. I love my Zees when they work, but my next brakes will be Dominions.
  • 1 4
 My experience with Hayes was about 12 years ago when the cap blew off and took all the fluid with it. Hayes said "just tape them on"
  • 5 7
 Ergonomic foam grips? Good luck getting those ergonomically aligned
  • 16 1
 There's no need to align them - the ergonomic feature is that they're slightly thicker on the outer end.
Below threshold threads are hidden







Copyright © 2000 - 2024. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.059671
Mobile Version of Website