HQ Tour: BrakeAce - The World's First Brake Power Sensor & App Combo

Jan 25, 2023 at 14:30
by TEBP  
The European Bike Project is one of our favorite Instagram accounts. Alex from TEBP constantly updates his feed with everything from interesting curios from tiny manufacturers to inside looks at European manufacturing to analyses of the environmental impact of our sport. He's currently travelling in New Zealand, where he started The Oceanian Bike Project.

BrakeAce HQ Tour
The world's first brake power sensor and app combo.

To understand what BrakeAce does, it’s helpful to know the background of its founder, Dr. Matt Miller. Originally from the US, where he graduated in exercise physiology, he moved to New Zealand in 2014 for his PhD thesis which focused on mountain bike descending performance. After completing his PhD and working as a lecturer, Matt left the university in 2019 in order to focus on BrakeAce, alongside coaching some rad athletes.

Matt says that it’s difficult to say when he founded the company, as it was a slow evolution. For his PhD thesis and with the help of Massey University in Palmerston North, he built his first brake power meter prototype that laid the foundation for today’s braking sensors. When he and the team started to work on a dedicated software in 2019, they needed a name and that’s when they came up with the name BrakeAce.

BrakeAce HQ Tour - Original Prototype Photo c Callie Horwath
BrakeAce HQ Tour

BrakeAce original prototype Photo c by Callie Horwath
How it started... (Photos by Callie Horwath)
BrakeAce HQ Tour
... and how it's going.

So what is BrakeAce? Matt says that it is the world's first brake power sensor and app combo. It measures your braking every time you brake and collects information as you ride the trail. Thanks to hypersensitive strain gauges, BrakeAce senses how your tires interact with the trail, not what you do with your fingers. Basically, it works like a power meter, as it measures brake power. However, the real power of BrakeAce is that it gives you feedback on the way you ride. You don’t only get data (numbers), you get actionable information such as Modulation, Intensity, and Brake Balance. For every trail you ride, BrakeAce will give you three Key Opportunities and show you the sections of trails where you have the best chance for improvement. From there, you can use the 4-step BrakeAce Method for faster times.

BrakeAce HQ Tour - Screenshots of App
Screenshots from the BrakeAce App.

The app also helps you to understand when you should be coasting and when it’s worth to pedal hard. Sometimes, coasting can make you faster than pedalling, because it allows you to recover. Pedalling too much or over your limit can lead to fatigue and loss of flow on the trails – so sometimes it’s better to tuck than to pedal. By testing different strategies and comparing BrakeAce’s FlowScore, riders can determine the best way to get down a trail.

bigquotes“You only don’t profit from BrakeAce if you don’t want to go faster”.Dr. Matt Miller, founder of BrakeAce

Does that mean that the BrakeAce Sensors are only for DH racers who get to do practice runs before a race? There is no doubt that racers will benefit from BrakeAce, but it can also help you beat your mates in case you really want to get that KOM or a new personal best. “You only don’t profit from it if you don’t want to go faster” says Matt. Also, Hope and Trickstuff use BrakeAce sensors for data acquisition and to design new brakes, thanks to lab-based sensors compatible with the BYB data acquisition kit and the BrakeAce web app.


BrakeAce wired brake sensor
BrakeAce HQ Tour
The wired scientific version of the BrakeAce sensors is compatible with the BYB data acquisition kit.

Today, BrakeAce has three team members besides Matt. Interestingly, they only got to meet each other in late 2022, as they all live and work in different places around the world. Rohan focuses on mobile and embedded software from Perth (he was one of the original guys that helped bring live power meter data from the Tour de France), while Mack is a backend software and web engineer in San Francisco. Rolf - CEO of a bike sensor company - advises from Copenhagen. The company is based in Rotorua – as it’s often the case with startup companies – in a room of Matt’s house. Here, Matt works on different projects, records the Performance Advantage Podcast as well as his Youtube series and it’s also the place where he wrote the book “Free Speed”.

BrakeAce HQ Tour
BrakeAce HQ Tour
The BrakeAce HQ is based very close to the world famous Whakarewarewa Forest and its trails.


bigquotesBuilding power meters is relatively straightforward, but presenting riders with meaningful and actionable scores wasn't.Dr. Matt Miller, founder of BrakeAce

The biggest challenge was not to create the brake sensor itself, but the app. “Building power meters is relatively straightforward, but presenting riders with meaningful and actionable scores wasn't,” Matt says. As of today, the app is for Android only, but an iOS version should follow in early 2023. BrakeAce uses your smartphone’s GPS and some complex algorithms to make sure the GPS readings are good. The sensors are connected to your phone with Bluetooth and use strain gauges to measure the torque. The strain gauges are tiny, and very sensitive, but sturdy at the same time so they don’t break. The sensors also compensate for temperature and drift.

Once you’ve finished the trail, the app will calculate for 20 – 30 seconds to process everything that it has previously recorded with a 1000 Hz data rate.

BrakeAce is based in Rotorua, so are the sensors made in New Zealand? It’s difficult to say, as the parts for the sensor come from various countries - just like any other electronics. The employees work in different countries as well, so you could probably say that it’s a truly global product, which is designed and assembled in Rotorua, NZ.

In the future, Matt would love to have a BrakeAce factory in Rotorua, which would include 3D printing and CNC machining. At the moment, the focus is on the software, as the team’s next step is to include data from crank power meters to give you even better information.

BrakeAce HQ Tour
BrakeAce HQ Tour
Ready for assembly.

BrakeAce HQ Tour
BrakeAce HQ Tour
Not for the impatient: Building the sensors requires a steady hand and patience.

BrakeAce HQ Tour
BrakeAce HQ Tour
The assembly involves some soldering, which again needs a steady hand. Once all steps are completed, the sensors are filled with silicone for sealing and to keep everything in place.

The sensors are available in two sizes: XC/Trail (for 160 and 180 PM) and Enduro/DH (for 200 PM). One sensor weighs 73 grams. Both versions require you to go up one disc size, as the sensor fits like a 20mm adapter. So if you’ve been running 203 mm discs, you will now have to go for 223 mm now. They come with a fully rechargable battery, not with a coin cell. It lasts more than 200 hours and can be fully charged in 4 hours.

BrakeAce HQ Tour
A 3D printed mock-up sensor to check the fit.
BrakeAce HQ Tour
A fresh batch of housings just arrived when we visited.

A set of two sensors currently costs 1199 USD (pre-order price). This might seem like a lot, but when you consider that you basically get two power meters with an analytics app that can help you to win a race, the sensors might pay for themselves.

Matt wants to thank the backers from Kickstarter and his team. Without them he couldn’t have done it. “It takes a whole army to get something that complex from the ground. The team works really hard and we’re all fully bootstrapped. They are the key.”

BrakeAce HQ Tour
The team is currently working hard on the software, which will include crank powermeter data in the future. As you can see, Matt Miller is a fan of measuring devices: he does not only use a Quarq Powermeter, but also TyreWiz sensors.

Details
- Designed in New Zealand, engineered worldwide, assembled in New Zealand from parts sourced globally
- BLE wireless communication with your phone
- Rechargeable with standard micro USB cable
- 200+ hours battery life
- Fits on 74mm (standard) post mount frames/forks/calipers
- BrakeAce PF2 TR supported sizes: 160 PM (use 180mm rotor) & 180 PM (use 200 or 203mm rotor)
- BrakeAce PF2 DH supported sizes: 200 PM (use 220mm rotor) & 203 PM (use 223mm rotor)
- Fits with any brake caliper
- 73 grams - just 49g more than a normal spacer
- Wet-weather ready
- e-Bike approved
- Sampling frequency: 1000 Hz
- Mobile app: Android shipping now; iOS shipping early 2023
- Web view: Any device
- Warranty: 1 year limited
- Free Speed e-book included for free
- Shipping is available worldwide
- Price for a set of two sensors: 1199 USD (pre-order price), later 1599 USD
- Website: https://www.brakeace.com/
- Instagram: @brakeace


Author Info:
TEBP avatar

Member since May 15, 2020
38 articles

198 Comments
  • 213 1
 "his PhD thesis which focused on mountain bike descending performance"

Wow...if I had of known that was an option, grad school would have been a lot more appealing.
  • 135 2
 Just enter a race in the Masters category...
  • 28 0
 Downloadable PDF copy of the dissertation ("Quantification and description of braking during mountain biking using a novel brake power meter") by Dr. Matthew Curtis Miller: mro.massey.ac.nz/bitstream/handle/10179/13590/02_whole.pdf
  • 13 0
 Come over to Scotland an do a uni degree in mountain biking..
  • 14 0
 Tell me you have obsessive compulsive personality disorder without telling me you do.
*buys BrakeAce
  • 20 0
 There have been a few theses on MTB before and since. My supervisor worked to understand if 29ers really were crap. No need to thank him - he knows how the story played out Wink
  • 12 2
 @ReformedRoadie
- "Are you a professional MTBer?"
"Yep" -
- "Living in a basement and surviving on instant noodles?"
"Yep" -
- "I guess that's typical. But why don't I see you at any races?"
"Oh I don't race. I strap big hunks of metal to my bike, brake 1000s of times, and stare at spreadsheets for hours" -
- ...?
  • 1 0
 @mi-bike: made it to page 10….
  • 4 0
 @PocoBoho: Not bad. So at least you read: ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: "This is for the haters." That gave me a good laugh.
  • 2 0
 When I was in grad school my masters project was going to be on the tribology performance of vee brakes vs magura rim brakes. I made a jig and had over 100 samples of different surfaces using a color spectrometer and pressure paper. Surprisingly, vee brakes with compressionless housing are more powerful than stock HS33s when set-up correctly with the same pressure at the lever.

Why did I do this? Because as a materials major that's a trials rider, I was trying to find a solution to replace grinding your rim with a coating that worked just as well. It was a LOT more complex of a problem than any of us (I had 3 professors and 2 students working on this project) had ever thought. I never ended up finishing the project cause I dropped out during my 2nd year of grad school....to this day, there still isn't anything that comes close to the performance of a grind in all conditions.
  • 83 5
 "You only don’t profit from BrakeAce if you don’t want to go faster"

Getting old and having responsibilities that require me to not be laid up for 6 weeks if I make a poor decision while riding means I now fit in the category of not wanting to go faster. And I am ok with that. Finding ways to have fun without going fast have really opened up my eyes to see old trails in new ways.
  • 2 0
 Trudat!
  • 4 0
 word
  • 11 0
 but with brakeace you won’t make a bad decision! you will never crash again!
  • 4 2
 Yup. If you think your trails are boring, you're the boring one. Can always find ways to have fun, that's why bikes are so great!
  • 8 1
 Learning about your braking habits and practices may also help you ride more safely. Quite often braking in the wrong spots is the reason for the loss of control where you would have been safe if you just had let it roll.
  • 11 0
 A: I don't get paid to do this shit
+
B: I have to go to work on Monday
=
C: Eh, I'll walk up/down/around that feature.
  • 2 0
 @Brave1i1toaster: Yeah, but that's probably not the part that's relevant to this product, is it? This is just to help you identify where and how you're braking. Often when I slide out in a muddy corner I also walk back to check my tire track. Was my tire still rolling (where the grooves cut by the tire spikes are still perpendicular to the riding/rolling direction) or is it a mess. Because if you slide out and you were braking, you might not have slid out if you hadn't braked (and possibly had entered the corner slower). But this is what you can identify with certain types of soil (like the aforementioned muddy soil) but not all of them. Loose rubble, sand etc are slippery too but you can't see from your tire marks whether or not you were braking too hard. So I can imagine this is where such a tool could help.

Whether or not you should ride a feature in the first place comes way before that hence is unrelated to this sensor system.
  • 4 0
 Based on all the surveys and data, think they're about two dozen people in the world that truly "profit" from how fast they can ride a bike. Very cool that people are out there innovating, but weird and off putting word choice. Profit is never a word I'd use in relation to riding.
  • 2 0
 @dancingwithmyself: 'profit' has other meanings than just monetary gain.
  • 3 0
 @ak-77: "Profit" - 99.999999% of what all people think: Monetary or Financial gain.

Oxford Dictionary:
----------------------
noun
a financial gain, especially the difference between the amount earned and the amount spent in buying, operating, or producing something.
"pretax profits"

verb
obtain a financial advantage or benefit, especially from an investment.
"the only people to profit from the entire episode were the lawyers"

Urban Dictionary: too funny to put on here. You must've gone to this link for another meaning of the word "Profit": www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Profit Big Grin
  • 2 0
 @CSharp: The Urban dictionary is hilarious indeed. I was more thinking of the Oxford's learner;'s dictionary definition: "to get something useful from a situation; to be useful to somebody or give them an advantage"
www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/profit_2
  • 2 0
 @CSharp: @ak-77 are you guys commentating dictionary definitions to one another?
You guys are wild!
  • 2 0
 @onawalk: I like this. Typically when discussion definitions here on Pinkbike, it is common practice to declare the other as "idiot" (where obviously the definition of "idiot" is up for debate too). Now that everyone here on Pinkbiike apparently is an idiot, it makes perfect sense to refer to official sources when discussing definitions. Takes the pressure off. Obviously the one thing that will always remain up for debate is, which source to quote. Fair enough, choosing dictionaries as sources is pretty wild. I like it wild though.
  • 1 0
 @onawalk: Wild can be fun, especially when it is the Urban Dictionary. Big Grin
  • 1 0
 @CSharp: You’re not wrong!
  • 1 1
 @vinay: you do you boo…
  • 1 0
 Matt talks about BrakeAce in relation to his elite racing history, I think of it in terms of my skills coaching history.
Considering "going faster"; in almost every coaching session there is a point where I am telling the rider to slow down, so they can focus on what they're doing. I also know many people (beginners, irregular weekend warriors, Strava KOMs, someone with many hospital visits, anyone...) who have "reached their limit" of speed. They don't explicitly want to go faster.
Knowing how and where they are braking is still super helpful. Use BrakeAce to find where to improve and what to change, get more flow, use less energy, gain more control, crash less...and quite likely ride faster as a result. Or maybe slower, but having more fun and getting less injuries doing it.
  • 1 0
 Sorry to derail the conversation from dictionary definitions...
  • 1 0
 @sweatytechie: I liked the "wild" part better but I agree with your post. I wonder whether/when we'll see a return to more tech and less wide open/fast racing. I'd rather crash often at lower speeds rather than occasionally at higher speeds with more serious consequences. I'm no racer obviously but I can imagine if this is how you make you're living, you've got to commit to it nowadays. They want to film a bigger part of the course so there is more open and straight stuff. Either way, I think it still counts that it is both safer and faster to enter a corner slow and exit it fast rather than the other way around. But if there are no corners on a section...
  • 46 1
 This isn't going to be for everyone. Hell, its not going to be for most people. But is it really cool and innovative? Yeah, it absolutely is. Nothing wrong with inventing cool new shit for mtb, even if it doesnt bring a huge benefit to most folks. I will never buy it but its cool to see people are putting the time and money in to mountain bikes. If no one did that we would still be on 26 inch wheels 260mm wide bars and no droppers because....'well it works well enough'
  • 6 0
 Exactly. Also, I can't wait to see a world cup DH rider's data from these.... vs. a regular human. While suspension telemetry is pretty rider subjective, I feel like finding patterns in braking will genuinely help regular riders as well (and hopefully will hope brake companies develop brakes that better suit riders needs).
  • 7 0
 @bonkmasterflex: I imagine the app would just tell me to stop dragging my brakes all the time.

This is a really cool product and looks like they've put a lot of effort into making the data useful. Who will be the first pro to show up and go full nerd with this?
  • 3 0
 @mtmc99: Guaranteed several pros already have this!
  • 6 0
 @mtmc99: cheers mate! We shipped some more PF2s last week, so watch out for some feedback for the pros and their coaches.

About dragging your brakes - it would skip past these little events and show you on the map the 3 places where you have the most room to improve
  • 2 0
 @brakeace: How does it account for traction? I mean, the max power one can brake with in a given spot on a track depends on traction available at that spot. Does the algorithm "sense" when one locks up for a fraction of a second? Like detecting when one is feathering the brakes between max power and locking up. Or perhaps I'm not understanding it at all. Very cool product and nicely packaged, btw.
  • 3 0
 @kcy4130: cheers mate! You're right - brake power is definitely dependent on traction. BrakeAce doesn't measure traction, per se, but by measuring brake torque/power the app is reporting what your wheels did as a result of you you squeezing the brakes. For example, you could hold the lever in the same exact position, but your braking trace and the FlowScore (and probably Modulation score) of that same event in the same section of trail would be measurably different based on the conditions, your tires, bike setup, positioning, line, etc. Those same scores can be compared between riders to assess good or poor approaches/setups.
  • 1 0
 @wilsonians "even if it doesnt bring a huge benefit to most folks". "I will never buy it".
You will never buy it while you don't see a benefit. That's the same as any product. And we can all name something that we dismissed as not being for us...until we realised it was (wheel sizes like you mention - that was me).
This is exactly where the challenge with a cool new product is: not to make it do something cool, but to make it do something that's a benefit to everyone. And cool!
  • 2 0
 This definitely falls under the same category as a shock wiz.... Would love to rent one for a day or three but don't need to own...
  • 34 0
 Brakeace - "you're brakes were dragged for 99.2% of that run"
Me - job done, puts BraceAce in parts drawer until the end of time.
  • 84 60
 i can remeber like it was yesterday, the good old days...


We rode our bikes for fun, tried some ticks at the parking lot and the forest was our playground.

Today, it's so stressfull... i have to check if all my batteries are fully loaded, is my Garmin on?
Did i packed my spare batterie with me.

At the Trailhead, i have to start my Gopro, and have to beat the local Strava Kom.

At the end, how many jumps have my Garmin noticed? did i took the KOM or beat my PR?

Ok, theres still some batterie left on my dropper post, lets go for an other trail.


At home im fully exhausted, drinking my beer, and i didnt enjoyed the nature..

What a time to be alive!
  • 72 5
 Or you can just not buy it.... while some dentists near you will likely buy it, it isn't for the average Joe. It's for racers chasing marginal gains. In the same way that you don't have to track heart rate, power, strava segment times, blood lactate or buy a bike with a motor, wireless shifting and dropper, or a whole bunch of other features, you don't have to buy this.
  • 26 0
 the good old days are still here! I ride every week with no devices other than a button phone for emergencies.
  • 61 3
 Why do you do this to yourself?

I dont get the complaint. No one is forcing you to nerd out but if you want you can. What a horrible life. To have choices
  • 5 4
 100% this…
  • 12 2
 Then how about just riding without a phone or any devices, and let others make their own choice.
  • 34 0
 @droppedthelimes: I use my home landline, I bought three miles of RJ11 and just let it stream behind me.
  • 8 1
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: Still too modern for me. I carry a flintstone to make a fire in emergency situations and then use my jersey to send SOS smoke signals.
  • 4 0
 @mi-bike: Jersey? Pfffftt...
  • 3 4
 I like this post. Has anything mentioned been necessary... Nope. But almost everything has crept its way into what many people ride. Will this brake sensor be on anyone's list any time soon? Not likely. In the future it very well might, however. Yah, don't buy it now, until everyone around you is buying it and it makes more sense then. What's the saying?... innovate or die. The ending should have been about drinking a beer and sharing ride files with your buddies.
  • 8 1
 Just buy a hardtail and life will be good again.
  • 8 1
 I dunno... I have a battery powered derailleur and dropper post but neither stress me out. I can fiddle with adjusting adjusting cable tension or think about whether or not the batteries are charged or one thousand other things on any given mountain bike. The "stuff" certainly can get in the way, but it doesn't have to.

I ride trails to have as much fun as possible, get some good exercise, and probably most of all, be in nature. When I am on the trail, that's what I'm doing. I also love modifying stuff and exploring new ways of doing things - so the items you mention that get in the way, are actually just fun things to add to my experience, not take away from it. Continue this logic and we should all just start trail running instead. Barefoot of course.
  • 3 0
 @droppedthelimes: Life Alert! "Help! I've fallen in the park and I can't get up!"
  • 5 0
 Looking for an app to teach me how to hold my dick when I pee AND to solve the problem of the last drop BTW.
  • 3 0
 @mi-bike:

I had to fight a wooly mammoth on the way to the trail. With only a stick.

Oh, wait, the way to the trailhead was the trail. And I was walking. with only rocks for dinner when I got home.

No IPA's post walk for me
  • 1 0
 @394components: Help! I've fallen and I can't reach my cocktail!
  • 2 0
 @Hamburgi Stop whatever you're doing right now and get out for a ride: it sounds like you really need it!
Bling bike, dumpster bike, all the gadgets, totally analog? I can guarantee it doesn't matter. You will be enjoying the ride...and the nature.
The good old days are still here, and the use of bike components and online platforms doesn't mean that is lost.
Being stuck at a desk all day instead of out riding with my mates all school holidays...now that's what I have lost.
  • 1 0
 I've been riding for close to 15 years and still have rides where I go for fun, do tricks in the parking lot, and mess around in the forest. All these complications aren't necessary to ride in 2023. and also why I have 0 batteries on any of my bikes.
  • 22 0
 Here’s what you need. Take the braking data from a pro and program my brakes to use their input. Then I’ll be just as fast.
  • 13 0
 Good god that would be terrifying!
  • 4 1
 well, nothing makes you faster than a sh!t brake.
  • 3 0
 @txcx166: Did you know that @JesseMelamed programs his brakes during practice, and then GPS tracking is used to set when and how much the come on. If you could get his config you could win an EWS overall!
  • 1 0
 @nullzwo: Are you sure about that?? Poor brakes are definitely too terrifying to ride fast. Powerful brakes but deathgrip for the win! (The BrakeAce would tell your mates when you chickened out but claimed it anyway....)
  • 1 0
 "Then I'll be just as fast". Yes. Up until the apex of the first corner Smile )
  • 15 0
 Want to go faster? A flashy carbon frame or CNC machined cranks with cutouts in them won't help you. Products like this or a power meter will. At this price, size, and ease of installation, this is the next step in measured, efficient training.
  • 3 8
flag 8a71b4 (Jan 31, 2023 at 11:22) (Below Threshold)
 Lol no.

If you want to go faster, get a dirt jumper. Start hitting up your local DJ spots/pump tracks. Show up to a BMX racetrack on a practice night and do that if you have one near you. Ride street, practice bhops, e.t.c

A year later, you will find yourself magically faster because of a) all the extra fitness you get from dirt jumping and b) being so used to a tiny bike that you feel super safe and confident on a long bike with more travel

There is a reason why so many good MTB riders have a strong BMX background.
  • 3 0
 @8a71b4: and c, learn how to move the bike, move your centre of gravity and use the trail to generate speed and flow
  • 5 0
 @8a71b4: lol-yes. Actual data leads to improvement. That’s why bike racers across disciplines use power meters.

And-this little gizmo would also notably improve pump track and/or dirt jump performance.

Not everyone likes having data to analyze from their rides. However, having the best data available DOES make for the best gains in performance.
  • 3 0
 @dicky1080: a lesson or two to improve body positioning and working the bike are also super helpful. The raw data isn’t helpful if handling skills aren’t in your toolbox.
  • 3 1
 @8a71b4: yep that really is the secret weapon. Realistically you hardly ride a mountain bike properly when out on a ride. The majority of the time you’re driving to the mountains, pedalling around / up hill, faffing, waiting for people to catch up, doing more faffing. You might only do like 15 mins of actual descending all day and might not have been challenged at all. You do more riding in two hours on a cheap bmx down at the skatepark than you would in a week on a mountain bike and it’s so much more difficult that MTB. I can happily spend all winter riding indoor skateparks and I’ll be a better rider than if I’d spent that time slogging a mountain bike around in the snow and ice.
  • 1 0
 @8a71b4: Focused, efficient, effective practice and training is the best way to get better on a bike; and the more the better! Your comment may be right. However, if you've been racing BMX and riding dirt jumps since you were 3; then getting on the BMX track isn't going to be the most effective focus. Just like if you've always had super steep, technical descents in your backyard; then riding more of that sort of trails isn't going to make you fly down a massive jumps flow line.
If you had a day in BC with @yoannbarelli giving you skills coaching, and he asked you to put these on your bike: would you refuse because "that's not how you go faster"? BrakeAce is created by coaches: fitness and skills experts that have been working with athletes for a long time. Making the most of your practice time is a big point of the product.
  • 1 4
 @sweatytechie: Coachings a joke for experienced riders but it’s great for new riders to get them started.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: You live in the wrong place and ride with the wrong people if you spend that much time "faffing about" on mellow trails instead of riding. I'm all for playing in the skatepark, on a pump track or hitting some dirt jump lines, but easier? Less actual time riding!?
  • 2 0
 @wyorider: our trails are as gnarly as it gets. Still you have to drive to them, ride to them, climb up the hill. You might have spent three hours before you’ve even dropped into the first trail. You’d have done three hours of continuous riding down at the skatepark before you’ve even dropped in and mountain biking is really easy so you’re never really getting challenged, you’re not developing.
  • 1 0
 @wyorider: Measuring power for estimating ones endurance is much different than analyzing braking.

And since when do you brake on dirt jumps/pump tracks lmao
  • 14 0
 I just want to see the torque curves produced by the infamous turkey gobble.
  • 2 0
 And could settle the "Wandering Bite Point" issue arguments too
  • 8 1
 Electronic brake sensor to go along with my Flight Attendant, Axs groupset and dropper, electronic tire pressure sensor and power meter pedals. Any chance I can throw it all on my ebike?

But actually, I can see how it would be helpful and having some actual data around what your braking patterns look like would be beneficial for someone who races.
  • 4 0
 Working our way up to e-bike weight but without the motors lol.
  • 8 0
 Finally, a new battlefront in the shimano vs sram brakes debate is on the horizon.
  • 3 0
 Place your bets here haha
  • 3 0
 Doesn't matter. Hayes Dominions blow them both out of the water
  • 1 0
 Be rad to see some back to back testing with data instead of "feel"
  • 7 0
 I don't need an app to tell me when I bitch out and grab a handful of brake
  • 8 0
 Those SRAM braking setups with the horrible turkey sounds are actually precision devices to improve technique by shaming riders out of comfort braking...
  • 3 0
 Interesting to see development of the tools used by industry and elite racers to further develop their products and skills. Thanks for the write up, especially featuring a small company and team and not one of the big S’s. For sure I’m not going to be using this, but sure enjoy reading and learning about it.

I don’t drive a F1 or Baja 500 race car, but I do know my ‘04 4Runner’s design has benefited from racing teams and the tools they use to analyze and develop their cars. Ditto for my FS bike with hydraulic brakes and shock/suspension fork. I sure loved my 26” Stumpy with V-brakes, but man when I get back on it after being on my modern 29er does it feel janky AF and endos are terminally imminent.
  • 3 0
 I work in auto racing and brake modulation is 80% of what we work on with drivers.

Could see lots of use for this beyond mountain bike racing. As a former expert level MTB - most of the best riders are the same going uphill, its downhill that separates the podium.

Cool product.
  • 6 0
 Do I need it? No.

Do I find it interesting and want to try it? Yes.
  • 3 1
 I love this new tech because its making "old tech" very good and very affordable. We all complain about bike prices, but 3500$ can actually get you one hell of a bike, with inflation that is a 2300$ bike back in 2005. do you remember how shit bikes were in 2005???? That is like Manitou f*cking stance or kingpin money, with a 9 speed XT slaptastic chainstay smasher.

Keep the tech coming!
  • 5 0
 Stoked for you getting this thing to this point Matt! Can't wait to get mine!
  • 1 0
 I got to ride with Matt @brakeace once or twice way back when he was just a blazing fast PA enduro racer. A down-to-earth good guy who was a gazillion times more interesting a conversationalist vs. the typical bike bros. All those years ago he already was fascinated with bringing scientific rigor to the question of how to go a little faster on a mountain bike. It's fairly f'ing splendid to see him bringing that fascination to life.
  • 2 0
 I'm a little confused on the geometry of this. Since it's essentially a post mount to post mount adapter with a strain gauge in it, why aren't the sizes described like regular brake adapters?

- BrakeAce PF2 TR supported sizes: 160 PM (use 180mm rotor) & 180 PM (use 200 or 203mm rotor)
- BrakeAce PF2 DH supported sizes: 200 PM (use 220mm rotor) & 203 PM (use 223mm rotor)

So the TR is a +20 mm adapter... but it's also a +23? You shouldn't be using the same adapter for a 200 as you would for a 203. Or are they including a pair of 1.5 mm washers as a sort of bodge? And then the DH also appears to be a +20 adapter, but is NOT also a +23?
  • 2 2
 220-200=20
223-203=20
  • 1 0
 @fautquecaswing: 180 + 20 = (200 or 203)?
  • 1 0
 They're just assuming that all bikes have rotors that are at the minimum, no adapters, which is incorrect. There is also no reason the TR couldn't be used with a 220 or 203 (PM180 + 20mm adapter + 20mm BrakeAce = 220mm rotor).

For example: I run 200mm front (20mm adapter), 180mm rear (no adapter). So minimum on both ends is 180mm. Which means I could keep my 200 up front with BrakeAce, just remove the adapter and it would like exactly like the picture with a Fox fork (180PM) and a 200mm rotor. But would have to go up to 200 in back to use BA there, though I don't see why I couldn't fit either TR or DH...

Unless there is some magic in the TR, like it's actually equivalent to a 21.5mm adapter, in which case I don't _ever_ want that.
  • 3 0
 @barp you're right, it could be described more succinctly. I attempted to be as explicit as possible so it was clear which model someone needs - hopefully no confusion there. They are all +20mm adapters, with washers used for spacing (e.g. to go to a 223 instead of a 220mm rotor). Washers are on purpose since making 7 different sizes and locking someone in to that size for life just feels wrong...
  • 2 0
 @justinfoil: the TR doesn't fit on 220 or 223mm rotors. It has to do with the angle the caliper sits on the bigger size. Most companies end up having a +20mm adapter with different geometry for spacing from 200-220 versus the other sizes. For example, Hope (see P versus L): www.hopetech.com/_repository/1/documents/BrakeAdaptorChart2021.pdf
  • 2 0
 @brakeace: And what about Hope's M (160-200 & 180-220) adapter? It does the same jobs as both L + L (160-180 + 180-200) and L + P (180-200 + 200-220). So same "angle" for both 200 and 220...

I think the P is just optimized since they know there will be extra clearance when starting from 200.

Also, SRAM uses the same +20mm or +40mm for all sizes, so not sure about "most companies"...
  • 4 1
 "“You only don’t profit from BrakeAce if you don’t want to go faster”."

funny use of the word profit at 1200 smackaroos.
  • 5 0
 Step 1: Buy BrakeAce
Step 2: ?
Step 3: Profit
  • 2 0
 "Both versions require you to go up one disc size, as the sensor fits like a 20mm adapter."

Umm, not if you already run a 20mm PM-PM adapter. Just take it off and replace with the sensor...
  • 1 0
 Is the phone gps so accurate and consistent that you can really see where you braked exactly and that you for instance braked two meters earlier than you did in your previous lap? And especially for people who ride their mountainbikes in the mountains, would you get the accuracy you need to learn and improve?
  • 6 0
 GPSs aren't perfect, but we're always improving the way these signals are used in our system and you can definitely see clear differences in braking as you improve. Any ride can be exported to sync the raw braking trace with your POV camera so there's no mistaking your exact location. For added accuracy, our app can connect to and control your GoPro so that timing is synced.
  • 2 0
 @brakeace: Oh wow, that's clever! I once got a cadence sensor that could communicate with my gps-watch hoping that I could then see where I was putting in pedal strokes and where I was actually gaining speed through pumping. Kind of what you're doing, but also kind of the opposite. It didn't work at all. The cadence sensor apparently doesn't mark and locate each individual pedal spin. I gave up and removed the sensor.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: a power meter would do ya! Key Opportunities for pedaling might be a thing one day in our app. Not saying it's something we're working on, but you never know... Wink
  • 1 0
 @brakeace: Would a power meter really do what I want and if so, is it overkill? They're not really marketed for this purpose, more in how accurate they measure my pedaling performance. Not pumping performance, nor where I'm really spinning or not spinning the pedals. And just that is what I'd like to map out. A faint pedal stroke is also a pedal stroke and a sign of indecisiveness of whether or not I should put a stroke in or not. Agreed the cadence sensor isn't necessarily a good idea as even of it would properly mark the spots where I let the magnet pass the sensor, I still wouldn't know whether I'm pedaling forwards or backwards (just to switch the leading foot, for instance). Power sensors in the cranks or pedals are mighty expensive but thinking of it, maybe one of those that Polar used to use (that calculate pedal effort from the measured vibration frequency of the chain) might do. Not sure how well it works on a full suspension bike (where chainstay length varies throughout the suspension stroke) but I'm on a hardtail so it might be an option. Not sure how much of a market there is for this though. Not everyone seems to care that much about trying to not pedal to maintain speed and those who focus on pumping ride without a chain Wink .
  • 2 0
 @vinay: propulsive power meters are definitely underutilized - especially in MTB, and at all levels - but the insights are super powerful. You might be able to find someone to let you borrow or test ride one to see if that's the info you're after. If it helps you optimize your coasting it sure sounds like a win to me.
  • 2 0
 Got a chance to test an earlier version for a coaching session with @brakeace, it was such an amazing tool to discuss where I could improve my riding and my speed! Congrats Matt!
  • 1 0
 I like techy stuff, this seems like a cool idea. Q: why use the phone GPS exclusively? Is there a way to couple it to (usually more precise) Garmin data? How is speed calculated, purely from GPS or is there also a sensor that measures disc rotation speed? Because the article says you measure power, not just force. With the short duration of a braking action, GPS speed would seem highly inaccurate for power calculations. But perhaps I'm wrong about that?
Measuring disc rotation speed would also be good to check for brake lock-up.
  • 2 1
 This is the cool shit i like to see. I really have no use for axs or any system like that but do i own a gx axs derailleur? yes. I have no use for this kind of brake metrics system but do i really really really really really want it? yes absolutely. I think being able to see your riding data in a quantitative form expressed by numbers and graphs is really amazing and genuinely makes me want to go ride my bike more. the one thing i really wish axs did was allow for data acquisition like how many times you shifted on this ride or what gear you were in on what part of trail etc
  • 1 0
 Ohhhhh, i know where you got the electronics condiment. :-D. It's not Carbon neutral....

But the idea of knowing where you hit the brake is funny (not that i need it, i took the brakes out).
  • 1 0
 My first question to myself was, "I this data of any quality and useful or just a novelty?" 1KHz sampling rate is not bad for a small, relatively low cost and low power device.
  • 4 0
 but will it work with my Bosch ABS?
  • 4 0
 Will it help me do the longest skids?
  • 2 0
 I honestly bet this could in fact help you discern the best method for longer skids haha
  • 1 0
 @ripridesbikes: all the skidendo data Cathro can handle!!
  • 2 0
 It does. Read Chapter 8: "CALCULATION OF REAR BRAKE POWER DURING SKIDDING IN ROAD AND OFF-ROAD CYCLING CONDITIONS" mro.massey.ac.nz/bitstream/handle/10179/13590/02_whole.pdf. The dissertation also shows (no, quantifies!) that noobs drag their rear brakes way too much (Figure 7.2).
  • 6 0
 @mi-bike: ^ this single Pinkbike comment honestly feels like the pinnacle of my academic career
  • 2 0
 @brakeace: Isn't it nice when you find out that some people actually read (or at least, skim) the product of all those years of underpaid labour? I know the feeling well Smile . Anyway, it looks like a great piece of work, so congrats!
  • 3 0
 this has to be so helpful to high level racers ... would love their opinion !
  • 4 0
 Who's going to buy this?

SRAM.
  • 2 0
 When I read, "designed to help riders figure out the fastest way down the trail" I thought it would actually show me the fastest
lines.
Disappointed.
  • 2 0
 Every time I see some brake "new technology" I remember the v-brake modulator from shimano...
i.ebayimg.com/images/g/uEAAAOSwqARfkzW~/s-l500.jpg
  • 3 1
 It would be even cooler if they integrated this into a brake caliper instead of having a totally separate unit. This is amazing progress though.
  • 3 0
 This would be the holy grail
  • 5 0
 @brakeace: it would also be great to see this integrated with suspension data from something like Motion Instruments as well. Would tell a really complete story
  • 3 0
 @mtmc99: absolutely! Upvotes to make it happen? Big Grin
  • 3 1
 Why would being integrated be better? That limits its usefulness to only that one specific brake. With it in the adapter, any brake can be used; different brakes could even be compared.
  • 1 0
 @justinfoil: it would just be more concise. You could even just have a normal brake caliper with the unit on the non-hose end of it. I see this being more useful to cc racers than anyone else, and for them, brake power isn't everything. A dh racer probably won't need a power meter
  • 1 1
 This way allows _any_ brake to be used.

I think you mean "compact", not "concise". Again, why is that better?

This way allows _any_ brake to be used.

From the cheapest to the bestest. Could even be used to get some hard data on alleged wandering bit points and if there is any effect on actual braking forces and performance.

This way allows _any_ brake to be used.

I'd argue it's more important for DH because the overall braking forces are much higher and the speed deltas being asked for are often much larger.

What does "non-hose end" have anything to do with anything?
  • 1 0
 @justinfoil: I only said "non-hose end" of the caliper so that the hydraulic system wouldn't need to work around the electronics. Compact would be a better word I guess. I see your point about it working this way with any brake, too. I just think it would look better as a single unit. They could even produce it both ways. A version that looks good, and a modular version that can be added to any brake. And I'm sure that it will progress over time to become smaller and more compact.
  • 1 0
 Soon I will be able to plug in, charge, and bluetooth connect every part of my bike Smile yay
  • 4 0
 Would I buy it? No. Would I like to see the data after some runs? Yes.
  • 2 2
 With 30 years of riding under my belt, the trick to efficient braking, is to use them only where you need them. I just saved you $1200. You're welcome.

Now if this guy figured out how to turn the brake heat into fairy dust, he'd be onto something.
  • 1 0
 @AppleJack76 Now teach us where you need them and we'll all save 30 years of our life along with that $1200.
  • 1 0
 @sweatytechie: For 3 easy payments of $399, I will send you a manual.
  • 1 0
 @AppleJack76: For me, it needs to be a time machine. I've already spent more than 30 years trying to figure it out.
  • 3 0
 For this amount of buck-a-roos, I'd be purchasing some sweet Trickstuff brakes and over brake with joy!
  • 1 0
 @dukesofhazzard Along with the current year team kit for the bike I ride. Riding well is too much effort, and looking good for the 'gram makes me so much cooler.
  • 1 0
 Take my money Matt. Congrats on the official launch! Mix the feedback from this with a motion instruments setup and I’ll be completely out of excuses for being slow. Anyone handling ISA distribution for ya?
  • 1 0
 @RickBullotta Completely out of excuses? Agreed. Race podiums for you as soon as this ever happens?!
  • 1 0
 Sounds like a perfect match @RickBullotta !
  • 1 0
 @sweatytechie: negative. there’s no Bluetooth device for bad genetics.
  • 2 0
 It would be interesting to see each athletes power data for pedaling and braking overlayed on the screen during racing coverage.
  • 1 1
 i don't mean to be a wet blanket here... but AIM and 2D and Motec have been doing this on motorbikes for almost 30 years now. And its not this pricey (or rather it is, but it also uses a $2000 dash, suspension telemetry, engine sensors for everything, a gyroscope, GPS to retrace your position on a racetrack and sim your whole race, tire temp sensors, temp sensors for everything under the sun, wheel speed sensors, etc...). This is steep. Sheesh.
  • 2 0
 Can you make a sensor for rider position too, while you're at it, can you make a sensor for when I eat too much bad food?
  • 1 0
 You have built in sensor for that last one. It's called Bubble Guts.
  • 1 0
 As a friend of Matt/s, I'm proud to see this released. This tool will help a lot of racers gain those precious seconds and help non-racers progress their riding.
  • 3 1
 I came here to tell everyone I will not be buying this product, despite the fact that no one asked
  • 1 0
 I can't seem to find it but Singletracks did a podcast with the good doctor himself and it was really interesting. Brake upgrades have always been a worthy upgrade.
  • 1 0
 Dirty stuff on tonight's edition of Engineers Gone Wild. BTW, Pb, that should be a weekly series....stuff that nobody needs that some engineer thinks we do.
  • 1 0
 The internal OCD punishment you will endure is deciding if the additional information-gathering opportunity is worth a few more grams in bike weight.
  • 1 0
 Waiting for saddle pressure sensor ;-)
Or maybe subscription for 12 gear or for more power from the electric assist..?
  • 10 7
 Just go ride your bike.
  • 2 0
 one step closer into turning my bike into a spaceship...
  • 2 1
 Did you win?
No
You're braking too much
You're welcome that'll be £€$23456 plez
  • 1 0
 Brake by wire is the next thing, if Roskopp hasn’t moved onto a project like that I’d be surprised
  • 3 2
 Mount GoPro on handlebar, pointed at the brake + review footage with friends = go faster
  • 1 1
 that tells you what exactly?
  • 1 0
 @Sethimus: Who's dragging brake too much...
  • 1 0
 You can do that with your suspension to see if it's jaming up
  • 1 0
 but will it fix Shimano's drifting bite point for me?

i kid i kid, you're alright Shimano
  • 1 0
 Cool. The data from this will be valuable for wheel/tire/brake related developments.
  • 2 1
 I'm glad they finally found a way to have me charging my brake battery now.
  • 1 0
 www.youtube.com/watch?v=io5m32G1ATE

Glad to see Matt has finally gotten this to market.
  • 3 1
 Most pointless overpriced product of the year and it's only just February.
  • 1 0
 A factory in Rotorua so it can arrive stinking of rotten eggs and already have a bit of sulphur corrosion. Perfect.
  • 2 2
 > e-Bike approved

Well, as long as the eBikes like it, it must be great
  • 1 0
 Brakes just slow you down man....
  • 1 0
 Cue the breaking braking posts
  • 1 0
 @astonmtb hopefully picks one up and gives it a thorough testing!
  • 1 0
 all aboard!! next stop WIRELESS BRAKES
  • 1 0
 Are these guys nerds or something
  • 2 1
 Silicone off gassing isnt good for electronics...
  • 1 0
 I'm guessing they use a potting compound designed for purposes like this and the writer assumed it was silicone because it looks like it?
  • 1 1
 The old engineering adage comes to mind: Just because you can doesn't mean you should.
  • 1 0
 If it takes 5 paragraphs explaining why you need something, you don't.
  • 1 0
 Like this message if you simply look at how toasty your rear rotor is
  • 1 0
 My brakeace>> WD40 (but only for my friends rotors!!)
  • 1 0
 BrakeAce show right here how long your "dead grip" really was!!
  • 1 0
 Pump the brakes.
  • 1 2
 Pretty much pointless on a bike with 180+ mm rotors. Your rotors not being straight is the problem 95% of the time.
  • 1 0
 What does this have to do with the intended use for this product? and why does 180+ make any difference? My 200mm rotor is very true
  • 1 0
 @GrundleJuice: 180+mm rotors hit more stuff and therefore are way less likely to be straight than little XC rotors.

This product is pointless, because the only people who are gonna nerd out this hard on braking power are pros. And pros are sponsored, so they're just gonna run what their sponsor gives them. I think they already know that their sponsor's metal pads stop better than the resin pads, ect.
  • 1 2
 Oh great, another biking-related thing with batteries that I'm not at all interested in.
  • 3 3
 So he is doctor of absolute uselessness in the grand scheme of things
  • 1 1
 a product we don't need for a issue that doesn't exist. waste of money.
  • 1 0
 can pair with garmin???
  • 2 3
 No ABS no care
  • 1 1
 thats dumb. but also lucky for you, magura makes an abs mtb system
  • 1 0
 @abotchway: Ok thanks for letting you know your opinion that will have absolutely no effect on me
  • 1 0
 @matadorCE: you're welcome!
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