Review: Lewis LHT Ultimate Brakes - Clones or Contenders?

Feb 15, 2024 at 11:11
by Matt Beer  
Lewis Brakes. Photos by Tom Richards.

It’s no surprise to see emerging brands piggyback on the success of established products. The MTB tire market is one example of that - just look at the multiple tire manufacturers developing tires with an uncanny resemblance to the popular 2-3-2 tread pattern of the Maxxis Assegai. The Lewis LHT Ultimate brakes could be deemed a copycat product because they look very similar to the Trickstuff Maxima brake set, at least at first glance.

Lewis is an emerging company from China that specializes in hydraulic brake systems for a variety of bikes at a reasonable price. The LHT Ultimate brakes run on mineral oil and are the most powerful brakes in their catalog.
Lewis LHT Brakes
• Intended use: enduro & downhill
• Mineral fluid system
• Patented 2 in 1 reach and bite adjustment
• Ratio adjustment
• 4x 17mm titanium pistons per caliper
• Titanium hardware
• 140, 160, 180, 203, 223mm rotors
• Weight: 310g (actual w/1600mm hose, caliper, lever, oil)
• MSRP: $509 USD per set (exc. rotors, adaptors)

With fully machined surfaces, titanium fasters and ceramic pistons, Lewis has gone all in manufacturing the LHT Ultimates. The lever design boasts two patent-pending designs: a slick bite-point adjustment, as well as the option to change the lever pull ratio. Lewis even has their own laser cut rotors, brake pads, and CNC’d brake adaptors (all sold separately).

At just $509 USD, they aren't cheap, but they do cost half the price of the Trickstuff Maximas. Does that make them twice as good though?

Lewis Brakes. Photos by Tom Richards.
Lewis Brakes. Photos by Tom Richards.

Lewis LHT Ultimate Brakes
Lewis LHT Ultimate Brakes

Features and Specs

As much as the LHT brakes resemble the Maximas in appearance, they’ve implemented more adjustments and lavish materials. The two-piece 7075 T6 aluminum caliper uses titanium fasteners to hold them together. Inside, you’ll find 17mm titanium ceramic-coated pistons help to keep the weight down, compared to stainless steel. They maximize the surface area to up the power and dissipate more heat over their smaller caliper which uses two sets of 14 and 17mm pistons.

The svelte, direction-specific levers are where the real action happens though. First, the lever-throw can be adjusted without a tool by the knurled barrel, but inside that hides a bite-point adjustment screw as well - the first patent-pending feature. While that requires a 2mm allen key, Lewis provides its own tool to change when the pads contact the rotor. I was able to fit the provided 2mm barrel adjuster tool into the tight space by depressing the lever.

Additionally, there’s the ratio adjustment, which is the second patent-pending feature on the LHT Ultimates. By loosening the set screw on the lever pivot, the pivot location can be rotated within a small 360-degree window by loosening a grub screw, altering the progression of the lever. This is similar to the Formula Feeling Control System.

The difference in positions makes the brake engage early and more consistently throughout the lever stroke, or much softer with increasing pressure. I preferred the linear position for less free-stroke and a more positive feel throughout the lever pull.

Furthermore, the "no oil-loss" lever and hose make for routing the line with less mess and the split-clamp lever is available with a MatchMaker compatible mounting bracket.

The first set of LHTs I tried used a steel-braided hose, but due to the larger outer diameter, they’ve reverted to a nylon-coated, kevlar hose. Those arrived in lengths of 1000mm for the front and 1600mm for the rear, which was just long enough for the basic routing found on my Ibis HD6 test bike. The Kevlar hoses also drop the weight and are available in longer lengths upon request. For the record, I had no issue fitting the steel-braided line through Ibis’ HD6 internal routing, however, other frames may use tighter guides.

As for the brake pads and rotors, Lewis produces those as well. The TP-40 pads use their own sintered metallic compound but are the same shape as Hope Tech’s V4 caliper, which have been historically easy to source. The 12-spoke rotors incorporate a densely perforated design with chamfered edges for less ear-piercing noises, but more importantly, they use a rust-preventative electrophoretic paint. At 2.3mm thick, the 420-stainless steel rotors come in 180, 200, and 220mm sizes and are fixed by the 6-bolt pattern only.

Lewis Brakes. Photos by Tom Richards.
Lewis LHT Ultimate Brakes

Price and Weight

Compared to SRAM's Code RSC brakes, one of the benchmark brakes on the market, which cost $528 USD, the Lewis LHT ultimate are nearly equal in weight and price. Titanium isn’t a cheap material and that drives up the cost of the LHT Ultimates compared to the standard version of the brake, but the fancy material does save weight where steel is normally used.

Additional components like the sintered metallic pads and rotors cost $13.90 and $29.50-32.50 USD. As for taxes, customs and duties, I can’t speak to those because these were a sample set, however, Lewis is actively seeking worldwide distributors which should alleviate any extra charges.

Placing the LHTs on the scale shows the caliper and master cylinder weighs 301g with a 1600mm brake hose, including oil. One set of sintered, metallic brake pads weighs 35g, a set of six titanium rotor bolts is 15g, and the adaptors plus bolts weigh 72g per end. SRAM’s Code RSC brakes come in at 294g with a 1000mm line and brake pads installed, excluding hardware.

The rotors are quite a bit heftier with the 200x2.3 mm size weighing 252g which is about 50g more than SRAM’s similarly sized HS2.

Lewis LHT Ultimate Brakes
What’s included:

• Brake pads (1 set per caliper)
• One spare olive, barb, pad pin and retaining clip per brake
• Bleed block
• Brakes arrive bled


The Lewis LHT Ultimate brakes arrived in branded and well secured packaging along with all of the necessary hardware and bleed funnel.

Starting with the front brake, installation went fairly smoothly. I ran into a minor issue where I least expected it, though. The bar clamp was a little finicky to properly catch the threads on the underside and the screw bottomed out before clamping down on a set of OneUp Carbon bars. Lewis usually includes a rubber pad that integrates into the bar clamp to prevent slipping but this was absent in the package I received. I never experienced that issue on other test bars, but I also never ran into that problem with other brakes on the handlebar either. There’s no need to point fingers but it’s worth noting that brakes with a dual bolt brake clamp, such as Formula, and Magura, do a much better job of dissipating the load on the handlebar versus the hinged clamp design.

When it came time to trim the front brake hose, I had difficulty removing the hose barb without destroying it. Lewis now supplies one additional barb and olive per brake to avoid any frustration removing the barb. Installing the rear line, even with the braided option at the time, went smoothly and didn’t require any trimming for the size 3 Ibis HD6 and 770 mm wide bars. A longer bike or wider handlebar may require a hose greater than 1600 mm. Lewis offers these options and should be specified at the time of purchase.

The calipers arrived with plastic bleed blocks inserted and the pads in a separate zip-lock bag. The supplied brakes arrived with a slot head brake pad retention pin, which makes the process slightly annoying as the tool wiggles out of the keyway. Lewis says that this has been updated to a 3mm Allen key bolt head now. I noticed that the rotor bolts were not prepped with any Loctite and added the liquid for peace of mind.

The bleed process is fairly straightforward and uses a similar method to Shimano brakes with the gravity-fed bleed funnel (or syringe) threaded into the master cylinder and a rag or syringe to catch the fluid at the caliper end. I did manage to get a much firmer bleed on the second set of brakes when I used a universal syringe to pull air from the caliper. Lewis does show an instructional video on their YouTube channel for guidance.

Once they were up and running to my liking, I never observed any oil loss, rattly brake pads, unwinding of the lever controls, or any other mechanical concerns.

Lewis LHT Ultimate Brakes
Lewis Brakes. Photos by Tom Richards.


After conducting a proper pad brake-in, I had full confidence in the LHT Ultimate brakes. Becoming familiar with the leverage and power came relatively swiftly and naturally by conducting a few stoppies and skids in the parking lot.

On the trail, the lever functionality delivers power with a light action and a long blade, similar to TRP’s DHR Evo brakes. The pivot is closer to the bar though, which reminded me somewhat of the shape and positioning of SRAM’s Code lever.

Regarding the lever adjustment screws, I wound the bite point all the way out for the earliest engagement and found there was tons of room to adjust the throw. Although the brakes are supplied with a tool to adjust the bite point, it would be time consuming to adjust this on the trail due to the narrow window to fit a multitool in. I prefer to position the handlebar clamp very close to the grip collar to maximize the handlebar width. There could be a limit for some riders, who prefer an even further outboard hand position due to the reach adjustment hitting the grip clamp.

As for the ratio adjustment, there is ample tuning available. When the dot on the pivot is aligned towards the oval shaped markings, furthest from the handlebar, the braking power is more linear. That engages the pads relatively quickly and with little effort.

With the pivot arranged closer to the bar, or matched with the rectangular marking, the lever is more progressive. This increases the overall power, but requires pulling the lever fairly far through the stroke in order to initiate that power.

Either position delivers predictable braking and doesn't switch on too suddenly. I preferred the most linear setting for a more positive, crisper lever feel and quick pad contact.

The trails in Squamish and across the North Shore are some of the best places to test brakes due to the big elevation drops on consistently steep grades. Throughout the review, I never experienced any brake fade, wandering bike point issues, or excessive squealing during wet rides either.

Lewis Brakes. Photos by Tom Richards.


Extensive material has been removed from the lever assembly and although I never experienced any bending or snapped components, the handlebar clamp does look like the most fragile aspect. Implementing a handlebar clamp with a dual bolt design could deliver adequate grip without needing to over-torque the band clamp and induce any pinch points on the bar itself.

Otherwise, I never experienced any oil loss, lack of power or sticky piston scenarios either. Once bled sufficiently, the brakes retained their power well and withstood hanging vertically from a bike rack for days at a time.

As for the rotors and brake pads, they seem to be going strong and have lots of life left despite prolonged wet and muddy descents.

Trickstuff Maxima brakes
Trickstuff Maxima brakes

How do they compare?

Are they identical to the Trickstuff’s Maxima brakes? Well, they don’t have quite the equivalent power. Does this just come down to the difference between the pads and rotors of the Maximas then? It seems it’s not quite as straightforward as that.

Despite playing with the pivot point of the LHT Ultimates, the Lewis brakes didn’t produce an equal initial bite or top-end power. Even with the LHT pivot placed in the most progressive setting, reflecting the arrangement of the non-adjustable Trickstuff lever, the power is strong, but still slightly less than the Maximas. I also switched the friction components (pads and rotors) between the brake sets, which increased the bite of the LHT brakes and lowered the Maximas. Rattly brake pads are a nuisance, and that is one aspect of the Maxima that I noticed immediately. Luckily it was isolated to just one caliper. The LHT Ultimates on the other hand, never made a peep.

SRAM's Code RSC are decent bang for your buck but they don't have the most responsive feel. They can be too linear, delivering power suddenly and not ramping up much, even when you pull harder and harder on the lever. The LHTs have a much lighter lever action that provides a more progressive feel for roughly the same price.

It’s also unsurprising to learn that the LHTs require less force to pull than the new SRAM Mavens. I’ve only had a few rides on the heavy duty stoppers from team red, but so far they are impressively strong, yet function totally different from the LHTs. The main separation is again, the light lever action that the Lewis brakes provide, with the trade off being more travel to hit the brake pad bite point.

When measuring overall power, though, the Mavens win this category even with the LHTs in the most progressive setting. I wouldn’t say that the LHTs ever caused any issues down prolonged steeps, but once engaged, the Mavens do make slowing down less stressful.

+ Quiet and consistent performance
+ Ratio adjustment is a clever feature to suit mulitple rider tastes
+ Comfortable, light-action lever

- Levers are not ambidextrous
- Lever clamp is a bit finicky and delicate
- Linear ratio position still has a fair bit of travel due to lever blade length

Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesThe Lewis LHT Ultimates are no joke. They offer effective lever adjustments and are up to the required tasks of gravity riding. While they might cost half as much as their Trickstuff Maxima doppelgangers, they didn't quite match the notorious power of the German-made brakeset. Matt Beer

Author Info:
mattbeer avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2001
363 articles

  • 361 89
 I think I'll spend the extra $30 and get some Hope's made in the UK by a company who pays a living wage to passionate employees. And have spare parts for a decade.

I'll pass on the Chinese slave labor knock offs, even if they are shiny and work decent.
  • 43 8
 these remind me of the KCNC X7 brakes, they look fancy, light as hell, but honestly anything from china trying to pitch themselves as high quality with a budget price point is always too good to be true.
  • 81 71
 Have any evidence of your claims?

That Lewis has applied for patents for their unique design here suggests they're both passionate, and that they aren't knockoffs.
  • 97 20
 @Mngnt: Not knockoffs?? Lmao please look at those and look at the Trickstuff brakes side by side
  • 76 30
 Yeah, for sure slaves operate those CNC machines... In reality, those are probably made by skilled people who want to make for a living. The only difference being lower living costs in China. And that Trickstuff was first so they could copy some solutions.
  • 101 36
 Your phone was probably made in China. You best put it down. Not all Chinese manufacturing is bad! Compare our local company manufacturing electronics to a decent Chinese electronics manufacturer and I know who I would chose to do the manufacturing. The Chinese company has a decent work force ethic too.
  • 16 15
 I agree that these are a blatant Chinese knockoff, love that english name play - But What about the Chinese labour used to make countless other western brands' stuff ?
  • 48 9
 @lkubica: if you think the only difference for the lives of the workers in China vs Europe or NA is "living costs" you have alot to learn about China & the CCP.
  • 81 61
 @Mngnt: Clearly Chinese trick stuff clones. The fact the Pinkbike are promoting this kind of behaviour is bad enough itself. Not that it matters because they’re still more expensive than Hope and if you buy this junk of the Chinese government instead of some nice well designed brakes made by ex Roll Royce engineers from Yorkshire then you’re an idiot.
  • 19 13
 @betsie: Plus 1,000 social credit! But really yeah almost everything we touch is Chinese made and it's a tragedy. It's unavoidable. But I am a person who will spend more on original, well made, long lasting products. And these are literally the same price as Hope's, so why not?
  • 76 21
 Im not here to defend anyone, as I dont know, but I'm willing to bet you dont either. Thats a big accusation about a company that you know very little about, and have likely never even seen their products. Willing to bet the people who design, and manufacture are just as passionate. Its not like high end mtb is this vast amount of money and margins, its a quagmire of loss most of the time. Buy your Hopes, but dont disparage what looks and sounds like a quality component simply because you dont know anything about them.
  • 4 3
phew!!!! +1
shots fired
  • 29 1
 Ignoring questions of labour rights, communist party, which may or may not bother you, at this price point, an unknown brand is a really tough sell. People stumping up this sort of price are either going to want bling, and being unknown Chinese is a fail there (shiny TRP, Hope, Formula) or they want reliable performance, so they'll go for Maven, XTR, Magura etc. Who knows if you'll be able to get spares, what the durability is like, etc, so which bike shop would be brave enough to stock and fit?
  • 29 36
flag bman33 (Feb 23, 2024 at 9:20) (Below Threshold)
 @Mngnt: These are 100% knockoffs. China even has knockoff Ferraris, Roll Royces, etc... Zero shame is their fugazee /bootleg game. They flaunt it. I am sure the LHT 'Company' in China paid a nice fee to Pinkbike to post this.
  • 14 6
 The ethical argument vs something like hope is easy. But how about Chinese knockoffs vs Shimano brakes? Shimano was recently accused of using slave labor...
  • 11 0
 @betsie: another question is, do you know who you would chose to "work" for, if you were a worker? The Chinese electronics manufacturer or the local company?
  • 29 10
 @onawalk: "Passionate...quality component" is a really funny thing to say about some clear copy/paste knock offs made in a communist country who's whole spiel is gross negligence of laborer rights and intellectual theft.
  • 85 17
 The backlash against these is amazing. Some highlights:

- Objecting to buying Chinese components but only really when it's from a Chinese company. Where do you think SRAM manufactures most of their parts? Taiwain, China, and a few other Southeast Asian countries. Half of Shimanos stuff is Malaysia. TRP will be doing a good chunk of their manufacturing in China with the design out of Taiwain. I have never seen any of those companies getting rinsed over making stuff in China.
- The immediate perception that Trickstuff must be the originators of all things machined brakes. I mean they didn't invent the brake. Notably it's Lewis that has pending patents and not trickstuff (the bite point adjust really is impressive). Yeah they look VERY similiar. Could your mother really tell you the difference between a Trek Slash, a Norco Sight, and a Kona Process?

This is coming from someone who bought some, rode them, and is going back to Shimanos because they just were not my favourites. But to be perfectly honest the quality was easily as good as anything SRAM, Shimano, or TRP make and more or less on par with what I have seem from Hope.
  • 15 7
 I currently have:

TRICKSTUFF MAXIMAS (had a set of Derritissimas)
and prototyping my own brakes

I will tell you, all are great brakes, but MAXIMAS still eek out as #1 in my opinion--- you can feel and sense the high level craftmanship and freaking nuts stopping power. Lewis' for the cost and time frame, excellent brake. But the Mavin's offer an incredible package deal at around same price point as Lewis'. Those will be my next brakes to purchase and test
  • 7 32
flag theArtiist (Feb 23, 2024 at 9:35) (Below Threshold)
 Also check out Lewis' new 6 PISTON SURRON BRAKES-- GORGEOUS!
  • 22 2
 @onawalk: to add to that I’ve seen MTB videos from the Peoples Republic on Instagram so people there do ride, and there are clearly more profitable industries than the struggling bike industry. You can be passionate about something while also living in a country with a shitty government.
  • 6 6
 How confident are you that it's not one Chinese manufacturer that has the molds for several companies based in the UK and US, which spins out another product with a different name but same manufacturing process?
  • 20 11
 @snakeplant: I think youre clouding the ideals of the ruling communist party in China, with a company thats based in China.
We can agree that not all things in China are either the same or bad right?
Can we also agree that virtually all things are copies of other previous things, like they "stood on the shoulders of others"?
Hope didnt invent bicycle disc brakes, HP suspension bikes, carbon frame manufacturing, etc
Your YT jeffsey just uses a popularized suspension design that does not belong to them, and they waited until the patent had run out, and voila, bike!
If we can agree on that, we have the basis for a
discussion. Otherwise, youre just grandstanding to make a point, that is on crumbing ground
  • 21 8
 @RoboDuck: Dont bring your logic to this comment section,
You will be stoned for not towing to the popular opinion of bad Chinese, bad Chinese
  • 16 5
 @xciscool: absolutely
I've been, and ridden there.
I lived in Asia for a couple years, and had the opportunity to travel, explore, ride and race in a bunch of different places. Some of the most well kitted privateer racers, who were so incredilbly passionate, and welcoming to me as a foreigner was so eye opening.
I raced for years here in Canada, and never experienced the "community" of riders and racers that I had in parts of Asia.
  • 5 2
 @theArtiist: Could you write a few more words about these brakes? I'm especially interested in a comparison Maxima vs Kaha and Lewis vs Kaha.
  • 8 9
 @snakeplant: lol everything you own is made in China.
  • 26 25
 @onawalk: you guys speak logically, but all the racists in here need a reason - any reason - to hate. And right now, mtb brakes = f*ck the Chinese govt and citizens apparently. Pinkbikers are deranged and unhinged lol
  • 6 18
flag nickfranko (Feb 23, 2024 at 10:40) (Below Threshold)
 @betsie: False comparison fallacy. The phones were assembled in China, they were not made there.
  • 19 18
 It is painful how some of you don't understand the difference between when companies design their products in-house and use labor in cheaper countries like China, and when a Chinese company blatantly rips off designs/Intellectual Property and sells it as their own thing.

A made-in-China, designed in Cupertino iPhone is not analogous to a made-in-China Rock Bros or "LEWIS Bike" company. Stop with your obnoxious, fallacious reasoning.
  • 42 14
 @cuban-b: Nah, haven’t you heard? The Chinese are literally incapable of skilled labor, passion, and original thought as it has something to do with their biology or social credit score or something. /s

I often wonder if anyone ever takes a step back and think to themselves just how stupid they sound before they post the same idiotic, and frankly, unoriginal xenophobic talking points that get spat out in every forum whenever the word Chinese is mentioned. But I guess it’s evident that they don’t.

Incapable Chinese guy
  • 21 25
flag thenotoriousmic (Feb 23, 2024 at 10:49) (Below Threshold)
 @RoboDuck: Objecting to buying Chinese clones and absolutely nobody wants to see made in China on anything at all. We might reluctantly buy it but we rather not. All Chinese businesses are connected to the Chinese government. The Chinese government is using that money to destroy our way of life. If you’re cool with that keep buying dodgy Chinese clones, if not give your money to someone nicer.
  • 14 15
 @thenotoriousmic: how are the Chinese government trying to destroy our way of life?
  • 7 3
 @onawalk: You're overall point about the govt not defining the people of the country is valid, and not just in China. I would say that's absolutely the case here in the US as well. The voice of most of the citizens isn't reflected in the govts actions.

BUT.....Hope is actually credited with bringing the first MTB disc brake to market:

At some point, someone IS the first to do something, and they should always be recognized as the innovator. Without the vision of a better/safer riding experience, rim brakes probably would've kept ruining our lives for much longer. Ian and Simon used their trade skills and applied them to a hobby, which turned into a successful business model. These companies deserve our support, because they are responsible for where we are today. This is coming from someone with 20 years professionally building, selling, and servicing high-end full-suspension MTB who owns and operates a shop. I keep bikes and forks from the 90's on my wall. We can only appreciate where we are if we know the history of how we got there.

Having brands like Lewis isn't a bad thing, because it forces everyone else in the market to stay sharp/competitive. There will always be someone who analyses a market, cherry picks all the bits they think are the best, and rolls them together at a lower cost. Its almost like AI-driven bike parts.
  • 21 12
 The fact that they have two patents pending, and a genuinely different system for adjustments, undercuts the whole "this is just a trickstuff knockoff" argument.
  • 13 17
flag cuban-b (Feb 23, 2024 at 11:06) (Below Threshold)
 @thenotoriousmic: oh look our resident racist. Tell us, what would you do if you saw a Chinese person on the street. Would you even know the difference between the aesthetics/language of northern Asian cultures? Big Grin
  • 8 16
flag EdSawyer (Feb 23, 2024 at 11:07) (Below Threshold)
 @Mngnt: “patent pending” LOL that’s rich… from a company that blatantly rips off Trickstuff and has no respect for their IP.

Yeah we’ll all be sure to really take that “patent pending” seriously and respect it… not!
  • 7 10
 @nickfranko: where is all this anger coming from? LOL
  • 13 25
flag thenotoriousmic (Feb 23, 2024 at 11:15) (Below Threshold)
 @The-Spirit-of-Jazz: Er well it’s kinda the main goal for any self respecting communist to destroy capitalism which is our way of life like it or not and I’ve been told on good authority that the Chinese ruling class are all pretty big on communism. Anyway you must not read the news recently? While we’ve be arming the Ukraine over a bit of bother they’re having over there with the Russians meanwhile China has been hugging it out with Russia and forming pacts to as to who get what when we the west has fallen. I’m glad to have cleared that up for you. Spend elsewhere.
  • 16 8
 @thenotoriousmic: “I’ve been told on good authority”… oh well then case closed cuz why the f*ck wouldn’t we trust you at this point hahahahaha. So convincing!
  • 8 4
 @cuban-b: He’d probably think I’ll go pee pee in his Coke if he sees me on the trail.

As Americans would say: this guy’s kind of a dick.
  • 11 6
 @troutquintet: I’ve been told on good authority that thenotoriousmic is actually a Nazi pretending to be an Englishman with multiple burner accounts. So it must be true! Lolol
  • 5 0
 @hypermoto: to that point, trickstuff’s instagram seems to have much more content since Lewis started putting their brakes in influencers’ hands
  • 6 1
 @thenotoriousmic: I was hoping for a better answer!
  • 6 0
 i'd be curious to see a dyno test of these brakes to understand the power of each other than a "feeling"based review, anyway agree on the Hope
  • 3 6
 @The-Spirit-of-Jazz: this is the result of his missing chromosome
  • 3 3
 @RoboDuck: guessing you are not a patent lawyer.
  • 16 1
 @hypermoto: Amazing point for Hope, and being the first to bring a disc brake to the bicycle market

the caveat would be, and stay with me, it would have been a scaled version of a moto disc brake right?
Like they didnt invent the disc brake, they literally "stood on the shoulders of giants". Which is exactly how we have anything and everything we have.

If you took a 10,000 ft view of things, for the advancement of society as a whole, thats exactly how we want things. We want people to build off others ideas, we want innovation, we want better, faster, stronger, safer, etc. but we want that within the confines of our Western philosophy and ideals.

I dont propose to know anything about Lewis as a company, so I'll withhold judgment and damnation until shown otherwise I guess. Its a strategy that has worked for me in the past
  • 8 2
 @Mngnt: lol, they added 1 knob, and that's what they patented... they're a very obvious Trickstuff clone.
  • 4 7
 @troutquintet: You see the irony of calling someone out as racist, while also being racist, right?
Or are you trying to make some sort of point?

This has all gone a bit too far for me I think, We have strayed too far
  • 9 0
 @onawalk: unfortunately there is no separating the two. Chinese law requires CCP representation within private companies.
  • 10 1
 The amount of people that bemoan the lack of national manufacturing or how things are not made as durably as they used to be, who will then leap at some half the price shiny tat, is staggering. I'd no sooner put these on my bike than drive a Ssangyong car. The absolute embarrassment of it.
  • 15 3
 Well said. Why on earth would you take a chance on these when for an extra £50 in the U.K. you can buy Hope brakes.

Made in the U.K., supporting British manufacturing in an area that has seen much of it lost in the lost 40/50 years.

The Hope (and Trickstuff) brakes have a staggering amount of residual value too, so they’re probably even cheaper than the Lewis over a 10 year period.
  • 4 5
 @thenotoriousmic: are you the next doublecrown dude? Absolute clown.
  • 28 4
 @onawalk: Read between the lines dude.

I’m speaking as a guy of Chinese decent who is getting pretty dang tired of the same talking points being shat out every time the word China is mentioned. Not a fan of the government nor am I defending any IP theft, but the amount of xenophobic garbage that gets spat out seriously makes me wonder how I’m perceived at the trailhead.

We’re at this point where it’s becoming a lot of us vs. them in all forms of media. While it’s easy for one to say “it’s not the people, it’s the government, ccp, etc.,” I’m not sure if folks are really taking the time to differentiate or if they really care since l, among others, look like one of “them” especially since covid.

So let’s make this uncomfortable.
  • 4 3
 @troutquintet: 100% agree
  • 53 9
 @bman33: nobody can pay to have their product reviewed, and afaik Lewis is not an advertiser either. They're a product that has a lot of buzz in the bike world and it's literally our job to review products that are interesting and relevant to mountain bikers.
  • 8 2
 Not everything made in China uses slave labour. I expect many of the parts on your bike do though and probably other things you have and have purchased. No need to get righteous just yet.
  • 4 3
 @znarf: the Chinese electronics manufacturer or the same company in America, or the same company in Italy, or many other countries (the company has over 172000 employees).
My son works for the local company, on minimum wage, doing a job worth significantly more than his wages.
I work daily with a Chinese electronics manufacturer and their service is fantastic, having been to Milpitas and Shenzhen, if I had to live in either location it would be Shenzhen. The treatment of the staff in Milpitas certainly wasn't better than Shenzhen. Luckily for my I haven't seen the other side of either country. I have also worked with one of India's largest design houses on many an occasion, lovely people, want lucky (or unlucky) enough to visit India. We had a remote team and local team with us, their hierarchical structure is very obvious (the company has nearly 225000 employees).
  • 4 1
I too have
And the Radic Kaha's,
And some maximas that I'm waiting for a new bike for.
And boxes with old unused Hopes in....
The dirittessima's are faultless, oodles of power, more reliable than anything I've ever used.
I'm amazed how big the market share is for the 2 S's when their products are so horrid to use. I guess most people are to scared to jump off the bandwagon and try something else.
  • 2 0
I think hope actually did make the first mtb disc brake.
It was a cable operated thing that bolted to your fork leg and needed a special hub to fit the dropout.
  • 10 2
 Brakes with machined levers / master cylinder housings all have simple/similar shared geometry, but that's largely due to the nature of CNC'd parts.
Formula 1 teams are always copying and reverse engineering each others' work. How is this any different? Brakes have been around for ages. It's very hard to innovate, yet Lewis has demonstrated 2 points of unique innovation in the lever alone. Kudos to them.

Not sure how the conditions are for the workers, but China is a rapidly growing economy seeing continuous improvement. Tons of bike parts are made in Asia already.
  • 6 6
 @troutquintet: Honestly I get it, and if youre trying to make others uncomfortable, I understand that strategy as well.
I dont think it helps to further the cause, as it just creates larger walls, and a lot of finger pointing. However I understand the frustration, and understand it can get the better of all of us. Its the eye for an eye idea, but we both end up blind, and the eye doctors get rich....

Understand that I do my best to refrain from judgment, but I also understand that lots of people were brought up in an environment of distrust against anything resembling communism, and that just turns into generalization of a whole group.
Thats not great for anyone, and undermines all our arguments, as people are individuals, and are not defined simply by their ethnicity.

Fack, you brought me back into this discussion, I was trying to remain a spectator, Fack
  • 5 7
 @brianpark: Of note, Do you think the content of Matts article, (which read like it was a condemnation of the product from the start) has led to the fired up discussion around these Lewis brakes?

Right from the title, it "felt" like these brakes had an uphill battle to be considered as a viable product, did anyone else read a lot of skepticism that never really had the "but after all this shit talking, these brakes are actually much better than I've led you to believe"

Maybe just me
  • 3 0
 @jimbob79: Shimano had a disc brake in the 70s
  • 12 2
 Slavery is legal and used in the United States when the victim committed a crime. Wordy about our own country first.
  • 48 2
 @onawalk: No. They look like a direct knock-off. We're not about to pretend that they don't.

Some people say this article is a paid advertisement, others say it's an unfair condemnation... we can't win aha. I just hope y'all found it interesting. Smile
  • 1 0
 @aphollis: also, shimano bought the rights from grimeca for their first set of mineral oil operated four piston brakes with an open design like moto. This was around 1997 iirc
  • 2 0
 @cuban-b: I had a set of those (yes I am old) Honestly, some of the best brakes Shimano has produced. I bet with modern rotor sizes they would work great today. They were on my Black Market Mob I hit up about few years ago
  • 3 0
 @bman33: and we, and all other western countries, keep them at the forefront of manufacturing.
  • 2 0
 @theArtiist: can you rate them in order?
  • 2 0
 @brianpark: did the title just change? I swear it was something else.
  • 1 0
 @bman33: that basic open design is still used on their modern brakes interms if functionality. They just tweak the caliper size and lever/master cylinder design to align with modern standards. I also own a Blk Mrkt Mob Big Grin
  • 16 1
 @betsie: You could also choose not to support the world's 2nd or 3rd most repressive regime and not reward them for blatantly stealing IP and selling it back to the world when you have a choice. We make choices - it's not all or nothing. The only vote you have is your (currency of choice) and it's the only voice they listen to. It's better to support local mfg, jobs, and economy if only to reduce the amount of shipping pollution for PRC crap. Of course all PRC quality isn't bad but their gov benefits. I prefer Taiwan, but a lot of people don't care and that's their choice:
  • 6 0
 @suspended-flesh: I wish I could move this comment to the top.
  • 6 12
flag onawalk (Feb 23, 2024 at 16:48) (Below Threshold)
 @brianpark: you dont have to pretend anything, but you can review and rate them without it being the focal point of the article.

I think theres a condemnation of the product in every other sentence. But I dont see that in the review of every other horst link Sessionsimilar bike on the market.

Seems like youre playing into the viral nature of the product, to drive engagement.
Just my thoughts, Ive been very wrong before.
  • 2 2
 @thenotoriousmic: god save the queen and all that crap.
  • 1 0
 @cuban-b: I had some of the Grimeca 4/piston brakes as well which led to the Shimano & Brembo 4 piston Mtb brakes. If I remember right the Grimeca's were amongst the 1st to hit the scene & I thought they were really good. At the time 4-piston hydraulic brakes were still pretty new to the Mtb world. They worked for me....We'll see what kind of controversy starts from this post!! lol
  • 1 0
Yeah, New York does have some good riders on the ‘gram.
  • 1 0
 @znarf: Umm probably the one that is local to me. But as much as I try to buy local, that's pretty hard with mtb brakes. If it was a company near me, it's a no brainer. If I have to move, I'd be almost equally wary of moving into any of the current trio of usa/china/Russia given the politics.
  • 4 2
 @The-Spirit-of-Jazz: I just took it for granted as an adult you already knew? Did you not learn about communism at school? How do you not know this? And you do know there’s a war on and China are backing the enemy or the enemy of our governments. Watch the news once I a while. Do some basic research before making a purchase.
  • 3 6
 @cuban-b: @HeatedRotor: Ahhh my biggest fans. Nearly made it a full 24 hours without commenting on one of my posts. Maybe if you both try really hard you could just ignore me and keep scrolling or are you just suckers for punishment?
  • 2 0
 @cuban-b: right on. If you go to that pic of the Mob picture , the comments on it and the Saint cranks fitment was me. 2014-15. lol
  • 1 0
 @snakeplant: looks can be deceiving. Remember everything looks like a Session.
  • 6 0
 I love how everybody seems so concerned unsettled about the "Sweat shop labour" product, when I'd argue that a large majority of you probably are using a set of brakes made by that very same labour.
  • 1 2
 @onawalk: that’s exactly how I read it. Can’t quite just say they are sweet can he? It would be a pretty big shake up to just write that they’re solid competition
  • 6 1
 I think most are critiquing your points solely because where these are made, and I think are missing the point.

The fact that they made them to look the same as the best quality brake in the market speaks louder to me than where they are actually manufactured. That may be a way of business for some, but certainly not for me. I’ll buy stuff manufactured in Asia that’s at least not trying to blatanly be a copy of something else of higher quality.
  • 3 0
 @L0rdTom: SsangYong are from South Korea, which is a very, very different place than China. Human Rights Watch flag some concerns but you should look at that report on our own country for comparison…

Why would you not by a SsangYong? Because it’s from Asia? Would you buy a Honda or a Toyota? What *would* you buy, and where is it actually made (and is it any good)?
  • 4 0
 @IsaacWislon82: immediately accusing a brand of slave labour without any proof is a bit ridiculous. Having an issue with Chinese politics is one thing but by that same logic I hope you stay away from brands like Santa Cruz who produce in China and an even more valid point would be to work who makes components in China like brake pads. Hope are a great brand with famed customer service. But if you want to locally (western made) components you don't need to spend trickstuff money or even hope money formula and magura both produce I house and are often cheaper than shimano or sram offerings. I think this model is too much much money to risk on a unknown brand but the models below them would be worth a punt to me. Also competition in the market is good for consumers
  • 2 0
 @thenotoriousmic: do you also believe Skynet is going to take over one day?!
  • 4 1
 @snakeplant: that's a very relative argument most Europeans could make the same argument about the US in terms of labour rights
  • 4 0
 @nickfranko: my Xiaomi was designed and built in China. If you look at phones companies sales based on unit sales rather than profit you will see they dominate the market
  • 3 0
 @Td5819: so all Brits have to buy Hope? I mean that's a good logic. Or wait, no it's not.
And residual value, what are you going on about. If you're looking at residual value when buying new brakes there's something wrong with you I'm sorry.
  • 4 3
 @thenotoriousmic: so you're racist, got it.
  • 7 3
 @thenotoriousmic: I asked you how the chinese were trying to destroy our way of life and your answer was because they are communist and (you have been told) destroying capitalism is a goal of theirs.

Maybe you should do some wider research yourself.
  • 6 0
 @onawalk: The proportion of stuff we buy from China is already too high. When I get an opportunity to purchase from other countries I will.

My issue with China is that it is the other model of governance/system to western democracies. I am still in favor of messy democracies and will vote with money that way when I can. We made China the factory to the world and now we have to deal with consequences of that power.
  • 3 1
 @andrewfif: Thanks man,
I thought maybe I was a little crazy.
I usually really like the articles simply as entertainment, and to learn new things, and Matt Beers articles usually seem pretty straight forward. This one seemed much more biased right from the title, like they could never really let go of the fact that they were very similar to another product.
  • 4 2
 @Comatosegi: maybe we can all try to curb our generalization of these things.
Your issue isnt CHINA, its the governmental policies of the ruling power, and those that might agree with those policies. Just like youd agree or disagree with being told that America is a bunch of Trump supporting bigots. The general classification hurts us all, and then leads to dislike for an entire group, which alienates those that dont fit into that group.

We didnt make anything, Asia (as a generality) saw opportunity in manufacturing and exploited it. They worked at being excellent at it through hard work, research, determination, etc. WE didnt do it, People, policy, and governments worked at excelling in an area, and the absolutely crushed it.
  • 2 0
 @onawalk: We did make China the factory of the world, b/c ultimately it’s the consumer that chooses. Especially here I the US where 2/3rds is consumer spending. China just built an expertise and supply chain that is unrivaled in certain areas.

I am not saying it’s all bad, since it lifted hundreds of millions of Chinese out of poverty. But now that the power dynamics is shifting in the Politiburo and they are moving towards a Russian style oligarchy. That economic power transfers to the government not just to their people.
  • 1 0
 @Mngnt: where did they apply?
  • 1 3
 @thenotoriousmic: stop with all the logic....modern man cannot handle the truth....
  • 1 1
 @dgwww: came here to say this
  • 2 0
 @theArtiist: seems like you’re into trying all the top dogs in the brake market. What’s your opinion on the Intend Trinity brakes?
  • 4 2
 @Freakyjon: Unfortunately not I’ve yet to meet an actual Chinese person who wasn’t lovely. Most Chinese people and Russians are just like us. Living day to day and are too busy worrying about themselves to care about people on the other side of the world. It’s our government’s that are the problem. Chinese government being particularly bad.
  • 1 3
 @The-Spirit-of-Jazz: that’s not what I said at all and you’ve got absolutely no excuse for being this ignorant. Just start paying attention and make wiser choices where you spend your money. Johnny Harris YouTube channel would be a good start. He’s done loads on China.
  • 2 4

Not only the CP China. Most of our politicians are puppets and or socialistic morons as well strangely paid by super richtig companies
  • 1 0
 @onawalk: This is incorrect. China was largely excluded from trade with the west, Bill Clinton pushed to have them included & opened the doors to offshoring of western products to China. They thought that opening up to China would create opportunity for American businesses, but by and large the Chinese government has made it difficult to compete with Chinese companies on their own turf.

President Bill Clinton in 2000 pushed Congress to approve the U.S.-China trade agreement and China's accession to the WTO,[13] saying that more trade with China would advance America's economic interests: "Economically, this agreement is the equivalent of a one-way street. It requires China to open its markets—with a fifth of the world’s population, potentially the biggest markets in the world—to both our products and services in unprecedented new ways," said Clinton. In a speech in 2000, Clinton reiterated his hopes:

For the first time, our companies will be able to sell and distribute products in China made by workers here in America without being forced to relocate manufacturing to China, sell through the Chinese government, or transfer valuable technology—for the first time. We’ll be able to export products without exporting jobs.[14],of%20a%20one%2Dway%20street.
  • 3 2
 @troutquintet: I think you'll be fine friend, people who choose to think that way will never be part of your life so don't sweat the petty shit.

I've always figured it this way. Every company is local to the area they are in, so that means when you buy Chinese made products you are simply supporting that local company and helping the employees of said company earn a living. Sure there is questionable tactics being used but this is no different than anywhere else in time when it comes to manufacturing. It's literally how most the shit we own came into existence. Not to mention there are no truly new ideas just incremental changes over time. Maybe soon everyone will copy the shape of the trickstuff brakes. It's a shape, there are lots of shapes and eventually everything starts having the same shape. Look at most of the cars on the road, maybe 10 different shapes in total with small tweaks for differentiation.
  • 1 1
 @jimbob79: guess it depends how you look at it. Hayes made the first full hydraulic disc brake for MTB in '96. In '72 it made the first bicycle disc brake for Schwinn. Not sure on the dates with Hope but I know these 2 brands were there from the beginning. Hayes has actually been first to market on quite a few braking systems for multiple industries.
  • 3 4
 @suspended-flesh: what IP did they steal? Its a f*cking hydraulic brake just like everyone else's hydraulic brakes. There's no secret sauce inside the trickstuff brakes, just standard hydraulic science that is applied in all hydraulic brakes. The fact that it's been stated they are not as powerful as Trickstuff should lead one to believe they are not coping there tech but simply the look of the lever body and caliper.
  • 8 5
 @brianpark: So Matt Beer just went out and bought a set of these brakes and decided to write up this article? OR they were given to him, with the expectation that he would write an article? I think this should be clarified...
  • 6 2
 @MikeGruhler: The copied the look, did they not? Why didnt they just come up with their own look and style? So many brakes on the market, they dont all have the same look and aesthetics.... This is clearly a different thing to "The just created some brakes and they ended up looking the same" - No the frikking copied them, then changed the internals slightly...
  • 3 5
 @Acid11: big f*cking deal they look the same. They are not the same, you even said so with the "changed internals" comment. The god damn disc breaks, there's nothing special about the shape of a lever body. Trickstuff is not special in anyway except for their ridiculous pricing for something that can clearly be had for half the price elsewhere.
  • 3 5
 @Acid11: ...and no, it's not a copy. They look "similar" and similar is not a copy. They have clear differences and the part that matters the most, the hydraulics are not copied but they are probably similar because there's only so much you can do with hydraulic brakes on a bicycle.
  • 5 3
 @MikeGruhler: they are blatant enough copies almost everyone who knows Trickstuff knows these are blatant cookies. Nobody who knows MTB will mistake a Shimano for a Hope or SRAM for Magura etc. To argue they are not blatant copies because of some super minor feature is pendantic annoying.
  • 2 0
 Blatant copies not "cookies" . Damn voice to text. lol
  • 2 4
 @bman33: Guess that depends on what you're looking for in a brake. I couldn't care less about the lever shape, so I couldn't care less if it looks like another one. There's a point where a lever can be so ugly I wouldn't use it on my bike, but other than that I really don't care if it looks like a banana or a potato.
What I do care about is function. Functionally this seems quite different from trickstuff. I'm actually more impressed by this brake than the trickstuff. I'm sure trickstuff is good, but like others mentioned I see no point having a brake that costs twice the competition, you have to wait a year for and can't buy a replacement lever on a whim if you need to mid road trip. Sure I couldn't buy a replacement lever for this either, but it's not painting itself as exclusive oh so fancy. I can leave these parts for all the influencers while I ride my bike with whatever brakes made in asia I decide to.
I can see how someone could get butthurt if they drive their sports car down and something that looks a lot like yours pulls up next to you, with some 4 cylinder that barely moves it off the line. But why would you care? It's not gonna take the market away from the real sports car if it doesn't have the performance. And if it does have the performance, with completely different technology, but looks about the same and costs half, I know what I'd buy.
  • 1 0
 @MikeGruhler: cool. Didn't know Schwinn did one so early. The hope was about '91-92 in cable and I had a 95 hydraulic one later on.
  • 4 0
 @MrDuck: having had a trickstuff for 3 years, that was two years old when I got them. Nothing comes close in functionality.
When they get their annual bleed, the fluid is almost the same colour and still fully transparent. They never fail or have a wandering bite point. I've not needed any spares in a hurry (but have ordered some parts for service and they turned up in less than a week from europe to NZ) and every single small part is available to buy, so dont need to replace a whole caliper or lever.
  • 1 2
 @jimbob79: That's a good review, and I fully believe they're great brakes. But then I've got 15 disc brakes on 8 bikes so not only would that be extremely expensive to switch, I also have 0 issues with the 15 brakes in service, some of them 10 years old. I hardly ever bleed any except when I change a frame and chop a hose. While I have noticed a wandering bite point about twice in many years, it'd be hard to justify a switch.
The issue with shipping, even if it's next day, is that I'm mostly concerned about keeping the bike running on a road trip. If I'm home, I have bike shops around, all the spares I can think of. But if I'm out on the road, racing or just having a ride, it'd be quite hard to get anything shipped and interrupting a trip due to a mechanical would be unacceptable. So having a bike with locally available parts is a requirement for me.
  • 3 1
 @thenotoriousmic: it’s funny that you’re so angry all the time for no reason. It makes it easy to pick on you so that you continue to post like a crazy person trying to make sense of society and why you don’t fit in. You make a great script for an alien who visits earth and is researching humans, slowly trying to make friends, but just can’t. It’s a good show. Let’s keep this going!
  • 1 0
 @dgwww: Here me out, how many other places in the world other than the US to trade with?
  • 1 2
 @suspended-flesh: thanks for your comment.
I have no doubt that you are an expert in where semiconductors, passives and discrete components come from, the country of origin of all the materials that make up the parts, probably in robs, reach, prop 65 and maybe in IPC1752A class D compliance.
There are some new fabs under construction the usa but they won't touch manufacturing for a long time.
Maybe if things are not made in china they are made in Vietnam.
We manufacture globally for different parts of our system, we are the largest manufacturer of one part of our system in world, the manufacturing lines are in the building next to where I work. I work in R&D for supply chain and as margins are so tight these days we have to manufacture where supply chain, cost and global impact is the most cost effective. Serving over 18M customers all around the world it's not as simple as just manufacturing at our local electronics supplier. (Plus they are not medical device compliant, their quality and quality systems are a long way from what we would require and they would be price proclusive).
  • 1 2
 @hypermoto: That is not exactly true about China. The government in China does respond to the voice of its population. A simple logic is no government could stand if they are against the willingness of 1.4 bn population. Only if they keep delivering, they can keep ruling.
  • 1 0
 sure you're riding a bike or a high horse
  • 1 3
 @cuban-b: Couldn’t manage a full 24 hours again? And pick on me? You’re the one who’s still obsessively butt hurt because I had to correct you yet again. What is that utter drivel you’re talking? Aliens come to earth to research humans… WTF are you talking about? Why don’t you try blocking me or you just like getting humiliated on a public forum?
  • 2 1
 @betsie: OK, Mr. Snarky, you're correct that I have little to no choice where the CPUs, GPUs, and FUs that are in my devices are made, but where I do have CHOICES I make them according to what I feel is better, despite the cost. Pride of ownership is something I'll pay more for. I mean, Swiss watch or Chinese watch?
  • 2 3
 @suspended-flesh: let's not resort to name calling...
Our head office used to be in Switzerland when we were owned by JnJ. Zug was some place to visit, both in the winter and summer, it's in the dark ages compared to Shenzhen but they do look after their employees well in Switzerland, especially after the American owners make the staff redundant, unlike in America where it's a pack your desk up and get out culture. Could call Switzerland a tax haven and tax dodge too (everyone does the tax dodge who is large enough).

I have a Garmin, made in Kansas I understand? Bought it 2nd hand a few years back, fits with my ethics of minimising waste and not just buying something as a status symbol whilst having the functions like heart rate and activity tracking that I use daily.

I tend to buy what works and meets my needs within my limited budget. I could never justify a swiss watch for myself, status symbols don't interest me in the slightest. It's the cool thing about biking, you can turn up on your super bike and the local 14 year old will still smoke you in every way on his bailer bike.
  • 1 2
 you shouldn't be buying iphones in this case
  • 2 0
 @Acid11: Matt Beer wasn't given a set. I decided we should check these out, we requested a review sample, which they sent us, and we will be sending them back once we are done with them.
  • 82 4
 The real question is, how do the Lewis's compare to the Clark's for expedition bikes?
  • 14 1
 I would be fantastic to mix match the levers and calipers for a true Lewis and Clark trail outing.
  • 10 0
 I suppose I'd purchase Louisiana for these brakes
  • 75 27
 Why are these making it to pinkbike given the blatant IP infringement? Establishing a bad precedent giving these Chinese manufacturers any traction
  • 21 5
 I agree they look similar, but is that enough for IP infringement?
  • 6 1
 @ryan77777: pretty sure I saw someone on the other site make a more thorough comparison and come to that conclusion
  • 28 3
 Agree, it such an obvious copy. I was really close to buy them, because Trickstuff are so expensive, but simply coudnt, be cause I knew, I would have felt super guilty.
So I went second hand: Trickstuff diretissma = The Original made in Germany, for only 100 bucks more than the China copy.
Some guy also made the direct comparison Lewis vs. Trickstuff, and the finishing is by far not on the same level.
Even so I have to admit, the Levis guys are meanwhile also doing own developments, for Surons & Co, which look great.
I do not get why they started with 1 to 1 copying, instead of tweaking designs in their way from the beginning.
  • 5 0
 @ryan77777: even just for Industrial design IP , it looks like enough
  • 30 14
 @one38: The did not copy "1 to 1"

They added adjustments. Trickstuff have no bite point adjust, The leverage ratio adjustment is a huge feature and pretty unique across all other brakes.
They Brought the price down substantially.
They can manufacture them fast enough that you can actually buy them.
Though very similar in appearance to trickstuff, there are very large differences if observed side by side, the machining around the master cylinder reservoir is quite different, and the caliper is very different. And most importantly, they are not trying to sell the brakes as a Trickstuff product.

Innovation can be many things. Making a product better (through additional adjustments), Cheaper and more readily available (through supply chain management) would be considered innovative in most industries.

It's a shame they look so much like trickstuffs product. If they had made a few more aesthetic changes, they could stand alone on their quality.
  • 16 33
flag bman33 (Feb 23, 2024 at 9:27) (Below Threshold)
 @MPritchett: China has a loooooooooong history of blantant knockoffs. Hey, they added an adjustment knob here, changed a logo there..yawn. These are Trickstuff knockoffs wihtout a doubt. If they weren't the opening few sentences of the artcile (paid ad) wouldn't have to direclty 'address' the issue.
  • 29 2
They by far didn't change enought to not look like Trickstuffs on the first, and second look.

I mean they basically copied Trickstuff's whole product portfolio (also Piccola levers and calipers), and did only offer what Trickstuff offered at the beginning / when they started.

Please do not get me wrong, if you follow them on insta, it is obvious that they are passonate people, and riders.
And yes, they made cool tweaks and improvements.

I am sure they will build great, very individual brakes, in the future.

I just don't like the fact that they started with simply copying.
This is a huge disrespect to other product developers and designers.
  • 26 15
 @bman33: First, there is no reason to believe this was a paid ad, so you're starting out with made up, alarmist nonsense.

Second, your eyes and brain doth deceive you. They did not add an adjustment knob. They redesigned the actuation mechanism and offered two additional, meaningful, adjustments that the trickstuff brakes do not have.

They didn't change a logo. They designed a different product under their own brand name (which objectively looks A LOT like a trickstuff product, but is not identical.

You know how most tires look like minions. Most bikes look like sessions. And most jeans look like Levi's. Most smartphones look like iPhones. Most slip on shoes look like Vans. It's like that. If you look closer, there are meaningful differences. Those differences may not be meaningful to you - but that doesn't make the the same as the thing you don't realize they're differentiated from.

No Design or Utility patents appear to be infringed upon, so all the internet IP experts who have no idea what Patents actually are should probably sit this one out.

I've been in product development for 24 years and I ain't mad about what Lewis did here. Trickstuff could have done it themselves, but they chose not to add meaningful features or bring costs down, or increase availability.
  • 11 16
flag bman33 (Feb 23, 2024 at 10:04) (Below Threshold)
 @MPritchett: that you? You sure are aggresively defending these on this thread. Wink
  • 12 11
 @bman33: I'm probably just trying to justify my own purchase of these - and preparing to defend that choice when fellow trail users feel the need to share their unsolicited thoughts on the global economy and IP law.
  • 10 0
 @MPritchett: Just to be very clear here: I dislike the copying, and couldn't care less, where they are located.
If they would have been copied by Europeans, or Americans, I just don't care, I would still balme them for being a copy cat.
Plus I really do think that the Lewis guys will do a good job in own designs, long term.
They are smart (see self-patented features, which are improvements of the Trickstuffs), and obviously very motivated.
  • 9 13
flag hotpotato (Feb 23, 2024 at 10:30) (Below Threshold)
 @bman33: He's right. Tricksters could have innovated down just like this, but chose not to. No harm, their prerogative. This is the free market working, not some copycat shell game. Copies are "Shinano" cranks on aliexpress for $25.

They brought the goods and borrowed similar industrial design. Most importantly, they broke zero rules. No IP or trademark infringement. No theft of brand equity.

I DESPISE Chinese landfill fodder so I don't have any particular love for the PRC. But these? These are cool.
  • 15 12
 @MPritchett: And there it is. The reason he's defending IP theft so hard: because he bought it. And why he's not mad. He's massively biased, and clearly not willing to listen because he's blinded by his own purchase.

You can't just take an existing product, copy it 1:1, and 1 tiny feature and claim it's a new product. The only reason this product didn't immediately get taken down was because it's pointless to try to fight the Chinese when they steal.

If any European company had done this, regardless of adding an adjuster, this product wouldn't exist. And if you were actually in product development for 24 years, you'd know this.
  • 15 0
 @MPritchett: But I don't look at Hope brakes and think "huh, they look almost - but not exactly - like (insert other brand here)'s brakes". SRAM and Shimano brakes look very different. I'm not a car guy, but I could tell you from a considerable distance what brand a car was. Lewis and Trickstuff brakes look soooo similar that it's very clearly a case of "change enough to not get sued", which is what the knockoff industry relies on.

Oh these? My trainers? No, they're not Adidas, they're Adides Completely different...
  • 2 0
 @TimMog: Spot on
  • 9 8
 @one38: I'd like to tell you about the story of this brake. At first a dealer in China found that ordering a trickstuff set would wait six months to one year, and actually, its also interestingthat the brakes they ordered was produced one or two years before, trickstuff is ust using Hungermarketing trick. So he designed the first 100% copycat model and found this factory (never met cycling market before) to make the Prototypes, and all two versions are like shit. So he given up, but the factory continued to improve this and finally made it usable. This is now the 2nd version of this brake, it also have some problems, so just don't buy it. They are actually making the third model, that would be a totally new design, i dont konw if that would be good or bad. That adapter was designed by me so if you see that, it's totally new and I think it's beautiful.
  • 7 5
 @nickfranko: Really? What European laws were broken? There seems to be a perception that Trickstuff has some IP here that was infringed upon. Outside of very specific cases aesthetic is not intellectual property. IP is:
- Copyright: For written works, software and some artistic expression.
- Trademark: Essentially exclusive branding which can take various forms. Must be registered.
- Patent: Specific geographically restricted legal protections over innovations
- Trade Secret: No legal protection at all (other than specific NDA's)

I don't see any of these applying to the Trickstuff product. Fundamentally it's 5 pistons and hose. There isn't really a lot of difference between any of major brands other than a few specific patents (generally around adjustment or leverage rates like Servowave).

Bad style to copy the look so closely? I think so. Illegal? Absolutely not.
  • 9 0
 @ZhuangYanbing: so you just provided additional evidence of a knockoff. lol
  • 8 2
 @bman33: Yes, it's a knockoff, and this factory made me angry because of something
  • 13 8
 @nickfranko: There is no IP theft here to defend, that's why I'm not mad. The purchase of a product does not blind me in any way, I bought these to see if they were any good. My own opinion on them is still not formed. And I'm very willing to listen to anyone, and then discard any unfounded, emotional, alarmist nonsense.

If you really need to be mad at someone over this, be mad at Trickstuff for not protecting their design with a patent. A utility patent would have required a novel invention - which the trickstuff brakes do not have! But the Lewis brakes do! Lewis could have gotten a Design Patent to protect the way the product looks. That would have provided some regional exclusivity to the aesthetic, but they seemingly chose not to get a design patent.

No crime is being committed by Lewis - but here you are, making false, defamatory claims in writing that a company has committed a made up crime. That is a real crime know as Libel.

I stumbled across a post about these a week ago and read all I could find about them out of curiosity. I could only find one negative review online from someone who had actually touched them in the real world. So I recently ordered a pair. I have not had hands on them yet, so I found this review and the discussion about them to be quite interesting.

I fully understand why people will be upset about this product existing and looking so similar to the Trickstuff brakes - and I also wish they had a unique aesthetic.

I believe that Veblen goods and the hype around them is disgusting. A Veblen good is one where the price and exclusivity of the product drive demand for the product. I do not buy products that do not offer a real value proposition.

Trickstuff could have brought a performance product to the masses at an attainable price. Lewis appears to have proven this, even adding features that I find very intriguing. Instead, Trickstuff chose to create an aspirational product, out of reach for most of the people who could benefit from it. If you are a believer in "the greater good" than Lewis is doing more for "the greater good" than Trickstuff.

It's unlikely that someone buying a Lewis brake would otherwise be a Trickstuff customer.

And regarding the 1:1 copy - there are more differences between this and trickstuff than similarities. The piston sizes are different than the Maxima, the mechanical leverage appears to be a bit different, not even mentioning the genius coaxial implementation of a bite point adjustment and the eccentric lever pivot.

Do you get mad that some tires look like other tires and assume they are 1:1 copies/knockoffs, then make false statements about that company stealing IP?
  • 1 0
 @ZhuangYanbing: so the "hungermarkting trick" justifies a copy cat? dejavu
  • 3 0
 @singlespeedman: absolutely not. Thiscis only the reason. If that trader had succeeded, there would be many fake products on the market.
  • 4 0
 @ZhuangYanbing: well, we see LH products being promoted on many platforms, collecting positive reviews and beng white washed. That IS a massive success and many consumers won't even get to know the original product but instead buy a copy.
Am not a Trickstuff fan boy (ran several of their Cleg models years ago, didn't like them at all), don't care about LH neither. Simply don't like what's happening.
  • 1 2
What is the problem with the brakes in your opinion? I've red plausible personal reviews that suggest they are quite good. And about what are you angry with your (former?) employer?
  • 3 0
 @DonEnrique: No, I don't work there, but i do cooperated with them. I was angry about how they treat the engineers trying to make products with their knowledges. The pay and their behavior to their promises made me not so happy. These brakes do have some problems but they are not so bad, and the performance is also good. The problems are mainly long term problems, such as uneven pad wear, what could be solved when they just respect the knowledge of the engineers.
  • 2 1
 @DonEnrique: If only considering of the performance, it's good enough
  • 3 3
 @ryan77777: No, it's not IP theft. There's nothing special or unique about trickstuff brakes. It's standard hydraulic science that all the manufacturers use. The shape of a lever body and caliper do not constitute IP. If there was patents that were copied then yes but that has not happened here. They don't seem to perform the same either so not sure how anyone can say that. Words matter and the I in IP stands for Intellectual and the exterior design of the lever body is merely a shape that has no performance benefit over another shape..within reason.
  • 2 2
 @one38: imitation is the most sincere form flattery. The fact they recognized them as there benchmark is something worth considering as well.
  • 1 0
 @ZhuangYanbing: Thank you for clarifying. Is the uneven pad wear a problem for the LHT (maybe because of the same size pistons)? Or does it apply for their whole range due to another issue?
  • 3 2
 @nickfranko: Well @mpritchett is correct there isn't any IP theft going on. However the fact the industrial design has been copied is pretty obvious. Which is a shame but the internals of how the brakes work do seem to be unique to the brand. If you go into any department store you'll find vans, crocs etc lookalikes so it's not uncommon or unique to Chinese companies
  • 27 2
 I’d love to see a brake showdown with all the stuff being released and tested against the legacy offerings; Shimano, SRAM, TRP, Hayes, Lewis, Trickstuff, KAHA, Hope. There’s too many options on the market to buy and test individually and a lot of forums don’t provide effective comparisons.
  • 13 0
 dont forget Formula
  • 43 1
 @Weeble19 We're cooking up a big showdown!
  • 14 0
 @bemix: and Magura!
  • 58 3
 It’s happening!
  • 4 2
 @brianpark: you got those brakes that resulted in sending Henry down In-and-Out without functional brakes again as the control brakes?
  • 13 0
 @brianpark: hoping for numbers in n.m like the new maven release and not “this brake feels stronger”
  • 11 0
 @Kai-P: 100% agree.
Make it like enduro-mtb's shootout test in 2018:
  • 9 0
 @brianpark: "The stoppening"
  • 18 0
 @brianpark: Please try to use control pads and rotors to eliminate that variable.

Also, please then test pad and rotor combinations with a control set of brakes.
  • 7 5
 @chrod: I'll be impressed if they even manage to publish a shootout that has been edited and proofread to the same standard that enduro-mtb managed to achieve in their second language. Hoping for actual measurements or scientific comparison is likely a bridge too far.
  • 1 0
Yes yes yes, absolutely this
  • 4 0
 @brianpark: please find a dyno or something like the brake test comparison from a few years ago on ENDURO mountainbike magazine
  • 5 0
 @nicoenduro: endurp mag has a new brake shootout with dyno readings comming out in a month or so
  • 3 0
 @mattbeer: Needs to include a lab with brake dyno to give us quantitative numbers not just qualitative ride impressions. Run with as shipped pads and then with a control pad set across all brakes to give us something to actually make purchase decisions.
  • 2 0
 @brianpark: That's great news about a brake group test! Please do your best to add dyno testing to the showdown. Without that sort of objective measure there is so much vagueness with these descriptions of how a brake feels. As someone mentioned in the Maven test, it would be great to see a chart showing, in addition to the standard lever pressure to stopping force, a metric with lever travel to stopping force, so one can get an objective measure of how firm or "mushy" the feel is. If possible, it would also be cool to test them with stock pads and rotors, and then test them all with a control pad and rotor from a 3rd party like Galfer, to separate how much of the difference is pad compound and how much is fundamental design differences of the brakes themselves. BikeRadar did a dyno test of a bunch of brakes several years ago (it's just pretty out of date at this point with all the new models that have come out) so its not crazy to think it could be done.

I'd also like to see a measurement of how much force it takes to actuate the lever from the start point up to the engagement point, to better understand how stiff the return spring in the master cylinder and square seals is. I've found some brakes have excessively strong pushback against your finger force, even without any braking power being applied, and the Maven, for example, sounds like it continues in that vein, whereas these Lewis' and Hayes are described as having a very light action.
  • 4 0
 @MPritchett: No, don't do that. Companies design their whole brake systems around the complete set-up, including pads and rotors. Just use whatever pads & rotors that brand recommends you use.
  • 1 0
 Been done (only notable brake missing is Formula Cura 4s and 2s and the new Mavens).
  • 1 1
 @lennskii: it's nice but it is a feeling based test only, a dyno test is also good to accompany this to have a complete test.
  • 1 1
 @lennskii: for example it comes down saying that the Xt and dhr evo are more powerful than the mt7 which is far from the truth
  • 1 0
 @nicoenduro: Far from the truth because you have dyno data?

One or two positions up or down is an immaterial difference. The MT7s, DHR Evos and XT 4-Pots are all used by top class professionals to a higher intensity than 99.9% of the population. You'll be fine mate.
  • 1 1
 @lennskii: i'll be fine, so what, just like i'll be fine on everything else on the market.
i don't have the dyno data and thanks to enduro mtb nobody will as they took the fuss to test shit without publishing datas, pretty dumb choice if you ask me.
but reading the tests it already shows that mt7 are more powerful than dhr evos and xt, therefore yes, far from truth.
  • 2 0
 @nicoenduro: The braking power (within reason/brakes that are well regarded and powerful plenty) has more to do with pad compound than it does the actual brake. A big reason why you read reports of the TRP EVOs being less powerful vs. Maguras is because TRP pads generally are mediocre (their new race compounds are a big step up from their old offerings). Shimano OEM pads are actually very good.

The benefit with the Blister Test is that they used a standardised pad and rotors (one of the best pads you can buy, Galfer Pro) across all brakes (though with the Magura they couldn't use Galfer rotors due to clearance).. The Enduro test from 2018 was with the OEM pads from the manufacturer so referring to it as some sort of holy grail of brake truth can have its pitfalls.

Of that group test, I have ridden the MT7s, TRP EVOs, Shimano XTs, Hope Tech 4 V4s and Hayes Dominion A4s and have to say I concur with the Blister findings (I also switch all pads to Galfer Green or Trickstuff Power Pads). At that point of power (I'm 200lbs/90kg riding bigger travel MTBs) and the deciding factor between those 5 brakes wasn't about their absolute power but other metrics like lever feel, how the power is delivered and ease of maintenance/how much attention they need to operate properly.

This is more what I meant by "you'll be fine" aka you're focusing too much on absolute power from a dyno as your metric for a brake that'll serve you best.

Of those 5 the Hayes Dominion is my favourite - easiest to bleed, loads of power, lever feel is magic and has required the least amount of attention to keep running as the factory intended. Downside is it's not as popular of a brake so I've taken liberties to stock some extra spares (like pads/rebuild kit etc just in case, though haven't had to rebuild after 3 years of regular use). Hope Tech 4 v4 comes in 2nd. Magura MT7s were my least favourite (lever construction and feel and minimal pad clearance and hardest to bleed really well).
  • 1 0
 @lennskii: the only bit i didn'd agree is saying that the mt7 are less powerful and that's all, i agree with every word you said in the last comment, although i love to know how much power is on tap other than "yeah it's powerful" you hear people saying that about codes and i'd rather use my shoes,
after years using mt7 with trickstuff pads and recently with oak levers i'm considering trying either the dominion, that again i'd run with trickstuff pads and rotors, or the Tech4V4 that i might run with stock pads and 2.3 one piece rotors, the dominion feel nice but are as ugly as it gets, that's also something that needs to be considered even though it can be overlooked if everything else is perfect
  • 1 0
 @nicoenduro: they are ugly, but a kind of "gives character" ugly which I kind of enjoy since the rewr of my bike looks relatively svelte.

Same thoughts as Andrew Major:
  • 1 0
 @lennskii: i just wish it didn't have the finish of some cheap ass tektro you see on supermarket bike. It really does not take much to make them look better, given the price asked it should be a thing
  • 19 3
 Unpopular opinion: Not only is it okay for things like this to happen, it's imperative.

If Lewis doesn't do this, Trickstuff gets to rest on their laurels and that is bad for everybody, INCLUDING Trickstuff.

It's flattery. This movie has played 1000 times before and it's always the same plot. Company A produces a cool whiz-bang widget. Company B uses aforementioned widget to inspire their own take and deliver something with a similar, but different value proposition.

Now we find ourselves at a crossroads. Company A can choose to respond with better support, brand cache, continued innovation that is better than company B, or otherwise. OR, they can grumble and say "this never should have happened".

This is exactly how the consumer benefits. And if you're offended for company A, then it just shows a lack of faith in their supposed superiority because apparently you believe somebody copying them suddenly vaults them into irrelevance.

This is ONLY ever a bad thing for Company A if they were never cut out to serve the market for the long-haul anyway.

Long live the consumer, may he always win.
  • 7 3
 Innovation comes from competition. Wish more people understood this, and not blindly support legacy companies just because they were the first to do something. Simply copying something and selling it for less sucks. Those brands can burn. Using an existing design, upgrading it, selling it for less is a different scenario and it pushes the competition to do better. Trickstuff is awesome. But lead time is ludicrous, pricing is stupid, and support is lacking. They CAN do better and should.
  • 2 2
 @Abacall: This is a Trickstuff test balloon. Let’s see if a Chinese made Trickstuff with inferior finish and less power can still be sold at half the price - if so, that’s the way to go, because it delivers a much higher margin.
  • 25 13
 LOL at the "but it's made in China" nonsense. I see the same shit on the guitar forums. Well, my $1800 Eastman Chinese-made guitar has better QC and plays better than most of the sub $6k Gibsons I've played, which are made here in the USA. So much for that theory. It's a shame that people can't look past the country of origin and appreciate a quality product. Sure they may look like TS's but that's about it considering they have features the TS brakes don't have AND you can actually purchase them without having to wait over a year to get them (also looking at you Intend with the stupid small batch releases of your brakes).
  • 9 2
 BRB getting Mavens because they are manufactured right here in North America....wait.....
  • 3 0
 I felt like I hit the lottery last year, when I scored a set of Piccola's from R2 Bike
  • 11 0
 These were available on a certain foreign parts website for some months under a generic name for much cheaper before being branded and commissioned as a separate brand. Also they were gifted to a lot of social media peoples for promotion it seems
  • 14 3

Thank you for your high and objective evaluation of this brake. However, based on the labor cost of its production in China, it is actually not cheap. The main problem is that its texture is a bit too cheap, and the texture makes people feel Unbearable.
  • 12 4
 Although I am a Chinese and have tried this brake before, I would say that this product (and brand) has not yet undergone the baptism and test of time. Whether it can be used for more than 20 years like Hope is unknown.
  • 4 3
 Although I am a Chinese and have tried this brake before, I would say that this product (and brand) has not yet undergone the baptism and test of time. Whether it can be used for more than 20 years like Hope is unknown.
  • 8 6
 Look! It’s a Chinese! Get him! /s

You’re good - lots of the commentators here are pretty disgusting and I can’t imagine what they’d be thinking if they see folks like you and me on the trail.
  • 5 4
 @troutquintet: it’s like the 1800s all over again.
  • 6 2
 Thanks, I prefer the texture of my brakes to be al dente.
  • 15 4
 TIL that Pinkbike commenters are a bunch of whining keyboard virtue signaling warriors. Wait..... I already knew this. Thank you PB for reviewing these brakes. Been eyeing them for a while and they look f*cking beautiful and have some wicked cool features. Everyone who complains "knock off" or "made in china" can keep burning through their clapped out Guides on green runs.
  • 12 0
 In Soviet Russia Brake Breaks You...
  • 5 0
 oh the days of Soviet Russia - 'democratic' Russia on the other hand
  • 1 1
 It’s Mother Russia, comrade!
  • 16 8
 All the people who say "So what if it is made in China" are right, but are ENTIRLEY MISSING THE POINT. Blatantly copying the successful design of another company and selling at a discount (a practice that Chinese companies have been notorious for for decades with little recourse for the original designer) is the problem. It is not WHERE it is made, it is HOW and WHY it was made.

The reason that IP protections exist is largley to promote creativity and innovation. Trickstuff likely spent years if not decades developing their products, and spent a lot of money to do it. Now another company CLEARLY copies their product, intends to look just like a successful product, and even this website directly compares the two. Anyone who claims there is even a question of whether these are a knock-off is not engaging in good faith. Allowing, and in the case of this article, effectively promoting this product, will cause other companies to think twice about creating an industrying leading unique product in the future. Oh, and the "You do not know what this Chinese company's labor standards are" crowd - well neither do you, and until I hear otherwise it is safe to assume that the ubiquitously horrible labor standards that China is known for exist here as well. There is certainly no reason to think otherwise.

Also, although not relevent here, the practice of chinese copies of IP protected goods have in some cases caused harm and deaths when the knock of product fails in a way that the real product would not. Material selection, testing, QC, and quality are in many cases a key part of the product and design. Knockoff products frequently if not constantly miss this, and the lookalike is only so on a surface level.

Yes, a lot of products are made in China. That is not the issue here. The issue here is blatant IP theft. It doesn't matter if there is a different name, for that matter. The trade dress is what was copied - this product is supposed to look just like another product that is easily identifiable (at least in these circles) without seeing a logo. As others have said, PB should not be engaging in this, but I doubt Outside Inc and its VC backers are willing to be very critical of Chinese money.

And anyone saying it is "racist" to be critical of this should look in a mirror and question just how they became so f**king stupid.
  • 11 4
 Lots of assumptions made in this entire discussion. As someone who is personally in engineering and global sourcing I can say yes there are lots of counterfeiting and questionable business practices in China and much of the world. However, there are also TONS of Chinese entrepreneurs that simply have the advantage of China seeing the value in being a manufacturing power house for the last 30 years when other countries have abandoned.

I've been to countless Chinese, Indonesian, and Thai machine shops and factories that other countries would dream of having all staffed by prideful and enthusiastic employees not slaves.

How many times have you been to China and specifically to visit a manufacturing facility?

I am not defending Lewis or condoning counterfeiting, I spend hours and lots of resources combating international counterfeiting for my company and understand it sucks. But if you don't make the necessary moves to protect your IP don't complain when someone clones the concept and adds their own take to it while at the same time leveraging their accessible resources.

But let's ask some simple questions.

What IP of Trickstuff does this infringe on? Do you have the patent or trademark numbers? Does Trickstuff actually have any patents? I don't see any reference to patents on their site. If they have a design patent on the appearance on their MC/Lever than yes there is a path for litigation otherwise I don't think there are any IP infringements here.

Lewis doesn't seem to making any claims to anything besides the patent pending features THEY invented not Trickstuff.

Are there labor issues in China? Absolutely. Do they exist in machine shops not really. Mostly isolated to raw materials, apparel, and electronics.

At the end of the day it is customer choice to purchase a product and the great thing about most of the world not being socialist is that we get to vote with our dollars.
  • 3 3
 @daveew One can argue that your own demand for quality massed produced products for a fair price and the current environment is a result of your own greed. You have only yourselves to blame. You gave them all the designs, processes, build of materials, yet you wanted no regulation or laws in the name of cheapness. You made this happen. Now you are somehow “suffering” in the consequences that you created? Classic projection. Be a man and accept accountability.
  • 6 3
 @misterkslays: The manufacturing practices issue goes to buying Chinese-made products in general, and you are right, people vote with their dollars. As I said, the problem is not that it is a Chinese made product. I am sure there are many ethical factories in China and Asia in general, but it is no secret that the labor practices and worker protections are generally not good. Hence the cheap products. This may not be true in the manufacturing industry. My family business purchased raw materials from China until recently, and witnessed firsthand the working conditions that made sourcing from China the best economic option. So no, I do not take a moral stance against buying from China full stop. I was merely pointing out that there is no evidence of the labor practices of "Lewis" one way or another, but people seem to claim that lack of evidence is its own evidence that the labor practices are good. They very well may be, but no one knows. But again, that is beside the point. The issue I have is that another company is copying a successfu, identifiable, and well-respected design, and the copying is the primary means of competition.

Also, as I said above, whether the brakes are patented is not the end of the question. What this company is copying is the Trade Dress: the image, notoriety, and recognizability of another product to imitate that product. Using an established company's distinguishing design is the whole issue here. Trickstuff took time, effort, and money to develop a great and universally loved product that is recognizable in its design and appearance, and to build a reputation as well. That (and possibly patented design elements) is what is being copied. That is what I have a problem with. You may not, but like people voting with their dollars, they can also have different views on this practice.

Finally, Trickstuff has AT LEAST three patents on elements of their brakes, including the hydraulics specifically. Whether these Lewis brakes infringe on the specific patented elements, I have no idea. But even if they do, the problem with Chinese copycats is that it is difficult if not impossible to stop the infringement. There is little reason to think that Lewis would imitate only the image and visual design of the Trickstuff products, and not the patented elements as well.
  • 2 8
flag cuban-b (Feb 23, 2024 at 15:35) (Below Threshold)
 @daveew: lay off the cocaine sir. Potential employers look down upon that
  • 5 0
 @cuban-b: You have a very inflated view of my own policy-making power. I wish I were important enough to be blamed for international trade issues.

I also suppose you have no accountabiliy, or else your diatribe is mere hypocrisy. Typing this up on your locally sourced, organic keyboard, your heirloom laptop, or artisan phone purchased from a fair trade electronics company? No, didn't think so.

How about "We only have ourselves to blame."
  • 1 7
flag cuban-b (Feb 23, 2024 at 16:29) (Below Threshold)
 @daveew: the difference is, I don’t care about the same things you care about.
  • 2 3
 @daveew: If TrickStuff hasn't protected their Trade Dress (trademarks), innovative functional features (utility patents), or stylized design (design patents) they themselves have chosen the path of not thinking those are valuable and then have zero ground to stand on or complain about someone cloning their product and evolving it. That is the world we live in. Most people and companies are not innovators and they just regurgitate existing products in their search for the easiest path to generate some revenue. Yes IP protection and enforcement is expensive but you need to do at least the basics of trademarks + design patents on anything you're selling some reasonable quantity of annually. Let's see if DT Swiss even cares about this company or has the legal grounds to pursue litigation against Lewis. I suspect it won't.
  • 4 0
 @misterkslays: Yes, voting with your dollar is the best weapon we have. For me, there is a bigger picture. If you are on IG,I suggest you follow @northern_square and other underground pages where people risk the lives of their entire families by merely trying to speak the truth about the wholesale fvkery by the Everything negative is suppressed - you can't even find pictures of the massive raging wildfires in Guizhou forest for over 2 weeks on Weibo. Not going to support that, nor do I expect citizens of other countries to support US mfg when our tax dollars go to a regime that supports ______________
  • 2 1
 @suspended-flesh: I go to China 2-3 times per year and have many friends that live there. I completely understand what happens in China that doesn't make it out. I don't need to have a social media account to do that. Your assumption that every Chinese citizen has the existence you like to watch on your phone is ridiculous. Every country in the world has groups of people that lead a horrible existence independent of the flag flown and the type of government in power. Good luck trying to live any sort of modern life with none of your money going to China. I'll stand by everything I've typed; not all Chinese factories are slave shops, there are lots of entrepreneurial and happily living Chinese citizens, and it is up to TrickStuff/DT Swiss to prioritize protecting their product. They have 2 German patents with figures that look similar to Maxima brakes all filed in 2022, which seems too late per US law but maybe DE is different. DE-102022121163-A1, DE-102022121164-A1. Maybe Lewis or Pinkbike will update us in the future if DT Swiss files suite for infringement.
  • 1 0
 @misterkslays: Of course there is no way to be 100% China-free in a global economy. I just resist (when I can) supporting companies based on the Chinese mainland because my tiny amount of money helps their government (among many other things) oppress the relatives of the 2 Tibetan expats I worked with for 15 years and are good friends. Yes, they both have Tenzin in their names Smile Point is, I don't feel good about owning stuff made in China. It's just my thing - do your thing.
  • 18 10
 I didn't see it mentioned but the rotors are a near copy of the TRP R1 rotor. Why promote these knock-offs? What's next, ICAN frame review and comparison to whatever western bike it most resembles?
  • 37 11
 Ah yes, TRP. Inventors of the circle.
  • 6 3
 @warmerdamj: Please tell me, how many other rotor designs feature 2.3mm thickness, 12 spokes and a drilled braking surface with extrusions at the end of every other spoke junction?
  • 7 5
 @jloosener: SRAM centerline and HS2 rotors both have 12 spokes with varying extrusions and a drilled surface. The extrusion and drilled surface feature is found on many rotors and is very common, likely for heat dissipation and weight savings. You can't be calling them a rip off because they use the few options available when making a metal surface that people want to be light and heat resistant. The tolerance for rotor thickness in brakes is small and many companies share rotor thickness.

Also the little triangles near the bolts on these have 3 sides, the TRPs have 4.

Sure they look similar, but it's just a metal circle and if anything TRP and Lewis both get their rotors from the same Chinese company, just like most brake manufacturers do.
  • 7 0
 @warmerdamj: Look at them though, they're right. Aside from the most incremental change in shape on the arm, everything about it is identical.
  • 2 3
 @warmerdamj: Neither Centerline nor HS2 rotors are drilled, neither are 2.3mm. Centerline rotors feature intrusions every 4 spokes with extrusions on the remaining spokes. HS2 rotors have intrusions every 4 spokes with a smooth edge around the rest.

I don't know what exactly you're trying to defend here, but this is a silly hill to die on.
  • 9 3
 @jloosener: I'm not really defending anything, it's just a conversation. Pretend we're sitting at a bar talking, not arguing on the internet, it's fine.

I agree they look very similar, but it's a brake rotor and TRP is just Tektro which is a huge company based out of China. It's pretty reasonable to assume that these rotors could be made by the same third party, or by Tektro in both cases. Either way it doesn't mean Lewis is ripping off TRP and neither has reinvented the wheel here.
  • 9 2
 These look really really nice. But unless spare hoses, olives and brake pads are easily available then it would be hard for me to move away from Shimanos
  • 1 1
 A lot of the time they are cross compatible with other companies replacement parts. Id shoot them a dm and ask.
  • 2 1
 I looked into this. The "barb" and "olive" are reusable. Brake pads are the same as Hope. I haven't looked into the hose yet though. You can cut either end of the hose as well and rethread the "barb" or banjo on as well meaning you may be able to use just about whatever hose you want. They show this in their "shortening your cables" video.
  • 1 0
 @XCplease: yes, most of these s components are standard items you just have to figure out what size and thread pitch
  • 6 1
 Trickstuff brakes are not hard to find.They have dealers with stock and brakes and spares so no worries there.I have 3 sets on my various bikes . Also have the Hopes on my E-bike which are great also but not a patch on TS.
Expensive Yes worth it depends what your after but are they fantastic definitely Yes.
And for what it’s worth Lewis brakes blatant copies!
  • 4 1
 These are the version of Trickstuff.
  • 15 7
 China doing what China does best stealing from the rest of the world...
  • 6 1
 I heard these brakes actually harvest your credit card information.
  • 8 0
 @TRG22: Honestly that's a bit funny coming from someone in North America. Having moved here from eastern Europe, one of the first striking differences I saw was how this place leeches off the east and basically treats the rest of the world as inferior. I love where I live, but it's a fallacy to think this is an one-way street.
  • 18 14
 These comments are hilarious. None of you know anything about what this company pays it employees or the quality of the conditions or final product. Also, most of the shit you buy is from China, this one just come direct from the manufacturer there instead of SRAM buying it first and slapping a 'murican company name on the box. Just because it's direct from China doesn't mean it's any lower quality. Believe it or not not every Chinese worker is getting paid peanuts while getting their ass beat in a dungeon to slave away on manufacturing. It's not 1985 anymore, there's lots of companies and employees there that take pride in what they produce.
  • 7 4
 Right!? Classic PB human rights advocates LMAO.

I knew this thread would have some heat in it hahahaha Been following Lewis on IG for a while now, long before they started to garner interest. TBH they look great, have some amazing features, strong reviews, and are a wicked price for a great and beautiful brakeset. Fvck the haters.
  • 6 2
 This “living wage” is nothing more than a racist dog whistle here. Anytime China is mentioned…these same people always show up with their racist Sinophobic tropes. Americans have been ripping each other off for far longer than China.
  • 6 1
 Such a weird product. Actually good performance, priced to market, yet obvious visual copy cat. How were these decisions made? What will their next product launch be, an Apfel iPhoney?
  • 9 1
 Ah yes, more Chinese R&D ( Receive & Duplicate).
  • 9 3
 Employees of Lewis brakes were threatening to sue people on instagram for calling them copies of other brakes. I’d never give them a dime.
  • 8 1
 How do they compare power to the new Hope brakes?
  • 8 19
flag dchill (Feb 23, 2024 at 8:16) (Below Threshold)
 hope and power aren't used in the same sentence
  • 9 1
 @dchill: completely wrong, the new tech 4 brakes have won product of the year from just about every other website. @brianpark how come pinks bikes reviews a blatant trickstuff copy before any of the new hope brakes that have been out for 2 years?
  • 5 9
flag L0rdTom (Feb 23, 2024 at 12:06) (Below Threshold)
 @spicysparkes: pink bike were given a blatant trick stuff copy to review, just like all the other impartial influencers.
  • 1 1
 @spicysparkes: they reviewed them 2 years ago when they came out.
  • 6 0
 @warmerdamj: we didn't review them there, just shared the news of their launch. I'm not sure why they didn't get reviewed TBH, I vaguely remember there being an availability issue but we should go back and figure that out. Hope makes good brakes and I like their products in general.
  • 3 0
 Following up, I can confirm that Hope will be included in an upcoming big brake showdown. Smile
  • 4 1
 Just me or does the first pic showing the caliper and adapter mounted onto a bike appear to have daylight showing between the forward caliper mounting tab and the adapter? Alignment/poor quality control, optical illusion or it just wasn’t tightened down by the installer?
  • 1 0
 its light reflecting off the chamfer on the bottom side.
  • 2 0
 I think youre seeing reflection from the chamfered edge from machining
  • 5 2
 Putting these on your bike dooms you to making every trail side interaction an excessively long justification of why you bought these instead of just spending the money to get the real Trickstuff. You probably have a Kia Stinger and won’t shut up about how it’s actually a better car than an M5 too.
  • 8 2
 Edit, oh I thought these were the Aliexpress ones.
  • 6 0
 At least they’re not painted red?
  • 10 3
  • 7 2
 Who knew PB had so many IP lawyers in its audience. Almost as numerous as the engineers.
  • 3 1
 I have a Chinese "homage" watch. For the unfamiliar, it's a copy of an expensive western design, but with its own logo and often some small tweaks to the styling. In this case, it's a San Martin copy of the Tudor Ranger. Very analogous to these brakes vs. Trickstuff.

The watch is objectively well-made, nice looking, and runs very accurately for a mechanical watch at its price point. But I often see it and think... Bummer that it's not the real thing. And so I don't end up wearing it all that often.

If you care a lot about original design then maybe these brakes aren't for you. But I don't think that automatically makes them bad. After all, due to the very different price point, they are definitely not stealing sales from Trickstuff. I was never intending to buy a Tudor Ranger for $3k, and a Rolex/Tudor customer is not going to settle for a $300 San Martin.
  • 1 1
 I bought a Rodex Submariner Date Oystersteel on Ladyboy Alley in Bangkok. It filled with water in the shower I so desperately needed the next morning. They said Rodex was just as good as Rolex
  • 4 0
 @suspended-flesh: Nice, truly a unisex watch
  • 3 1
 "but it’s worth noting that brakes with a dual bolt brake clamp, such as Formula, and Magura, do a much better job of dissipating the load on the handlebar versus the hinged clamp design"

Says who? Where is this data?

How about non-hinged old/cheap-SRAM-style band clamps?
  • 1 0
 @lightone: looks like it's more about the non-roundness and thus point-loading from those clamps than that they are hinged. A dual-bolt system could be just as much out of round and cause the same issues. The least likely clamp to cause issues would probably be the band styles such as used on some SRAM brakes or like drop-bar levera, though they still rely on the portion of the lever that makes contact being properly round, but the potential surface for out-of-round is greatly reduced since the band will flex to follow the bar.
  • 3 0
 How does the light lever feel compare to Hayes Dominions? I've tried TRPs, Codes, MT7s, and so far nothing comes close to the Dominions. Every time I end up disappointed, taking the L, and throwing my old Dominions on.
  • 2 0
 Not as light. I'd say it's heavier than even a Shimano brake. Haven't tried TRPs or MT7s so can't compare that but Dominions are by far the lightest to squeeze. I just wish they had less lever throw.
  • 1 0
 @Handsomehwang: Ahh interesting. That's good to know! My only gripe is the sticky pistons.
  • 3 1
 one thing I can tell for sure going over these comments, chinese propaganda works very well. Remember - it's a nation that will be happy to see your nation defeated. Don't forget that most people on internet prised Putler just a few years ago, but you can clearly see now how retarted that old guy is and people who support him (at least half of the russians and a few other retarted nations).
  • 5 2
 still not convinced especially for the price they are charging, for just $100 more you can get a full set with 4 rotors of the new sram brakes which looks way more promising
  • 1 1
 Except you can't because those were limited and pretty much out of stock everywhere now.
  • 1 0
 Indeed they look very good, they put some work to develop these brakes but the design is very similar to Trickstuff. Take a look at Huawei Mate, looks like an MacBook Air…Same story here. I would rather buy the Dominion’s. I think they are the only real competitor for Trickstuff.
  • 2 1
 I hear these brakes are all the rage with kids ridding Surons. They do look suspiciously similar to my TS Diretissima’s. If you hop over to their website they even have a set that look like the Intend brakes. I guess imitation is the biggest form of flattery?
  • 2 1
 Been running a set of LH4's on my Banshee Rune for 6 weeks.. Previous brakes were TRP Quadiems, Shimano Saints, Hayes Strokers, Avid Elixirs. No problems so far. The lh4's are very powerful, moreso than Saints, buts still have great modulation especially deep in the stroke. Easy to bleed and bite point is dead consistent. bite point adjustment is legit with a ton of range. Subbed in Truckerco semimetallic pads, better than Lewis' stock sintered.
  • 2 1
 Besides being a copy, and the question regarding labor, we can add the energy source (most likely coal plant)

I wouldn't pay +500 for those brakes, and sincerelly I don't see anyone willing to pay that much for chinesium brakes.
  • 1 0
 I got a set of black LHT's and am currently comparing the front LHT to my rear Hope T4 V4. It's a really good brake. Slightly firmer lever pull than the T4 V4's, great power like the Hope's (I'm using the Lewis 200mm rotors), shorter deadstroke, firmer bite point, and way less mess to bleed. The leverage ratio adjustment really makes a difference, I kept it on a harder pull. Going to install the rear tonight.
  • 4 0
 I am wondering what an "affective lever adjustment" is?
  • 4 0
 It has an affect on the adjustment Smile
  • 2 0
 It changes your feelings about your levers. They're left- and right-specific, so be careful to not confuse. I'm wondering why they used fasteners 'to hold them together'
  • 1 1
 @ceecee: If not, it would turn freely when you pull the lever
  • 1 1
 @ZhuangYanbing: these are criticisms of the presentation, not the product. Affective describes something provoked or influenced by feelings, emotions or mood, while something effective is successful in achieving the desired outcome. Looks like the blurb at the end has been edited since the original comment was made. It's also confusing because Formula has a Feeling Control System. The two-piece 7075 T6 aluminum caliper uses titanium fasteners. Enough said? Maybe not, since there appear to be ti fasteners at the levers too. This is sort of covered by 'titanium hardware,' presuming hardware is fasteners. The photos are crisp, however
  • 5 1
 Saint brakes on evil bikes are the best!
  • 3 2
  that’s my set up …….:saints on a Wreckoning
  • 1 0
 @Lundeee: wish evil would make the bike of true trail love-The Swallowing!
  • 4 0
 Cons - Heavy brake enthusiast idiots will have a fit moaning.
  • 4 1
 It would be too exhausting for me to have to explain every time in the lift queue that it's not a trickstuff.
  • 3 0
 I have friends use these brakes, the evaluation is mixed. for me, i just don't like the appearance design.
  • 4 2
 i think its bs that PB even reviewed these, yeah they have a lot of 'buzz' right now but that's no excuse for promoting a direct knockoff/ stolen ip
  • 2 0
 Well, who ever designing brakes, can design be around most widespread brake pads on the market? Such as code’s/ or shimano conterpart?
  • 1 1
 Thanks Matt for the write up. I had been debating Kaha’s with Hope T4V4 and found these interesting as well. I ultimately went with the Hopes chiefly because they have industry leading after sales support, (nothing to do with country of origin). I truly value that in any product I buy. So I dug into the comments section (staggering to say the least) and it triggered a memory of a recent experience at a LBS: An older white dude was asking a white employee about Haibike. He told the kid that he didn’t want a Chinese bike. The kid informed him that the brand is German. He did not even attempt to educate the customer on the the origin of manufacture. Pathetic and disheartening behavior to witness. Sadly, this great sport we all love is permeated with bigots and racists who jump at any opportunity to spew their hate, while they happily brag about and ride bikes and parts nearly exclusively made in Asia. The industry as we know it wouldn’t exist without the world class Asian manufacturing partners for these Western brands. It’s high time that PB, other high profile outlets, heck, brands themselves acknowledge and elevate the craftsmanship and quality of goods we enjoy from Asia. I write as a person of Taiwanese heritage married with kids to my German/English wife. So to all the xenophobes on here, picturing you on your Asian made bike, running Asian components, wearing Asian made clothing and equipment, using Asian made electronics puts a huge grin on my face. Show some respect or put your money where your mouth is and toss your stuff in the trash if that’s what you believe it all to be.
  • 2 2
 Stepping away from the hypo-frontal groupthink of yet another comment section: I have these brakes. They're lighter than the competitors. They're less expensive than the competitors. They have more adjustability than the competitors. They are more powerful than my old SRAM Code RSCs, Hopes, and Shimanos even on lower diameter rotors.
  • 2 2
 Stepping away from the hypo-frontal groupthink of yet another comment section: I have these brakes. They're lighter than the competitors. They're less expensive than the competitors. They have more adjustability than the competitors. They are more powerful than my old SRAM Code RSCs, Hopes, and Shimanos even on lower diameter rotors.
  • 2 2
 Stepping away from the hypo-frontal groupthink of yet another comment section: I have these brakes. They're lighter than the competitors. They're less expensive than the competitors. They have more adjustability than the competitors. They are more powerful than my old SRAM Code RSCs, Hopes, and Shimanos even on lower diameter rotors.
  • 2 1
 Now can we get a review of the Radic Kahas in comparison to yesterday and todays brakes?
Love seeing more of these reviews surface!
  • 7 1
 I can offer some insight here, I ran these for about 4 or 5 months.

The Kahas have the shortest deadstroke of any brake I've had, engagement is almost instant with very little useless stroke on them. The power is really good, more than Dominions and maybe more than Hope T4 V4 in my very not objective measuring. Definitely more than MT7s and Saints. The lever is really smooth feeling, but they do require a bit more strength to pull the lever to get power out once they engage, not a lot, but a bit more than Mavens for instance.

Bleeding is easy since it uses Bleeding Edge fittings. Mounting can be a little finicky due to the lever brace, but otherwise install is uneventful.

I only have minor complaints. The bleed on mine showed up bad and I had to bleed right away, which took like 10min at most. The reach adjuster is kindof a pain to use with a multitool since it's between the lever and bar. There is no contact point adjust, which for people wanting more deadstroke will be a problem.

I really like them, by far some of the better brakes I've used. More power and/or faster engagement than Dominions, Hope, Shimano, Magura, or Codes. There aren't any brakes I've found yet that really compare to the engagement speed of the Kahas. These are the best brakes I've tried if you like running levers close to the bar, but if you like them out in space with a real linear pull, they might be a problem.

Taylor real responsive with questions when I had issues or questions.
  • 3 0
 MT5/7 for almost nothing. Not a hard choice
  • 2 2
 Ok... difference between these and the Ali express ones? Genuinely interested. Apart from the bite point adjust and about 400bucks in price. Would be interested in a side by side comparison. Get Seth on the review!
  • 3 0
 The more I see of high end brakes the more I like my good old SLX.
  • 1 1
 been running a set for 3 months on my 54 pound ransom ebike and they have been pretty bulletproof ,no problems at all ,the power and bite is pretty awesome , i got a killer deal on them before they hit the us
  • 2 3
 我来自中国,亲眼看到这个品牌是如何做大的。事实上该品牌是一个制作钓鱼工具的工厂老板被人赞助了一只trickstuff maxima刹车之后才成立的,最初的目的就是制作更低价格的trickstuff,在此之前他们和自行车没有任何关系只是看到了其中的利润。最初版本的产品相当糟糕,经过了好几次迭代才有了现在的性能。在中国他们售价1300人民币一套,只要Hope一半的价格,而trickstuff在中国需要超过10000人民币,这就是为什么他们能做大并且推出海外市场的原因。不需要怀疑,他们就是靠山寨起步的。
  • 1 0
  • 5 2
 This shit is wack. Can’t believe Pinkbike posted it to the homepage
  • 1 0
 Great to hear so much passion about locally made product. But biggest take from this is I can’t believe @thenotoriousmic said the Hope lads were from Yorkshire.
  • 1 0
 Why is it not a minus point, that you can't get leavers alone? You always have to buy a complete brake. No other company does this.
  • 1 0
 ahaha made in china for half price of made in germany??
basicaly its made in china A. Lange & Söhne for half price of original.
  • 2 0
 I fancy a set of these, mainly so it looks like a have some trick “factory” brakes with my name on the levers.
  • 2 1
 Chinese craftsmanship, materials and manufacturing techniques, are utter ! Your risking your own life every time you ride their kommie shit.
  • 2 0
 just buy dominions, how are rsc's teh reference?
  • 1 0
 RSCs were probably used as a reference because of how many are out there. Very common OE spec.
  • 1 0
 1600mm rotors? hell yeah, thats almost as big as me, fading should be no issue with them
  • 1 0
 I want a linear / progressive leverage curve adjustment system on a bike frame shock mount!
  • 3 1
 Pick a brake and be a Di*k about !
  • 1 0
 @ZhuangYanbing: Is there a problem with the LH4 I purchased from the US distributor on jan 9?
  • 2 2
 This takes me back to when shimano released their first disc brake- the XT BR-M755 and another company named Grimeca released something that was identical. God I feel old.
  • 5 5
 A Chinese company with a knock off Western name they cannot pronounce selling knock off Western products using slave labor.... No thanks rewis...
  • 4 6
 The hypocrisy shown by the posters to this forum is truly amazing, as the mostly white Eurocentrics rail against non white “foreigners”, for having the fall to produce good products for less that their European counterparts.

I’m beginning to believe that the real opposition to anything not produced in the states or Europe is simply a form of racism and xenophobia.
  • 2 2
 Magura and Formula are much cheaper and produced in house in Europe. So pretty false equivalency however having issue with a product sold by a Chinese company is crap as opposed to an American company producing in China
  • 3 2
 Missed opportunity on staying authentic and naming the company Wang or Dong.
  • 4 3
 Will this Chinese trash force trick stuff to speed up their delivery times?
  • 3 1
 Nice review
  • 2 2
 Huh, a few months ago I saw a youtuber do a review on them. He had said they were UK made.
  • 3 5
 I bought the LH4 a few weeks ago, they are absolutely perfect, and 313 € only. Mindbogling performance, great power and very reliable! And quite a conversation piece in the bike park line lol
  • 6 4
 Looks like a Session
  • 2 2
 Steeling designs and technology harms the people which create progress. It should not be promoted, bought or normalised
  • 2 1
 Overpriced. Ill look for copies on AliXpress soon!
  • 2 1
 They were already on there before the "Lewis" models even came out, and you're right, they were much less expensive! I am unsure of the relationship between "Lewis" and the other brand they sold under, and why the "Lewis" models cost so much more (ie. are there actual improvements like the bite point adjuster, or did they just realize they could charge more with a "Western" name?
  • 1 1
 thanks to pinkbike, i have learned more about chinese production than i have about these lewis brakes..
  • 1 0
 Where did you park the car LEEEEWIISS? *proceeds to get shot
  • 3 1
 Ngl I'm buying them
  • 1 0
 i wouldnt buy sir Lewis's brakes either.
  • 1 0
 I'll take a pair of Saint's for $350 please.
  • 1 0
 Brakes eh? Cool cool
  • 3 3
 Nothing beats my Shimano BL-M9120s. Nothing. Except mountain lions.
  • 1 1
 Is it a ZRace M1 chinese stuff?
  • 1 0
 Clone-Tenders. Mmmm
  • 1 1
 Should of called them trickstiff maximo
  • 2 1
 Order now and get a free Tag Hoyer watch.
  • 7 10
 Pinkbike thank you so much, this is what the people want
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