Clarks' $99 4-Piston DH Brake, Formula's Gold Cura, and MRP's New Fork Internals - Eurobike 2019

Sep 5, 2019 at 2:18
by Mike Levy  


There are a few different options to choose from if you need a lot of stopping power but don't have a lot of money, including the new M4 brake from Clarks that retails for just $99 USD per end. The British brand's catalog is full of cable-operated and dual-piston offerings, but the 252-gram M4 is their first enduro and downhill-focused stopper.

Down at the caliper, Clarks has gone with a two-piece design that's held together with large bolts, no doubt to save on some manufacturing costs. But the caliper isn't just a big chunk of metal - they've done a good job at removing extra material and making it look shapely. The pads are unique to the M4, though. Clarks will offer the brake with 160, 180, and 200mm rotors, and they'll be both e-bike and analog-bike versions.


Eurobike 2019
Eurobike 2019
At $99 USD, could the M4 bring big power without a big price?


Up top, the lever is quite long and with a pronounced hook at the end, and reach is adjustable by using a small hex key rather than turning a dial. More cost-saving. The perch is hinged, too. Like their other hydraulic brakes, the M4 runs on mineral fluid.

Would you consider the $99 USD M4 brake, or will you stick to the more well-known names?



Eurobike 2019
MRP says that their 'Chocoluxe' internals lower friction by 37-percent compared to the original Ribbon fork.


MRP didn't have any all-new products in their booth, but there's an important update to their suspension forks that's worth taking a closer look at. Friction is the enemy, of course, and they're saying they've reduced it by a massive 37-percent compared to the first-generation Ribbon fork via their 'Chocoluxe' internals.

The strange name comes from the brown color of the Norglide material, and MRP has used it at the air-spring seal head, damper seals, damper IFP, and for "damper support." They're claiming that it's a much more stable material when temperatures are changing, like when your suspension starts to warm up after extended use, or if the humidity is high. Does it actually work? They had a display to play with at their booth that had both new and old pistons on a dummy shaft. The old piston slid up and down by hand, but it'd stay wherever you left, whereas the Chocoluxe piston was far easier to slide up and down, and it would actually fall under its own weight. The new internals will be put to use on all of MRP's forks, too, not just their high-end stuff.


Eurobike 2019
Eurobike 2019
MRP's updated Wave2 chainring is said to offer better retention and less noise.


Other MRP news includes a revised Wave2 chainring design that's said to offer better retention and compatibility with Shimano's 12-speed chains. That comes from a re-shaped narrow-wide tooth profile that's supposed to be quieter, too, and there's also a new version that'll fit Shimano's latest XTR M9100 crankset. Weights start at 38-grams.



Eurobike 2019
Eurobike 2019
Looking for a bit of bling?


While not exactly new, Formula's four-piston Cura brake is simply too gold to ignore. The top-end is the same as the standard Cura stopper, including the tool-free reach adjustment, but it's all different down at the bottom with four 18mm-diameter pucks and different pads. Pricing is a bit different than Clarks' M4, though, with them going for $218 USD per end.


96 Comments

  • 179 6
 analog-bike???????????????? WTF.........I never want to hear that again
  • 29 0
 yeah, that's bullshit - all the bikes on PB are obviously digital
  • 5 0
 Bullshit, innit?
  • 31 3
 How about acoustic bike then?
  • 25 19
 Another Stupid Pinkbike new name, just like Downcountry.
  • 77 55
 @endurocat: Eeesh, you guys are riled. I'm just differentiating between e-bikes and mountain bikes. Calm yourselves and call the bikes whatever you want Smile
  • 8 2
 That's cringeworthy. I'd be fine with "wireless" bikes. Though not all pedal-unassisted bikes can claim that nowadays.
  • 146 7
 @mikelevy: The best way to differentiate between the two is by calling mountain bikes "bikes", and never talking about e-bikes.
  • 29 0
 You think that's bad? Here in Europes the newspapers call us "Bio-Bikers"
  • 6 0
 @endurocat: ...Downdouro
  • 28 2
 @chriskneeland: sorry but the ONLY way to differentiate bikes and e-bikes is to call the latter with the real name: pedal assisted bicycles or pedelecs. It will not be cool but simply because they are not!
  • 7 0
 @cheezario: Deep sadness
  • 43 11
 Bicycles are bicycles. Anything with a motor is a motorized thing. We do not want to see this crap here, people said again and again. There are crappy sites with e-mopeds and the low self esteem people who ride them.
This is so stupid, can't wait everything folds up... which is going to happen soon – looking at decreasing sales already.
  • 18 0
 Meat powered bike.
  • 5 0
 @fartymarty: Pane&Mortadella powered bike!
  • 3 0
 @dh-corn: cross-hill?
  • 40 3
 @mikelevy: Mike, it's easy, you call a bike "bike" and an e-bike "e-bike". This is how differentiate the two. Please don't use it again.
Yours sincerely
Mike
  • 18 0
 Just change it to, "and there will also be a mountain moped version."
  • 9 2
 @mikelevy: #acousticbikes
  • 4 0
 @mikelevy: STINKBIKES
  • 4 0
 @cheezario: or muscle bike, which sound slightly derogatory towards the rest but i can live with that
  • 2 0
 @cheezario: translated into American, that would be “Organic-Bikers.”
  • 15 3
 @mikelevy: please pull your head out of your ass and call them what they are electric mopeds
  • 2 0
 @chriskneeland: upvote a katrillion *
  • 6 10
flag reverend27 (Sep 5, 2019 at 6:55) (Below Threshold)
 @RedRedRe: obsessed.. you need to find something to do. We've all heard your opinion before. You don't speak for everyone stop pretending you do.
  • 3 1
 @endurocat: Downcountry is pure gold.
  • 1 2
 @mikelevy: I think acoustic bike is the best description ever. Totally makes zero sense (other than bikes are hollow) and should be the industry term going forward. Maybe call E-bikes "solid body" lets hope theres no electric/acoustic versions around the corner.
  • 4 0
 @fartymarty: Meat-powered bikes FTW
  • 8 1
 @mikelevy: If you want to differentiate call them motorbikes and bikes, nobody will get confused then. But it might get some E-bike brands pants in a bunch.
  • 2 0
 @chriskneeland: gave me a good laugh
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy: you need to talk Clark’s into letting you test those $99 stoppers
  • 4 5
 @RedRedRe: so people who ride emtb's automatically have low self esteem?? You are clueless dude, emtb is here to stay and one day it will be like snowboarders and skiers, once everyone calms down and accepts emtb as a new experience NOT a replacement
  • 4 0
 @squeegee: Unfortunately, you're probably right. MTB has entered the era of fake cycling.
  • 4 0
 @slinky1: I prefer certified non-GMO bike
  • 3 0
 @pk71: That's right! It's not bicycles that need a new name. We can look at motorcycles, people call them bikes too but if there is a need to differentiate, it's bicycles and motorbikes/motorcycles. So in this case, one can say bicycles and e-bikes or bikes and e-cycles or electric cycles (or pedelecs Smile ).
  • 3 0
 @cheezario: can't wait for 'sustainable' to be included by someone
  • 1 0
 fhere we call it "muscular bikes"... even if you dont want to hear that ahah!
  • 1 0
 Upvote button broken
  • 4 0
 @mikelevy: analog-bikes is a stupid name and you should be disappointed in yourself.
  • 1 0
 @pk71: so if the bike is called a pedelec, then I guess you would call the rider a pedelfile...
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: How about e bikes and real bikes.
  • 3 1
 Acoustic downcountry is a musical genre.
  • 1 0
 @Srfntrf: Pedelaider?! Pedeclist?! Pedelazy?!
  • 11 2
 Having experienced clarks brakes multiple times, the old adage 'if it looks too good to be true, it probably is' rings very true. The clarks c2 brakes were 40 quid for a full set, including rotors and adaptors. The first time my mate tried a back hop on them (his new budget bike) the mount and calliper pretty much exploded. The rotors were super low quality steel, the pads were shocking, everything about them bar the price was bad. The skeletals another mate had reminded me of my original Hayes stroker rides: shit. No power, no modulation, poor lever shape, limited adjustments. I would hope these 4 pots would be better for the money but I'd be dubious. Shimano zees can be had for not much more (albeit without rotor or mount but still) and would be my recommendation for budget high power brakes.
  • 11 1
 Friend had a set, first time he braked hard, 5 of the rotor bolts snapped, the one that didn't snap held the disc on, which ended up cone shaped after getting jammed in the caliper while the wheel continued turning,then the 1 remaining bolt snapped the mount out of his hub rendering the front wheel as scrap, all in one wheel rotation. Clarks are junk.
  • 7 0
 I bought some of the brake pads for my commuter, the braking material fell off the pads after a couple of days.
  • 5 0
 @stumpymidget: ....but there are also still people who mount their rotor backwards Big Grin just sayin´
  • 6 0
 I will be sticking with my Zees.
  • 1 0
 Even Clarks v-brake noodle fittings are shit, shit as in they actually rust. Serves me right for being an el cheapo bastard and not paying an extra $2 for a Shimano one.
  • 10 1
 I smashed my nads on the stem more time than I care to remember in the 80's due to snapping clarkes 'powerglide' bmx brake cables. Maybe the same company, maybe not, but I wont buy their products due to the name, including their shoes.
  • 6 0
 I wouldn't mind trying those 99$ brakes but I will never buy some simply because they have specific brake-pads which would be a pain to find anywhere. I've been riding TRP Slate T4 this season with much success and have been able to use the extra pads I still had from my Zee/Saints. I'd rather go TRP for that reason alone.
  • 3 1
 You can get Magura MT5 from German sites for around $130 back & front. If someone is on a stricter budget than that and need quad pistons, they should probably just find a new sport.
  • 2 0
 Jup, slates are great! Also have banjo bolts and no washers etc to fiddle around with on the caliper. As powerful as my MT5s but much more quiet and easier to set up.
  • 1 0
 @ninjatarian: Magura ? No thanks really, with the master cylinder membrane exploding everytime you push the pistons back and serious issues with keeping a correct bleed, I'll pass. Slates are doing the job, paired with Shimano levers you get serious bite (if you like stick in the spoke feel like me), and if they are already fitted to your bike like it was for me then it's all good.
  • 1 0
 @Balgaroth: I honestly don’t know much about Magura, but from what I’ve read Shigura is apparently the ticket. I’m running MT5, and plan on putting a set of Saint levers on them this winter.
  • 5 0
 @mikelevy: Is there a chance that PB will do a review of Cura 4? They have been available for a while now, but there aren't any long term reviews out there. I am mostly interested how they compare with 2 piston Curas, and Saints or Codes
  • 2 0
 Go to Enduro MTB's site and look for their brake test. Lots of good info there.
enduro-mtb.com/en/best-mtb-disc-brake-can-buy
  • 5 0
 @jmhills: nothing on the cura 4 but otherwise a totally awesome shootout that I wish we'd see more of. And it's suspicious how often german brands end up on top at endure-mtb....
  • 3 0
 My short term review; easy to install and bleed. Lever feel is amazing. Tool less reach adjust is way too stiff, but there’s a 2mm allen you can use instead. Braking is quiet in dusty conditions and does make noise in the wet. 2 piece rotors look nice but get tweaked pretty easily. No thoughts on pad life yet. One of your friends will probably rear end you when you decide to brake check them at the bottom of a run Smile
  • 1 0
 @maurizi0: one word POWERRRRRR
  • 1 0
 @maurizi0 I've jhad the Cura4's for 6 months now, stopping power is more than what many people would need, most noticeable thing though is their excellent modulation. They were easy to set up and bleed too. Compared to Cura2's they have better modulation but more stopping power. Cura2's have higher stopping power initially (I have them on the other bike).

@mikelevy would love to see a Cura4 test on pinkbike that includes Code's, Saint's, Zee's, Hope V4's etc
  • 5 0
 Cura brakes are great! 2 seasons, no bleeding, no adjusting and completely consistent.. always! In the UK they are much cheaper too.
  • 1 0
 Wanted the cura4 something different and mineral oil but no uk sellers when I tried ended up with code rsc.
  • 1 0
 Love mine so far! Pretty shocking upgrade on my dh bike that came stock with Guide R brakes...
  • 7 0
 @MRP with Chocoluxe be available as an upgrade to existing forks?
  • 2 0
 Just bought a MRP ribbon air today so feeling like I missed out on some chocolat.
  • 1 0
 @noahcolorado what they said?
  • 4 0
 Yes, we'll have further information on packages and pricing next week.
  • 3 0
 With comparable retail values, it'd be interesting to have a shootout between the Clark M4s vs the new Shimano MT520 non-series 4 pots. They are VERY similar and the MT520s work pretty well as it is.
  • 2 0
 Those Cura’s are usually closer to $150 per end, that $218 price is high for what you actually will pay from most sites I’ve seen. Most of the sites are not in the USA though.
  • 2 0
 Still they're really great brakes and great value too, they're equivalent to the upper tier brakes of Shimano and Sram.
  • 3 0
 You can get them for 125€ Here in Europe- so its a winner for real
  • 1 0
 links please?
  • 1 0
 @batorok: star bike in Germany.
  • 1 0
 @batorok:

Bike24.de 138 euro per side I believe. Can get MT5s for 65 euros
  • 3 0
 If you want cheap bombproof 4-piston brakes Magura MT5's are all you will ever need. Also $130 for a set from the german sites. Can't get better than that.
  • 1 0
 But... the plastic levers... ????
  • 1 0
 @pcbsdusr: 'carbotecture', please XD.
And yep, you'll need a bunch of spare levers
  • 2 0
 I've used formulas throughout my whole biking 'career' and I can't fault them in any way, but those new Hayes brakes sure look good for the price
  • 4 1
 You know you're just going to have to create a new website called PINKEBIKES.com so you can separate the two.
  • 3 0
 @NoahColorado will these new parts be retro compatible?
  • 1 0
 Yes. I would like to know too. I love my ribbon!
  • 1 0
 Yes, we'll have further information on packages and pricing next week. Danke
  • 1 0
 If those clarks levers work well enough (and consistently) with my 4pot shimano calipers... mmm...
  • 1 0
 I can get a pair of zee brakes for £200...I know what 4 pot brakes I'd rather have
  • 2 0
 Man those gold Curas are sexy.
  • 2 0
 M4? Hope has a caliper called M4 already.
  • 2 0
 TACO POWERED Bike!! At least in my case
  • 1 0
 Might've been intrigued about the Clarks if they used an existing pad size and I hadn't read this comments section.
  • 1 2
 I would not trust $99.00 brakes. It’s life and limb brakes protect aside from all the techniques you can learn from having good brakes.
  • 7 0
 What about deore? I think they go for 62 per end?
  • 4 0
 @Torbo24: paid 120€ ($130) for 4 piston deores a month ago, have barely bed them in but so far they seem amazing for the price!
  • 2 0
 you can get a set of Mt5s for 150€ here...
  • 1 0
 @bashhard: MT5s suck compared to TRP slates 4s which are about the same price.. Selling mine.
  • 1 0
 I've been riding around with some Shimano M485's for about 10 years now, they were about $50 new. Never any issue with, well, anything. Black diamond runs, you name it. They feel the same as my 2 piston XTR's.
  • 1 1
 Those 99 dolla 4 pots look awefully like old Deore's.

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