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  1. #1
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    $400 for brakeset. Hope or Shimanos?

    So Ive just about had it with my Avid XX brakes on my Blur LTC and want to sell them on Ebay and replace them. Im looking to spend about $400 (maybe a bit more if necessary. I know that Hopes will probably run me a bit more than that) on brakes/rotors.

    Ive read through this forum some and hear a lot of good things about the new Shimano XTs as well as Hopes. So, can I go wrong with either set? Which would you go for?

    As for the Hopes, their website is super confusing. There are a ton of brakes on there and its hard to differentiate between them.

    I ride in Austin, TX, so a lot of short ups and downs and rocks, but no real sustained downhills so brakes overheating is not really a serious concern.


    Im mainly interested in brakes that are strong, dont feel spongey and are easy to bleed (the Avids were a nightmare to bleed due to the bleed port being below the reservoir in the lever....).

    thanks

  2. #2
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    Dude . . . call Hope Tech Monday morning and ask them what they have left on the Limited Ed. sets. I just picked up an entire M4 caliper for $60 (I already have the levers). I bet they can easily set you up within your budget.

    I'd look at an M4 front and an X2 rear for your setup. I ran this here in SoCal for a few years, but the X2 just wasn't able to keep up on the sustained downhills. You might even be able to get away with an X2/X2 setup, but personally I'd rather have an M4 in the front. I'll sell you my X2 caliper with a brand new set of EBC red pads for cheap. You'd just have to buy two levers and hoses, and you'll be good to go. PM me if you want to work something out.

    Bleeding Hope's is SUPER easy and doesn't require any fancy kits.

    P.S. I know it seems like I'm trying to sell you on my caliper, which I'm not. You can see my post history to know that I love Hope brakes
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    Hope every time, no brainer imo.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
    Dude . . . call Hope Tech Monday morning and ask them what they have left on the Limited Ed. sets. I just picked up an entire M4 caliper for $60 (I already have the levers). I bet they can easily set you up within your budget.

    I'd look at an M4 front and an X2 rear for your setup. I ran this here in SoCal for a few years, but the X2 just wasn't able to keep up on the sustained downhills. You might even be able to get away with an X2/X2 setup, but personally I'd rather have an M4 in the front. I'll sell you my X2 caliper with a brand new set of EBC red pads for cheap. You'd just have to buy two levers and hoses, and you'll be good to go. PM me if you want to work something out.

    Bleeding Hope's is SUPER easy and doesn't require any fancy kits.

    P.S. I know it seems like I'm trying to sell you on my caliper, which I'm not. You can see my post history to know that I love Hope brakes
    thanks for the advice. whats the deal with this Limited Edition sets? are they like leftover sets from last year? just wondering why theyre such good deals. how do i get in touch with em? just call em or email or what? I assume Ill need new rotors as well, correct?

    honestly, Id like to go with Hopes becuase ive heard great things about em and they just look solid. but Ive heard good things about the newer XT brakes as well so wanted to check out multiple options.

    i have an Avid bleed kit. you said you dont need a special kit to bleed Hopes. not sure what that means exactly.

    thanks for your input and feel free to just PM me these answers. everyone might not care to hear all this. ha. ill think about your offer on your X2, but think I might just prefer to go all new on this.
    Last edited by sooner518; 03-30-2013 at 02:46 PM.

  5. #5
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    Hopes

    Give Bikerbob a shout bob.at.bikerbobdotcom, I'm sure he can get them near your price range. Hopes are money.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruscle View Post
    Hope every time, no brainer imo.
    What makes them so much better than the XT's?

  7. #7
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    I've only ridden XT's on a buddies bike, I didnt like the lever shape or feel of the modulation. I also cant stand how big the master cylinder is. Hopes look great, are super easy to bleed and just reak of quality. You can upgrade to the stainless line for minimal cost and the fittings are all reusable. They are super quiet to boot.

  8. #8
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    I just got a pair of Shimano Zee for under 300.00 shipped from germany. If you want the xt and dont mind a couple of weeks they can be had for 172.10 plus shipping for the pair, saints are 366.23 plus shipping for the pair, zees were 275 after shipping for the pair. Hope are about the same price as us. 204 for m4 each, and about 180 each for x2.

  9. #9
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    Upset

    From one OU fan to another. I have both, XT's and Hopes. XT's are very good. Not great on modulation, but very easy initial depression, but not a lot of feeling Or feedback. Hopes are just awesome. They are a little heaver but much better at speed. Great modulation, great power, unbelievably reliable, unlike avids, or formulas.

  10. #10
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    I was in the same boat and chose the xts, but you really can't go wrong with either. The xts are a stronger brake, but the hopes have slightly better modulation and they look great. Both companies have stellar customer service. It all came down to price for me, as I got the whole xt kit for $220 vs the $390 I was going to have for the hope set up I wanted. My next bike might have hopes, but I love my xts. The nice thing about hopes is you can purchase all the parts of the brake for rebuilds and maintenance, with xts it's kinda just replace the lever/caliper, but shimano is awesome about warranties. Just my 2 cents...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tangaroo View Post
    I was in the same boat and chose the xts, but you really can't go wrong with either. The xts are a stronger brake, but the hopes have slightly better modulation and they great.
    The xt's are not in the least bit stronger. Maybe between the x2 series which is hopes xc brake, but not the m or v from hope.

  12. #12
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    There are a few really good places to get hopes, but tartybikes.com has different color parts for them which makes things even cooler looking.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mazspeed View Post
    The xt's are not in the least bit stronger. Maybe between the x2 series which is hopes xc brake, but not the m or v from hope.
    Agree to disagree. I've never tried the v caliper, but they're definitely a sharper brake then the m4, and much stronger than the x2. But both of those hop3s are plenty strong, I have just found that the xts ha ve a harder bite than the m4s that I tried.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tangaroo View Post
    Agree to disagree. I've never tried the v caliper, but they're definitely a sharper brake then the m4, and much stronger than the x2. But both of those hop3s are plenty strong, I have just found that the xts ha ve a harder bite than the m4s that I tried.
    Agreed . . . which is another way to say they have less modulation.

    For me, the XTs are more powerful than the X2s and they do indeed have more bite than the M4s, but in terms of stopping power, I don't think the XTs are the same. Granted, I've never tried the XTRs with the servo-wave thing.
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  15. #15
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    Im ok with agree to disagree, but the m4 has almost double the power of the xt's. i have x2 set up by me. I have a set of m4's currently sitting in a box, i have a set of v2 and v4s. My x2s are on a hardtail, and my v4s are on my HD and my V2s are on my slr. I have a ton of time on a lot of brakes and xt's are very good brakes, a great choice by many. But not nearly the power of an m brake from hope. You also have to take into account disc size and tire and grip. You could get an xt to bite hard on big discs and grippy tires, but having had all of them on my bikes i can attest that the m and v series are far stronger than the xt's. the x2s i will give you.

  16. #16
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    Hope is an awesome company, but you pay the price for their products. Like I said, my next brakes will likely be hopes, especially with the braided hoses. But for me, in Ohio, on my trail bike, the xts have more than enough power. The lever on the xts is also pretty slick for one fingered braking, but some people do not prefer them.

    For the op, try both out if you can, but I really doubt you will be disappointed in either choice.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
    Agreed . . . which is another way to say they have less modulation.

    For me, the XTs are more powerful than the X2s and they do indeed have more bite than the M4s, but in terms of stopping power, I don't think the XTs are the same. Granted, I've never tried the XTRs with the servo-wave thing.
    Are you taking initial bite or power? The xtr's are just a little lighter, no more power than the xt's

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by tangaroo View Post
    Hope is an awesome company, but you pay the price for their products. Like I said, my next brakes will likely be hopes, especially with the braided hoses. But for me, in Ohio, on my trail bike, the xts have more than enough power. The lever on the xts is also pretty slick for one fingered braking, but some people do not prefer them.


    For the op, try both out if you can, but I really doubt you will be disappointed in either choice.
    Yeah they are pricy.

  19. #19
    007
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    Quote Originally Posted by mazspeed View Post
    There are a few really good places to get hopes, but tartybikes.com has different color parts for them which makes things even cooler looking.
    Great link man. Thanks.
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  20. #20
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    If you order though tartybikes or direct in Texas, they seem to be a touch cheaper. Ask for Phil in Texas and ask for a deal.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
    Great link man. Thanks.
    Anytime. Those guys ship fast. Real fast. I had stuff in 2 days. From England no less.

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    Shimano Zee. It may seem like complete overkill to put DH brakes on an XC bike but it isn't. While they do have more power than you'll ever need, they also have better modulation and control than Shimano's XT and other 2-piston brakes. I'm not sure if it's because of the 4-piston design or what feels like a slightly different leverage curve on the Servowave mechanism, probably both. I find that the Saint/Zee modulate every bit as well as my old 4-piston XT brakes, and those ones could match the Hopes for modulation & control.

    The SLX/XT/XTR brakes are nice and work well for many people, but to me they have a bit of a wonky spot in the Servowave curve which makes it harder to feather the brakes. It's easier to accidentally lock up a wheel than with the Zee/Saint.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirt farmer View Post
    What makes them so much better than the XT's?
    Every thing that has been mentioned already about how good Hope brakes are!
    Availability of spares and how easy they are to service if you need to. The ease of bleeding them. They look the bizz and they are powerful with the best modulation in any brake, meaning you can control the bike better and not just lock up the wheel which translates into being a faster rider.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruscle View Post
    Every thing that has been mentioned already about how good Hope brakes are!
    Availability of spares and how easy they are to service if you need to. The ease of bleeding them. They look the bizz and they are powerful with the best modulation in any brake, meaning you can control the bike better and not just lock up the wheel which translates into being a faster rider.
    I think the thing that took me the longest to realize is that the Hope brakes are indeed substantially more powerful; however, their ability to modulate that power makes them SEEM less powerful if you are used to an ON/OFF setup.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigstr View Post
    Give Bikerbob a shout bob.at.bikerbobdotcom, I'm sure he can get them near your price range. Hopes are money.
    Thanks for the suggestion. He had the cheapest price I've seen so far for lever, caliper, rotors and adapters. Prolly ordering them tomorrow.

  26. #26
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    $400 for brakeset. Hope or Shimanos?

    I too just ditched my XX brakes. I went with the Hope Stealth Race X2. They have been great thus far. They are so much stronger than the XX.
    0 for brakeset. Hope or Shimanos?-imageuploadedbytapatalk1364758850.610693.jpg

  27. #27
    007
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigstr View Post
    Give Bikerbob a shout bob.at.bikerbobdotcom, I'm sure he can get them near your price range. Hopes are money.
    Is bikerbob even still in business? His website looks like it hasn't been updated in years . . . . unless of course I'm looking at the wrong site.

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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    Shimano Zee. It may seem like complete overkill to put DH brakes on an XC bike but it isn't. While they do have more power than you'll ever need, they also have better modulation and control than Shimano's XT and other 2-piston brakes. I'm not sure if it's because of the 4-piston design or what feels like a slightly different leverage curve on the Servowave mechanism, probably both. I find that the Saint/Zee modulate every bit as well as my old 4-piston XT brakes, and those ones could match the Hopes for modulation & control.

    The SLX/XT/XTR brakes are nice and work well for many people, but to me they have a bit of a wonky spot in the Servowave curve which makes it harder to feather the brakes. It's easier to accidentally lock up a wheel than with the Zee/Saint.
    I totally agree. They do have a quick bite off the bat, but after that they tend to be problematic on getting the proper modulation for descending. Also I have badly faded the xtr's on some downhill runs. Not the brake to go with for high speed stuff for heavy guys.

  29. #29
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    Yep Bob is still in business. His website is way out of date. I know he has been wanting to update it for years but never has. I do everything via email with him and pay him by check to keep his ( and my ) costs down (no CC fees).

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by sooner518 View Post
    Thanks for the suggestion. He had the cheapest price I've seen so far for lever, caliper, rotors and adapters. Prolly ordering them tomorrow.
    Bob is hard to beat.

  31. #31
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    What does he charge for what? Hope brake wise?

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    Hard to say here, email him.

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    I have Hope X2 Evo and love em. Like most will comment, either one will work but it'll depend on your preference. I like modulation feel and dictate the amount of lever pull when I descend or in technical spots. Hopes just does it for me. Nothing wrong with XT if that's your style of braking.

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    I got a set of XT brakes to replace my shitty Avid XO brakes and they were a solid set up. Easy to bleed and set up but the modulation wasn't there. I just got Hope M4's front and rear for my ss and they are fantastic. The adjustability is better than the XT and modulation is incredible. Never looking back

  35. #35
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    Both brakes are very solid. But honestly I would get the Shimano brakes because you can actually get parts for them in the US. Unless you're willing to buy a stock of replacement parts for the Hope's I'd move along.

  36. #36
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    You can get tons of replacement parts plus upgrades and color matching online for the hopes. Mostly you have to order from England, but they have shipped stuff to me very quickly. Hope in Texas also has many upgrade and replacement parts. In fact you can by and large get way more stuff here than you can for any of the shamino brakes.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by mazspeed View Post
    You can get tons of replacement parts plus upgrades and color matching online for the hopes. Mostly you have to order from England, but they have shipped stuff to me very quickly. Hope in Texas also has many upgrade and replacement parts. In fact you can by and large get way more stuff here than you can for any of the shamino brakes.
    But what happens when your on a MTB trip and need pads or blow a seal? Hope is a pretty niche brand and they don't have the support in the US like Shimano and Avid do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    But what happens when your on a MTB trip and need pads or blow a seal? Hope is a pretty niche brand and they don't have the support in the US like Shimano and Avid do.
    Stock up when you make a purchase, seal kits are peanuts. I run CK hubs in the UK and can't get the seal and snap ring kits in the UK so just buy a load in one go from over the pond. No brainier if you want the best kit on your stead.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    But what happens when your on a MTB trip and need pads or blow a seal? Hope is a pretty niche brand and they don't have the support in the US like Shimano and Avid do.
    The same thing you'd do with any other brand product, which as already been stated, is to stock up. All Hope parts are readily available and relatively inexpensive. I keep a full set of essentials on hand.
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  40. #40
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    Of the 4 hope brake sets I have had, I have never needed a seal, but you can order them like you can order anything else. Look on e-bay for the hundreds of pads for hope brakes. All kinds from stock, to EBC customs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
    The same thing you'd do with any other brand product, which as already been stated, is to stock up. All Hope parts are readily available and relatively inexpensive. I keep a full set of essentials on hand.
    I wish the athletes I normally find myself working with had this thought process. If you're willing to keep those parts on hand I can't see a reason to avoid the Hope's, but I still think the XTR trail brakes on my bike are the best binders I've ever used.

  42. #42
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    All this talk about Hope replacement parts sounds good. I just bent a few parts and need to find some replacements, but haven't gotten a response after e-mailing Hope. What's the best place to order parts from?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 29ger View Post
    All this talk about Hope replacement parts sounds good. I just bent a few parts and need to find some replacements, but haven't gotten a response after e-mailing Hope. What's the best place to order parts from?
    Hope. Just call them directly, down in Texas.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 29ger View Post
    All this talk about Hope replacement parts sounds good. I just bent a few parts and need to find some replacements, but haven't gotten a response after e-mailing Hope. What's the best place to order parts from?
    I get my parts in 2 days from England to California and not using overnight services, and their shipping is cheap. I have never dealt with a company other than Ibis that is this quick and they will build the parts up any way you like. Great guys to deal with and the prices are as competitive as you can get for Hope parts. And in any color.
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  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by 29ger View Post
    All this talk about Hope replacement parts sounds good. I just bent a few parts and need to find some replacements, but haven't gotten a response after e-mailing Hope. What's the best place to order parts from?
    Chainreaction cycles. Maybe it's different to the US but I can get parts in 2 days from Uk to Canada and shipping is cheap (often free)

    I will never not use hope brakes again until there is some crazy revolution in brakes, and then ill use the hope version of that. $$$$....yes but one of the best bike purchases I ever made in 20 years
    what would rainbow unicorn do?

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    I called the Hope place down in Texas. They had the parts, and will get them out today. Chain reaction only had some of the parts I needed listed. Thanks for the ideas.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by 29ger View Post
    I called the Hope place down in Texas. They had the parts, and will get them out today. Chain reaction only had some of the parts I needed listed. Thanks for the ideas.
    Nice. I buy everything Hope directly from them now . . . fast shipping, they always have EVERYTHING, and best prices.
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  48. #48
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    $400 for brakeset. Hope or Shimanos?

    Heard good things about hope. I have xt's I really like them. Honestly regardless what you get ANYTHING is better than boy toy SRAM brakes. I really like hope products only reason I went xt was I got a killer deal on them and I had ice tech rotors

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by vapezilla View Post
    Heard good things about hope. I have xt's I really like them. Honestly regardless what you get ANYTHING is better than boy toy SRAM brakes. I really like hope products only reason I went xt was I got a killer deal on them and I had ice tech rotors
    xt's are very good, they lack modulation, but overall a great brake.

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    People here should refer to Shimano model numbers rather than just XTs or XTRs. One person said something about trying out XTRs because of the 'servowave', when Shimano brought servowave to the XTs (and SLXs) years ago.

    It makes me wonder how many here who are comparing Hopes and Shimanos are comparing older Shimano models without realising Not to suggest the Hopes aren't fantastic, and/or better, just that we should be sure what we're comparing.

    Personally, I find the modulation on my SLX M666s to be quite good. I can understand why someone might think they were on/off, but I think it's a matter of adapting to a more subtle way of modulating. Perhaps it requires slightly finer motor skills? (Not meant as a criticism for those who don't like it, just an issue of usage preference.)

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsilva View Post
    People here should refer to Shimano model numbers rather than just XTs or XTRs. One person said something about trying out XTRs because of the 'servowave', when Shimano brought servowave to the XTs (and SLXs) years ago.

    It makes me wonder how many here who are comparing Hopes and Shimanos are comparing older Shimano models without realising Not to suggest the Hopes aren't fantastic, and/or better, just that we should be sure what we're comparing.

    Personally, I find the modulation on my SLX M666s to be quite good. I can understand why someone might think they were on/off, but I think it's a matter of adapting to a more subtle way of modulating. Perhaps it requires slightly finer motor skills? (Not meant as a criticism for those who don't like it, just an issue of usage preference.)
    I suppose that's a fair statement, however, for myself, I know with certainty that my experiences are based on the current gen XTs. Undoubtedly, the Hope's have much better modulation with equal or better power in comparison.
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    $400 for brakeset. Hope or Shimanos?

    Quote Originally Posted by jsilva View Post
    People here should refer to Shimano model numbers rather than just XTs or XTRs. One person said something about trying out XTRs because of the 'servowave', when Shimano brought servowave to the XTs (and SLXs) years ago.

    It makes me wonder how many here who are comparing Hopes and Shimanos are comparing older Shimano models without realising Not to suggest the Hopes aren't fantastic, and/or better, just that we should be sure what we're comparing.

    Personally, I find the modulation on my SLX M666s to be quite good. I can understand why someone might think they were on/off, but I think it's a matter of adapting to a more subtle way of modulating. Perhaps it requires slightly finer motor skills? (Not meant as a criticism for those who don't like it, just an issue of usage preference.)

    Makes since and yeah I forgot to give model. I have the new m785 xt's to clear things up. Only shimanos I ever had were these and on my race bike I have the m985 xtr's. never bought shimano in the past because I never heard that great of things but when the 985's and 785's came out I heard nothing but rave reviews. I would hands down say hope if comparing to a older shimano. Like I said I got a killer deal and had some extra ice tech rotors so when I heard the reviews I couldn't pass up the deal(I got them for dealer cost)

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    I often wonder what exactly "modulation" is.

    All of my experiences with hopes, I have never appreciated the feel of those brakes. I find I have to pull so hard on the levers to approach lock up, that it is not comfortable for me.

    I like the "on/off" feel of other brands - I simply use one finger, and barely touch the levers to get the "modulation" I am looking for.

    Perhaps jsilva is onto something regarding finer motor skills?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsilva View Post
    Personally, I find the modulation on my SLX M666s to be quite good. I can understand why someone might think they were on/off, but I think it's a matter of adapting to a more subtle way of modulating. Perhaps it requires slightly finer motor skills? (Not meant as a criticism for those who don't like it, just an issue of usage preference.)
    So the modulation is actually coming from you and not your brakes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruscle View Post
    So the modulation is actually coming from you and not your brakes.
    Not exactly. Brake modulation how much fine control you have to apply a range of braking power distributed over the pull of your brake levers.
    No modulation is basically no braking verses wheel locking. Having low modulation will mean it's harder to feather the brakes and you can only really lock up the pads. Too much modulation means you will bottom out on the levers before you lock up on the wheels. Ideal modulation gives you access to the whole range of braking power desired and allows you to apply it evenly across the range of the brake lever, giving you fine control over feathering the brakes, stopping firmly, or locking the wheel. This is why Hope brakes are second to none here because they give you the utmost in control. I have yet to find a brake that can do this as well, xt-xtr are great brakes and I run them on my tranny, but don't have the ability to use modulation due to it's servo wave design, they clamp fast and don't have much control/modulation of the brakes. They do have some don't get me wrong, but the feathery touch in finite control they sort of lack. Other than that they are a fantastic brake, but this is where hope wins over every other brake in the industry, plus their power is constant and never fades. A little heavy but damn good and reliable.

  56. #56
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    It took me a minute to learn that being able to lock the rear tire is NOT a good thing and does NOT mean the brakes are better. Locking the wheels = lost control.

    Can you imagine if your car had no modulation?!
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruscle View Post
    So the modulation is actually coming from you and not your brakes.
    To a large extent yes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mazspeed View Post
    Not exactly. Brake modulation how much fine control you have to apply a range of braking power distributed over the pull of your brake levers.
    No modulation is basically no braking verses wheel locking. Having low modulation will mean it's harder to feather the brakes and you can only really lock up the pads.
    IMHO No modulation is the equivilant of placing a stick in your spokes (theoretically of course, dont do this as it will destroy spokes etc). Instantaneous wheel stopped. At any speed. That is no modulation, and max power?


    Quote Originally Posted by mazspeed View Post
    Too much modulation means you will bottom out on the levers before you lock up on the wheels.
    I always felt that bottoming out levers was a sign of improperly adjusted lever reach, or air in the system. Or a really crappy brakeset.


    Quote Originally Posted by mazspeed View Post
    Ideal modulation gives you access to the whole range of braking power desired and allows you to apply it evenly across the range of the brake lever, giving you fine control over feathering the brakes, stopping firmly, or locking the wheel.
    But even this is subject to personal opinion. What one person feels is appropriate access, others feel is too little or too much access.


    Quote Originally Posted by mazspeed View Post
    This is why Hope brakes are second to none here because they give you the utmost in control. I have yet to find a brake that can do this as well
    Again a personal opinion - I found the hopes need too much lever pull to get the "grabby" sensation that I appreciate.

    Quote Originally Posted by mazspeed View Post
    , xt-xtr are great brakes and I run them on my tranny, but don't have the ability to use modulation due to it's servo wave design, they clamp fast and don't have much control/modulation of the brakes. They do have some don't get me wrong, but the feathery touch in finite control they sort of lack. Other than that they are a fantastic brake, but this is where hope wins over every other brake in the industry, plus their power is constant and never fades. A little heavy but damn good and reliable.

    Another thread I have been paying close attention to is in regards to the carbon brake rotors. Lots of people mentioning they need to pull so much harder on their levers to get them to lockup.

    Is that not more modulation?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
    It took me a minute to learn that being able to lock the rear tire is NOT a good thing and does NOT mean the brakes are better. Locking the wheels = lost control.

    Can you imagine if your car had no modulation?!
    Street cars with no modulation would be a fricken disaster.


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    Quote Originally Posted by ruscle View Post
    So the modulation is actually coming from you and not your brakes.
    Well, I can't create modulation where there isn't any

    Quote Originally Posted by mazspeed
    ...but don't have the ability to use modulation due to it's servo wave design, they clamp fast and don't have much control/modulation of the brakes.
    The Hopes may in fact be better modulators, but you perceive a large amount of lever travel as more control. I'm not necessarily disagreeing with that, but with both brakes there is a theoretically infinite amount of pressure options between extremes (at least compared to our finite ability to control the pressure).

    Now, the issue is how fine the motor skills need to be to achieve the desired modulation. There are obviously human limits to fine motor control, but there is obviously a large range of development among humans' fine motor skills (not a good or bad thing). I used to have the M665s, which had a greater amount of lever travel (no servowave), and I was immediately aware of the lesser lever travel when I got the M666s, but it was no issue. Certainly no less modulation, just adapting technique.

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    I think it is safe to say that Shimano and Hope are tops when it comes to brakes, and they go about it very differently. Hope has always been a mainstay at the top, and Shimano has made incredible leaps forward in the past few years.

    I have both, and I prefer Hope. I had 2012 XTs and I really liked them initially. At the same time I had Hope M4s on another bike. I found the XTs to be supremely quiet, which was nice. I do get a small bit of noise from the Hopes, but I do live in the desert after all. Strangely, on the occasion I do ride in the rain, my Hopes are dead silent.

    Anyway, my gripe with the XTs is the cam or servo wave lever. There is a rush of power early on in the travel, then the power dips and begins to ramp up. When riding in very slippery and sandy conditions, I found it hard to keep the front wheel of my 29er solidly planted. Understandably, the servo wave is what other like.

    With Hopes, the power is very linear and consistent all the way to lockup. Not only does this give me better control, but I also get much better feedback from my tires through Hope brakes. I find I am faster, and more confident knowing I can gently scrub speed with the Hopes, versus the XTs which use a mechanical device to amplify the power early on. I used to like this type of brake, but since I have been on Hopes it is not something I care for.

    One thing no one can argue is the precision, beauty, and quality of Hope brakes. Everything down to the lever is well thought out, and incredibly solid. Should you ever need parts for Hopes, they are dirt cheap. I once scratched a piston on my M4 being careless. $10 for all 4 new pistons, and $4 for the seals directly from Hope USA. I received them in a few days. Shimano brakes are about the cheapest looking and feeling brake I have used. Lots of plastic, a flimsy lever and pivot, wooden lever feel, mineral oil, and the reach adjust was a joke. In the year I did have some random leaking, but nothing that was too much of a cause for concern.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 006_007 View Post
    IMHO No modulation is the equivilant of placing a stick in your spokes (theoretically of course, dont do this as it will destroy spokes etc). Instantaneous wheel stopped. At any speed. That is no modulation, and max power?

    (mazspeed) Different point made here.


    I always felt that bottoming out levers was a sign of improperly adjusted lever reach, or air in the system. Or a really crappy brakeset.

    (mazspeed) Bottoming out yes, going through the travel to get the desired effect to a stopping distance, no. You can look at it both ways, you need to look at it as a proper brake set-up. Obviously going through the entire travel of the lever is not a proper brake set-up, I am speaking of proper setups.


    But even this is subject to personal opinion. What one person feels is appropriate access, others feel is too little or too much access.

    (mazspeed) Again, proper set-up.



    Again a personal opinion - I found the hopes need too much lever pull to get the "grabby" sensation that I appreciate.

    (mazspeed) Yes true, but you do see far less issues with Hope brakes than say Avids or Formulas. I have seen 2 Formula brakes that at one time worked like they should, I have see maybe 25-30 that are just garbage.
    Now the XT/XTR sets are very nice, super reliable and good overall. But again search the top brands on here and see what brakes have the most issues. You won't be shocked.

    Another thread I have been paying close attention to is in regards to the carbon brake rotors. Lots of people mentioning they need to pull so much harder on their levers to get them to lockup.

    (mazspeed) I did too. I was looking at those till I saw that the carbon makers no longer seem to address the issues and too many people are having bed in issues and poor performance. That's not more modulation, that's poor performance. That's not what I am talking about.

    Is that not more modulation?
    I hope I didn't make too much of a mess with this post.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsilva View Post
    Well, I can't create modulation where there isn't any



    The Hopes may in fact be better modulators, but you perceive a large amount of lever travel as more control. I'm not necessarily disagreeing with that, but with both brakes there is a theoretically infinite amount of pressure options between extremes (at least compared to our finite ability to control the pressure).

    Now, the issue is how fine the motor skills need to be to achieve the desired modulation. There are obviously human limits to fine motor control, but there is obviously a large range of development among humans' fine motor skills (not a good or bad thing). I used to have the M665s, which had a greater amount of lever travel (no servowave), and I was immediately aware of the lesser lever travel when I got the M666s, but it was no issue. Certainly no less modulation, just adapting technique.
    I should have stated what I said a "large amount" of travel. But a large amount of brake travel. Not the full throw, but the full usable brake throw. I should have made that much more clear. I would agree that "technique" is the right word for the brake you mentioned, but that should be done by the brake, not the human. What I mean is, if you're in a car, and it's brakes work in a different manner than normal cars, you would have to adjust for it, yes true, but it's the car makers responsible to build a product that you should not have to deviate from a lifetime of knowing to a completely new technique. I would say the say for bike brakes. It's really not that big of a deal and I don't mean it to be, but I feel xt/xtr's are awesome brakes, but do lack proper modulation. The servo wave has it's limitations and this just happens to be the limitation. (again in my eyes) I have a set of xt's on my wife's carbon tranny, and we both love it.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by 006_007 View Post
    To a large extent yes.
    Not necessarily. This can be perceived 2 different ways. I will take the brake side here and say that it's the brakes job to offer proper modulation and we have to abide by the physics of the device.
    There is another view which is yours, but I will let you explain that. I do see where you are coming from though.

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    Hey guys I got the m4's for my new stumpy. I had the x2s on my old stumpy however they werent quite enough power for my weight and the steeps at 200lbs. What rotor size are you guys running on your m4s? Right now I have 183F & R. 183 in the back seems a little overkill, I put my old 160 in the rear going to give that a go soon on the trail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tiSS'er View Post

    One thing no one can argue is the precision, beauty, and quality of Hope brakes. Everything down to the lever is well thought out, and incredibly solid. Shimano brakes are about the cheapest looking and feeling brake I have used. Lots of plastic, a flimsy lever and pivot, wooden lever feel, mineral oil, and the reach adjust was a joke.

    Buy what makes you happy.
    Honestly, this was a big reason I went with the Hopes. I have ridden a little bit on some XTs (no idea which model but fairly recent) and I liked the way they stopped me and the lever feel and all that, but when it came down to it, the amount of plastic was a little disconcerting. The Hopes just look and feel stout. Everything on them is metal and looks/feels top quality. I have little doubt that they will stand up against crashes onto rocks/against trees. Plus the super easy/obvious adjustability of the Hopes and the seeming ease of bleeding (havent had to do it yet) them. For me, that was worth an extra $150 for the set over the XT's.

    So far, the Hopes just work and look/feel great. I have no doubt I will have them for many years.

    I shortened one of my Hope hoses yesterday and called my LBS to see if they had an olive in case I broke mine. They had an olive and barb in stock no problem. Im not too worried about finding replacement parts. plus Hope in Houston has sent me replacement adapters (I accidentally ordered the wrong adapters) in a few days, no problems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sooner518 View Post
    Honestly, this was a big reason I went with the Hopes. I have ridden a little bit on some XTs (no idea which model but fairly recent) and I liked the way they stopped me and the lever feel and all that, but when it came down to it, the amount of plastic was a little disconcerting. The Hopes just look and feel stout. Everything on them is metal and looks/feels top quality. I have little doubt that they will stand up against crashes onto rocks/against trees. Plus the super easy/obvious adjustability of the Hopes and the seeming ease of bleeding (havent had to do it yet) them. For me, that was worth an extra $150 for the set over the XT's.

    So far, the Hopes just work and look/feel great. I have no doubt I will have them for many years.

    I shortened one of my Hope hoses yesterday and called my LBS to see if they had an olive in case I broke mine. They had an olive and barb in stock no problem. Im not too worried about finding replacement parts. plus Hope in Houston has sent me replacement adapters (I accidentally ordered the wrong adapters) in a few days, no problems.
    I should have mentioned, you can reuse the original barb and olive when cutting hoses, no need to buy new ones
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    Never been on Hopes but have heard great things about them... I had the new Saint brakes setup on my bike for downhilling , i never could get that perfect modulation but the brakes worked. Its a different style of braking you need to learn i guess ? I think you need to match up brakes with proper rotor size and make sure your brakes are bled , bedded in properly , and make sure your pads are not contaminated .

    I did notice my rear brakes werent feeling the way i needed them but after replacing the pads and doing a brake bleed they were spot on . I wouldnt say there is NO modulation , but there is a certain way to modulate the brakes . Initially i wasnt impressed with the Saints when i was doing local riding but when i was using them properly at the bike parks thats when they woke up and worked . Never had an issue .

    Ive always had the Avid Code R's on another downhill bike, now they had modulation but they dont have the stopping power or bite of the Saints and they would fade quickly ..

    I bought some new XTs to throw on my new downhill bike that i have coming in with Icetech Rotors .. Im around 190lbs use a 203mm front rotor and a 180mm rear rotor ... Well see how they hold up , but i like the brake lever feel and adjustments from the Shimanos ... Every brake im assuming will be different but i guess its what you like , they type of riding you do , and what your happy with .

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    Quote Originally Posted by tiSS'er View Post
    Anyway, my gripe with the XTs is the cam or servo wave lever. There is a rush of power early on in the travel, then the power dips and begins to ramp up. When riding in very slippery and sandy conditions, I found it hard to keep the front wheel of my 29er solidly planted. Understandably, the servo wave is what other like.
    That was my issue with the latest XTs as well when I test rode them. I was a longtime owner of the original M755 XT which had a linear power curve and superb modulation throughout its entire range, I could easily feather the brakes even on ice & snow without locking a wheel. The current generation servowave brakes have that wonky spot you mention, I've had the Deore and ridden SLX. XT, and XTR brakes and none of them have the control of my old XTs. It took some getting used to and I had a few accidental lock-ups on my Deore in the first month or so that I owned it.

    I eventually ended up with the latest Saints and Zees, for some odd reason they have better modulation than their XC counterparts even though they also use the servowave mechanism. After having for a few months, I'd say the modulation is almost as good as my old XT, not quite there but very close, and of course with way more power.

    As for beauty & quality looks, yeah, Shimano's pretty lacking there except in XTR and Saint. Everything else looks utilitarian at best, they all work great but they're far from sexy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tiSS'er View Post
    I should have mentioned, you can reuse the original barb and olive when cutting hoses, no need to buy new ones
    yea i did, but i was afraid i would break the olive so i bought one just in case.

    getting the barb out was a pretty big pain in the ass actually... took me about 20 minutes of pulling on it with vice grips along with using a screwdriver to open up the olive a little more. i finally got the barb to pull out.... and it actually pulled out the inner, clear plastic lining of the hose itself. at that point, i just used a razor blade to cut the plastic casing off the barb and used my cable cutters to cut my line shorter. i dunno why the barb was so hard to pull out. it looks so easy to do on the Hope video......

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiSS'er View Post
    I should have mentioned, you can reuse the original barb and olive when cutting hoses, no need to buy new ones
    Unless you snap the olive in half when trying to pry it GENTLY open to fit over braided SS lines and then you are stuck with no olive, no brakes and no riding with a cranky wife who's cranky because you're cranky that you can't ride. Ask me how I know . . . just ask. :P
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    Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
    Unless you snap the olive in half when trying to pry it GENTLY open to fit over braided SS lines and then you are stuck with no olive, no brakes and no riding with a cranky wife who's cranky because you're cranky that you can't ride. Ask me how I know . . . just ask. :P

    I only use braided lines and there is a trick. Before cutting the line or removing the olive, locate the location of your cut. Cut the clear covering, and pull it off. Pry the olive open just a little at the split with a flat screw driver and then slide the olive down to the clear covering. Cut the hose in front of the olive, insert the barb, and you are done without ever removing the olive from the line, or having to pry it open. I despise cutting braided hoses. No matter how good your cutters, you will have a bit of fraying, making it very difficult to install the olive.
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  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumpynerd View Post
    Hey guys I got the m4's for my new stumpy. I had the x2s on my old stumpy however they werent quite enough power for my weight and the steeps at 200lbs. What rotor size are you guys running on your m4s? Right now I have 183F & R. 183 in the back seems a little overkill, I put my old 160 in the rear going to give that a go soon on the trail.
    i run v2's, 203/185 (i'm 175 geared up). i personally believe there is NO such thing as overkill on rotor size if the brakes can modulate well, which most new mid-high end braking systems can achieve. i don't have a lockup problem and the change in hand fatigue on longer rides is very noticeable. there are times when i'm very glad to have the extra power/fade resistance as well...
    what would rainbow unicorn do?

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    Yeah i think the m4 are super nice, I thought I had them broke in but they got a ways to go. Im getting the hope buzz noise up front and its super quite. However the back is a different story, no buzz. Love that buzz noise my old X2s made after fully broke in.

    What are most people running for hopes on their 5 inch travel trial bikes and rotor size? M4 rock, however I have seen people sport m4 front x2 back. X2s out back didnt have quite the power I was looking for on my old bike.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiSS'er View Post
    I only use braided lines and there is a trick. Before cutting the line or removing the olive, locate the location of your cut. Cut the clear covering, and pull it off. Pry the olive open just a little at the split with a flat screw driver and then slide the olive down to the clear covering. Cut the hose in front of the olive, insert the barb, and you are done without ever removing the olive from the line, or having to pry it open. I despise cutting braided hoses. No matter how good your cutters, you will have a bit of fraying, making it very difficult to install the olive.
    SON OF A B@!$H that's smart. Why didn't I think of that!?
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumpynerd View Post
    Yeah i think the m4 are super nice, I thought I had them broke in but they got a ways to go. Im getting the hope buzz noise up front and its super quite. However the back is a different story, no buzz. Love that buzz noise my old X2s made after fully broke in.

    What are most people running for hopes on their 5 inch travel trial bikes and rotor size? M4 rock, however I have seen people sport m4 front x2 back. X2s out back didnt have quite the power I was looking for on my old bike.
    I run 203f 180r both V4's on my HD. 180f 180r on my SLR with V2 front and x2 rear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
    Unless you snap the olive in half when trying to pry it GENTLY open to fit over braided SS lines and then you are stuck with no olive, no brakes and no riding with a cranky wife who's cranky because you're cranky that you can't ride. Ask me how I know . . . just ask. :P

    OK, how do ya know?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tiSS'er View Post
    I despise cutting braided hoses. No matter how good your cutters, you will have a bit of fraying, making it very difficult to install the olive.
    Not sure if there is something special about hopes stainless braided lines, but I have cut several braided lines (for fuel and hydraulics) using a zip wheel/dremel and never have any fraying?

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    I was considering the Hopes or Shimanos and after reading this thread I'm going to sell all my Avid Elixir brakes and go with hopes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dictatorsaurus View Post
    I was considering the Hopes or Shimanos and after reading this thread I'm going to sell all my Avid Elixir brakes and go with hopes.
    Very good decision, you won't regret it.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dictatorsaurus View Post
    I was considering the Hopes or Shimanos and after reading this thread I'm going to sell all my Avid Elixir brakes and go with hopes.
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    $400 for brakeset. Hope or Shimanos?

    I have shitmanos on my single and they work well. I have hope vtechs on my mtb tandem with braided steel lines and 203mm floating rotors and the power, modulation, etc, is unbelievable. They are a lot more than the XTs but worth it in the right application. I think the Hopes would be overkill on my single bike. YMMV.




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    Quote Originally Posted by mazspeed View Post
    I run 203f 180r both V4's on my HD. 180f 180r on my SLR with V2 front and x2 rear.
    After spending the past week at Downieville it's clear that the stock Formulas on my HD do not cut it. I am trying to decide between the M4's and the V4's. Why did you choose the V4's for your HD? Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nate3510 View Post
    After spending the past week at Downieville it's clear that the stock Formulas on my HD do not cut it. I am trying to decide between the M4's and the V4's. Why did you choose the V4's for your HD? Thanks.
    v4's just don't fade and don't have the clearance problems and other problems that Formula's do. Even the 13 line of formulas are junk. They cannot seem to fix the pad retracting issues plaguing their brake lines. So they made some discs that are thinner, and some of those warped at high temp braking. Not exactly a good fix. They have good stopping power initially which is why their brake tests do well, but will fade on downhill runs. Hopes are just better in every respect except weight. Now no matter how light something is, you give up something for it. Hopes are not the lightest brake in the world, but they are the best. Their modulation is second to none and are a true one finger brake with a ton of finger control adjustments. Yes they can be pricy, but their are a few online dealers that have pretty good prices. Plus the v4 is around the same weight as the m4, so why not go big.

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    I have been using the M4 front and rear for over a year, and upon demo-ing a bike equipped with XT M785's, I'm tempted to put the Shimano's on my next bike.

    Why? The Shimano brakes allowed me to use one finger for the whole ride, where that has never felt comfortable on the M4's.
    However, the M4 does have more power when you really get on the brakes hard.

    I may stick with the Hopes due to financial limitations, but the reliability and build quality are another big reason to stay with the Hopes.

    How does the M4 compare with the V4?


    Are the Shimano Zee/Saint brakes even more powerful than the XTs? Hmmm....

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    Try tweaking the brake alignment as per Hopes videos as this can make a huge difference to the power of the brakes as you should be able to 1 finger brake easily all the time with the M4's. V4's have more power and modulation. The power of Hope's is meant to come on progressively as this is the modulation, Shimano's is all at the start then they fade, and later they fail completely due to the plastic and lack of rebuild capabilities.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JanBoothius View Post
    Are the Shimano Zee/Saint brakes even more powerful than the XTs? Hmmm....
    Far more powerful, and with better control & modulation as well. They also use the same dimpled levers as the XTR brakes, feels great and supposedly adds grip to the levers, not that I'd notice since I can't say I've ever had my fingers slip off of any brake lever.

    Also, a question. When you say you've never felt comfortable with one finger braking on the M4, is it because of the shape of the lever or is it something else? Shimano designs all their levers from the M596 on up for one finger braking, whereas other companies may have differing ideas on how their brake levers should be used. This may be why the XT brakes feel better to you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    Also, a question. When you say you've never felt comfortable with one finger braking on the M4, is it because of the shape of the lever or is it something else? Shimano designs all their levers from the M596 on up for one finger braking, whereas other companies may have differing ideas on how their brake levers should be used. This may be why the XT brakes feel better to you.
    Damned good point. Is the Hope then designed for two finger actuation? Using XTR's w/ one finger and could never go back to two.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simplemind View Post
    Damned good point. Is the Hope then designed for two finger actuation? Using XTR's w/ one finger and could never go back to two.
    It can fit two fingers. But I use one on mine.

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    I'm definitely keeping the Hopes.

    Quote Originally Posted by ruscle View Post
    Try tweaking the brake alignment as per Hopes videos as this can make a huge difference to the power of the brakes as you should be able to 1 finger brake easily all the time with the M4's.
    Will give this a try.


    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    Also, a question. When you say you've never felt comfortable with one finger braking on the M4, is it because of the shape of the lever or is it something else?
    Lever shape may well have something to do with it. I'm going to make some adjustments. Options seem limited though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simplemind View Post
    Damned good point. Is the Hope then designed for two finger actuation? Using XTR's w/ one finger and could never go back to two.
    Hope is designed for one finger, but you can use two fingers if you like. That's the nice thing about the adjustability of the hope lever.

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    I was sold on Hopes as soon as I watched the brake bleed video. I had always wondered why you couldn't just bleed bike brakes just like car brakes, and that's the way Hopes work.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mazspeed View Post
    Hope is designed for one finger, but you can use two fingers if you like. That's the nice thing about the adjustability of the hope lever.
    That's good! Which of the Hope's is best compared to my XTR Trails (160/180)?
    Slightly off OP, I've heard people that are using the Magura MT8 really like the modulation.

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    As mentioned earlier, it is really important that the caliper be setup correctly and accurately. Yes, it does take a bit more time than the grab and tighten method. But, the rewards are tremendous. I do have a hard time believing that after several rides the stock pads are not yet bedded in. Something else is going on. I have both my M4s and V4s setup 1 finger braking and I must say that the V4s with 183 rotors might actually be too much, they are that powerful. I'm running the stock organic pads. They do make a small amount of noise, but nothing too bad.
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    I think I've decided to go with Hope brakes due to the fact that they can be rebuilt. I'd rather spend the extra money to have something that will last for years, I can buy parts, etc. Also my local trails turn to dust late summer so not locking up will be a good thing. Only thing is I can't decide on which model. I'd rather have a little more & run a 160mm rotor upfront so was thinking of the V4 but what about the Evo X2 which Hope says is for XC & light AM/trail?

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    I bought X2s w/ 183f/160r but only have one ride so far on a flat trail so I can't say much about the braking power. But if you go that route too and later find yourself wishing for more brake, at least you'll have company.

    I live in WV but there's really no sustained downhills here so I don't expect to need more braking power, but still I would've bought 4-pistons calipers except the sale I was shopping had already sold out of them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitewerks View Post
    I think I've decided to go with Hope brakes due to the fact that they can be rebuilt. I'd rather spend the extra money to have something that will last for years, I can buy parts, etc. Also my local trails turn to dust late summer so not locking up will be a good thing. Only thing is I can't decide on which model. I'd rather have a little more & run a 160mm rotor upfront so was thinking of the V4 but what about the Evo X2 which Hope says is for XC & light AM/trail?
    Get either M4s or V4s, both are great. Personally, I'm not sure which one I like better. Now that I am running a 1 finger setup with the levers properly located, the power of the V4 is just flat out ridiculous with organic pads and 183 rotors. The M4s I am running on Knolly Endo (trail/XC bike) are so freakin' perfect with 183/160.

    The beauty of the Hopes is that they will outlast your bike. My previous Tech M4s (which are now on a buddies bike) were on 3 bikes and still work like the day I bought them. There are no other brakes on the market which are a dependable as Hopes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiSS'er View Post
    Get either M4s or V4s, both are great. Personally, I'm not sure which one I like better. Now that I am running a 1 finger setup with the levers properly located, the power of the V4 is just flat out ridiculous with organic pads and 183 rotors. The M4s I am running on Knolly Endo (trail/XC bike) are so freakin' perfect with 183/160.

    The beauty of the Hopes is that they will outlast your bike. My previous Tech M4s (which are now on a buddies bike) were on 3 bikes and still work like the day I bought them. There are no other brakes on the market which are a dependable as Hopes.
    I think that a V4F/M4R with 183/160 would be a superb brake setup. It's what I'm looking to upgrade to on the next bike, whatever that may be.
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    The M4s are DH brakes, right? I was thinking they'd be more power than I'd ever need & more powerful than the V4...? The M4s have a couple more pistons than the V4 so figured that means they're meant to slow ya down at much higher speeds than I'll ever reach. I have XC trails & ride a steel hardtail but I'm a bit heavier than the average rider but if I ever get somewhere where I need more braking power.

    Any reason not to use Shimano rotors over the Hopes which cost a bit more? What is the advantage of Hope's floating rotors?

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    Quote Originally Posted by wv_bob View Post
    I bought X2s w/ 183f/160r but only have one ride so far on a flat trail so I can't say much about the braking power. But if you go that route too and later find yourself wishing for more brake, at least you'll have company.

    I live in WV but there's really no sustained downhills here so I don't expect to need more braking power, but still I would've bought 4-pistons calipers except the sale I was shopping had already sold out of them.
    I have descents but not more than a few minutes in varying terrain- loose rock or hardpack that turns to powder late summer (TX). Your set-up with 183f would probably work for me too.

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