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  1. #1
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    Eliminate Hope brake rub?

    On my workstand, I can adjust my Hope Tech3 E4 front brake so that there is no brake rub, but after a few hard stops while riding if I then get off my bike and spin my front wheel, I can hear brake rub. Yesterday, I adjusted my front brake so that there was no rub on the workstand, then I went for a ride. During my ride, I made a few hard stops, and I could hear my front brake rubbing for a few minutes while riding. When I got home, I spun the front wheel and I could hear brake rub. I put my bike away, and today I went to work on the brakes again, and I spun my front wheel and there was no brake rub.

    The brakes are new. I didn't cut the hoses down, so I didn't bleed them. 203mm Ice Tech rotor in front, 180mm Ice Tech in back. I've been adjusting the brakes as described in the Hope "centralising" video--except I find that pumping the brakes after pushing on the back of one of the pads with a screwdriver just returns the pistons to the same position they were in before, so I resorted to squeezing the brake while I levered my screwdriver against the back of one of the pads. Subsequently pumping the brakes does succeed in changing the position of the pistons and allows me to adjust out all brake rub.

    When I installed the brakes, the first thing I did was remove the pads and pump the brakes to check for any stuck pistons. All the pistons moved, although the pistons on the wheel side moved a lot more. Then I pushed all the pistons in with a plastic tire lever, and I set about to adjust the brakes.

    The new pads seem like they have bedded in now as the brakes have lots of power--it's just that I can't get rid of the brake rub. Any advice?

  2. #2
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    Sometimes a drop of brake fluid on the pistons will help them move easily/consistently.
    Have you played with the bite point adjustment, move it in slightly a clock or two.

    Worse case you could open the bleeder and only let out a drop. Sometimes that's enough to allow extra space for the pistons to retract and not rub.

  3. #3
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    I've had a Hope E4 with the same symptoms: it's either a bit of trapped air behind a piston, and/or one or more of the pistons are sticky with trapped dirt. A decent bleed following the proper Hope procedure (YouTube) will get rid of any trapped air. The pistons can be cleaned one-by-one by clamping in three of the pistons and carefully pumping out the remaining free piston to just a smidgen beyond its normal excursion. I use brake cleaner aerosol, bits of paper towel and an old toothbrush with cut-down bristles to clean up the piston, wait a couple of minutes for the solvent to evaporate, then lightly lube up the piston with Hunter SC 960 silicone lubricant (the same stuff that Hope uses) before pushing it back in. Repeat the process for the other three pistons.

    Centring the pads and caliper is also important, and using shims between pads and rotor will give a bit more pad clearance. The Hayes brake alignment tool does the shimming and centring very well, and they're pretty cheap. I wouldn't be without one now, and I'm not sure how I managed to align brakes before I got one.

    Careful of using tools directly on the pistons - they're made of phenolic resin and are easily chipped. I keep a set of old pads and pad-shaped bits of plastic in my toolbox for the piston retracting and clamping.
    ...and midgemagnet.

  4. #4
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    Have you played with the bite point adjustment, move it in slightly a clock or two.
    I have, but it doesn't seem to help. Also, when I back out the bite point screw, I lose a lot of braking power.

    A decent bleed following the proper Hope procedure (YouTube) will get rid of any trapped air.
    I'm trying to avoid doing a bleed because with my previous XT's I never got close to the factory bleed again.

    I want to try some silicone lube, but the Hunter's isn't available in the U.S. I'm looking at 3-In-ONE Silicone Lube as an alternative.

    How are you clamping three pistons? And do you think a plastic tire lever can chip a piston?

  5. #5
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    A front fork with worn bushings or a bad bearing on a hub can cause a small amount of misalignment that tends to right itself on the stand. My Evo X2 brakes tended to rub until I replaced the front fork.
    I just put a set of blue E4 calipers on my old Tech Evo levers. The new style levers are way too short for gripshift. I got a nice bleed and there isn't much play. I can see how any small problems can cause rub. Send me a PM if anyone is interested in a set of blue unused levers.

  6. #6
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    A front fork with worn bushings or a bad bearing on a hub can cause a small amount of misalignment that tends to right itself on the stand
    The fork is a 2018 Fox RC2 with only 7 rides on it, and the wheelset is also new with I9 Torch hubs. Although, I will try tightening the front quick release thru axle. Thanks for the idea.

  7. #7
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    Hope caliper and pad centering can be a bit tricky due to how the "official" process is described.
    You need to check and see if the pads are contacting the rotor at the same time when the brake lever is squeezed.
    You can get a brake that exhibits exactly what you are describing- no rub in stand, but rub after riding.
    When there is rubbing, take a look at the caliper alignment to rotor and pad contact to rotor.
    Is the caliper(not the pads-just the caliper) centered over the rotor?
    If not, get it centered.
    Is the rotor true?
    If not, true it.
    Now, are the pads contacting the rotor evenly and at the same time when the lever is squeezed?
    No, then reset the pistons and try again- plastic tire lever is appropriate for the job.
    If the caliper is not centered and the rotor is not true, you'll be chasing contact indefinitely.
    With the pistons reset and the rotor true and the caliper centered, do the pads now contact the rotor evenly when the lever is squeezed? They should.
    You can fudge a bit at this point with eyeball adjustments to caliper centering to get pad contact dialed in.
    If they don't, at this time you should easily be able to identify the offending piston/lazy side. If it is a lazy piston, it will require a different fix.
    If there is no problem with hub/axle and the rotor is true, it's a combo of dialing in caliper alignment and pad engagement.

  8. #8
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    I will try tightening the front quick release thru axle.
    I was able to tighten the quick release significantly, and I was hopeful that would fix the problem, but there was no change in the symptoms.

    Thanks 11053! I'll plan on a thorough brake tuning session tomorrow.

  9. #9
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    How much ride time do you have on them so far?
    Many times New pads will rub for the first few rides until the thickness slightly wears down.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    How much ride time do you have on them so far?
    6 hours. The brakes feel powerful, so I thought they were bedded in by now, and the brake rub is not lessening. No brake rub when I start my ride. After hard stops, I hear brake rub. When I am done with my ride, I spin the front wheel and I hear brake rub. The next day before my ride I spin the front wheel, and there is no brake rub.

  11. #11
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    I put my front wheel on my truing stand, and the 203mm IceTech rotor looked true. I don't have a rotor truing attachment, but I stacked up some books, and I used the end of a pen as a feeler. Then I reinstalled my wheel, and my calipers were perfectly centered over the rotor. And as best as I could see--it's pretty difficult--the pads hit the rotor at the same time, and I couldn't discern any rotor deflection. When I spun the wheel, the rotor looked true relative to the pads.

    After doing some hard braking, I spun my front wheel, and I examined the pads and the rotor, and it looked like my rotor was bent because the pad ticked my rotor in one place. At that spot on the rotor, I tried gently pressing the rotor away from the pad, and the brake rub stopped, but when I went and performed some more hard braking the brake rub was back.
    Last edited by happyriding; 09-02-2017 at 10:59 AM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding
    I want to try some silicone lube, but the Hunter's isn't available in the U.S. I'm looking at 3-In-ONE Silicone Lube as an alternative.

    How are you clamping three pistons? And do you think a plastic tire lever can chip a piston?
    Hunter SC 960 is a silicone lube for plumbers that Hope have found works well for MTB brake pistons, you should be able to find something similar in the US. Beware of silicone aerosols though, as the solvent/propellant can damage the rubber seals. If an aerosol is all you've got available then spray it on a cotton bud or bit of clean shop rag, wait a minute for the volatiles to evaporate and wipe the piston with that rather than spraying it on directly.

    For the 3-piston clamping I wedge a bit of wood between the two opposing pistons that need to be held in place, then the third piston I cover with a plastic shim or old brake pad and clamp with a pair of snipe-nosed Mole (vise) grips. You might want to use a bit of rag or scrap of leather on the outer jaw if you don't want cosmetic scratches on the caliper.

    I'm afraid I couldn't say whether plastic tyre levers could damage phenolic pistons. It'd be safer than metal levers, that's for sure, but if the plastic and phenolic are in the same order of hardness then damage could still occur.
    ...and midgemagnet.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    I put my front wheel on my truing stand, and the 203mm IceTech rotor looked true. I don't have a rotor truing attachment, but I stacked up some books, and I used the end of a pen as a feeler. Then I reinstalled my wheel, and my calipers were perfectly centered over the rotor. As best as I could see--it's pretty difficult--the pads hit the rotor at the same time, and I couldn't discern any rotor deflection. When I spun the wheel, the rotor looked true relative to the pads.

    After doing some hard braking, I spun my front wheel, and I examined the pads and the rotor, and it looked like my rotor was bent because the pad ticked my rotor in one place. At that spot on the rotor, I tried gently pressing the rotor away from the pad, and the brake rub stopped, but when I went and performed some more hard braking the brake rub was back.
    On one bike I run a V4 front/203mm floating Hope rotor and an E4 rear/180mm floating Hope rotor. On another bike I have an E4 front/180mm SRAM Centerline and an E4 rear/160mm SRAM Centerline. Even with a meticulously aligned caliper and centralized pistons, squeezing the lever in a bike stand sometimes reveals a slight bending of the rotor. If I hard brake on a rear E4 with a 160mm rotor it will cause some brake rub. In most cases the brake rub goes away either by itself or after additional braking or pumping of the lever. However, with a 203mm rotor on the front the brake is more likely to rub and the rub is more likely to stick around. I think this just because a larger rotor is more likely to bend and because there are more forces involved with a front brake.

    From my experience using Hope brakes for two years, hard braking or hard stopping is going to cause a slight bend in any size rotor using any hydraulic brake. I've also used Hayes Sole, Avid Juicy 3, Shimano XT M785 and SRAM DB5 brakes. My theory is this, just because you squeeze the lever and see the pistons moving to the rotor at about the same time doesn't mean that the pistons are going to be pushing against the rotor with exactly the same force all the time under any kind of braking. Under hard or fast braking, the braking fluid may happen to build up pressure moreso on one piston or one side than another? Further a 4 pot system is designed so that two pistons hit the rotor before the other two making an ideal equilibrium of pressure applied to the rotor even more complicated to understand. The pistons move independently and aren't mechanically tied together. There's nothing special or different about Hope brakes regarding this.

    I'm not sure a 203mm front brake where you can't hear any rub in a bike stand is really possible? Even if you can hear the brake rubbing as long as it doesn't slow down the wheel it's just an annoyance. I've never heard my brakes rub while riding because my hub is so loud. So really it's just an annoyance to me if have my bike in a stand or just lift up the front wheel and spin it. That said my front V4 203mm brake has been completely rub-free even after descending down a 2000ft mountain. But during the ride down if I spin the wheel I can hear the brake rubbing a bit but then by the time I am finished the ride I can't hear it anymore. I know that one day I'll go on a ride and my front brake will rub and it won't go away. I just hope that it's not the type of rub that requires me to adjust my brakes because it slows down the wheel. Just because brakes are rub-free after a ride or several rides doesn't mean they will be rub-free indefinitely.

    I think there are two types of hard braking. One is an emergency stop and the other is consistent but hard pressure applied to the lever on a steep descent so that you are going slow. From my experience the emergency stop is more likely to cause bending the rotor than consistently applying hard pressure to the lever over a section of trail. I am a slow inexperienced heavy rider and because of this if I have go down a steep descent, depending on how long the descent is I am using two fingers. Normally I use one finger even for a hard stop, but if my hands get so sore from braking I use two on longer descents. For riders with experience they are just lightly feathering their brakes with one finger and going much faster so unless they need to stop fast they don't have a need to brake consistently hard.

    As mentioned by others Hope brakes are a little finicky to set up; in particular centralizing those pistons. The braking power and modulation is very consistent. However, you may find that if you have recently adjusted your brakes (like bled them, realigned the caliper, centralized the pistons, or changed pads) you may have to readjust your lever after some riding because the lever throw may change slightly. I use a tape measure so I know I am not just thinking that the lever throw has changed slightly. I haven't lubricated my pistons yet.
    Last edited by brakemaster; 09-02-2017 at 09:39 AM. Reason: missing info

  14. #14
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    I'm not sure a 203mm front brake where you can't hear any rub in a bike stand is really possible?
    Yeah, it's possible. A few times, I purposefully adjusted the alignment of the front brake pads so that I got brake rub on the bike stand, and subsequently I was able to adjust the pads so that there was no brake rub. I just followed the procedure in the Hope "centralising" video, except I used the screwdriver to lever against the back of one of the pads *while* I squeezed the brake lever to get the pistons to extend further on one side. It only took a few times of back and forth levering on opposite sides to eliminate all brake rub. Now that my pads have worn in a bit, there is ample clearance on both sides of the rotor. With new pads, the clearance on either side of the rotor was minuscule.

    I think there are two types of hard braking. One is an emergency stop and the other is consistent but hard pressure applied to the lever on a steep descent so that you are going slow. From my experience the emergency stop is more likely to cause bending the rotor
    I've been doing the emergency stops--on the street, and I weight 250 lbs, so the rotor is being hit with maximal force.

    From my experience using Hope brakes for two years, hard braking or hard stopping is going to cause a slight bend in any size rotor using any hydraulic brake. I've also used Hayes Sole, Avid Juicy 3, Shimano XT M785
    I guess I'm spoiled, then, because my previous XT M785's with 180mm/160mm rotors exhibited no brake rub and no squealing. Well, the few times I did experience brake rub after I setup the brakes, I could bend the rotor to get rid of it. I assumed a rock must have bounced up and bent the rotor slightly. I used a sintered pad in front and an organic pad in the rear.

    But I found it near impossible to get a good bleed on the XT rear brake, and one XT lever always leaked oil; and on long, steep descents it was very difficult not to glaze my rotors. That is why I wanted to try a higher quality brake and bigger rotors. I thought the only problem I would have switching to Hopes would be trying to get used to less power and more modulation. However, the power is there when I adjust the bite point screw almost all the way in, and I don't think the modulation is drastically different.

    I appreciate your detailed reply. Thanks for the insights.

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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    Yeah, it's possible. A few times, I purposefully adjusted the alignment of the front brake pads so that I got brake rub on the bike stand, and subsequently I was able to adjust the pads so that there was no brake rub. I just followed the procedure in the Hope "centralising" video, except I used the screwdriver to lever against the back of one of the pads *while* I squeezed the brake lever to get the pistons to extend further on one side. It only took a few times of back and forth levering on opposite sides to eliminate all brake rub. Now that my pads have worn in a bit, there is ample clearance on both sides of the rotor. With new pads, the clearance on either side of the rotor was minuscule.


    I've been doing the emergency stops.



    I guess I'm spoiled because my previous XT M785's with 180mm/160mm rotors exhibited no brake rub and no squealing. Well, the few times I did experience brake rub after I setup the brakes, I could bend the rotor to get rid of it. I assumed a rock must have bounced up and bent the rotor slightly. I used a sintered pad in front and an organic pad in the rear.

    But I found it near impossible to get a good bleed on the rear brake, and one lever always leaked oil; and on long, steep descents it was very difficult not to glaze my rotors. That is why I wanted to try a higher quality brake and bigger rotors. I thought the only problem I would have switching to Hopes would be trying to get used to less power and more modulation. However, the power is there when I adjust the bite point screw almost all the way in, and I don't think the modulation is drastically different.

    I appreciate your detailed reply. Thanks for the insights. I'm also heavy: 250 lbs with gear.
    I should qualify my statement. It can be possible to get a 203mm front brake setup so that it is rub-free in a bike stand. I'm just not sure if it is possible to get it to stay rub-free after any kind of riding or braking so that you don't have to fiddle with your brakes anymore

    I think the only expectation I have of brakes is that they still work well after any kind of braking and I don't have to adjust them because they are rubbing and slowing down my wheels. But having a slightly rubbing brake as long it is isn't slowing down the wheels and as long as I don't hear it when I'm riding (because my hub is so loud), is something I think is normal regardless of the type of brake you have. I had the same "issue" when I was running a XT M785 front and 180mm RT86 IceTech rotor. With the XT brakes there is a bit more clearance between the pads and the rotor than there is with Hope brakes.

    When I had an E4 brake on the front and a 203mm rotor there was a period of time where I had no brake rub even after many rides no matter how hard I braked. But that didn't last. There was a long period of time where I had brake rub but it wasn't enough to slow the wheel down so I just left it. Sometimes I would re-true the rotor other times I would just leave it. Recently my V4 front brake caliper actually moved on the mounts slightly and I ended up with constant brake rub that slowed down the wheel. It took me a while to figure this out because I didn't think a brake caliper could actually move on a mount. So what I did was put blue thread locker on the caliper bolts and tightened down to 10nm instead of 8nm. So far I haven't had any issues.

    Park Tool has a video about re-truing rotors and in the introduction they mentioned that one of the reasons a rotor may not be true anymore is because you just used the brakes! Hope brakes are awesome and you shouldn't have to adjust them all the time but they aren't completely maintenance free brakes. I think that with a 203mm front brake some brake rub is naturally going to occur no matter how you setup your brakes. Sometimes it will go away by itself, other times it will linger around. As long it doesn't slow down the wheel I try not to think about it but it does irritate me sometimes and I have to avoid obsessing about it

  16. #16
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    Just an update; I went for a ride for a few hours and braked hard and braked everywhere. My V4 203mm front brake still has absolutely no brake rub and the rotor appears perfectly true. Maybe this has something to do with pad wear as the pads are about 40% worn down I'm not sure.

    Also to clarify the only type of rubbing that doesn't concern me is cyclical or periodic rubbing that occurs because the rotor is slightly out of true but doesn't slow down the wheel. I don't think I've ever had that type of rubbing develop into something worst on its own. If the rubbing just occurs on part of the revolution of the wheel it is because the rotor is not true combined with maybe how the pads have worn down.

    Since owning Hope brakes for two years I have messed around with them a lot because I'm a bit of a perfectionist. The only time I can recall where I've had to do any real adjustments was when my caliper moved on the mounts. This resulted in constant rubbing that got worst. Some blue thread locker and torquing to 10nm seems to have eliminated that.

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    I pumped out each of the pistons, and I cleaned it off with a Q-tip and some isopropyl alcohol. I couldn't find any silicone lube locally, so I pressed each piston back in without lubing it. I noticed that I slightly chipped the top edge of two of the pistons with all the levering I've been doing with a small screwdriver. I'll have to be more careful and only lever the pad directly under the bolt. Then I reinstalled the pads, and I pumped the brakes a few times and without any further adjustment there was no brake rub on the workstand. I went for a ride, and after applying medium pressure for 15 seconds on a steep hill, I could hear brake rub.

    I just ordered a 203mm Hope standard rotor, and I'll see if there's any improvement over the Ice Tech rotor.

  18. #18
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    I came looking for Hope E4 opinions after thinking I wanted to upgrade my SLX system. For 2 years my SLX brakes have been flawless, needing nothing, but I like the Hope bling. But reading all of this makes me think the Hope brakes may be more trouble than they're worth.
    2015 Santa Cruz Bronson
    Only major components that are still stock on my bike, the Reverb dropper and SLX brakes.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by IRBent View Post
    I came looking for Hope E4 opinions after thinking I wanted to upgrade my SLX system. For 2 years my SLX brakes have been flawless, needing nothing, but I like the Hope bling. But reading all of this makes me think the Hope brakes may be more trouble than they're worth.
    If your SLX are serving you well, keep them. I've got Hope E4s on my bikes, and I like them, after coming from more than a decade of using mainly Shimano brakes (and Magura for a couple of years).

    Shimano in the past were reliable, bulletproof brakes. But I had a few bad XTRs, which took months to get warranty replacements. Since switching to Hope and learning to adapt with the different braking characteristics, I agree that they do sometimes have sticky piston issues.

    I reckon the more pistons there are, the more potential for trouble. BUT, Hope brakes are completely rebuildable, even their levers, which is why I switched.

    I just had one set of E4s rebuilt with new pistons, seals, master cylinder piston in levers. Cost me slightly less than a new set of XT (much cheaper if you are willing/able to DIY the rebuild). But if Shimano brakes fail on you, you most likely will end up binning them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by greddyvox View Post
    If your SLX are serving you well, keep them. I've got Hope E4s on my bikes, and I like them, after coming from more than a decade of using mainly Shimano brakes (and Magura for a couple of years).

    Shimano in the past were reliable, bulletproof brakes. But I had a few bad XTRs, which took months to get warranty replacements. Since switching to Hope and learning to adapt with the different braking characteristics, I agree that they do sometimes have sticky piston issues.

    I reckon the more pistons there are, the more potential for trouble. BUT, Hope brakes are completely rebuildable, even their levers, which is why I switched.

    I just had one set of E4s rebuilt with new pistons, seals, master cylinder piston in levers. Cost me slightly less than a new set of XT (much cheaper if you are willing/able to DIY the rebuild). But if Shimano brakes fail on you, you most likely will end up binning them.
    I have to admit my desire for Hope brakes was not in need of better braking, but mainly for looks. I have Hope hubs and stem and wanted matching brakes. The ability to rebuild them at home does sound promising. 30 years ago I raced MX and did all of our mechanic work. Now that I'm riding mountain bikes I've been doing all of my own mechanic work and enjoy it. I think I'd like the challenge of the Hope brake maintenance but I surely do hate brakes that squeal.
    2015 Santa Cruz Bronson
    Only major components that are still stock on my bike, the Reverb dropper and SLX brakes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IRBent View Post
    I came looking for Hope E4 opinions after thinking I wanted to upgrade my SLX system. For 2 years my SLX brakes have been flawless, needing nothing, but I like the Hope bling. But reading all of this makes me think the Hope brakes may be more trouble than they're worth.
    The following are my reasons I use Hope brakes;

    I no longer buy SRAM products. The main reason is having to pay anywhere from 50% to 200% more for the same thing I was able to get before. A while back SRAM forced European online retailers not to sell SRAM products to North America anymore. As a Canadian this meant I get the worst possible price. The second reason was because I had a SRAM DB5 brake on a bike that only used occassionally just fail. I went to use it one day and the front brake had no power at all. I suspected a leak. I still have a bike with a rear DB5 brake on it. If price wasn't a big enough reason, another put off regarding SRAM brakes are all the issues users have been reporting with levers.

    I also used XT M785 brakes. I knew that they were no good in winter but I thought what could possibly go wrong. Well I had a rear brake spring a leak at the lever in -11C and this was going from warm-to-warm (the bike was never left outside in the cold.) Even at just -5C you can feel the brake lever starting to become less responsive because of the colder temperature. When the lever failed it was like it was at the lowest possible temperature that it could operate. I never had a DB5 brake fail in cold temperatures even to -30C using them everyday. Ironically the DB5 brake that did fail was on a bike that I didn't use very much. I have also used BB7 brakes during a few winters. They are OK but they are extremely finicky to setup and almost impossible to keep rub free as they involve bending the rotor to work. I also had a pad bind to the piston and had to hammer it loose. I have met people here that switch to XT brakes during the summer and put BB7 brakes on in the winter but I don't want to go through the hassle of changing my brakes simply because mineral oil is garbage for winter. Forget winter, I've read there are reliability issues with the M8000 XT brakes. XT brakes are great but are kind of like throw-away brakes that you can only use during the summer.

    The reason why I choose Hope brakes is because they seemed to be high quality, they use DOT fluid (so may work during colder temperatures), and they are rebuildable. Bleeding them is really easy but it is a bit messy at the lever and you will have to rotate your bars. But at least I don't have to sit down with an instruction manual and syringes in a process that I found difficult to remember. The HopeTech 3 lever is by far the best brake lever I have ever used. This winter will be the first I'm using E4 brakes everyday in a Canadian winter so I'm crossing my fingers that it will be a great experience I'm going from warm-to-warm though so the bike won't be left outside but I may try to leave it outside one day and see what happens.

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    and you will have to rotate your bars.
    Why is that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    Why is that?
    To get the reservoir level

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    Or rotate the lever on the bars... Either way works

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    Or rotate the lever on the bars... Either way works
    My bar has a 20mm rise; there is no way I can get the lever even close to being level just by changing the lever position. I have to loosen the lever, move it to the end of the bar, and rotate the bar so that it points down. Additionally I have to turn the front wheel a certain amount depending on the angle my bike is clamped to the stand. I prop a chair against the wheel which helps. This is one thing I don't like about Hope brakes but the lever has to be level if you want a proper bleed.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by brakemaster View Post
    The following are my reasons I use Hope brakes;

    I no longer buy SRAM products. The main reason is having to pay anywhere from 50% to 200% more for the same thing I was able to get before. A while back SRAM forced European online retailers not to sell SRAM products to North America anymore. As a Canadian this meant I get the worst possible price. The second reason was because I had a SRAM DB5 brake on a bike that only used occassionally just fail. I went to use it one day and the front brake had no power at all. I suspected a leak. I still have a bike with a rear DB5 brake on it. If price wasn't a big enough reason, another put off regarding SRAM brakes are all the issues users have been reporting with levers.

    I also used XT M785 brakes. I knew that they were no good in winter but I thought what could possibly go wrong. Well I had a rear brake spring a leak at the lever in -11C and this was going from warm-to-warm (the bike was never left outside in the cold.) Even at just -5C you can feel the brake lever starting to become less responsive because of the colder temperature. When the lever failed it was like it was at the lowest possible temperature that it could operate. I never had a DB5 brake fail in cold temperatures even to -30C using them everyday. Ironically the DB5 brake that did fail was on a bike that I didn't use very much. I have also used BB7 brakes during a few winters. They are OK but they are extremely finicky to setup and almost impossible to keep rub free as they involve bending the rotor to work. I also had a pad bind to the piston and had to hammer it loose. I have met people here that switch to XT brakes during the summer and put BB7 brakes on in the winter but I don't want to go through the hassle of changing my brakes simply because mineral oil is garbage for winter. Forget winter, I've read there are reliability issues with the M8000 XT brakes. XT brakes are great but are kind of like throw-away brakes that you can only use during the summer.

    The reason why I choose Hope brakes is because they seemed to be high quality, they use DOT fluid (so may work during colder temperatures), and they are rebuildable. Bleeding them is really easy but it is a bit messy at the lever and you will have to rotate your bars. But at least I don't have to sit down with an instruction manual and syringes in a process that I found difficult to remember. The HopeTech 3 lever is by far the best brake lever I have ever used. This winter will be the first I'm using E4 brakes everyday in a Canadian winter so I'm crossing my fingers that it will be a great experience I'm going from warm-to-warm though so the bike won't be left outside but I may try to leave it outside one day and see what happens.
    -5C to -30C only tells me one thing, you need to move. Where I live we can ride year round with temps only occasionally getting below freezing. Those are the days we just stay indoors. As for buying Hope brakes, I'm waiting to see if I get the raise that's supposedly in the works. It should be enough to pay for the upgrade without me using any extra pocket change.
    2015 Santa Cruz Bronson
    Only major components that are still stock on my bike, the Reverb dropper and SLX brakes.

  27. #27
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    Hope brake user here, I picked up a pair of Tech 3 E4 brakes in March 2017. After initial installation and set up, everything was great. Now it seems like I have sticky pistons.

    I just emailed Hope to see how long of an interval between lubing and re-centralizing pistons is normal. They said you should do that once a month. Once a month! I'm happy with the way the brakes work, and the levers are the best I've used, hands down. But these brakes are very maintenance intensive!

    IRBent, if you do buy the brakes, keep your Shimano's as a back up. You may want to switch back to them. Maybe not right away, as the honeymoon phase with Hope brakes is awesome. But after you are on your 4th or 5th time lubing and centralizing the pistons, and the brakes are only 6 months old? Yeah, more time riding than messing with stuff is how I like it.

    I'm considering going back to XT's, which I didn't like because of the small amount of modulation, but the setup was foolproof.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by 69tr6r View Post
    Hope brake user here, I picked up a pair of Tech 3 E4 brakes in March 2017. After initial installation and set up, everything was great. Now it seems like I have sticky pistons.

    I just emailed Hope to see how long of an interval between lubing and re-centralizing pistons is normal. They said you should do that once a month. Once a month! I'm happy with the way the brakes work, and the levers are the best I've used, hands down. But these brakes are very maintenance intensive!

    IRBent, if you do buy the brakes, keep your Shimano's as a back up. You may want to switch back to them. Maybe not right away, as the honeymoon phase with Hope brakes is awesome. But after you are on your 4th or 5th time lubing and centralizing the pistons, and the brakes are only 6 months old? Yeah, more time riding than messing with stuff is how I like it.

    I'm considering going back to XT's, which I didn't like because of the small amount of modulation, but the setup was foolproof.
    Awesome feedback. Out of curiosity, what are you lubing the pistons with?
    2015 Santa Cruz Bronson
    Only major components that are still stock on my bike, the Reverb dropper and SLX brakes.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by IRBent View Post
    Awesome feedback. Out of curiosity, what are you lubing the pistons with?
    I haven't actually lubed the pistons yet, but it looks like I'll be buying some sort of silicone oil. I'm tempted to buy something in the USA, but I have a feeling there will be an issue and I'll end up having to buy the unicorn tears that Hope sells, also called Hunter's Silicone Lube.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by 69tr6r View Post
    I haven't actually lubed the pistons yet, but it looks like I'll be buying some sort of silicone oil. I'm tempted to buy something in the USA, but I have a feeling there will be an issue and I'll end up having to buy the unicorn tears that Hope sells, also called Hunter's Silicone Lube.
    I understand and have looked into their Hunter silicone oil. I came down to the conclusion after studying it and similar products that any lube that would dry and leave a lubricating film behind, and used a carrier that wouldn't be harmful to seals probably would do the trick. Dupont makes a dry film lube that I think would do, as well as I believe White Lightning Clean Lube for chains would work. I'd assume dry so it won't collect dust and grime which would cause sticking is the way to go.
    2015 Santa Cruz Bronson
    Only major components that are still stock on my bike, the Reverb dropper and SLX brakes.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by IRBent View Post
    I understand and have looked into their Hunter silicone oil. I came down to the conclusion after studying it and similar products that any lube that would dry and leave a lubricating film behind, and used a carrier that wouldn't be harmful to seals probably would do the trick. Dupont makes a dry film lube that I think would do, as well as I believe White Lightning Clean Lube for chains would work. I'd assume dry so it won't collect dust and grime which would cause sticking is the way to go.
    That makes sense. Do you know what the Dupont lube is called?

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by 69tr6r View Post
    That makes sense. Do you know what the Dupont lube is called?
    Sorry for the delay. My day job sucks.
    DuPont Non-Stick Dry-Film Lubricant with Teflon Fluoropolymer
    Watched the video here for details on how it works and what it's safe to use on: DuPont‚ĄĘ Non-Stick Dry-Film Lubricant with Teflon¬ģ Fluoropolymer

    Can be purchased for @ $10 at Amazon: https://smile.amazon.com/DuPont-Non-...opolymer&psc=1
    2015 Santa Cruz Bronson
    Only major components that are still stock on my bike, the Reverb dropper and SLX brakes.

  33. #33
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    Great, thanks!

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by 69tr6r View Post
    Great, thanks!
    If you try the product and it seems to help or eliminate your problem i'd love to know. The sticky piston issue and overall cost of the Hope brakes are the only negative I've read about. I can get over the extra cost but if they don't work, that's an issue I can't live with. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy doing all of my own maintenance with the only thing I've yet to tear down is my Reverb dropper. I've replaced my entire drive train using a different bottom bracket diameter, cranks, chain ring and cassette, not to mention installing a Luftkappe in my Pike and rebuilding/changing the oil in my rear shock. Maintenance doesn't scare me. But having to tinker with something constantly just to get it to work, that would eat me up. I'll sit tight in "Hope" of hearing good things back before I further consider the E4s myself.
    2015 Santa Cruz Bronson
    Only major components that are still stock on my bike, the Reverb dropper and SLX brakes.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by 69tr6r View Post
    I haven't actually lubed the pistons yet, but it looks like I'll be buying some sort of silicone oil. I'm tempted to buy something in the USA, but I have a feeling there will be an issue and I'll end up having to buy the unicorn tears that Hope sells, also called Hunter's Silicone Lube.
    I found another lube that should be available locally and half the price of the Dupont stuff.
    3-IN-ONE All Temp Silicone Drip Oil

    3-IN-ONE 4 oz. All Temp Silicone Drip Oil-120008 - The Home Depot

    I hope that after actually cleaning and lubing your pistons, then making sure everything is true/straight, your problems and concerns about Hope brakes will be gone.
    2015 Santa Cruz Bronson
    Only major components that are still stock on my bike, the Reverb dropper and SLX brakes.

  36. #36
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    I have Hope on 3 bikes.
    I have Mono Mini for 12 years on my commuter , I don't remember the last time I bled them or had rotor rub.....

    IME , if you follow Hope's video , it's gonna be a perfect setup.
    The bolts that attach the caliper to the frame : be sure to have a washer on the caliper body so when you tight the bolt to it's position , it doesn't move when you tight it.
    That' true for all disk caliper but I once had trouble aligning the Mini when I changed frame.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v83YFGi5uT0
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by IRBent View Post
    I found another lube that should be available locally and half the price of the Dupont stuff.
    3-IN-ONE All Temp Silicone Drip Oil

    3-IN-ONE 4 oz. All Temp Silicone Drip Oil-120008 - The Home Depot
    I couldn't find a source for anything like Hunter's Silicone Lube, so I emailed Hope about the 3-In-One Silicone Lube, and Hope said that they thought it would be okay to use. The only thing that gave Hope pause was that somewhere on the Home Depot page it says:

    Safe on any surface | No
    I put the 3-In-One Silicone lube on each of my pistons, then I pumped out each piston five times, but I didn't notice any change in the brake rub. I will say that lately I think my brakes have gotten a little quieter and there is less brake rub--but that could be due to pad wear. Based on my experience, I would not recommend Hope Tech3 E4 brakes. Before I bought my Hope brakes, I never read anything about the pads rubbing, but when I posted about my problems, some other people responded that they had similar issues.

    Also, another person who experienced noisy Hope Tech3 E4's switched to the V4's and he said he has had no problems with the V4's. The V4's with plastic hoses are supposed to weigh within a few grams of the E4's with plastic hoses, and the V4's have more power, so another option would be to try the Hope Tech3 V4's.

    I asked Hope for advice on how to get my brakes to work better, or else I wanted to warranty my brakes, and they told me to send them a video of the problem. I asked them if they expected me to go out and buy a GoPro and somehow mount it next to my front brake caliper to record the sound of my brakes rubbing, and Hope never responded back to me.
    Last edited by happyriding; 10-08-2017 at 01:22 PM.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    I couldn't find a source for anything like Hunter's Silicone Lube, so I emailed Hope about the 3-In-One Silicone Lube, and Hope said that they thought it would be okay to use. The only thing that gave Hope pause was that somewhere on the Home Depot page it says:



    I put the 3-In-One Silicone lube on each of my pistons, then I pumped out each piston five times, but I didn't notice any change in the brake rub. I will say that lately I think my brakes have gotten a little quieter and there is less brake rub--but that could be due to pad wear. Based on my experience, I would not recommend Hope Tech3 E4 brakes. Before I bought my Hope brakes, I never read anything about the pads rubbing, but when I posted about my problems, some other people responded that they had similar issues.

    Also, another person who experienced noisy Hope Tech3 E4's switched to the V4's and he said he has had no problems with the V4's. The V4's with plastic hoses are supposed to weigh within a few grams of the E4's with plastic hoses, and the V4's have more power, so another option would be to try the Hope Tech3 V4's.

    I asked Hope for advice on how to get my brakes to work better, or else I wanted to warranty my brakes, and they told me to send them a video of the problem. I asked them if they expected me to go out and buy a GoPro and somehow mount it next to my front brake caliper to recored the sound of my brakes rubbing, and Hope never responded back to me.
    I assume you've followed their recommendations on centering the calliper and then centering the pistons to ensure all four pistons are equal distance as well as the pads contact the rotor at the same time?
    2015 Santa Cruz Bronson
    Only major components that are still stock on my bike, the Reverb dropper and SLX brakes.

  39. #39
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    I assume you've followed their recommendations on centering the caliper...as well as the pads contact the rotor at the same time?
    Yes.

    ensure all four pistons are equal distance
    I don't know how to do that.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    Yes.


    I don't know how to do that.
    There are videos maybe on Hope's website and definitely YouTube that show you.
    2015 Santa Cruz Bronson
    Only major components that are still stock on my bike, the Reverb dropper and SLX brakes.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by IRBent View Post
    There are videos maybe on Hope's website and definitely YouTube that show you.
    I watched all the Hope videos and youtube videos I could find. None of them showed how to get all four pistons equally extended.
    Last edited by happyriding; 10-08-2017 at 06:51 PM.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    I watched all the Hope videos and youtube videos I could find. None of them showed me how to get all four pistons equally extended.
    Try these:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akIWGqEE0PY

    The part of this video you want starts at 2:30
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v83YFGi5uT0
    2015 Santa Cruz Bronson
    Only major components that are still stock on my bike, the Reverb dropper and SLX brakes.

  43. #43
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    I've seen both those videos. Both feature calipers with 2 pistons. I've already successfully accomplished what's featured in those videos.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    I've seen both those videos. Both feature calipers with 2 pistons.
    Apparently there's no helping you.

    2 pistons, 4 pistons, it's the same job man. Align, bitch, call Hope. I'm done.
    2015 Santa Cruz Bronson
    Only major components that are still stock on my bike, the Reverb dropper and SLX brakes.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by 69tr6r View Post
    Hope brake user here, I picked up a pair of Tech 3 E4 brakes in March 2017. After initial installation and set up, everything was great. Now it seems like I have sticky pistons.

    I just emailed Hope to see how long of an interval between lubing and re-centralizing pistons is normal. They said you should do that once a month. Once a month! I'm happy with the way the brakes work, and the levers are the best I've used, hands down. But these brakes are very maintenance intensive!
    What do you mean by sticky pistons what is going on with your brakes?

    I think this is just someone working at Hope giving you their personal opinion of their maintenance routine. If it was something Hope really thinks needs to be done to their brakes they would have this published somewhere. Hope brakes function like every other hydraulic brake out there so as a general rule what other MTB brake manufacturers recommend for regular maintenance also applies to Hope brakes.

    Quote Originally Posted by IRBent View Post
    I found another lube that should be available locally and half the price of the Dupont stuff.
    3-IN-ONE All Temp Silicone Drip Oil

    3-IN-ONE 4 oz. All Temp Silicone Drip Oil-120008 - The Home Depot
    I have just started to use Dow Corning Molykote 111 on my Hope E4's on one of my bikes. It's expensive but I can use it for other things. I used a Q-tip and applied a very thin layer after extending each piston and cleaning it. I think it's fine but only time will tell and I'm expecting my brakes will survive a Canadian winter.

    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    I watched all the Hope videos and youtube videos I could find. None of them showed how to get all four pistons equally extended.
    happyriding, I'm going to go out on a limb but is it possible that you are just thinking about this too much? The four pistons will NEVER equally extend because they are not mechanically connected together. No amount of cleaning, lubricating or aligning the pistons will ever change that.

    As the brake fluid pressure builds up inside the caliper and as each piston contacts the rotor, they may not be putting all the exact same amount of pressure on the rotor at the same time (at least not on the initial stages of the power stroke.) This can cause the rotor to bend slightly. The caliper (at least with the V4 and its staggered pistons) is designed somehow so that the leading edge pistons provide braking power before the trailing edge pistons do.

    I have mentioned that I have on occasion brake rub from time to time but it's not a problem because it doesn't slow down the wheel. I've run Hope brakes for over 2 years and my newer V4 which I got earlier this year has been absolutely amazing. I run a set of E4's on one bike and an V4/E4 on another bike. I wouldn't consider any other brake as I'm very happy with them.

  46. #46
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    So I cleaned and lubed my rear caliper and centralized the pistons. This is the second time I've done it since March when I bought the brakes brand new. I know, I should have done it at least 5 other times since Hope recommends cleaning, lubing and aligning the calipers once a month!

    I used Pedros Citrus Degreaser to clean the brakes since they had a lot of brake dust on them.

    https://pedros.com/products/clean-an...s/oranj-peelz/

    Then I lubed using the above mentioned 3-in-1 Silicone Oil. After reassembly I took the bike for a quick ride and noticed the pistons were not returning, so the more I squeezed the brake the more rubbing I got.

    I thought it might have been the silicone oil, so I used some Parker O-lube, which is designed for O-rings, and I've used on the front brake with no trouble.

    Still didn't help. I had a caliper rebuild kit, so I tore the caliper down and rebuilt it, fun! Then had to bleed the brake from empty, more fun!

    4 hours later and I still have a little air in the line, but at least it's rideable, I think.

    Looking back, maybe the degreaser was not the best cleaner to use, though it didn't say anything on the label about harming anything rubber. I suppose it could have been the silicone oil, but I don't know, and will not use that again, can't take a chance.

    Overall I'm very unhappy with the amount of maintenance these brakes require, and will probably go back to Shimano. I'm sure some of the problem with the E4 brakes are the 4 pistons. It makes everything that much harder to work on, and more susceptible to noise with a sticky/lagging piston.

    Even the fully rebuilt caliper with new oil doesn't activate all the pistons even close to the same amount. This is just the nature of the design. With a 2 piston system this is not as much of a problem. Remember cable actuated disc brakes? Most of them only had 1 piston that moved!

    If you simply have to have Hope brakes, at least do yourself a favor and buy the X2. It will make life a lot easier.

  47. #47
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    ^ 69tr6r, there are three possible reasons why your Hope E4 brakes are giving you trouble: 1) Hope E4 brakes are poorly designed; 2) Hope E4 brakes are a good design but you've got a caliper that's unfortunately out-of-spec; 3) You're doing something wrong with your maintenance procedure.

    We can discount #1 because lots of serious riders use Hope E4s and love them. #2 is a possibility and the caliper bore or pistons could be out of tolerance, but from what you've posted (and throwing Occam's Razor into the equation) the evidence points to #3. Some things that might be helpful then:

    • You're correct, Pedros Oranj-Peelz shouldn't be used on brakes. Citrus degreaser will degrade the rubber seals and can leave an oily residue, and for the double-whammy that particular product also contains a solvent that isn't rubber-friendly.
    • You'll never get all the pistons moving by the same amount, no matter if it's 2 or 4 pot or whether it's Hope, SRAM or Shimano etc. It's only when a piston gets unacceptably sticky that it becomes an issue. This is usually down to trapped dirt or damaged/worn seals.
    • Trapped air behind a piston can prevent it from retracting fully. This won't happen if you follow the proper Hope bleeding procedure. As you've still got air in your line then you need to bleed the brakes again, properly this time. The Hope bleeding procedure is a bit of a faff, but it works. The first time I bled Hope brakes I bled 'em like a car: didn't work at all, so one RTFM session later I re-bled them to spec and it worked a treat.
    • Not all silicone lubes are suitable, and you don't want any more than the thinnest coating on the pots, and you don't want it mixing with the DOT fluid as this tends to cluster any contaminants into clumpy gobs. 3-in-1 drip can lube should be OK if used sparingly, but the aerosol version isn't suitable for rubber.
    • Shimming the pads during caliper centring will reduce potential brake rub situations as it adds a little extra pad clearance (the rotor will never retract the pistons fully as there's a bit of spring shear in the seals). The Hayes brake alignment tool is cheap, easy and effective and shims while it centres/centres while it shims.


    I ride my E4s through appalling mud for months at a time, and though I do need to clean, bleed and centre them periodically it's certainly not every month. Typically I do this when I fit a new set of pads, and it doesn't involve a caliper stripdown, at most I just pop out the pots half-way, clean, wipe with a little silicone oil on the end of a cotton bud, bleed the system, then fit the pads and centre the caliper.
    ...and midgemagnet.

  48. #48
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    Thank you Grassington. About the only thing I see in the Hope video on bleeding, that I didn't do, was press the pistons back into the caliper at the very end. I did the whole thing exactly as the video showed. I'm sure there is a little air still in the line, so I guess you could chalk it up to user error.

    But to be honest, this is all a major pain in the a** compared to Shimano brakes, or any other 2 piston brake system.

    In your last point, I think when you are saying to use the Hayes brake alignment tool to shim the caliper, you are talking about centering the Pistons, not the caliper, correct? I've always centered the caliper to the rotor with the pads out of the brake. Then you are supposed to centralize the pistons. At least that is the way the Hope video demonstrates.

    Also, I would NOT recommend 3-in-1 silicone drip oil, as the consistency is extremely thin, like water. If you watch the Hope video, you can see the Hunter's Silicone lube is thicker, almost gel-like.

    Lastly, what are you using to clean your calipers? I get a massive amount of brake dust on the caliper. I had always used Isopropyl Alcohol, I just figured I would try something different with the Pedro's, but will not do that again unless it's a proven cleaner.

    Thanks again.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grassington View Post
    ^ 69tr6r
    I ride my E4s through appalling mud for months at a time, and though I do need to clean, bleed and centre them periodically it's certainly not every month. Typically I do this when I fit a new set of pads, and it doesn't involve a caliper stripdown, at most I just pop out the pots half-way, clean, wipe with a little silicone oil on the end of a cotton bud, bleed the system, then fit the pads and centre the caliper.
    So what silicone oil do you use on your calipers?
    2015 Santa Cruz Bronson
    Only major components that are still stock on my bike, the Reverb dropper and SLX brakes.

  50. #50
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    I used Pedros Citrus Degreaser to clean the brakes since they had a lot of brake dust on them.
    Isopropyl alcohol on a Q-tip is all you need to clean the pistons.

    I suppose it could have been the silicone oil, but I don't know, and will not use that again, can't take a chance.
    Iíve used the 3-in-1 silicone oil twice on my pistons, and it has had no adverse effects--on the other hand it has not cured any of my problems either.

    Shimming the pads during caliper centring will reduce potential brake rub situations as it adds a little extra pad clearance (the rotor will never retract the pistons fully as there's a bit of spring shear in the seals).
    I donít see how that is possible. Mtb brakes are designed to compensate for pad wear. As far as the pistons know, when you remove the shims the pads have suddenly worn down, so the pistons extend further. Is that not the case?

    The Hayes brake alignment tool is cheap, easy and effective and shims while it centres/centres while it shims.
    I bought the Hayes brake alignment tool, and it does not work for me, nor do I understand how it is supposed to work. All the Hayes tool does is make your rotor thicker--which does not somehow magically center your rotor in the caliper.

    Yesterday, I was riding up a steep slick rock climb in my lowest gear. There was no wind noise, and there was no adverse drivetrain noise. The only noise was from the front and rear rotor rubbing. Tick-tick. Tick-tick. Tick-tick. It was so disheartening that I stopped, and I attempted to fix the blasted problem--no luck.

    I also bought a rear 160-180 Hope adapter because the Hope E4 caliper bottoms out on my Shimano 160-180 adapter. And once again, Hope problems from the get go. The Hope bolts are M6 x 18mm, and the bolts bottom out in my Ibis HD3 post mounts, which are only 12mm deep. The two hardware stores that I checked only sold M6 x 12mm, which is too short, or M6 by 16mm, which is still too long. So, I had a shop grind off 3mm from the Hope bolts. Next problem: with the Hope brake adapter I cannot move the brake caliper outboard enough to center the rotor in the caliper. I give up. Everything made by Hope doesn't work for me.

    In my opinion, my Hope E4 pistons do not retract far enough after braking to allow a true rotor to spin without brake rub. As for Hope customer service, they were unhelpful. I guess I will try bleeding my brakes, but I am not optimistic. Then I'm sending them back to Hope.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post

    I also bought a rear 160-180 Hope adapter because the Hope E4 caliper bottoms out on my Shimano 160-180 adapter. And once again, Hope problems from the get go. The Hope bolts are M6 x 18mm, and the bolts bottom out in my Ibis HD3 post mounts, which are only 12mm deep. The two hardware stores that I checked only sold M6 x 12mm, which is too short, or M6 by 16mm, which is still too long. So, I had a shop grind off 3mm from the Hope bolts. Next problem: with the Hope brake adapter I cannot move the brake caliper outboard enough to center the rotor in the caliper. I give up. Everything made by Hope doesn't work for me.
    Sounds like you should sell. What color and how much?
    2015 Santa Cruz Bronson
    Only major components that are still stock on my bike, the Reverb dropper and SLX brakes.

  52. #52
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    I bled my brakes, and I ran into several problems. As this was my first time using DOT 5.1 fluid, I removed my front brake from my bike, and I clamped the front brake onto on old set of handlebars, then I clamped the end of the handlebars in my workstand. I used the workstand to tilt the bars up and down, and I could rotate the brake lever around the bars until I got the master cylinder perfectly level. I used a level along the caliper and across the caliper until the cap was perfectly level. Then I put a big piece of cardboard under my bars to soak up any dripping DOT 5.1 fluid.

    The first problem I encountered was getting the cap off. It felt like the cap was welded on or that there was a third screw somewhere that I couldn't see. I was going to use a pick and try to pry off the cap, but I thought I might damage the edge of the diaphragm. After trying for about 5 minutes to get the cap off with my fingers, I didn't know what to do. I pushed on the edges of the cap, and I tried to lift the cap, but it wouldn't budge. Wtf? I couldn't come up with any good ideas for getting the cap off, so I went back to pushing on the edge of the cap sideways and pulling on the cap, but once again I had no luck. Then all of a sudden one edge of the cap popped up. I have no idea what I did that worked. If someone were to have similar problems, I would also try pushing *down* on the cap at one end.

    My next problem: I couldn't get the diaphragm off the cap. I pulled so hard, I thought I was going to rip the diaphragm. I decided that Hope must have come up with a new design where the diaphragm and cap were one unit. Then I decided that couldn't be the case, so I wrestled with the diaphragm for another 5 minutes, pulling more gently in different directions, and finally one corner popped up. I pulled on the corner, and it felt like the diaphragm was going to rip, but the diaphragm slowly peeled off the cap.

    Then I began the bleed procedure: open bleed nipple, pull lever, close bleed nipple, release the lever. I was very careful to make sure the fluid level in the reservoir never got too low. I was able to do 3 pulls of the lever when the reservoir was filled to overflowing before the reservoir needed more fluid. I noticed that a few bubbles came out the bleed hose, so I was hopeful that I was fixing my brakes. There was no resistance when I pulled the lever to the bars, and the pistons didn't advance, so no bleed block was necessary, but I watched the pistons carefully anyway to make sure that the pistons didnít extend all the way and fall out.

    Then I decided to open the bleed nipple and push in the pistons. Apparently, I took too long to push in the pistons because when I was done and I closed the bleed nipple, I looked at the reservoir and to my horror it was empty.

    So I filled the reservoir to the top, and I began the bleed process all over again. Many bubbles came out the bleed hose, and just like with my XT brakes, I could never get the air bubbles to stop completely. After using half of a bottle of DOT 5.1 fluid, I decided that I was done bleeding. I donít know if there is something wrong with my bleed hose or what, but I can never get the bubbles to stop. My bleed hose is very hard to get on the bleed nipple because it is so small, so the fit on the nipple is very tight once I slip it on.

    I put the cap back on, and I rotated the lever so it was pointing straight down, and *I put my Shimano bleed block in between the pistons*, and I pumped the lever until it felt pretty firm. Then I rotated the lever until the reservoir was perfectly level again, and I removed the cap, then I pushed in the pistons, and I topped off the reservoir, and finally I put the diaphragm and cap back on.

    I was pretty worried that I didnít get a good bleed because I have never had much luck with my XT brakes in the past. I cleaned off the brake lever and the brake caliper, and I reinstalled the brake on my bike, and to my surprise I think I got as good a bleed as the factory bleed, so I was happy about that.

    Unfortunately, the pistons still donít provide enough clearance for the rotor, so I still get brake rub. Iíll ride my bike for a week or two, and Iíll try adjusting the pads when they rub, and Iíll see if things improve. I'll also see if shimming the brakes with my Hayes brake tool will provide more clearance between the pads and the rotor.

    Sounds like you should sell. What color and how much?
    Black...but there's another guy in another thread who had the same problems I am having, and after getting a warranty replacement he said his brakes work great.
    Last edited by happyriding; 2 Weeks Ago at 08:14 PM.

  53. #53
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    I pushed the pistons in, then I shimmed my rotor with the Hayes brake tool, then I pumped my brakes, and after I removed the Hayes brake tool the rotor had enough clearance so that there was no brake rub--but the brake lever was completely soft, so I had no brake. I had to pump the lever again several times to firm up the lever, but just like I expected, after I pumped the brakes the pistons advanced as if the pads had worn down, and the pistons did not retract to their former position, with the result being brake rub again.

    The Hayes brake tool is a sham: it does not center your rotor (after all why would making a rotor slightly thicker make the rotor center in the caliper?), nor does shimming the rotor prevent the pistons from advancing after you remove the shim.
    Last edited by happyriding; 2 Weeks Ago at 08:16 PM.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    I pushed the pistons in, then I shimmed my rotor with the Hayes brake tool, then I pumped my brakes, and after I removed the Hayes brake tool the rotor had enough clearance so that there was no brake rub--but the brake lever was completely soft, so I had no brake. I had to pump the lever again several times to firm up the lever, but just like I expected, after I pumped the brakes the pistons advanced as if the pads had worn down, and the pistons did not retract to their former position, with the result being brake rub again.

    The Hayes brake tool is a sham: it does not center your rotor (after all why would making a rotor slightly thicker make the rotor center in the caliper?), nor does shimming the rotor prevent the pistons from advancing after you remove the shim.
    Yeah, I really don't think that shimming the pads works with Hope brakes. I think you are correct in saying that the pistons will just return to the point where they want to be - just like if the pads are worn down. I believe that is due to the design of Hope caliper seals. They just don't have a lot of spring shear, which causes the pads to return, like some other brakes do - i.e. Shimano.

    If you've ever looked at how much Shimano pistons retract, you'll know what I mean. There seems to be a lot of spring shear in the seals of a Shimano brake. It's actually too much in my opinion, and I used to remove my wheel and pump the brakes a few times to get the pistons further out so the lever throw wasn't as much. You can do this with feeler gauges as well, it's documented in another thread on mtbr. I was running Deore and SLX brakes so I did not have the Free Stroke adjustment like XT's.

    As for my situation, I'm still getting front brake squeal, and I'm convinced it's a lagging piston, or 3. I plan on cleaning and lubing with Molykote 111. I'm really hoping this is a suitable alternative to the Hunter's Silicone Lube.

  55. #55
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    Hi guys. Recently installed an E4.

    I had a 180 IS to Post rear mount and can't seem to align the caliper properly. The caliper is already bottomed out on the left most side and I'm barely centered on the disc.

    I have therefore tried a 160 rotor and another IS to Post adapter and same issue.

    Bike is a 2016 Kona Process 111.

    (Thinking of just having the adapter machined down a few mm's? )


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  56. #56
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    I may not have been clear. With the current setup, I'm unable to move the caliper outboard so I can center the disc.

    It's almost touching the outboard side of the caliper by a hair. I have no more adjustments left as this is as far as the calipers go.

    End result is a lot of rubbing from outboard side


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  57. #57
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    With the current setup, I'm unable to move the caliper outboard so I can center the disc.
    Using a Hope adapter, I have the same issue. See post #50.

    I thought about filing the caliper bolt hole 1mm, but the border around the inboard side of the bolt hole is already pretty thin--thinner than the outboard side.

    It seems to me that the Hope adapters are made specifically for Hope hubs, which I've heard sit inboard more than normal hubs.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by 69tr6r View Post
    Thank you Grassington. About the only thing I see in the Hope video on bleeding, that I didn't do, was press the pistons back into the caliper at the very end. I did the whole thing exactly as the video showed. I'm sure there is a little air still in the line, so I guess you could chalk it up to user error.

    But to be honest, this is all a major pain in the a** compared to Shimano brakes, or any other 2 piston brake system.

    In your last point, I think when you are saying to use the Hayes brake alignment tool to shim the caliper, you are talking about centering the Pistons, not the caliper, correct? I've always centered the caliper to the rotor with the pads out of the brake. Then you are supposed to centralize the pistons. At least that is the way the Hope video demonstrates.

    Also, I would NOT recommend 3-in-1 silicone drip oil, as the consistency is extremely thin, like water. If you watch the Hope video, you can see the Hunter's Silicone lube is thicker, almost gel-like.

    Lastly, what are you using to clean your calipers? I get a massive amount of brake dust on the caliper. I had always used Isopropyl Alcohol, I just figured I would try something different with the Pedro's, but will not do that again unless it's a proven cleaner.

    Thanks again.
    I quite agree, the Hope bleed procedure isn't simple, but following it to the letter is pretty much necessary to get good results. Bleeding car brakes is a doddle by comparison.
    Yes, the "Hayes "Feelír Gage" Caliper Alignment Tool" (to give it its proper name) won't actually centre the pads or caliper. What it does is make sure the caliper isn't skewed relative to the rotor, and as an added bonus the shims increase the pad gap a tad.
    IRBent - I use Hunter SC-90 (or SC-966, same stuff in a bigger bottle) as I'm in the UK so I can source it easily. It has the consistency of thick engine oil.
    I clean my calipers with brake cleaner aerosol. In theory this could damage the seals, but in practice I haven't had any issues so far. Muc Off do a brake cleaner that's specified as bicycle-safe, but it's expensive so I normally use Holts car brake cleaner. Some car and motorbike brake cleaners aren't suitable for MTBs as they leave a thin oily residue that gets safely burnt off with the heat, but bicycle brakes generally won't get hot enough to enable this. Haven't had any trouble with Holts though. I should also add that I do this outside, mostly because of the mess involved but it also means I'm not breathing in too much ether.

    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding
    Quote Originally Posted by Grassington
    Shimming the pads during caliper centring will reduce potential brake rub situations as it adds a little extra pad clearance (the rotor will never retract the pistons fully as there's a bit of spring shear in the seals).
    I donít see how that is possible. Mtb brakes are designed to compensate for pad wear. As far as the pistons know, when you remove the shims the pads have suddenly worn down, so the pistons extend further. Is that not the case?
    The Hayes shims are 0.3 mm thick, which isn't enough extra excursion on the pistons to overcome the stiction on the seals so the pad gap is maintained, at least until the pads wear down far enough to give enough of a gap that the piston slips along the seal and re-adjusts itself. As you've surmised, the self-gapping with wear is not a precise process and the gapping and centring may drift as the pads wear down. I sometimes have to re-centre/re-gap my pads when they're half worn, particularly in the mud season.

    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding
    I bought the Hayes brake alignment tool, and it does not work for me, nor do I understand how it is supposed to work. All the Hayes tool does is make your rotor thicker--which does not somehow magically center your rotor in the caliper.

    Yesterday, I was riding up a steep slick rock climb in my lowest gear. There was no wind noise, and there was no adverse drivetrain noise. The only noise was from the front and rear rotor rubbing. Tick-tick. Tick-tick. Tick-tick. It was so disheartening that I stopped, and I attempted to fix the blasted problem--no luck.
    The Hayes tool helps ensure your caliper and pads are parallel to the rotor face - the caliper bolts need to be loosened for this adjustment. The centring can be done by eye.
    Tick tick tick means you've got a slightly warped rotor, maybe also combined with pads that aren't aligned or centred. Warped rotors are often the result of some serious hard braking, and can often be straightened out again with the aid of an adjustable spanner or - even better - a rotor truing tool. Also over-tightened or unevenly torqued rotor bolts can put the rotor out of true so it's often worth loosening those and re-torquing. I like to do it in stages and in a similar sequence to an engine cylinder head (i.e. zig-zag to opposite sides rather than in a circular sequence), which might be overkill but it seems to work well for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding
    In my opinion, my Hope E4 pistons do not retract far enough after braking to allow a true rotor to spin without brake rub. As for Hope customer service, they were unhelpful. I guess I will try bleeding my brakes, but I am not optimistic. Then I'm sending them back to Hope.
    Yes, the Hope pad gap is small, which is one of the reasons they perform well. It also means there's less margin for error in setup. Hope are based in Lancashire, where they call a spade a f***ing shovel. If I was them I'd just have a helpline that was a continuous loop saying "RTFM... RTFM... RTFM...", but it seems they're politer than that and do at least answer the phone.

    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding
    Then I decided to open the bleed nipple and push in the pistons. Apparently, I took too long to push in the pistons because when I was done and I closed the bleed nipple, I looked at the reservoir and to my horror it was empty.

    So I filled the reservoir to the top, and I began the bleed process all over again. Many bubbles came out the bleed hose, and just like with my XT brakes, I could never get the air bubbles to stop completely. After using half of a bottle of DOT 5.1 fluid, I decided that I was done bleeding. I donít know if there is something wrong with my bleed hose or what, but I can never get the bubbles to stop. My bleed hose is very hard to get on the bleed nipple because it is so small, so the fit on the nipple is very tight once I slip it on.
    Hah, yeah, I've done that! If you let the reservoir level get too low then a shedload of air gets into the system and it takes a huge pumping-and-topping-up effort just to get back to the point where you can start the bleed procedure from the very beginning again. It's very annoying so I try not to do this too often.

    Top tip for levelling the reservoir if, like me, you don't have a bike stand: tie the non-bleeding brake lever down with a bit of string or bungee cord to lock one wheel to stop the bike wandering about then lean the bike against a wall and adjust the lean angle and steering angle to get the reservoir level. You don't need a spirit level for the reservoir - it's got a flat top and is filled with fluid so the reservoir is its own spirit level.
    ...and midgemagnet.

  59. #59
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    The Hayes tool helps ensure your caliper and pads are parallel to the rotor face
    How? Once again, I don't see how making the rotor thicker has any beneficial effect.

    Hah, yeah, I've done that! If you let the reservoir level get too low then a shedload of air gets into the system and it takes a huge pumping-and-topping-up effort just to get back to the point where you can start the bleed procedure from the very beginning again
    When you bleed your brakes, can you get to a point where no air comes out of your bleed tube? I've never bled a brake where the bubbles stopped coming out of the bleed tube. If I remember correctly, with my XT brakes if I squeezed the lever while the bleed nipple was open, that always introduced air into the system. So I used the Shimano funnel at the lever end to do a gravity bleed out through the bleed nipple, and then I used a syringe on the bleed tube to bleed in the opposite direction.

    While bleeding my Hope brakes, every time I squeezed the brake lever at least a couple of bubbles came out the bleed tube--and that occurred even before I accidentally let the reservoir go dry.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding
    When you bleed your brakes, can you get to a point where no air comes out of your bleed tube? I've never bled a brake where the bubbles stopped coming out of the bleed tube.
    Yes, no air bubbles coming out of the bleed tube is the indication that the brakes have been bled properly. If the bubbles keep on coming then it ain't bled yet.

    Air getting into the system from a dry reservoir is a massive pain as each squeeze of the lever pumps a big lump of air into the system. It can be bled out again by refilling the reservoir and bleeding but it takes ages as it's a large volume of air that has to travel the whole length of the system before it can be expelled and it breaks up and spreads out along the way. If air gets into the system this way then the reservoir will need to be topped up several times before the system is fully bled. It uses a lot of fluid, but on the plus side it does mean the whole system gets to be flushed and filled with fresh fluid, which is always good.

    Air can also get in through the bleed nipple. The bleed hose needs to be an airtight fit over the nipple, and the free end of the hose should be sitting at the bottom of a jar or bottle, submerged in brake fluid, and positioned below the nipple level. Opening the bleed nipple up too much can also let air in through the threads. Here's how to avoid that while performing the lever-pumping part of the Hope bleed procedure: starting with the nipple shut and the brake lever at rest, squeeze the brake lever to build up pressure then carefully open up the nipple just enough to let fluid out, no more. Once the lever is squeezed to the bars, hold it there and tighten the nipple before releasing the lever.

    Here's the Hope bleed procedure, gleaned from their YouTube video:


    1. Ensure bike is positioned so bleed nipple is pointing upwards.
    2. Loosen bolts on brake lever and rotate so master cylinder reservoir is horizontal.
    3. Wrap lever in paper towel and open reservoir lid.
    4. Attach bleed hose to nipple, free end of hose sitting on the bottom of a jar positioned below the level of the nipple.
    5. Squeeze lever then carefully open nipple just enough for fluid to emerge.
    6. Continue to squeeze lever until it reaches the bars, hold down and tighten nipple before releasing lever.
    7. Repeat 5) and 6) until air is bled out.
    8. Open nipple and push back pads with screwdriver. Close nipple.
    9. Replace master cylinder reservoir cap and rotate lever downwards before pumping lever.
    10. Return reservoir to horizontal position.
    11. Open nipple, push pistons back, close nipple.
    12. Remove reservoir cap, top up reservoir and roll on diaphragm, ensuring no air is trapped.
    13. Replace reservoir cap, return lever to normal position.
    14. Dip a pointed twist of paper towel into the nipple to soak up excess fluid.


    Some of it looks a bit random, but there's always a reason. Part 7) is to purge troublesome bubbles hiding behind the pistons (which, topically, causes the pads to rub as the bubbles prevent the piston retracting fully), and part 8) does a similar bubble-purging thing with the lever internals.
    ...and midgemagnet.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    Using a Hope adapter, I have the same issue. See post #50.

    I thought about filing the caliper bolt hole 1mm, but the border around the inboard side of the bolt hole is already pretty thin--thinner than the outboard side.

    It seems to me that the Hope adapters are made specifically for Hope hubs, which I've heard sit inboard more than normal hubs.
    I also tried other adapters on my box for due diligence, but still the same result.

    My previous bike had post mounts front and rear and I had no issues with my M4 back then.

    The rear IS to Post alignment is killing me. Unless i enlarge the caliper holes or have a shop machine down the adaptors


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  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikkosan View Post
    I also tried other adapters on my box for due diligence, but still the same result.

    My previous bike had post mounts front and rear and I had no issues with my M4 back then.

    The rear IS to Post alignment is killing me. Unless i enlarge the caliper holes or have a shop machine down the adaptors


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Y'all are scaring me with this misalignment talk. I have Hope Pro 4 hubs and just assumed a hope IS to Post for the rear, and Hope post to post on the front and I'd have it perfect.
    2015 Santa Cruz Bronson
    Only major components that are still stock on my bike, the Reverb dropper and SLX brakes.

  63. #63
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    I have the Hope post to post 160-180mm adapter for the rear, and it doesn't work for me. A Shimano 160-180mm post to post adapter just has enough room on the right end to center the caliper over the rotor. I can actually move the caliper outboard a hair too much. However, the bottom of the Hope E4 caliper touches the Shimano adapter, which is why I ordered the (useless) Hope adapter.

    I have Hope Pro 4 hubs
    Then I think the Hope adapters will work for you. Hope hubs/rotors supposedly sit inboard more than other hubs, so while we are trying to move the caliper outward to center our calipers over the rotor, you will be trying to move the caliper inward to center the caliper over the rotor.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    I have the Hope post to post 160-180mm adapter for the rear, and it doesn't work for me. A Shimano 160-180mm post to post adapter just has enough room on the right end to center the caliper over the rotor. I can actually move the caliper outboard a hair too much. However, the bottom of the Hope E4 caliper touches the Shimano adapter, which is why I ordered the (useless) Hope adapter.


    Then I think the Hope adapters will work for you. Hope hubs/rotors supposedly sit inboard more than other hubs, so while we are trying to move the caliper outward to center our calipers over the rotor, you will be trying to move the caliper inward to center the caliper over the rotor.
    How'd you deal with the rubbing on the rear? Just living with it for now? Let me know if you come up with a solution.

  65. #65
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    Regarding the rear brake mount issues: I was looking at Hope's new bike* last night and they have this to say on their bike's rear brake mounts:

    The radially mounted brake only needs spacers to change disc size. This makes for simple disc size changes as opposed to the current post mount which varies in position with different disc sizes.
    As our brake designer comments ďIt is really frustrating to model things perfectly on the screen, have CNC machines capable to hold very tight tolerances, to then fit a caliper and some randomly dimensioned brake mount. When you go away from the standard 160 postmount dimension depending which manufacturer spec you go for, the caliper ends up in a different position because there is no set standard.Ē
    Radial mounted calipers arenít new and have been used on motorbikes for decades, our old Mono6-Ti caliper used this type of mount.


    So the bike industry has another non-standard standard then. Sake!

    * https://www.hopetechhb.com/ Not quite my cup of tea, but it does look like a good solid bike.
    ...and midgemagnet.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikkosan View Post
    How'd you deal with the rubbing on the rear? Just living with it for now? Let me know if you come up with a solution.
    If you are asking about the bottom of my rear brake caliper touching the Shimano adapter, I can see a worn spot on the adapter--but I am able to center the caliper over the rotor. The tighter I tighten the caliper mounting bolts the more the bottom of the caliper presses against the adaptor, so I make sure I don't overtighten the mounting bolts.

    If you are you asking about my brake rub, which I have on both the front and the rear, I keep trying different things, but now I don't have anything else to try. I'll give the brakes another couple of weeks to see if things improve after the bleed I performed, and if they don't improve, I'm warrantying the brakes. No one would ever buy Hope brakes if they all worked like mine. I've got a new set of M8000 XT brakes I will install if the Hopes don't improve.

  67. #67
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    The bleed hose needs to be an airtight fit over the nipple, and the free end of the hose should be sitting at the bottom of a jar or bottle, submerged in brake fluid, and positioned below the nipple level.
    It seems irrelevant to me whether the bleed hose is submerged in brake fluid or whether the catch bottle is below the nipple. I think the catch bottle just has to be below the caliper, and it doesn't matter if bubbles flow up the bleed hose because they can't get past the bleed nipple. When you open the bleed nipple, the direction of flow is out the bleed nipple so bubbles in the bleed hose can't get in the caliper; and when you close the bleed nipple no bubbles in the bleed hose can get in the caliper.

    I do bleed with the catch bottle below the caliper, but the end of the hose is never submerged in brake fluid. When I close the bleed nipple, I do see bubbles in the bleed hose slowing rising towards the bleed nipple, but they never get in the caliper.

    ...starting with the nipple shut and the brake lever at rest, squeeze the brake lever to build up pressure then carefully open up the nipple just enough to let fluid out, no more.
    Okay, I'll try that. Thanks.

  68. #68
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    happyriding, why don't you post a video of your bike in a stand to show us? Spin the front wheel and let's hear it and let's see how long it takes for the wheel to stop? I'm not sure if you have mentioned, but do your brakes perform while riding? Do you have a reasonably firm lever and do you have power and modulation? I'm guessing you are running standard pads? A video would reveal a lot and others can weigh in on this and we can be all on the same page.

    ---Bleeding---
    I use a hose that drains into a large dish washing container. I wrap the lever with a shop towel and use a syringe to fill the reservoir. I have let the reservoir drain empty by mistake also. If you replace a hose line, it's the same thing, you start off with an empty reservoir and it just takes time. Installing, fitting, and bleeding Hope brakes is super easy. But if you have never done it before, like anything else, it will take forever, and you'll mess up many times and create a mess.

    ---Brake Rub---
    As I've mentioned before I don't consider the following an issue;

    1) You can hear periodic rubbing if you spin the wheel in a bike stand
    2) AND It does not slow down the wheel very much in the stand
    3) AND Your brakes perform beautifully while riding

    I certainly don't consider it a defect if I can't even hear the above brake rubbing while riding. Even peddling so as not to hear the rachet of my hub I still can't hear anything. Running standard pads will be quieter.

    I just replaced my V4 pads used with my front 203mm rotor. Had a little bit of brake rub that went away after two rides. This type of rubbing is normal and comes and goes; sometimes stays around for months, sometimes disappears for a while, sometimes comes back etc... I've had this with all kind of hydraulic brakes to some degree or another. Just saying that from my experience it seems more apparent;

    1) With larger rotors like a 203mm rotor
    2) With front rotors because that is where most of the braking force is
    3) You are braking hard to stop hard as opposed to feathered or lighter use

  69. #69
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    I wouldn't say that Hope brake are "super easy to bleed". There's a 14 step outline a few posts up that tells me different. Plus I've done it a couple times and it has been anything but easy. Also, very messy. I'm just spoiled by Shimano I guess.

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  5. Eliminate the rear derailleur cable loop (and other incremental improvements?)
    By bennymack in forum Drivetrain - shifters, derailleurs, cranks
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 02-04-2011, 10:45 AM

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