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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.
    M¦dgemagnet

  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; 2 Weeks Ago 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.
    M¦dgemagnet

  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; 2 Weeks Ago 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

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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.

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