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  1. #1
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    Hope Tech M4 or ...?

    So right now my Felt Nine Trail has crappy Tektro Novela discs on it in the 180/160 flavor. Im looking to upgrade to some hydro brakes. Ive been looking at the Hope Tech M4 in the S.E. ( Only the S.E. because my bike is black white and lime green) Ive pretty much decided on a 203/183 rotor size because Im a clyde at 247 ( although I should be about 195) and I ride in the foothills so naturally there are some long decents. So my question is are there some other decent brakes that wont brake ( pun intended) the bank like the Hopes? The hopes will run me close to 600 which is what I paid for my bike. And yes I understand that with an entry level bike any decent upgrades are expensive in comparison to original purchase price. It seems like there are alot of options out there just not sure whats going to be good. It seems to me there are lots of threads on here about issuse with Avids and I need a more set it and forget it brake system. Thanks in advance for any helpful input.

    --Mike--

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    Im about 230 lbs + gear and the Hope Tech M4's have no problem stopping me. I run 183/160 atm but if I were to do more downhill related riding I could definatly go for the 203/183 combo, I find the 160 rotor on the rear tends to heat up ALOT and starts making all kinds of sounds while losing braking power.

    The hopes are pretty much set and forget other than a simple fluid change every 6mo-year, and checking your pad wear. Im sure there is cheaper brakes out there, but you cannot go wrong with the M4's.

  3. #3
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    Good points and that my thought with the hopes. I dont want all the issuses of all the other brakes. I was hoping some one with Formulas would chime in Im interested in them also.

  4. #4
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    Hopes are awesome. Much better than formulas, maguras, hayes, avids, and most every other brake made if not all. They are pricy, but if you can afford them, you have a great brake that you can set it and forget it. It's that easy.

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    Thats pretty much my thoughts. Theres not alot of threads about them so they must be good lol.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nor-Cal-Mike View Post
    Thats pretty much my thoughts. Theres not alot of threads about them so they must be good lol.
    Yeah not a lot about them as they are an English brake, and not many stores stock it. But the great thing is, you can get them from Texas, order what you want, get some ebc red pads and never worry about them. They are just really darn good and super reliable.

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    Thats what Im hoping. there are actually two shops near me that are listed as Hope dealers.so ill probably go check them out in person then order online. Ill have to do one at a time though.

  8. #8
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    Another running Tech M4s. Excellent brakes. They can be slightly painful to get setup properly, but once done, they are pretty much forgotten. They do the job brilliantly, with fantastic modulation and power.

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    Care to elaborate on what was difficult to setup?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nor-Cal-Mike View Post
    Care to elaborate on what was difficult to setup?
    The joys of four pistons. You have to have the caliper lined up perfectly with the rotor, before you start centering the pistons. Which I highly recommend doing the Hope way (there are good videos on their site). It can take a while to get everything lined up properly with no rubbing.

    However, once there, you are good until the pads need changed.

    OO7 also has the same setup I am running (M4 front and X2 rear). He had a more difficult time getting his M4 setup I believe, and might be worth PMing. But I think he is happy with the M4s after the setup.

  11. #11
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    I see, a little frustrating but not rocket science.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nor-Cal-Mike View Post
    I see, a little frustrating but not rocket science.
    Exactly.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shalom View Post
    The joys of four pistons. You have to have the caliper lined up perfectly with the rotor, before you start centering the pistons. Which I highly recommend doing the Hope way (there are good videos on their site). It can take a while to get everything lined up properly with no rubbing.

    However, once there, you are good until the pads need changed.

    OO7 also has the same setup I am running (M4 front and X2 rear). He had a more difficult time getting his M4 setup I believe, and might be worth PMing. But I think he is happy with the M4s after the setup.
    Yes, this is true . . . partially (perhaps even primarily!) because I have a strong, shall we call it a desire (?) for perfection. I go so far as using spark plug feeler gauges to ensure that the rotor is centered in the caliper. Then, when centralizing the pads, I go to great lengths (once spent almost an hour with it!) to make sure that a) the rotors are true and b) piston's are evenly contacting the rotors.

    Now that they are set up to my satisfaction, I have not touched them in months. And with changing the pads to a sintered compound, these things will throw me over the bar if I'm not careful. I still have ample amounts of modulation and the only noise they ever make is the quiet flutter that's typical of the Saw rotors. I absolutely love my brakes.

    My ONLY complaint is some minor fluid leakage from the master cylinder. And when I say minor, we're talking along the order of microliter's of fluid. It has not affected performance one bit. I'd bleed the brakes long before it ever became an issue.

    edit: one problem that I've had with my M4 is dust accumulation on one of the 4 piston's that caused it to stick. I ride in an incredibly dusty environment here in SoCal and I think that this would have been a problem with any 4-pot brake and is not something unique to Hope. I just need to make sure to clean and lube the piston's more often than most.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nor-Cal-Mike View Post
    I see, a little frustrating but not rocket science.
    Its definitely not rocket science by any means. It just requires careful patience is all.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

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    Good info guys. Keep it comming. what do you guys use for lube and cleaning the pistons?

  16. #16
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    The brakes took me an hour and a half for both. It was not hard at all and was pretty easy. The pistons can be cleaned with any brake cleaner. I have never lubed the pistons at all. If you do, maybe a touch of tri-flow on them if you want, but lube attracts dirt, and you don't want to scratch up the piston bosses. I never lubed my 6 piston and older m4 and they still work like new to this day. I did replace them to try out the new stuff, but they are in perfect shape.

  17. #17
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    Awesome. So I can basically treat them like hydros on a car. And decent priced rotor suggestions? Tge hope floats look great but a little pricey.

  18. #18
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    Yes, bleed just like a car. Hope has videos on how to do it, but the way I did mine, made it easy, just have to make sure you keep on top of the fluid as after 2 bleed times, you have to refill. Sometimes after one session. Hope disks are great though. I would use them, but depending on what brake you use, you sometimes cannot use the ice tech rotors because the 2 piece is really high on the disc, hitting the caliper. This happened on my set up, many others I'm sure are ok, but just keep that in mind.

  19. #19
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    Pretty much.

    As for rotors, how about the Hope non-floating? I am using the floating rotors, as I managed to get a few on sale.

  20. #20
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    So basically keep the brakes all Hope stuff. Ive heard there are clearance issuse with some of the floating rotors to the fork? Any one experience this? And I assume the biggest benefit of floating rotors is the heat shedding from the aluminum center? Maybe some added rigity?

  21. #21
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    That's what I did.

    No issues as far as clearance for me. Everything working and fitting brilliantly.

    As for floating - heat shedding, slightly lighter if that is a concern. For me the biggest advantage of floating is that they seem to stay in true a lot more than a fixed or non-floating rotor. Maybe something to do with heat transfer? Anyway, seems to be a lot less maintenance as far as rotor truing and therefore brake rub.

    And then aesthetics. They just look good!

  22. #22
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    Slightly lighter is nice not a huge concern but any loss of rotating weight is a good thing. sucks they dont make the centers in lime green. I guess black would be ok. Lol Im getting a head of myself here. I need to get the rest of my parts for my Hope/Flow wheelset.

  23. #23
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    If you want green, try checking out Superstar components. They (used to anyway) make lime green floating rotors. Not sure on compatibility/clearance with M4s, but maybe an email to them?

    Superstar Floating rotors

  24. #24
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    You can special order the centers. Yes I have had a clearance issue here and there, but they worked that out on the later versions. You buy one now, tell them the wheel package and fork and they will send you what you want. I thought they were pretty cheap when I got them from Texas, seemed to be a bit less than online I thought, but to be honest I didn't really look around. I just sent what I had, and what I wanted to Phil and he took care of the rest. Lime green, that's a tough one. If they don't make it, I know a few places in the bay area that can do the lime green anodizing.

  25. #25
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    I wonder if couldd get them raw then take them to my ano shop they can do anything.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nor-Cal-Mike View Post
    I wonder if couldd get them raw then take them to my ano shop they can do anything.
    As far as I know, they just need the piece, pre anoed or not I believe.

  27. #27
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    For cleaning/lubing the pistons, all I do is push them out a bit and rub a cotton swap soaked in alcohol around the exposed surface. Then I put a drop of brake fluid onto the piston, let the capillary action take it to the seals and push the piston's back in. After that, the pistons move equally and smoothly. Definitely no actual "lube" should go in there (e.g., tri-flow, etc.)

    As for rotors, I use the floaters. I have a set of 160mm's that I'm not using. One new, one used if you're interested. I've also got a 180mm as well but only in one-piece. I had no clearance issues with my current set up (fox float + CK front hub).
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  28. #28
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    I just finished building a Knolly Chilcotin with Hope Tech M4 brakes with 203mm front and 183mm rear floating rotors.
    Let me tell you I love them!
    I rode bikes with just about every other brake made and the Hopeís were my favorite. I like a brake that has great modulation and the Hopeís have great modulation. There not like a light switch (on & off) if you want to just slow down without locking up they will, if you want to stop without locking up they will, if you want them to lock up they will. What Iím saying is they are the most controllable brakes that I have used.
    I ride using one finger and I donít like locking up the rear tire (it tears up trails and tires) so the Hopeís are the brakes for me.
    If you go with the Hope brakes Iím sure you wonít be sorry.

  29. #29
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    Definitely no actual "lube" should go in there (e.g., tri-flow, etc.)

    I read the previous post about using tri-flow on piston seals and cringed. Brake fluid is the only lube used.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by keen View Post
    Definitely no actual "lube" should go in there (e.g., tri-flow, etc.)

    I read the previous post about using tri-flow on piston seals and cringed. Brake fluid is the only lube used.
    You don't use brake fluid as lube. You can use a bit of tri-flow to help clean, but never to lube.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by mazspeed View Post
    You don't use brake fluid as lube. You can use a bit of tri-flow to help clean, but never to lube.
    So what do you suggest using to maintain your piston seals and keep the pistons moving freely?
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by OO7 View Post
    So what do you suggest using to maintain your piston seals and keep the pistons moving freely?
    Never really needed much other than brake cleaner every so often, or tri flow as a cleaner. Never really used lube even though that's what tri flow is. Just dabbed it on and cleaned grime off. But brake cleaner is the best. Wd 40 can clean as well. Take pads out when doing any of this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shalom View Post
    That's what I did.

    No issues as far as clearance for me. Everything working and fitting brilliantly.

    As for floating - heat shedding, slightly lighter if that is a concern. For me the biggest advantage of floating is that they seem to stay in true a lot more than a fixed or non-floating rotor. Maybe something to do with heat transfer? Anyway, seems to be a lot less maintenance as far as rotor truing and therefore brake rub.

    And then aesthetics. They just look good!
    I seem to have had the opposite experience with the floating rotors. I've felt they are more easily knocked out of true than the fixed rotors. Other people I know have had good luck with the floaters(folks who switched to Hope after riding my tech m4's), but I'm sticking to the fixed rotors from now on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mazspeed View Post
    You don't use brake fluid as lube. You can use a bit of tri-flow to help clean, but never to lube.
    I'd like to see what manufactured text advices lubing or cleaning a brake system externally w/ Tri-flow. I could see using some compressed air or an aerosol brake cleaner . Brake fluid Ok but still might attract some dirt. If you want to Tri-flow YOUR pistons be my guest but I wouldn't pass that off as technical advice. One of Brake fluid's properties is an internal system lubricant : Brake & Clutch Fluids .

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    It seems to me these systems are just miniatures of automotive systems. So I would think no external lube, and standard automotive brake clean for cleaning purposes.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by keen View Post
    I'd like to see what manufactured text advices lubing or cleaning a brake system externally w/ Tri-flow. I could see using some compressed air or an aerosol brake cleaner . Brake fluid Ok but still might attract some dirt. If you want to Tri-flow YOUR pistons be my guest but I wouldn't pass that off as technical advice. One of Brake fluid's properties is an internal system lubricant : Brake & Clutch Fluids .
    I think you're missing my point. That's ok, let me explain a little better. Sometimes I'm not the best at explaining things on here as I don't go into enough detail. Tri Flow, like other lubes do have some cleaning properties built in, so that things don't corrode, much like brake fluid and many other things. I am not saying dabbing some in and letting it go, but to clean, it works really well. If that's all you have handy, you can use it to clean, but you have to wipe it off, much like any good brake cleaner. You want to pistons to be smooth, like in a car for instance, using tri flow can clean it smooth and get off varnish or any other impurities that are in the metal. I have used it to success. I am NOT using it as a lube for this purpose though.

  37. #37
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    I would consider the v2's, they are certainly simpler than 4 pots....I originally thought mine would be overpowered (203/185) but the modulation has been simply unbelievable and I'll be going straight to the v2's when I upgrade my next bike. I have no experience with the m4's, I'll bet they are pretty darn high quality based on my v2's

    I got the floating rotors and so far the only difference I've noticed is that they seem quieter than normal rotors
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nor-Cal-Mike View Post
    It seems to me these systems are just miniatures of automotive systems. So I would think no external lube, and standard automotive brake clean for cleaning purposes.
    Yes exactly. Some lubes can be used as cleaners, but you don't leave it on. Again sometimes I don't go into full detail and figure some people will understand what I say. Anything left on the brakes themselves is bad as it WILL contaminate the pads, and once that happens you might as well throw them away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ferday View Post
    I would consider the v2's, they are certainly simpler than 4 pots....I originally thought mine would be overpowered (203/185) but the modulation has been simply unbelievable and I'll be going straight to the v2's when I upgrade my next bike. I have no experience with the m4's, I'll bet they are pretty darn high quality based on my v2's

    I got the floating rotors and so far the only difference I've noticed is that they seem quieter than normal rotors
    The V2 and the m4 are just about the same weight, that's why I would always go v2. m4 is also a great brake though.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferday View Post
    I would consider the v2's, they are certainly simpler than 4 pots....I originally thought mine would be overpowered (203/185) but the modulation has been simply unbelievable and I'll be going straight to the v2's when I upgrade my next bike. I have no experience with the m4's, I'll bet they are pretty darn high quality based on my v2's

    I got the floating rotors and so far the only difference I've noticed is that they seem quieter than normal rotors
    I would second this notion. My next setup will adopt the V2's purely for simplicity's sake. The M4's are really great, however, more moving parts means more room for failure, and so long as I can continue to run my 2-piece rotors I will.

    Some have noticed that they get out of true easier, and I have also found this to be the case, but ONLY if I bump them. If left untouched, they do stay very true. They are also quite easy to true as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OO7 View Post
    I would second this notion. My next setup will adopt the V2's purely for simplicity's sake. The M4's are really great, however, more moving parts means more room for failure, and so long as I can continue to run my 2-piece rotors I will.

    Some have noticed that they get out of true easier, and I have also found this to be the case, but ONLY if I bump them. If left untouched, they do stay very true. They are also quite easy to true as well.
    I had and still have my 6 piston ti's and they stayed true for the entire time I used them. About 6 years. I'm not sure I would worry about hope stuff. In fact I may go back to the 6 piston over the v2's.

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    The V2 requires a specific rotor though right?

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nor-Cal-Mike View Post
    The V2 requires a specific rotor though right?
    If you want, yes you can use the vented rotor. However, it will also take the standard Saw rotors as well.
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  44. #44
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    Hope will tell you that it needs a specific rotor, but I use the standard 2 piece rotor, not the vented and it works great.

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    Oh. I thought thr V2 rotors were thicker or has a wider pad contact area. Thought V2 calipers would only work with V2 rotors.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nor-Cal-Mike View Post
    Oh. I thought thr V2 rotors were thicker or has a wider pad contact area. Thought V2 calipers would only work with V2 rotors.
    I thought that as well. I called in, talked to some lady there and she told me I had to have specific V2 rotors, but that they had different kinds, so of the 3, I picked the 2 piece non vented. When it came, it was the exact same thickness as my ice techs that I was running on my 6ti.

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    Oh. Very nice. So any rotor will work with the V2. Any benefits to the V2? Cheaper? And are they avalible in black/green? Sorry for all the questions Im working and I drive for a living so its hard to do reasearch while driving.

  48. #48
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    Yes the V2 brakes come in black and green. I think they cost more than the Tech M4's.
    You can call Hope in Texas, there great to deal with. I should know I called them many times with questions. The # is 936 756-5004.

  49. #49
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    /\ What he said

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    What's the actual width of the V2's braking track?

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