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  1. #1
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    Hope vs. XT questions

    I have been riding a LONG time, but am a disk brake noob. I am about to get some new brakes. From my research, I feel Hopes will suit me best, but I would like some more opinions before I spend $$$.

    I currently run Hayes Stroker Trails on a Giant Reign with a RS Revelation XX 20mm fork. I really like the lever shape, but would like more power. I am running them inside of my x7 shifters, so they are one finger levers right now.

    I ride technical stuff in the Rockies and want brakes that are easy to feather, one finger pull, and are powerful enough to throw me over the bars. I have smallish hands and want a good lever reach adjustment. I don't want "grabby" or "on/off". Back in the v-brake days I set up my brakes for a lot of lever travel and the levers got firm when almost bottomed out on the bars. I hate the "firm lever must be powerful" feel.

    Does this sound like Hopes or Shimanos?

    Will my current hayes V6 rear and V7 front rotors work with new brakes? Or do I need to budget for new rotors/adapters.

    If I go with hopes, is V4 front/ M4 rear a good match? Or is M4 front and rear OK? I am 170lbs + pack, but do need strong brakes that are easy to modulate in kitty litter over granite.

    Thanks much!

  2. #2
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    Hope all the way. The extra price is well worth it over the plastic shimano's. No comparison. I would just go with V4 front and rear.

    Enjoy.

  3. #3
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    I own both Hopes Techs and XTs. Hope for the bling, modulation, and lever feel, XT for the power and price. I recently replaced my Avids with XTs based on the price factor and power over the Hopes.

  4. #4
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    Cool. can I run my existing rotors with new Hope's, or do I need new ones?

  5. #5
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    Hope Stealth M4 front and rear, shout yourself some floating rotors. if on a budget XT, you cant go wrong either way.

  6. #6
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    Re: Hope vs. XT questions

    Used to own Tech M4s but found them lacking in power. But the build quality, bling and modulation is great.

    Settled for the new Saints and eventually moved to the XTR trail brakes. Have more than enough power.

    Can't go wrong with both of them. Go XT if budget is a concern.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by laurenlex View Post
    Cool. can I run my existing rotors with new Hope's, or do I need new ones?
    Not sure. I went with floating rotors for my Hopes and ice techs for the XTs

  8. #8
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    I own EVO M4s, EVO V4s, and recently the new generation XTs. I am a huge Hope fan and here is why:

    1. Modulation. I think many people confuse modulation for lack of power. I am 200lbs geared up, and run M4s with 183/160 on My Knolly Endo which is a trail/AM bike. I live in the desert so traction is hard to come by here. Hopes are very linear. Pull a little, get a little, pull a lot, get a lot. XTs on the other hand have servo wave. Servo wave is a cam activation, which bring on lots of power early on in the lever stroke. Some people like this, and it can give you the feeling of more power, as you have more earlier. But, what I found happens is that you get that hard power hit early, then it tapers off, and then begins building power later in the lever travel. This can be a good thing if traction is plenty, but when riding in sand, I lost the front more times than I care to note.

    2. Power. I have recently switched to 1 finger braking. I have always been a 2 finger braker as this is how I grew up. With the Hopes, you do run the levers inboard a bit more than most levers. However, the pivot placement for 1 finger braking is incredible. The power I can generate with one finger far surpasses what I could do with 2. Power on the M4s is certainly no less than XTs, probably more, but I have no way to quantify this.

    3. Reliability. Hopes are set and forget. They do take a few extra minutes to dial in perfectly, but you will never touch them again. You will changes pads and bleed them occasionally. I prefer DOT fluid, Motul RBF600 to be specific. It has a dry boiling point of 600 and a wet boiling point higher than most other fluids dry boiling point. I have overheated XT Icetechs (Icetech rotors and pads). Hopes are so well engineered and there is no plastic anywhere. Build quality is far superior to anything out there.

    4. Longevity. You can still easily get parts for first generation Hopes. Shimano? Not a chance. Hope has a USA office in Texas, which you can call and order from directly. I called them a while back as I made a late night goof and chipped one of my pistons. It began to leak. I called them up, and for $20 bucks, they sent me 4 new seals and pistons. No need to deal with the LBS, no need to send them in for inspection, I was simply able to get my parts and be on my way.

    5. Lever. The tech lever is incredible. Adjustments that actually work, the best lever feel IMO, and super easy to bleed. No need to buy a funnel or whatever you need to bleed Shimanos.

    As for differences between the M4 and V4, the V4 has more power and it comes on quicker. I find the M4s modulate better, but not by much. I think the V4s would be my overall choice as you can step down in rotor size. If Hope did not exist, I would probably be on Shimanos.

    Good luck with your choice. Based on your qualifications above, I think Hopes are what you are looking for.
    "Three balls at once...who knew?" - Cotton McKnight

  9. #9
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    Great post tisser. Totally nailed it, but would add that the v4 feels the same to me in regards to modulation. Hopes are the very best brake in the industry right now. Shaminos are very good brakes are are lighter, but Hopes are just a step above everyone else. Tons of feel and control, very powerful, and fade resistant. I have faded everything in downhill riding except my Hopes. Get them.

  10. #10
    007
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    I really can't add anything that hasn't already been said other than "+1 on the Hope's"

    I wrote a comparison review on the new shimano's vs. Hope's . . . . you'll have to search for it, as it was written a little over a year ago. The short of it is that I prefer Hope's.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  11. #11
    007
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    Quote Originally Posted by laurenlex View Post
    I . . . I have smallish hands and want a good lever reach adjustment . . .
    The Hope Tech lever's have substantially greater adjustability over Shimano brakes. For this reason alone, I went with Hope. I like a very short throw and early bite that stops well short of the bar. Hope lever's were the only ones that could pull that off.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  12. #12
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    i had this question 2 months ago. went with Hopes for a few reasons:
    - i love the solid build quality on the Hopes. theres no plastic to be found, while it seems like the entire Shimano master cylinder is made of plastic. The Hopes look like they will last for many years
    - Hopes offer great adjustability to pinpoint how i want my levers to feel.
    - ease of bleeding on the Hopes seems super easy. i havent had to do it yet (have ridden them for 2 months and even shortened hoses without needing a bleed) but the procedure looks very easy.
    - everyone talks about Hopes modulation and I wanted something a little less on/off. I have the X2's (I dont have many long sustained downhills where I ride so I didnt go for the M4s) and I can still lock them up if i want to. I can stop and do a nose- wheelie on my front wheel pretty easily.

    Hopes were more expensive (All told, I got mine for a little over $400 which included X2s, Tech levers, IS adapters, floating rotors and matchmaker bar clamps.). I think Shimanos can be had for probably $250 all told.

  13. #13
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    I've been looking at the XT's & now looking at the Hope V4. I like what I've read about the V4's having no plastic so, in the long run, they would be worth the extra money plus I'm in TX so if I needed something from them, it wouldn't take too long. But, of course, the price ont eh XTs are much better as I was going to upgrade rotor's too (Currently running BB7's with Avid rotors). I didn't notice if Hope offers a front brake adaptor for 180mm...?

  14. #14
    007
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitewerks View Post
    I've been looking at the XT's & now looking at the Hope V4. I like what I've read about the V4's having no plastic so, in the long run, they would be worth the extra money plus I'm in TX so if I needed something from them, it wouldn't take too long. But, of course, the price ont eh XTs are much better as I was going to upgrade rotor's too (Currently running BB7's with Avid rotors). I didn't notice if Hope offers a front brake adaptor for 180mm...?
    They do. They've got all sizes.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  15. #15
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    I'll keep the Hopes in mind but, most likely, will go with the M785s for my first taste of hydros. If they give me trouble later, I'll know to step up to the Hopes. I do like the easy of bleeding on Hopes after watching the video on their site but what about the "block of wood" they suggest to keep the pistons from coming out too far?!? A block of wood!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitewerks View Post
    I'll keep the Hopes in mind but, most likely, will go with the M785s for my first taste of hydros. If they give me trouble later, I'll know to step up to the Hopes.
    False economy imo. Each to their own I guess.

  17. #17
    007
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitewerks View Post
    I'll keep the Hopes in mind but, most likely, will go with the M785s for my first taste of hydros. If they give me trouble later, I'll know to step up to the Hopes. I do like the easy of bleeding on Hopes after watching the video on their site but what about the "block of wood" they suggest to keep the pistons from coming out too far?!? A block of wood!
    Every hydraulic brake on the market requires a bleed block . . . for my Hope's I fashioned one out of cardboard cut to the shape of brakepads and bound with electrical tape. Works just fine and cost me nothing.

    The XT brakes are good brakes, don't get me wrong . . .
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  18. #18
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    Oh yeah, I know they all need a bleed block. It's just funny that Hope used that term.

    Having never used a hydro brake, am I understanding everyone that the XT's are mostly on/off while the Hope's have a braking point inbetween? Meaning it's easier not to lock them up.

    I'll be happy with hydros just for the ease of changing the pads & not having to remove the caliper from the bike!

  19. #19
    007
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitewerks View Post
    Having never used a hydro brake, am I understanding everyone that the XT's are mostly on/off while the Hope's have [a greater degree of modulation, a.k.a. power application] inbetween? Meaning it's easier not to lock them up.
    Essentially, yes . . .
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  20. #20
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    Went out for back-to-back rides on both my bikes. One is using XTs, the other Hope's (tech V2). The Hope brake lever and modulation is much better than the XTs. The XTs are much more powerful than the Hope's. Both brakes are running 180/160. If I had to take one over the other, I'd take the XTs as power is king for me.

    Hope's on my hardtail Fisher Paragon. XTs on my Giant Anthem X29er. Rider weight approximately 260lbs.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkirkpatri View Post
    Went out for back-to-back rides on both my bikes. One is using XTs, the other Hope's (tech V2). The Hope brake lever and modulation is much better than the XTs. The XTs are much more powerful than the Hope's. Both brakes are running 180/160. If I had to take one over the other, I'd take the XTs as power is king for me.

    Hope's on my hardtail Fisher Paragon. XTs on my Giant Anthem X29er. Rider weight approximately 260lbs.
    You are either mistaken on what power actually is when using disc brakes or your Hope V2's are set up wrong, as the XT's are no match for the power the V2's have.

    You wouldn't be the first to think that the modulation in the Hope brakes = less power.

  22. #22
    Poacher
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    I don't think opinions or feelings are very scientific. It would be neat to see an actual test set up by Pinkbike or something. I wouldn't know how to set it up myself.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruscle View Post
    You are either mistaken on what power actually is when using disc brakes or your Hope V2's are set up wrong, as the XT's are no match for the power the V2's have.

    You wouldn't be the first to think that the modulation in the Hope brakes = less power.
    You can discount my experience if you'd like, but I can easily lock up my wheels on my XT's whereas I cannot with my Hopes. Given that I own both brakes, I think it's safe to assume that I have no bias. Both my setups are correctly installed and working.

  24. #24
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    You picked the only two brands i would ever consider for disc brakes. I've owned most Hope brakes from the early days to present and currently have the v4. Build quality, feel and power, ease of bleeding and availability of the small parts all speak volumes for the company and i love these brakes. If you are not on a budget, choose these- they are never too powerful but they always have enough.
    Shimano brakes have impressed me, except previous xtr, and for the price of xt they blow everybody out of the water. I have used a friends and the tiny levers and instant power do feel good, and i would have them. Build quality doesn't come close to my v4 and i just love my Hopes and seeing as i am not on a budget, that is what i choose.
    I think you will be happy with either. If you are coming from non disc brakes then you will be VERY happy, ha ha .
    You can't make a racehorse out of a donkey, but you can make a fast donkey.

  25. #25
    Poacher
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    If comparing weight/price, would it be fair to compare Hope vs Saint? Or are Saints heavier by a lot? Seems like Hope Vs Saint is a better comparison. Maybe I am off base here.

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