Our "Rider Review" article series features the honest reviews from verified purchasers of Worldwide Cyclery. They contain the photos, thoughts, feedback & overall review you are looking for.
We all want more confidence on the bike to hit that one jump or drop, right? Arguably one of the biggest confidence boosters is good brakes. When a rider can trust their brakes, their confidence skyrockets. Our customer got their hands on new Hope Tech 4 E4 brakes. See what they think!
After ordering this set of Hope Tech 4 E4 brakes, I wanted to give them a solid few months of riding before forming any opinions. It’s been my experience that almost every brake fresh out of the box feels great. The action is crisp and smooth, there’s not a full inch of pull before they start working, and the bite point is consistent. Usually a couple of months in things start to creep in that really show if the brake is a winner for me. Consistency of bite point and minimal free stroke before the brake engages are big factors that give me confidence.
I've had some really great experiences with Sram Codes and TRP Evos, but nothing has been as good or consistent as the Hope Tech 4’s. Until the Hopes, the TRP’s had the lightest lever feel with the shortest distance to engagement. The couple issues I had with them that caused me to move on were the lever and they started leaking after about 5 months at the caliper and contaminating brake pads. I like to run the lever fairly close to the bar and even with the lever adjustment all the way in, the levers were still to far from the bar for my liking. Sram Codes were also great with plenty of adjustment, I just found I had to bleed them about every 3 weeks to keep the free stroke to a minimum.
So far the Hopes have been pretty pain free. Braking is very consistent, there’s tons of room for adjustment, there is very minimal free stroke before engagement, and on top of all that they look like bike jewelry! Every adjustment has a noticeable effect on performance. The lever feel is as light as I’ve ever felt. Power comes on progressively and is easy to modulate. Installation was as straight forward as any other brake. Nothing to really report there. I did have to bleed them after trimming hoses but I tend to do that anyways, even if I did not loose any fluid.
I had no problems finding a comfortable setting. The levers are on the longer side so I did end up moving the levers a bit more inboard than other brakes. The pad selection that comes with the brakes is nice as well. There are a couple choices and I ended up settling on the green pads as my preference. They offer a clear initial contact to let you know when things are engaged but still offer great modulation. All of this has remained consistent over the last 4 months with a few caliper alignment adjustments needed.
This brings up one of the small gripes I have with these. There is not much clearance between the pads and rotor. It takes some patience and finesse to get things perfectly lined up. It does help to follow hopes directions exactly but it does require a steady hand. I have found the rotors are not quick to bend which helps. If the minimal clearance leads to better lever feel, I believe it’s worth the trade of a little more patience needed in setup and alignment. The second small gripe is not really Hopes shortcoming. I like tidy setups and control integration into the brake levers looks great to me. I love the feel of the PNW Loam lever however their proprietary interface makes it do that you have to use their adaptors. This means if you don’t have a Sram or Shimano lever, you don’t have an integration option. This is really only a looks thing and ultimately I want products that perform their function well. It’s just a bonus if they look cool too.
These have been my favorite brake to date and have no plans to switch it up anytime soon. As always, Everyone at Worldwide was more than helpful!