Improving on their modular INCAS design, Italian brake-maker Braking has a new prototype brakeset that maintains the adaptable nature of the original while shedding weight and boosting overall stopping power. We got a look at the new Braking brakes on a custom Revel Rascal project bike that Flowrider Racing had built up to show at Sea Otter, and which holds a number of other exciting secrets that we are digging through now.
BraKing prototype IN.CA.S modular mountain bike brake
Italian brake manufacturer BraKing is big aftermarket name in motorsports, with over a hundred off-road motorcycling world championship wins. But since 2018, they’ve been scaling down motocross-ready brake tech to mountain bikes, with their modular INCAS complete brake system design that lets braking tailor a single brake system to various power & modulation needs of XC, Enduro & DH mountain bike racing.
The basic concept is the INterchangeable CArtridge System design for the master cylinder that separates the mechanical action of the brake lever from the hydraulic actuation in the master cylinder. That lets Braking interchange different hydraulic cylinder ‘cartridges’ with varying piston bores/rods for discipline-specific brake power. The mechanical ratio from the lever itself is also adjustable, to fine tune lever throw & overall feel.
You can get a sense for much of that separation & adjustability in how these prototypes are anodized green & gold.
So what’s new in these INCAS prototypes?
Weight saving through optimized CNC-machining is the biggest update that these prototypes reveal, in a new design that actually looks lighter and more simplified from the outside. The prototype brakes are said to shed more than 100g off the first generation. That doesn’t really mean much since we don’t know their original weight, but shaving grams is always good, right?
Changes at the handlebar are subtle, beyond a thinner revised 2-finger lever and extra machining around the reach-adjust.
Inside the all-new, pared-down calipers, the brakes get revised internal hydraulic channels that promise smoother actuation of the two 26mm pistons and increased braking power, with fewer crevices to accumulated mud on the outside. The INCAS prototypes also scale down to lighter 5mm diameter braided stainless steel hoses that are a more universal fit and easier to work with (allowing for even lighter substitutes, as well). Plus, they also get a new brake pad design with “a wider surface, for a better grip and heat dissipation”.
The Made-in-Italy INCAS prototype brake components are all forged aluminum, CNC machined and then hard anodized to increase hardness and reduce wear. Braking says their DOT 4 fluid system operates at higher fluid pressures than most MTB brakes with similar lever force to provide ample stopping power. That also allows them to deliver max braking power in very small lever movements, so riders can better customize where the lever position is for full braking. Low lever force, full position adjustability, for reduced rider hand fatigue.
How much will they cost, and when can you get them? Retail pricing & availability hasn’t been set yet. But the originals sell for approximately 700€ for front & rear sets combined (without rotors), and these are likely to be similar in price. When they will come is also up in the air, but these prototypes can be yours if you buy the Revel Rascal show bike from Flowrider Racing now.
Braking S3 Batfly semi-floating disc brake rotors
Beyond the new brakes themselves, BraKing has been producing some pretty unique rotors for a few years, as well. Their S3 Batfly rotors mix the simplicity & durability of a one-piece laser cut rotor with some of the heat management benefit of a multipart floating design.
The S3 system starts with cutting out a simple one-piece stainless steel rotor, but only three of those six spokes connect to the outer braking surface. The other three spokes are interrupted by three floating pins. The idea is that larger segments of the braking surface are able to deform under extreme braking, without warping the rotor as a whole.
The Italian-made 6-bolt semi-floating rotors get Wave shaping and further braking surface machining to clear debris from the pads & promote cooling. The 1.9mm thick rotors come in four 160-220mm sizes with weight claims of 120-210g and pricing from 70-97€ depending on size.