We first set eyes on the prototype Hope Tech 4 Brake Master Cylinder back at the Tweed Valley EWS where it was paired with Tech 3 calipers, mounted to Hope’s as-of-yet unreleased High Pivot Prototype Enduro Bike. Much lower in profile than the Master Cylinder of the Tech 3 brake, the Tech 4 also had a longer lever suggestive of a brake that would require less hand strength to operate. That was just one of the aims in developing the Tech 4, said to be significantly more powerful than anything we’ve seen from Hope before now.
Hope Tech 4 Brakes
The new Hope Tech 4 brakes get a raft of updates in the name of increasing braking power and reducing rider fatigue. As compared to the Tech 3, the Tech 4 is said to deliver 30% more braking power at the same given pressure applied, all while retaining the feel and modulation Hope riders will be accustomed to.
The increase in power is as a result of the improved hydraulic and mechanical ratios, the result of which is a linear relationship between brake pressure and lever force, said to make it easier and more intuitive to control the braking power. Leaning on real-world riding data and extensive dyno testing, Hope has been able to optimise the mechanical ratio such that the brake is most efficient at lever forces that are typically used during riding.
The Hope Tech 4 retains the tool-free adjustment of reach and lever throw we saw on the Tech 3, a super nice-to-have when you need to adjust for pad wear, or are trying out new positions to find what works best for you.
Hope went after friction reduction in the development of the Tech 4 brake, with the aim of reducing energy losses between lever pull and piston push. Whereas the Tech 3 lever pivoted about a plastic bush, the Tech 4 lever runs on a needle/roller bearing, said to lower the spring rate and give a lighter lever action as a result. The shape of the lever itself has also been altered to provide a more ergonomic shape orientated to provide the best mechanical advantage during braking.
While the new Hope Tech 4 Lever and Master Cylinder is compatible with X2, E4, V4 and Trial Zone calipers, it will initially be sold only as a complete brake set with the calipers of your choosing.
Both 4-piston calipers have been updated to utilize hybrid style stainless steel pistons with a phenolic insert in the centre. Previously, Hope used a phenolic piston, known to manage high temperatures better, but it needed lubing to keep moving smoothly. Robin Godden, the Marketing Executive at Hope tells us the new hybrid piston has a stainless steel outside, meaning a smoother, less sticky movement that requires less maintenance, but with the Phenolic centre to manage high temperatures. It is intended to be the best of both worlds.
All Hope Tech brake sets now come with a set each of racing (green) and all conditions (red) pads, while the V4 calipers will get a third set of pads in the form of the eBike (purple) ones.
Pricing & Availability
The Hope Tech 4 brakes are available at a multitude of price points dependent upon which caliper you would like to go with, and whether you want a regular or braided hose. The Hope Tech 4 with E4 caliper is priced at £195 / $245 USD with a regular hose, while the V4 caliper combo will set you back £210 / $265 USD. Add another £10 / $15 USD for the braided hose option.
Head to the Hope Technology website for full details on pricing. All are available now from Hope dealerships.