I got these new brakes from the UK just before a hard BREXIT hit on Halloween. What an insane situation for a trade company. Spooky AF. #thanksobama
The moving target that is mountain bikes never fails to disappoint. Everything has changed and will again. We can’t rest. Generally, things keep getting better. I’ve been saying for a while that the move away from post mount brake calipers for applications other than suspension forks is on it’s way. Flat mount is the format that will be taking it’s place. They clean up designs and de-clutter the bike. This is more than obvious to anyone paying attention.
So far, only two and a half major brands have released product for mountain biking in the flat mount configuration. Hope and Magura. SRAM has a Level TLM flat mount caliper, but that is OEM only and seen just in the marketing on a Mondraker XC bike. I’m not a big fan of Magura product of the past but they’ve been making a new push that may help them out. Their flat mount iteration is the MT4 FM. Still, they should focus more on design and less on gimmicks.
….A new hope..
With a long history of leading the industry in performance braking on bicycles, Hope Technology has definitely been heading the charge for advanced configurations in brakes of late. With their own in-house radial calipers to the RX4 FM140 to 160mm rotor front and rear calipers for hydraulic drop bar lever use, few can claim to offer what they do. Now, they’ve released the XC oriented Tech 3 FM X2 (T3X2FNFL & T3X2FNRR). This is what we’ve all been waiting for. A mountain bike grade caliper for the flat mount configuration. Is it up to snuff?
These calipers mount to the FM140 platform, and can be brought up to 160mm rotors with commercially available adapters. They can be positioned at 180-220mm using the PVD-FM wildcat positions and other adapters.
Aside from the obviously cool features on these brakes, what is very helpful for me as a designer is how tiny they are. A mountain bike grade caliper that is smaller than the already tiny SRAM road caliper. This thanks to the gorgeous and incredibly strong monoblock construction.
Without bolts to hold the caliper together, everything shrinks. The caliper feathers back elegantly in a way that gives much more room around the seatstay when mounted to the chainstay. Every millimeter counts here and this is some good design.
I show a comparison with the Shimano BR-RS505 FM road caliper that is almost twice the size.
Compared to SRAM Force road (18mm pots) and SRAM Level MTB twin (21mm pots) calipers, these have 22mm pots.
I made sure to order a few pair of sintered pads and adapters to SRAM MMX mounts as is my preference.
These are going on my new klunker project and they will look amazing and work even better. I’m really excited. I just need to sort out some routing issues and decide on placement.