22 Mar 2018

True craftsmanship: that's what sets Hope apart. Still made in the UK after all these years, Hope are a brand with real style, deeply appealing to the aficionados out there. We've got their new Enduro-oriented Tech 3 E4 brake on test, and it looks just superb.

The not-so-minor details

Product

Hope Tech 3 E4 brakes

Contact

Bikesportz

http://www.hopetech.com

Price

269

Weight

266

Note on pricing:

Rotors additional.

Note on weight:

Brake only - excludes mounts/rotors

Positives

Like jewellery, but for your bike.

Negatives

Errrm....

Well isn’t that a nice bit of bling?

The Hope Tech 3 E4 brake is a gorgeous piece of kit!  Along with their ‘made-in-the-UK-chip-butty-and-a-lovely-cuppa-tea’ heritage, Hope have maintained that exquisite CNC machine work that has always set them apart. If these perform on the trail even half as good as they look, they’re a winner. Adding to the appeal, you can get the brakes in a range of six anodised colours, letting you go full World Champs custom with your rig. Now that’s something the big players like SRAM and Shimano definitely can’t offer.

Hope Tech 3 e4
The four-piston E4 caliper is made from a single chunk of alloy on one of Hope’s 55 CNC machines.
Hope Tech 3 e4
The Tech 3 lever has reach and contact point adjustment.

Do they cost more than a night in the MGM Grand penthouse?

No, these are surprisingly competitive price wise. We remember handing over about three months wages back in 2003 for a beautiful set of Hope Mini XC brakes, but now the pricing is a lot sharper, thankfully. At $269 an end, plus another $79 for a 180mm rotor, these feel like a bit of bargain really.

We were pleasantly surprised to read the pricing on these is in line with other four-piston brakes.

 

Where do these sit in the Hope range?

In terms of stopping power, these fellas come in just beneath the V4 downhill brake, which is a real beast. The caliper is machined from a single piece of alloy for rigidity, and houses four pistons. It’s paired to the Tech 3 lever that offers both reach and contact point adjustment.

If you’re really weight conscious you can also get this brake in a Race version, which has a slimmed down lever and runs a mix of titanium and alloy bolts, saving about 40g an end.

A floating rotor handles changes in temperature better than a one-piece rotor.

It’s all in the details.

There are plenty of pleasing details here. The reassuringly waggle-free lever, the laser etched logos and markings, the chunky, glove-friendly adjusters, the generous spanner flats on all the fittings… Hope made their first disc brakes back in 1989 and you can feel the refinement.

Look at that intricate construction!

What’s the plan with these?

We’re going to be pitting these brakes against two of the newest four-piston offerings from Shimano and SRAM – the fresh XT Trail four piston, and the latest version of the Code. All three brakes will be tested with 203mm/180mm rotors on a YT Jeffsy. Should be an interesting comparison!

Ok, you glamorous thing, let’s go get dirty.