Welcome fellow Mountain Biker to a Bristol and South West based blog containing local routes, rides and reviews. Brought to you by locals to the area with additional publishings from further afoot. Hope you enjoy.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Product Review: Hope mono 6 rear brake.

Hope mono 6 rear brake.

Again this is another component that I have been using for some time now. And if I must be completely honest. I've got to say that there must be something wrong with it. Nearly everything I have tested has had it's little niggles or flaws. Exept this brake so far. It's fantastic. It consists of a nicely machined classic mini lever, linked to a intergrated master cyclinder reservoir with a split clamp to fit it to your handlebar.
A one piece caliper, nicely machined a from solid billet of aluminium. Keeping it strong and light. Intergrated into the design of the caliper are 6 phenolic pistons.(Phenolic resin can include any of various synthetic thermosetting resins, obtained by the reaction of phenols with simple aldehydes and used to make molded products, including pool and snooker balls, and as coatings and adhesives). Phenolic is used in this case as it is one of the best insulating materials, to stopping heat transfer from the pads into the fluid. Steel braided hose is used between the resevoir and the caliper. And to top it off a two part floating disc, with an aluminium centre and hardened stainless steel braking area helps reduce weight and handles extremes in temperature on long descents. Looks damn cool to.
Right that's the waffle out of the way. Down to the opinion. Give that these days there are international standards to disc mounts (and brackets out there to help with fitting) and a handlebar is pretty much just a tube. Any disc brake is simple to fit. The hardest part sometimes being guiding the hose around the parts of your bike, so as not to snag. I found fitting this brake easy, with the braided hose being a bit of a pain in that it can be picky about which direction it wants to go. Like a length of chain. That aside. The split clamp makes fitting the lever to the bar a doddle. The floating rotor (or the floater as I call it) is as hard to fit as a small square peg in a big round hole. Once fitted, it will of course need a slight tweek to get the disc running central to the pads. Helped all the more if your disc mounts on your drop-outs are faced (removed of paint). Apart from that. That's it, your off to enjoy slowing down. And boy do they. As you'd expect from the look of them, they would stop on a dime and give you change. Well they do. Some say too well. I say it's all down to tyre choice and condition. From using this brake with a slightly worn knobbly to a new knobbly the changes are very noticible. To lock the wheel is no mean task. Just pull the lever. And it does take a little while to get used to the power of these compared to single pot calipers. Adjustments are easily made with a little grub screw on the lever, to tow-in or out the pads. Which changes the levers biting point and how the lever feels (slack-solid). With a good tyre on the back and this brake the results are stunning. As with a slightly worn (6 months or so) tyre I found it would lock up to easily and made the sensitivity of the lever unpredictable after performing a slowing pull on it. This would cause to end to drift on loose soil and in the wet. But since using a better tyre, the traction it produces with the combined strength of the brake, makes it top notch for rear wheel controlability.
The pads are durable too. I have yet to change them in 10 or so months of long descents and wet riding. In the wet they are as good as they are in the dry.
Finished of in a nice shiney black and silver for the lever/resevoir and black and gold for the caliper. They grace the ends of any bike. And coming in all rotor sizes and patterns they are hugely adaptable. A trusty and hard working brake.
Hope also carry and sell all spare parts for their brakes seperately. So should something go wrong. Take the damaged or worn part out and pop the new one in.
Spare levers and pots can also be bought in all of hope's many colours.


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