Hope brakes have a sort of religious following in parts of the mountain bike world. Those devoted riders would never squeeze another brand’s lever, as those other brakes are not worthy of the castings on the Hope factory floor. Owners will pontificate on the power and vast modulation of the Tech 3 E4 to anyone in earshot, and boast their fastest bleed times repeatedly. Naturally, we had to give these 4-piston stoppers a shot.
In the video review below we outline the features and functionality of these venerated brakes, along with a few ergonomic and preferential elements worth considering. We tested the Tech 3 levers with an ordinary, non-braided hose, and the E4 calipers with their four, 16mm pistons that are rated for enduro-style riding. The set tested retails for €/$220 per wheel, while a 180mm rotor sells for €/$55, and a 200mm disc will fetch €/$65.
If you’re in a rush and need to get to the punchline, here it is: The Tech 3 E4 brakes offer the broadest range of modulation we have experienced to date and the simplest bleed process of any DOT fluid system that we’ve come across. Modulation and lever feel are comparable to a SRAM Code RSC or Formula Cura 4, though the Hope brakes do have their own unique way of doling out the power. While the maximum stopping force is slightly lower than that of other gravity brakes we have tested, like a Shimano Saint, for example, that difference is not likely to lose races, nor blow any corners. It’s a nuanced shift that takes a little time to grow accustomed to and then feels great. These well-loved brakes should comfortably scrub speed on any gravity machine you are building or upgrading.