At A Glance
When it comes to high-powered brakes, Hope has to be in the mix. Having been involved in disc brakes since the very beginning, they obviously know their stuff, proven by the legions of fans that will have nothing else on their bike.Buy Brakes on
Looking like they've come straight from a lump of metal (because they have), the E4s represent Hopes top end Enduro brake. The one-piece caliper houses four 16mm pistons to dish out the squeeze and is activated by the Tech 3 lever. The lever is again industrial looking and has all the adjustment you need, including reach and contact point. These are big chunky dials, no tiny hidden hex keys here.
Top loading pads and a bolt through retainer for them finish off the brakes and they, as always, are available in plenty of colours. Braided hoses are available too if you want to look 'classic Hope', and their floating rotors can finish off the full factory set up.
On The Trail
It's been some time since I got intimate with a set of Hope brakes, remembering them most vividly for power and reliability. Firstly the build quality and style is unique, offering a solidity and robustness that can only really be appreciated when you pick them up in your hands.
Set up is as easy as your cable routing allows, and no-nonsense Hope supply simple adaptors and bolts to get it all secure. Lever set up is straightforward, with a two bolt collar allowing quick and easy installation. Hope also offer clamps to combine with Shimano and SRAM to keep your handlebars free of clutter.
Bedding the brakes in was simple, and they performed almost instantly out of the box. With a tweak of the bite point contact adjuster and reach, they felt great, and there is a real precision to the dials allowing sensitive adjustment. The drilled out lever blade gives grip, and the hooked end provides a comfy home for your index finger.
The power is definitely there with the E4s, but I did expect more power from the big agricultural caliper that looks like it could stop a tractor. There is a reassuringly firm stop to the lever as the pads connect, as if they are going to be very 'on/off' in their power, but they are not. The power comes on further, but without much lever travel, which can make modulation tricky and requires a sensitive finger to get the best from them.
Solid and reliable come to mind above anything else with the E4s, and this is proven with older Hope brake models that still adorn many a British mountain bike. With excellent backup and spares available from Hope these are a long-term investment for your bike.
Beautifully constructed pieces of engineering lacking a little top end power and some riders would benefit from a more intuitive and progressive lever feel. Mountain bikers who have the ability to employ a little more braking finesse will love them. Serviceable, robust and with great lever adjustments to get your set up 'just so'. Made in the UK with excellent after sales support and with all the colours you could want, there is a lot to like about the Tech 3 E4s.
This review was in Issue 52 of IMB.For more information visit Hope Technology
By Ewen TurnerEwen Turner is a self-confessed bike geek from Kendal in the Lake District of England. He runs a coaching and guiding business up there and has a plethora of knowledge about bikes with an analytical approach to testing. His passion for bicycles is infectious, and he’s a ripper on the trails who prefers to fit his working life around his time on the bike.