Hope has produced one of its best brakes yet with the meaty Hope Tech 3 V4.
Even though this disc brake is called the Hope Tech 3 V4 (adjustable Tech 3 lever mated to the V4 caliper) it’s actually Hope’s downhill brake. But don’t let the tag put you off, this is easily light enough to go on a trail bike and would also make a great anchor for an e-bike.
Hope offers a bewildering array of rotors for the V4; from 140mm to 225mm, floating or fixed, and even different thicknesses, and in about 20 million colours. We opted for a floating rotor, which has a stainless-steel braking surface loosely riveted to an aluminium carrier.
The aluminium saves weight, provides a heat sink, and is also super straight; this rotor is not going to warp. A floating disc will add around £45 to the price listed above, but if you just want all stainless-steel you pay about £10 less.
As the name suggests, this uses the third generation Tech brake lever. It has reach and BPC (Bite Point Control) adjusted by two machined dials on the front of the lever blade. They’re indexed and have a big adjustment range, allowing you to set the stroke exactly to your hand size, but they are super stiff to turn and they’re also fairly sharp, so are best adjusted with gloves on.
The lever is drilled on the front for grip and is compatible with Hope’s optional shifter clamps (£15) should you want to directly mount a shifter pod.
The V4 caliper is a one-piece, CNC’d from aluminium and it houses four lightweight, low friction phenolic pistons and top-loading pads. Setting up this brake was an absolute doddle, although we’d recommend a bit of threadlock on the caliper bolts.
The pads did squeal for the first few rides, but this didn’t affect performance. There’s plenty of grunt and the lever has such a light action that you can easily modulate the power delivery with one finger.
Our only issue is that there’s quite a lot of lever stroke before the brake pads engage. On the plus side, that increases clearance and eliminates noise, but if you run the reach and BPC close in, the lever can bottom out on the handlebar.
These are minor criticisms, however – this is a lightweight, powerful, user-friendly disc brake, that’s also great value for money.