This lightweight system delivers the goods for both XC racers and riders looking to give their down-country rig a homegrown twist.

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 8

Hope XCR brakes


  • Decent power, easy to service, good back-up. Light action.


  • Not as sleek as XTR. Not everyone will like the radial lever design.


Hope XCR Pro X2 disc brake review


Price as reviewed:


The XCR Pro X2 is Hope’s new lightweight disc brake designed for XC and marathon-style riding. How does it measure up against the best MTB disc brakes on sale?

It combines a one-piece, twin-piston CNC machined caliper with a super lightweight brake lever. The latter is a radial design, which means the master cylinder is perpendicular to the handlebar, and the big reason to do that is it reduces the overall footprint. And since XC riders use narrow bars, freeing up space for lockouts and gadgets is essential. The radial design does mean the lever comes in at a tighter angle, but the XCR Pro blade has a smooth ergonomic shape. There are no indents or dimples for grip in the carbon composite moulding, but we never had any issues with our fingers slipping. Built into the front of the lever is reach adjustment via a small Allen bolt.

Hope XCR Pro – X2

Bike product shot in the studio

To accommodate different frame fittings, the CNC-machined caliper comes in quite a few different designs for direct and conventional mounts. It’s twin piston and runs lightweight, aluminium-backed brake pads. There’s also an adjustable banjo so you can get the hose routing at exactly the right angle for a clean look. Like most Hope brakes, the XCR pads scrubbed in really quickly and there was plenty of bite, even after just a couple of hard stops.

With a 180mm floating rotor, the amount of power on tap is good – we never expected the XCR to be as powerful as the twin-piston Hayes Dominion A2 or superb value Shimano Deore, but there was plenty of grunt – more than enough for XC riding. The lever has a light action too, so even on steeper, longer descents we never got any arm pump. There’s also a nice flex in the lever, which helps modulation.


We don’t think the Hope XCR looks as classy as a SRAM Level Ultimate or a Shimano XTR, but it undercuts both on price and offers a bit more bar clearance. It’s also easy to service and bleed, which if you’re racing every weekend, is an important consideration. Obviously, this is a specialist tool but you could easily run it on a lightweight trail bike if you fitted a bigger 180mm rotor.


Weight:brake 193g, rotor 148g
Rotor size:160, 180mm