The new Race X2 will supersede the Mini X2 Pro as Hope’s cross-country/lightweight trail brake. It gets the same X2 caliper and titanium hardware as the Pro but an updated carbon composite lever and reservoir cap. The lever is actually 5mm shorter than previously, but because Hope has moved the pivot closer to the handlebar it offers the same amount of leverage and doesn’t feel much different in use. Hope has also ditched that ugly Nyloc 8mm nut on the underside of the lever on the new brake in favour of a sleeker cir-clip system, again to save weight. Reach adjustment can still be done on the trail with a standard multi-tool, no messing about with single Allen keys or ball-ends. A split clamp is for ease of fitting and removal, and the bolts are now lighter aluminium. If you want to save more weight you can ditch the stock clamps for the £20 (a set) aftermarket shifter lever clamps, these allow you to mount Shimano XT, XTR and SRAM XO shifter pods directly to the brakes.
At the caliper end things haven’t changed, apart from lighter, aluminium backing plates for the disc pads, which might not sound like much but it saves 10-15g in weight per end!
One of the reasons the Hope was the lightest brake in the lightweight disc brake grouptest two years ago was that it had a thinner rotor; 1.8mm rather than the standard 2.0mm. The 140 and 160mm rotors are still 1.8mm but are available in a floating design — the stainless steel braking surface is riveted to an aluminium carrier. Hope says you can upsize to a 183mm rotor but this is only available in 2.0mm. Hope even offers three-bolt rotors to bolt directly to Hope’s Pro 3 SP-XC3 hubs.
There have been some wild currency fluctuations since we tested the original Mono Mini Pro and, while the Race is £20 per end more expensive than the Pro, XTR is now a whopping £218 per end. So the Race is better value, sleeker, but offers the same light feel at the lever, reliability and ease of servicing. If you’re thinking about a new set of brakes
for your race bike or lightweight trail bike the simple and user-friendly Hope Race is in my opinion one of the best competition brakes on the market.
Mbr rating: 10
Brake: Hope Race X2
Weight: brake 197g Floating 160mm rotor 78g
System weight: 290g Fixed, floating or 3-bolt rotors