Head to Head: TRP Parabox vs. Hope V-Twin

by singletrackjenn 15

Chipps has been testing a couple of the different cable to hydraulic systems for converting your disc cyclocross bike’s cable levers into hydraulic power and convenience (via a below-stem conversion box). TRP’s Parabox and Hope’s V-Twin go head to head.

TRP Parabox and ParaboxR.

Price: £350 complete (including rotors).
(Note, as of Jan 1st, we’ve heard that these will now come down to £299)
From: Upgrade Bikes, upgradebikes.co.uk
Tested: Ten months (original), two weeks (brand new version).

TRP was quick on the scene with a cable-to-hydraulic system; quick enough that it has now refined its original unit and we have here the first UK look at the Mk2 version, the ParaboxR. The original version (which is still available) appeared to use some of the parts that TRP had access to; hence it came with a different front and rear caliper.

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Comments (15)

  1. Stupid question but aesthetic apart if you’re THAT worried about the plastic fork, why not mount the Hope above the stem?

  2. Look at the Hope Routing Juan, you’d have the hoses coming up into your view, then turning down. Excessive hose length, and it’d look rubbish.

    Also for those inclined, where do you put your Garmin so you can see how slow you were on Strava 🙂

  3. Does anyone else think that rotating the assemblies 90 degrees (so that they’re in line with the bars) and flipping the master cylinders would address the tortuous cable routing? Heck, Hope could even do a stem faceplate mount and address the (Hope) scoring and (TBP) stack height issues?

  4. Someone’s doing a hack of a pair of Formula levers: http://324labs.com

  5. You would think Shimano would have been able to have all this ready to rock with what is basically a dual control lever. I dug my old ones out to re build a second bike and although not the best for technical situations, they do work perfectly with reach, bite adjust etc etc.

  6. bend the Hope mount 90° so it’s L shaped, mount the reserviours vertivally, swap out the hose connectors for the type that’s on the calipers, sorted. Cables enter from the top from behind the stem, hydraulic lines exit pretty much vertically shouldn’t poke out as much either. might not look as cool though.

  7. mlbasiliere – USE had a design like that in proto form last year, not seen much of it since.

    I gave the V-Twin a go earlier in the year, braking power is impressive but there are flaws.
    1/ You cant really run chicken/cross top levers – for the 3 peaks etc.
    2/ What Chipps mentions about bite point. As soon as you touch the lever you are braking, made it very difficult to brake and hang onto the bike when it got rough. Did think about trying springs or those inline power adjusters you get on hybrids.

    I ended up going back to BB7’s, power is more than enough and the adjustability and ease of set up win over the V-Twin. Yes you have to keep on top of cables but i’ve been running mine since the 3 Peaks including commuting without any trouble.

  8. The USE one appears to have been shelved Scott. A pity as it looked the neatest of all the systems…

  9. Like the doomed rock shox cable/hydro discs these seem too much of a halfway house thing. And damned expensive too.

    But then again I guess the disc brake makers are gonna be screwed unless they start making their own STI units. Wonder if they’ll make some levers for sscxers

  10. Vin Cox did a nice bodge of some old Magura hydraulic levers onto some disc calipers for this year’s Three Peaks. That’d work on a singlespeed.

  11. There’s a guy on a bike rumour post that made use of some new old stock magura rs hydraulic drop bar levers and paired them with some new calipers, he had the luxury of DI2 though which makes the whole hack much simpler. I modded some juicy master cyclinders and calipers much like the formula hack above but the v twin is a far nicer solution for the time being!

  12. Presumably rotating the master cylinders of the V-Twin so that one cable entery points right and the other left (both hydros down still) makes it a Boxer?

  13. How about putting a couple of wee grub screws into an ally headset spacer – one vertically to grip the hope mount and one, on the other side, horizontally to grip the steerer tube, would that help/work?

  14. Was just thinking on the way in this morning DI2 should be good for hope and formula et al, some nice shaped levers with a mount point for the di2 shifters (can’t remember how they fit)

  15. Hope just needs a height adjustable plastic clip up to the stem. Or you could put a cable tie round the mount and the stem until they sort something.

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