The Hope Tech 4 V4 from Barnoldswick metal masters Hope technology are their top of the line, hard hitting brake. With a claimed 30% power increase over the Tech 3, the Tech 4 V4 is aimed at enduro and gravity riders looking for ultimate power and control.
This product was selected for our Editors’ Choice Awards 2022, as published in Singletrack Magazine Issue 146
Ross: “When Hope launched the Tech4 V4 with some bold claims on performance, and then hearing some real world feedback, I was keen to try them. And I can honestly say that these are some of, quite possibly THE, best brakes I’ve used. They’re amazingly well-machined pieces of engineering art, but they don’t just look good – they’ve got the performance to back it up. The power on offer is properly impressive. Grab a handful and it is like the clichéd ‘dropping an anchor’. But they’re not just outright power. They offer top-notch modulation to go with it. They have performed equally well across both dry and dusty and wet and sloppy conditions. Basically they’re as good a brake as you can currently get.”
Hope Tech 4 V4 disc brake
- Price: £210.00
When Hope launched the Tech4 V4 with some bold claims on performance, and then hearing some real world feedback, I was keen to try them. And I can honestly say that these are some of, quite possibly THE, best brakes I’ve used. They’re amazingly well-machined pieces of engineering art, but they don’t just look good – they’ve got the performance to back it up. The power on offer is properly impressive. Grab a handful and it is like the clichéd ‘dropping an anchor’. But they’re not just outright power. They offer top-notch modulation to go with it. They have performed equally well across both dry and dusty and wet and sloppy conditions. Basically they’re as good a brake as you can currently get. – Ross
For years I used nothing but Hope brakes on my bikes. I was a big fan of their industrially engineered looks, but then other brands’ brake performance (namely Shimano) came on in leaps and bounds and I gradually drifted away in the pursuit of more power. That was around the time of the Tech2 V2. But with the claimed power increase, and the same machined good looks, I was keen to try the Tech V4 and see how they’d improved.
While the Tech 4 is unmistakably Hope, the lever has received new internal sealing for reduced friction while the pivot runs on roller bearings which has allowed Hope to reduce the spring rate. The lever blade has been ergonomically shaped and is now longer, which gives helps with the power increase while while also allowing increased modulation
The levers mount to the bar via a hinged clamp making installation nice and easy, and integrated shifter mounts are available for the main player which feature improved integration for better adjustability . The long, shaped lever blade has a fairly flat profile with dimples on the front for added grip, along with two machined dials for tool free reach and bite point adjustment.
The four piston caliper is CNC’d in a single piece for rigidity. Inside are two pairs of differently sized hybrid piston that are made from stainless steel with a phenolic insert. This allows for smooth movement with low maintenance, and enables the brakes to manage high temperatures without heat transfer. Inside the calipers were Hope’s own Race compound brake pads for both front and rear.
The Tech 4 V4 are available with standard hoses or braided hoses and our set came fitted with standard. To go with the brakes, we were sent a 220mm and a 203mm floating rotors. The floating rotors are made with a custom steel braking surface riveted to an aluminium central carrier, and feature a new design with a wider braking surface. The new Tech 4 V4 sell for £210 a brake with the standard hoses, and £220 with the braided.
With the hinged clamp on the lever, getting them fitted onto your bars is nice and easy and means you don’t have to take any grips, lever remotes, etc. off. The good length of the lever blade also helps with getting them in the right position without clashing with any other controls.
The bike they were fitted to was fully externally routed but I always prefer to bleed brakes after shortening the hose, and bleeding the Tech 4 V4 was a fairly straight forward, faff free process using Hope’s own bleed kit. If you’ve ever bled a Shimano brake, or even a SRAM brake, then the process will be familiar with the Hope system using a lever mounted cup (attached via a specific cover cap) to fill the system. The Hope process is still a bit messier than others when you do the final fill and put the cap back on, but overall it’s a simple process and easy enough to get a good bleed.
So, to get straight to the point, the Tech 4 V4 are good – very good. I’d probably go as far as to say that they’re the best brakes I’ve used in a long time, if not ever. The lever shape works for me, is comfortable and has a nice positive, but light feel to it. The lever pull is properly smooth and there isn’t a hint of rattle from them. Both the reach and bite point adjust dials have a definite and tangible effect on the feel and performance of the brakes and really let you get them set up and feeling as you like – both dials pretty much fully in for me.
The top end power on offer from the updated brake is impressive. Grab a handful of lever and you can easily lock up both wheels no matter how much speed you’re carrying or traction you have. In fact, as the seasons changed, and the dry buff trails of summer turned to slippery Autumnal slither fests I actually dropped the front down from 220mm to 200mm to keep the front from locking and sliding on steeps.
But they’re not just out and out power, yes you can drop the anchors when you need, but the updated lever lets you really control and modulate your braking. You can let the bike work and feel what your tyres are doing on steep and tech trails, adding and releasing pressure on the brakes to control speed, and then get off them in confidence knowing that when you need to slow down, you can.
I’ve used the brakes with both the green race compound pads, as well as the standard red pads, and both have offered impressive braking. Performance in the wet has been just as good, and while you get a bit of noise until you get some heat in them, the stopping power and modulation remain.
If you’re after new brakes that offer top end performance, that perfect combo of power and modulation then the Hope Tech 4 V4 are it. I can’t fault them. They’ve performed brilliantly and consistently, look great, and have overshadowed brakes I’ve got on other bikes. If I was spending my hard earned for new stoppers, then these would be top of the list.
Editor’s Choice Awards
In the Editors’ Choice Awards we highlight our standout bikes and products from the past year. These are the bikes that we’d like to have in our sheds. These are the components and clothing that we still use long after the nominal test period has expired. Only 15 products and six bikes made the grade this year. This is the good stuff.
To make the cut, each thing must have proven itself out on the trails. They’ve got to have been reliable and ride-enhancing. We don’t do technology for technology’s sake. Nor are we overly swayed by showy, high price tags and bling materials. That said, we don’t prioritise anything solely because it’s cheaper than its rivals. Nor do we penalise a genuinely great product if it is conspicuously expensive. Performance is what matters in Editor’s Choice.
While you’re here…
|Product:||Tech 4 V4|
|Price:||£210 per end|
|Tested:||by Ross for Editor's Choice|
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