Hope Tech 4 V4 disc brake review

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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.

Construction

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.

Installation

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.

Performance

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.

Overall

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…

Review Info

Brand: Hope Tech
Product: Tech 4 V4
From: hopetech.co.uk
Price: £210 per end
Tested: by Ross for Editor's Choice
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Viewing 19 posts - 1 through 19 (of 19 total)
  • Hope Tech 4 V4 disc brake review
  • singlespeedstu
    Full Member

    The bit about the drifting away from Hope towards Shimano is pretty much what I did.
    Less of a drift and more of a jump towards the end though after a few interesting moments in the Alps.

    However after all the good things I’ve read about the Tech 4 V4’s and a couple of mates using them I’ve just bought a pair as I got offered a killer deal on them.

    I’m going to try them with an open mind and see how I like them.

    joebristol
    Full Member

    Interestingly Mbuk gave them 4 stars, Code R 4 stars and another brake (I forget which – may have been Cura 4’s) the same 4 stars. Then awarded top prize to Shimano XT 4 pots without any mention of the ongoing difficulty lots of people have keeping them reliable with caliper seals and bite point.

    Would have thought the Code RSC rather than the R should have been in there and surprised about the order of scores. Everywhere else seem to be saying the tech 4 v4 is very decent.

    teethgrinder
    Full Member

    MBUK stopped being any good in the mid-late 90’s.

    joebristol
    Full Member

    The thing is they were reviewed by Tom I believe – and having met him once on a group ride he’s a good rider and seemed quite down to earth.

    Speeder
    Full Member

    Paul Aston rates them as the brake to beat right now and I’d (generally) trust his judgement.

    If I wasn’t A DOT hater, I’d probably have switched at least one of my bikes away from Shimano to give them a try but then all my brakes are Shimano so I have fluid and bleed kits and mineral oil doesn’t strip the paint off of anything, so I’ll stick with them – for now at least.

    A shame as they look lovely and sound (reviews rather than brake squeal) awesome.

    Blazin-saddles
    Free Member

    Interestingly Mbuk gave them 4 stars, Code R 4 stars and another brake (I forget which – may have been Cura 4’s) the same 4 stars. Then awarded top prize to Shimano XT 4 pots without any mention of the ongoing difficulty lots of people have keeping them reliable with caliper seals and bite point.

    I’ve got both XT 4 pots, Tech 4 V4 and Tech 4 E4 on 3 different bikes. I’m taking the XT off as they’re not as good and replacing with Hope.

    tomhoward
    Full Member

    Does the rotor make a difference, specifically the vented one, if I don’t live on an Alp?

    rockitman
    Free Member

    Both my bikes were Shimano Saint until I tried these; now both my bikes are running these. Performance wise the only ones that come close are the Trickstuff ones but I could never justify spending £1k on a set of brakes. For the money these are fantastic, particularly with the 220mm rotors, haven’t tried them with vented rotors yet.

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Then awarded top prize to Shimano XT 4 pots without any mention of the ongoing difficulty lots of people have keeping them reliable with caliper seals and bite point.

    Eldest_OAB didn’t like the plastic feel or slight faff to bleed his MT5’s. However, his new bike has XT 4-pots on. He has had two seals ‘blow out’ in use, complains of wandering bite point even after the shop bled them with the new caliper on, and now said one of them is slowly dribbling.

    I have said he needs to save for Hope…

    singlespeedstu
    Full Member

    On the rotor front do the rivets on the floaters still come loose and start rattling like they used to?

    razorrazoo
    Full Member

    I’ve got both XT 4 pots, Tech 4 V4 and Tech 4 E4 on 3 different bikes. I’m taking the XT off as they’re not as good and replacing with Hope.

    Is there much difference between E4 & V4?  I’m happy with my T3 E4s at the moment, but can see the T4s in my future.

    Also does anyone know if the MX matchmakers on the T3 are transferrable to the T4, or would I need new ones?

    singlespeedstu
    Full Member

    You’ll need new mounts.

    chrisdw
    Free Member

    Is there much difference between E4 & V4

    I’ve not ridden either yet, but have got some E4s on the way. I chose E4 because I’ve seen numerous reports that although the overall power on the V4 is higher, the lever feel on the E4 is a bit firmer and has a closer bite point.

    I guess it’s down to the bigger pistons and the larger gap?

    bikesandboots
    Full Member

    Any comparisons on power and feel to some of the popular competitors please?

    stumason10
    Full Member

    I’ve been riding Tech 3 E4’s on a my Orange for 2 years and SLX 4 pots on my ebike for 1500 miles. I built a new bike recently that needed brakes and got the 1st set of Tech 4’s that my LBS could get in (I pre ordered them before released). They are really very good. So much so that they now grace my e bike, and will go on my next build too.

    Compared to the Tech 3, way more power but, with the same lovely feel that you can meter out exactly the level you need and great feel where you can sense the brake locking and easy to modulate around that point. If you do want to just bang on the anchors they can do that too, where the Tech 3 doesn’t have that immediate power. Lots of feel though and that seems to be retained on the Tech 4.

    My SLX Shimano 4 pots I would say have similar max power if bled and set up right. And I found the modulation fine and didn’t have most of the Shimano issues. What swung it for me was SLX I broke a piston. Required buying a whole new calliper to resolve and the feel on the Tech 4 is nicer and has the same amount of braking power. And you can get spares and fix at home. So with that in mind and locally made, there isn’t a reason not to go Hope now. Price is not dissimilar, pads are cheaper than Shimano too. I tested the Tech 4 side by side to a the SLX 4 pots, when I broke the piston I swapped on the Tech 4 off my other bike as temporary solution. So SLX on the back, Tech 4 on the front. Good side by side test. The new stainless pistons are great. So smooth you can push them back in with a finger nail. Try that with a Ceramic piston. And as a direct comparison I made the choice to swap over to Hope on all future builds. Nicer feel, similar ultimate power, locally made, spares available and same price.

    davosaurusrex
    Full Member

    I have a perfectly good set of Code RSCs so am just dithering over E4 or V4 until Merlin have sold out of any colours that I’d want. Nearly there!

    vmgscot
    Full Member

    Question on the new Tech4 lever design vs Tech3 – does the ‘longer’ blade that is mentioned mean you end up moving the clamp further inboard than the Tech3 (wondering if will want to sit right where my existing dropper and shifter are immediately inboard from the Tech3 on my bars)?

    stumason10
    Full Member

    On the Tech 4, you can genuinely one finger brake. It is longer but not massively so, but yes, you may need to move in board. But if you were two finger braking on the tech 3. Then the tech 4 clamp may end up on other side of the other controls.Once you juggle it of 1 finger and the length. FNAR.

    vmgscot
    Full Member

    Thanks @stumason10 – am single-digit braker already so would maybe have to consider changing to Ispec.

Viewing 19 posts - 1 through 19 (of 19 total)

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