Hope Tech 4 Brake, long term staff review

Hope Tech 4 Brake, long term staff review

Brakes are an oddly personal component, with quite a number of good options out there providing varying levels of power, performance and bite. Riders will often swear by a particular brand or model of brake depending on their size, which bike they ride or what kind of trails they prefer which often means that one person's recommendation might not work so well for everyone else. Solving the puzzle of ‘which brake should I get’ then becomes not so much a question of which one is best, as much as trying to understand how an individual brake will behave and then matching it to your own riding and preferences.

Neil riding the Tech 4 Brake at Yair, Tweed Valley

Among the staff here at Tweed Valley Bikes / Dirt School, there are a good few of us who would pick the various brakes from Hope as our personal favourites, and have backed that with our own money, so let us explain why we like them so much.

Features and ride feel

Just glancing at at the Tech 4 lever, the twin Reach and Bite Point adjusters immediately stand out and for a many Hope fans they are a real part of the appeal. The Reach adjuster screw controls overall lever position like most other brakes, but the Bite Point adjuster is much more unique. More than any other brake system (with SRAM RSC brakes in a solid 2nd place) the Bite Point dial allows control over how much the lever moves from its starting position before the brake engages. There is a lot of adjustment possible here, so in combination with the Reach screw it’s possible to create almost any position you like, putting the lever in the best place for your own preference and hand size. It also works wonders to help maintain a consistent feel at the lever as brake pads wear down.

Brake adjuster detail on Hope Tech 4 lever

Overall, they have a very light lever feel, with everything solid, well finished and free of slop or play and look and feel like the premium option they are. Compared to the older Tech 3 brakes, they are dramatically more powerful while also being easier to control. 

The way the brakes deliver their power is different to most, and will probably be the biggest thing that dictates whether or not any one person is going to be a fan of the system or not. Some brakes such as the Shimano Saint, have a very on / off feel with very little lever movement or pressure separating a light drag of the brake from a full skid after the pads hit, giving them a really instant feel in use.

Riding the Hope Tech 4 on Juliana Wilder on Angry Sheep trail, Innerleithen

The Hope Tech 4 levers sit at the other end of the spectrum with a gradual build of power after the initial contact. Full power is still there and just as high as with other brakes, but with the Hope system it needs a slightly deeper pull of the lever to access it. That might sound like a negative, and to some riders who prefer that on/off feel it is, but what it creates is incredible control over the amount of braking you're applying. Learn to use them and these brakes make it very possible to fine tune the amount of power you're applying, letting you scrub speed without locking the wheels until you want to. In slippery conditions when traction is a challenge, the fine control can make all the difference between washing out or holding a line so for our local technical trails they are near perfect. Once you’re accustomed to the level of feedback and feel these offer, it can be hard to switch back to anything else.

Caliper choice

 Hope make a good range of options within their brake range, and the Tech 4 lever can be paired with 3 different calipers to fit almost any application.

The X2 is a simple, very lightweight, 2 pot caliper. It gives great bite, saves weight and is easy to piston balance so for a short travel bike or lighter rider it can be a great option. Our mechanic Mat runs this exact setup on his 115mm travel ‘XC’ bike. 

The E4 is probably the most common choice. A mid sized four piston system it delivers plenty of power and control, while keeping the whole brake at a very competitive weight and is what most average riders on trail and enduro bikes choose. As testament to the versatility of this combination, Neil and Fi both ride it, but Neil has it on his Ibis HD6 enduro bike, while Fi uses them not just on her enduro rig, but also on her Juliana Wilder short travel marathon bike.

Hope E4 caliper on Juliana Wilder

Finally, the V4 is the max power option. Using larger pads and pistons, it was originally designed for downhill race bikes, but is a frequent choice these days for  full power E-Bikes, larger riders or anyone who simply wants a very powerful feeling and heat tolerant brake system who is willing to take a small weight penalty in exchange. 


The other big draw of the Hope brakes is their longevity. Using DOT 5.1 oil, they will go a very long time between bleeds and with every part of the brake being fully rebuildable, dealing with ongoing wear or crash damage is as painless as it can be. Being a UK company, spares are never far away and Hope more than perhaps any other manufacturer do a great job of making sure they actually have the parts there to order when needed. 

Hope Floating Rotor in Silver in 200mm

As testament to that build quality, Neil's previous Tech 3 brakes rotated through no less than three of his bikes and are still out there somewhere in use. All of our sets of Tech 4s are over a year old now, and have been incredibly easy to maintain and live with for all of us. 

Pads and Rotors

Hope make a choice of pads for their brake systems, with resin, sintered and race (mixed) pads all available and reasonably priced. The brake systems come supplied with multiple pads in the box helping you to try different options and work out what you prefer for your own use. We use a mix of pads between our staff so it’s another thing that’s worth experimenting with to find your own preference. 

Hope E4 Caliper with Resin Pads

Like all brakes, Hope systems work best when paired with their own rotors. They make all sizes in both regular cut steel and their well known floating options. The floating rotors aim to reduce heat induced warp and come in a great mix of colours, as do the brakes themselves which can add a nice personal touch to your bike at the same time as delivering excellent performance. 


A UK made, premium quality brake system, easy to live with and incredibly durable, the Hope Tech 4 should be on anyone’s shortlist for their next replacement or upgrade. With the best adjustment out there, incredible support and a choice of calipers to suit any rider, they can improve almost any bike. Riders looking for an instant on/off brake feel might not gel with them but for everyone else they provide a powerful, dependable and controllable brake. Pricing is surprisingly competitive too, with a set of Tech 4 E4 brakes actually costing less than the competing Shimano and SRAM models.

Neil riding Cresta Run on the Ibis HD6 with Hope Tech 4 brakes

Interested in maybe swapping to a set yourself? Drop us a line and we'll be happy to chat through the various options with you or let you have a look at one of our sets.

☎️ 01896 831429

📧 shop@tweedvalleybikes.co.uk


  • Tweed Valley Bikes

    Hi Nigel. We haven’t actually ridden a Maven yet as we pre-sold our entire allocation before they even made it to the shop in person. A Hope V4 (with duo lever) would be dramatically more powerful than a DB8 however and if you paired it with a vented rotor to sort any heat buildup we’d be confident it would work very well for you. The Maven would likely be fine too, it’s just that having not ridden them we can’t definitely say. Thanks.


    I have a Scott Strike electric mountain bike and am very pleased with it except for the rear brake. I only have my left arm so only use the rear one, the current SramDB8 cant cope on a long descent and was contemplating the Hope Duo brake which as you know has two integrated levers and operates on the front and rear.
    I have seen that Sram have now brought out the Mavern which they claim to be 50% more powerful. Is it better than the Hope V4? Is it better than the Hope Duo?
    I appreciate any assistance you can offer.

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