Featuring a redesigned piston, lever and pivot assembly,The 2012Tech Evo X2 has a fantastically smooth and consistent feel. A slightly shortened leverTranslates into a 15% increase in power and perforations add grip and control. It also features a double sided reservoir lid for easy bleeding. The X2 caliper features an increased piston diameter, generating more usable braking force onThe rotor. HopeTech has also added a drip free nipple and wide angle orientation ofThe fluid inlet connector
Strengths: Easy to use adjustable reach, contact. Machined billet looks trick. Can custom match hubs with res caps, levers and caliper plugs
Weaknesses: None that I have found.
This is my second pair of Hope Tech brakes. I have the original Tech x2's, so was familiar with how they work. These have a smoother feel in lever feel than the old ones. They seem to have a bit more power, not A LOT more. If I jump from one bike to the other, you can tell they are different near the end of my longest downhill. I mid pull the brakes 2 times in 15 seconds and a 3rd time hit them hard to avoid a trip into the woods. I can brake later with the EVO's, they have that bit more. I had to get on them sooner with the old ones. I am a big dude. Probably around 265lbs with a full pack. I'm probably pushing them harder than I should, but I have yet to have a brake related crash.
They do work very good in the wet. If you have properly bedded the pads, no problems. I have experimented with pads. Going from the organics that come stock, to the metallic pads. (Might be semi-metallic, not sure) But those work in the wet too. I was worried about excessive wear. Metallics work well wet. Might be the sandy type soil we have. The metalics don't seem to work good in the dry. Back to the stock setup, the brakes do squel from time to time. I have found it's because the caliper is not squared up. Sometimes they do make some noise, but end up getting quiet after a few pulls. If they don't, I've stopped and have noticed the calipers are angled. Due to my "fiddling" not the brake shifting.
I've yet to have to bleed them, but they are very easy to bleed. A comment has come up several times about floating rotor clearance and the fork mount. It is a directional piece. I had this issue and was going to grind it. Then I thought, "What if I flip it over". And that's the issue, fixed. There is no "This side in or out" stamped on it. It's crazy but that's all it is..
I have about 7 months on the EVO's and they just work, very good. I have a feeling if you are having problems with them, you've done something very wrong. Hint: Always clean the rotors you are going to use. Even if they are brand new. There is machine oil left on them. And always take time to bed the pads and rotors. If you don't, they will not create enough friction to work properly. You will glaze the rotors and they won't grab. These are the best brakes I've owned.
Similar Products Used: Hayes, 3 generations. Hope Tech X2.
Bike Setup: Cotic BFe, Marzocchi Micro Ti 55, 183/160 floating rotors, Hope hubs, Syncros rims
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: November 24, 2012
Strengths: Design. CNC work of art. Awesome modulation. great power. Firm lever feel. PBC and lever reach works as advertised!
Weaknesses: It's so beautiful you don't want to get it dirty.
Bought a Cannondale flash 29 and even though the bike is phenomenal, the one thing I noticed it holding back was the avid 3. I personally like brakes that has great modulations. The avid had the stopping power, but lacked modulation. it was all or nothing. I did endless research and came down to Hope X2 evo. I talked to couple people who had hopes and they swore by them so I took the plunged. My LBS installed the brakes and when I picked up my bike, I was just amazed with the design and CNC machine. It's beautiful and everything just felt solid. It's not the lightest brake system so if you're a weight conscious person with the lightest components on your bike, best to look some where else. I setup the PBC and lever reach to my liking. Did the typical Bedding of the brake pads and off I went. Just like every new brake system, it takes few rides before the brakes reach it potential. I felt it getting stronger and stronger each ride. After the 3rd ride, everything is spot on. modulation is phenomenal and power is great. Now on the forums and reviews, people stated that the power is not on par with the XTR or Formulas, but they all agreed the modulation is outstanding. Then again the people who claimed that power wasn't there were 220lbs+ riders. Riders who "claimed" to be under 200lbs stated the power was more than enough. I would agree with this claim. I'm a 175lbs and the power is def there for me, but with such phenomenal modulation, the power can be perceived differently. I would assume if you're over 220lbs+ rider, the Hope V4/M4 or other brake system might suit your need. I absolutely love these brakes and definately a Hope fan now. With that said, I'm gonna head out to the trails and enjoy some rides!
Strengths: Superb lever feel and modulation, build quality, attention to detail, adjustability, power (within the confines of their intended use).
Weaknesses: None so far.
I bought the 2012 Special Edition Evo X2 brakes with braided hoses and floating rotors (183/160mm) for my recently completed Cove XC racer and recommend them very highly.....
Straight out of the box it's clear that Hope have gone to a lot of effort with the build quality and finish; all components are well made and fit together nicely, the CNC engine-turned effect is smart too. The Tech lever is multi-adjustable for reach and bite-point and can be done on the move - it's really easy to find the right spot for one-finger braking.
The braided hoses are DOT3 size and have a clear shrink-wrap covering. I had to shorten front and back and it was a doddle; all you'll need will be normal tools plus a good pair of HD cable shears so that when you cut the hose you don't crush it. I re-used the olive and the inner spigot and all sits well with no leaks and because I was careful I didn't need to re-bleed the brakes. The calipers are monobloc aluminium so there's no twist or flex and all the fasteners are aviation grade Ti. The Tech levers didn't sit well on the bars with the XTR M970 shifter pods, so I bought the Matchmaker clamps from Hope which solve the problem and clean up the bars well.
Setting the brakes up was straight-forward but it will pay dividends to be patient and get the wheel spinning as freely as possible. I centred the caliper as best I could before riding about 5 miles to take the 'edges' off the pads. Then I put it back on the workstand and centred the opposed pistons so that they were touching the rotor face at the same time. It was easy and Hope provide some good instructional videos on You Tube about all aspects of installation.
I did a 30ml road ride first of all to dial everything in (the whole bike is new) and make all the necessary fine adjustments before doing the same on my local XC trails which are fast-flowing but with a section full of bomb-holes. I found that the organic pads bedded in quickly (don't be too gentle or harsh with new pads or you'll 'polish' them).
I have to say that the brakes are totally brilliant! The lever feel is solid but still gives great feedback from the tyres (front especially) and pulling endos has never been easier! For recreational and racing XC use as well as All Mountain I'd say that they have all the power you will ever need. On slower and technical sections the feel is great and I never felt that the front or rear was about to wash out because I couldn't feel what was going on.
They are light but not the lightest in their class. However, for their intended use I'd say they're the best of the pack.
This is my first set of hydraulics. I also got the version with Goodridge stainless hoses which is nice. I can twist the hoses any which way I want to rout them and they stay nice.
First off when installing the hope floating disc, there may be some issues of clearance between the rotor and the fork mounts. Mine was so close I checked online to find out many people have a similar problem. Adding a washer as a spacer to your axle seems to help. Mine is close yet doesn't scrape so I was fine. Secondly the manual is so badly written you will be lost if your not familiar with hydraulics. The manual basically tells you to check online for more help.
Now for installing the caliper there is a groove in the aluminum above and below the rotor stamped right into the caliper. Simply center the rotor with these grooves and tighten the caliper. Very simple to get it nearly 99% centered by eye. Now remove the wheel and install the brake pads. I found the brake pads very simple ti removed compoared to my old Avids. The Avids would snap in and use magnets so I needed pliers to pull them out. With hope I jsut remove the pin at the back and the pads easily slide out without force required.
Once this is done there will be some scraping of course cause things are not 100% aligned. Just apply the brakes and see which pad hits the rotor first. Remove the wheel, use a flat head screwdriver to force both pads towards the side that hits first to hold that piston in place then pump the lever about half way once. That will allow the free piston to move a bit and center things out. Put the wheel back on and you should be good to go. It may take a few shots going back and fourth, left to right, until you get it perfectly centered and remove the scrapping. Very quick and easy with quick release wheels and a repair stand.
I did not bleed the brake system after installing and it works flawlessly. I've heard horror stories about how Avid hydraulics should always be bled after installing. The hopes also have a simple drip free bleed port on the caliper just like a car. The brake lever has 2 dials. One for preload and one for reach. Both work fantastic and you have quite a bit of flexibility in how you set up your lever.
Overall the whole system is built like a car. Very simple and durable. Everything is aluminum machined, even all the dials and stuff. No plastic knobs or gadgets or anything. The lever pivots are upgraded for 2012 and supposedly very stable and built like a tank with 15% more power. I noticed no play or wobble whatsoever.
Over the brakes seem well built, easy to install, possible to get a perfect alignment without having to play with pad adjusters like Avid, and simple bleeding like a car without a kit required. Just a piece of rubber hose form Home Depot to attach to the bleed port.
The only downfall is the poor documentation included.
Price wise these were about $75 cheaper than Avid Elixir 9's, and included stainless braided hoses. No rotors included however which are $40 each or so. I also required adapters for use with 180mm rotors. I didn't ride them yet but I have 0 rotor rub on brand new pads with 1/10mm clearance which is unheard of with my old Avid BB7 mechanicals. I did my research and choose hope as king of brakes, aside form Formula which are almost twice the price. It seems the reviews are correct and hope are a flawless reliable easy to work on brake system.