Small 4 piston caliper working on a closed system and supplied with adjustable Pro lever. Only one caliper design available with 150mm front and 130mm rear disc on international standard mounts. The 74mm post mount forks (2000/1 Manitou) require a special bracket and 160mm disc.
System type: Closed
Lever type: Pro
Caliper No.'s: Only one caliper available
Standard Disc: 150, 130 & 160mm
Strengths: Adjustability Simple aesthetics- Machined look Great manufacturer
Weaknesses: Power Lever adjustment- needed to apply some lock-tight to the bolt
Bought them when I lived in "COWlumbus" during college. Good riding flat XC trails- hence the name.
Moved out here 2 years ago and although I still think they are great brakes- they can't handle the downhills. The tiny rotors get hot aweful fast- so, I find myself having to use the bleed off way to often.
I think Hope is a great company and I will definately use their products in the future. I will save my XC4's for my future hardtail fun bike- but for my FS bike I must upgrade.
Bike Setup: Had them on my Ellsworth and now a Giant AC
a Weekend Warrior
from Whitley Bay
Date Reviewed: June 30, 2003
Strengths: Good stopping power; Light; Easy to set-up; Good modulation/feel
Weaknesses: Closed system; Problems with seals
Impressed with the stopping power on general XC rides - as with all closed systems, its going to suffer on any big downhill sections, but you can live with it. Have had problems with piston head seals (but probably due to a cack-handed mechanic, i.e. it was fine until the bike was serviced) and two lots of caliper seals - pads jammed closed on both occassions - don't know if its just bad luck, where I store the bike or the brakes... Pad wear, on the other hand, hasn't been a problem, at all.
Bike Setup: Santa Cruz Heckler, Pace EVO IIIs, full XT, Hope XC hubs on Mavic-317 wheels
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: January 18, 2003
Strengths: 3 years after buying the system, i have just taken the bike into the shop for a new transmission (03 xt) and service, the techie said the brakes were ok, never been serviced, original pads, no problems in 4,700 troublefree miles
Weaknesses: fit and forget a little bit too good at stopping. after a sharpe pull on the front lever i was in superman mode, over the handlebars.
when matched to the hope hubs and mavic disc rims, running specialized tyres, slick and tredded, an excellent bit of kit
Similar Products Used: shimano dura ace on the road bike, a few brands of V's
Bike Setup: spec stumpjumper, shimano xt and xtr, hope xc4's front and rear, fox forx float talas 03, spec bg leather saddle, replaced the original after the crash.mavic rims
from Royal Oak, MI
Date Reviewed: May 3, 2002
Strengths: no brake drag. great looks
Weaknesses: I have returned these brakes to Hope three times for leaks and inoperable adjustment dial and they still don't work They are unwilling to give me a refund. My bike shop even gave up on their service department and has tried to fix it themselves. This has not worked either. This is the worst experience I've had with any bike component I have bought.
I won't buy another Hope product and my bike shop won't carry Hope any more. I am now going to try Avid Mechanicals.
a Cross Country Rider
from Sychdyn, North Wales
Date Reviewed: March 1, 2002
Strengths: Comically impressive braking power, ease of use, low weight
Weaknesses: Brake pump, Mini brake is lighter
The key thing to remember is that these are XC brakes. As most other reviewers mention, they're not for massive DH adventures. The Enduro 4 or C2 would be better for that I'd wager.
In day to day riding, the XC4's are very impressive, responding instantly and powerfully. When you head for serious mountains - and I'm lucky enough to live near Coed-y-Brenin and some real mountains - then they do have some limitations. The rear gets really hot and pumps up. But then it's only 135mm so what do you expect. If a big downhill is in order, you must remember to wind them back but with the closed system it's easy to do. I'll accept the compromise for the low weight and power they have in 90% of situations, particularly race ones.
The pad wear is quite high but then mine do take a kicking. Replacing them is dead easy too and they work great in the wet and mud. I haven't tried the EBC red pads yet but the Fibrax seem to work fine (and they're a local company!).
All in all, I have no issue with these. They look trick and work a treat. The Mini's that were introduced after I bought my XC4 seem to be lighter but that's progress.
Weaknesses: A pain to set up in the front if you you don't use their hubs, I used Chris King disc hubs I had no problems setting it up in the rear other than bleading the system it is a bit harder than my Magura's but not that bad. Now back to the point on the front the caplier required more off set then most hubs so the clapier hits the spokes and the only fix was to put the shims between the rotor and the hub that was a pain getting it just right.
First off don't use anything but there hub on the front but the king hub ont the rear works great. Now rember that these are xc4 as in cross country do thay have the kind of power that the down hill specific one such as the o4's or the Magura Gustav. But they also weigh almost half as much. I have to admit I was a bit disappointed with the over all power that they had whan I got them. But I swapped out the stock pads for a set of EBC red compound pads and wow what a difference. With the stock pads it was had to skid on pavement or had I wanted to try to endo. But when I swaped out the pad that all changed exclent power with good modulation but not so much that a light tap will send you flying as is the case with the o4's and the gustav with the same ebc pad on them. They due tend to pump up on long techinal downhills that require a lot of breaking but the thumb screws are easy enough to back off before or during.
So the bottom Line is unless you are racing a 40+lbs. donwhill rig these are the disk breaks for normal riding that can still handle a good downhill just swap the pads from to ebc red's and be sure to use hope's front hub and you will be as happy as I am with them I think they are perfect now that I swapped the pads and never have to touch the front hub setup again. So they are losing on chile for lack of compatibaily for not being as international standard as the should be and for the stock pads.
Similar Products Used: magura gustav and hs33, hope DHo4 on a friends bike
Bike Setup: conejo ap5/at king hubs mavic rims
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: May 5, 2001
Strengths: This is more about Hope than the XC4 specifically, but the XC4 is amazing - light, really well made and plenty powerful enough for XC use.
Weaknesses: Well I had some major trouble with the caliper when I first got it, the pistons didn't slide back into the caliper body - so the pads rubbed and the braking was well spongy. All sorted now though, I popped it bake to Hope with a letter - 2 weeks or so later a brand new XC4 comes through my letterbox - and this one is perfect. No questions asked. No problem. No extra charge. Awesome.
I said this was more about Hope than the XC4. I think from reading the reviews below that there have been problems with this brake BUT most of them seem to be centered around brake fade on downhill bikes. This isn't a DH brake, so dont buy it for that. It's an amazing XC brake. I know I had some major problems with the first one, I was gutted as I have loads of Hope bits and i've never had ANY issues at all with them. The way Hope have dealt with me is second to none. I know everyone goes an about Hope's Customer Service, but its true - and personally I like having that level of support, especially when you've probably paid a large wack of money for a quality product. My new brakes brilliant and i've got a great company behind me. Makes me proud to be British (cue the national anthem...)
Bike Setup: GT Psyclone, full XT, Pace Evo 3's, Chris King stuff like that
a Weekend Warrior
from Sydney, Australia
Date Reviewed: April 11, 2001
Strengths: Very lightweight Lots of power Beautifully made
Weaknesses: Small rotor gets very hot Fluid expansion a prob on long descents Took a looooong time to bed in
I fitted this front XC4 to my bike in Jan 2000. Had quite a few problems...
1. Fork mount (Pace RC-37) allows about 1mm clearance between caliper and spokes. Never have been able to get the alignment 100%... 2. Lever always felt a bit hard, but the power's there.. 3. Rotor is easy to warp at high temperature (mine has). 4. Spring tensioner for pads is a bit poor - should be stiffer sprung.
I bought this brake (was on of the 1st of the batch ever made) and found out that I would have trouble mounting it on my forks. I managed it, but with compromises... only get one if you have IS mounts as part of the fork/frame, otherwise you'll come to grief. Also, they it let in air to the system for the first 12 months of it's life. This was solved by replacing all seals and basically renovating the brake, at substantial cost (almost the price of a new system!). I believe that because they were such early models, there were sub-standard seals in it... but that's my word against theirs..
DO NOT buy these brakes if you plan to ride any long downhills that require a lot of braking. They are an XC brake. They heat up and become much worse when hot. This is why I'm replacing it with a C2 in about a week. But, they're still a cut about any V brake. And they're getting cheaper every year!
Similar Products Used: Most Hopes, Hayes, topline Shimano V's...
Bike Setup: Cove, Pace triple clamps, XC4/C2 brakes, XT/XTR, Race Face... bike porn
a Cross Country Rider
from San Jose,CA
Date Reviewed: April 11, 2001
Strengths: The Hope XC4 has great looks and is definitely light weight. They have good modulation and feel. Adjustability with closed system is nice. Very easy to install; if you can tighten bolts, you can put them on. Simple! Customer support from Hope is superb. Bill and Gwyenn are more than happy to talk to you and if there are any problems, they send you a replacement part at no cost.
Weaknesses: The only problem I can say is: if your over 175 pounds or are a crazy man on the down hills, don't get these. Opt for the C2s. The stopping power is not enough for my liking.
All in all, any of the the hope products are cool looking and functional. I personally like the closed systems so I can back them off if they start to drag. Dragging my butt up hills is enough. For downhills, definitely go with the C2s. No worries about support, the people at Hope are great.
Similar Products Used: CODA Expert Disc, really unnacceptable.
Bike Setup: Jeckyll
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: February 22, 2001
Strengths: Works REALLY well, great 'feel' looks ace. British.
Weaknesses: I'm having a bit of a 'mare with these, when they work, they are REALLY cool, but i'm finding that the piston arn't sliding back into the Caliper body - so the pads are rubbing and wearing out extra fast. I've tried opening the return spring a bit more and that hasn't worked. Now the pads are worn out and are still rubbing on the rotor - i'm dreading fitting new pads. They have been into a bike shop who sorted this problem for about 2 rides, then it came back. If anyone knows how to sort it PLEASE let me know, 'cos I love the XC4 when it works. Also I had did have some leaking at the lever (a Pro), but the shop fixed that. A bit annoying for the amount of cash
I am trying REALLY hard to love this brake, when it works its awesome, but i'm not used to having this sort of trouble with Hope stuff. My hubs have been about the most reliable bit of my bike for 5 years ! I'm seriously considering switching back to a V for a while - because I just dont trust it to keep working enough for a ride. I'm going to take it in to a bike shop in a couple of days, and call Hope to see if this is a problem that they know about and can help with. I've read how fast Hope pads wear out and I don't want any brake drag to wear them any faster. I'm trying to take my bike to the US in May - and there's NO way my XC4 is coming with me if it doesn't prove itself VERY soon. It really hurts to type this stuff, as I do love it when its working - but thats only been for about 2 rides, the rest of the time its just been 'pants'. Far too much hassle. Hope - if you read this get thinking 'cos i'm calling you real soon ! Oh yeah I rode a nice set of the new Hope's on a DMR Trailstar - they were awesome, I just wish mine was as good.
Similar Products Used: V's. The new Hope DH thingy's.
Bike Setup: GT Psyclone, Full XT, Pace Evo 3's etc
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: January 24, 2001
Strengths: high quality engineering,adjustability,size,looks.
Weaknesses: price,brake pad wear,
I bought these brakes on the reputation of Hope and because they look stunning. From new they took a few rides to bed in ,but thats normal anyway,now they work great. Grip is very progressive and over the bars if you pull hard enough, there is some brake rub noice in the wet but it's not too bad,there is also some sqeall but i think their is not many brake system that don't suffer from these problems. No leaks so far. After about 6 weeks i lost most of the power from my back break, I found that the pads had worn right down and the compound was also breaking up, I contacted the importer and had the pads replaced foc within 1 week, BUT ! this happened again after only arround 300kms VERRY DISSAPOINTING BUT ! Hope to the rescue,this time i called Hope direct at their factory,the guy on the phone could not have been more helpfull,he explained their had been a lot of problems of this type, also that due to the very small rotor size the brake runs on the back wheel, pad wear was a little higher than normal,anyway Hope sent me foc 2 set's of replacement gold pads and some free stickers,these were received only 4 day's after my call,the best service i have ever had, the best brakes i have ever had. As the name suggests these brakes are designed for xc and are totaly dedicated to this!, so if you want dh brakes look elsewere!. Summing up,the brakes only lose marks because of the price and pad wear problems, unfortunately if you want the best you have to pay the price, rest assured if you have any problems with these brakes Hope will bend over backwards to help you, the best after sales service you will ever find.
Bike Setup: custom scott g-zero world cup,complete xtr,chris king,pace evo 3,crossmax disc,raceface xy post,profile carbon xc bars & bar ends.
Date Reviewed: January 11, 2001
Strengths: When its working very good braking all condition stopping great braking feel very progressive quick adjustment ...
Weaknesses: ... which is good, because you may need to adjust it A LOT. Brake pump expensive
OK, I was one of the first to get this brake (I've had it 9 months - sorry, there was no option for that), and have held off submitting a review until I'd had a really good long test. I've tested them in all condistions - from the 100 miles South Downs Way challenge to the Checkendon XC. I had very high expectations for these brakes - which might be the main problem. These are designed for a very specific use - they are lightweight XC racing brakes. They sacrifice a fair amount of power over their slightly heavier Hope cousins with the small rotor which for non-hard core racers is not really worth it. Why? Because the brakes can't really cut it in general trail riding - long downhills lead to pump up (closed system) which will have you adjusting the brakes as you ride to stop them coming on and locking (on the SDW ride I actually thought I had a flat a few times before I realised the brakes had suddenly locked on). Also, the most irritating thing about them (and this isn't just my set according to our friends at www.bikemagic.com)is that the reach adjuster winds in slowly - needing allen keying out every few rides (when it winds in, brakes performance gets worse). With my early set the pads were awful, although I understand Hope know about this and discountinued them. Overall, when I've set my brakes up and in normal conditions they are excellent. In extreme conditions they begin to crack. But they need fiddling with all the time, and although this is very simple, for a £170 product this is not good enough. Racers - wait for the new 'mini' Hopes out soon. Otherwise get the open two-pot Hopes.
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