Interbike is always a fun event for the wild, the wacky and the WTF and there was no shortage of these at this year's event. One booth that garnered a lot of attention was the OutBraker booth from a Korean aftermarket company.
What they came up with is a hydraulic pressure regulator capable of limiting the maximum power of the the front or rear brake. The rider can set the the maximum desired hydraulic pressure delivered from the brake lever with an add-on to the hydraulic line. No matter how hard the brake lever is squeezed, the system will limit the pressure delivered to the caliper. The setting is adjustable, thus the rider can set the max level based on trail conditions or rider experience.
The intent is so the rider will not go over the handlebars when used in front or skid when used in the back.
The system does what it's designed to do as demonstrated by pressure guages measured before and after the OutBraker device. The light, $150 device allows the rider to set the max braking force of each brake. So for $300, the rider does not have to master the skill required to modulate brakes.
We asked the crew at OutBraker why they created this device. They explained that beginners have difficulty modulating brakes and they have a tendency to go over the bars or skid.
Continue to page 2 to learn more about the OutBraker and to view a full photo gallery »
These two gauges show the output pressure maxed out a the preset level no matter how hard the user squeezes the brake lever (click to enlarge).
Digging deeper, this seems like a flawed concept. First, braking is a learned skill. If a rider grabs too much brake and goes over the bars, the rider learns to modulate the brake next time. It's like touching fire and getting burned. The person won't do it again.
The second more critical issue is maximum braking power is dependent on traction conditions and body position. The better the traction the more braking power is preferred. And preventing an endo or skidding has a lot to do with body position of the rider. Thus pre-setting the maximum power of the brake has little to do with the desired result. Rather, learning modulation, traction conditions and body position are key.
Finally, if less braking power is desired, smaller rotors and lower cost brakes is the better option. Limiting the power of an amazing brake is not the solution. In fact, it can be dangerous as the OutBraker does not limit it proportionally but just sets a maximum limit. Does when the rider grabs squeezes harder in a dangerous descending situation or in wet conditions, no more braking power will be made available.
- Material: Aluminum, SUS
- Weight: 39g
- Dimensions: 60x15x24mm
- Oil Pressure Adjustment Range: 0-100%
- Color: Black, Titanum, Silver, Blue, Wine Red
- Type: 3 (Banjo Pitch M8x0.75 / M8x1.0 / M9x1.25)
- Price: $150 each
For more information visit www.outbraker.com.
This article is part of Mtbr's coverage of the 2015 Interbike trade show in Las Vegas. For more from Interbike CLICK HERE.