2012 Hope Tech Evo M4 Brake Set

Perfect. Switching to the metallic Hope pads was an instant change that really boosted the brake bite into the rotor and immediately resolved my only issue with the brake set. The Hope M4 with this upgrade offered plenty of stopping power, an awesome lever feel that was firm and positive, and incredible modulation and control.

I did not feel that the Hope M4 brakes with metallic pads had quite the brute straightline stopping power of the Saints or THE ONEs, but they were in the same ballpark, for sure. The big advantage of the M4s over the competition was that I felt that they offered more control over my stopping. In comparison, THE ONE brakes felt slightly woody, meaning that the rider has a little less feel through the lever blade to what is going on with the tire.

The Saint brakes had a great lever feel, but they did vary in consistency slightly compared with THE ONE and Hope brakes—the brake would fade in and out slightly and have differing pad contact points according to my speed and how long the run was. It was minor, but it was real.

Hope Tech Evo M4 Brakes, Blister Gear Review

The Hope M4s had none of these issues. They were ultra consistent and offered exceptional feel and control over the tire. This, in my mind, is the most important part: pulling the brake just hard enough to maximize stopping, but not quite hard enough to break the tire free in the dirt to introduce a skid. The Hope Tech Evo M4 did this perfectly.


I also rode the Hope Tech Evo M4 brakes on both of my trail bikes, a shorter travel Knolly Endorphin (140mm) and Giant Reign X (170mm). The Hope brake, even with its DH power, still is very competitive weight-wise with equivalently priced trail brakes such as the Shimano XT M775 (310g), the XT m785 trail brakes (300g), and even the much more expensive XTR Trail brakes (240g).

The Hope offers dramatically more braking power and lever feel than the XT m775, by miles. It is light years better. Compared with the new Shimano Trail line, the Hope is very competitive in power, but accesses much smoother modulation. The Shimano brakes feel like a light switch (on-off), whereas the Hopes are more like a dimmer switch (none, some, lots, all).

I have also recently used the Avid Elixir series of brakes, and while they are quite light (225g) at the equivalent price point, all of the Elixir family of brakes that feature pad contact tend to fade in and out like crazy on longer rides. I cannot recommend them at this point.



The Hope Tech Evo M4 brakes have proven to be ultra reliable, with no issues whatsoever. My experience in the past with similar Hope products would support that the brakes need to be bled or adjusted about half as frequently as Shimano brakes, which are generally the industry leader in this field. This is resounding praise for the Hope.

Hope Tech Evo M4, Blister Gear ReviewI feel the Hope Tech Evo M4 brake set can easily find its home on nearly any bike. It is a little heavy and powerful for a dedicated race bike, or for someone who likes super-minimal knobbed tires, but for a general-purpose trail bike all the way up to a true downhill race bike, the Tech Evo M4 is a great brake. Just go ahead and order metallic pads right off the bat and keep the stock organic pads as spare / emergency pads.

I should add that if you are looking for Hope brakes used or at a discount, I would strongly suggest making sure you purchase the Evo style. The standard, old model is noticeably underpowered in all iterations. The new Evo lever has it inscribed very plainly on the lever. There should be no confusion.

6 comments on “2012 Hope Tech Evo M4 Brake Set”

  1. On the Hope website it says these brakes weigh “from 400g”, what do they mean by this or how much do the brakes really weigh?

  2. hi brian, in the intro, you can see the measured weight i had on the brakes, for the lever, line and caliper only. of course you would add in any weight for adapters, bolts and rotors. since those weights range according to size and style, hope does not post “real” number. My guess is that the ~400g claim would be with a 160mm rotor (which is about 87-95g), plus an adapter (20-30g) and their steel bolts (5-10g).


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