KCNC Road Brake  £199.99

6/10

The lightest brake calipers we've ever tested – by miles – but if you're after all-out power look elsewhere

Weight 82g   Contact  www.clee-cycles.co.uk

by Mat Brett   May 31, 2010  

KCNC CB1 brakes

These are the lightest brake calipers we’ve ever reviewed – by a long way – but they’re not the most powerful.

Light? How does 82g (for the rear) grab you? To put that it perspective, it’s about half the weight of Shimano’s top level Dura-Ace.

These are a dual-pivot design made from 7075 T7 aircraft-grade aluminium. There’s heaps of machining on the arms with grooves and beveled edges all over the place to remove material and keep the weight down. It’s all beautifully done. You get plenty of length on the threaded barrel adjuster to fine-tune the distance between the pads and the braking surface, and the notched quick release cam gives you tons of clearance for removing your wheels. The brake shoes are skeletal – there’s almost as much space as actual shoe-age – with titanium bolts and you get both standard and carbon-specific brake pads in the box.

In use, gunk can build up in all the holes and channels quite easily – but that’s not much of a problem unless you’ve got a particular aversion to giving your bike a quick once-over every now and then.

More significant, these brakes don’t have the power of something like Dura-Ace. Don’t get us wrong, they’ll modulate your speed just fine and they will stop you – they’re okay – but there’s quite a bit of flex here, and they don’t have a massive punch on them. That meant that we found ourselves braking earlier than normal and occasionally scrubbing off speed ‘just in case’ when we wouldn’t have bothered if we’d had the confidence of more braking strength at our disposal. They do the job – but they lack authority.

If all-out power is unlikely to be an issue, fine – you might fit them on a time trial bike, for example. And lighter riders will certainly notice the lack of bite more than larger riders. But we can’t help feeling that a big slice of performance has been sacrificed for the sake of saving weight here.

As well as black (pictured), these are available in gold, silver and red anodized finishes.

Verdict

The lightest brake callipers we've ever tested – by miles – but if you're after all-out power look elsewhere

road.cc test report

Make and model: KCNC Road Brake

Size tested: n/a

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
5/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
10/10
Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

Did you enjoy using the product? Not enough punch for me

Would you consider buying the product? No

Would you recommend the product to a friend? For lightweight riders only

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 36  Height: 184cm  Weight: 74kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,

3 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

For an extra twenty quid sounds like you'd be better off getting their C7 brakes. It's the 2010 version of the CB1, weighs just 2g per caliper more than the CB1 and claims to have overcome the weaknesses you mention - comes with softer pads too.

simonmb's picture

posted by simonmb [360 posts]
5th June 2010 - 11:53

42 Likes

yeah, we're looking to test those too... stay tuned Smile

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7501 posts]
5th June 2010 - 16:34

34 Likes

For £90 less, I bought Ultra Light CNC calipers 205g!

http://www.planet-x-bikes.co.uk/i/q/BCPXULCNC/ultra-light-cnc-brake-cali...

posted by maxlite [27 posts]
5th June 2010 - 16:39

46 Likes

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