The Genetic Metezoa road brake calipers are a single pivot, cam actuated brake, similar to those found in Sram's new 2013 Red group. The purported benefits of this design are twofold; the light weight of a single pivot brake coupled with the stopping power of a dual pivot.
Addressing the first of these claims, the Metezoa scores well with an all up weight of 243g per brake, which is actually lighter than either Shimano or Sram's top level brakes. And at £119.98 for the set, these brakes easily undercut those from the big players.
Absolute power is excellent as well, although the modulation is a litle spongy, especially when really pulling hard on the levers. This can be mostly overcome with a swap to some harder brake pads.
The stock brake pads are quite soft. A swap to some harder pads immediately improved the feel, but it still wasn't the easily controllable, progressive power that characterises a well designed dual pivot brake.
Another typical stumbling block with cam actuated brakes is a finicky setup with tiny little grub screws to be tightened here, there and everywhere. Luckily, this wasn't the case with the Metezoas as getting them on the bike was a breeze (helped in part by the wide assortment of mounting hardware provided to suit various forks).
The brake cable is clamped into a barrel using a 3mm grub screw. Whilst it does look quite precarious, the screw diameter is just enough so that damaging the cable isn't an issue. The barrel also features a couple of flats so that you can easily hold it with some pliers when tightening the screw – good thinking there. This barrel then hooks into the cam, which in turn provides the extra leverage on the brake arms.
Centering the pads is a matter of a quick adjustment using a slim, 13mm spanner, with additional micro-adjustments possible through a 2mm screw that engages the brake spring. This screw came fixed with loctite on both test samples, so I ended up rounding out the heads without achieving any rotation. Not great, but I found that centering the pads was possible using only the spanner.
The brake can be disengaged for wheel changes by unhooking the barrel from the brake. This process is necessarily a two-handed one, and can be tricky in a race situation. It also means that fine adjustments to the pad clearance whist on the move have to be made using the barrel adjuster rather that flicking the quick release open, such as you might do on a Shimano brake.
Speaking of the barrel adjusters, these offer enough range that pad wear can easily be adjusted for the whole life time of a set of pads.
A great value set of brakes with good power for their low weight.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Genetic Metazoa Road Brake calipers
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
The Metezoa's would suit anyone looking to drop some weight from their bike without spending a fortune. Genetic describe them as "Superlight, high power Road Race calipers"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Cut out alloy arms with roller cam pivot enhanced power.
c/w regular cassette type brake pads.
243g per brake
They appear well made with the only notable exception of the spring adjuster screw which has a tendency to round off.
Good power with decent modulation. The stock brake pads are quite soft and a swap to some harder items noticeably improved the feel.
Nothing negative to report here other than that spring grub screw.
Lighter than either Dura Ace or (2012 or earlier) Sram Red.
For the money, it's hard to fault them.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Light on the wallet and on the scales. Impressive power also.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Soft stock brake pads lend them a spongy feel.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
Age: 20 Height: 190cm Weight: 70kg
I usually ride: Giant TCR Advanced 2 My best bike is: Canyon Ultimate CF7
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, sportives, mtb,
For 5 years, racing was my life and I went all the way from a newbie bonking after 40 miles, to a full-timer plying my trade on the Belgian kermesse scene. Unfortunately, the pro dream wasn't meant to be and these days, you're more likely to find me bimbling about country lanes and sleeping in a bush on the side of the road.