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Genetic Metazoa Road Brake calipers



Great value set of brakes with good power for their low weight

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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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.

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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

Reach 39-51mm

Rate the product for quality of construction:

They appear well made with the only notable exception of the spring adjuster screw which has a tendency to round off.

Rate the product for performance:

Good power with decent modulation. The stock brake pads are quite soft and a swap to some harder items noticeably improved the feel.

Rate the product for durability:

Nothing negative to report here other than that spring grub screw.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:

Lighter than either Dura Ace or (2012 or earlier) Sram Red.

Rate the product for value:

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.

Overall rating: 9/10

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.

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alotronic | 11 years ago

Have PX versions - fiddly to setup.

They do have great modulation but for a heavier bloke (88kg) they just don't have the ultimate power I need. I have swapped to 7900 series of ultegra which are have inferior modulation but have the power needed around town and in the rain for me. To be fair I have never found the PX brakes 'weak' out on the open road, it's just for city panics for this heavy lad they don't quite cut it... If you are a normal weight then go for it, they look ace and it's nice having something other than SSC on your bike.

localsurfer | 11 years ago

I have a pair of these, and they are excellent. They are defo CNC machined, as the machining marks are still on them which looks both cool and offends my inner-machinist.

They are a right faff to set up though - I admitted defeat and got my LBS to do it.

localsurfer | 11 years ago

I have a pair of these, and they are excellent. They are defo CNC machined, as the machining marks are still on them which looks both cool and offends my inner-machinist.

They are a right faff to set up though - I admitted defeat and got my LBS to do it.

jonni3 | 11 years ago

These don't look like they are cnc'd, look more like forged to me.
PX do a pair of forged brakes for £59.99 that come with Swisstop pads & are identical I have these fitted to my bike & they are superb also weigh in @ 225g the pair  3

Napalmhaze | 11 years ago

These look like the same as the Planet X CNC brakes. I thought they were a bit wimpy at first but when set up properly and given a healthy dose of toe-in they easily outperform the shimano brakes on my other bike. Awesome brake for the money.

Bigpikle | 11 years ago

yep - look identical to the PX calipers. Even down to the allen key and extra bits you get with them  13

mattbibbings | 11 years ago

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