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  1. #1
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    Parabox vs. V Twin...

    Have there been any shootouts between the TRP Parabox and Hope's V twin? Very little reviews out there.

    I can't decide between the two. I'm not going to wait for the Hywire, since I don't need Di2 shifters on my SS and TRP won't be producing the Hywire w/o Di2 anytime soon.

    So, if anyone has any comparison data between the other two, let me know! The Hope is just a little cheaper, weighs about the same, allegedly has better master cylinder actuation, but the TRP looks a little cleaner.

    Any input (besides the "disc brakes are dumb" rants...)?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattsavage View Post
    Any input (besides the "disc brakes are dumb" rants...)?
    Heavier, messier, and more expensive than cable. Not to mention practically non-existent native lever choice (unless you go flatbar or use the external cylinder). The real question is why hydro over cable?

    How much power and modulation do you need for a cross bike?

    Disclaimer: I love riding my Monocog 29er with cheap assed Shimano mechanical discs. My brakes have never distracted from the pure joy of riding the trails.
    Formerly Gripped. Now new and improved.

  3. #3
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    ^I thought he said no ridiculous rants?!


    I'm also looking for a set of SS hydraulic drop levers. I feel like the junction / master cylinder system is a half-arsed solution which will pass in a season or two. So I'm just going to wait.

    I have hopes that when formula and hywire release their Di2 systems they will also quietly release hydraulic levers for SS. Why not?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by wtfbbq View Post
    Heavier, messier, and more expensive than cable. Not to mention practically non-existent native lever choice (unless you go flatbar or use the external cylinder). The real question is why hydro over cable?

    How much power and modulation do you need for a cross bike?

    Disclaimer: I love riding my Monocog 29er with cheap assed Shimano mechanical discs. My brakes have never distracted from the pure joy of riding the trails.
    Thanks, but this isn't a cable vs. hydraulic thread. Looking for comparison and contrast between the two specified systems.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Local Hero View Post
    ^I thought he said no ridiculous rants?!


    I'm also looking for a set of SS hydraulic drop levers. I feel like the junction / master cylinder system is a half-arsed solution which will pass in a season or two. So I'm just going to wait.

    I have hopes that when formula and hywire release their Di2 systems they will also quietly release hydraulic levers for SS. Why not?
    I spoke to them on the phone about this and they said that they've considered it, but it's not in the works. He said you could remove the Di2 connections from inside the lever though. Also, he said the price wouldn't be significantly different since the electronic parts are a relatively cheap part.

  6. #6
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    You talked to the Hywire folks? Bummer. I hope Formula does it then.

    I cannot imagine how the price would be all that close between SS and Di2, as the Hywire levers are $495, if I recall correctly. Mid range hydraulic MTB levers can be found for less than $100. Why would road hydraulics cost three times as much? I hope that's not the situation, when it finally happens. Then again, maybe this is wishful thinking on my part. And it's all speculation right now anyway. The manufacturers and the market will ultimately decide the price point, if and when it happens.


    Sorry, I know this is a distraction from your original topic, which is a comparison of the Paradox and V Twin systems. With that, I'll bow out of this thread and let it get back on point.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Local Hero View Post
    You talked to the Hywire folks? Bummer. I hope Formula does it then.

    I cannot imagine how the price would be all that close between SS and Di2, as the Hywire levers are $495, if I recall correctly. Mid range hydraulic MTB levers can be found for less than $100.
    Probably because it's a new product, no trickle down technology, and it includes the calipers and rotors. I think tentative MSRP is $599 at this point (should retail for less), which is slightly more than an XX or XTR full set, which don't incude any sort of shifting mechanisms. Dura Ace Di2 shifters are 700 bucks, no calipers...

    Back on track... Any comparisons? None? Maybe I'll just have to pony up for both and report back...

  8. #8
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    I've ridden both the trp and the 324/forumula. I *tried* every option the builders had set up at this years NAHBS. So far, I'd order them as follows in terms of performance. 324, Hope, Trp. 324 was by far the best, but i've also spent more time on them than anything else.

    sadly, they are also the spendiest and most kludgey of the 3. I'm waiting to see what sram has to offer this fall.
    blahg. have-a-snack.blogspot.com

  9. #9
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    Talking

    Can't compare the Hope vs TRP, but have installed the Parabox on my Kona Honky Inc now for the last 1,000km +. I changed from Avid BB7's with Cleansweep G2 rotors . Total weight difference between the two systems (BB7 vs TRP) was 45g extra with the Parabox, and I haven't shortened the lines yet.

    Discs are the Shimano Ice-Tec rotors with 180mm front and 160mm rear.

    My TRP Parabox has the smaller rear caliper pads/pistons.

    Installation was fine and it works well.

    I too am looking fwd to the Di2 systems, as my next bike will be the Volagi Liscio, and I want Di2 and hydraulics as well.

    I'm patiently waiting .....

  10. #10
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  11. #11
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    To me the most interesting thing to see will be the price of the SRAM hydro group, especially the shifter/caliper combo compared to the Formula/TRP offerings.

  12. #12
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    Sram has consistently produced lighter and less expensive products.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Local Hero View Post
    Sram has consistently produced lighter and less expensive products.
    True, but were they better ?

  14. #14
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    I have the v-twin on a dirty disco and love it. If you have multiple wheelsets, use the same brand/type of rotor.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by strathconaman View Post
    I have the v-twin on a dirty disco and love it. If you have multiple wheelsets, use the same brand/type of rotor.
    Pics and any more details ?

  16. #16
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    I own a TRP Parabox, have set up another and sold and tested a Hope V-Twin. My Parabox is on my daily rider and I have never ridden the V-Twin for extended periods.

    OVERALL WINNER: Hope V-Twin

    IN THE BOX
    TRP Parabox: Fully bled master cylinder, calipers, (2) 160mm rotors, adapters, bleed kit, fittings, instructions. Uses mineral oil.
    Hope V-Twin: Fully bled master cylinder, calipers, instructions. Uses DOT.

    Aesthetics: Hope V-Twin
    Parabox has a nicer cable routing into the master cyclinder than V-Twin, so add a point for TRP. But the CNC machining and finishing Hope does to the V-Twin is gorgeous. It looks like jewelry for your bike. Even the fittings are pretty. Hope makes pretty products.

    Feel: TRP Parabox
    Both feel excellent. Hope V-Twin feels *slightly* more mechanical which can be attributed to the slightly longer cable and housing going into the master cylinder and the sharper angles needed to bend the cable into the maser cylinder. I would say the Parabox feels like a 100% hydraulic system whereas the V-Twin feels 95%.

    Price: Draw
    Once you factor in rotors, bleeding, and adapters everything comes in about the same price within a few dollars.

    Weight: Draw
    Weight didn't play a single concern in my purchase. Probably about the same weight within a few grams. If you are a weight weenie, this may play heavy into your decision, but I don't have the actual weights.

    Function: Hope V-Twin
    Both systems offer sufficient power and modulation. The Hope is more powerful and the Parabox felt a little under powered at times, but could still lock up the wheels without any trouble. The Parabox I own also suffers from sticky pistons. I have tried everything, but the outer piston on the rear caliper just rides the rotor. Whereas the pads on the Hope sit a good distance off the rotor, the pads on the TRP sit VERY close to the rotor.

    Setup: Hope V-Twin
    Hope V-Twin: This was the winner by far. Setup involved installing the components according to the instructions, installing the cables, and then centering the calipers. I trimmed the hoses and installed the cables and housing. I did not have to bleed the system, although it may be recommended. With a few squeezes of the lever, the pads self adjusted perfectly and the lever pull was about 30-40% of the total travel. Done. There were no reach adjustments or barrel adjusters, no need. It just works.

    TRP Parabox: And this is where Parabox suffers the biggest blow. To set up a Parabox properly, it is important to understand how hydraulics work. The master cylinder houses a reservoir for additional fluid, a pushrod, and a timing port. The pushrod forces fluid from the master cylinder through the timing port into the hose and then when the pushrod retracts, the excess fluid returns to the reservoir. Also if there is any heat buildup from braking, the expanding fluid has a place to go, the reservoir. It is important that the pushrod not be permanently extended into the timing port. Doing so 'closes' the system and overheating can occur. Closing the system will also not allow for one of the best functions of a hydraulic system, the self adjusting brake pads.

    OK, why did you need to know all that? Because with the Parabox, there are 2 ways to close the system unknowingly. THE ONLY WAY TO ADJUST REACH ON THE PARABOX IS TO ADJUST FLUID LEVELS! More on that later. Installation of the components on the bike was simple as per the instructions. I cut the hoses and installed the cables. I went to pull on the levers and both bottomed out. I pumped both levers a few times and the lever pull got a little better, but it was about 70-80% of the total travel and I could bottom out the lever. Figuring there was air in the line I pushed the pistons all the way into the calipers, installed a (wide) bleed block, and bled the system. I got the same result. At this point I noticed a little screw on the back on the pushrod under the master cylinder and thought, "Ah, reach adjust!" So, I turn it and low and behold I can get the lever pull 30-40% of the total travel. Done?

    I thought I was done until a few weeks into riding I noticed that my rear lever travel was different and I knew that should not be the case with hydraulic brakes. When I got to the shop, I took off the rear wheel and went to push the pads into the cyclinder, I couldn't! The system was closed. How? The 'reach adjust' I thought I was using is not a reach adjust at all. When I turned the screw, the pushrod was moving into the timing port and pushing fluid with it, thus giving me the desired lever travel of 30-40%. NOTE: There is nothing on this in the instructions on this 'reach adjustment,' so the the best I can decide is that it is a leverage adjustment, changing the angle the cable acts on the push rod.

    It is also important to note that you cannot adjust the Parabox with barrel adjuster on the noodle going into the master cylinder. That is there only to remove slack from the brake cable. Adjusting the pads with the barrel adjuster will close the system.

    So what to do? With the system open, I was getting 70-80% lever travel. The only thing you can do is to increase the amount of fluid in the system. So now I had to rebleed the system. I ended up using a skinny bleed block such that the pistons were not pushed all the way into the caliper to get the desired lever travel. It was trial and error, took a lot of time, and made a mess.

    On the end, this is a product that will not work properly right out of the box. Fluid will need to be added to the system. It is all too tempting to adjust the pads this with the barrel adjuster just like most riders have been doing for years. And even when you know not to use the barrel adjuster, you can still close the system by accident! THE ONLY WAY TO ADJUST REACH IS TO BLEED WITH A SMALLER BLEED BLOCK! I can't overstate this enough.

    CONCLUSION
    Buy a Hope V-Twin.

    Interesting Option
    I was unhappy with the sticky piston, so I wanted to experiment. TRP (Tektro) uses very similar designs for their brakes as Shimano and it just happened that I had a set of Deore hydro calipers kicking around. I installed the calipers, bled the system and WOW! If this review were the Parabox with Shimano Deore calipers, I would be recommending TRP. Braking power tripled, lever travel was no longer finicky, the piston didn't stick, and braking was more confident. This brings up some interesting options, to include using XT and XTR calipers to take advantage of Shimano Icetech pads and lighter weights....
    Last edited by grmilefsky; 01-10-2014 at 05:15 AM.

  17. #17
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    That's a great write up, thanks man!

    Interesting test with the shimano calipers, that was a great idea.

    I wonder if the Hope master moves enough fluid to use one of their larger calipers. I can't get enough power out of my V-twin. Great modulation, but I'm not going to stop quickly on a steep gravel descent and I have to squeeze way too hard control my speed on descending on singletrack. Brake early, brake hard = extremely fatiguing. I was using Sram S900 carbon SS levers, but then switched to TRP RRL levers for sponsorship reasons and it got worse...

    Which cable and housing you using for your V-Twins?

  18. #18
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    The Shimano caliper was a shot in the dark, but from everything I can see and have seen, it appears that Tektro must license a lot of their hydro technology from Shimano. It was kind of an educated guess! I wouldn't mix Tektro and Magura. Or Avid and Hope. Or any other combinations. I would have no problems trying out a combination within companies though, i.e. XT levers with XTR calipers.

    I set up the V-Twin with Jagwire stainless slick cables and Jagwire standard housing. Compressionless housing would be better, but didn't have it on hand at the time.

    It seems that all the converters would be affected by the different leverages of different companies brake levers. As for your braking performance, I would make sure you have a good bleed and change out your pads just to make sure there is no contamination. If you really want to get more performance, look into a different Hope caliper. They make a 4 pot caliper (or even the older 6 pot!) It's a shot in the dark, but if it works, you would have more power.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by grmilefsky View Post
    If you really want to get more performance, look into a different Hope caliper. They make a 4 pot caliper (or even the older 6 pot!) It's a shot in the dark, but if it works, you would have more power.

    Yes, that's what I meant when I said "...their larger calipers." , I meant Hope calipers.

    I'm using the Jagwire Pro Road cables and housing. they claim the brake cables are compressionless. I guess I should try another bleed and some fresh pads. Maybe sintered this time...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattsavage View Post
    Yes, that's what I meant when I said "...their larger calipers." , I meant Hope calipers.
    Right, my bad. It might work, worth a shot! If you try it, let me know what your results are.

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