Clarks have been a hydraulic disk brake mainstay on budget mountain bikes for a long time, but now they have launched a new wing named CRS (Clarks Race Series) and released two new brakes aimed at performance riders.
Following the same format of TRP (Tektro Racing Products) and Tektro, CRS's new two-pot and four-pot brakes look to compete with the best mountain bike brakes in terms of performance but at a considerably cheaper price point.
The new brakes not only share many of the features that are common on top-spec brakes either, but they also bear a striking resemblance to other brake components that are already on the market.
The Hope-esque calipers are available in two or four-pot formats and use a single-piece CNC caliper with self-adjusting pistons. The two-pot calipers feature 22mm pistons while the four-pot has 16mm pistons. The four-pot gets a cooling fin upgrade but both calipers are Shimano-compatible so spares won't be a problem.
Both brakes use the same two-finger brake levers which feature ergonomic vented lever blades. There is a 2mm hex reach adjustment screw positioned behind the two-pot lever but the four-pot gets a tool-less thumbscrew for on-the-fly adjustments. The lever blade and minimal handlebar clamp share some similarities with Trickstuff's brake levers, although the lever body on the CRS brakes is considerably larger.
The system uses mineral oil rather than DOT, which is less damaging to the environment and should make the bleeding process easier as it doesn't corode skin or paint.
To sweeten the deal the brakes also come with floating rotors. These use a CNC aluminum inner and a steel braking surface. The rotors are available in 160mm, 180mm, and 203mm sizes to cover all uses from cross-country to e-MTB.
CRS claim the C2 brakes weigh 218g for the front caliper and lever and 238g for the rear caliper and lever, while the C4 weighs 236g for the front caliper and lever and 254g for the rear caliper and lever. That means they are on par with SRAM's Level Silver Stealth 2 Piston although CRS doesn't confirm whether these weights are for a fully bled brake. The 160mm rotor comes in at 108g and the 136g for the 180mm rotor.
CRS says the brakes are available now, with the CSR C2 priced at $TBC / £129.99 and the CSR C4 at $TBC / £199.99. Those prices aren't just for one brake, they include front and rear brakes, rotors, and all the mounting hardware with is spectacularly cheap.