Radic is an upstart mountain bike component manufacturer from New Zealand, with an amazing new caliper idea.
Founded by Taylor Grey and Jake Powell, two mechanical engineers who happen to be committed mountain bikers, Radic is big on making better brake components.
Radic’s Gamma brake caliper is the company’s most advanced design. Grey and Powell wanted to reimagine brake caliper design to optimise hydraulic fluid stability and airflow.
The result is a 3D-printed brake with ample cooling ports shaped into the body. Configured as a powerful four-piston caliper design, Radic’s Gamma is claimed to weigh less than 60g.
Brake lever compatibility is based on a minimum master cylinder specification of 10mm and Radic’s shaped the Gamma to use Hope’s popular V4 brake pads. Hydraulics can be refilled with either DOT 5.1 or mineral oil, depending on a rider’s preference, with both seal kits available.
With dual 16- and 15mm pistons the Gamma should provide excellent pad contact load distribution and fade-free stopping power, even on long technical descents.
The Radic design team have also specified phenolic pistons for its Gamma caliper, which further mitigates against thermal issues. Phenolic resin coats the four pistons in each Gamma caliper and reduces friction heat soak from overly influencing the brake’s hydraulic performance.
Perhaps the most significant technical detail of these Gamma brakes, other than their incredibly low mass, is the organic shaping. Beyond the visual appeal of a soft-corner shape, Radic has sound technical reasons for having 3D-printed the Gamma caliper with its shapely airflow ports.
Brakes overheat during severe use, when you are speeding downhill, and attempting to manage rolling momentum: matching speed to terrain technicality. Harnessing the dynamics of your bike’s rolling motion and speed, the Gamma’s flow ducts channel cooling air around and through the calipers, preventing brake fluid boiling and your lever feel from becoming ineffective.
The first batch of Gammas have sold-out on pre-order and Radic is currently gearing up for the surge in demand.