Spotted: Feather Brakes’ New Lightweight 198 Time Trial Brakes

Feather Brakes 198 lightweight aero time trial and triathlon bike brakes

As Feather Brakes does, their brake naming scheme simply refers to the weight, meaning this upcoming 198 brakeset will come in at a claimed 198g. If they’re anything like the 199′s we reviewed, they’ll be a bit lighter than that.

Yes, they look like cheap stamped steel, but if they follow the 199′s footsteps, they’re machined from a solid block of aluminum and include ti-hardware…and the weight is likely with pads and carriers.

Despite having a face only a mother could love (especially when the only picture they had available for us as of this publishing is a grainy GIF), the 198′s serve a very specific purpose: Increase power and adjustability for time trial and triathlon bikes.

The design is intentionally narrow to fit behind fork crowns and under chainstays on bikes designed with such brake placements, and they stay out of the wind and, likely, out of plain view, so aesthetics are clearly secondary to performance.

UPDATED after the break…

They’re also designed to allow for power adjustment, which should give TT’ers and triathletes something they often lack: real braking power, particularly with the aero levers mounted on the end of bullhorn handlebars. The little roller ball between the upper arch and the lower provides an adjustable leverage ratio, which allows the rider to set up the brakes’ feel and power differently front and rear and overcome TT levers’ shortcomings. Heavier riders can add more power, too.

These were floating around Interbike in founder Bob’s briefcase, which we missed, but we’ve heard chatter about them for more than a year now…hopefully they’ll come out soon. Pricing TBD.

UPDATE: Bob just emailed us to say the project is getting started again…it was on hold while they moved some manufacturing back to the U.S. (yay!), but with motocross season rolling again and that being a major part of their business, it’ll be about a month before it’s in full R&D mode again. The good news, he says, is that he’s got some ideas for refinement and it’ll end up being even better than originally planned.

Comments

jc - 01/19/11 - 12:37pm

[shudder]
in this day and age, nothing should be so ugly.

murpes - 01/19/11 - 12:42pm

Orange chains, pink pedals, green brakes … man there’s been some colorful stuff featured here lately!

bill - 01/19/11 - 3:35pm

Actually, the color matches the felt b16 I had so much trouble finding a good fitting rear brake for. Goodbye shims, welcome back barrel adjusters.

Mark Adam - 01/19/11 - 4:29pm

They aren’t ugly, they are different. There is a market for this…believe it or not.

jc - 01/19/11 - 6:29pm

I have a degree in defining ugly, and these are it. And yes, they ARE different, too. Different and ugly are not mutually exclusive. Besides, the market for ugly is saturated.

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