2013 Brake Force One closed system hydraulic mountain bike brakes with new colors and glow in dark hoses

Brake Force One is an interesting set up on its own, being a completely closed hydraulic braking system. For 2013, they’ve updated just about everything inside and out. The short list is this:

  • New internals for smoother, easier lever feel
  • Colored parts and brake fluid options
  • Glow in the dark brake hoses
  • Customized laser etching
  • Lighter, sleeker mounts

Now, for the details, along with cutaway images on how the system and the dual stage Brake Booster design works…

At the top, notice the clear brake hose with blue brake fluid. It’ll come with normal colorless mineral oil, but the customer can bleed it with a colored oil (they offer seven colors) to make it match their bike.

2013 Brake Force One closed system hydraulic mountain bike brakes with new colors and glow in dark hoses

Or you can get a glow in the dark hose.

2013 Brake Force One closed system hydraulic mountain bike brakes with new colors and glow in dark hoses

Calipers and master cylinders are also available in colors and you can get your name laser etched on the caliper. For €99 more (if you order direct), you can get all that and pick individual colors for the caliper, caps and master cylinder and pick your fluid color and hose length. You can even get your name laser etched on the caliper.

The caliper also gets new CNC’d adapter brackets that are much sleeker than the originals.

That’s the style, here’s the substance: Brakes get a new PTFE infused O-ring inside the master cylinder to move easier, and it gets a softer spring. Lever pivot and piston shaft get minor tweaks to make lever feel a bit smoother and easier.

They’ve also changed the hose fittings to make it easier to change hoses. The new parts are lighter, too, and only require the hose to be pressed on instead of fit between a barb and lock nut. The calipers get a new oil outlet section with the hose glued to the banjo (aka “oil outlet”). Dealers get the tools to change that part out. That means you have to change the banjo to change the hose, unfortunately.

System weight is under 200g (claimed for front, excluding rotor). €780 for the set, doesn’t include rotors. Those are $€45-50.

2013 Brake Force One closed system hydraulic mountain bike brakes with new colors and glow in dark hoses

Here’s the brake system in its open position. Note the ample space between the pads and the rotor, that’s the key to being able to use a closed system with no expansion reservoir. Typical master cylinders have a small bladder that expands to make room for more fluid volume as things heat up. Brake Force One’s brakes simply let the pads move in a bit closer when things get hot, and the extra space between pads and rotor makes this possible.

2013 Brake Force One closed system hydraulic mountain bike brakes with new colors and glow in dark hoses

Here it is closed. The second part of the equation is that the plunger in the master cylinder is a massive 16mm in diameter. This pushes a LOT of fluid into the caliper, which is required in order to move the pads far enough to make contact. The tradeoff, normally, would be pads that moved in quickly but lacked the power we’re used to with traditional brakes.

2013 Brake Force One closed system hydraulic mountain bike brakes with new colors and glow in dark hoses

During the first part of the stroke, the oil flows into a small port in the caliper, around a “top hat” and into the chambers behind the pistons. This moves the pads in quickly but with little force.

2013 Brake Force One closed system hydraulic mountain bike brakes with new colors and glow in dark hoses

Once the pads make contact, pulling the lever deeper into the stroke starts moving the outer part of the stepped piston forward, closing the inside off as it hits the “top hat”. This essentially closes off the fluid facing the brake pads and attempts to compress it, making them squeeze the rotor harder. This is where the power comes from.

The spring you see in the system pushes the piston back as you let off the brakes, which helps forcefully retract the pads far away from the rotors.

The pads are pushed by 22m diameter pistons. It’s an interesting system with a novel approach, made all the more impressive by how young its inventor is…under 20 years old.


  1. Seraph. Really mate, you’ve never heard of them, so they must be crap. Not too sure about that logic. They’re a new company so most people haven’t heard of them, but they are really thinking put side the box (most innovative disc brakes in a long time) and if they perform as well as a lot of people expect they will be amazing. Fantastic power, low weight and no disc rub. Sign me up! I will let someone else be the guinea pig though:-)

  2. I love the concept. Pads are too close in most brakes now. Consider how many people now tolerate their brakes dragging in a spot on the rotor because of the ridiculous distance between the rotor and pads. If a wrench sent out a nice bike in the V brake days with the brake dragging he’d be considered lazy or inept. Now brake drag is pretty common. It blows my mind that we look for efficiency savings in all these (admittedly cool) products but tolerate our f’ing brakes dragging once a revolution. This product is sorely needed. I hope it works.

  3. Please just search for this brand on bike rumor and you will find tests that prove that these brakes have the highest heat resistance you have ever seen. Tested even better than the new Xtr with the special pads.

    How they perform on the long run, time will tell.

    personal colors can be seen as a gimmick, or as a lack of service from other bigger brands. Why can’t i choose my favorit frame color at specialized? Or for that matter, my own set up. The smaller companies often try to give better service.

    I for one would love to try these brakes, but the price….

    keep riding!

  4. BFO looks like it’s using Magura brake pads (at least the shape of the Magura Marta/Louise pads) and looks like also their oil (Royal Blood, Blue). Magura also used 22mm pistons for the Marta/Louise. They also use that kind of tubing in their low pressure systems like the rim brakes (also a closed system) and the older version of the Julie.

    I figure Magura may supply a lot of the parts to BFO as they also have their injection molding biz.

  5. Max again 😉

    I wrote already on on the” tune eurobike 2012 artikle”, I had a BFO/tune Kill Hill brake.
    *out of the box the pads were infused with oil
    *the callipers leaked oil

    ok brake system was replaced
    *rode the new brake, callipers begun to leak again
    *lever begun to leak
    *lever broke on hard braking and I hit a tree
    *before the failures appeared the brake developed nearly no braking power. Every Shimano non Series brake or Tektro system is better 🙁

    conclusion: Best brake to kill yourself!

    If you guys want a expensive brake with power you can buy trickstuff:

    *does the job very well
    *custom colours for every part are available
    *a finish which is suited for this price

  6. who has really tested this brake (not only at any exposed demo bike)? I belive there are much more unsubstantial comments in threads than real operating experience. No wonder for that pricing… but: just do not take all these anonymous decrier to serious. I have this brake in use for over one year, and it works absolutely great. There is just one con: during the first 100km, the brake compound requires a careful bedding-in. Cool brakes and happy trails!

  7. Although novell, I was quite unimpressed by their appearance on the EuroBike. The lever is entirely made from pressure cast plastics and felt and looked rather cheap. Not at all a 600+ euro brake.

    As said, impressed with the technical, clever approach and not weighing its performance at this point.

  8. The concept of the coloured oil is a bit gimmicky, just another thing that will ultimately end up being red to match all the red ano on red and black bikes. BUT, I really like the idea of creating clear housing. Might be helpful in diagnosing issues and to see where air bubbles are.

  9. Garry,

    The new US distributor, Ibex Sports, has been in touch and we’re expecting a review set after Interbike. Spending some time on the brakes (including one last high altitude Colorado Trail trip) will give us all a better idea of how the BFOs’ promise is kept on the trail.


  10. Ok, the “available in colors” thing is average. . .BUT, if they actually do not produce any brake rub, and work well, SIGN ME UP! I am soooooo sick of rubbing hydro brakes. Even at $600 Euro’s, I think it is well worth it, as long as they DO NOT RUB. EVER.

What do you think?