REVL brakes are manufactured by The Hive (www.bythehive.com), a relatively local company to us in Massachusetts. These brakes feature full carbon calipers, with 7075 aluminum and titanium hardware. The single pivot design saves weight, and The Hive says that the cam actuation gives dual pivot power. It would take an engineering study to compare the exact power, but we can tell you that these brakes provide excellent stopping power with commensurate modulation and are a good alternative to benchmark calipers like Dura Ace. The feel and power is as good, or better, than most other brakes on the market and are particularly better than other lightweight brakes that we have used. An added bonus is that these brakes look great – refined and high tech. The cam that operates the arms can be interchanged to set the gain at either 3:1 or 4:1. The 3:1 ratio is suitable for previous generation Shimano (7800, 6600 or older) and all SRAM and Campagnolo brakes. The 4:1 is appropriate for Shimano 7900 and 6700, but can be used with SRAM, Campagnolo, or other levers as well to provide greater stopping power, albeit with a bit squishier feel. You specify the ratio when buying the brakes, but replacement cams are available if you want to change the ratio in the future.
Installation is easy and intuitive, being no more difficult or fussy than brakes from any of the mass manufacturers. As these are carbon fiber calipers, with some titanium hardware, you should follow the manufacturer’s torque specifications. If you are considering installing these brakes yourself, be sure to have a torque wrench with a 5mm Allen wrench socket, and have some ti anti-seize compound on hand for the titanium bolts. Centering is accomplished simply with a 5mm Allen wrench inserted into the center pivot. Instructions are clear, and torque specifications are easy to find. It is also easy to replace the cam in order to change the ratio.
We weighed a set of the REVL brakes and the total weight for the pair was 235 grams. This included brake pad holders and bolts, the included SwissStop brake pads, and the fork and frame inserts to attach the brakes to the bicycle. By comparison, a set of Shimano 7900 Dura Ace brakes, with all hardware needed to installation, was 305 grams. Comparison of these brakes to other lightweight brakeset is natural. As with any advertised component weight, caution is needed to be sure that you are comparing apples to apples. You will find lightweight brakes sets that advertise weights far less than 235 grams for the set. However, the weight figures often do not include the brake pad holders, the brake pads, and the frame insert – all items that we prefer our brakes include…
Simply stated, whether you are seeking more power from your brakes or looking to reduce weight, you should seriously consider these brakes. They work and look great. At $390.00 for the set, these brakes are not inexpensive, but are in a very similar range to the top of the line offering from Shimano. As The Hive says on their website, “Finally, a lightweight brake with some muscle. “ We could not agree more.
If you are interested in learning more or want a pair, give one of our locations a call or stop-in!