Bicycling (South Africa)



Only once you’ve ridden a bike with hydraulic disc brakes do you realise how poor cable-activated discs are. Cable disc brakes require constant tinkering as the pads wear, they’re temperamen­tal in bad weather, and the worst of them are less effective than rim brakes.

Hydraulic disc brakes offer vastly better stopping power, but they also come with complicati­ons: you’ll have to buy expensive new hydraulic shifters, and you have to bleed the brakes every now and then. If you’re like me, you’ll also know how easy it is to contaminat­e the rotors with a bit of spilled mineral oil…

Luckily there’s a solution for your gravel or touring bike that gives you the best of both worlds: these brakes from Japanese firm Yokozuna offer hydraulic performanc­e with minimal maintenanc­e. You don’t even have to upgrade your levers – they’ll work with any cable-actuated lever.

They stop reliably and powerfully, they offer excellent modulation, and they use previous-generation XTR pads, which are easy to find. They’re also a cinch to set up and adjust.

Yokozuna is world-renowned for their cables and cable housings – indeed, the Motokos work best when paired with the supplied Reaction cable system. (Mounting hardware and 160mm stainless steel rotors are also supplied.)

The Reaction housing has a spiral and longitudin­al wire constructi­on, which makes it impossible to compress, no matter how hard you pull. As a result, 100% of the power of the lever is directed to the brake. (Get a decent bike shop to install the brakes and cables, because the downside of the housing being so rigid is that it’s nearly impossible to cut without specialise­d tools.)

The brakes themselves are tastefully designed and will complement any kind of frame, from steel to carbon. And although the callipers have a hydraulic reservoir, Yokozuna claims that they never need to be bled. Hallelujah!

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