Featherbrakes weigh 199 grams for a pair, including brake pads and carriers. Now ultra light brakes are nothing new, but ultra light brakes that provide the same stopping power and modulation as Dura Ace or Campy are unheard of.
To try and hit this target Feather Brakes claim superior CAD design and materials. What does this mean? They start with extremely high grade aluminum called 6066-T6. During the machining the grain structure of the material is aligned to provide maximum strength with minimum weight. They are a side pull vs. dual pivot to keep the weight down, but to ensure a smooth action and long term reliability they pivot on bearings, not bushings, with a Ti through pin. Despite a non traditional locking nut on the cable and the side pull design, the brakes were still very easy to install. The spring balance adjustment made centering the brakes as easy as dual pivots, and allows for adjusting the brakes feel.
The feel of the feather brakes was certainly different than the SRAM Red and Dura Ace brakes we had been used to riding. And at first it felt like the same level of stopping power wasn’t there, but after fast steep descending and some heavy braking we got a better feel for the brakes, the power is there, you just need to go deeper into the brake to get it. It’s a longer pull once the pads hit the rim to achieve a full deep grab on the braking surface. This actually allows for plenty of time to confidently modulate your stopping power. The feel is different than a beefy dual caliper, and it will take a few rides to get used to it and trust that the power is there, but it is there when you need it.
So how do they compare to the Zero Gravity’s? We’ll they don’t. Feather Brakes are in a different league. They offer much more power and modulation than Zero Gravity’s 196 gram offering.
With color kits available in Red, Blue, Black, Gold or Pink, you can even add a little sex appeal. Basic black retails for $399.
For more info: www.featherbrakes.com