Kurve CNC Alloy brake calipers - Road Cycling UK

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Kurve CNC Alloy brake calipers

Kurve CNC caliper
Not very big…
Kurve CNC caliper
Ingenious actuation
Kurve CNC caliper
Location for quick-release
Kurve CNC caliper
Grub screw on each side
Kurve CNC caliper
Barrel installed

Kurve CNC Alloy brake caliper £149.99 per pair

Dual-pivot operation may rule the road bike world, but that hasn’t stopped various ingenious types trying to improve on it. Not necessarily in terms of power, feel or progression, since the top end dual pivots from all three major manufacturers all offer exceptional performance in all three respects.

No; a reduction in weight and, perhaps, frontal area is usually the aim and, with the CNC Alloy caliper, Kurve have fairly hit the bullseye.

On the weight front, these are some of the lightest calipers on the market at a mere 199g (claimed) per pair including blocks and shoes. Well, you would, wouldn’t you…

They are also markedly narrower than most dual pivots and many single pivots thanks to the way the advantageous leverage of the operating mechanism lessens the required length of the right-hand arm. What happens is that a short ‘cam lever’ with a pivot in the middle sits on the end of the right-hand arm.

The pulling inner wire is attached to the outer end, rotating the lever around the pivot so the other end pushes downwards. It has a roller that presses on the left-hand arm; the cam lever not only extends the length of the right hand arm but turns it into a long lever acting on the left one.

Complex it is, although no more so than brakes such as Bontrager’s, which work in much the same way. In any case, the upshot is that a relatively small caliper generates the squeeze of a bigger one for the same cable pull.

It works well, too, delivering good retardation with a similarly hard squeeze of the lever. Initial bite is a little soft, perhaps because the mechanism is at its best with the cam lever in line with its arm. More lever force produces the required result, however, and this is a good brake for slippery conditions where serious initial bite might result in lock-up.

Construction is of a high standard, with 6061 aluminium alloy used for the CNC-machined arms, 7075 aluminium for the barrel adjusters and titanium for the centre and other bolts. The blocks follow the standard Shimano pattern and sit in seriously cutaway shoes.

The only real oddity is the quick-release system, which relies on unhooking the barrel holding the inner wire from its seat on the end of the cam lever. No problem; it works fine although a winter of grime might change matters.

Inner wire installation is easy enough provided you have two good 2mm Allen Keys to hand, one for each side. We’d prefer slightly larger Allen–headed grub screws for the job, if only because such small ones are very fiddly and tend to round off at perilously low torque figures.

Otherwise, fit – using the Torx key provided for the recessed nuts – and enjoy.

Currently offered in red only with black cam lever and available directly through www.kurve.co.uk.

Verdict

Impressively lightweight and powerful


goodLooks, light weight, good feel, powerful eventually

badFiddly inner wire clamp

performance 9

value 9

overall 9

More at www.kurve.co.uk

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