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Ultimate upgrades - THM Carbones' Fibula brakes

THM Fibula brakes
Stu Bowers
17 May 2016

In a new series, Cyclist picks the flashiest kit to turn any bike into a dream machine.

There are upgrades, then there are upgrades. What better place to begin than THM-Carbones’ Fibula brakes? They epitomise exactly what this new series is all about. In the coming months we’ll bring you the special components that take materials and design to the limit (often with a pricetag to match) and look at what the benefits are, beyond simply having the most pimped bike on the Sunday ride.

‘The main reason people buy the Fibulas is the weight,’ says THM-Carbones’ Marco Weber. And who could argue with him? At just 120g for the pair (60g front, 50g rear, plus 10g for the brake pads) these intricately constructed carbon composite brake callipers save a hefty 142g over the lightest of the mainstream’s top-end offerings – Sram Red at 262g. And for the record, Shimano’s Dura-Ace 9000 callipers are more than twice the weight at a claimed 297g, while Campagnolo’s Super Record slot in between at 272g. 

None of that matters, however, if you can’t stop, and it wouldn’t be the first time a product has amazed us with weight only to subsequently scare us with questionable (or worse) performance. Once again, though, despite being a single-pivot design, the German manufacturer claims to outdo its mainstream competitors by a significant margin. Fibula brakes are designed with different leverage ratios so that the front brake has a higher stopping force than the rear when both levers are pulled evenly – for optimal distribution of power. If findings from an apparently independent lab test are to be believed, the Fibulas are both stiffer and generate greater stopping force than all the other top-of-the-line mainstream brakes.

You’ve only got to look at them to realise how many hours must have gone into creating these brakes. Weber could not even put a definitive figure on it, saying only, ‘The processes all happen in various parts over several days.’ Even the spring is made from carbon and much of the hardware is machined from titanium, which goes some way to justifying the high cost of lavishing your bike with a set of Fibulas.

The only caveat is that the pads will only open to a maximum width of 29mm, which means anyone using super-wide rim profiles might struggle – much beyond 26mm rim width will be tricky. Plus, there is the maximum suggested 110kg combined limit for rider and bike to bear in mind. Other than that, what’s stopping you?

From £935, poshbikes.com

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