First Impressions: Paul Component MiniMoto Brakes

For more than twenty years, Paul Price has been making bicycle parts in Chico, California, under the moniker of Paul Component Engineering.  His latest offering is the MiniMoto; a mini-v brake designed to work with standard, short-pull (aka, drop-bar) levers.

Paul Component Engineering MiniMoto v-brake linear pull GRAVELBIKE.com gravel grinder SOMA B-Line 650B

Paul MiniMoto rear brake and 650B x 38 SOMA B-Line tire.

Paul’s MiniMoto brakes measure 83mm, making them compatible with drop-bar levers such as those from Campagnolo, Shimano, and SRAM.  Vertical clearance is good for a brake of this size, but where the MiniMotos really shine is their lateral clearance.  The arms’ curves allow plenty of room for wide tires and/or fenders.  Tire clearance will ultimately depend on brake boss position, but the brakes’ unique profile offers more clearance than similarly-sized, mini-v brakes.

Like Paul’s other brakes, the MiniMotos feature stainless steel pivots and double o-ring seals.  The system helps keep crud out of the works, and dramatically reduces slop or binding due to less-than-perfect brake bosses.  Plus, should any of the pieces ever wear out, replacement parts are available.  Combine the buttery-smooth pivots with infinitely-adjustable springs, and you can dial in the lever feel to be as firm or as light as you wish.

GRAVELBIKE.com Paul MiniMoto Rawland rSogn SOMA B-Line 650B

Square-profile springs adjust easily with a 15mm wrench.

Paired with Campagnolo Centaur Ergopower levers, the MiniMotos produced plenty of stopping power.  Modulation was especially good, with no annoying “on/off” feel.  Although Paul specs the MiniMotos with Kool-Stop Thinline salmon brake pads, they were too grabby (and noisy) on my 650B-wheeled test bike.  To be fair, however, I’ve experienced the exact same issues with the salmon pads on other brakes–both cantilever and linear pull–on that bike.  When I fitted Yokozuna salmon pads, the brakes ran silently.

If you’ve ever been frustrated with conventional v-brakes’ quick releases, you’ll definitely appreciate the MiniMotos’ simple-yet-effective release.  The custom noodle (which features a built-in adjuster) attaches directly to the brake arm, eliminating the hassle normally associated with linkage-style connections.  Although the MiniMotos don’t utilize rubber cable boots, I couldn’t detect any noticeable dirt inside the noodle.

Paul MiniMoto brakes are available in silver anodized, black anodized, or high-polish silver finishes.  Suggested retail price is $129 per-wheel.  Visit the Paul Component Engineering website for availability and ordering information.

Disclosure: Paul Component Engineering provided review samples for this article, but offered no other form of compensation for this review.

12 thoughts on “First Impressions: Paul Component MiniMoto Brakes

  1. Hi there

    I’m interested in getting some of these, but I’d prefer to use road (shimano type) replaceable pads, mainly as I have a big supply of pads already…is that the type you fitted? Yokozuna Salmon’s come in mountain and road sizes and I can’t quite tell from your pic.

    Thanks for the good review!

    Adam

    • Those are the MTB-length pads/holders. Road-style holders would work, but you’d want something like this so that you can properly adjust the arm/pad spacing.

  2. Do you think these brakes will fit 650bx42mm Hetre tires and fenders? Also, do you know if the Paul Rack Adapter works with these. Thinking of using these on a Rando bike with an M13 rack.

    • Fender/tire clearance will ultimately depend on your brake boss position. I could contact Paul directly regarding rack compatibility.

      • This will be on a Rawland Stag with Pacenti PBP fork crown. I’ve simply never been a fan of Canti brakes and was looking for alternatives when I spotted these.

        • The canti bosses on my rSogn (which I sold) were different heights (higher in front, lower in back). The distance from the center of the mounting bolt to the cable is 83mm, so you might want to ask Rawland if the Paul brakes will clear.

    • The brake pad spacers/washers can be re-positioned to accommodate different width rims. That said, the MiniMoto brakes don’t have the tire clearance that’s found on conventional v-brakes.

  3. Tried Shimano Ultegra ST-6503 9 speed levers and also Ultegra ST-6700 10 speed levers with the Minimoto and found neither provided enough cable pull to avoid the lever bottoming out even when the pads are within 1 mm of the rims. Would be nice if there was a standard measurement for the cable pull of every lever.

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