GRAVELBIKE

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 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.

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.

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