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First Impressions – Paul Component Engineering Klamper Disc Brake

We first got a look at Paul Component Engineering’s Klamper brake as a prototype a couple of years back at Interbike when Paul showed us the first versions of the brake at his booth. At the 2015 show I cajoled Paul a bit more as I really wanted to get them on my rig to learn how they work and to put them through some testing. The idea being that we ride in a lot of crappy conditions in the winter and on the beach. So, I set out to get the Klampers installed on my 5” platform fat-bike that I used for soft condition riding.

Attention to detail is what sets any of Paul’s Components apart from mass produced bike gear, even a simple part like a mechanical disc brake that is similar to some other very popular brakes in concept. Some of the engineering highlights Paul points out are:

  • Tried and true ball bearing in a ramp system.
  • They made the balls bigger for smoothness and increased pad travel.
  • Used hardened the steel where the balls contact the ramps.
  • Used three hardened steel pins to locate the pad actuator.
  • Instead of a plastic thrust washer they use a flat needle roller thrust bearing.
  • Added “fangs” to the inner backing plate for stiffness.
  • Beefed up the outer caliper body.

The pad adjusters went through a similar process. The large, orange knobs rotate easily for adjustment but Paul wanted good staying power too so they designed detents into the circumference, located with spring ball plungers.

Installation was easy but there are a couple of tips that make the final working brake that much better. So, Paul has a nice video on the installation of the Klamper here:

I can second the advice that it is important to pay attention to the ends of the cable housing, especially with Paul’s Love Levers because they don’t have a spring in them, to make the cable action smooth. The other trick Paul shows is to pre-load the spring in the caliper a bit and use that barrel adjuster to take out any slack ing the cable. All-in-all it is a very simple system but setting it up right makes it a dream!

Paul doesn’t make rotors but there are a bunch available out there. I’d certainly recommend you start with new rotors. I didn’t do that but my set up worked fine anyway. Go figure!

Our test set of calipers weigh 188g each while the included Kool Stop Disc Brake Pads are 23gper set. Total Weight 211g Note that this is EXACTLY what the weight listed on Paul’s site is. How’s that for consistency!

Klampers are available in Long or Short Pull versions depending on your lever choice and Silver or Black in color. They retail for $179.00 each while the Love Levers go for $128.00 a pair and come in Compact or 2.5 finger models. (I’ll have a separate look at the Love Levers in a few days!)

Technical Information (from Paul’s Website)

  • Material: 6061 Aluminum and Heat Treated Steel
  • Weight: 211g
  • Color: Black or Silver
  • Cable Pull: Short Pull or Long Pull
  • Brake Pads: Kool Stop Disc Brake Pads

I’ve now had several rides on the brakes and the pads have bedded in well. Stopping power is very good for mechanical brakes and I look forward to a lot more rides on the beach where I like the simplicity of mechanical brakes more than hydraulic. I’ll tell you more down the trail!

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