Howdy fat-bike friends! Our friend from out Ogden way, Mr. Mark Peterson, put together this review of Paul Component Engineering’s 2017 Klamper brake and their Canti-Lever. Form NAHBS to the trails, Mark has the scoop!
2017 Klampers and the Canti-Lever Review – By Mark Peterson
I have been a longtime fan of Paul Component’s. I have used their products on several bicycles, and have always loved their performance and clean look. I consider Paul Components to be the best money can buy. If you are not familiar with Paul Components you need to check them out at https://paulcomp.com. Take a moment and read the company’s history and you will get a sense of the passion that they have for quality bicycle components and the cycling community. What stood out the most to me about P.C.E. is the feeling of family and community that is embodied in their wonderfully talented staff.
Recently Paul Components started manufacturing mechanical disk brakes called Klampers. The 1st time I saw them I knew I needed to have a set of these brakes. I contacted Paul to see if they could custom anodize a couple of sets of their Klampers, Canti-Lever brakes and Thumbies. I was pleasantly surprised that for a batch processing fee there is a rainbow of different colors available, so I pulled the trigger. I anticipated that the price would be a bit more than other component manufacturers but it is worth it to me to have products engineered to perform at the highest level, manufactured to last longer than any bicycle you put them on, made in the U.S.A. and the best looking bicycling jewelry on the planet!
I gave Paul Component Engineering a call and described what I was looking for. I spoke to a gentleman named Gary Janssen and he walked me through the options that are available and advised me of the best brake lever pairing with the Klampers for my type of riding. Gary also coordinated the color that I was looking for perfectly. Placing my order was simple and efficient without feeling rushed. Their customer service is the best I have ever experienced, responding to every question or concern very quickly. It is clear that the customer satisfaction is priority #1 for Paul.
Recently I attended NAHBS | North American Handmade Bicycle Show and I knew that Paul Components would have a booth. As I looked for Paul I walked the entire NAHBS floor checking out all the wonderful bicycle builds and quickly noted that many if not most of the builds at the show had Paul Component’s featured, specifically Klampers, on their bicycles. It seems that I am not the only on that thinks Paul Component’s are, quite simply, the very best. As fate would have it Paul’s booth was at the end of my loop through the show and had the honor of meeting Paul and Travis. Paul took a moment to talk with me about the Klamper and their manufacturing. Check out the cut-away of the Klamper in the video. The engineering is brilliant. I must admit I was a bit star struck but Paul and Travis were very friendly and made me feel very comfortable.
When I received my custom anodized Paul Component’s I expected to be blown away and I was not disappointed. Everything glowed with the quality of the manufacturing. The beauty of the show quality finish took my breath away. This is exactly what I was looking for and expected from Paul Component Engineering and that is what they delivered.
I have 2 bicycles that I installed the Paul Klampers and Canti levers on for this review, a Surly Moonlander that I call Blue Moon and a custom Specialized Stumpjumper that I call the Tick. For this article I will focus on the Fat-bike applications.
I followed the install directions provided by Paul on their website (https://vimeo.com/146063454) and the Installation was exceptionally simple. Paul’s Klampers are the easiest calipers I have ever installed. In 15 minutes everything was bolted on and dialed in. Everything on a bicycle should this easy.
As with any new disk brake set up there is a bedding in process to season the disks to the brake pads. This process usually takes around 3 rides before the true capabilities of the brakes are realized. However, on Blue Moon I mounted the Klampers up to already seasoned disks, a 180mm up front and a 160mm in the rear. The first thing I noticed was that I had fantastic breaking quality right out of the gate. The modulation of the Canti-Lever has been perfectly matched with the Klampers using the short pull option creating a responsive and confident feel. I found myself pushing the brakes to get a feel for the way they responded in a variety of conditions and terrain. The Klampers felt supple and predictable into corners even on loose trails. They were very comfortable to operate with one finger allowing me to focus on bike handling. At high-speed the power of the brakes to slow you down just boosts confidence to go faster. The brakes were quiet and I did not get much noise out of them when they were in wet conditions. Over the first 3 rides the braking strength has continued to improve. I must say that even though I have only had 3 rides on the Klampers / Canti-Lever their performance has exceeded my expectations. The Klamper is in my opinion the most attractive caliper I have ever seen.
I have only had three simple rides using the Klampers and I am already loving them. My early impressions of the Klampers / Canti-Levers are that they are worth every penny for a variety of reasons. These brakes are manufactured to last well beyond the typical pre-engineered obsolescence of many similar products. Klampers perform as well if not better than any other mechanical disk brakes I have ever ridden. When it comes to top shelf custom looks in my opinion Klampers are the coolest looking disk brakes on the market. I only found one possible issue. The clearance when removing a 100mm rim was tight, but this might be due to the asymmetrical frame shape of my Moonlander. I do not expect this to be a concern unless you are in a hurry when you are changing a wheel. I am looking forward to a Summer of pushing these brakes and getting to know there performance and subtles. I will check back in at the end of Summer and let you all know how the Paul Component Engineering Klampers have performed over time.