Midnight Express is the most 'racing' version among those currently produced by Locomotives. We have prepared one for Stefano Romualdi who took part in the Tour Divide 2019, probably the most competitive and demanding edition of the event that has ever taken place so far. We explain to you why we decided to equip the Midnight Express with the Hayes Dominion A4.
Plumbers or mechanics? The instinctive choice seems to be for mechanical brakes, but the Tour Divide is not touristic bikepacking but competition.
The mechanical brakes are simpler and more easily repairable but do not have the performance necessary to manage an event such as the Tour Divide, with 54 alpine passes to climb (and descend) and a vertical difference of seven times the distance between the sea and the tip of Everest.
The mechanical brake remains a better choice when not running but the Divide tour needs a system of absolute reliability and power.
Let's see in summary the points that led us to mount the Hayes Dominion A4.
1- Much higher Dominion power for less lever effort
2- Self-regulation of pad wear.
3- Regular consumption of the tablets which increase their useful life.
4- Quadruple piston for better heat dissipation.
5- Easy and efficient lever distance adjustment from the handlebar
Locomotives Midnight Express handles 180 mm diameter discs without problems, which are the smallest diameter that can be used with Dominion A4.
The system is not only very easy and modular but dissipates heat quickly thanks to the 4 pistons for each caliper.
What really heats the brakes is not the sudden braking but the braking continues.
At the Tour Divide there are 35 km descents that can tilt a brake system that is not sufficiently sized.
The Kevlar reinforced cables are very resistant and the brake, designed to give the maximum with the dot 5.1 is also compatible with the dot 4.0 which is the normal brake oil for cars, therefore every distributor in the world is equipped with it while the oil mineral is much more difficult to find.
Mechanical brakes are and remain our favorites when the use is not heavy. Above all, the single movable piston brakes have a very simple construction but due to their structure that works by bending the disc they consume the pads in a non-homogeneous way. Another problem that we underline is the need for the user of mechanical brakes to manually recover the wear as the pads wear out. The biker will therefore have to take a few minutes to adjust as the journey progresses, which is of little importance.
In an extreme event such as the Tour Divide, a self-adjusting brake system is very important for the constant performance and therefore for safety.
Dominion A4 has a newly presented brother called Dominion A2 identical in all but with a 21 mm single piston caliper.
It can use 160 mm discs (the Dominion A4 starts from 180 mm.) Has a slightly less efficient heat dissipation. It retains the softness, strength and modularity of the 4-piston little brother with greater compactness.
Dominion A2 is to be taken seriously when 160mm discs are to be mounted. but for frames and forks designed for 180mm discs or higher we believe it is worthwhile to adopt the 4-piston version.