You’re just throwing your money away if you spend more than $16.99 on a set of U-brakes. That’s what Mission’s Cease brake retails for, and I stand behind my statement when I say that they’re one of the best U-brakes that I’ve ever owned. A bold statement I know, but hear me out!
U-brakes are pretty simple really. Two pivoting arms that overlap and form their namesake U shape, and some sort of hanger/straddle cable configuration that connects them to the cable running to your lever. Let’s be honest here, there really haven’t been any radical innovations in U-brake functionality since the Scott Self Energizing U-brake of the early 90s. Look those up if you want to see some wild shit! They really were quite brilliant, but they came at the time when mountain bikes were transitioning from U-brakes in the rear to less bulky cantilevers. That left us BMXers as the only ones still using U-brakes, and thus innovation all but died off. We adopted Dia-Compe’s AD-990s and pretty much just ran with them for a good decade. Eventually though in the 2000s companies like Odyssey, Revenge, and later on Fly would come out with U-brake designs of their own.
Fast forward to now and there are around ten or so various U-brakes from different manufacturers on the market. So when I decided it was time to finally replace my 10 year old clapped out Fly brakes with something new, I had plenty of options. After scrupulously looking them all over I decided that I would go with Kink’s Desist brake, but when I called Blackout (Kink’s in-house distro) to order up a set, I found out that they were sold out and wouldn’t have them back in stock for another month. On a whim I told them to just send me a set of the Mission Cease brakes. I had somewhat considered them before but their $16.99 price tag scared me off. With most U-brakes these days retailing for around $50, how could ones that cost a third of that be any good, right? But I figured that if they did suck I’d only be out seventeen bucks, so what the hell.
They showed up a few days later and my first impression was that they actually looked pretty good. While they didn’t have all the fancy post-cast CNC machining like my old Fly’s did, the die-cast aluminum arms did have some nice detailing stamped in. One thing that immediately caught my attention was that the spring adjustment caps where not just extremely low profile to keep them away from your chain, but they were also offset to provide maximum tire clearance. That’s when it hit me that these weren’t just some Taiwanese catalog item, but a good bit of thought had been put into their design. The arms also had extra wide bends to also help with tire clearance, and the one-piece straddle cable/hanger was designed to be simple, stiff and easy to set up.
I was impressed so far and quite anxious to get them on my bike to see how well they actually worked. Thanks to that super simple one-piece straddle cable/hanger system, installing them was super easy and only took a few minutes to get them dialed in. There were zero issues with them working with the wide backend on my frame, and a little jiggle of the arms revealed that there was very little play between the bushings and the post. A squeeze of the lever confirmed my initial prediction that the straddle cable/hanger design would give them a stiff and positive feel. I pulled the bike out of the stand and headed outside to see if all these positive signs would actually lead to them working well, and I’m happy to report that they did. There’s a saying that a bum who almost ran into me on his bike once said, “Mother fucker stop on a dime and make nine cents change.” That saying definitely applies to the Mission Cease brakes. They were smooth, didn’t feel spongey at all and most importantly stopped on aforementioned dime. Not bad for a set of brakes that cost a third of what most do!
Like I said, I purchased Mission’s Cease brakes on a whim, but I’m so glad that I did. I’ve been running them for the past few months and not only have they by far exceed my expectations for a U-brake costing less than $20, but they’ve exceeded my expectations for a U-brake in any prince range. As a matter of fact, I was so impressed with them that I hit up the dudes at Blackout about carrying them in the CYDI Store. They were 100% into it, so if you’re in the market for some new brakes, hit up the CYDI Store or add them right to your cart below and we’ll get a set sent off to you. I can promise that you won’t be disappointed!