More 324 Press & Progress

Special thanks to Mountain Bike Magazine for their recent STRAIGHT DIRT blog post about the 324 Brake Adapter System. Our first batch of fifty, yes five zero, kits are in process and don't wait to get onto the pre-order list. Email 'timmyc@324labs.com' for ordering details. These kits are moving fast even though they slow you down!

I've been working closely with our machinist to optimize run times on this first batch of split clamps and actuator arms.

Raw aluminum bar stock is pre-cut to size using the band saw. Once order volumes increase, these blanks will be pre-cut ahead of time to save time.

Machining takes place on a Kitamura Mycenter 1 machining center. Although this particular machine is nearly 20 years old, it cranks out these parts with ease. Three adjacent vises are used for each setup. Left vise is Setup 1 for profiling where material is left on the underside for the vise to tighten against. Right vise is Setup 2 for the mounting hole and lightening window. Center vise is final Setup 3 to remove support material from the back side of the fully-profiled part.

After Setup 3 is complete, each completed part is removed from the center vise and deburred by hand. Key features such as the pivot hole diameter are measured against the technical drawing for accuracy and quality control.

People always ask me why machined parts are so expensive - here is a small glimpse into the number of steps it takes to produce a simple clamp. And this doesn't include plating, assembly, laser marking or final packaging! To produce quality designs, I never cut any corners and the difference is clear when compared to some imported components that cost nearly the same amount!


Vans Cult Grips Are Dope!

Just got these babies from Neal at Cult Bikes and they are sick!


324 LABS Brake Adapter System > Now Accepting Pre-Orders

Over the past month I've been working with 324 LABS to develop a new version of their Brake Adapter System. The brainchild of this system is local racer Tim Cannard (aka Timmy C) and I am very excited about this unique product. A handful of the prototype systems were developed by Tim and another smart tinkerer named Denzil. The first generation systems have been undergoing real-world testing since last fall and the performance is stellar.


This unique system enables cable-actuated road brake levers to operate hydraulic disc brakes commonly found on mountain bikes. It is currently aimed at the cyclocross market and I also have plans to build a custom, dual-disc road frame to demonstrate the advantages of this system.


324 LABS is now accepting pre-orders for the system and introductory pricing is set at $140 which includes the following:

  • 1X Left Split Clamp, 31.8mm, Hard Anodized 6061 aluminum
  • 1X Right Split Clamp, 31.8mm, Hard Anodized 6061 aluminum
  • 2X Actuator Arm, Hard Anodized 2024 aluminum
  • Stainless Steel Mounting Hardware
  • 4X Wheels Manufacturing Alloy Brake Ferrules
Please note the system does NOT include the Formula R1 brakes - only the mounting clamps, actuator arms and mounting hardware. This system does NOT work with the Formula RX brake due to different handlebar clamp geometry than the R1.

NEW! Added image of 'kit' contents on 7/11/11:

Pre-orders should be ready for shipment towards the end of this month if not sooner. The current system works only with Formula R1 Brakes with other brand compatibility to follow. Why Formula? Because it is the lightest disc brake system on the market and utilizes a low-profile master cylinder that is straightforward to mount.

To secure your pre-order, please contact Tim at 'timmyc@netmagic.net' and online transactions are expected to be working at the 324 LABS website shortly. Dealer and frame builder inquiries welcome.


My new design contains left and right 'split clamps' that secure the system to a 31.8mm handlebar, very close the stem. This frees up space across the flats of the handlebar where the first generation design mounts.

The split clamps are 12mm wide and provide a rigid mounting structure for the Formula R1 cylindrical-shaped hydraulic reservoir. Initial tests of this design show zero flex at the mounting clamp which translates into better braking.

I've selected Wheels Manufacturing machined brake ferrules since they are much stiffer than plastic ones commonly used. As the brake cable enters the split clamp, it travels in a straight line to the actuator arm to provide superior lever feel. The brake cable is secured to the actuator arm within a cylindrical housing that contains opposing set screws that pinch the cable on both sides.

After installation, the left and right clamps are nested very close together while still leaving access to all key mounting bolts, stem bolts, etc.


Formula R1 Brake (Caliper + Lever Only) = 277g
Subtract R1 Brake Lever, Bar Clamp, Mounting Hardware = -26g
Add Brake Adapter System from 324 LABS = +30g

Total Mass Gain = +4 g

This analysis does not include the disc rotor since many options are available to the end user (Rotor diameter, ISO mount, post-mount 74mm, etc). The message here is that the 324 LABS Brake Adapter System adds less than 10 grams total (left + right) to the original Formula R1 Brake setup - sweet!