To understand how BrakeAce works, it’s helpful to know the background of its founder, Dr. Matt Miller. Originally from the United States, he majored in exercise physiology and moved to New Zealand in 2014 for his PhD dissertation focused on the descending performance of his mountain bikes. After earning his PhD and working as a lecturer, Matt left college in his 2019 to focus on brake aces as well as coaching several elite athletes.
Matt says it’s been a slow evolution, so it’s hard to say when he founded the company. His first brake power meter prototype It laid the foundation for today’s brake sensors. When he and the team started developing his dedicated software in 2019, they needed a name and came up with the name BrakeAce.
What is Brake Ace? According to Matt, this is the world’s first brake he power sensor and app combination. It measures your braking every time you apply it and gathers information as you ride the trail. Thanks to ultra-sensitive strain gauges, BrakeAce senses how your tires interact with the trail, not your finger movements. Basically it works like a power meter as it measures braking force. But the real power of Brake Ace is in providing feedback on how you ride. You don’t just get data (numbers), you get practical information like modulation, intensity, brake he balance. Every time we hit the trail, BrakeAce shows us the section of trail where he has three key opportunities and the greatest potential for improvement. From there, you can use the 4-Step Brake Ace Method to get faster times.
The app also helps you understand when you need to coast and when you need to pedal hard. Coasting can be faster than pedaling because it allows you to recover. Over-pedaling or over-limiting can lead to fatigue and loss of flow on the trail. By testing different strategies and comparing her FlowScore on BrakeAce, riders can determine the best way to go down the trail.
Does that mean the BrakeAce sensor is only for DH racers doing practice runs before races? There’s no doubt that racers will benefit from BrakeAce, but if you really want to hit your KOMs or a new personal best, you’ll need to beat your peers. “You can’t make a profit only if you don’t want to be fast,” says Matt. Hope and Trickstuff also use BrakeAce sensors for data acquisition and new brake design, thanks to lab-based sensors compatible with the BYB data acquisition kit and BrakeAce web app.
The wired scientific version of the BrakeAce sensor is compatible with the BYB data acquisition kit.
Brakeace currently has three other team members besides Matt. Interestingly, they live and work in different parts of the world, so we only got to meet in late 2022. Rohan focuses on Perth’s mobile and embedded software (he was one of the first to help provide his data for the Tour de France live his power meter). Mack, on the other hand, is a backend his software and his web engineer in San Francisco. Advice from Rolf – his CEO of the bike sensor company – Copenhagen. The company is based in Rotorua and, as is often the case with start-ups, it is housed in a room in Matt’s house. Here Matt works on various projects, performance advantage podcast like him youtube series It’s also where he wrote his book.”free speed”.
BrakeAce HQ is located very close to the world famous Whakarewarewa Forest and its trails.
The biggest challenge was not creating the brake sensor itself, but creating the app. “It was relatively easy to create a power meter, but presenting a meaningful and actionable score to riders was not easy,” he says Matt. Currently, the app is exclusive to his Android, but an iOS version is slated for his early 2023 release. BrakeAce uses his GPS in your smartphone and some complex algorithms to make sure your GPS readings are good. The sensor connects to your phone via Bluetooth and uses strain gauges to measure torque. Strain gauges are small and very sensitive, but at the same time robust and indestructible. The sensor also compensates for temperature and drift.
After exiting the trail, the app will calculate for 20-30 seconds to process everything previously recorded at a data rate of 1000 Hz.
Brake Ace is based in Rotorua, is the sensor made in New Zealand? It’s hard to say because the parts for the sensors come from as many different countries as any other electronic device. A truly global product.
Matt hopes to have a Brake Ace factory in Rotorua in the future, including 3D printing and CNC machining. The team’s next step is to include data from the crank power meter to provide better information, so the focus is on software for now.
Ready for assembly.
Not for the impatient: Building a sensor requires a steady hand and patience.
Assembly involves soldering, which also requires a steady hand. Once all steps are completed, the sensor is filled with silicone for a seal to keep everything in place.
The sensor comes in two sizes, XC/Trail (for 160 and 180 PM) and Enduro/DH (for 200 PM). One sensor weighs 73 grams. In both versions, the sensor fits like a 20mm adapter, so you need to go up one disc size. So if you’re using a 203mm disc, you should use a 223mm. Comes with a fully rechargeable battery, not a coin cell. It lasts over 200 hours and can be fully charged in 4 hours.
Currently, the price for a set of two sensors is US$1199 (pre-order price). This may seem like a lot but basically considering he gets two power meters with analytics apps that help him win races sensors could pay out of pocket I have.
Matt would like to thank the backers of Kickstarter and his team. Without them he wouldn’t have made it. “It takes an entire army to get something this complicated off the ground. The team is working really hard and we’re all fully bootstrapped. They’re the key.”
– Designed in New Zealand, engineered worldwide and assembled in New Zealand from globally sourced components
– BLE wireless communication with mobile phone
– Rechargeable with standard micro USB cable
– 200+ hour battery life
– Fits 74mm (standard) post mount frames/forks/calipers
– BrakeAce PF2 TR Compatible Sizes: 160 PM (with 180mm Rotor) & 180 PM (with 200 or 203mm Rotor)
– BrakeAce PF2 DH Compatible Sizes: 200 PM (with 220mm Rotor) & 203 PM (with 223mm Rotor)
– Fits any brake caliper
– 73 grams – just 49 grams more than regular spacers
Suitable for rainy weather
– e-bike approved
・Sampling frequency: 1000Hz
– Mobile App: Android is shipping now. iOS will ship in early 2023
– Web view: any device
– Warranty: 1 year limited
– Free Speed e-book included for free
– Worldwide shipping available
– Price for a set of 2 sensors: 1199 USD (pre-order price), 1599 USD later
– Website: https://www.brakeace.com/
– Instagram: @brake ace