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Want a new road bike with SRAM's latest Red eTap HRD disc brake groupset? Here's a baker's dozen options

SRAM stripped away the gear cables when it launched its first electronic groupset, RED eTap, last year, and it was very well received. A year later it launched a disc brake version called RED eTap HRD, the only groupset currently on the market that combines wireless shifting with hydraulic brakes.

It’s so new though that only a small handful of bike manufacturers are presently offering bikes with the new groupset. We've managed to find six bikes, and with prices range from £4,690 to £8,500 it's clearly reserved for range-topping models. The groupset on its own retails for £1,707.

Read more: Red eTap HRD groupset combines wireless shifting with hydraulic brakes

The eTap HRD groupset uses the same derailleurs as the regular eTap but the brake levers are different. The hoods are smaller than the company’s previous hydraulic brake levers which get a fair bit of flak for their size, so SRAM has addressed this and the result is a more aesthetically pleasing brake lever. The new hood is taller than regular eTap but only but a small amount.

Both the reach point and bite point can be easily adjusted so you can customise the feeling of the brake levers. New one-piece flat mount brake calipers save weight and they manage heat better than the previous design. And the rotors now get rounded edges. You can read Mat's first ride impressions right here.

So here are six bikes specced with the new groupset. We expect this list to grow dramatically with the release of 2018 model year bikes.

Got a disc-compatible frame you fancy upgrading to eTap? You can get the brakes and gears for £1,397.99.

Read more: A selection of outstanding SRAM Red eTap road bikes

Mason Definition eTap — £4,995

2018 Mason Definition SRAM eTap Disc

2018 Mason Definition SRAM eTap Disc

Most manufacturers have chosen an ultra-high-spec carbon fibre frame, but Dom Mason focuses on meticulously-designed aluminium and steel bikes, including this version of his Definition all-rounder. Mason says: "for our multi-surface/all-season bikes, lightness is not important without a high level of durability and dependability … this is where wireless, electronic systems really win."

Read our review of the Mason Definition

Whyte Wessex SE — £6,750

2018 Whyte Wessex SE.jpg

2018 Whyte Wessex SE.jpg

The Wessex is a long-time road.cc favourite for its versatility and combination of road bike speed and big ride comfort. For this special edition, Whyte has gone with Easton carbon fibre wheels and FSA carbon bar, stem and seatpost.

Read our review of the Whyte Wessex

Simplon Pavo GF Disc eTap — €6,599

2018 Simplon Pavo GF Disc eTap.jpg

2018 Simplon Pavo GF Disc eTap.jpg

This is the eTap HYD version of the Ultegra Di2-equipped Simplon Pavo Granfondo Disc that Stu reviewed in 2017. He described that bike as "so subtle and comfortable that you might not notice until you stop riding," and continued: "If big miles are your thing then Simplon's Pavo Granfondo Disc is a machine you want to take a good long look at, especially if you want to cover those miles at near race pace. The Simplon devours climbs, descents and those long tedious straights with what feels like the minimum of effort from the rider."

Merida Reacto Disc 9000-E — £7,739.14

2018 Merida Reacto Disc 9000-E.jpg

2018 Merida Reacto Disc 9000-E.jpg

If you want an aero road bike but can't quite stretch to eight and a half grand for the Venge, below, Merida's speedy Reacto Disc is available in Europe with the eTap HYD groupset for €7,999. We tested the even spendier but utterly glorious Dura-Ace Di2 version at the end of 2017 and Mat pronounced it "a peach" that "responds beautifully to surges in effort when you're trying to get a gap, close one down or just trying to stick on the wheel of someone who's digging deep."

Felt FR2 Disc eTap — £5,349

2018 Felt FR2 DISC ETAP

2018 Felt FR2 DISC ETAP

One of the most affordable bikes with the eTap/disc brake combination, the Felt FR2 is by no means low-rent (and yes, a long, long way from cheap). The flagship of Felt's racing-orientated FR family, it has a high-modulus carbon fibre frame made from what Felt calls UHC Advanced + TeXtreme carbon, and rolls on Zipp wheels.

Cervelo R5 Disc eTap — £7,299

2018 Cervelo R5D eTAP HR 1.jpg

2018 Cervelo R5D eTAP HR 1.jpg

Cervelo is the latest bike maker to adopt SRAM's pairing of wireless shifting and hydraulic disc brakes on this version of its high-end R5 race bike. When the latest R5 was announced in 2017, Cervelo said the objective was to improve the bike's stiffness-to-weight ratio rather than to chase gram reduction. This build comes with Zipp wheels, Cervelo's own carbon fibre bar, stem and seatpost and Fizik Antares R5 saddle.

Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod Disc Red eTap — £6,499

2018 Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod eTap

2018 Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod eTap

​Cannondale has completely revamped the Synapse endurance line for 2018, tweaking every detail to make a better bike for endurance/sportive cyclists. Given that the new line is all disc-brake-equipped it's only logical that one of the top two Synapse models should have SRAM's eTap HYD group.

Read our first ride of the 2018 Cannondale Synapse: has Cannondale made the best endurance bike yet? 

Giant TCR Advanced SL Disc — €8,199.90

Giant TCR Advanced Pro Disc.jpg

Giant TCR Advanced Pro Disc.jpg

After previously revamping its Defy endurance bike around disc brakes, Giant has now added the TCR to its range of disc-equipped offerings. Giant has reserved its lighter SL grade composite carbon for this top-end model and it gets a full SRAM Red eTap groupset with a racy 52/36 chainset and Giant’s own SLR0 Disc wheels and matching 25mm tubeless tyres.

Read our review of the Giant TCR Advanced 2 Disc

Specialized S-Works Venge ViAS Disc eTap — £8,500

specialized venge etap hrd

specialized venge etap hrd

If you want aerodynamics with your wireless gears and hydraulic disc brakes, may we present the Specialized Venge. An updated frame with thru-axles and fully internal brake hose routing and the latest flat mount standard give this bike a very modern edge. It’s a pricey bike but you do get the fast looking Roval Rapide CLX 64 carbon fibre clincher wheels and full carbon finishing kit, including the sleek aero stem and handlebar.

Read our review of the Specialized Venge ViAS Expert Disc

Specialized S-Works Roubaix/Ruby eTap — £8,500

Specialized-S-Works-Ruby-eTap-Womens-2017-Road-Bike_98398_1_Supersize.jpg

Specialized-S-Works-Ruby-eTap-Womens-2017-Road-Bike_98398_1_Supersize.jpg

If you prefer a comfortable endurance bike to the aero efficiency of the Venge, Specialized offers the Roubaix and Ruby (the women’s version of the Roubaix) with SRAM’s latest groupset. The Roubaix and Ruby share the same redesigned frameset with the FutureShock in the head tube providing 20mm of cushioning and revised geometry and wide tyre clearance.

Read our review of the Specialized Roubaix Expert

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX Disc 9.0 SL — £5,499

2018 Canyon ultimate cf slx disc 9 sl

2018 Canyon ultimate cf slx disc 9 sl

You can always count on Canyon to deliver a stunning package, and the latest Ultimate dressed with Mavic Cosmic carbon clincher wheels and one-piece carbon handlebar and stem sure looks a serious race-ready package. A claimed weight of 7.4kg for a medium (and Canyon weights are usually fairly on the money) is very impressive.

Read our review of the Canyon Ultimate CF SLX Disc

Canyon Endurace Wmn CF SL Disc 9.0 Ltd — £4,999

2018 Canyon endurace cf sl 9 ltd disc wmn.jpg

2018 Canyon endurace cf sl 9 ltd disc wmn.jpg

One of very few women-specific bikes with the eTap/disc brake pairing (the Specialized Ruby S-WOrks eTap, above is another), this is one of our Tass' dream bikes after she was very impressed with the Endurace WMN CF SL Disc 8.0 in 2017. A top-flight spec includes Reynolds Assault carbon wheels with 28mm Schwalbe Pro One tyres and Canyon's double-leaf-spring seatpost for a bit of bump protection.

Focus Izalco Max Disc eTap — £5,999

2018 Focus Izalco Max Disc RED eTap

2018 Focus Izalco Max Disc RED eTap

Focus pulled out all the stops when it developed the Izalco Max Disc, producing one of the lightest carbon fibre disc brake framesets with the incredibly intuitive and time-saving RAT thru-axles. Now it’s available with SRAM’s latest Red eTap HRD disc brake groupset and Focus has added a fine Zipp 302 wheelset with Continental Grand Prix SL 25mm tyres.

Want something less racy? For 2018 Focus also offers an eTap-clad version of the disc-braked Paralane endurance bike for £6,499. We were really impressed when we reviewed the 2017 Paralane Ultegra.

Read our review of the Focus Izalco Max Disc

Rose X-Lite CDX-8810 eTap — £4,162

rose x-lite cdx etap hrd.jpg

rose x-lite cdx etap hrd.jpg

Rose has used its endurance model, with a carbon frame, fork and thru-axles, for its sole SRAM Red eTap HRD offering. And at a under £4,200, it’s the most affordable bike with SRAM’s new groupset that we’ve yet come across. The advantage of buying from Rose, as well as the great prices, is that you can customise the specification very easily on its website. The pictured bike gets Rose’s own carbon wheels with Conti tyres and Ritchey finishing kit, but you could upgrade any of those parts as you wish.

Read more: Everything you need to know about disc brakes

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

21 comments

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steviemarco [236 posts] 8 months ago
1 like

Well done chaps laugh

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fennesz [151 posts] 8 months ago
2 likes

For my money, the Focus or the Giant.  The Spesh Roubaix looks like it's been designed by my kids.

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njmoffat [49 posts] 8 months ago
2 likes

Wow that Venge is seriously ugly. I would be embarressed if I was Specialized and saw it below that lovely Giant. I mean really, who cares if it is ever so slightly quicker over 50 miles, it is horrid!

Avatar
check12 [173 posts] 8 months ago
1 like

Boo hiss

 

njmoffat wrote:

Wow that Venge is seriously ugly. I would be embarressed if I was Specialized and saw it below that lovely Giant. I mean really, who cares if it is ever so slightly quicker over 50 miles, it is horrid!

Avatar
700c [1178 posts] 8 months ago
1 like

The Giant looks good. All suit the 'cable free' look and clean lines with the disc brakes,  (which I find unnecessary but accept I'm in the minority).

 

 

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macbob [42 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

I think the wheel options on the Rose are disappointing.

The CDX is a "marathon" bike in the Rose range - a sensible "endurance" set of wheels from someone like DT Swiss could have reduced the price to well below £4000 - less than half the price of most of the bikes here. And still kept the total weight to a little over 7 kilos.

Considering the trade price of SRAM eTap HRD, most of the bikes here look seriously overpriced.

 

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sunnyape [34 posts] 8 months ago
1 like

Fingers crossed, eTap HRD will trickle down from the RED to the Force and even Rival levels so that it lines up with prices for Ultegra Di2. That's the price / quality threshold for my needs.

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macrophotofly [298 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

Trying to work out what makes the Venge look so bad. I think a great degree of it starts with the ugly transistion from handbar to stem to steerer cap to frame. Irronic given aero bikes are meant to be making that area a smoother transistion.

Personally I like the Focus most, although both it and Giant are being extremely stingey with the wheels for that money. I'd want Zipp 404's minimum for that kind of dosh - so congrats to Canyon for a better specc'd bike even if it looks more like a tool the Terminator would use...  absolutely everything Black is the obviously the new Black yes

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macrophotofly [298 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

By the way, why does this article list the Focus as being £7,199 but if I go to the Focus review you linked above, there is this,

"There are two versions available. The lightest, and most expensive, is a model with a SRAM Red drivetrain and hydraulic disc brakes, and Zipp 202 carbon fibre wheels. It weighs a claimed 6.8kg but costs £4,699" ?

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David Arthur @d... [832 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

macrophotofly wrote:

By the way, why does this article list the Focus as being £7,199 but if I go to the Focus review you linked above, there is this,

"There are two versions available. The lightest, and most expensive, is a model with a SRAM Red drivetrain and hydraulic disc brakes, and Zipp 202 carbon fibre wheels. It weighs a claimed 6.8kg but costs £4,699" ?

 

Because that review was for a 2016 model bike and came out before the 2017 range was announced - the review is purely linked there as a bit of relevant content and while it doesn't feature the new SRAM groupset, it gives an indication of the Izalco Max Disc performance just in case it's a bike someone might be interested in and want's to know more

Avatar
David Arthur @d... [832 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

sunnyape wrote:

Fingers crossed, eTap HRD will trickle down from the RED to the Force and even Rival levels so that it lines up with prices for Ultegra Di2. That's the price / quality threshold for my needs.

 

I'd say that's a nailed on certainty, given SRAM's history of very quickly trickling down top-end tech to its more affordable groupsets. Might be some time though given this new groupset is only just appearing and we can't get our hands on it to review yet

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PaulBox [679 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes
fennesz wrote:

The Spesh Roubaix looks like it's been designed by my kids.

More likely for your Mrs, it's the Ruby I think.

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fluffed [64 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

IDK what's going on with the Rose, I've ridden it and it's a bit of a barge with a very isolated from the road type feel, yet with these rims which catch the wind like nobodies business (and an aero-like bar/ stem) ... and the only wheel customisations are other deep section wheels, it's weird! 

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ajd [64 posts] 8 months ago
1 like

Yes, the Venge Disc is ugly, but significantly less ugly than the cable braked monstrosity.

If you put normal bars on it, but *might* look passable.

No-one does aero bars as well as Canyon IMHO, but I wouldn't race on carbon bars - if you crash, your head will be full of doubts.

 

 

 

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part_robot [290 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

The aero-looking bars Canyon provide are aluminium or carbon depending on the model.

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cxmad [7 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

Quote: "Focus has added a fine DT Swiss R22 wheelset with Continental Grand Prix 25mm tyres"

I'm off to the opticians, because the Focus pictured above has a Zipp 202 wheelset, with Schwalbe One tyres. Please correct me if I'm seeing things that I want to see, on what is (in my opinion) the best looking bike in the group. That aside, it might be sexier with a negative drop stem?

This is aimed at the bike builders....please fix the brake levers to the bars in a "flat" position, with the drops parallel to the ground....bikes look so much better when the hoods aren't pointing vertically upwards (the Venge and the Robaix / Ruby are "criminal" for their lever positions, which, in turn, doesn't make them look pretty).

A normal "aero" bar on the Venge would look much better than the "wavy" one too. Canyon have managed it on the Utimate, so come on Specialized...use your vast collective hive brain and make the Venge look (and ride) better.

'Nuff said.

 

Avatar
BikeJon [205 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes
cxmad wrote:

Quote: "Focus has added a fine DT Swiss R22 wheelset with Continental Grand Prix 25mm tyres"

I'm off to the opticians, because the Focus pictured above has a Zipp 202 wheelset, with Schwalbe One tyres. Please correct me if I'm seeing things that I want to see, on what is (in my opinion) the best looking bike in the group. That aside, it might be sexier with a negative drop stem?

This is aimed at the bike builders....please fix the brake levers to the bars in a "flat" position, with the drops parallel to the ground....bikes look so much better when the hoods aren't pointing vertically upwards (the Venge and the Robaix / Ruby are "criminal" for their lever positions, which, in turn, doesn't make them look pretty).

A normal "aero" bar on the Venge would look much better than the "wavy" one too. Canyon have managed it on the Utimate, so come on Specialized...use your vast collective hive brain and make the Venge look (and ride) better.

'Nuff said.

 

 

Also, is it 'a thing' to photograph the crank to be aligned with the chainstay now? I thought they are supposed to be horizontal, like the Giant?

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BeatPoet [83 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes

The Roubaix is a seriously horrible looking bike. What on earth is going on with the bottom bracket? Focus meanwhile looks tres chic.

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Jonah731 [4 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

Have you ridden one though? Muppet!

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Jonah731 [4 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes
njmoffat wrote:

Wow that Venge is seriously ugly. I would be embarressed if I was Specialized and saw it below that lovely Giant. I mean really, who cares if it is ever so slightly quicker over 50 miles, it is horrid!

 

Almost as bad as your grammar!  Spell Checker for this man please!

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Trekpro [144 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes
BeatPoet wrote:

The Roubaix is a seriously horrible looking bike. What on earth is going on with the bottom bracket? Focus meanwhile looks tres chic.

That's not the BB, it's the optional between the frame box thingy you can put your lunch in.