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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You can always count on Canyon to deliver a stunning package, and the latest Ultimate dressed with Zipp 404 Firecrest carbon clincher wheels and one-piece carbon handlebar and stem sure looks a serious race-ready package. A claimed weight of 7.1kg for a medium (and Canyon weights are usually fairly on the money) is very impressive.
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 DT Swiss R22 wheelset with Continental Grand Prix 25mm tyres.
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.
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.