SRAM Red Hydraulic discs and rim brakes: spy shots land!

Hydraulic rim brakes and disc brakes for SRAM's new groupset will be available in the summer...

by Dave Atkinson   February 8, 2012  

SRAM Red hydraulic disc brake

We told you it was coming, and here it is. Hot on the heels of the official SRAM Red launch at the very start of the month, we've managed to get our hands on some images of what we all suspected was coming: a SRAM Red hydraulic disc brake. First pics of the hydraulic rim brake that SRAM had confirmed was in the line-up have also surfaced.

If you came over yesterday you'll have seen the new kit in all its glory; today you'll have to make do with some esoteric blurred versions of the pics. Turns out the Red hydraulic disc and rim brakes were embargoed . Who knew? Not us, since we weren't at the launch and SRAM didn't let us know about the embargo. Ah well. Anyway, at the request of SRAM we've taken them down for now. If you want to see the original pics, your friendly local image search engine might be able to help.

So what's to know? Well, we had a look at the new groupset in the hands of Clive from Glory Cycles in South Carolina in a Youtube video; that vid has now gone private but one of the things it pointed out was that there was plenty of space for a hydraulic master cylinder in the brake hood, and even a possible exit port for a hydraulic hose. The pages of the Red catalogue mention an 'all new master cylinder' but there's no pic of it, so we're going to assume it's tucked away within the hood. Sram said in their Red press releases that they'd made the front of the hoods higher, but said it was for ergonomics and in response to user demand. That might be only half the story, it seems - maybe they just needed a bit of extra room...

Let's start with the hydraulic rim brake. It's an interesting design, not least because SRAM have taken a very different route to Magura who unveiled their RT 8TT hydraulic brake at the Cervelo P5 launch last month. Whereas Magura approached the design of the brake very much from an aerodynamic point of view, the SRAM unit looks more or less like a standard road brake and we're guessing that the increase in power and suitability for eccentric cable routing is what they'll major on. We only have the one pic, but it looks like a side-mounted piston pusing a single-pivot mechanism, with a quick release lever on the brake unit and what looks like a mechanical barrel adjuster too. It's a simple-looking design and at a glance you wouldn't pick it apart from a cable operated brake. Tyre clearance is up to 28mm, and the brake is compatible with Zipp's wide-profile Firecrest aero wheels, so should take pretty much any width of road rim. According to the pic it'll be available Summer 2012. So, soon.

The disc brake is an 'All New Ultra Light Caliper' presumably knocked up with the bods at Avid which is part of SRAM. It's certainly a minimal design, although that won't save it from the inevitable 'monstrous carbuncle on the face of an old friend' complaints from traditionalists. Interestingly the SRAM spec is for 160mm front / 140mm rear rotors, where we'd been led to believe by our industry spies that the rotors might need to be bigger than that to cope with the heat generated by Alpine descents and such. We'll assume they know what they're doing. Again, Summer 2012 is the slated date for release.

That's pretty much all the info we have right now, no word on weights, whether the brakes will be using Dot fluid or mineral oil, how powerful they are, whether the disc will require major re-engineering of the frame and fork, how much they'll cost… there are more questions than answers right now. But rest assured: road hydraulic rim brakes are already here, and road hydraulic discs are coming. Soon.

29 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Thanks - just when all the SRAM-Whores had wiped the stains off their clothing and the drool off their chins...

andylul's picture

posted by andylul [412 posts]
8th February 2012 - 11:15

6 Likes

want.

posted by ALIHISGREAT [111 posts]
8th February 2012 - 11:32

5 Likes

SRAM shifting + Avid discs?

i'll wait till Shimano comes out with something that works

Smile

posted by VecchioJo [750 posts]
8th February 2012 - 11:36

12 Likes

160mm rotor? I use that off road, wouldn't fancy it on skinny road rubber at all, especially with the on/off action of every Avid brake I've used.

That caliper is very pretty though. I'm looking forward to the Shimano version now.

posted by Velo_Alex [65 posts]
8th February 2012 - 11:36

13 Likes

I want these NOW.

minnellium's picture

posted by minnellium [79 posts]
8th February 2012 - 11:51

9 Likes

I wonder what the UCI will say about the length of the hoods given that Cinelli Spinaci and the like are banned.

Twitter: @velosam

SamShaw's picture

posted by SamShaw [256 posts]
8th February 2012 - 12:11

11 Likes

The whole point of hydraulic brakes is to give modularisation and braking performance in all weathers.

If the AVID's don't do this then they are badly designed.

Perhaps they should have gone to HOPE.

Marky

Marky Legs's picture

posted by Marky Legs [110 posts]
8th February 2012 - 12:15

9 Likes

Oh lordy. About to press button on custom build. Might have to take this into account now. Wibble.

www.vulpine.cc
@aslongasicycle
@vulpinecc

aslongasicycle's picture

posted by aslongasicycle [303 posts]
8th February 2012 - 12:17

10 Likes

I probably need a lower spec line before these are remotely affordable, but no particular objections to replacing the cable BB5s on my Salsa Vaya with some of these. Especially if we can change pads from the outside as per Elixir rather than only from inside like the Juicy.

Cool

posted by BigDummy [290 posts]
8th February 2012 - 13:12

9 Likes

wonder if those calipers will fit the mtb .... talk about
weight saving Smile

still on the 3rd switch-back of Bwlch !

posted by therevokid [716 posts]
8th February 2012 - 13:35

8 Likes

interesting they have been able to fit it (just) in a mechanical lever.

The cost of crashing an STI lever just got even more scary though.

i have now forgiven sram for not having electronic shifting, this is much more interesting.

posted by eddie11 [78 posts]
8th February 2012 - 13:46

8 Likes

God damn, I love SRAM. My ageing cross light disk has been fudging along on the old bb7 roads for 6 years, these will be awesome! Any idea on cost? I'm thinking 350-400 squids?!

ride it like you stole it.

posted by kingotheshire [6 posts]
8th February 2012 - 13:47

10 Likes

kingotheshire wrote:
God damn, I love SRAM. My ageing cross light disk has been fudging along on the old bb7 roads for 6 years, these will be awesome! Any idea on cost? I'm thinking 350-400 squids?!

No idea on pricing yet, sorry...

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7399 posts]
8th February 2012 - 13:59

7 Likes

Ace. Discs on road bikes. Watch out for Schlecks flying through the air on a descent near you.

posted by andyp [906 posts]
8th February 2012 - 14:45

10 Likes

"We'll assume they know what they're doing"

From my experience with XX disc brakes that's not a great assumption. My first set of calipers had to replaced under warranty because they needed bleeding after every ride. The second set were no better but SRAM finally admitted that magnesium isn't suitable for brake calipers and replaced them with the aluminium 2012 version. So far no problems with the 2012 version but I find it unacceptable that the magnesium calipers were ever offered for sale: they were clearly not subject to sufficient testing before they were released.

posted by 3rd [3 posts]
8th February 2012 - 14:58

9 Likes

£400 for hydraulic brakes and STI? Keep dreaming.

posted by finbar [89 posts]
8th February 2012 - 14:59

7 Likes

andyp wrote:
Ace. Discs on road bikes. Watch out for Schlecks flying through the air on a descent near you.

Laughing Very good.

posted by low-fi [29 posts]
8th February 2012 - 14:59

9 Likes

ooooh lovely, & clever, hydraulic calipers for my Bob Jackson.....

all I need is for them to do a single speed hydrualic brake lever for the cross bike Smile

Carpe Diem ab absentis: seize the day off

Coodsta's picture

posted by Coodsta [99 posts]
8th February 2012 - 16:02

6 Likes

Aiming for the masses as no pro team can use for at least a few years.

Sean

posted by seanieh66 [193 posts]
8th February 2012 - 16:19

10 Likes

"spy shots"? More like PowerPoint slides than "shots"!

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1345 posts]
8th February 2012 - 17:40

7 Likes

cat1commuter wrote:
"spy shots"? More like PowerPoint slides than "shots"!

took all day, but i knew someone would get there in the end Big Grin

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7399 posts]
8th February 2012 - 18:28

11 Likes

Bit baffled as to the point of hydraulic rim brakes - surely they suffer from the same drawbacks as normal rim brakes with none of the advantages of discs? Or am I missing something here?

Personally can't wait - opens a world of possibilities. In defence of Avid / SRAM, I love my Juicy 5's - if my benchmark is low, then I stand to be doubly pleased / impressed.

Pastaman

posted by pastaman [219 posts]
8th February 2012 - 20:04

7 Likes

pastaman wrote:
Bit baffled as to the point of hydraulic rim brakes - surely they suffer from the same drawbacks as normal rim brakes with none of the advantages of discs? Or am I missing something here?

what you're missing is:

1) they're more powerful
2) the hose isn't affected at all by unusual or difficult cable routing

so there are advantages. The Magura RT8TT is more aero too, of course

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7399 posts]
8th February 2012 - 20:07

10 Likes

andyp wrote:
Ace. Discs on road bikes. Watch out for Schlecks flying through the air on a descent near you.

Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor

That gets my vote for no 1 comment of the thread! Big Grin too funny! Devil

Argy's picture

posted by Argy [147 posts]
8th February 2012 - 21:29

8 Likes

eddie11 wrote:

The cost of crashing an STI lever just got even more scary though.

Agreed, although its a less elegant solution, I reckon the cable to hydro converters (TRP, Hope etc) have a lot going for them for exactly this reason. Less eggs in one basket, so to speak.

joemmo's picture

posted by joemmo [831 posts]
8th February 2012 - 23:20

9 Likes

If you didn't sign the NDA SRAM can't enforce the embargo.

posted by Velo_Alex [65 posts]
9th February 2012 - 12:36

9 Likes

Unless its for a cross bike, tandem, heavy tourer or you're a fat git, it strikes me as a solution looking for a problem!
Bearing in mind, my dura ace callipers can lift the back wheel with one finger on a decent, I just can't see the point.

posted by Glossies [29 posts]
9th February 2012 - 20:35

10 Likes

VecchioJo wrote:
SRAM shifting + Avid discs?

i'll wait till Shimano comes out with something that works

Smile


Good plan i think

big mick

posted by big mick [178 posts]
9th February 2012 - 20:40

7 Likes

ppf Have to agree with 3rd! SRAM have a habit of poor R&D. alot of problems with their road groupsets,customers seem to be doing all the testing for them,ie. poor wear on components,dodgy titanium bolts(on brake calipers!) too much flex in front mechs,etc.etc.....Yes, I was One of their mugs! I would wait for Campagnolo and shimano versions.

peasantpigfarmer

posted by peasantpigfarmer [46 posts]
13th February 2012 - 16:00

10 Likes