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

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.

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.

30 comments

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andylul [410 posts] 4 years ago
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Thanks - just when all the SRAM-Whores had wiped the stains off their clothing and the drool off their chins...

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ALIHISGREAT [119 posts] 4 years ago
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want.

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VecchioJo [396 posts] 4 years ago
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SRAM shifting + Avid discs?

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

 1

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Velo_Alex [72 posts] 4 years ago
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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.

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minnellium [83 posts] 4 years ago
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I want these NOW.

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SamShaw [264 posts] 4 years ago
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I wonder what the UCI will say about the length of the hoods given that Cinelli Spinaci and the like are banned.

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Marky Legs [122 posts] 4 years ago
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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.

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aslongasicycle [380 posts] 4 years ago
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Oh lordy. About to press button on custom build. Might have to take this into account now. Wibble.

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BigDummy [314 posts] 4 years ago
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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.

 16

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therevokid [912 posts] 4 years ago
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wonder if those calipers will fit the mtb .... talk about
weight saving  1

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eddie11 [110 posts] 4 years ago
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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.

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kingotheshire [4 posts] 4 years ago
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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?!

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dave atkinson [6148 posts] 4 years ago
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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...

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andyp [1438 posts] 4 years ago
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Ace. Discs on road bikes. Watch out for Schlecks flying through the air on a descent near you.

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3rd [3 posts] 4 years ago
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"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.

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3rd [3 posts] 4 years ago
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"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.

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finbar [121 posts] 4 years ago
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£400 for hydraulic brakes and STI? Keep dreaming.

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low-fi [29 posts] 4 years ago
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andyp wrote:

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

 21 Very good.

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Coodsta [112 posts] 4 years ago
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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  1

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seanieh66 [196 posts] 4 years ago
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Aiming for the masses as no pro team can use for at least a few years.

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cat1commuter [1418 posts] 4 years ago
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"spy shots"? More like PowerPoint slides than "shots"!

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dave atkinson [6148 posts] 4 years ago
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cat1commuter wrote:

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

took all day, but i knew someone would get there in the end  4

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Lungsofa74yearold [278 posts] 4 years ago
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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.

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dave atkinson [6148 posts] 4 years ago
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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

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Argy [138 posts] 4 years ago
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andyp wrote:

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

 24 24 24 24 24 24

That gets my vote for no 1 comment of the thread!  4 too funny!  19

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joemmo [1146 posts] 4 years ago
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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.

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Velo_Alex [72 posts] 4 years ago
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If you didn't sign the NDA SRAM can't enforce the embargo.

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Glossies [29 posts] 4 years ago
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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.

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big mick [179 posts] 4 years ago
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VecchioJo wrote:

SRAM shifting + Avid discs?

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

 1

Good plan i think

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peasantpigfarmer [46 posts] 4 years ago
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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.