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SRAM adopts Shimano’s Flat Mount disc brake standard

Shimano's Flat Mount open standard gains support of SRAM with its latest hydraulic disc brakes

SRAM has adopted Shimano’s Flat Mount standard for its latest hydraulic disc brake calipers, and rolled out new brake calipers on its Rival, Force and Red hydraulic disc groupsets for 2016. 

So why have SRAM adopted Shimano's system you ask? Well, first off it's a good solution that means the rear brake sits flush to the frame - hence flat mount - which means the brakes can be mounted inboard on the rear triangle with the strongest possible connection - through the frame. 

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Second and rather importantly, our guess is that this is something that manufacturers want, and seeing as Shimano have made Flat Mount an open standard - why not? Flat mount does require some changes to the design of the caliper, but given that all component manufacturers are engaged in a constant round of product development that's something that SRAM have felt well able to accommodate in their product cycle.

Flat Mount is a road-specific disc brake mounting system developed by Shimano - and announced in March this year - it's and is an open standard. It mounts the brake caliper directly to the frame or fork and offers a cleaner and more minimalist appearance, and also provides a more compact packaging of the brake caliper, which will be a particular benefit at the rear triangle.

The bolts now thread into the bottom of the caliper, rather than threading in from the top as is the case with post mount brakes. At the chainstay that means the bolts no longer thread into inserts in the frame, but pass through the chainstay from the bottom, which should provide less chance of damaging your expensive carbon disc frame. Because the bolts thread in from the bottom of the caliper, the front brake must be used with a slim adaptor. 

SRAM’s new brake callipers work with its existing hydraulic brake levers. Another small change SRAM has taken this opportunity to make to the caliper design is repositioning the bleed nipple, so bleeding brakes should be a bit easier now.

The front brake caliper is used with an adaptor that can be rotated 180 degrees to provide compatibility with 140 and 160mm size disc rotors. The rear brake caliper is natively 140mm compatible but can be used with an adaptor if you want to size up to 160mm rotors.

There’s minimal weight saving with the new design. SRAM claims a weight for a RED front brake caliper, with a 160mm rotor, 800m hose, mountain bracket and hardware as 459g. The same Force setup is 489g and Rival is 496g.

SRAM Red 22 HRD brake lever and caliper costs £394 (per wheel) costs £394. Force 22 HRD is £300, Force 1 HRD is £252, Rival 22 HRD is £284 and Rival 1 HRD is £227. The new brakes will be available in September.

David worked on the tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of 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, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes

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