Like this site? Help us to make it better.

TRP RRL SR Alloy Drop Bar Lever - Drilled - Pair



Top quality brake lever at a suitably top quality price, an extravagence maybe but a real treat for any old style steed

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

What the scores mean

Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.

  • Exceptional
  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Good
  • Quite good
  • Average
  • Not so good
  • Poor
  • Bad
  • Appalling

If you've been to the bike shows or cast your eyes round the city streets you'll have noticed that retro is very much the modern thing and bike bits don't come much more retro-modern than the drilled version of TRP's RRL  drop bar levers.

Fixed gear bikes are still going strong, steel frames and quill stems are springing up all over the place but, the problem is, modern components don't always blend in with your classic looking frame. So, you're looking for something a little bit special and don't need STI levers, these TRP levers could be just the thing. Harking back to a time when everything was drilled to aid lightness, the retro looks intertwined with modern ergonomics are just the ticket. Utilising drilled levers and black or gum coloured hoods, they will add a touch of class to a modern frame or an old school restoration project.

The levers offer an excellent position when in the drops and are ideal for the smaller hand, offering a pronounced kick out sideways from the drops of the bar. The hood shape is similar to STI and very comfortable, not too much bulk to hold on to while providing a good platform for out of the saddle efforts.

Braking performance is good with no flex at all through the minimalist lever, in this case being paired up with some far from powerful side pull callipers on one of the aforementioned new but retro fixies.

You'll find quick release buttons are built into the side of the hoods, enabling you to drop the wheels out easily and resetting is just a quick pull of the lever.

To fit, just a single hex key socket and band arrangement like virtually all brake levers with scope to fit a range of bar sizes. Cable routing is internal creating a clean look to the cockpit, the only minor downside is if, like me, you're using bars that are lacking the grooving for cables is the inevitable lump under the bar tape.

For those who prefer their modern stuff to look er, modern TRP also make a carbon version of the RRL yours for just a tenner more. If you want the levers without the holes your needs are catered for too with a non-holey aluminium version that, the cost of filling in the holes is a 10g weight penalty on the other hand you will save £20. I do like those holes though.


Overall the TRP's are a top quality brake lever, while definitely top end price wise there is very little on the market like them, the two that spring to mind are the similarly priced Shimano R600 levers and the Tektro R200s from the same stable as the TRPs - neither of them have holes though. The RRL SRs are possibly an extravagance but they look great and they perform, go on treat your pride and joy! test report

Make and model: TRP RRL SR Alloy Drop Bar Lever - Drilled - Pair

Size tested: Brown/Alloy

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

TRP's website says "The RRL SR transcends the ages by blending a race quality lever that is not integrated with a shifter with the classic styling trademarked by heroes of decades past. Ideal for single speeds, fixed gear or custom applications."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Drilled alloy lever with a modern style hood

Rate the product for quality of construction:

Solid construction and good overall finish

Rate the product for performance:

Solid lever worked well even with old school calipers lacking the bite of modern dual pivots

Rate the product for durability:

Can't see anything that would concern me about longevity

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:

At 140g there are lighter out there but they don't look as good

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:

good sized hoods which don't cause any hot spots like the models they replaced did

Rate the product for value:

At the top end but worth it in my opinion, high on comfort and performance while looking good

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Performance was good and it matches the look of classic styled bikes

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The looks and performance

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Very little, the price is steep I suppose but its a niche market

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 32  Height: 180cm  Weight: 78kg

I usually ride: Genesis Flyer  My best bike is: Ribble Gran Fondo

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,


As part of the tech team here at F-At Digital, senior product reviewer Stu spends the majority of his time writing in-depth reviews for, and ebiketips using the knowledge gained from testing over 1,500 pieces of kit (plus 100's of bikes) since starting out as a freelancer back in 2009. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 170,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him, he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. With a background in design and engineering, he has an obsession with how things are developed and manufactured, has a borderline fetish for handbuilt metal frames and finds a rim braked road bike very aesthetically pleasing!

Add new comment


dave atkinson | 12 years ago

i've got a pair on betty the raleigh and they look *fine*

have to say, i'd prefer a slightly softer compound on the hoods though

pj | 12 years ago

drillium is back! i'll have some of your finest unobtanium while you're at it!

Spangly Shiny | 12 years ago

You had to be there at the time. It's a bit like Glam Rock, looking back it looks tawdry, but at the time...

Shark Sandwich | 12 years ago

Am i missing something? To me those hoods look proper cheap and nasty!

Mr Sock replied to Shark Sandwich | 12 years ago
Shark Sandwich wrote:

Am i missing something? To me those hoods look proper cheap and nasty!

It's just you  3

They looked very fine on the Condor (I think it was) I saw 'em on at the Cycle Show. Mind you, I'd still prefer black hoods

Latest Comments