Shimano has already redesigned its cyclocross-oriented R785 hydraulic disc brake, and launched a mechanical shift-compatible hydraulic brake lever for those who do not want (or can’t afford) electronic Di2 shifting.
In what might have been the worst possible date for a media embargo ending, or the most elaborate April Fools story ever, Shimano released details of its new hydraulic disc brake components yesterday, with a press release with an embargo date that lifted at 12:01 AM Japan time on April 1. As many of you saw and appreciated, we were inundated with a lot of breaking news yesterday, but today present the full details of these new Shimano, non-series, Ultegra-level components that are targeted at cyclocross racers, gravel cyclists, and road disc adopters.
We had our first ride and review of the R785 STI Di2 levers and hydraulic disc brake calipers back in September, and were quite impressed with both braking power and modulation. That design we tested is already obsolete, as Shimano has already put that caliper through a redesign. The new RS785 calipers feature what Shimano describes as “a refined features a new inboard, straight-type hydraulic line connector” to offer a sleeker, lower profile. The RS785 calipers come with an ICE Technologies resin brake pad, but metallic pads are available.
The new RS685 levers should be available in August, and the updated RS785 calipers in June. Prices are as follows:
- BR-RS785 Caliper Only $74.99
- ST-RS685 Brake Shift Levers Only $549.99
- Brake Shift Levers/Two calipers set: $699.99
The bigger news is that Shimano is not forcing cyclocrossers to move to Di2 to enjoy its new drop bar hydraulic braking power, and has released new RS685 STI levers that are RS785 hydraulic disc brake compatible. The new levers feature the same lever/hood shape as the Dura-Ace 9000 group (see our review in the upcoming Issue 24), and offers 1cm of reach adjustment for smaller hands.
The company also has the Ultegra-level CX75 disc brake hubs that we saw on a few sponsored racers’ bikes last season, and the hubs feature extra seals for the tough conditions of cyclocross. To keep out the elements, Shimano added “improved sealing performance through the use of low friction Labyrinth and contact seals, and an internal grease sleeve” in the new hubset, and naturally features Shimano’s Center Lock rotor mounts. The hubs retail for $139.99 rear, and $89.99 front.
See the slideshow below (give it a few seconds to load), and the official Shimano press release at the bottom.
Shimano introduces its second generation of performance road and cyclocross hydraulic disc brake offerings New mechanical hydraulic shifting system, redesigned caliper available in summer 2014
Full press release details below:
IRVINE, Calif. (April 1, 2014) – Building upon the success of its industry-leading R785 Di2 hydraulic disc brake system that helped racers claim multiple UCI World Cup cyclocross race wins, Shimano announces its second offering of road and cyclocross hydraulic disc brake and shifting components. The svelte new mechanical shift, hydraulic disc brake ST-RS685 levers and BR-RS785 calipers enter the line as non-series, Ultegra grade components that will offer additional options for use with mechanical drivetrains. Based on Shimano’s legacy of industry-leading ICE Technologies disc brake system heat management, the company’s road and cyclocross hydraulic disc brake systems provide unmatched braking confidence and control.
Ergonomic RS685 mechanical hydraulic shifting system The new RS685 system brings hydraulic road discs to riders who prefer mechanical shifting or may require a more affordable price point. The ST-RS685 shift levers feature ergonomics based on the beloved ST-9000 shape that is remarkably slim in size for a hydraulic lever, making it ideal for all-day riding. Shimano’s ST-RS685 levers and BR-RS785 offer more stopping power with less effort. Compatible with Shimano’s entire line of reliable, 11-speed mechanical shifting systems, the new ST-RS685 levers feature 10mm of reach adjust to accommodate a wide variety of rider hand sizes.
New, redesigned RS785 caliper Shimano’s BR-RS785 caliper features a new inboard, straight-type hydraulic line connector for a sleek integrated appearance. Mechanics will appreciate Shimano’s easy one-way bleed and environmentally friendly mineral oil fluid. The latest road-specific caliper is also compatible with ST-R785 Di2 levers. The BR-RS785 ships with resin ICE Technologies brake pads with metal ICE Technologies pads as an aftermarket option.