On a rare June snowy day in Deer Valley, Utah, we took out a new HydroR and HRD-equipped bike for some real-world testing and came away impressed. (Keep in mind, we did not have the ability to compare pre- and post-recall units side-by-side, and are going by memory from riding the recalled units months ago.)
Braking was powerful and consistent despite snow-covered rotors, and the deadband improvements are subtle but noticeable, offering a less spongy lever feel than the previous generation, and a lever feel closer to the Shimano R785 hydraulic brakes we’ve been testing on the Boardman CXR 9.4 cyclocross bike.
The lever changes are noticeable. The hoods feel less boxy in your hand, and riders with smaller hands will especially appreciate the greater hand wrap around the levers. The smaller shift paddles could be good when you’re using thick gloves (which we wished we had on this rare wintry day), but the larger paddles on the previous generation offered a bigger target when conditions were sloppy and you’re seeing blurry. We’ll need to test this further to declare our preference, but if they have less chance of getting stuck on the handlebar tape, that’s a good thing.
The Center Line rotors seem to have a bit smoother feel under braking. There might be a bit less pulsing due to the new cutout pattern of the rotor. The two-piece HSX rotors with aluminum carriers are currently being redesigned as well, but the new versions aren’t expected for several months, and thus SRAM is shipping the new disc brakes with the one-piece steel Center Line rotors.
Stay tuned for more test impressions and details as we build up a bike with the new generation of SRAM hydraulics levers and calipers.
2015 SRAM Hydraulic Weights and Pricing:
Pricing and weights remain similar to the 2014 model year products:
- SRAM RED 22: 449g per wheel (lever, caliper, hose, 160mm rotor), $590 per wheel
- SRAM Force 22: 471g per wheel, $449 MSRP per wheel
- SRAM Force CX1: 40g savings on the left lever, $402 MSRP left
- S-700: 493g per wheel, $469 MSRP per wheel