Spy Shot! TRP Hydraulic Road Brake Lever with Integrated Di2 Buttons

TRP prototype Di2 hydraulic brake lever for road bikes

Thanks to an anonymous tipster we just got this photo of an early prototype of TRP’s forthcoming hydraulic road brake lever with integrated Di2 buttons. This one was taken at the Taipei bike show in December, but we’re expecting to see a more polished final version in a few weeks when they unveil it to OEM folks at Taichung. We have it on pretty good authority that the button layout and shape will change dramatically, but that the lever shape will look very similar to what you see here.

Thanks to the easily hackable nature of Shimano’s Di2 system, we suspect TRP’s not the only non-drivetrain brand working on something similar.

We’ve been promised early photos of the new version, so stay tuned!

Comments

LB - 02/16/12 - 10:34am

they should learn how to tape bars before venturing into hydraulics …

chadquest - 02/16/12 - 10:36am

That looks easy to use with gloves………..

Matt - 02/16/12 - 10:38am

Combine this with the fact that TRP was saying (in your crash-report) that they were coming out with a sweet no-bleed connection system and we might have ourselves a real winner.

Hydraulic and electric shifting seem like they’d be like peas and carrots together. The non-tech lovers can keep their cables and the tech-lovers can get both of what they want.

What would be really cool is if they could also make some sort of integrated ABS system. If you’re already running electronics, why not go all the way?

ryan - 02/16/12 - 10:40am

Now if they could wrap a handlebar properly they would be all set!

Dan - 02/16/12 - 10:41am

You must be a Dentist. ABS ha

James - 02/16/12 - 10:45am

I hope they get a bit better at wrapping bars to show off their shiny prototypes.

Matt - 02/16/12 - 10:49am

Nope, engineer.

I used to think tech like this was just stupid, but after getting in a wreck on my motorcycle at <30mph speeds that could have been easily prevented with ABS.

Plus, the implementation shouldn't be too hard once you've already got a power-system in the mix. Just put a small solenoid on the brake cylinder and some sensor on/near the caliper and you could make it work.

Singletrackroadie - 02/16/12 - 10:50am

Hopefully the people building it is beter at brakes than wrapping handlebar tape.

anon - 02/16/12 - 12:05pm

why would you even bother making a mold like this ?
we have alloy levers, di2 button shifters not blades, what looks like a grossly un-ergo design
and no toolless adjustment.
why didnt they build around their carbon single speed road lever?
looking at this i would take the Di2 stock lever any day

Evan - 02/16/12 - 12:13pm

I’ve been wondering when this would finally happen but I’d be awfully surprised if Shimano actually lets them sell it.

kyle - 02/16/12 - 12:41pm

holy hell those are ugly

Brandon - 02/16/12 - 12:42pm

Not only are these bars wrapped like crap, they are wrapped like crap AT A BIKE SHOW ON DISPLAY. Wow.

Chris - 02/16/12 - 1:01pm

Love the idea, but the button configuration will not play well with full finger gloves. The buttons are small and close together. I’m certain we’ll see this style appear though as it will play so well with hydraulics, I just hope they think it through properly first.

WannaBeSTi - 02/16/12 - 1:16pm

Hey! I want to say it too…bad bar wrap. That makes me, like, the 6th coolest kid! Yeah!

At least give the wrapper some credit, he did one of the harder things about wrapping bars…he kept it symmetrical.

django - 02/16/12 - 1:16pm

I sincerely hope you’re kidding about ABS. What happened to just riding your bike? Do you even know how? Silly engineer with no skills needs extra technology for those epic, Rapha inspired weekend club rides with his dentist friends. Tsk tsk tsk.

Brattercakes - 02/16/12 - 2:00pm

These look way better than SRAM’s in my opinion.

reynard - 02/16/12 - 2:32pm

Has anybody mentioned the bad handlebar wrap job yet?

Evan - 02/16/12 - 2:35pm

As for ABS, there was a small company at the 2010 Taipei show displaying a system. Seemed to work really well and I can actually see it being helpful in some situations. Don’t condemn something you haven’t tried.

Ralphy - 02/16/12 - 2:56pm

To everyone moaning about the buttons, the article was five sentences long, did you miss this one?: “We have it on pretty good authority that the button layout and shape will change dramatically”

Matt - 02/16/12 - 3:04pm

@Evan
Thanks for the tip. I did a little digging and it appears that this is the company sporting an ABS system in Taipei:
http://www.sabs-us.com/

Not sure if I’d use it, but cool to see stuff like this created. And that’s ultimately the fun for guys like me. Let’s try some new things, see what works, and as you said don’t knock it till you try it.

@django
Sadly I don’t have any dentist friends. Likely because I use an mechanical toothbrush. But why on earth would I need tech like that when a hog-bristle toothbrush and some baking soda will do just fine?

Brattercakes - 02/16/12 - 4:10pm

I wonder if a company can incorporate the master cylinder inside the handlebar. Is it possibly to integrate those two components?

ds690 - 02/16/12 - 4:35pm

The real issue with road disc brakes is failure due to heat build up and ABS will do nothing to prevent that. ABS will only prevent your brakes from locking and skidding. If you can’t properly modulate your brakes to keep them from locking up, maybe you should find another sport because I certainly don’t want to ride anywhere near you.

anon - 02/16/12 - 7:15pm

@ds690
you idiot ABS on a bike is there so that when you grab your brakes really hard in an OH SH!T moment that they dont look up on you. They are not for modulation purposes at all, they are there to make you stop faster.
I doubt its the ABS system in modern cars that helps people modulate their speed around corners.

David - 02/17/12 - 6:38am

@anon – All of us come equipped with ABS. It’s called a brain and the ability to control how hard we squeeze the brake lever to prevent lock up. And you are correct, it’s not ABS that helps people modulate their speed around corners, it’s the aforementioned brain and ability to control how hard they apply the brakes. ABS is not necessary on a bike, but those with more money than skill will just have to have it on theirs to impress all the folks at the coffee shop ride.

Robin - 02/17/12 - 6:48am

@ David: it’s beautiful when snobbery rises to the top as it does in your judgmental post. What group do you think you fit in that you’re so much better than those you upon whom you spray disdain?

cjeder - 02/17/12 - 10:04am

I like the zip tie routing the hydro line above the internal cable port.

Brattercakes - 02/17/12 - 12:26pm

Looks like they are gonna have anodized red calipers. (Blurry back ground photo)

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