SRAM Red Hydraulic Disc Brakes On Deck, Shimano Not Far Behind?
At this point, SRAM’s not even trying to hide their Red hydraulic disc brakes. We spoke with their PR manager Michael Zellman and, while he wouldn’t give us a firm date for launch, we get the impression it’s soon enough but after the current season is over. The photo above was captured by Competitive Cyclist, likely at the same event our other spy shot came from.
Elsewhere in the US, they’ve been spotted under other riders (pics after the break). Zellman told us they’re not really being races per se, but more like field tested. Semantics aside, they must be getting close if so many riders are on course with them and they’re not doing anything to hide it.
Which brings us to Shimano. Our friend Nicole at Bicycle Retailer & Industry News is over at Taichung Bike Week and overheard that Shimano’s fast forwarding their own road bike hydraulic disc brake development efforts. She reports that several product managers attending the show admitted they’ve already ridden and tested the system.
Formula, meanwhile, is free of their exclusive arrangement with Colnago as of March 1, and has reportedly been fielding plenty of requests from OE partners. Given the growing use of electronic drivetrains, it’s not a stretch to imagine Formula and others being able to gain a foothold in the road market, similar to how they do with mountain bikes. Sure, Shimano and SRAM may still get the majority of OE spec, but with a plug-and-play electronic drivetrain, there’s not much to stop riders from cherry picking the brake system they want when it comes time to upgrade.
Big thanks to Nicole/BRAIN for sharing the news with us! Now, check out those pics…
This photo (cropped two different ways) shows the SRAM Red hydraulic brakes with a slightly blurred caliper that at least shows the small form factor. Pic from LegendaryRandy’s Flickr photostream.