Update: More on the New SRAM RED Hydraulic Levers

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As the details slowly trickle out, it seems that SRAM is very close to putting the RED hydraulic recall behind them. Clearly a major inconvenience for both consumers and dealers alike, SRAM has done a commendable job in handling the recall and seems to be continuing that trend by getting the new product out to the dealers first. Most dealer began receiving replacement product as of last week which is why Art’s Cyclery was able to bring us initial coverage of what’s changed. As it should be, SRAM is focusing on those who have already purchased the product to make sure anyone who is waiting on warranty replacements is sorted.

For an overview on what’s changed, read on…

New Lever Body Design

If you’re going to rework the internals, you might as well rework the entire lever body. At least, that’s how SRAM saw things. Using feedback from testing of the initial shifters, the lever body has been redesigned to improve ergonomics for better hand wrap, comfort, and control. The changes are also said to have a positive effect on material placement around the internal bore, shifter alignment, cable routing, and shifting action as well. As a final added bonus, it’s reportedly lighter too.

New Bleed Port Design

Pretty straight forward – the revised bleed port is all about making the bleed process easier.

New Master Cylinder Piston

As the original Achilles heel of the system, the new master cylinder piston has been reworked and tested ad nauseam to ensure that the brakes hold up to extreme temperatures like those found in cyclocross racing.

New High Capacity Bladder

The bladder is what holds the additional brake fluid, so that when your pads wear and move inwards, the system continues to function properly. To improve on the bladder’s performance, the system is given a new reservoir cover, bladder seal, and lever body interface which should all add up to more consistent braking.

New Caliper Spring

Yes, even the caliper spring is new, with a version that claims to spread the pads more effectively for consistent retraction and to help the pads clear the rotor. Since the brakes are expected to withstand high speed downhills in desert heat to freezing muck in cross races, the spring has been reworked to provide consistent performance in all conditions.

New Shifter Paddle

Finally, the levers have a new, smaller shift paddle which offers better finger clearance. This again goes back to the cold weather performance when riders are using thicker gloves so that the fingers can properly shift the lever.

That’s it for now, for all of the current technical info check out SRAM’s site, and stay tuned for more.

 

Comments

Randall - 05/20/14 - 1:49pm

Double-pasted article?

meyouthem - 05/20/14 - 2:05pm

Double…?

nah, you have two levers on the bike, so you need to review them both – well, individually…

Ripnshread - 05/20/14 - 2:36pm

Nothing on wireless integration?

Zach Overholt - 05/20/14 - 2:48pm

Yeah, sorry about that Randall. The system logged me out in the middle of writing it, so I copied what I had written to save it. It wasn’t showing on my end until now. Internets…

Jay - 05/20/14 - 3:08pm

The shift paddles would wedge into the bars and get stuck because the lever travel was so long. So, the solution was to shrink the paddle to give you extra clearance for gloves? right.

dislivello - 05/20/14 - 3:20pm

Disc still to touch pads ?

Paul - 05/20/14 - 6:56pm

Not sure about the ‘commendable Job’. It took SRAM 4 months to get our riders on a temporary replacement brake system. That’s 4 months without a bike which had just been purchased. I spoke with SRAM yesterday and they have no arrival date here for our riders brakes! They also now want the serial numbers of the replacement levers ‘they’ sent us to put on our riders bikes. Don’t they have the serial numbers?? They are after all their brakes and they sent them out!
Some serious work needs to be done by SRAM at the consumer and sales floor end to build credibility.

Dirty-d - 05/20/14 - 8:53pm

The uci should outlaw those brifters, they stick out so far they have to be more dangerous to other rides in a crash and I’m sure they violate the 3-1 ratio

SomeFawkingguy - 05/20/14 - 9:15pm

As much as I hate the whole recall deal, my bike is at the lbs getting the the 2015 brakes installed. At some point you can’t just blame sram and start looking at your lbs.

sam thompson - 05/20/14 - 9:15pm

I think Sram did a great job with this. We had replacement systems by February and new Hydraulic systems started arriving last Friday. I already mounted and tested a set of the Force level brakes and they work great. If anything, the few months on the mechanical brakes will make you appreciate the hydraulic brakes that much more.

Tom - 05/20/14 - 11:14pm

That brake hood is pretty ugly…

drewsey junction - 05/20/14 - 11:52pm

Dirty-d: “brifters” is not a word. Stop it.

WG - 05/21/14 - 1:32am

Say what you will, but I love the new body shape. Riding with my hands wrapped around the top of the hoods has been one of my favorites for years – I’m glad to hear riding in this position will be more comfortable now!

BTW anybody knows whether hydraulic rim brakes have also been reworked already?

Pete - 05/21/14 - 2:14am

@SomeFawkingguy And why should we start blaming your LBS? Do tell…

Offrhodes - 05/21/14 - 8:43am

Will the 10 speed version be available again?

Flip - 05/21/14 - 9:34am

@Pete – I’m at a loss to explain this, too. Do you think your LBS is stashing away their SRAM replacements you were supposed to be riding? How on earth is it your LBS’ fault that SRAM can’t make a functional disc brake to save their lives?

SomeFawkingguy - 05/21/14 - 10:00am

@pete. I was replying to @paul

silverlining - 05/21/14 - 10:03am

Meanwhile, 99.9% of everyone else has been out enjoying riding on their hopelessly Luddite outdated brakes.

While I’m sure this has been an inconvenience for those who rolled the dice on a new system, it is good to know SRAM is getting a safe and reliable product back to them.

Dr. Contrarian - 05/21/14 - 3:29pm

drowsy junction,

I hate to be contrarian. That said, I must–but mind you, with all due respect–correct you on your assertion that “brifters” is not a word. Though infrequently employed today, “brifters” is the Middle English word for the medieval French word “neupme,” which was itself a rare, pre-Gutenberg press typographical error. Scholars have theorized that “neupme” was perhaps meant to be “neume,” which can mean, inter alia, the wordless melody sung in a single breath, as in the end of an “alleluia.” Thus the legend, unconfirmed by the concerned parties, that early engineers of integrated shifter levers proclaimed “Holy Crap!” when early prototypes actually functioned.

Other than that, I believe you are right in all other regards in your comment.

Psi Squared - 05/21/14 - 5:26pm

I never got on well with SRAM brifters. Shimano brifters are alright, but the ergonomics and function of Campy brifters suit me best.

Campy brifters.

lonefrontranger - 05/21/14 - 5:53pm

ok so I had mine replaced within an hour at CX Nats here in the US back in January. Just sent in my RA# to our LBS for the new 2015 hydros this week as the shop has said they’re coming in.

I live in the USA and everyone I’ve talked to from here has had rapid replacement and service.

If you live in the UK and/or Australia, I’ve seen copious evidence in forums and news articles that points to YOUR DISTRIBUTORS in these countries (meaning, not the LBS, and not SRAM) being the source of the delays. In particular, it sounds like the SRAM distributor in Australia is… not terribly efficient, let’s say.

If this is the case and you are not based in the US, I’ve seen drastic improvements in turnaround when customers have contacted SRAM USA direct and reported the issue.

now back to our regularly scheduled SRAM-bashing thread.

The Guy - 05/21/14 - 8:05pm

#brifters is trending

Matt Sydney - 05/23/14 - 6:20am

I want my new brifters now please!

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