SRAM Hydraulic disc brakes spied at Louisville Kentucky Derby Days cyclocross races aboard Specialized S-Works Crux bike

SRAM’s Red hydraulic disc brakes have been spotted in the wild on more than one bike. We’re hearing reports that Tim Johnson and Jeremy Powers are both riding them this weekend, and this pic above was grabbed from Facebook and sent over via email by one of our more avid readers (thanks RD!) and reportedly had the description “hurry up and look before I have to pull this down.”

Interestingly, it looks like they’re mounted up to that Specialized S-Works Crux that they officially aren’t working on. Well, as a complete bike anyway, you can get the frameset. As we’ve seen from SRAM’s official images before they made us pull them down, the nub at the front of the hoods is noticeably taller than the mechanical version to house the master cylinder.

Want to watch the racing action? Tune in for a live stream at, things started at 8am, but the Elite women hit the grass at 2:15pm EST, followed by the Elite men at 3:30pm.


  1. You have to give SRAM a lot of credit. SO many of their outside reps really ride. Nice to see that they are in the business for the right reasons. Way to walk the walk.

    As for brakes… If they are quiet than they have an instant hot on their hands. If they squeak.. well, they might be in trouble. Mt bikers will put up with brake noise, roadies.. not so much.

  2. Wait until Shimano debuts their hydraulic XTR/Dura Ace road lever; It’s going to make this SRAM garbage look like a “bag phone” from 1989.

  3. @bc…have you rode a set of these? What makes them garbage? How about he Shimanos? Do you have a set? Why are they so awesome? Oh wait, I bet you don’t have either…yet your offering up a well informed opinion about them… I’m glad you could add valuable content to this post…

  4. Exactly. I don’t need to ride these to know that they don’t work nearly as well as even entry-level Shimano hydro brakes. Combined that with horrible SRAM shifting, and you have a big pile of crap.

  5. Your right. Companies can’t change. Once they release a product that doesn’t perform to user’s expectations all their future products will be the same. Grow up people, if anything, newer Avid/SRAM products should hold a higher promise for quality/durability b/c they know they need to outperform other companies to regain marketshare. Keep posting opinions grounded in ignorance…just know that the intelligent readers out there are just rolling their eyes…

  6. @HTFU- yes, they’re rolling there eyes at you. These aren’t opinions grounded in ignorance. I have no hate for SRAM, but, Shimano’s mtb brakes have consistantly outperformed SRAM’s, in performance and especially reliability. It’s not even close. It is possible that SRAM could have a home run here, and Shimano’s line will suddenly go to crap with their inevitable introduction of a road disc, but their track record with hydraulics suggests that this isn’t the most likely scenario.

  7. Good to know there are people out there that blindly accept whatever company X has next in store and tout them as the best thing ever without actually riding it. Because there’s no way that company Y could ever produce something better. Sounds like the Apply fanboys.

    I agree with HTFU. When you’re newish to the industry and have been hit with a bad rap because of previous issues, any good company that wants to make a stand to stay in the market is going to do all they can to make sure what they bring next will have all the issues cleared up and be better than their competition to regain customer confidence and market share.

    I’m excited for these. I love the new RED performance and having a solid hydro disc system to go with it for cyclocross is going to rock my world.

  8. These are tall shifters for sure. I’m glad SRAM are pushing it and are working to offer better products. I wonder if it would be possible to integrate the hydraulic stuff directly in the handlebar..? Anyway, Hydraulic on a CX bike will be great; I can’t wait

  9. Word is that Shimano working on 11-speed XTR. And you get to use that with more than 1 chainring! 😀

    CX racers are gonna be using Dura-Ace 11-speed shifter mounted to an XTR 11-speed rear hub and mechanical Shimano disc brakes. Just you wait and see!!!!

  10. @tim-

    Actually, my first comment (the one that never posted) was well articulated and lengthy, so the post that you see above was facetious. It did in fact contain sentences. I do appreciate the exceptional wit displayed in your comment though. Apparently, swangaten does as well.

  11. hydro derailleur is not happening. have you used the acros system? its terrible. worst lever feel, and awkward to flip the hydraulic switch. i expect strong brakes, and occasional leaking problems.

    oh yeah, and 1500 mechanics who can’t bleed brakes right.

What do you think?