Coming this August is a major new version of one of the best, lightest road bike brake calipers on the market.
It’s impressive 168g claimed weight (per pair!) with pad holders (but not pads) remains the same, but word is they get massively stiffer, improve modulation and power and get easier to install and set up. Oh, and they look better than ever. And there’s more tire clearance.
To do all that, a lot of things had to change…
The forged alloy arms were redesigned in CFD to improve stiffness. Complementing that are thinner bushings between each piece, leaving less room for flex. From an aesthetic standpoint, the bushings were trimmed tighter so the edges no longer extend beyond the pivot points. Together, those changes make the brake stiffer, which translates into better modulation, too.
To make installation quicker and set up easier, founder Craig Edwards switched from an eccentric center mounting bolt to a traditional round bolt. The logo plug on the front hides the bolt for a cleaner look (and bolt), and word is the plug will be available in colors. You can see an example of this on the new Specialized McLaren Tarmac.
Besides creating the base to connect the caliper to the frame, concentric bolt allowed you to both adjust the height of the brake (and thus pad position) and center the caliper on the rim. Now, the pads bolt into longer slots, giving them a more traditional method of setting the pad height to meet the rim’s braking surface. A new wire adjuster sits behind the upper arm, letting dial it to center the brakes – without tools.
The changes opened up the rim compatibility, letting it fit 18mm to 28mm wide rims and easily clear 28c tires.
A few of the fan favorite features remain unchanged, though. The pad holders still allow for quick, tool free pad changes. The quick release strut on the top still just pops up to open the brakes fully, making wheel swaps super fast.
The eeBrakes’ design moves the pads equally on both sides, and it’s a mechanical sight to behold. The leverage ratio has been tweaked ever so slightly, too, and it’s designed to work equally well with older and current generation Shimano, as well as SRAM and Campy levers. We’ve been testing a set of the current model for a while and been very happy, but these changes certainly sound enticing, particularly at the limits of braking or if your cable housing is less than ideal (they particularly benefit from high quality, compressionless housing).
While the weight stays the same, price may go up a bit. Jason from Fair Wheel Bikes (who sent the pics and info, thanks!) says he expects them to be around $625 per set, subject to change. They’ll have them in stock as soon as they’re available. Target is late August.
All of the changes will be available on the direct mount version, too.