Eurobike 2016: SRAM Red eTap HRD Brakes

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At some point in the next few months you’ll read the full rated review of SRAM’s wireless electronic shifting system. The SRAM eTap system has been available for a little while now, and we’re excited to get ahold of it to see how it performs when the going gets gritty.
In the meantime…At the Eurobike show last week, SRAM unveiled its new hydraulic braking system to provide the slowing and stopping parts of the eTap platform.

SRAM Red eTap HRD Brakes
All of the bits for the new SRAM Red eTap HRD Brake system.

The new SRAM Red eTap HRD system, which incorporates SRAM’s new HydroHC platform, is said to combine, “the unconditional braking performance and control of hydraulic disc brakes with the adjustability of conventional rim brakes.” That’s quite a statement to make, and it sounds quite interesting.
SRAM Red eTap HRD Brakes
Setup for lever contact doesn’t get much easier than this.

SRAM Red eTap HRD Brakes
All you need is a 2.5mm hex key and you can adjust lever reach.

SRAM Red eTap HRD Brakes
The hoods have been designed with a smaller diameter for more comfort and confidence.

In addition to an ergonomically designed lever and hood, the latter of which enjoys a smaller diameter for smaller hands, the brakes offer the following features:

  • Reach Adjust Are you tired of trying to reach the levers when you’re in the drops? SRAM fixes that with the ability to for some fore and aft adjustment.
  • Bleeding Edge Technology This awesomely-named feature states you can bleed these brakes in 90 seconds, hassle free. This is very intriguing…and exciting.
  • Contact Point Adjustment This enables you to choose where, in the stroke of the lever, the brakes actually engage.
  • Connectivity Since these brakes will be part of wireless eTap system, the lever/shifter unit will wirelessly connect to the drivetrain part of the system thanks to SRAM’s Airea encrypted network. (Ten years ago, I never imagined writing “encrypted network” in a sentence having anything to do with bicycles.)
  • Heat Management A heat shield, insulated aluminum pistons and a wide pad pocket all come together to reduce heat in the caliper, resulting in more responsive (and confident) braking.

SRAM Red eTap HRD Brakes
The calipers will be quite effective at managing heat.

Additionally, one of SRAM’s main goals with the new brakes is the ease of setup. SRAM, with another cool name (“Stealth-a-Majig”) has simplified setup by employing a brake hose fitting paired with a new hose barb and threaded olive. Combined with the aforementioned Bleeding Edge Technology, SRAM representatives tell me setup is quick, and fluid loss is minimal.
SRAM Red eTap HRD Brakes
Stealth-a-Majig. Stealth-a-Majig. Stealth-a-Majig. Easy setup!

The SRAM Red eTap HRD brakes will start shipping with the rest of the eTap system by the end of the year.

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