First Look: SRAM’s redesigned Hydro-R rim and disc brakes

News

New SRAM Hydro-R Brakes

SRAM’s redesigned Hydro-R rim and disc brakes have begun shipping this week.

Component maker SRAM is nearing the end of a very dark tunnel, with news this week that redesigned Hydro-R rim and disc brake systems have begun shipping to consumers effected by a worldwide recall that began late last year. Art’s Cyclery was one of the first shops to get a look at the new model year 2015 system and published the informative video seen below.

The redesigned lever gets new seals throughout, including the master cylinder o-rings, cover and bladder, as well as a revised master cylinder bore. Each of the changes are claimed to work in synchronicity to provide a firmer more positive lever feel, and address the leaking issue that caused the recall in the first place. Some brakes were failing in extremely cold weather.

SRAM-Hydro-Paddle-Size

Shift paddle size has been reduced, which will help with clearance issues.

SRAM’s also done its best to address some of the ergonomic issues from the previous generation, which had a decidedly boxy feel. The new hood and levers are more ergonomic, although the hood is actually slightly taller than the previous version. Shift paddle size is reduced, which will increase handlebar clearance, an issue for some riders, especially those with small hands who needed to reduce reach. Calipers have also been revised with lighter tension retention springs, meaning less effort is required for a given amount of stopping power.

We spent about four months on a Hydro-R rim brake set-up before the recall, and were generally impressed with the first effort. We’re expecting a new test set-up to arrive sometime this month and will provide additional details soon after.

First Look: SRAM’s redesigned Hydro-R rim and disc brakes Gallery
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Bleed Port

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Stopping Power

Changes to the caliper are claimed to have improved braking feel and modulation.
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Under the Hood

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SRAM Hydro-R Lever

The lever-hood is lightly taller, but ergonomics have been improved.
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SRAM Hydro-R

Paddle size has been reduced, improving clearance.
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New SRAM Hydro-R Brakes

Shipping to consumers this week.
About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympic Games, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures in British Columbia, Belgium, Brazil, Costa Rica, France, and Peru among many others. Sumner, who joined the RoadBikeReview.com / Mtbr.com staff in January, 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and edited a book on cycling tips. When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying the great outdoors with his wife Lisa.


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