Road Disc Brakes from Shimano and SRAM
While Shimano Dura Ace and SRAM Red are out of the price range of most non-competitive cyclists, the top-end groups from the largest component manufacturers tend to be a good hint of what technology will eventually trickle down to the masses. While not debuting at Eurobike, both of the Big-S companies have their hydraulic road disc brakes on display for mass consumption, each with a different take on making it happen. Shimano and SRAM’s hydraulic drop bar shift/brake levers look bloated compared to their cable actuated counterparts due to the pistons and fluid inside complicating the innards of what was once a simple cable pulling brake system. Shimano’s is electronic shifting only, requiring riders that want hydraulic disc on their road or cross bike to take the plunge into the electronic shifting world. SRAM’s version works their cable actuated deraileurs, and is also compatible with SRAM’s latest hydraulic actuated rim brake system.
They’re light, they’re expensive, and they’re going to be hard to get your hands on this year but are perhaps a sign of things to come. There was a time not that long ago that hydraulic disc brakes were only found on the most top-end mountain bikes before trickling down the line to more enthusiast level purchases. I’d imagine in but a few years such systems will be all but standard equipment on cyclocross bikes and we’ll all be looking back to the days when hydraulic drop-bar brake/shift levers were but a pipe dream, let alone an expensive 2014 reality.