SRAM Hydro Road, Take Two
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In one of the most high profile miss-fires in the cycling industry, SRAM’s massive launch of hydraulic road was sabotaged by a huge recall due to failure of master cylinder seals in low temperatures. For a product already facing an uphill battle due to rider perception and product compatibility on the road it was a stunning turn of events. SRAM’s response was quick, honest and open. It immediately recalled all affected product and set about getting riders back up and running as soon as possible with its mechanical discs while continually keeping riders informed. It was a master class on how to handle a very difficult situation.
This response has hopefully delivered some well-deserved good will as SRAM begins take two on its road hydraulic. 2015 SRAM hydro now encompasses four groups, showing its commitment to hydraulic braking on the road has not wavered despite the shaky start. Here are the details on 2015 SRAM Hydraulic road.
Need to Know
• The lever body has been redesigned, both internally and externally, with a focus on material placement around the reservoir and master cylinder to improve braking consistency.
• With set up and maintenance a big concern for hydro newbies, SRAM has created a simpler interface for setting up and bleeding the brakes.
• The bladder is a higher capacity which improves its ability to compensate for pad wear.
• A new spring in the caliper is the only change to this part of the system, but according to SRAM will provide much more ease of use and better feel through a more consistent point of contact between pad and disc.
• The new shift paddle has been reduced in size, a move we can’t applaud enough, as shift paddles across all manufactures had gotten too large for riders with big hands, a fact we have lamented previously.
• The all important cold temperature reliability question has been addressed with a new master cylinder. SRAM has tested this master cylinder extensively in all temperatures, and has testing practices in place that will ensure all future hydro product that comes out of its factories is up to snuff.
• Four groups feature new SRAM 2015 hydro braking options – RED 22, Force 22, CX1 and Rival 22. All groups except CX1 feature rim and disc hydro options. Prices range from $421 for Rival rim hydro to $590 for RED 22 discs. Prices are per wheel and include lever, hose and caliper (disc or rim).