Gear News

Shimano unveil hydraulic road disc brake, compatible wheelset and electronic STI lever

Shimano has unveiled a new, non-series, hydraulic road disc brake and compatible electronic dual control lever and wheelset.

The road disc brake system is compatible only with Di2 electronic shifting, and the dual control levers and disc brake calipers will be sold as a single package priced at £599.99.

The Shimano BR-R785 hydraulic road disc brake caliper and SM-RT99 rotor

Shimano describe their hydraulic road disc brake as “Ultegra level”, presumably because such technology is banned by the UCI at the pro race level for which their flagship Dura Ace groupset is intended.

The Japanese component manufacturer claims a host of benefits for its disc brake system, including heat management on long descents, consistent braking in all weather conditions, and braking levels customizable to a rider’s size and ability.

ST-R785 dual control lever

The front profile of the ST-R785 dual control lever is higher than its Ultegra equivalents, both mechanical and electronic, to accommodate a fluid reservoir for mineral oil.

The Shimano ST-R785 hydraulic disc brake-compatible dual control lever

It doesn’t appear quite as pronounced as the SRAM Red 22 equivalent and Shimano is claiming a “comfortable and natural hand position for all day riding comfort.” They’re also claiming a lighter action than required to operate mechanical brakes.

The ST-R785 dual control lever is sold only with the BR-R785 disc brake caliper and costs £599.99 a set.

BR-R785 brake caliper

Cooling of theBR-R785 brake caliper is aided by a technology known to Shimano as ICE, one featured on their XTR and XT mountain bike groupsets: a three-layer stainless and steel and aluminium construction in the rotor to radiate heat and reduce temperature by a claimed 100 degrees.

The Shimano BR-R785 hydraulic road disc brake caliper

The BR-R785 disc brake caliper is sold only with the ST-R785 dual control lever and costs £599.99 a set.

SM-RT99 rotor

The SM-RT99 rotor will be available in two sizes: 140mm and 160mm, with the former Shimano’s recommended standard. The larger disc is included “as an option for people who require more brake power”.

The Shimano SM-RT99 hydraulic road disc brake rotor

Fins in the rotor are included for heat control, and claimed to deliver an additional 50-degree heat reduction. The net effect? No rider weight restriction, according to Shimano, a bold claim underscored with the caveat “in normal road usage”. The rotors are attached to the hub with Shimano’s Center-Lock system,  a technology present for some time in their mountain bike range.

The Shimano SM-RT99 – Ice Tech FREEZA rotor with Center-Lock attachment is available in 140mm and 160mm configurations and costs £54.99 each.

WH-RX31 wheelset

The wheelset is equipped with an 11-speed compatible hub, fashioned to accept the aforementioned Centre-Lock rotors. A spacer is provided, allowing it to be used with eight, nine, and 10-speed systems. Shimano say the WH-RX31 is suitable for road and cyclo-cross use.

The Shimano WH-RX31 rear wheel

The Shimano WH-RX31 costs £129.99 for the front wheel and £149.99 for the rear. The 28-hole hubs will be available to buy separately at £54.99 for the front and £94.99 for the rear.

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