SRAM upgrades BB7 mechanical disc brake for 2013

Plus new SlickWire Road Brake XL cable and housing kit

One notable omission from this year's Eurobike show was SRAM's much-anticipated hydraulic rim and disc brakes, which previously were slated for release this autumn. The late delivery of these partially explains the dearth of disc-equipped road bikes for 2013. SRAM is filling the void somewhat, though, with a slightly upgraded version of its stalwart mechanical disc called the BB7 Road SL.

Aside from the sleek, polished 'Falcon Grey' finish and the switch to dark grey plastic for the pad adjuster knobs, the caliper body itself is unchanged. However, SRAM has added titanium hardware, aluminum backing plates, a new organic compound, and upgraded to the company's HS1 stainless steel rotor design to trim 34g from the current BB7 Road.

Claimed weight for a front caliper with 160mm rotor should now be about 290g but the cost more than doubles from just over $80 for the standard BB7 to $170/€152 for the new BB7 Road SL.

The black plastic pad adjuster knobs certainly look more upscale than the standard version's red pieces:
The black plastic pad adjuster knobs certainly look more upscale than the standard version's red pieces:
The new black adjuster knobs look better than the previous red version

SRAM also announced a new SlickWire Road Brake XL cable and housing kit, which uses a compressionless inner casing with a reinforcing overwrap to improve lever feel when using full-length. According to SRAM, the SlickWire housing is also 30 percent lighter than conventional brake housing. Based on our very positive experience with similar offerings from Yokozuna, we expect SRAM's new kit to also boost overall braking power and control.

Suggested retail price on the new cable and housing kit is $45/€40.

Projected availability for the BB7 Road SL brakes and the new cable and housing kit is this November.

In related news, SRAM at Eurobike said the company would continue to offer the popular Gore RideOn cables and housing "for the foreseeable future" after Gore told suppliers it was exiting the housing business.

For complete coverage from the world's biggest bike trade show, visit BikeRadar's Eurobike hub.

James Huang

Technical Editor, US
James started as a roadie in 1990 with his high school team but switched to dirt in 1994 and has enjoyed both ever since. Anything that comes through his hands is bound to be taken apart, and those hands still sometimes smell like fork oil even though he retired from shop life in 2007. He prefers manual over automatic, fizzy over still, and the right way over the easy way.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Up in the Colorado high-country where the singletrack is still single, the dirt is still brown, and the aspens are in full bloom. Also, those perfect stretches of pavement where the road snakes across the mountainside like an artist's paintbrush.
  • Beer of Choice: Mexican Coke
  • Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA
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