Shimano BR-R785 road hydraulic disc brakes: under the hoods

Getting the brake fluid topped up and ready to roll, plus riding video

Shimano's recent press camp in Sicily gave us a detailed look at the latest addition to their electronic drivetrains, the Shimano BR-R785 road hydraulic disc brakes.

See also:

Click on the gallery for a quick run-through on how to get the hydraulic units fluid filled and ready to roll.

Bleeding starts with the removal of the STI unit's bleed screw

Marcus, Shimano’s mechanic, prefers to remove the calliper from the frame to inject the fluid. He says it just makes things easier

Out of the box, rotors need some scrubbing in: out of the box, rotors need some scrubbing in
Out of the box, rotors need some scrubbing in: out of the box, rotors need some scrubbing in

Out of the box, the rotors need some scrubbing in

Contrary to earlier reports the shimano r785 di2 sti unit is considerably bigger than a standard mechanical di2: contrary to earlier reports the shimano r785 di2 sti unit is considerably bigger than a standard mechanical di2
Contrary to earlier reports the shimano r785 di2 sti unit is considerably bigger than a standard mechanical di2: contrary to earlier reports the shimano r785 di2 sti unit is considerably bigger than a standard mechanical di2

Contrary to earlier reports the Shimano R785 Di2 STI unit is considerably bigger than a standard mechanical Di2

We'll have plenty more to add to our Shimano BR-R785 review in the coming days but for now, check out some GoPro footage below of our tester Warren Rossiter getting to grips with the brakes on a 17km descent in Sicily. This was the first of three days of testing and the brakes were still wearing in, hence quite noisy. By day 3, the noise had all but disappeared.

Shimano r785 hydraulic disc brakes impressions

Video: Shimano BR-R785 hydraulic brake testing in Italy

E-tube technology

The new pairing of Di2 STI levers and hydraulic disc brakes can be added to 11-speed Dura-Ace Di2 and 10- and 11-speed Ultegra Di2, providing you have a disc compatible frame.

The levers are based on E-tube technology, Shimano's control software. Think of it like a CAN bus communicator in a car, the tech that tells you when you have a light out, or need to top up the fluids.

The E-tube project is accessed via the new charger or the diagnostic kit (available seperately). This allows you to add in new units to the system, such as sprinter shifters, TT shifters, or change the standard Di2 STIs for hydraulics. It also means you can configure the shift buttons to however you want, and alter the shift speed and multishift settings (the whole block or, say, 2 or 3 gears at a time). The E-tube software is web-based and accessed via the E-tube project website.

Warren Rossiter

Senior Technical Editor
Approaching two decades of testing bikes, Warren can be found on a daily basis riding and exploring the road and off roads of Wiltshire's Salisbury Plain in the UK. That's when he's not travelling the world to test the latest kit, components and bikes.
  • Discipline: Road
  • Preferred Terrain: Big, fast descents and rough surfaces like cobbles or strada bianca
  • Current Bikes: Decade Tripster ATR, Dedacciai Temarario, Cannondale Synapse, BMC Granfondo Disc Di2, Genesis Day One CX, Parlee Z Zero Custom, Storck Scenario Comp Custom, DMR Trailstar, Bianchi Pista, Cube SUV 29er e-bike
  • Dream Bike: Bianchi Oltre Disc, Bianchi Specialissima, Cannondale Slate, Buffalo Bike
  • Beer of Choice: Brew Dog Punk IPA
  • Location: Wiltshire, UK

Related Articles

Back to top