Although SRAM's wireless Red eTap road group is not yet available, the company is already working on an eTap group with hydraulic brakes. A BikeRadar reader spotted two prototype groups at a coffee shop in Chicago, Illinois, home to SRAM's headquarters.
SRAM declined to answer BikeRadar's specific questions about this eTap HydroR group, instead offering this general response.
"SRAM’s commitment to hydraulic brakes for road is absolute and we plan to offer a full breadth of road hydraulic options. More information to follow," SRAM PR spokesman Daniel Slusser told BikeRadar.
SRAM already has the two main pieces necessary for an electric-hydraulic group, with the eTap's wireless technology and the second-generation HydroR road hydraulic technology. At face value, it's only a matter of integrating the shift/brake lever, which is what these prototype groups have done.
SRAM eTap wireless electronic shifting plus HydroR hydraulic braking would be "eTap HydroR", right?
The prototype eTap/Hydro levers feature a taller hood extension to house the hydraulic reservoir as in the current HydroR mechanical shift levers. The prototype shift levers appear to be the same as the forthcoming eTap shifters, with a single lever on each side. The eTap levers function like Shimano Di2 sprint shifters — the left shifter moves the rear derailleur left, up the cassette; the right shifter moves the rear derailleur right, down the cassette — but with the added twist that pressing both shifters moves the front derailleur to the other ring.
Shimano currently has a similar offering with its R785 electric/hydraulic shifter. Shimano pairs this shifter with an electronic Di2 drivetrain, either Dura-Ace or Ultegra, and the BR-785 calipers, which are basically Shimano XT mountain bike calipers.
SRAM currently has hydraulic brakes incorporated into four road groups: SRAM Red 22, SRAM Force 22, SRAM Rival 22 and the cyclocross-specific SRAM CX1.
BikeRadar will bring you more information and photos on this prototype eTap HydroR as we acquire it.
The SRAM Red eTap wireless derailleurs and HydroR hydraulic brakes already exist in separate groups. It appears they will soon be paired in a single group, too