SRAM RED 22 Hydro R (hydraulic rim brakes) was raced for the first time at the Tour. I mentioned that earlier with a post about Cav’s bike. Since then, SRAM dispatched a team to the Tour to document the event. We’ve got Hydro R installed on a bike and riding it now. See my initial review when I rode it in SoCal.
Writing from the Tour SRAM said
After we received acceptance from the sports governing body in June, it was obvious that SRAM RED 22 featuring hydraulic road rim brakes could and should be raced as soon as possible, and our professional teams emphatically agreed. The best opportunity to for Twenty-two HydroR installations were during the Tour’s second week. SRAM staff were joined by team mechanics from both Saxo-Tinkoff Team and Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team in SRAM’s German headquarters, where two full days of bike builds and technical training took place.
What SRAM RED 22 does is deliver a wider and smoother gear ratio, including the 16. Yep that’s another click in your drivetrain with an 11×26. As I’ve been describing HydroR to cyclists that ask, you know how you brake in a car? A little toe tap here and there and sometimes a full press when needed? Same thing with HydroR and that’s the bigger innovation than an 11-speed or arguably shifting with servo motors. In the simplest terms, you have far more control, modulation, and confidence with hydraulic brakes. It’s a slight or hard pull when needed.
SRAM has equipped Specialized Venges & Tarmac SL4s with HyrdoR at the Tour and see this gallery of the bikes in France. SRAM-sponsored Tour racers have the choice to ride the new kit and are expected to do so for more stages, including the 21st into Paris.