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Item # SHI004V

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Item # SHI004V

Fit for a new era.

With hydraulic braking systems on the rise among road cyclists, Shimano has released the ST-RS685 Hydraulic STI Lever for those ready to reap the benefits of more stopping power with less effort.

The RS685 levers are are built with lightweight alloy and feature the same esteemed lever/hood shape as the Dura-Ace 9000 group. With 10mm of reach adjustment, the RS685 can accommodate a wide variety of hand sizes with comfort.

The ST-RS685 Hydraulic Disc Brake and Lever is compatible with all of Shimano's 11-speed mechanical drivetrains, including Dura-Ace, Ultegra, and 105.

  • Lightweight alloy
  • Powerful braking and 11-speed shifting
  • Ergonomic shift arc
  • 10mm reach and free-stroke adjustment

Tech Specs

hydraulic disc
Recommended Use:
road, cyclocross
Manufacturer Warranty:
1 year

Reviews & Community


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what everyone says is right

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

the hoods are absolutely useless....if your real easy on them on install u might be ok but have to change a cable or bar tape and they become loose and are all over the place!!! the brakes work great thou, i ordered some new hoods hopefully they are not the same garbage and have been corrected...how the heck dis these get thru quality control!! I guess there is none!

Update....i ordered new hoods and installed them by pulling them right over, I figure if they are they old ones they are gonna stay loose and if they are the improved ones I'll be ok...happy to report they are tight and great!

Loose hoods make then useless.

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

The levers function as stated. The huge down side. The rubber covers on hoods stretch and never go back to size when you install them. Hoods are so baggy they move all around and make riding not only uncomfortable but dangerous. I'm a experienced non professional builder with years of experience. I'm not the only one with this problem. Just Google 685 hoods and dozens of complaints come up instantly. I would never buy these and will be removing them because they make riding a nightmare with hoods moving all around. These are the newest version levers and I can't believe this flaw made it past shimanos quality control. Completely angry at shimano and competitive cyclist for selling these after so many people having this issue. I would not buy until this issue is fixed and unfortunately you will need to untape and remove all cables and lines to put new hoods on if they come out with better ones because they remove from back of levers. 100% suck.

Avg. ride time: 4h 30m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

Are these compatible with Shimano deore brake calipers?

yes, these will work with Deore (or any other Shimano hydraulic) caliper.

First gen disc-brakes good but not great

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

I fit these on a newer cross bike with all of the cables externally mounted. First, they work well- the new stopping power is so instantaneous, I can’t feel any slack from the lever to the brake (and I really didn’t play with the fine tune adjustments like lever-reach), they are fun to ride with and take gravel bike riding to a new level. They are a bit heavy, but its new technology for the most part.
Now for the not so good, the hoods- they are made of almost a hard plastic, a less flexible material than the silicone rubber you find on Ultegra and Dura Ace. Additionally the hoods have about 8 inside contact press points that must be mated perfectly to the shifter chassis itself or the hood won’t sit right. To complicate this, the hood almost needs to come off in order to clamp it to the bar and install the hydraulic lines / shift lines. We are all detailed when putting together our bikes- these hoods will eat your time up and it won’t get perfect.
Another detail is the hydraulic and shift cable housing come into the shifter at a rough angle, if you are using these with non-traditional road bars (i.e shallow drop or ergo) there will be a gap of 5mm-8mm from the connection of the gear/brake lines to the inside handlebar. It covers with bar tape- but you will know it is there.
Additionally these were shipped without outer shift housing and a Shimano bleed kit. Plan accordingly, if you want to buy the recommended SIS-SP41 Shimano shift housing, I could not find it without buying a whole new inner cable set as well. The Shimano bleed kit is 100% needed as well to bleed these brakes properly; don’t even attempt to do it without the kit (lessons learned).
Despite these minor flaws, I would still buy these again. The shifters feel very solid under your hands. When you remove the hoods and expose the inner mechanical assembly, you get the feeling Shimano over engineered these for reliability reasons as a first-gen product.

shimano has revised the hood material. it feels and fits much better. call shimano direct if yours dont fit properly.

Avg. ride time: 6m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

Does this set include brake calipers?