In a sport where the beauty and efficiency of speed is of the essence, it's no simple task to inject any semblance of sex appeal into a device whose entire role is to defuse that speed. The original SRAM Red Brakes were sleek and attractive enough, but there was little to differentiate between Red and Force, besides the marginal weight savings. The goal of SRAM engineers was to create a clearer definition between their gruppos, while still improving on the original Red caliper. The SRAM Red Aero Link Brake Calipers accomplish this by reducing weight and increasing braking power, while still reducing the front brake's aerodynamic profile as much as possible. No small task, but thanks to SRAM's newly introduced AeroLink Arm with its Force Multiplier Link, the SRAM engineers have hit the mark with flying colors.
SRAM first obtained a patent for that AeroLink arm; a tiny pivot joint that hides behind the svelte calipers and multiplies braking power and modulation. This unique innovation allowed SRAM to greatly shrink the caliper's frontal area, as you can see in the greatly simplified cable routing where the triangular, skeletal caliper juncture once was. From the spring adjusters, to the cable clamp, to the caliper’s overall face, no detail was overlooked in its potential to reduce drag. This is also apparent in SRAM's redesign of the two-position barrel adjuster, where a grippy, soft touch coating takes on a shark fin profile as it meets the wind.
Longer rides in bad weather tend to take a much quicker toll on brake pads. SRAM accounted for this, making the quick-release lever easier to access, and including a four-position indexed release. This essentially removes the adjustment guesswork when it's time to loosen or tighten your calipers to account for respective pad wear. And yes, even the lever points out of the wind, when fully locked.
As an added bonus, the new SRAM Red Aero Link Brake Calipers are perfect for accommodating the wider tires riders often choose for fondos or brutal cobbled classics, as the pad-to-pad width was also widened to 31 millimeters, creating a maximum tire clearance of 28 millimeters. The brakeset's newly designed aero pad retainers ship with SwissStop Rash Pro pads.
[arms] cold-forged aluminum
One Color, One Size: 250g
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I was skeptical that these would be any better than the brakes I already had but bought them to complete my SRAM Red group.
There are some nice features that put these one step ahead of most brakesets and certainly any produced by SRAM.
1. The brakes are spring centered like a good canti-brake, which means they can't get knocked out of center and always stay centered. (See notes on cables below) 2. They are tiny 3. They have huge stopping power, but not too much. 4.Intimidates the competition because they look fast even if you are not
Notes on setup: The length of cable is super important as the brake is spring centered a too long or short of a cable will cause the brake to push one way or another. I had to start long and trim until the spring centering worked properly and perfectly. This took some time. Also, I couldn't get yokozuna reaction brake cables to work because the cable are too stiff. I wouldn't run yokozuna brake cables on anything anyways if you have the choice.
Price, I dock this one star for the silly high price. Not even the extra engineering on these can explain why they cost as much as three sets of normal calipers (SRAM Rival).
I installed these a few weeks ago to replace my 2010 SRAM Red calipers on a Focus Izalco. The installation was a breeze as the cable housing length did not have to be latered front or rear. Centering and adjusting them was a breeze. I am running Easton Carbon rims so my goal was to increase stopping power when riding with my hands up on the brake lever hoods. I would say there is at least a 20% improvement over the old SRAM Red with the cam action of the Aero when using the same amount of force. I also noted an overall weight savings of 40 grams for those weight weenies out there. I would recommend these if you are running carbon rims and need a little more braking power.