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SRAM S-700 10-Speed Shift/Hydraulic Disc Brake Levers

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Item # SRM0517

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Item # SRM0517


Hydraulic braking entered the road world with SRAM's Red 22 groupset. And while the new rim and disc packages garnered most of the 11-speed crowd's attention, SRAM also made sure those running 10-speed drivetrains could get in on incredibly smooth and powerful braking provided through hydraulics. SRAM calls the system S-700, and it borrows the same technology that was implemented into its Red hydro line, save for slightly different build materials and 10-speed shifting internals.

The anatomy of the new S-700 shifters mirrors that of Red 22's hydraulic (Hydro R) levers and hood bodies. Differing from Red 22 Hydro R levers, however, is that the S-700 shifters were constructed using lightweight aluminum shift and brake levers instead of carbon. Upon first glance, you'll notice the Hydro R S-700 hoods look substantially larger than Red's Ergofit bodies. In reality, this boxy-looking hood shape is only slightly taller than the mechanical hoods, but the master cylinder head unit lends itself to the more prominent appearance. However, with all of the hydraulics housed within the hood, SRAM's able to keep its comfortable Ergofit hood feel with the new shifter construction. Like the Ergofit design, the padded, textured rubber and narrow profile carry over to enhance grip and reduce hand fatigue. Moving down from the hoods, you'll notice the front half of the levers keep the contoured shape of the Ergofit bodies, but the pivots have been lowered to accommodate the newly designed hoods. The back half of the levers remain unchanged, providing you with the same large shifting paddles and crisp DoubleTap mechanism found in the mechanical bodies. Similarly, the independent reach-adjustment screws are still conveniently located on the inside of the levers. Cable routing, however, for both the shifter and brake is restricted to the inside of the bars. The front shifter is Yaw compatible, which means it was designed for 2012 Red, but cable pull is sufficient for 10-speed drivetrains that aren't built with Yaw front derailleurs. Additionally, because it was engineered to work seamlessly with Yaw, the front shifter was built without the two-position big ring trim feature.

With the hydraulic S-700 disc calipers, the overall system is pretty straightforward. The disc calipers use 19mm front and 18mm rear pistons, with steel-backed pads that are angled at the bottom, allowing for quicker and easier wheel changes. Differing from the Red 22 Hydraulic Road Disc calipers, the S-700 calipers rely on slightly heavier, stainless steel hardware instead of titanium; besides that, functionality is identical. As you pull the lever, the plunger within the master cylinder moves upward and directs oil straight into the hose. At the caliper, fluid enters and engages a small piston, which actuates your brakes. This slight movement of the piston becomes the key to the S-700's incredible modulation. With just a couple of millimeters of piston travel, the wheel will lock up. But this action only occurs deep into the lever's pull, providing you with fine control over how much power you put into the brakes. In other words, this system provides a large amount of movement at the lever compared to the small but powerful movement at the caliper. Additionally, because it's a fully sealed system with no cable friction, it's incredibly smooth and requires just a light amount of pressure to rapidly scrub speed.

Like SRAM's Avid brakes, the Hydraulic Road line uses DOT5.1fluid and uses Avid's bleed kit. The bleed port is located at the top of the master cylinder, and it’s kept separate from the brake fluid’s normal path. SRAM's new Connectamajig (yes, you read it correctly) is the coupling hose that makes initial setup easy, as it easily pushes in and twists into place. With this Connectamajig, you can now recouple the hose after running it through the frame, without the need to fully bleed the system. And because hydraulic hoses are easily swapped out, SRAM gives you the option of running standard and 'moto' (left hand brakes the rear wheel) setups.

SRAM is selling the HS1, other rotors, and caliper mounting spacers/brackets separately, with 160mm for pavement and 140mm for cyclocross. Please note: SRAM's 160mm rotors have a 250lb rider/bicycle combined weight limit.

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