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SRAM Red 22 Shifters/Hydraulic Brakeset - Disc

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Item # SRM0538

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Item # SRM0538


While other manufacturers continue to expand their electronic shifting capabilities, SRAM stays true to its roots, using laser-like focus to refine its mechanical road groupsets across all tiers. With Red 22, we see this executed beautifully once again, as the best characteristics that we've come to know from the Chicago-based brand filter through its top-end Red group of components, with the added benefit of an 11th cog. But we would argue that the biggest impact of the new group comes from the introduction of integrated hydraulic brakes. Just as the 11th gear marks a first for its road groupsets, SRAM's integrated hydraulic road braking options mark a first for any of cycling's major component companies. Now you're able to receive incredible modulation, powerful braking in dry and wet conditions, and the elimination of heat buildup at the rim. Both Hydraulic Road Rim (HRR) and Hydraulic Road Disc (HRD) options were engineered to seamlessly pair with the new 11-speed Red 22 drivetrain, and they both use SRAM's newly designed levers and hood bodies.

When examining the shifters, the first thing you'll most likely notice is that the Hydro R 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 carbon 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.

With the Hydraulic Road Disc Calipers, the overall system is pretty straightforward. The HRD calipers use 19mm front and 18mm rear pistons, with steel-backed organic pads that are angled at the bottom, allowing for quicker and easier wheel changes. 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 HRD'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 its HSX rotors and caliper mounting spacers/brackets separately. The 160mm rotors are recommended for pavement, and the 140mm rotors are recommended for cyclocross. Please note: SRAM's 160mm rotors have a 250lb rider/bicycle combined weight limit.

Tech Specs

[lever] carbon fiber, [caliper] aluminum
disc brake
Compatible Components:
SRAM 11-speed
Recommended Use:
road cycling and cyclocross
Manufacturer Warranty:
2 years

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Avg. ride time: 1h 13m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

Rotors not included

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

make sure to pick up the correct rotors and adapters.

SRM0523- HSX rotors

AVI0024- brake adapter