The set of Shimano's RS685 Hydraulic ST Levers and Disc Brake Calipers will bring your Dura-Ace, Ultegra, or 105 11-speed drivetrain into the world of hydraulic disc braking. As the old paradigm of rim brakes continues to lose steam, it's only a matter of time before the majority of road bikes come equipped with disc brakes, stock.
Disc brakes are consistent, regardless of conditions and circumstances. There's no waiting breathlessly for the pads to clear the rim of water or debris before grabbing. There's also no panic when you're caught in the drops and confronted with a sudden obstacle like a darting squirrel or a car in a blind driveway. The brakes will still stop — even if inclement conditions are making every other surface sloppy and you don't have time to get a full purchase on the lever.
Of course, disc brakes aren't yet UCI road legal, which is why these levers get a generic serial number instead of one of Shimano's recognized proper names. We can confirm that, despite the lack of branding, these are the functional equivalent of the current Ultegra models when it comes to conducting your chain up and down your cassette and chainrings.
As if disc braking's confident consistency isn't enough, the RS685 calipers also feature Shimano's IceTech technology. This dissipates heat via cooling fins in the braking pads helping the brakes grab faster while also increasing pad life. While the levers work only for Shimano's 11-speed mechanical groups, the RS685 Calipers included here are actually the same as the RS785 calipers of the electronic shifters, we've just adjusted the name to eliminate any possible confusion.