A stopping force to be reckoned with.
When SRAM's Road hydraulic disc brakes hit the market last year, their performance was unprecedented. Incredible control, power, and consistency. The company readily admits, however, that they weren't as excellent and reliable as they could be, so for 2015, subtle but significant improvements address the aforementioned and help them reclaim their crown in the rapidly-growing world of road-ready disc brake systems. The SRAM Force 22 Hydraulic Disc Brake swaps out a few materials and gains a few grams compared to the Red 22 version, but otherwise is built with the same DNA to deliver an amazing braking experience.
To reboot its original road and cyclocross hydraulic braking systems — which were already ahead of their time — SRAM pulled apart every molecule of their anatomy to find room for improvements. The lever body, housing the reservoir and master cylinder, was reconfigured for more efficient internal spacing while at the same time boosting strength and stiffness, resulting in solid, consistent performance, regardless of braking or weather conditions. The master cylinder piston itself was also completely revamped, receiving an all-new bore design and new seals, after being subjected to thousands upon thousands of testing hours in every temperature and performance setting imaginable. The goal was absolute reliability, and the new system delivers.
SRAM was far from finished with updates, however. The new higher-capacity fluid bladder — the part of the system designed to maintain braking feel and consistency in compensation for pad wear — was also redesigned to improve fluid flow, so your brakes feel as great brand new as they do after a season of racing. On the action-end of the line, the caliper spring was re-engineered for more even pad contact and smoother retraction, translating into a more consistency and control in hand, regardless of riding conditions. Finally, the shift paddles were trimmed slightly to be both lighter and more ergonomic, and cyclocrossers especially will appreciate the new shape that allows for greater clearance when wearing thicker gloves.
As mentioned, the SRAM Force hydraulic system makes a few material substitutions compared to the top-shelf Red system to drive home the value. Force utilizes carbon brake levers but alloy shift levers, as opposed to Red's all-carbon configuration, and stainless steel hardware is employed, as opposed to that made of titanium. The system is fully sealed and easily serviceable, too.
The SRAM Force 22 Hydraulic Road Disc Brake is sold individually, in either left-hand or right-hand versions, so purchase one of each if you'd like a set. Each unit is pre-bled and includes the brake/shift lever, hosing, and caliper. Rotors are not included, but SRAM strongly recommends using its Centerline rotors — 160mm for road applications and 140mm for off-road/cyclocross use. The system weighs 471 grams per wheel, including a 160mm Centerline rotor.
- Redesigned lever body
- Reconfigured master cylinder
- Higher-capacity bladder
- Redesigned caliper spring
- Trimmed shift paddles