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Shimano close to launching hydraulic road disc brakes

Could Shimano be bringing forward their release of a hydraulic road disc system?

The buzz surrounding disc-equipped road bikes is getting louder and it seems that there’s sufficient interest to reportedly push Shimano into bringing forward their launch date for a full hydraulic disc brake system to next year.

It was initially rumoured that Shimano would release something in their 2015 product range, but it seems that the 2014 range might see the addition of hydraulic disc brakes which, with the tremendously long lead times by the componentry giant, could mean we’ll be shown something next April.

Everyone is waiting for Shimano’s announcement. SRAM have already confirmed that they're working on hydraulic disc brakes for road bikes and from the photos we’ve seen, are getting close to a launch and. It appears they’re now in the final testing phase of development. The spy photos that are circulating on the internet show levers that are conceivably polished enough to be considered close to the finished article. 

Italian brake company Formula beat both SRAM and Shimano to be the first to bring a fully developed and integrated hydraulic disc system to market, showing it at Eurobike a few months ago. They’ve signed an exclusivity deal with Colnago, who helped with the development, for a year, preventing other companies using the system until the time is up. These have been developed with Campagnolo’s EPS (above) and Shimano Di2 groupsets.

Shimano have already developed a rival to Avid’s popular BB7 with their CX75 mechanical disc brake, pictured at the top of the story. While designed for cyclocross, there’s no reason why it can’t be used on road bikes. And if Shimano wanted to, they could have made that happen by now, but they haven't.

No, all eyes are on Shimano and SRAM's announcement of fully hydraulic road disc systems. And it seems it could be a lot sooner than we might have previously expected.

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David worked on the tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes

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