spy shot of SRAM eTAP Hydro hydraulic disc brake group with electronic shifting

Thanks to an anonymous tipster that got really, really lucky with his timing, we got these pics of a prototype SRAM eTAP Hydro setup. Not that it’s any surprise that it’s in development, but it is encouraging to see something in the real world.

As for availability, our source says they heard from two different folks that a retail product is “a ways off” for reasons including brake development that may use a new design “similar to the Guide” and due to manufacturing capacity. Of course, those are unofficial answers, so we reached out to SRAM for comment…

spy shot of SRAM eTAP Hydro hydraulic disc brake group with electronic shifting

SRAM’s road PR manager confirmed they’re working on it without divulging any details: “We are committed to Hydraulic disc brakes and, as we¹ve noted, we plan to offer a full breadth of road hydraulic options.”

spy shot of SRAM eTAP Hydro hydraulic disc brake group with electronic shifting

All of us here at Bikerumor are stoked on the new Guide brakes, and with one ride on the Level dual pistons, it seems the thoroughly updated system is on par with the best out there. So, any trickle over tech from these new calipers to the road side means even better brakes on the pavement (not that we’ve had any problems with the current SRAM Hydro brakes, but it’s nice to see things continually progressing).


  1. If they’re working on eTap with hydraulic brakes, then surely there must be a development path for a mid- or long-cage rear derailleur.

  2. While aesthetically I agree the tall profile isn’t nice, it feels great on the bike. For me I’ll take the function over fashion, but not a poke at anyone. If you don’t care for riding up against the hoods or not a preferred position then you won’t appreciate the taller profile.

    • I dunno, I hate the Hydro-R levers. The hoods position feels squared off on the edges, and when I try to use them in TT mode (grabbing the hoods from above with entire fist) they are too straight up and down to be comfortable. This new shape looks to have solved both of those problems, ugly as it is, so I’d be interested to give them a shot.

  3. “Thanks to an anonymous tipster that got really, really lucky with his timing”

    Really lucky to find a bike at an industry event leaning right up against the brands logo, even with the crank arms aligned perfectly. What are the chances?

  4. Not even Shimano was able to shrink the hood on their di2 hydro levers. Anyways, i’ve actually come to really enjoy the additional peak on my SRAM levers. Adds security and sort of another hand position. And these levers look better than the current hydro ones because the peak is less square.

  5. I hated the look of those hoods before I got them, but now that I own a pair I couldn’t dream of giving up the extra security they provide on rough terrain. Love ’em.

  6. I have the same bike in the Force with Hydro build. Have to say I like the upright hoods, esp. under hard braking. I can only compare them to my old Campy – which were very comfy though. Love my road discs for all-weather, all-year Northeast commuting!

  7. These have been around since last fall. Employees in their Chicago office have test sets on their cross bikes and even on their commuters.

  8. These are beginning to look more and more like Shimano levers to me. I have a set of older Apex and these types of hoods are the reason I got in to SRAM. They are simple and small which looking like giant horns sticking out from your bike. I realize resistance is futile but nevertheless it’s a shame these things are getting bigger and bigger instead of staying the same size and getting smaller guts with smarter tech, I suppose they will shrink. But look at the cellphone, we got it smaller and smaller now we want 12in screens and computer CPUs in them.

  9. The Campy and Sram levers fit my big hands, please dont change that. If mtb guide brakes are anything to go by, the road has just received high modulation & performance braking. Now, just to make a protective cover for the front half of the disc and the back half of the rear disc and re-introduce into the peloton.

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