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Kona Demo Days: New aerobrake lever from SRAM

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SRAM's new 990 aerobrake lever puts a twist on brake adjustment.Photo: C. Johnson

The Ironman World Championships are being held this weekend in Kona, Hawaii. During the week leading to the race over 60 manufactures take part in the Demo Days. This serves as a default trade show for triathlon companies. Anyone with a stake in the triathlon market shows up to show off their new products.

One of the slickest products we were shown at the Kona Demo were the new 990 Aerobrake from SRAM. With new brake set ups like the ones tucked under the bottom bracket and wider rim widths like Zipp’s new FireCrest, adjusting your brakes from training wheels to race day wheels has become problematic. The engineers at SRAM have a new approach to this issue. Read on to see how the system works..Switching to your race wheels usually requires some adjustment of the brakes as well. In the past this wasn’t such a bug issue but with wider rims and brakes that aren’t easy to adjust this has become a problem. If you set them wide enough for the race wheels there is little stopping power when the more narrow training wheels are on. Set them narrow and the rim of your race wheel won’t clear. Many athletes have resorted to shaving down their brake pads to gain extra clearance, a solution which can have some dangerous consequences. SRAM’s new lever, the 990 Aerobrake is designed to solve this problem.

Loosen the 2mm allen bolt to start adjusting your brakes. Photo: A. Johnson

The 990 has a 2 mm allen bolt on the underside of the lever. Simply loosen this bolt and the entire lever rotates, acting as the adjustment mechanism. If you are sitting on the bike simply follow the old adage of righty tighty, lefty loosey. Just rotate the lever to tighten or loosen as needed then tighten the 2mm allen bolt and off you go. The 990 offers 8 mm of adjustment from the rim. The new system adds approximately 10 grams to each lever, so there’s not a weight penalty. The 990 also featured uni-directional carbon rather than the 3k weave used in the past.

With the 990, the entire lever rotates to adjust the brake width. Photo: A. Johnson
Continue rotating the lever to set the width, tighten the allen bolt and off you go. Photo: A. Johnson

This is a great solution for anyone who has to switch from training wheels to race wheels and wants to adjust the brakes easily. The 990 lever fits most aerobars, the exception being VisionTech, which are too narrow for many aftermarket brake levers. Expected M.S.R.P. is $125 and they will be on shelve as of January 1st.

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