First Look: Shimano launches hydraulic road, cross brakes for non-electric group


Shimano hydraulic disc brakes can now be added to any 11-speed group

‏Shimano has announced the release of their first hydraulic road disc brake system for use with mechanical shifters, the ST-RS685 levers and BR-RS785 calipers. Though not part of a component group, the Ultegra-grade levers and calipers are compatible with all Shimano 11-speed road drivetrains.

‏The system carries over mountain bike technology from the company’s highly-praised Ice Technologies rotors and brake pads to aid managing heat buildup. The caliper features a new inboard, straight-type hydraulic line connector for a sleek, integrated appearance and employs a one-way bleed system that uses environmentally-friendly mineral oil fluid. It ships with resin brake pads installed, but longer-wearing metal pads are an aftermarket option. The caliper is also compatible with ST-R785 Di2 levers.

‏Shimano recommends their RT99 Freeza Centerlock rotor for all road hydraulic disc brake use due to its maximum cooling effect. When paired with Ice Technologies finned brake pads, 140mm RT99 rotors can be used without any rider weight limits. For riders seeking more stopping power, 160mm diameter rotors can be used.

‏The new ST-RS685 levers feature 10mm of reach adjust to accommodate a wide variety of rider hand sizes.


  • ‏BR-RS785 Caliper Only: $74.99
  • ‏ST-RS685 Brake/Shift Lever Only: $549.99
  • ‏ISTRS685 + BR-RS785 Kit Brake/Shift Lever + 2 Caliper Set: $699.99

Available: August 2014

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