Frank Leyrer, how do you rate the recalls of the hydraulic road bike brakes that have only recently been launched on the market?
In my opinion, every recall is a positive thing, in principle, as improvable products are kept away from cyclists. Unfortunately, not every manufacturer has the courage to recall unsafe products.
Was it foreseeable that such systems would produce problems on road bikes?
Every high value (disc) brake bears certain risks in the structure and the fabrication, as bicycles are highly weight optimized products. In addition, there should be no dragging which would slow down the propulsion and produce noises. All in all the challenge in this field is clearly more significant than in the field of motor vehicles.
Would it not have been possible to avoid a recall by drawing from the experience of hydraulic mountain bike brakes?
As it is presented by SRAM, it is not the brake as such which is called into question, but seals in the grip which have failed in cold weather. These components must, however, bear high pressures within a wide temperature range and be mobile at the same time. One has certainly tried to fall back on what has proved to be good with mountain bikes. But the devil is often in the detail. The only thing one can reproach is that one has apparently failed to try them sufficiently out in practice. Test stand tests always reflect only a part of the reality.
Inspite of the recalls: Do you think that hydraulic brakes are the brakes of the future, also in the field of road racing?
Yes, because the advantages of the hidden routing of lines, the low-loss transmission and last but not least the crisp pressure point will never be achieved by a system actuated by cables.
Author: Carola Felchner