Check out my new TRP 970 SL brakes. I will be sporting these babies for the 2010 season! While quite painful to remove Craig Edward's work of art EE brakes (sniff...), the new 970 SL are clearly TRP's best offering to date.
I also want to note, that while I'm a big fan of WW stuff, I'm not a fan of a lot of WW products on my own personal ride as I tend to break stuff
... However, I've always been a fan of WW brakes... and have watched them evolve over the years.
First starting with Ciamillo's Zero Gravity ti calipers. For quite some time ZGs were the end all be all with huge weight savings, but since then this niche market has become quite competitive. Reflective of that, others have emerged from small boutique outfits like Ti2 Racing, AX-Lightness, and EE cycleworks, and larger company offerings like Bontrager and TRP. Though not all have succeeded. Some have the weight savings, but at a performance penalty. Others had the performance, but not the weight savings. Some look cool and are just way too expensive. EE's have amazing performance, peroid... but the looks are polarizing (personally I find them unique works of art).
I've tried them all, owned some, but given the factors of weight savings, performance, price and aesthetics, the 970 SLs are a great mix. That being said, I think the retail price ($600) is reasonable, though some might find it hard to swallow... but also realize they are complex to produce. You'll be pretty hard pressed to tell a "feel" difference from the performance benchmarks: Dura Ace 7800 and 7900... and you're still saving considerable weight.
The 970 SLs are essentially an evolution of the 960s, which are an evolution of the Ti2 Racing brake. I actually did a review and comparison of these back in the fall of 2006
. While trying to walk carefully on this particular point... I want to give credit to Ti2 Racing
, as in my opinion, this is where the design originated. All water under the bridge… Bottom line, the outstanding performance I found in the Ti2 Racing brakes I was fortunate enough to ride for a few months is still in-tact with the 970 SLs. I will post some comparison shots in the near future.
Some techical points:
Construction -- these babies are cold forged from Magneisium, and then finished on the CNC for the fine shaping and cut-outs.
Wider Range of Spread -- Here is one point where other offerings have had a problem. The 970 SLs are designed to accomodate contemporary wider rim designs, such as the HED Ardenes and the latest Zipp 303 wheels, 23.5 and 24mm respectively.
Actuation Geometry -- The 970 SLs are right in-between Campy standard and new 7900, so no need for swap-out parts. They will work with any lever.
I've only been able to ride them a couple times outdoors, and once the cold snap is over (and I'm nursing a knee injury right now), I will come back with more detailed ride impressions. I will also post some pics on the scale.