TRP’s new Hywire plug-and-play Shimano Di2 hydraulic brake system ( Kevict Yen |

TRP have forged a path for disc brake development for both road
and cyclo-cross. For 2013, the Taiwanese company are building upon their initial ‘cross
offering, Parabox,
with a plug-and-play hydraulic road disc system meant to integrate with
Shimano’s Di2 drivetrain.

The Hywire system costs US$599 and will be available
at retail this fall, post Eurobike and Interbike. However,
TRP say it’ll be available on complete bikes as
early as this summer. “It’s been in development for a year,” Lance Larrabee,
TRP’s marketing director, told BikeRadar. “We saw an opportunity to
make a Di2 adaptable system. We’ve been working on button position, and testing
with a couple of different iterations.”

The new system will work with Shimano’s two Di2 groups:
original Dura-Ace and the new Ultegra version. “The whole thing is designed with an eye toward both road
and ’cross,” said Larrabee. “We wanted it to be sturdy enough for long descents,
and any other kind of use that it may get.”

The Hywire system is fully hydraulic, unlike the
hybrid Parabox, and uses a larger piston and new brake pad compound to better suit the longer bouts of braking
and higher temperatures achieved when road riding. “It’s [the piston] a little
bit bigger than the rear caliper [of the Parabox] and has the same
sized pistons as the front caliper,” said Larrabee. “But it has more pad
contact with the same sized piston.”

The Hywire’s calipers are all-new and used front and rear,
as opposed to the front and rear specific calipers of the original Parabox

The new, larger, pistons will also be employed on the 2012 version of Parabox, but even still, TRP recommend road riders use 160mm rotors for best performance. Brake lines maintain a 5.5mm OD and run under tape, terminating at an alloy master cylinder housed inside the injection molded
resin brake lever body. 

The brake levers are fixed, and molded from carbon
fiber. The shift button lever is also fixed and sports two
vertically oriented buttons. The top one is responsible for downshifting
to a lower gear, while the lower button drops the chain into a higher gear.

The hook of the lever seems to put the shift buttons within
easy reach

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