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There's no motorsport discipline where skimping on brakes in considered an acceptable practice, so why would you do it on your bike' If you're building up a new bike or looking to improve braking performance of an existing one, the Ultegra BR-R8000 Brake Calipers provide the performance of Shimano's premier group at a price that is palatable. Increasing power and creating a more predictable, linear brake path marks some of the exciting refinements on the new Ultegra brakes--and, considering that there's no rosy alternative to stopping with brakes, we're not at all embarrassed to call refinements in brake technology exciting. Receiving trickle-down technology from Dura-Ace calipers, the R8000 calipers are designed for R9100 and R8000 series dual control levers, but will work equally well with 11-speed levers from previous Ultegra and Dura-Ace groups that are designed to pull cable ratios required for SLR-EV calipers. These brakes receive the same angular shapes that define the rest of the Ultegra group, especially the cranks. These lines not only offer a more muscular look, they also help create better aerodynamics and increase rigidity, thus improving power. A stabilizer spanning larger pivots acts as a brace and prevents any torsional flex, creating better brake sensitivity and modulation. The new R8000 also clears tires up to 28mm, which is quickly becoming our go-to width for riding tarmac and makes for a more comfortable and efficient ride by better managing imperfections in the road surface. Just like the brakes in the 9100 Dura-Ace group, the brake release lever moves to a closed position in-line with the arch of the caliper, helping to improve aerodynamics. (We love the irony of brakes that make you faster.) The lever is easy to open on-the-fly if you're eyeing a 1,300-watt romp to the line and want to make sure the pads don't rub the rim. If a pre-finale puncture threatens your chances of winning from the break, a barrel adjuster allows for quick adjust...

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