SRAM has a new brake on the way, one that uses mineral oil rather than DOT fluid to activate its four pistons. The DB8 brake will initially be showing up on complete bikes sometime in the near future, but at the moment there's no definitive timeline for when they'll be available aftermarket. When they do finally hit store shelves, they'll be priced at $137 per wheel.
Why mineral oil? After all, every other brake in SRAM's lineup uses DOT fluid, and they've long touted that fluid's benefits. The goal for the DB8 brakes was to create a very low maintenance option, a brake that can be used for more than one season without requiring a bleed.
With their DOT brakes, SRAM recommends bleeding them at least once a year. That service interval is extended to once every two years for the new DB8 brakes, which will be welcome news for riders who'd rather, well, ride, instead of spending time wrenching, and for newcomers to the sport who are still developing their bike maintenance skills.
To avoid any possible contamination, the DB8 brakes use an entirely different bleed kit than SRAM's DOT fluid brakes. They also use Maxima's mineral oil, which is green, instead of the yellow DOT fluid.
The DB8 brake has a similar caliper design to SRAM's Code brakes, and they also use Code pads. The lever feel is said to be similar, although the DB8 brakes do have 10% less power than the Codes. Code brakes will still remain the higher end option, with less seal friction and a higher range of operating temperatures due to the use of DOT fluid.