In a previous question I asked about compatibility of drop bar shifters with mountain bike derailleurs. Now I'm curious about drop bar hydraulic brake lever compatibility to mountain bike hydraulic brakes. Is that something that can be made to work?

For example, if I got a bike with SRAM "Level" hydraulic discs, will SRAM integrated drop bar shifters/brake levers work with them?

I know the gear shifting will work as long as the levers and derailleurs are all 1:1 (SRAM's "Exact Actuation"). Is the same true of hydraulic brakes?

If that can be made to work, please provide an example SRAM drop bar lever that would work with those brakes.


  • Road mechanical discs need road levers (short pull). Mountain mechanical discs need v-brake levers (long pull). You really shouldn't interchange them without an appropriate travel agent (for the same reasons as their cable operated rim brake counterparts). – Batman Feb 28 '17 at 2:58
  • @Batman Thanks! I thought mechanical road and MTB disc brakes used the same pull ratio and were therefore interoperable. I've removed that statement from my question. However, my main question here was about hydraulic road/MTB brake compatibility. Any thoughts on that? – SSilk Feb 28 '17 at 16:55
  • No idea about SRAM. I believe the question for Shimano was also asked at some point, but I don't remember if there was a confirmed answer or not. – Batman Feb 28 '17 at 17:00
  • I don't have an answer (I got here because I have the same question), but I think the key question is whether the master and slave pistons are setup to be compatible (size/vol). From the research I've done, I think the answer is sometimes "yes" but often "no". The few MTB caliper dimensions I've seen are smaller than the 19/18mm (F/R) piston dimensions for the SRAM road calipers (but I've also seen a lot of variation across the models). This resource may prove useful for comparing to MTB cylinder sizes: docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/… – Hans L Dec 3 '19 at 2:19

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