It’s been a busy past few months for SRAM. The HydroR brake recall is still moving along with riders getting more and more anxious to get aboard the bikes they paid for. And, while I’ve had great experiences with the Avid X0 Trail and Avid’s other top-end models, the complaints about the Elixir lineup are pretty easy to find. With that mixed history, SRAM wanted to clean the slate and set the stage for where they want to be and how they intend to change the minds of consumers.

For starters, the new SRAM Guide brake lineup will be available in three flavors: RSC ($199), RS ($149) and R ($129). Each model varies in features and function. They still stick with DOT brake fluid, which is superior, but corrosive.

For me, the biggest improvement that is hopefully addressed with these brakes is the need for bleeding. I hang bikes nose or tail-up in my garage — often times for months at a time. In that time, bubbles have developed, thus requiring bleeding. While I’ve had a great experience with the top-end Avid’s that has been my only major complaint. So, what else is cool?

What’s cool about the SRAM Guide brakes:

  • SwingLink: Improved lever throw throughout the stroke.
  • Minimized Deadband: That gap between lever pull and engagement will hopefully be improved with SwingLink with better modulation and no on/off feel.
  • Pure Bladder: Air bubble reduction — because air bubbles in your lines is a bad thing.
  • Reach Adjust: Been around for a long time, but it’s always a nice feature to have.
  • Brake Gobbling: Hopefully… fingers crossed… the new rotors and calipers will make brake gobble a distant memory.

SRAM product designer, James Alberts, gives his overview of the new Guide Brakes:

And, the details from SRAM:

SRAM Guide RSC Brakes

The new SRAM Guide RSC is packed with ride-enhancing performance that makes every new trail a trusted old friend. We started from scratch, to create the perfect combination of braking reliability and control. Brand-new SwingLink™ technology provides more power, silky-smooth modulation, less deadband and better lever-feel than you’ve ever experienced. Steep-line confidence. Deep-corner dominance. Ride every trail like you own it. KNOW YOU CAN.

SRAM Guide RSC Brake Lever

GUIDE RSC SPECS

  • Weight: 375 Grams
  • Contact Point Adjust
  • Tool-free Reach Adjust
  • MatchMaker X Compatible
  • Lever Pivot Bearings
  • Guide caliper
  • Colors: Polished Silver Ano or Black Ano
  • MSRP: $199 / € 177

TECHNOLOGIES

  • SwingLink™
  • Pure Bladder™
  • TPC Plus™

SRAM Guide R Brakes

Fast isn’t about pure speed, it’s about perfect speed. It’s about knowing the right line and having the confidence to ride it. Flawlessly. The new SRAM Guide RS is precision at your fingertips, with a proven 4-piston caliper and innovative SwingLink lever technology that gives you more positive pad contact and increased braking authority. Light, crisp, clean and now compliments your SRAM drivetrain.

SRAM Guide RS Brake Lever

GUIDE RS SPECS

  • Weight: 380 Grams
  • Tool-free Reach Adjust
  • MatchMaker X Compatible
  • Guide caliper
  • Colors: Black
  • MSRP: $149 / € 132

TECHNOLOGIES

  • SwingLink™
  • Pure Bladder™
  • TPC Plus™

SRAM Guide R Brakes

What’s it going to take to ride that line? It’s steep. It’s rocky. You’ve passed it a hundred times. But not this time. With the all-new SRAM Guide R, you have the power. Proven 4-piston calipers give you smooth, one-finger control. Features like Reach Adjust let you dial it in just right. And Guide perfectly complements other SRAM components and gives you flawless performance on every ride.

SRAM Guide R Brake Lever

GUIDE R SPECS

  • Weight: 375 Grams
  • Tool-free Reach Adjust
  • MatchMaker X Compatible
  • Guide caliper
  • Colors: Black
  • MSRP: $129 / € 115

TECHNOLOGIES

  • DirectLink™
  • Pure Bladder™
  • TPC Plus™

SRAM Guide Caliper (on all three models)

The Guide four-piston dual-diameter mountain bike caliper provides confidence in a lightweight package with more usable power. And it’s a mere four grams of weight difference over our two-piston XC specific caliper models.

New SRAM Guide Calipers

FEATURES/BENEFITS

  • Dual-diameter four-piston caliper
  • 14 and 16mm pistons
  • All mountain power and control

SRAM Centerline Rotor (on all three models)

The new Centerline Rotor was designed to keep the center of friction consistent throughout rotation thereby minimizing vibration.

New SRAM Centerline Rotors

THIS RESULTS IN

  • Quiet running
  • Smooth engagement
  • Consistent performance

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • One-piece
  • 140, 160, 170, 180, 200mm sizes
  • 6 bolt

More Info: Visit SRAM.com

About Author

A Seattle native, Jason developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 --sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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