SRAM Announces New G2 Four Piston Brakes

Mar 28, 2019
by Mike Kazimer  

SRAM's Guide brakes were well received when they first hit the market back in 2015, but then the revamped Code brakes showed up. The extra power and better lever feel of those DH-oriented stoppers meant that they started appearing on shorter travel trail bikes, in addition to the burlier, longer travel bikes that they were originally designed for. SRAM's engineers took note, and the result is the new G2 brake, which are designed to deliver more power and an improved lever feel compared to the first generation Guides.

There are two different G2 models, the RSC and the Ultimate. Both have external pad contact and lever reach adjustments, but the Ultimate has a carbon lever blade that pivots on a cartridge bearing, as opposed to the RSC, which has an alloy lever blade and a bushing at the pivot point. With a claimed weight of 242 grams, the G2 Ultimate is the lightest four piston brake in SRAM's lineup.
SRAM G2 Brake Details

• Intended use: trail / enduro
• G2 Ultimate: $280 USD per wheel. Weight: 242 grams
• G2 RSC: $180 USD per wheel. Weight: 255 grams
• External pad contact, lever reach adjust
• Three pad compound options
• Four phenolic pistons
• DOT 5.1 brake fluid
www.sram.com

The main difference between the G2 brakes and the first generation Guides is at the caliper level - there's now more material around the bolts, and a narrower pad pocket, which is intended to increase stiffness and deliver a more solid feel under heavy braking. In fact, SRAM say that the G2 brakes are 7% more powerful than the previous generation Guide brake. The aluminum pistons and the heat sink found on the Guide S4 caliper are gone, replaced by phenolic pistons that are said to handle heat so well that the tiny heat sink is no longer required.

There's also a new pad compound called 'power organic' that's said to have a more aggressive bite and be better able to handle sustained braking. I'm a proponent of metallic pads for all conditions, but it'll be interesting to see if this new option manages to be the best of worlds.

The new G2 brakes will be available in April, with a retail price of $280 USD per wheel for the Ultimate, and $180 for the RSC version.

The new G2 body is said to be stiffer and more powerful than the previous version.
SRAM's Bleeding Edge fitting should make bleeding G2 brakes a simple and mess-free procedure.

The G2 RSC caliper uses a bushing rather than a cartridge bearing at the lever pivot to keep the price down.

There are now three brake pad compound options - organic, Power organic, and metallic.


Photos courtesty SRAM.


281 Comments

  • + 162
 G2>Guide>Juicy. Each name change results in 2.8999% reduction of the "Mutilating Turkeys" sound.
  • + 73
 I've been rocking guides for 4 years and on a couple of different pads and never heard a peep. Am I licky or just better at setting up brakes?
  • + 25
 @tufty: No, I'm the same. I've been running Sram/Avid brakes for years and never had any noise troubles. Metallic pads= noise (no matter brand of brake) Sintered or Organic pad=no noise. Organic are the way to go!
  • + 25
 @timmyelle: Looking down the comments I am seeing seized bits and people bleeding them all the time. I mean I am no pro hitting alpine descents but Jesus my maintenance levels are abysmal.

Running the Guides and have only bled them once, they really could use a fluid change, and I half ass clean them every so often. Strong, consistent and silent braking.

Now I am not taking sides but the same can't be said for my XT brakes on my hardtail. But then they were second hand
  • + 32
 @timmyelle: Sintered and metallic are the same thing.
  • + 28
 We are still swapping defective levers at this time when more than a year ago Sram said that it was just a few from a bad batch.
It has been about 10 plus years that Sram keeps using the words : This is the best brake we have ever produced
  • + 16
 @endurocat: It all fairness, it is true. Juicy's and elixir were both terrible, but they've gotten better with each gen.
  • + 23
 Looks like SRAM are working at finding the G spot. As usual, they're having trouble finding it.
  • + 3
 Yes they have improved in the acoustics but they still squeal like pig with a bit of dust or rain. A lot more so than my Saints.
  • + 3
 @Boardlife69: get the SwissStop pads. Any of them. For any of your brakes. No noise and lovely performance.
  • + 65
 @usedbikestuff: I used oil once to reduce the squeal. No noise and got a KOM. Scariest ride of my life though.
  • + 7
 @tufty: Mine have been quiet too, not sure what everyone's talking about. First gen Guide R.
  • + 16
 My Guides have this cool feature that completely eliminates the turkey sound... Just ride in even remotely warm weather, and they magically compress on their own, leaving no room for contaminants to make things squeaky! Really forward thinking stuff from SRAM.
  • + 2
 @tufty: I'm with you, man. I had the infamous Elixirs, and they worked fine. In 10 years, I bled them maybe three times. They never really squeaked until the rotor was at the end of its life. Overall, they were solid and very reliable.
  • + 3
 My god the Juicy brakes sounded terrible.
  • + 0
 @usedbikestuff: Say most, but my Elixir CRs have been stopping a 40LB bike on near-vert rock gardens for 6 years without a peep and only the occasional bleed and set of pads every year. I guess I’m lucky.
  • + 3
 @tufty: the turkey was a result of hot gases being trapped in the holes in the rotor and pads. They changed their rotor design a while back.
  • + 2
 @DirtbagMatt: Don't get me wrong, each generation has been better than the ones before and i won't say that it is purely noise that i was talking about. Juicy's had that terrible clip in them that was a pain in the ass, the elixir was a whore to bleed and you could un-thread the body and cause the thing to fall apart if you had pad adjust. My guide R's have been just fine, but the bleeding edge would be nice to have. little improvements.

that being said, i have swissstop pads and rotors so it is quiet and stops. I don't need pad adjust or smoother lever feel.
  • + 2
 @endurocat: Perhaps "this is the best OEM brake legacy we've been able to sell"?
  • + 1
 @tufty: Very very lucky!
  • + 5
 My preferred brake brand is better than yours and you're a d*ck and I hate you
Etc etc
  • + 4
 @MTBrent: yeah I was going to say, the noise is intentional, it indicates the lever pistons have not seized yet. Once they go quiet you know it's time to warranty the levers again.
  • + 1
 I hate Guides, and most everyone I know hate Guides, and most everyone I know has replaced their Guides under warrantee.

However, I got a set of Level T's on my new bike and they are actually really good. I'm not sure why/how, but I would run a set of them over Guides any day.
  • + 1
 @Thustlewhumber: iirc the Enduro mag test showed the Level brakes to be a touch more powerful than the guides. Maybe your experience matches up with that.
  • + 3
 @Svinyard: I still switched them out for Zee's tho
  • + 1
 @tufty: I’m the same my m7000 m8000 have all had issues, need loads of maintenance and don’t work particularly well when they’re not playing up anyway but my guides which have been amazing over two and half years are shit according to these deluded pinkbikers. People have their bias and they just say ridiculous shit because they don’t really know what they’re talking about or aren’t really pushing their gear very hard or they wouldn’t be say stupid stuff like that. Anyone who’s gone into a rough corner too fast with XT brakes will know what I’m talking about.
  • + 1
 @timmyelle: yeah maybe if you ride in bone dry conditions year round but when it gets wet metallic are far superior
  • + 1
 @jakketayylor: Nah. I live in New England, plenty wet up here. Organic pad work just fine.
  • + 77
 Cue SRAM haters in 3...2...1...
  • + 21
 ITS SHOWTIME!!
  • + 69
 Gobble, gobble, gobble....
  • + 14
 @funkendrenchman: hah. The turkey lives on. But, my guides on various bikes have been silent for the past 4 years.
  • + 13
 Alright I'll make the first complaint.

More material around the caliper bolts? Oh, so you mean the design that meant the allen key rubbed on the caliper body when tightening/loosing on the original Guides just got even worse?? Nice going, numbskulls.
  • - 2
 I may not be a SRAM hater, but I am a Guide hater. Every set I've ridden seem to have a wildly inconsistent bite point, regardless of whether they were bled recently or not. The bite point would change bike ~2 cms from one pull to the next, so you end up riding down the trail pumping your brakes so you don't overshoot your braking points.

My Codes have been so much better though. Crazy how much strong, functional brakes can reduce arm pump issues!
  • + 3
 Pay 100 big ones for a carbon lever that will probably explode the first time you go OTB? Nah, I’ll just bend the RSCs back SRAM.
  • + 12
 @mph51: if you dont overtighten the bar clamp the whole lever can rotate in OTB moments instead of breaking
  • + 12
 @eblackwell: Are your sure your not confusing guide with shimano?? Most inconsistent in the game!
  • + 2
 @mph51: The RSC uses a bushing though, which kinda sucks. It probalby doesn't cost THAT much more to not include a bearing.
  • + 2
 @Pavel-Repak: Totally, they are basically charging you $100 for a carbon lever. I’m happy with the pad and reach adjustment. RSC seems like a bargain with those features honestly.
  • + 1
 @mph51: Take it easy on the OTBs brah.
  • + 1
 @mnorris122: Ha, I know exactly what you mean and that is probably my biggest complaint with my guides (interpret overall I have been happy with my sets especially compared to my XTs)
  • + 1
 @TheChoppingBlock: haha! Can’t stop won’t stop!
  • + 1
 @Pavel-Repak: But how else would sram charge you a premium for the ‘improved’ version
  • + 1
 @mnorris122: OK... More material around the caliper bolts refers to the bolts used to join the two caliper halves together. If your worried about marking your calipers while bolting them to your frame mounts, use a piece of tape either on the allen/torx key or a small piece on the caliper itself. Just be smart about, rather than bitching about it.
  • + 53
 Ooooh 7% more power? Wow. Wow. Wow.
  • + 26
 Get back to me when they've got 70% more power
  • + 9
 7% more is notable. Especially when you already have incredibly powerful brakes.
  • + 18
 @gooutsidetoday: Yes that's if you already have incredibly powerful brakes, which ain't the case with Sram brakes.
  • + 14
 Thats a 7% reduction in praying to God that your brakes stop you in time.
  • + 21
 So, up to SLX levels now?
  • + 14
 Lol, doesn't matter if the wheels are locked up and you're still going forward...
  • + 0
 @mtbmaniatv: Good luck locking the wheels with Guides.
  • + 2
 @Thustlewhumber: Hahaha fair enough. Now you're 7% closer to being able to then.
  • + 1
 Prolly 6.998%, but they rounded up to 7.
  • + 36
 Every pair of SRAM brakes I've owned that used a bushing in the lever (Guide R, Guide RS) developed vertical lever flop within a few months. It's disappointing to see the RSCs use that same bushing mechanism instead of a bearing like the Guide RSCs do and have to pay $100/side more for a lever that doesn't feel like a limp wiener.
  • + 12
 100% agree. For me, Guide RSC (or Code RSC) have the best lever feel.
  • + 10
 agreed! this kills it for me. my guess is no one was buying the ultimates because lets face it, who wants to pay a huge upcharge for some silly carbon levers. but I did buy the old RSC's specifically for the bearing and the adjustment features. now I have to shell out money for a carbon lever that I dont want in order to get the lever feel I do want. Thanks...
  • + 35
 I really hate when my caliper flexs, finally they made it stiffer
  • + 8
 This is what we're all measuring when we try the brakes on every stationary bike in the shop, right?
  • + 1
 Stiffer Everything!!!
  • + 21
 "The G2 RSC caliper uses a bushing rather than a cartridge bearing at the lever pivot to keep the price down."

Because "$280 USD per wheel for the Ultimate, and $180 for the RSC version." screams value.

Maybe it was done to improve margins.
  • + 9
 Did they change any piston diameter to increase power? They should release the 220mm rotors that their DH teams use instead, 10% raw mechanical leverage increase, more heat dissipation, and they would match 50t cassettes.
  • - 1
 And also release the centerline x rotors in 200mm not just 180, they would make a nice battle against shimano a ice tech
  • + 1
 Good luck getting heat in them when running metallic pads, been there tried that more of a pain than its worth
  • + 11
 Aren’t these just Guide levers with Code calipers? There are to many variations of the Guide brakes now
  • + 7
 Look like just a revamped Guide. Code calipers use two different sized pistons and these look like uniform sized.
  • + 6
 The calipers are definitely a little different, but obviously based on codes (which is a good thing).
  • + 6
 @tgent: guide proportions with code looks
  • + 5
 That's the Guide RE
  • + 1
 @Bflutz625: My Guide R's use different sized pistons, too
  • + 13
 Saints and just be done
  • + 7
 Have a set of guides in the garage waiting to be warrantied for the third time within a year from lever piston seizing. Maybe these might last more than three months. For perspective, I thing they work great but stop working shortly after. Every rider I know that has or has had the guides have had the same problem in the same period of time.
  • + 4
 I think it was remedied.
  • + 6
 @tacklingdummy:
My issue with the guides were remedied by replacing them with shimano XT.
  • + 3
 Yup. On my 3rd warrantied pair. Sold them and went for Zee. For me SRAM brakes are garbage.
  • + 1
 @tacklingdummy: Definitely remedied.
  • + 3
 My guides have lasted a full 2 years with zero issues. If they are later than 2017 MY the piston seizing issue has been remedied.
  • + 0
 @gnarnaimo:
Not coming back at you snarky so we can start there. I see you live in Canada. For some reason I didn't have problems with the breaks during winter in Arizona but once the temp outside went above about 74 degrees... the brakes would just fail. They would consistently fail the same way with others in the area. They probably work well in cold climates but above 74 and they are toast.
  • + 2
 @vjunior21: So that's about 23 degrees, we see those temps normally through the summer and even into the spring and fall. Not abnormal for us to see over 30 degrees on the PNW here, never had an issue with my levers except on my 2016 aurum which were warranties to be trouble free.
  • + 9
 Why did they get rid of the bearings? If they all start feeling like the current Guide R because they decided to not do the bearings they'll feel like garbage.
  • + 10
 power organic - the avocado of brake pads!
  • + 2
 Artisanal, too, no doubt. Perhaps even shade grown...
  • + 9
 Seems like they didn't fix the Guide's main problem : piston lock at the lever
  • + 2
 They changed the piston design apparently. We'll see.
  • + 21
 That was solved like 2 years ago
  • + 4
 @Danheckler: I remember when your juicy pads fell out on flume trails. Miss ya buddy. Eff the ice chickens!!!
  • + 1
 @highcountrydh: down with the B's!!!!! Maybe see ya in the first round?

Miss you too mofo!
  • + 3
 I haven't had a problem since I warrantied them.
  • + 5
 Yeah that's a 2017 and older issue there bruh. Get with the times!!
  • + 3
 they fixed it.
  • + 1
 @knarrr: happened to my guides bought 12 months ago, not old stock either. Two warranties already. My 2yo set of guides I just threw in the bin
  • + 3
 @gnarnaimo: The newer smaller sized plastic pistons from the service kit als got stuck in my Guide Ultimates. Replaced these with TC4/GR5 Titanium alloy pistons from Shoutai/Aliexpress which solved this issue.
  • + 7
 I have a set of sram guide brakes and I've had no problems, I also have a set of shimano saint brakes and they are the best brake I've ever used, ,
  • + 3
 I have a set of Guide Rs and they require more work to keep a good lever feel than any brake I've ever had.
  • + 8
 Maybe I’ll try them when SRAM starts to use Mineral Oil like the rest of the civilized world.
  • + 16
 ...but but but these ones use POWER organics
  • + 37
 One of Sram's reasons to stay with DOT 5.1 fluid is because you can get DOT 5.1 fluid anywhere in the world that has automobiles. The Mineral Oil used in hydraulic brake systems is most often a proprietary chemical produced by the brake manufacturer, which wouldn't be as easy to get in some parts of the world. DOT 5.1 fluid is DOT 5.1 fluid - no matter who manufactures it. That being said - XT brakes for life!
  • + 11
 Maybe I'll try them when SRAM starts to make functioning brakes...
  • + 27
 wtf? i'm running SRAM brakes, because of ther feel and DOT fluid... I hate mineral oil, it is very hard to get, compared to DOT brake fluid.
  • + 27
 Oil is for fries. Brake liquid is for brakes.
  • + 16
 @karoliusz Mmmm, fries
  • + 20
 You obviously just don’t understand.
Mineral oil is why Shimano brakes have some many problems that you are in denial about.
  • + 15
 DOT 5.1 > mineral oil
  • + 19
 I've been on the same set of SRAM Codes for 6 seasons. Over 70 days of DH in three of those seasons. I'm still waiting for them to fail. Just picked up a new set for my trail rig. Not sure what the hate is all about.
  • + 3
 @Danheckler: That makes sense. In addition, power steering fluid (most of which are mineral oil based) can be used for small bleed jobs. Make sure it's not ATF though - many are synthetic based and have detergents in them that can harm some o-rings. I do love my cheap SLX's.
  • + 2
 @chriskneeland: anecdotes...
  • + 10
 DOT has a much higher boiling point and is much more consistent than mineral oil. That is precisely why many brake manufacturers use DOT. Mineral Oil gets all the feels and such. That said, unless you have a pro mechanic or enjoy constant bleeds, DOT is a far better option for brakes. Full disclosure I run Hope brakes with evil DOT and can go a full season of DH park riding without a bleed.
  • + 2
 @embi: Just use whatever oil you found. I use salad oil ,hahahaha.
  • - 2
 @wibblywobbly: Shimano Brake Problem? Please List some because in 10 years of xt and saint i am still yet to find a problem! The only problem i found yet is that i have to change the Pad.
  • + 10
 @chriskneeland: Yeah I'm confused. 4 years on Guides and they have been incredible the entire time.
  • + 0
 Mineral oil is good. I don't like wearing gloves and protective eyewear when doing bleeds. Also as a bonus, the skin on your hands will be glowing and moisturized after a brake bleed with mineral oil. My aspirations of becoming a hand model may be a reality.
  • + 12
 @dutflip: as someone who’s had four xt and two slx fail this year. I’m struggling to find your trolling amusing.
  • + 3
 @tufty: as have mine. Blinkered shimano fan boys with their heads in the past.
  • + 6
 @bman33: My old 4Runner and bike have shared the same brake sauce in a time of crisis haha!
All Hail The Dot Sauce!
  • + 4
 @Aziegler: "Brake Sauce" Big Grin
  • + 2
 If trolling, well done. If not trolling, fail.
  • + 1
 LOL just go to Formula Cura SRAM brakes are just a nightmare
  • + 0
 @thenotoriousmic: fail how?
  • + 0
 @thenotoriousmic: was not suppose to be amusing! just had good luck with shimano and bad with sram i still tink that sram brake feel better but i was tired of bleeding brake every single ride
  • - 1
 @bman33: nope. Shimanos mineral oil boils at 280 C, which is higher than any DOT fluid. It also doesn't absorb water, so it doesn't have a low wet boiling point lime DOT.
  • + 9
 I wonder why your car doesn't use mineral oil for brakes... Hmm.
  • + 3
 @embi: Hard to get? Like every bikeshop....also you get a liter bottle and you have it for ages so what is the point
  • + 1
 @Danheckler: kinda wierd, they can introduce own mineral oil and sell it all over the world to dominate )

Having used guide brakes - not impressed, issues with levers, lack of power, flimsy lever blades
  • + 1
 @meekkho: did the same, cura rocks
  • - 1
 @clink83: Use 5.0 DOT (not 5.1) and it won't absorb water in the same fashion (several street moto guys use it). Despite the bike recommendations, it won't have any issues with the seals and if you do a 100% full bleed, you are good for a solid season wet or dry. A WC mechanic friend turned me onto this fluid. Three seasons in Colorado with 1-2 trips to Whistler each year have my Hopes in perfect working order without fading. The article is below:

www.pinkbike.com/news/sram-announces-new-g2-four-piston-brakes.html#cid2225401



While your claim on the Mineral Oil boiling point being 10 degrees higher (most likely the same article by EBS everyone else sees on a Google search), this issue with Mineral oil is how is handles water once it's in the system, it completely isolates it and can reduce boiling point and fade point 100 degrees or more lower than standard. In addition, all of us a relying on the manufactures word on performance vs. a standardized testing such as DOT or the Euro equivalent. If you are happy with Mineral Oil, great. That said, the inconsistency of it within even a great brake such as Saints is just a pain to deal with for me.
  • + 5
 @clink83: it has a wet boiling point, it's 100 degrees.
  • + 2
 DOT fluid has a regulated boiling point, while mineral oil can be used for salads. Shimano's oil does boil at a similiar temp as DOT 5.1, but SRAM probably has DOT fluid with a higher boiling temp than the regulations. Just don't wash your hands with it and you'll be fine.
  • + 3
 @embi: buy a large can of Shimano brake fluid once for 25 bucks and you can bleed your brakes a hundred times.
  • + 6
 @29er1: always the same way. They leak around the pistons slowly contaminating the pads and letting air in. It’s the ceramic pistons that they use they don’t seal very well. I don’t even bother sending them back anymore because I know I’m going to have the same problem with the next set. Your better off doing a lever bleed every four or five rides and burning off and washing the pads. My guides have been bleed twice in nearly three years and have honestly been the best most reliable brakes I’ve ever owned and I’ve owned moto v2’s haha
  • + 0
 @Danheckler: I've run hardware store mineral oil in every type of oil brake with no issues, don't buy the hype of "proprietary chemicals". They just dye the same oil, relabel it and charge an insane amount for it.
  • + 6
 Just use bacon grease. Super easy to find. And it’s a very tasty process to get it!
  • - 5
flag Highlander406 (Mar 28, 2019 at 9:26) (Below Threshold)
 I had a hose leak inside of my carbon frame. They gave me a new bike after realizing my bike had been dripping DOT fluid inside my frame for a year. Probably 1/2 cup had accumulated in the chain stay from maybe a dozen or more bleeds. This wouldn't have been an issue with mineral oil.
  • + 9
 @Highlander406: A proper mechanic or brake bleed would've identified a leak pretty damn fast.
For those who don't already know, if your hold the lever for a few second and your hydraulic pressure drops... you got a leak. Simple and takes less than a year to diagnose.
  • + 10
 @Highlander406: I'm calling bullshit on this. No way you were leaking that much fluid without noticing
  • + 1
 @Cheeky-Greeky: You're in luck. That has already happened.
  • + 7
 @Highlander406: So wait, you just rode around for a year with no rear brakes and didn't think anything was amiss?
  • + 0
 @chriskneeland: Codes good.
Everything else has been hit or miss.
As in, they work and you miss or they fail and you hit stuff.
  • + 4
 @Highlander406: lmao... Seems like a totally legit reason to use oil instead of brake fluid for brakes.
  • + 3
 @embi: Here in the US, you can order Shimano's mineral oil online rather affordably.
  • + 2
 @wibblywobbly: It's all about tradeoffs, no? Yep, mineral oil is a wee bit less predictable inside a hydraulic system then DOT fluid. But then again, working with it is so much less obnoxious. I prefer having brakes that I can bleed easily myself, so I always have solid-feeling brakes. Pair that with my preference for lots of raw power (I'm heavy...), and I'm willing to do with less stellar modulation. Plus Shimano brakes are a fair bit cheaper in terms of street prices.

I gotta say, though, I like what they've done with that bleed fitting. Having to use a wrench on the caliper bleed fitting on my Shimanos is a bit of a hassle, and this little nut looks like it would make that a fair bit nicer.
  • + 0
 @tevmintz: I noticed when it started leaking out of the hose hole in the chain stay and paint was coming off os the frame.
  • + 0
 @chriskneeland: they would work fine for say 5-6 rides then require a bleed. My first set of SRAM brakes I thought it was normal SRAM BS.
  • - 2
 @chriskneeland: I was taking it to the shop every two weeks or so and we could never find out what was amiss until the fluid started leaking out of the frame, it was a pinhole leak in the factory installed hose.
  • + 1
 @g-42: how are you bleeding them? I’ve found taking the bit out all together and just letting the fluid drain through works way better than the way shimano tells you to do it and you only need the cup to do a bleed.
  • + 3
 @johnbalz: some might work, but there is no standardised set of requirements like there is for DOT fluid, hence the wildly varying boiling points (120 Celsius for Magura Royal Blood versus 280 Celsius for Shimano mineral oil). Properties like seal-material compatibility and viscosity are bound to vary as well. You are gambling by using different spec 'mineral oil'. And since Shimano oil only costs 25 bucks for a liter, enough for a lifetime, I don't see the point in gambling.

This might be interesting to read:
www.epicbleedsolutions.com/blog/dot-brake-fluid-vs-mineral-oil
  • + 0
 @Mac1987: Bionol FTW, 420°C boiling point. Love that stuff for mineral oil breaks, the viscosity is great. It is easy to bleed because the air have almost no resistance to get up.
It is not even Mineral Oil, could make salad with it Big Grin
  • + 1
 @Serpentras: it seems to be good stuff, but the boiling point is roughly the same as Shimano at 300 Celsius (i.e. high enough to never be a problem).
  • + 1
 @gnarnaimo: Yeah, but do brakes using mineral oil have inferior performance over brakes using Dot? I have yet to see any tests that have proved that.
  • + 1
 @tacklingdummy: As far as reliability of brake systems goes, it absolutely has been proved that the performance of mineral oil systems are inferior to dot. In the automotive world rolls royce, Maserati, and a few other European makes tried mineral oil systems which were prone to internal corrosion (sound familiar?). DOT brake fluid has become the only brake fluid used in automotive applications for a reason.
  • + 1
 @gnarnaimo: These are not auto brakes. They are bike brakes. Don't think you can really compare the two. Auto brakes heat up much more than bike brakes and require much more force for braking.
  • - 1
 @tacklingdummy: Oh? Wheres this information from? Pretty sure the sizing and proportions of the brakes are relative to the size and weight of vehicle. Your argument doesn't really make much sense as regardless of how hot the discs or calipers get, brands counter heat with heat sinks and ventilation (cars have alot more surface area to use for this). People have managed to boil the fluid in both automotive and bicycle applications. This indicates (since both systems use dot fluid), that the fluid does indeed reach similar temperatures.
Besides, this has very little to do with the internal corrosion caused by mineral oil used in braking systems, which is indeed a proven fact.
  • + 2
 @gnarnaimo: Still show me a study where there is a performance difference between mineral oil and dot with Bike Brakes. Not auto brakes comparison because no auto brakes use mineral oil. Then I would see you point more.

Dot fluid absorbs moisture over time which is indeed a proven fact as well. Wink
  • + 1
 @tacklingdummy: So does mineral oil... At a much higher rate and through smaller seals, hense the corrosion issues.
Both automotive and bicycle brakes work under the exact same principles and are virtually the same systems. How about you tell me what makes them different?
The standards for automobiles are simply much higher as safety is a much higher priority on vehicles on motorways.
The proof is in the pudding, shimano (mineral oil brakes) have internal corrosion issues. Ever taken apart a shimano brake set after a year or two of use, take apart a sram set and compare the internals.
Every bike shop does this study frequently, and as far as I know is common knowledge.
  • + 2
 @gnarnaimo: then why does Magura, being experienced with high performance DOT based motorcycle braking systems, still choose mineral oil for their MTB products?
  • + 4
 @gnarnaimo: the fact is that DOT 3, 4 and 5.1 are hygroscopic, meaning they ATTRACT water. This is why you can't store an opened container for long and there is no use in buying large containers.
Mineral oils are hydrophobic, meaning they don't absorb water. This means opened containers can be used for longer.
This property is both an advantage and disadvantage, because water doesn't enter the system as easily, but at the same time, if it enters the system in sufficient quantities, it pools, effectively lowering the boiling point to 100 Celsius. DOT fluid also reaches a boiling point of 100 degrees when it absorbs more than 8% water by the way.

With mountainbikes, I have never heard of anyone boiling their Saint or Code brakes, but often heard about glazing the pads or overheating the discs. This whole discussion about boiling points is a bit academic, as long as you regularly (once a year) bleed your brakes.

Brakes using DOT not corroding is bollocks by the way. I have a corroded set of Juicy 5's and Elixir 3's to prove it. Their seals were also broken down within a short timespan to show the aggressiveness of the brake fluid (newer SRAM brakes have better seals).

My opinion: both fluids have advantages and disadvantages that are easily mitigated and I wouldn't let the type of fluid heavily on influence the decision on which brakes to buy.
  • + 1
 @Mac1987: I heard that dot absorbs water and mineral oil air and you can’t leave ether of them open.
  • + 1
 @thenotoriousmic: I wouldn't leave the containers open with both. But Shimano mineral oil will be fine when you close the lid. Air surfaces and doesn't mix much with the fluid. DOT on the other hand is basically throw-away after a year when the seal is broken.
  • + 1
 @Mac1987: So bicycle brakes are using LHM not LHS mineral oils? I stand corrected if that's the case. However LHM still has corrosion issues as it basically attracts and inhales dust. Shimano brakes have internal corrosion issues is the point my original post was trying to make. This is literally the reason these mineral oil fluids aren't used in automotive applications and do apply to any brake system. Maybe not as pertinent of an issue in bikes as they more frequently receive service, but it is a glaring issue nonetheless.
Both fluids work well, but you will likely see sram brake components lasting longer due to the fact that they don't have as great of corrosive qualities.
  • + 1
 @Mac1987: yeah I buy fresh for both.
  • + 2
 @gnarnaimo: Dot fluid bike brake systems use different seals than mineral oil based systems. Both have seals made specifically with materials to stand up to the respective fluid they are using. If you replaced dot fluid with mineral oil, the seals would swell up dramatically. Both fluids work well, but I don't care for the toxicity of dot.
  • + 9
 No more Guide R? Tears of joy and happiness......
  • + 9
 Unfortunately, I assume Guide R and RS will stick around as these are only RSC and Ultimate models.
  • + 4
 Its not a good sign for brakes when they change the name every 4 years, power is nothing without control but control is nothing without power. They really haven't changed much internally over the years, plastic parts = light weight.
  • + 4
 Dang, looks like the basically did what I was planning to do on my next set of brakes: Guide Ultimate levers with Code calipers. Thanks SRAM! Also they quietly dropped the price of the Ultimates by $10 which I guess is just an added bonus.
  • + 5
 That's the Guide SE right? I think they did that already with the e-bike brake. I don't think this is the same. Still a bit silly. Codes are where it's at. (I have both guides and codes.)
  • + 2
 @Svinyard: That's the Guide RE, which you're right, is a Guide lever with a Code caliper. The problem is they took the Guide R Lever, which is a significant downgrade from the RSC or Ultimate levers and put on the lowest end Code Caliper as well.
  • + 0
 @tgent: Key is Guide RE runs OLD code calipers which required less fluid. Cant match a new code caliper to a guide lever as the lever wont push enough fluid for the new caliper. Just FYI.
  • + 1
 @bngofast: So does that mean the RE uses the old style bleed port?
  • + 8
 Pump the brakes, a whole 7%??? are you sure its not 6.9%?
  • + 6
 6.98% but who’s counting.

Seriously though, I ended up with Codes on my bike last year because the Saint inventory was unavailable at the time and I truly love them.
  • + 4
 I have XT's, SLX, Guide RSC, Code RSC in the garage. The sram stuff is from the last two years so no piston issues etc. The only one that's ideal for everything is the Codes. XT's are OK but the on-off stuff sucks in Moab kind of tech and can inconsistently bite. There is a reason they all claim more modulation for the new XTR. SLX has bit of modulation but not enough power. Guides have too much modulation and no power ramp up. Super linear. Your hands/arm wear out on sustained stuff.

While I haven't ridden them a ton. Codes are amazing at everything. If I was a really strong park rider and did that all the time, I'd want some M7, Saints probably. But a do everything brake with modulation and very nice Power ramp up, they are awesome.
  • + 2
 What rotor and pads are you running on the slx setup?
  • + 6
 Seems to me the changes should be at the lever, not the caliper. Will these puppies... Work?
  • + 11
 Correct - the main reason Guides were terrible was because of the piston in the lever swelling .003mm when it hit an ambient temp above 96 degrees.
  • + 0
 @Danheckler: right. So why are most of their changes in the caliper, when bthe caliper was the most functional part of the previous version?
  • + 3
 @spaceofades: thats a good question. But as I understand - they changed the design of the piston in the lever, while the rest of the lever appears identical.
  • + 2
 @Danheckler: well, I'm excited to se how they work. About time the guides were swept under the carpet.
  • + 2
 @spaceofades: Sram would agree! haha
  • + 2
 @Danheckler: but they fixed that issue pretty reliably.
  • + 2
 They fixed that a few years ago, no problems now, and I'm sure these have the updated piston to work properly.
  • + 1
 It's also that the master cylinder volume is too small. 10% pad wear and you start pumping air.
  • + 1
 I’ve absolutely abused my guides they’re solid. Most reliable brakes I’ve ever owned.
  • + 5
 a 7% increase in power!? well hot damn! another 60-70% and you'll have some nearly usable brakes!

2078 is your year Sram!!!!!
  • + 4
 Im glad to see that they did it take this opportunity to invent a new tool you need to buy so you can bleed your brakes. Good on them for keeping something consistant for more than two years.
  • + 6
 the lack of bearings on rsc sucks... now we need to buy codes. thats ok though.. codes are good
  • + 2
 Yeah, it really knocks the RSCs down to like an R model. I have the Guide RSCs and they have a bearing. It is something that makes a difference in the lever feel. So much smoother.
  • + 3
 I'm all for better brakes but why should I have to pay so much to get the kind of power my Guides should have had in the first place. Wish my big bike had come with SLX brakes. Cheaper and more powerful by a long shot.
  • + 6
 $280 per wheel! Haha, not gonna happen SRAM
  • + 5
 Ask any legit mountain bike shop how good SRAM's warranty department is. Then buy something else.
  • + 4
 Why are these so expensive? MT5's will run rings around this crap for a paltry $150 for BOTH wheels. Who the hell buys this stuff?
  • + 1
 Sram brakes may feel like plastic but mt5s are actual plastic
  • + 4
 Oh look, some sweet new sram brakes to replace objectively superior, and generally cheaper and ligher Shimano XT brakes. Yeah let me get right on that.
  • + 1
 Superior in what way?
  • + 2
 @thenotoriousmic: Easier to bleed, require bleeding less often in my experience. Index better, I had to force index mine out without the rotor in because the lever was coming too close to the bar, but the bleed was correct. Shimanos have never given me this issue. Overall more reliable, including the issue Sram had with the Guide early on locking on in the cold. They may have good modulation, but other than that Shimanos going back as far as seven years at least have given me none of these issues at any time, and all felt better in the process.
  • + 2
 @DigitlBikr I’ve got m8000 m7000 and guide RSC’s on my bikes it’s honestly laughable how much better my guides are even when my shimano’s aren’t playing up they don’t work particularly well. They feel nice in the car park but they find their limit pretty fast and it doesn’t take much to get them to overheat. In terms of performance and build quality Sram are years ahead in my opinion. Shimanos super cheap though so I guess you get what you pay for.
  • + 1
 @thenotoriousmic: It may be down to personal preference. The fact that I had to overindex them to get good power and proper lever motion before actuation is really annoying, and not acceptable, but since then they have been operating just fine. Shimano never gave me any of these issues, and I never managed to overheat them, but I can't speak to other riders styles or experiences. These will stay on my bike for now and I may change my mind if they start functioning better, otherwise I'll be forced to return to Shimano.
  • + 5
 Do you reckon if you had 7% extra downstairs your girl would notice?
  • + 2
 www.bikemag.com/gear/components/brakes/first-ride-sram-g2-rsc-brakes

Doesn't look like much has changed. Link above has more info on what the deal is.

TLDR - Keep your Guides.
  • + 1
 Coming from XT brakes to a set of Guide RS's, I don't know what all the winging is about. Sure the Guides aren't so on / off as the XT brakes are but I like the feel of them..

I run aftermarket pads in both and I can assure you, those XT's squealed heaps. The RS's squeal in the slushy snow we have now but in normal conditions there are quiet.

People gotta pick a team I spose.
  • + 5
 Full meh on this one.
  • + 2
 I had Elixers for years, no issues I had Guides for years, no issues I currently have Codes, no issues According to the internet, I am lucky AF.
  • + 1
 Same here. I’ve had issues with four m8000 and two m7000 this year. Two year old guide RSC’s have been amazing.
  • + 0
 7% more power means you now can use a 280mm rotor instead of a 300mm for adequate stopping. To bad they don't make those. Maybe I am just fat but guides always felt week on 29ers, the codes that came on my sentinel are fine but nothing special.
  • + 0
 reading the comments...looks like lots of riders absolutely have to have...must have...the absolute in brakes?
for me, brakes just need to control my speed setting up for a turn or reduce my speed for a downed tree. stopping power?
meh...modulation is way more important. squeal? break cleaner solves that! yeah its not eco friendly, but its rider friendly.
  • + 1
 Some people ride hard and dont just bimble around the trails
  • + 0
 If I was buying Guides/XT's....I'd hard pass on both and check out those Cura brakes from Formula. For the price I'm guessing they are freaking awesome and have neither of the power issues of Guides or Modulation issues of XT's and have more power than both while being lighter and cheaper while working with both sram and shimano drive trains and have some need bleed tech built in with that speedConnect. I haven't used them personally I usually trust what Enduro mag says. Their test was pretty impressive.
  • + 0
 I was running a piece of shit rusted Juicy brake on my old dirt jumper and ran the same pads for almost 5 years and it still stopped instantly. Recently got a brand new Shimano Zee and it doesn't instantly bite like the Juicy did. I got the Juicy for 30 USD second hand and the Zee for like 100$. Guess I'm bad at setting up brakes. Also my point is Sram ain't that bad.
  • + 3
 No doubt there is going to be a g2R version for the oems with zero adjustments and some cost saving ‘features’
  • + 2
 I bet they feel just like my codes, which feel just like my guides and all of them have a funky, sticky, slow returning lever.....
  • + 0
 What?! 99.8% of riders will not notice a 7% difference in power or the stiffer more rigid lever feel, if they claim they do they're lying. Quit trying to reinvent the wheel, or better yet the device that stops the wheel and deliver a quality product that's competitive with what's currently available. That being said, my guides have been spot on perfect since getting the warranty levers.
  • + 5
 Well they already made the best... so I'd say making any improvement on it without gauging us on pricing is a very respectable move. Only naysaying that remains on sram brakes if from the people who had juicys back in the day, and have only used XT since then... blissfully unaware of how bad their brakes actually are.
  • + 3
 @ironxcross: I'm not sure they're the best. That's pretty subjective. Objectively, there are numerous more powerful brakes, including all quad piston Magura's and Shimano Zee's costing half the amount they're asking here. Subjectively, lots of people seem to love the lever feel.
On the topic of reliability, every brand seems to have people claiming 10+ years of trouble and bleed free use and at the same time just as many people claiming they are on their fourth troublesome set in a row...
  • + 2
 Guides are the worst disc brakes I have ever used. Unreliable, inconsistent, weak, junk. So bad that Sram had to rename them in hopes of losing the stigma.
  • + 0
 My 2019 Trek Remedy came with a set of Guides and they are terrible brakes. My XT's from 2012 easily outperform them. The guides are inconsistent, mushy, and generally don't instil much confidence. They also fade rather easily whereas I've never had these issues with my old XT 2 pots. I'm going to toss them and just go some new XT 2 pots. SRAM, just admit to yourselves that you can't do brakes, save us all the headaches and just stop making them all together. After all these years.... You are getting nowhere!
  • + 2
 I run XT m8000 slx m7000 and guide rsc on my bikes currently. Guides are in a different league to XT’s in every single way. It’s not even a competition anymore SRAM won.
  • + 2
 Sram sends us a box of replacement levers with our orders because they know we will have to eventually warranty every one due to ‘guide-itis’
  • + 3
 They look clean! Like the lever design too.
  • + 3
 I will never own another pair of Sram brakes. Shimano much better!
  • + 1
 Avid new brakes not have long life))))
My old avid code 5 first model, working 12 year) no broken no problem)
Sram what happened your new products????
  • + 2
 Because sram worked out they could make more money from average consumer junk than decent mtb products.
  • + 4
 No 3 piston model?
  • + 4
 LMAO 280? f*ck that
  • + 2
 Seriously!!
  • + 7
 Crazy right! I mean you can only save $35 over the new XTR which go for a whopping $325...
  • + 2
 why even bother, when there are cheaper, lighter and more reliable options at the same time? (eg Formula Cura..)
  • + 2
 m.youtube.com/watch?v=dwC5FLjmvrA

I always get the impression this thing got caught up in my front wheel...
  • + 2
 STD’s are “Well received”.
  • + 2
 Hopefully I dont have to warranty hundreds of these one...
  • + 2
 I just like Hayes better.
  • + 1
 we don't appreciate sarcasm on this site... its tough to convey thru text
  • - 2
 Lmfao I think my text was pretty straight forward, if you can’t even understand that’s why Mexicans that can’t even speak English are “stealing ur jobs” @NorthEasternDownhiller:
  • - 2
 N don’t generalize if you don’t appreciate something doesn’t mean that everyone else does the same@NorthEasternDownhiller:
  • + 2
 Does anyone actually go out of their way to buy sram brakes?
  • + 5
 i hope not
  • + 3
 No but you can garauntee there will be an extra shit oem version on nearly every bike for the next few years
  • + 1
 I actually like my Code RSCs better than my Hope V4s. Didn't think I would but there it is.
  • + 1
 @zyoungson: Unfortunately, you're so right. How do they get away with this? They release expensive, high-end parts that may or may not be good depending on your opinion or past experience, but then make an OEM version that is complete garbage, and somehow it still gets put on every bike from $1000 to $6000. (NX Eagle anyone?) Meanwhile, better options exist, but customers don't demand it so they get the dregs??

I'm with @medicdan, the only experience I have had with SRAM brakes was OEM Guide Rs on demos and they were so lousy I would never consider purchasing any of their products aftermarket.
  • - 2
 I am 210-215lbs and come in bat shit hot to everything, and I will take Deore's and Levels all day long with 180 rotors. I have had the above brakes as well as Guides, Codes ,SLX , and XT. They all seem to do the same thing only I like simple and less features. Never had any problems with any of the above brakes.
  • + 2
 How do they test or measure power gains?
  • + 1
 Would take those power tests with a grain of salt, dont believe they tell a full story that you can only really get away from a test bench
  • + 1
 @zyoungson: I meant more measuring input force at the lever, measuring output force at the caliper.
  • + 2
 comming soon to your local OEM, just because f you
  • + 1
 sram guide in combination with code caliper. Best combo ever. ;-)
  • + 1
 Why not just codes tho??
  • + 1
 These are the things that happen the day after I order some Guide RSCs.
  • + 1
 My next brake not sram))) big money big problem))))
  • + 1
 Dafuq. I just bought some Guide Ultimates. Welp, time to send those back.
  • + 1
 Only 7% increase in power. That’s hardly anything lol
  • + 2
 Who needs brakes anyway?
  • - 1
 280 or 180 a wheel? OR, front and rear TRP Quadium for 240... no bull, no SRAM "bad Batch" nothing but works perfect always.. I'll skip the Sram shenanigans
  • + 2
 TRP proved themselves more than capable of releasing utter shyte in their years doing road brakes, I assure you.
  • - 1
 I like mu Guide brakes but the SRAM pads... they may work pretty well but they are made of cheese and last less time than a packet of pringles once opened.
  • + 0
 My girlfriend says “she is sure they are going to be sick! I’m rushing out to get a pair.”
  • + 1
 I want the carbon levers for my Codes, mainly because of winter riding.
  • + 0
 "Bleeding brakes a simple and mess free procedure" hahahahahahaha
  • + 0
 I like my Guide brakes, first avid/sram brake that worked well for me.
  • + 1
 Other than a pair of BB7s from the very early days of disc brakes I hadn't used any until this generation. Put some Code RSCs on one bike and have been really impressed. Guides are on the way for my new hardtail.
  • - 3
 Looks like XT levers!!! Finally, after all these years of using Shimano levers, SRAM has finally given in and starting using them!
  • + 0
 No DUB no care.
  • + 0
 PB is getting generous. I got away with "Randy" joke in another thread w/o 1,000,000 downvotes, and it seems the stupid DUB comment isn't getting slaughtered either. What happened to the ruthless pack of jerks I used to love so much?
  • - 1
 My old M596 Deore brakes still work flawlessly...
  • - 2
 Another generation of Sram Brakes, another generation of massacred turkeys...
  • - 3
 7% increase in power... 30% increase in the 1000 hamsters screaming in unison noise.
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