SRAM Updates Guide Brake Range with S4 Caliper

Apr 12, 2016
by Olly Forster  
Power, consistency, and modulation are three elements a good braking system should deliver, yet many seem to fall short when it comes to combining all three. SRAM unveiled their Guide brake range two years ago featuring a new lever design adding increased consistency to the already abundant power and modulation of the original 'Trail' series brake it superseded. It was a turning point for riders who quickly began to realize that SRAM were back in the braking game with something special to offer.


SRAM Guide RSC S4 caliper - chrome
SRAM's S4 caliper, originally seen on the Guide Ultimate brake, is now a welcome sight across the whole Guide brake range.
The Guide Ultimate was launched a year later and elevated things once more with a new caliper design that not only enhanced the Guide's capabilities but also addressed one of its remaining shortfalls; bleeding and service. With that in mind, SRAM will be rolling out the S4 caliper, originally only available on the top-end Guide Ultimate brakes, down through the range covering the RSC, RS and R models. Here's the lowdown:

SRAM Guide Details

• Intended use: Trail / Enduro / Gravity
• Updated reach adjust
• New lever blade
• Bleeding Edge technology
• Improved heat management
• Increased consistency
• 4-pot caliper
• GUIDE RSC: $205 | €224 | £172
• GUIDE RS: $154 | €168 | £129
• GUIDE R: $133 | €145 | £112
• Available June
www.sram.com


SRAM Guide RSC brake system
While the S4 caliper represents the biggest news here, SRAM also updated the lever with a new blade design to improve dexterity and ergonomics, and included an updated reach adjuster as well.
SRAM Guide RS brake system
SRAM Guide R brake system


SRAM Guide Ultimate
The S4 Caliper features new seals to improve consistency, insulated pistons to manage heat on prolonged descents and a new bleeding port to help minimize the hassle involved during set-up and routine service.


SRAM Guide Ultimate
To help reduce the chance of air getting into the system and minimize the fuss of carrying out a successful bleed, the S4 caliper has a fuss-free bleed port and a redesigned fluid path within the caliper to aid oil flow.


Our Guide Ultimate review: pinkbike.com/sram-guide-ultimate-brakes-review


MENTIONS: @SramMedia



190 Comments

  • 172 25
 So much hate for a product that works well and feels awesome. A properly set up set of Guides feel so much more predictable than Shimano. But hay everyone's different.
  • 56 14
 100% agree
  • 27 54
flag adirint (Apr 12, 2016 at 8:26) (Below Threshold)
 hv tried shimano from non series to saint and after a year later all ended up to trash bin. i hv changed to xo trail after 2 years and it still work
  • 55 13
 Saint brakes for the last 3 years on my DH bike. I live in Colorado. Multiple bike parks and I hit Whistler once a year. ZERO issues. You trashed a pair of Saints? Sounds suspicious
  • 26 6
 As a life long shimano fanboy, I can actually agree with this. I set up my hardtail with shimano and my DH bike with sram as a personal experiment. I'm actually very happy with my guides and XO dh kit. They get my vote for sure.
  • 8 3
 I was with everyone else being a shimano fanboy aswell, but the newest generation of brakes are just so much worse than the old ones. Old xtr and xt was great, after riding both new versions its guides all around for me
  • 10 4
 I used to swear by shimano til i used the guides on my new glory. ..i prefer the guides now!
  • 121 4
 Question for SRAM: With these changes, what types of birds will present themselves as potential mating partners when I ride in the fog/wet?
  • 12 3
 it amazes me how much people just use popular opinion to dog on things with no actual knowledge. i had some OEM avid brakes that were the lowest quality brake they could possibly make and they were 100% worthless - downright dangerous with the amount of brake fade they got. but that is OEM. now, my 4 bikes either run Codes or X0 Trails - both of which i would say to a avid hater to TRY to find a better balanced brake in terms of power and lever feel. you wont. top of the line avid brakes are arguably the best brakes on the market.
  • 2 2
 @bman33: see others comment
  • 6 2
 I haven't had a chance to ride the Guide, but when the XO, XX etc. came out, I remember the same raving reviews. A couple of years down the line, user feedback was not that great. Regardless they cost way more than XT and XTR.
  • 4 1
 @adirint: I never said the new SRAM wasn't good. They have improved a ton and feel great now. Although now one has said Saints are crap. Run what you like. I actually have Hope on all my bikes now.
  • 3 4
 @bman33: shimano is great by pricea and performance but somehow my shimano brakes and a couple of my friends have the same issue, in troppical island regardless the weather condition or anything else. after changed to avid/sram nowadays just like fit and forget. easier and cheaper brake fluids of course
  • 2 2
 @endlessblockades: The new pads are very quiet compared to those in older brakes.. Wet weather is always a challenge though. Possibly this one? www.youtube.com/watch?v=LobtqbavZck
  • 1 2
 I dunno. i've never had more arm pump than when i used avid and then sram brakes. i never thought that sort of arm pump was possible in a human.
  • 5 1
 @bman33: I had a bad brand new Saint, fluid was poring out when I squeezed the lever and they would not replace. So, screw them and now I ride Hope, which are better period.
  • 18 4
 I too have nothing against SRAMs new brakes. I just see no argument for them unless you are a SRAM fan or bought a bike that came with them. Shimano brakes are cheaper and have a very long, near perfect reputation. If I bought a new bike and it came with Guides, i'd happily ride them. But if i'm buying brakes, i'm buying Shimano.
  • 7 3
 brakes are a super personal preference so i can totally see why there is a lot of hate being posted.

you guys may love your guides but i cant stand mine. they feel cheap and weak compared to my old xt/zee setup.

im "downgrading" to single piston 2016 xt's to get rid of my guides because i hate them so much.
  • 1 1
 @TheFireSermon: what was their reasoning for not warranting them?
  • 4 3
 @TheFireSermon: Always exceptions, but zero issues with my Shimano brakes over the years. Like you though, all my bikes are now Hope, never look back.
  • 9 2
 My experience with latest 2-piston Shimano brakes is ranging from blah to whatever, while Guides are the best brakes I have ever used. I do like Zees and Saints a lot and I'd love to try Hopes since I rarely hear anything bad about them. I am not sure what kind of problems this caliper adresses because my RS are absolutely faultless and bleeding after shortening the cables was damn easy.
  • 2 0
 @endlessblockades: Hahaha! Made my morning
  • 4 0
 @Uuno: ^^This...perfect!
  • 2 1
 I ran guides for the last year and loved them. I switched recently to Hopes e4 and while they are way better I would not have any issue running the guides on another build
  • 3 0
 @endlessblockades: try setting them up with shimano rotors... Switching to xt rotors made my xo trails nice and quiet
  • 3 0
 @cptstoney: The XT M8000 is in my own experience better than even the Saint so it's definitely worth the "downgrade".
  • 3 0
 Upgrade your SRAM brakes by using shimano parts. That's rich.
  • 2 0
 @cuban-b: stop dragging your brakes then buddy. Let it all hang out
  • 33 0
 @cuban-b. It's pretty simple here on Pinkbike. Love Shimano XT brakes and PIKE, hate Fox and Specialized. Hate Gee Atherton and Aaron Gwin, love Sam Hill and Stevie Smith. Love FEST series, btch on Redbull Rampage. Shout 26 for life and no more standards. Btch on Aaron Gwin's religious belief, write Ride in peace McGazza. Irideforpaul, Bring back Shiver, give us gearbox under 100 dollars because bikes are too damn expensive. Ahh yes, hate Specialized and Gee Atherton, 264life - again and again.

Look, it's life in front of your eyes.
  • 5 1
 rode xtrs for a few season insane stopping power no problems no squabble, my guide rsc have been bleed a million times squabble like crazy an modulation isn't that good
  • 2 0
 @endlessblockades: this guy knows what's up!
  • 5 1
 @WAKIdesigns: You forgot SRAM 1x11 and CCDB. Your bike must be YT, slack as hell but not "enduro", with a pike and CCDB, 26" rims on Hope Pro2 Evo's, reverb dropper, SRAM 1x11, XT brakes, and tubeless DH tires. Anything else sucks here at Pinkbike.
  • 1 0
 @cptstoney: They said I crashed with it, I asked where is the evidence there is not a blemish on the brake.
  • 2 1
 just get hope brakes, end of story. Those put sram and shimano to shame.
  • 1 1
 @jackross: the squable comes from the rotors and pads not the bleed. Think brake squeal on a car. It comes from lack of lubrication on cars. ( unless your pads are worn out). The AVID and SRAM rotos are horrible. I ran hope rotors on my Guides and had zero noise. Also modulation on shimano or SRAM suck after I have run hopes.
  • 2 0
 @USMC: your right about those rotors they arent good with heat, i was just adding into the effect they are shit compared to icetech for heat dissapation
  • 2 0
 @USMC: couldnt agree with you more about the disc's sucking! they just look cheap to me.
  • 1 0
 I just had to add - my experience with current gen Shimanos has been disappointing as well. They just aren't as good as the previous gen (talking about XT/ XTR). I'd try the Guides but I come out in a rash when there's too much SRAM on my bike. So I'm just going back to the old faithful M785s.
  • 1 0
 @ThomDawson: I had 2008 XT which had great feel but leaked all the time at the caliper. Then bought the 2012 version since Pinkbike was raving about how great they are, and I didn't like them at all. Average modulation, stock pads noisy like good old Avids. Sold in a matter of half of a year. Latest ones I tried on borrowed bikes, I feel very little, if no change. Then a brief period with super light Formulas R1 (That reminded me of good old days on HFX-9s) and her I am with Guides. I need to write to Hope if they'd maybe like to send me a pair for trying. I want my bike as EU as possiblebut I'm not letting go of Guides too easily. I actually thought of getting myself braided hoses for them to stiffen them up a tiny bit for riding park.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I've had several 2012 era Shimano brakes and haven't experienced the same issues as you, Waki. I haven't been able to fault them. The best brake I have is (I think) the current Deore brake which has the same design as the previous XT/ XTR brakes and it was £15 second hand. It's not just the braking performance that has disapointed me on the latest Shimanos though, the materials aren't as good as older ones, bolts seems weaker, paint finish is thinner, etc. I honestly think they're feeling the strain from SRAM and have cheaped out a bit, at least that's what the M8000 group feels like, not the same quality as M780 was. Maybe I should give the Guides a go.
  • 2 0
 Funny that there's no mention of TRP on this page.
  • 2 0
 @bman33: I have had my saints for bout 5 years and only needed to bleed and change pads
  • 1 0
 I run the Guide on my enduro and Guide levers with code calipers on my DH that is a beast combo. on the other side I only had issues with my shimano Saints when the new models cam out. never back to them. but yeah taste is different.
  • 2 0
 @endlessblockades: I used to have that problem, then I discovered that the caliper to frame/fork adaptor is different from Avid to Shimano. They have different angles that they present the pad contact at. I changed my adaptors to actual Avid ones and have never had a problem since. I may have been lucky IDK, but worth a look if your having the problem....
  • 3 0
 @DaleE: haha I forgot all about this thread - I was actually just playing, my Guide RS and RSC have been nearly silent- love em.
  • 25 13
 "I think I'll just do a quick bleed before our weekend trip"
"But, what if you make a mess and get brake fluid on your hands or on your bike? Isn't it toxic?"
"No problem honey, you could use this stuff as a skin conditioner or salad dressing"
"But shouldn't we plan time to do this very carefully, get the invisible bubbles out of the fluid, drape the bike so we don't strip paint and then store the fluid up in the attic so it doesn't poison the kids or the dog?"
"No honey. It's not that big a deal."
........ said no SRAM owner, ever........
  • 14 2
 Are you not allowed to use scissors either? Do you use crayons instead of pens and pencils?

Dot fluid has a higher boiling point, and is better suited to prolonged descents, but that's beside the point.

It's not a reason to compromise and use a Shimano brake over the excellent Guides. Stop the predujice, and try them - you'll be surprised at how great they perform.
  • 15 1
 that is the worst theoretical conversation i have ever read
  • 2 3
 So you let your kids and dog drink mineral oil? DOT fluid really isn't that big of a deal. Of course you should not drink it but I've spilt it on my hands and on my bike without any problems. The main reason ethylene glycol (anti-freeze, and chemically related to components of DOT fluids) is dangerous is because it tastes good. That makes it possible for kids or dogs to drink amounts of it that are sufficient to do big damage.
  • 1 1
 Wow.... Its really not that difficult to bleed or work or handle DOT fluid?!?! Like Shimano Brakes. Like Sram Brakes. No issues with bleeding and dealing with any. Crazy to say its THAT hard for either. Had a set of Juicy 7 brakes for 3 hard years on a hardtail used for everything from DH to two 24hrs events. Never bled. Pads once. ZERO issues. Ride Shimano XT for last 2 years. Not planning on changing this year - but would like to try Guides.
  • 3 2
 @rickon: Except it's not compromise.

See the real question to ask here, since the majority are already using Shimano brakes due to their rep for being perfect, is why change? Why, if you already have a fantastic brake that has given you no issues whatsoever and has the best reputation in the business, would you consider a brake that costs more and is not as proven? I know Guides are great brakes, in my limited experience with them, they have been just as good performance-wise as Shimano's XT and XTR's. But more expensive and just-as-good won't win customers.
  • 1 0
 @TheRaven: neg prop! this type of logic seriously offends me. mainly because i have no argument. and when that happens, i blindly neg prop the crap out of those who make the most sense.
  • 3 0
 @ak-77: I bleed brakes on my trucks and car because I need to. Wear gloves and keep water handy to clean up spills. Collect in jar and take to toxic disposal. Hate the stuff so much I want as little to do with it as possible. I spilled once and wiped up without gloves. Made me ill for the day just absorbed through my hands.
  • 2 1
 @rickon: check your facts, shimano mineraI oiI has additives making it's boiIing point higher than dot 3 or 4 can't remember. That being said if your are one of the pharmacy baby oiI bIeeding type of guy than yeah but that's not supposed to be.

I'II have to admit the bite from shimano brakes needs getting used to but after that initiaI bite the moduIation is on par with sram
  • 12 0
 But will it be available separately?
  • 47 1
 Yes but you can't use it if your levers are not metric sized.
  • 3 0
 @Apostt: Dont you mean handle bars? I cant get them to fit on my 31.8s
  • 4 0
 more important is: Will it blend?
  • 15 6
 I like SRAM brakes , they look very nice u can put the brakes in an art gallery and just look at them ....... that's why I use Shimano brakes they just work .
  • 11 3
 Avid Bleeding - I'm on my 3rd set of Avids had XO Elixir , XO Trail and now Guides I've never had any problems with any of them including bleeding, there easy!
  • 3 1
 But still much more expensive than a funnel and syringe - sorry Wink

There was a time when Avid made much stronger brakes that Shimano but after a few years big S. got it's shit together and returned fire. Now they're make really powerful brakes and they're still reliable with easy access to parts everywhere. But I bet you won't need anything Smile

To be honest I don't like the looks of this new caliper - it's seems to be overdesigned while Shimano maintained simple and elegant.
  • 3 3
 @EnduroriderPL: Simple, elegant, & disposable. SRAM emphasizes repairability, while most of the parts in Shimano brakes you can only buy the full assembly. Depending on how long you hang on to bike parts, that can mean that overall, SRAM brakes are cheaper.
  • 5 1
 @groghunter: Not when your brakes don't give you problems, and are cheaper to replace than repair anyway.
  • 2 1
 @groghunter:I've owned 3 sets of Shimano brakes since early 2000s and haven't got a single leak thru entire time. When I get myself set of Elixir 5 I was very happy until the brake lever started to suck air inside the system and then it turned out that there is no spare parts available for avid what so ever and the price for new set of seals is equal to WHOLE NEW Shimano brake lever. F@ck that kind of deal! I prefer to replace whole unit than messing around with seals at lever. Please don't write about caliper seals because you can have them custom made for little money.

Another thing is Avid Bleed kit. I bought original since at that time there was no replacements on the market. Sure it works great but for a very small fraction of the price you buy funnel and a syringe and you can bleed any Shimano brake on the market.

Don't get me wrong: power and modulation of Sram products can be really great but in long term Shimano wins.
  • 4 1
 @TheRaven: So you never crash & damage your brake levers? Also, show me where a new XT lever body is cheaper than a rebuild kit for a guide RS brake lever. Good luck.
  • 2 1
 @groghunter: Yes I crash...ALOT...no I have not yet damaged a brake lever.

Come to think of it, neither have any of my riding buddies. The most agressive of the group did manage to bend one of his levers, but I just removed the assembly from the bike, laid it flat as I could get it on my workbench, and hammered the lever straight again. Still works great to this day.
  • 3 1
 @groghunter: nope because we don't screw them too hard to the handlebar so they can rotate in case of hitting the ground.
  • 2 1
 @EnduroriderPL: @TheRaven I don't clamp mine too tight, either (actually, I use the teflon tape trick) but that doesn't mean I haven't seen shit happen anyways. For instance, people who's lever blade pivot wore out, & had to replace the whole assembly to fix it.

But I'm still waiting to hear about how a rebuild kit is more expensive than a lever body. If you make a claim, back it up.
  • 1 1
 @groghunter:in Poland it was and that's why I got back to Shimano after 3 weeks of searching for repair kit thru entire EU. I got fed up and found great deal on Zee levers, Saint M-810 calipers and Unex Ultra hoses. Since then I'm one happy kid.

BTW: if you're shit magnet you'll have problem with all your brakes whichever manufacturer choose Wink ))
  • 2 1
 @groghunter: What's the price of a Guide lever rebuild kit? I'm seeing $22-25...sound right?

Here's a complete XT lever for $28 -

www.cambriabike.com/BlM785B-XT-Disc-Brake-Lever-Right-Silver-Black-Right.asp

You can get them on ebay even cheaper, but the going rate is $25-30 for XT levers.
  • 1 1
 @TheRaven: so, to save 3 (THREE) USD you won't have NEW lever but go with replacing seals?
  • 1 1
 @EnduroriderPL: I'll take the lever, thanks. You'll have to ask groghunter what he would do in that situation. Seems like a no-brainer to me.
  • 1 0
 ..But they didn't bother to place the bleed port on the caliper on the left så you can do a quick bleed without the wheel fuss.
  • 2 3
 @TheRaven: Try $15-23(R or RS.) & if we remove the sandbagging you did by finding last gen XT, in the silver everyone hates, we find that an new XT lever is actually $45, reduced from a $60 MSRP.

www.pricepoint.com/Brand/Shimano/Shimano-XT-M8000-Brake-Lever.axd

MSRP for an RSC lever kit is $30, the others are cheaper. incidentally, even the RSC can be found under $20: www.amazon.com/SRAM-Mountain-Bicycle-Lever-Internals/dp/B00MMPI0CQ
  • 1 1
 @TheRaven: oh crap! I was going to ask @groghunter not you. Sorry Smile
  • 1 1
 @groghunter: check prices on Zee.
  • 4 1
 @groghunter: See that's why I don't generally respond to these "find me an example of..." because no matter what I find, you'll just "but but but" the shit out of it.

Here, any side or color you want for $30...

www.jensonusa.com/Shimano-XT-BL-M785-L-Brake-Lever-Only

I'd also like to reiterate that I NEVER said that an XT Brake lever was cheaper than a Guide lever rebuild kit. You attempted to put those words in my mouth. I simply said that Shimano brakes are cheaper than SRAM brakes, and I have proven that for the one person on earth who didn't already know it.
  • 3 0
 @TheRaven: Wow dude. let me quote you, at you: "Not when your brakes don't give you problems, and are cheaper to replace than repair anyway."

You made a claim that you can replace shimanos cheaper than SRAMs. I chose an easy example. You don't like my comparison? find another. good luck, because even with how much cheaper shimano parts are, they just aren't cheaper than the internals kits for SRAM brakes. The only way you're coming close is by comparing last gen Shimano stuff. M8000, or STFU. & let me reiterate: even with weighing the scales in your favor, you're still coming out more expensive.

@EnduroriderPL When was the last time they refreshed Zee? Guide came out last year.
  • 3 1
 @groghunter: Exactly what I was saying...you asked for an example, I provided one, and the but's came out. The 80-series lever is no different than the 00-series lever, they are interchangeable. Want an 00-series lever because whatever? $35.

www.treefortbikes.com/product/333222407114/1255/Shimano-XT-M8000-Disc-Brake.html

You are still talking about a rebuild kit that costs ALMOST AS MUCH AS AN ENTIRE LEVER!! If you are saying that you'd rather have to completely rebuild a lever just to save $10, then that makes one of you.

Zee/Saint were refreshed in 2013, and are still better performing, cheaper, and more reliable than anything in their class. Saints are widely regarded as the holy grail in braking, despite all the new competing options that have been released since.
  • 1 1
 @groghunter: First of all there's no need to refresh Zee because they're work fine and doesn't have any design flaw.

Secondly when I wrote about my problems with 1ST generation of Elixirs Zee were new brakes and still cheaper or _minimally_ more expensive that repair kit that i couldn't get in whole EU!
  • 2 4
 @TheRaven: They're functionally interchangeable, but from a pricing perspective, m785 is going to be artificially depressed, due to the fact they don't make them anymore, & retailers are clearing out stock. Nobody is going to want to be stuck with m785 parts when you can get a whole new XT brake for ~$80

But that's logic, & your retail pricing is admissible, but mine apparently isn't, so hey, whatever. I'm going to compare sale pricing to the other guy's MSRP & win! yay!

Enjoy your victory, you earned it by being on the side of popular. SRAM boo! Shimano yay! that guy said something slightly derogatory towards Shimano! he must hate everything I love! let's go get two pieces of wood & nail him to them!
  • 2 1
 @EnduroriderPL: It sucks that SRAMs pricing & availability isn't as fair in the EU as it is in the US, but @TheRaven is the one who claimed it's cheaper to buy shimano than fix SRAM, & he has access to the same pricing I do.

Zee(& saint) won't work with any of the new I-spec shifters, I'm actually fairly certain we'll see a new Saint Groupo this year, for at least that reason.

But like I already said, whatever. I'm apparently defending the devil by pointing out one advantage of SRAM over Shimano, & I'm sick of being the pariah for an offhand comment.
  • 3 1
 @groghunter: I'm on the side of stuff that works and doesn't cost too much. If you have something that has worked flawlessly for you in the past, and a friend comes along and says "hey there's a new something that's more expensive and works almost as well" are you going to ditch what you have and buy it? Doesn't make sense to me.
  • 2 2
 @TheRaven: The pricing between the two at a component level is a whole different conversation, & a very contentious one: I've seen multiple shops officially stating they won't carry Shimano anymore due to the pricing issues. This in the last month. Normally I ignore that sort of stuff as shops feeling the pinch of online sales, & blaming it on shimano, but it seems different this time. Even I'm kinda amazed at US retailers selling m8000 brakes (on sale, true) for ~$80.

As for "works almost as well" guides aren't elixers. sram brakes work great, now that they've gotten rid of taperbore.

FWIW, I've been running XTs & DB5s in the last year, & they've both been flawless.
  • 1 0
 @groghunter: if you need to have all the latest components that might be a problem but three weeks ago I bolted I-Spec B SLX (SL-M670) to my Zee levers and It's fine.

What is the new I-spec that won't fit? As far as I'm concerned there are 2 version of I-spec. It's I-spec (first aka old one) and I-spec B. With shifters I got full assembly kit for both type levers. Besides there is a compatibility chart on Shimano's site so it's virtually impossible to buy wrong if you spent 3 minutes looking at it. I don;t think that they'll lunch new Saint just for that reason.
  • 3 1
 @EnduroriderPL: they won't work with I-spec II. www.bikeradar.com/us/mtb/gear/article/shimano-i-spec-a-b-and-ii-mounts-explained-44410

& unlike A vs B, this is a hard cut-off: new XT & XTR will not work with I-spec A or B, in either direction.
  • 1 0
 @groghunter: thanks for the link.
  • 7 1
 I had the RSC's on one of my bikes... Thought they were the best brakes ever, so on my new bike I opted for the Ultimate's... The front brakes had a bad chirping sound and you could feel the feedback. Got sent a new front brake... same thing. Put the RSC's on... Silent and trouble free.
  • 3 1
 Really!? Me too! Both my front and rear Ultimates make a chirping noise and feel really bad when I brake hard. I couldn't figure it out. I'm going to call SRAM and hopefully get a replacement. It's annoying because I spent a lot of money on these! I wish Brembo would have stayed in the MTB market..
  • 2 0
 You sir have a bad case of a bent rotor. Not the break.
  • 2 1
 @DragontalesDH: I wish! I tried new rotors, old rotors, different pads, different brake spacers..... nothing.
  • 14 8
 That's annoying as I bought my RSC 2 months ago, a piston started leaking and it is impossible to bleed properly. Now thanks to this, my old guide is pretty much worthless on the second hand market.
  • 93 3
 Warranty that shit!!! Don't sit here and complain. Do something about it.
  • 4 6
 @mate1998 I got mine last year and the stupid lever adjusts are always bouncing around on rough trails, sometimes I have too much power, sometimes nothing at all. Did they fix that part at least? I have to keep my fingers on the breaks and pressed in a bit or they do what they want. Time to go back to saint.
  • 8 1
 Put some loctite on them? Did you try warranty?
  • 10 0
 Impossible to bleed? Isn't it the same as any brake, push fluid through until there are no bubbles. What's the catch?
  • 13 1
 @whattheheel: Easy to say during the zipp recall going on. I'm going on day 4 without food or water, finally down to queue position 2 on the phone... started at position 3
  • 2 3
 @makripper: my contact point adjuster is pretty much stuck on both brakes! I have no problems with the reach adjusters apart from how utterly shite they work and how cheap they feel.
  • 8 3
 Well there is a simple solution.... but I don't want to come off a fanboy ...
  • 8 3
 @dfiler: Sram / Avid brakes are a serious pain to bleed. Shimano has it dialed in that dept.
  • 1 0
 @mate1998: I occasionally have the same issue, but they usually de-stick themselves if they are given a decent nudge, but if not i know that you can take them apart nsmb.com/sram-guide-ultimate-tear Is it because you have adjusted them to the max in one direction, because that tends to be why mine go a bit funny temporarily/
  • 1 0
 I have 4 rides on my new Guide Ultimates, no problems so far, but I hate missing the boat on new products. At least I barely got the new Reverb Dropper.
  • 3 2
 @mate1998 , have you considered changing the seals, or if you don't know how to do that, taking the caliper to your LBS for them to take a look at it?

And if you worry about second hand market value you shouldn't have bough a YT Tuess in the first place.


I mean, you probably see this only in MTB community. Innovations that genuinely increase performance and tech trickle down and still people complain?
  • 2 1
 @todd: if you have the ultimates you already have the updated caliper. Now the rest of the range does aswell
  • 4 3
 @krsh: Bouht the tues because it is f**king amazing. I didn't consider anything regarding the brakes, a 260eur brake set MUST work after 2 months of usage.
  • 2 2
 ..
  • 2 3
 @whattheheel: Webshop where i bought them says i should take it to the local SRAM dealer, SRAM dealer says, i should send them back. What now?
  • 9 3
 @mate1998: Buy from local bike shop that will help you with your warranty?
  • 4 3
 @whattheheel: Yeah, for double the price. Same Guide brake set in my LBS is around 350-400 eur, bought them from Germany for 199eur.
  • 2 0
 @whattheheel: You can't locktite them... That doesn't make any sense.
  • 1 1
 @mate1998: yea, my contact point adjusters jam up and its such a pain. My xc has slx brakes which are slightly less powerful but similar modulation and no stupid issues like this.
  • 3 1
 @mate1998: I guess the guide fanboys panties are all twisted about this hahahah
  • 2 0
 @makripper: this conversation will be print screened, then put under any new sram realese, lol
  • 3 1
 @mate1998: pahaha atta boy! I love these conversations! me "i've had my thing for a year and they don't work that well" average fanboy "you're doing it wrong" what I feel like saying "LIKE I WANT MY BRAKES TO NOT f*ckING WORK PROPERLY, WHY DIDN"T SRAM FIX AT THE SAME TIME AS THIS OTHER SHIT" what I actually say "...."
  • 14 7
 Do you want a good and reliable with insane amounts of stopping power brakes ? Go HOPE end off Smile
  • 12 1
 My Guides are better than my E4s in most ways (except looks).
  • 1 1
 And they look bling!
  • 4 0
 @Dobbs59 and @Alexsantos - how are Hopes with modulation and fading? I am really interested in trying them. My Guides are not as strong as Formulas but what's the power worth when front brake becomes virtually useless as soon as it rains? For me Saints/Zee are the best mix of power modulation, from what I've tried but I still prefer Guides because modulation is just unbelievable. When I do a coaster wheelie I can completely relax just very slightly pulling the lever, as if I was leaning against a fluffy wall.
  • 4 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Fine waki. Great to live with; easy to bleed and reliable. I feel that they require a bit more pull than the Guides for equal power so would suit someone quite kinetic if you know what I mean. The Guides are far more subtle and suit my riding style better. I couldn't live with the Shimano's, just too on/off; I was overbraking all the time. This is my fault, I'm just not sensitive enough to get the best out of them.
  • 1 0
 @Dobbs59: if I lived in big mountains, or own a DH bike I'd go for Saints, since Guides are fading a bit more and have a bit less power. I guess good modulation of saints come from having 4 pots. SLX, XTs and XTRs on another hand are half way to Formulas I find. Some like the grabby, hard lever feel but I personally prefer "fine tuning" especially because I live in place where it rains a lot, so sht gets slippery, then I am currently learning to manual and do some trials moves.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns:

I'd say hands down the best modulation on the market (ok, I can only compare them to Avid and Shimano). The only issue I've heard is from heavier guys complaining that the 2 piston brakes don't have the overall stopping power (so get the 4 piston if you are 200 lbs). I'm only 150 lbs and have no issues with stopping power but I can see the complaint.

I just recently pulled some (about 2 year old) Avid 4 piston brakes off a bike I bought used and replaced them with my Hope X2 Race. I went from having on/off binary braking with lots of power to more than sufficient power with plenty of modulation. A much better ride and my times are quicker!

The other benefit is maintenance (if you decide it's needed). No syringes or special fittings - you bleed them like a car. Super easy. I cursed the first time I bled an old set of Hayes and Avid was about the same. Both required periodic bleeding to remove air from the system (not sure how it keeps getting in). The switch to Hope remedied that issue. I can't comment on the latest generation of Avid brakes but I sure hope they've improved!
  • 2 0
 @Dobbs59: i think it comes down to personal preference, sram brakes are very good so is hope and shimano. for me hope work best, i run tech3 levers with moto v2 calipers, braided hoses and 203 vented rotors. i have tryed sram and shimano and formula brakes but have to say, for me this hope set up is better. but thats me Wink
  • 1 0
 @Alexsantos: It absolutely is Alex. I've had really bad avids (Juicy, elixir), and very good ones (Guides). I've had SLX, XT (new and old style), Hope tech M4s and E4s and Formula the ones. I'd like a touch more power on the Hope E4s if I'm honest.
I'm liking the Guides, but that doesn't mean they are the best, just the best for me.
  • 2 1
 @Dobbs59: @WAKIdesigns :

Something to consider you guys is that fade and initial bit both have A LOT to do with the pad formulation. Something that the motorsports industry knows well but is seldom talked about here.

With that in mind, it's not the outright power or feel of Guides, E4's, M4's, Saint's, or even Code R's that should be compared, but instead how tough they are and what they are like to live with.

The reason so many like Hope is because they are EXTREMELY adjustable, there are tons of parts available to rebuilding, and bleeding them is childs play. They are not flimsly plastic bodied stuff (SRAM, AVID) either. I pulled this from the site as an example. It's a PDF with an exploded view of a '09 MonoM4 with the part numbers should you decided or need to rebuild or repair.

www.hopetech.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/2009Mono4-caliperexploded.pdf
  • 2 2
 Forgot to add. EBC pads are tops!

ebcbrakes.com/products/mountain-bike

I use green compound pads on my cars and motorcycles before that. Amazing initial bite, fantastic power, fade resistant. Good 5h1t!
  • 3 0
 The comments section suggest SRAM articles on pinkbike are the best form of advertising for Shimano and Hope
  • 2 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I have a YT Capra and YT Tues. The first thing I did was put Hope Tech 3 E4 (200 f and 180 r) with steel braid lines on the Capra. I think the smaller rear rotor helps with modulation a bit. I love the bite and reach adjust and all the spare parts and ability to rebuild my Hope brakes. I have them on a variety of other bikes ranging from single speed to 29-er trail bike. I had the Capra at Mammoth and spent a ton of time on the brakes from the top of the mountain to the bottom due to lack of skill. Smile I never had fade and modulation is amazing. I can go from near lock up and back with a single finger. Even when fighting the dreaded arm pump all digital (all on, all off) finger malady, the Hopes were safe and easy to control at the end of a run.
I kept the Guides on the Tues and just dropped it off at my LBS yesterday since I could not for the life of me get a good bleed. My kid crashed on the bike, so perhaps there's an internal issue, but the dual syringe bleed process really drives me nuts. The LBS claims that they should just bleed right up. I must be doing something wrong. I wish sram would produce a syringe kit with an actual valve rather than that clamp method.
I can tear down and bleed the Hopes in an afternoon and have been happy with the serviceability of the Hopes. When the Sram are working, I feel like the initial bite is a bit less crisp than the Hopes, and the lever adjust feels flimsy and I get super confused many time adjusting the bite point on the guides since one side is opposite the other. . . other than that, riding the Tues at the limit on a DH run at Mammoth was good. No fade and 200 f and r may be a good thing on the big bike, although the new Canyon Sender appears to have 180 r. . . I plan to put the DH Hope on the Tues later this season, just for maintenance reasons, not necessarily brake performance.
  • 1 0
 Oh, and I have tried sintered and organic pads, and prefer the organic. The sintered are a bit too noisy for me, but the performance is super crisp!
  • 3 0
 Well, that's two parts on my new bike, that I haven't even received yet, that have running changes to make them better, that I'm sure I won't get(the other being the Reverb.)

Good thing it'll still rip anyway.
  • 5 0
 But will these be compatible with next months release of decimalized fathom sized rotors?
  • 8 3
 SRAM are releasing new tech every week!
  • 11 0
 Well it is April
  • 3 3
 Sea Otter Fashion Week is about to serve the best Troll Meat of the year. I am waiting for the bumpots complaining about how crappy the DH track is. You know the kind of experts who would not hit a single jump on it and brake half way through the slalom course. Hopefully half of the bikes on start line of DH will be 29ers. I love the taste of troll tears in the morning.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: HAHA I feel ya dog. I'm racing the "DH" on my Capra which is total overkill for that 'track'. Anyway, I like the Hype Circus - Laguna Seca is quite near where I grew up and I got to see Mark Donahue race his Sunoco 917-30/k Can-Am car there many many many many many years ago. What's my point? shrug
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: come out to CA and we'll go to sea otter to make fun of all the new gear.
  • 7 2
 "Power, consistency, and modulation" are nothing without reliability...
  • 2 1
 Big time shimano fanboy untill I was forced into a set of guided. Very brakes love the feel in the trail lots of power but can find the sweet spot of before braking it lose. Problem is master cylinder went bad after 200 miles. Wtf SRAM your messing with my emotions!
  • 3 1
 What would be great is tough adjustable levers, easy to bleed car/motorcycle like reservoirs, easy to bleed car/motorcycle like calipers, long list of parts for rebuilding, and so on.

But there's Hope yet.
  • 3 1
 I'd Hope there's a company that offers such a product...
  • 1 0
 I ve been on Avid all my life never had bett modulation/stopping power at all, so far i moved from X9 to Guide RS last year...
So my questions is,is there any difference from the stock Guide RS one that came out last year or this is revised Guide calliper ?
Do they incorporate new pads size or still running "Trail size"??
  • 1 0
 Been working in a bike shops for over 15 years now. Got to say, Sram brakes are complete crap. When you have to work on this stuff all damn day long you get to see the big picture, you realize that this brand Is trash. Pistons seize in under 6 months with the new stuff. Big promise with the new guides we were told. Wrong! Same shit, now with double the pistons. Buy some Shimano XT brakes. Best bang for the buck. Sram still has some work to do.
  • 6 2
 They look like cheap OEM.
  • 9 4
 Saints.. Enough said
  • 1 0
 Nope, Zee. Saint without the fancy gold pieces, half the price.
  • 1 0
 @Kainerm: Depends where you get them.... Smile
  • 20 18
 Best advertisement of Shimano brakes are SRAM brakes! SRAM is equal to Apple, every year invent an upgrade... Would not it be easier, design the brake properly!
  • 12 8
 SRAM are totally trying to emulate the Apple model, obsolete your own product and the competitors with new, game changing, innovation. And they succeeding, except for the game changing and innovation part.
  • 16 2
 @SlodownU: you mean by making the brand new charger damper fit even boxxers from 2010? Or selling every little spare part with you could need?
  • 6 13
flag SlodownU (Apr 12, 2016 at 8:08) (Below Threshold)
 @Blablablup123: Yea, copying Fox's damper is a bold move, and selling spares is what your supposed to do. You don't get credit for meeting minimal expectations.
  • 9 1
 @SlodownU: did you even take the time to read what I wrote?
  • 2 1
 @Blablablup123: And making sure the product breaks to create a market for all those spares?

That really is a question and not (just) a smartass remark. Fox sells all their spares too, but I wouldn't even know how to go about getting them AS I'VE NEVER NEEDED ANY. Conversely SRAM support reps know me by name and call me at home.
  • 5 0
 Hope, bleedin easy
  • 3 0
 Love my RSC's, have had zero issues so far. I'd take their modulation over XT's anyday.
  • 2 0
 Love my Shimano but I am going to be riding a bike this summer that has the Guide... Pretty excited to get on some and give them a long term test...
  • 3 0
 Does anyone know a car with brakes running on mineral oil? Me neither.
  • 3 2
 Complete junk. Honestly it is embarrassing that SRAM builds this crap. My brakes faded all the time until I went to Saints. Worse yet is XO derailleur - Total garbage.
  • 1 0
 So if I am ordering a set of Guides through my bike shop in early june, how will I know I am ordering/receiving a set with the new caliper?
  • 3 1
 After bleeding my XTs after every day at the park, I'm ready to go full guides on all my bikes.
  • 1 0
 Power, consistency, and modulation are nothing if reliability is suspect. This is exactly what my girlfriend complains about or so think...
  • 2 0
 Aaaaand yet another part of my month-old bike just got outdated.
  • 2 0
 Can the "new" S4 caliper fit the "old" lever?
  • 4 2
 So much hate, Such good brakes...
  • 1 0
 Wonder will the new blade fit the existing brakes? Its the only thing that I don't really like
  • 2 0
 Junk this site and all the rest are just a bunch of product pimps
  • 10 10
 Dumb. I don't know why SRAM makes all these new parts. My Hayes Mag 5s work amazing.
  • 3 2
 Sweet
  • 5 4
 Awesome......I'm still using Shimano Deore XT's from 5 years ago
  • 4 3
 I have a dream. A dream of brakes without those shitty planetary washers.
  • 1 0
 This or black stanchion Fox? I guess I sensed the power of the dark side.
  • 1 1
 Makes sense since myself, several friends, and even some pros were swapping for the code Caliper!
  • 3 2
 The day I buy Avids will be when they use a standard bloody bleed nipple.
  • 4 3
 trust SAINT to GUIDE to your destination
  • 2 1
 Hope all the way Quality The best on the market
  • 2 1
 Are the conical washers necessary? Just curious.
  • 1 0
 If your fork (or frame) is well made the spherical (not conical) washers are not necessary.
On the other hand if the threaded holes are not right on your fork the conical washers allows to align the caliper.

There is an assembly error on the picture, there must be washers under the caliper, otherwise the caliper is not facing the disc, also the spherical washers are useless if there are not over and under the caliper.

If you remove the spherical washers you have to mount normal washers under the caliper to make it facing the disc.
  • 1 0
 @Sylvain-F: Yeah i'm just curious about this exact situation, as well as other images i've seen of Guide brakes mounted, many of them are installed the same way.
  • 1 0
 I've also seen this but I don't understand why. It is impossible to adjust the angle of the caliper if there is no spherical washers between the caliper and the fork/frame/postmout adapter. You can perfectly mount your caliper without this washer if you don't need to adjust the angle, but in this case it is useless to put the other one under the screw ! So for me it's a mistake.
  • 8 10
 Ffs it's getting kind of annoying with sram releasing something new every week... And don't even get me started on metric shocks
  • 9 1
 Yea, but what about metric shocks?!
  • 1 0
 @groghunter: I don't even know. Had to get up at like 3 this morning for work, by 8 I was angry as f*ck. Then I got on pinkbike...
  • 1 0
 @dropoffsticks: No worries man, it's all giggles in the end.
  • 7 7
 Shimano does all three just fine
  • 4 3
 In Hope i trust.
  • 4 5
 Got a set of guides on my new bike and they are the worst set of braked I have had. The lever is horrendous.
  • 1 0
 Hope...
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