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SRAM Brake Models Explained

SRAM have been producing fantastic brakes for many years now, both under their own name, and their sub-brand Avid. The current lineup of mountain brakes gives riders a huge choice of options, from the lightweight Level XC brake, through the tried-and-tested Guide, to the monster power of the Code. Each of these brakes is available in a number of options, depending on what adjustments you look for in a brake, and how much you want to spend.

Guide and Code models:

The Guide, introduced in 2015, is SRAM’s Trail and Enduro brake platform, combining low weight with significant stopping power. The Code has been in SRAM/Avid’s staple for over a decade, continues to set the bar for power and control on today’s freeride and downhill bikes.


R– In the Guide and Code models, R is the entry-level pricepoint, with only Reach adjustment. (Hence the R). The position of the lever in relation to the handlebar is adjustable with a tool-free dial.


RE– The Guide RE is designed to slow down the extra weight of modern electric bikes. These brakes use a standard Guide R lever, mated to a larger Code caliper.


RS– For Guide and Code models, RS refers to Reach and SwingLink. These brakes have adjustable lever position, and benefit from the SwingLink cam, generating more progressive power farther through the lever stroke. (More on that later)



RSC– Guide and Code RSC models benefit from a full range of tool-free adjustments. Lever position (Reach) is adjustable, as well as the bite-point of the brake (Contact) through dials at the riders fingertips. These brakes also benefit form the SwingLink cam.


Ultimate– SRAM’s Ultimate series of brakes feature all the upgrades of the lower models, with the additional benefit of a carbon lever for extra stiffness and control.




Level models:

The Level Platform is built to be low-weight while still providing significant power and control.


The Level is the entry level brake in the series, and features a single-bolt clamp.

Stepping up to the T you get a split clamp and Tooled reach adjust.

TL gets a lighter caliper and lever (L for light),

The TLM is the first Level option to offer the Monoblock calliper for even greater weight savings and more efficient heat dissipation.

Finally, the Level Ultimate introduces a carbon fiber lever on top of all the other upgrades found through the rest of the line.


If it’s time to upgrade the stoppers on your bike, head down to your local Live to Play Sports dealer, where they can help you choose the brake that’s right for you, and can install it and set it up for your riding style!