The SRAM Code RSC is the big brother to the more well known Guide RSC brake. The Code brakes have always been about producing the most power possible and these do a great job at that. While the older version of Code used a taper lever design, the new version takes the Guide design and crank it up. Fifteen percent more power to be exact. The lever and caliper follow the same design language as the Guides but are slightly different. Holding 30% more fluid than Guide provides them with more stopping power, meaning they are ready to stop when needed. Included in the new lever and caliper design is SRAM’s new bleeding edge bleed port on the caliper. What isn’t new is the brake pad, which uses the same pad design from the previous Code. Yes, more available parts, I really like that. Finding brake pads on trips is so much easier when there are common parts around.
I am a rider who actually really likes the SRAM Guide RSC brakes. For my riding style, they have enough power and modulation to really be a great all-arounder. The SRAM Code RSC just takes this up another level. While it still has great modulation, the increase in power is immediately noticeable. Maybe I don't know what 15% feels like, but the Codes feel almost twice as powerful as their trail oriented brother, Guide RSC. It has much more “bite” from the beginning and you can really lock down some power when needed.
The SRAM Code RSC brakes are installed on a 160/140mm travel 29er rig (Transition Sentinel), set up for ripping the downs. A little extra weight isn’t a bother, and the increase in power is amazing. Coming from a couple of bikes with Guide brakes, the Codes deliver a faster bite. At first, I had the occasional over brake and even just a light grab of the front brake could cause a lock-up. It only took a few rides before I adapted to the new power and it all felt normal again. While everyone likes having a consistent and powerful brake, I found the Codes to be some of the best I’ve ridden in that regard. No matter the trail, steepness or any amount of braking, I didn’t experience any issues. Being able to brake late and really get the power down when needed is awesome. I would say these are right at home on any heavy duty single crown bike or DH bike.
The new Code brakes really take it to the next level of braking, rounding out SRAM’s brake line up. With options from XC to DH, there is no compromise and the SRAM Code RSC brake is punching for the top. Perfectly at home on a descent-oriented bike, these have become my new favorite, providing power and modulation in an easy to control package.
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