Our "Rider Review" article series features the honest reviews from verified purchasers of Worldwide Cyclery. They contain the photos, thoughts, feedback & overall review you are looking for.
There are only a few mountain bike components that have a huge impact on how your bike performs out on the trail. Arguably the performance from your brakes would be high on the list of important components. Our friend Serban shares some thoughts on the SRAM Code RSC Hydraulic Brake Set. Check it out!
Hello, fellow riders! The purchase was for my son's bike (he's 13 and this was a 7th-grade graduation present) so I asked him to write a review provide the pictures. Here it goes:
SRAM brakes have always been controversial; most people either seriously love them or hate them with a burning passion. Until now, I always jumped on the Shimano bandwagon. There wasn’t even any logical reasoning behind it, I just never used SRAM brakes and kept it that way. Then, as we all know, a pandemic came around. Things were going out of stock left and right, and after a while I started to want a brake upgrade. So the search for in-stock brakes began, and it immediately seemed hopeless. Shimano, Magura, Hope, and more all had empty brake shelves. After a while, my father looked on the World Wide Cyclery website and quickly pounced on the last few pairs of Code RSC brakes. They came pretty quick, and with all things SRAM, the packaging was phenomenal. We went to our local bike shop to get the brake cables installed and routed, and then finally put them on my bike. Now, after a long backstory, it’s time to finally get to the actual review you wanted to see.
Yes, the weight may be kind of high, but the trade-off for the Code’s immense stopping power is worth it.
I’m a pretty light person, but I do have a heavy bike that needs stopping. Sram claims that these brakes are pre-bled, and they kind of are. What I mean is on mellower flow trails they handle fine, and felt pretty decent doing their job. However, when I brought them to their first techy and nasty descent, the brakes suffered from a ridiculous amount of brake fade. I was scared to death when the brakes’ bite didn’t come until the lever touched the grip. So, we got them bled. Again. Now, undeniably, they are one of the best feeling brakes I’ve ever used.
Firstly, they just feel so high-end and well made. The lever is solid, the bodies of the brakes and pistons are beautiful, and they give off a feeling of structural strength. You can also tune and tamper with these brakes a lot. The knob and dial on each brake work incredibly well. So if you’re somebody who likes to fine-tune/tamper with your bike, the Code RSC’s are your match made in heaven. I actually prefer the more resistant feel of the SRAM lever blade. After hopping on another bike with Shimano brakes (Shimano XT), it feels like you have to go through much of the lever’s travel in order to hit the bite point. Plus, the travel feels more like dead space rather than the Code’s travel, which feels stiffer and, well, resistant.
My final thoughts are pretty positive. The brakes have a huge amount of stopping power, even compared to the other four-piston brakes, and the lever feel is absolutely spectacular. They feel and look great, and their little cool printed patterns are the icing on top of the cake. Despite this, I recommend anyone who gets these brakes to BLEED THEM. They may be “pre-bled”, but do yourself a favor and actually bleed them. Take it to a store or do it by yourself, just make sure you do it. First impressions are important, so make it a good one.