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  1. #1
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    No good Guides are.... dissapointing.

    After using my guides for about a year now, I have come to the conclusion that even though they are better than the avids they replaced, they are still nowhere near the performance of shimano brakes.

    Guides have always felt a bit less powerful and with a mushier and more inconsistent lever feel than the shimanos. I did a very long downhill run with steep sections this past weekend. First time for the guides here. Midway through the descent, the brakes started misbehaving. I had to pull them more towards the bar than usual and use quite a bit of additional finger force to get them to stop.

    I tend to forget I even have brakes when using my slx and deore brakes, no matter how long or steep the descent . The guides, even with their 4 pistons and whatnot, dont seem to match them anywhere. I actually think the 4 pistons is a gimmick with these brakes. It causes more issues with no perceived advantage. Just more pistons that are prone to getting stuck. Unsticking a piston in a 4 piston caliper is a total PITA.

    Cheers

  2. #2
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    very disappointing indeed,
    contact @Mr Pig for in deep consultation

  3. #3
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    Just got a new bike with Guide RSCs, after a 24 hour race on them this past weekend, I have to say and coming from XTs...they were GREAT! Nice lever feel, consistent lever feel i.e. no free-stroke changing during a ride, etc. Long term use obviously will tell the truth, but so far, very happy. I almost had them swapped before I took delivery of the bike for XTs and I'm glad I gave them a try.
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  4. #4
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    Op, guide R or RS or RSC? Because i suspect there is a big difference in feel between them.

  5. #5
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    My guide r's are phenomenal. Maybe yours are defective, or maybe you're just a poor judge of brakes.

  6. #6
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    That's kind of harsh. Lots of people have reported dislike of the way the Guide brake feels. A lot of people prefer a more on/off feel like what Shimano provides, and a lot of people on these forums alone have reported that the Guides seem to engage way too late and have far too much lever throw.

    I have about 50 hours on my Guide R and I am not crazy about all the extra lever throw. I did have to bleed and adjust them as they came poorly bled with stuck pistons from the factory. In all other respects, however, they have been very good.

    Personally I'm not sold on 4 piston brakes. We survived lots of stuff with 2 pistons for the better part of a decade, and I still run 2 piston brakes on my DH rig and I really like those brakes and have never had an issue with them. I'm not sure I see the necessity of 4 pistons. It is more difficult to balance, and provides additional points for failure. Is it just an attempt to sell people something new?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpdemello View Post
    That's kind of harsh. Lots of people have reported dislike of the way the Guide brake feels. A lot of people prefer a more on/off feel like what Shimano provides, and a lot of people on these forums alone have reported that the Guides seem to engage way too late and have far too much lever throw.

    I have about 50 hours on my Guide R and I am not crazy about all the extra lever throw. I did have to bleed and adjust them as they came poorly bled with stuck pistons from the factory. In all other respects, however, they have been very good.

    Personally I'm not sold on 4 piston brakes. We survived lots of stuff with 2 pistons for the better part of a decade, and I still run 2 piston brakes on my DH rig and I really like those brakes and have never had an issue with them. I'm not sure I see the necessity of 4 pistons. It is more difficult to balance, and provides additional points for failure. Is it just an attempt to sell people something new?
    I think it's harsh that people feel the need to shit on a great company that makes a great and innovative product. I think shimanos are lacking in comparison, but I'm not running around constantly shitting on shimano. The sram brakes work very well.

    I've personally tested a great variety. Sram is as good as any at stopping my bike.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by @Ride@ View Post
    I think it's harsh that people feel the need to shit on a great company that makes a great and innovative product. I think shimanos are lacking in comparison, but I'm not running around constantly shitting on shimano. The sram brakes work very well.

    I've personally tested a great variety. Sram is as good as any at stopping my bike.
    Same here, the new Guide Ultimates blow away my Shimano XTR. Never go back to Shimano unless they improve on their fading.

  9. #9
    I like turtles
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    The lever travel is adjustable on the RSC and works quite well to even out the front and rear. I am small and have no issues running my levers close to the bar.

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpdemello View Post
    Op, guide R or RS or RSC? Because i suspect there is a big difference in feel between them.
    These are the guides RS.

    Quote Originally Posted by @Ride@ View Post
    My guide r's are phenomenal. Maybe yours are defective, or maybe you're just a poor judge of brakes.
    Maybe we ride in different terrain? Did you ever think that was a possibility?

    Quote Originally Posted by @Ride@ View Post
    I think it's harsh that people feel the need to shit on a great company that makes a great and innovative product. I think shimanos are lacking in comparison, but I'm not running around constantly shitting on shimano. The sram brakes work very well.

    I've personally tested a great variety. Sram is as good as any at stopping my bike.
    Sorry I "triggered" you (thats the new thing right?). If you cant deal with people voicing their opinion and appreciations of a product in a cycling forum intended in part for that, then you probably shouldn't be browsing them.

    The brakes performed ok in most of the riding I do, although I had been having some problems with stuck pistons in the front brake like I never had in any of my shimanos. The 4 piston design makes isolating one piston to get it to unstick a bit more complicated. The real test and where they showed the were not as solid as my other brakes, came on a long and steep descent, 5 kms and -3000 ft elevation change. There were some steep sections where brakes had to be continuously applied. It was there where the lever travel varied, they became mushier and the stopping power diminished significantly, up to the point of tiring my hands and making the descent uncomfortable. They aren't terrible but they are nowhere near great, shimanos have been great brakes for me so far, consistent and powerful. Hope my opinion doesn't further insult people on this forum.

    Cheers

  11. #11
    My other ride
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    I've found I didn't like the performance of Shimano.

    But for whatever reason, no one likes to hear that. XTR were miserable performance. The Guides I have used on my enduro and trail bike have been great (R's and RSC). The R's on a demo FS fatbike were great.

    To each their own.

    I understand if people have problems and go searching for advice. Really, I do. And Guide's have had a defect that these kinds of posts have helped identify and helped people fix. But random b1tch sessions just sound attention seeking.

  12. #12
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    I will say guides have a VERY consistent bite point comparitively but lack power. So much so I was ready to shelve them for something more powerful until I tried kool stop organic pads...big difference. I also bled them with maxima 600 which seemed to firm up the lever feel & now I'm quite happy with them.

    What I did may not help you OP. I would instead recommend switching out the stock organic pads to some metal sintered one's. The metal pads will fade far less on long descents compared to the stock organic pads. If you haven't tried this already I think you'll see quite a differencd in fade between the 2.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

  13. #13
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    If you've got Guide RS brakes with a mushier lever and less power than Shimano brakes, you don't have a good bleed on them, and have air in the lines.

    They can be a pain to bleed, and may require repeating some steps.
    I just bought a pair of Level TL brakes so the Guide RS on my hardtail can go on a FS build. They were takeoffs from a new bike with internal routing, so the rear had the hose cut and was drained. I'm struggling with the bleed on it, and will have to pull up the instructions today to see if they need a different bleed process than the Guides.
    I don't expect them to be Guides, but at the moment they(rear in particular-not thrilled with the intact front, either) have considerably less power than expected, and a lot of "free throw" in the lever, yet I'm not getting air out of them. I could post some crap about how these brakes obviously suck, but am inclined to believe that they're fine, and just need a little work.

    Oh, and after reading the post above: if you use SRAM's pads and have the sintered ones, plug in a pair of organics. Surprising difference in bite point, power, and lever feel.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    I will say guides have a VERY consistent bite point comparitively but lack power. So much so I was ready to shelve them for something more powerful until I tried kool stop organic pads...big difference. I also bled them with maxima 600 which seemed to firm up the lever feel & now I'm quite happy with them.

    What I did may not help you OP. I would instead recommend switching out the stock organic pads to some metal sintered one's. The metal pads will fade far less on long descents compared to the stock organic pads. If you haven't tried this already I think you'll see quite a differencd in fade between the 2.
    Lack of power? Get bigger rotors. I put 203's on first thing. I liked that size rotor on the demo bikes.

    "If sheer stopping power is your only concern, installing a larger rotor is the easiest way to go, albeit at the expense of more rotating weight. Increasing rotor diameter by just one size will create an impressive increase in braking force."

    I find the modulation and feel of the guide r's fantastic.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by @Ride@ View Post
    Lack of power? Get bigger rotors. I put 203's on first thing. I liked that size rotor on the demo bikes.

    "If sheer stopping power is your only concern, installing a larger rotor is the easiest way to go, albeit at the expense of more rotating weight. Increasing rotor diameter by just one size will create an impressive increase in braking force."

    I find the modulation and feel of the guide r's fantastic.
    I've run nothing but 200's on bikes since hayes was the only choice. I appreciate the modulation for sketchy techy steep roll in's etc but for high speed agro speed scrubbing the power just isn't there. Ironically getting the power to an acceptable level has made them grabby of the cuff. My next build will get magura's or saint's or maybe hope's.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

  16. #16
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    I run 203s on my Guides and Hopes. Makes a huge difference and imo should be the default rotor size. I can't tell a weight difference, though I'm sure there's a small one. The performance difference is huge and well worth it. That's even before you get into long hills, heat, and fade.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpdemello View Post
    Personally I'm not sold on 4 piston brakes. We survived lots of stuff with 2 pistons for the better part of a decade, and I still run 2 piston brakes on my DH rig and I really like those brakes and have never had an issue with them. I'm not sure I see the necessity of 4 pistons. It is more difficult to balance, and provides additional points for failure. Is it just an attempt to sell people something new?
    That's because SRAM does them wrong with the Guides, IMO. SRAM decided to build a compact, lightweight 4-piston caliper for the Guides which doesn't really make sense and defeats the purpose of having a 4-piston brake in the first place. You can build a 2-piston brake with the same weight & performance of the Guides with less complication & potential for issues on the caliper side.

    The point of a 4-piston brake is to get lots of piston area and a nice big brake pad into a caliper that isn't overly tall and flexible, and this in turn allows for more braking power and better heat management. Size matters, a Shimano Saint caliper is way bigger than a Guide and uses larger pistons along with a bigger brake pad. Even the ancient Shimano M755 XT has larger brake pads and a bigger caliper than the Guides, and not surprisingly the performance is better as well. The difference is real, I run 4-piston brakes on all my bikes except my dirtjumper (that bike has SLX brakes), 4-pots are just better in every way except weight and I refuse to run anything else on a bike that gets ridden on trails.

  18. #18
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    Guides feel fantastic for the 2 or 3 rides that they work.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by abelfonseca View Post
    I tend to forget I even have brakes when using my slx and deore brakes..
    Sums it up perfectly.

  20. #20
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    I've no doubt that some of you guys' Shimanos make you think that you have no brakes, but I promise that if you'll just pull that lever far enough, they'll remind you they're still there real quick

  21. #21
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    The member formerly known as Redtires....

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post

    The point of a 4-piston brake is to get lots of piston area and a nice big brake pad into a caliper that isn't overly tall and flexible, and this in turn allows for more braking power and better heat management. .
    And even pressure application against the pad...and that's what happens with sram brakes, that's a big part of the reason that they are great.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    not surprisingly the performance is better as well. The difference is real, I run 4-piston brakes on all my bikes except my dirtjumper (that bike has SLX brakes), 4-pots are just better in every way except weight and I refuse to run anything else on a bike that gets ridden on trails.
    Define "perform better"

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by @Ride@ View Post
    Define "perform better"
    More power, better fade resistance, improved control & modulation, more even pad wear, longer pad life, less noise, you know, everything that matters in a brake.
    When a modern SRAM Guide can't even match the performance of a 17 year old Shimano XT, they are doing it wrong.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    More power, better fade resistance, improved control & modulation, more even pad wear, longer pad life, less noise, you know, everything that matters in a brake.
    When a modern SRAM Guide can't even match the performance of a 17 year old Shimano XT, they are doing it wrong.
    Says who? You have objective factual data to back up your opinion, right? So where is it?

  26. #26
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    I share the op's opinion though on a different note. I've owned various brakes both shimano and sram. I understand their workings, repairs and maintenance 100%. I cannot get my guide rsc brakes to stop sounding like I'm being chased down by a freight train or a flock of turkeys. I've been through 3 sets of pads on both front and back, 4 different rotors, reset the pistons which were sticking since new, pulled them and lube them, rotors are straight. They are silent for half a ride and then they get back to getting noisy again. I'm at a lost of what else to try since I've never had these issues with elixir, juicy, xt, xtrs. Not even 50 pad bed in stops get them to work silently. I will say though that i love their power, lever feel and adjustability compared to anything else I've tried.

  27. #27
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    Don't ask what your Guides can do for you but what you can do for your Guides

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by @Ride@ View Post
    I think it's harsh that people feel the need to shit on a great company that makes a great and innovative product. I think shimanos are lacking in comparison, but I'm not running around constantly shitting on shimano. The sram brakes work very well.

    I've personally tested a great variety. Sram is as good as any at stopping my bike.
    I love my X01 derailleurs and 11spd drivetrains, but I sh*t on their brakes.

    Guides are.... dissapointing.-img_0763%5B1%5D.jpg

    Guides are.... dissapointing.-img_0760%5B1%5D.jpg
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    More power, better fade resistance, improved control & modulation, more even pad wear, longer pad life, less noise, you know, everything that matters in a brake.
    When a modern SRAM Guide can't even match the performance of a 17 year old Shimano XT, they are doing it wrong.
    Are you referring to the old Shimano XT V brake or cantilever?
    The only easy day was yesterday.

  30. #30
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    So here I am saying my new guides with ~50 miles on them work great. They stop wonderfully...but after yesterday I have....wait for it...TURKEY WARBLE NOISES! SWEET MOTHER OF GOD I THOUGH THAT PART OF MY LIFE WAS OVER!!!!! No clue, just started up. I have to think it's contam on pads/rotors. When I heard it I starting have PTSD from my Elixir days....
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5k bike 50cent legs View Post
    Are you referring to the old Shimano XT V brake or cantilever?
    Neither. I'm referring to Shimano's M755 XT discs which were introduced back in 2000. 4-piston calipers, easy top loading pads, pistons with heat shielding inserts, and a simple gravity bleed system, it was so far ahead of its time that it still performs better than many current brakes on the market.


  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    Neither. I'm referring to Shimano's M755 XT discs which were introduced back in 2000. 4-piston calipers, easy top loading pads, pistons with heat shielding inserts, and a simple gravity bleed system, it was so far ahead of its time that it still performs better than many current brakes on the market.

    Yep. But comparing that brake to the Guide is not a fair comparison. That's why I thought you were thinking of the XT cantilevers.
    The only easy day was yesterday.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by LargeMan View Post
    Same here, the new Guide Ultimates blow away my Shimano XTR. Never go back to Shimano unless they improve on their fading.
    XTR race or XTR trail?
    XTR race suck ass.

    The guides work well, when they actually work.
    My wife had to have SRAM replace the pistons after a month of owning them to stop the binding they were doing and lack of lever return.

    I personally do not like them. Lever is too long for me. The problem they had is still out there and I don't trust them do to that.

    My new bike comes with guide RS's. Having them removed before I get the bike.
    Either Saints or Hope Tech 3 E4 will go on it.
    Too Many .

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    So here I am saying my new guides with ~50 miles on them work great. They stop wonderfully...but after yesterday I have....wait for it...TURKEY WARBLE NOISES! SWEET MOTHER OF GOD I THOUGH THAT PART OF MY LIFE WAS OVER!!!!! No clue, just started up. I have to think it's contam on pads/rotors. When I heard it I starting have PTSD from my Elixir days....

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