Brake Upgrade - Sram Guide RSC or Code RSC- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Brake Upgrade - Sram Guide RSC or Code RSC

    Looking for some advice on a brake upgrade for my Trek Stache. It currently has the Guide R brakes which I am planning to put on my 4 year old fat bike when they come off the Stache as it could use better brakes.

    I am torn between the Guide RSC and the Code RSC. I live in upstate NY and primarily ride technical trails with a lot of roots and rocks. I do not do any long sustained downhill runs or bike parks. I am about 170 lbs all kitted up.

    I like the idea of a bit more power from the Code but I also don't want it to be overkill for my purposes which is my fear. Any insight is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    SRAM brakes are never an upgrade

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    SRAM brakes are never an upgrade
    I've heard enough bad things about Guides to keep to Codes. Had codes on my Nomad for the past 2 years and they have been great. Occasionally they will feel like they need to be bled, but the bubble works its way out pretty quickly. Have never had to have them serviced due to poor performance.

  4. #4
    Big M, Little organ.
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    I have 2 guides (ultimate and RSC) and 2 code RSCs now. IMO there is very little reason to go with Guides over Codes unless you really want to save weight. Codes are better in pretty much every way, except a small weight increase.

    The one big difference is pad selection. Codes come with sintered and there aren't nearly as many options out there, especially if you prefer organic. I'm sure this will change but something to keep in mind.

    Edit: Yes, there were problems with early guides and the lever piston sticking. It was addressed in 2017. New guides will be fine.

  5. #5
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    codes are better than guides, I had 2 sets of guides warrantied, the guides worked great until the levers got sticky, they worked great after the levers got replaced. new bike came with codes, and their increase in power was definitely noticeable over my previous guides, enough so that I was able to go down to 180 rotors, instead of 200.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Organ View Post
    I have 2 guides (ultimate and RSC) and 2 code RSCs now. IMO there is very little reason to go with Guides over Codes unless you really want to save weight. Codes are better in pretty much every way, except a small weight increase.

    The one big difference is pad selection. Codes come with sintered and there aren't nearly as many options out there, especially if you prefer organic. I'm sure this will change but something to keep in mind.
    Thank you for the feedback, is your riding typically trail oriented of DH? Seems Codes are the way to go, I just didn't want to be in a situation where the brakes are overkill for what I do. I am not really concerned with the weight difference so I can remove that from the equation.

  7. #7
    Big M, Little organ.
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    Im in colorado so its generally a long climb and then a long descent. While the guides were fine, they can get to the limits with organic pads and 180 rotors. I got both Guides in 2016/2017 before Codes were available. Got some Codes on a DH bike last year and they just feel more solid in braking. I just built another trail bike (evil offering) and got the Codes for it if that tells you anything. Codes may be overkill but I also like the feel a bit better.

    I think its something like a 60g difference per set (don't quote me on that). 1/4 pound isn't much.

  8. #8
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    I donít think you can ever be in a situation where brakes are overkill, unless youíre counting grams. If thereís some grams I donít mind carrying, itís in the brakes department! Big rotors, big calipers. Overkill is just the right amount.

  9. #9
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    Every SRAM brake thread is full of comments like "the new ones are ok", "issues in the past", "multiple warranty replacement" "they only feel funny once in a while".

    I don't understand when there are so many reliable companies out there, people still use these.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    Every SRAM brake thread is full of comments like "the new ones are ok", "issues in the past", "multiple warranty replacement" "they only feel funny once in a while".

    I don't understand when there are so many reliable companies out there, people still use these.
    I am with you 100%, but sram and shimano have a very different lever feel. Some people prefer the sram feel despite the issues. And some people experience the "wandering bite point" issues with shimano. I think a lot of people don't understand how to properly bleed shimanos (or any brakes for that matter) and think the free stroke screw is there just for decoration. I love the feel of shimanos personally.

    Also, given that hope, hayes, magura, trickstuff, forumula, etc. do not have as strong of distribution in the US, most people just pick from the "Big 2".
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  11. #11
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    ^^^I haven't found the free stroke adjustment particularly useful when the bite point changes significantly during a ride and I have to get off the bike and get my philips out to adjust it. My XTs change all the time so I just leave the levers far enough out so if travel increases I still have enough brake and otherwise just ignore it.

    Also, I never liked how they grab rather than have a smooth linear translation of lever force to braking force (AKA good modulation). It just makes braking touchier in sketchy low traction situations.

    So, I would get something other than XTs like I have. Though I know a good number of riders who had the Guide sticking lever piston problem and got that resolved with new levers from SRAM, I haven't had any issues with SRAM brakes and prefer the wander-free lever feel and modulation compared to my XTs.

    Not saying SRAM are great and Shimano sucks, just there can be legitimate issues either way. Pick your poison, or some other poison.
    Do the math.

  12. #12
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    Any reason why you're only looking at SRAM or Shimano? lots of other great brakes out there - Magura and Hope for example.

    When it was time for me to upgrade my SRAM level T, i went with Hope Tech E4 - happy Hope user here.
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  13. #13
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    I agree, most lbs's only stock Shimano and sram pads. It's a pain, but I just make sure to keep a couple sets spare in the toolbox (not like they go bad sitting waiting right).

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    Every SRAM brake thread is full of comments like "the new ones are ok", "issues in the past", "multiple warranty replacement" "they only feel funny once in a while".

    I don't understand when there are so many reliable companies out there, people still use these.
    Easy answer for me - came on my bike and the codes have not left me wanting on the trail or in the park. That said, I would like to have Hope brakes on whatever frame up build I do next - if I have the option to buy frame only.

  15. #15
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    Any.......Any brake inside the / Sram/Avid family is a super headache.......

    As a mechanic any costumer who wants to bleed or over haul these brakes i finrs kindly ask them to step back & leave............


    If they didnt listen to my advise i would not dare hitting them with the brakes like a whip......

  16. #16
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    I hear good things about the Hayes Dominions which are a new clean sheet design.

    https://hayesdiscbrake.com/product/dominion/

    The problems with both SRAM and Shimano brakes in the past two years has made me more open to considering other brands of brakes.
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  17. #17
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    Guide RE's are a happy compromise: Guide levers with Code calipers. Priced nicely, too.

    This might be the choice for you.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iranian-Mechanic View Post
    Any.......Any brake inside the / Sram/Avid family is a super headache.......

    As a mechanic any costumer who wants to bleed or over haul these brakes i finrs kindly ask them to step back & leave............


    If they didnt listen to my advise i would not dare hitting them with the brakes like a whip......
    I find my Guide Ultimates a breeze to bleed. Not sure what you're talking about here.

    The Sram closed bleed system with the bleed ports is super easy. Gets any bubbles out fast.

    In fact I'd argue it's a more bullet-proof system than Shimano (yes I bled Shimano brakes for years). I can think of about five different ways people recommend to get a good bleed on Shimano brakes. With the Sram systems there's just the one way. The vacuum system is far more effective. IMO.

  19. #19
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    Wow, a lot of feedback here, all much appreciated. I suppose I am only choosing between the "big 2" out of simplicity and it's just what I'm used to but that could be faulty logic. I am no expert but I think while there have been a lot of issues with the Guide lever sticking, part of that might be attributable to the fact that so many bikes are spec'd with them that you here about more issues? Any way, it seems that much of that issue has been resolved and I have not personally experienced it. I don't have enough knowledge on the subject to debate what is better, Sram, Shimano, other and I think a lot of it comes down to personal preference. I have had XTs and I do lean having the seemingly more modulation of the Sram lever vs a more on/off feel on the XTs. Anyway, great advice on here and I don't think I will go wrong either way.

    Thanks!

  20. #20
    Big M, Little organ.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ejabbale View Post
    Wow, a lot of feedback here, all much appreciated. I suppose I am only choosing between the "big 2" out of simplicity and it's just what I'm used to but that could be faulty logic. I am no expert but I think while there have been a lot of issues with the Guide lever sticking, part of that might be attributable to the fact that so many bikes are spec'd with them that you here about more issues? Any way, it seems that much of that issue has been resolved and I have not personally experienced it. I don't have enough knowledge on the subject to debate what is better, Sram, Shimano, other and I think a lot of it comes down to personal preference. I have had XTs and I do lean having the seemingly more modulation of the Sram lever vs a more on/off feel on the XTs. Anyway, great advice on here and I don't think I will go wrong either way.

    Thanks!
    This is Mac-vs-windows, Chevy-vs-ford, redvines-vs-twizzlers topic. Some people feel really strongly for some reason. First world problems I guess. Every brand has issues and the guide issues didnít end the world. Ive owned the 2-pot XT brakes and they were fine, just not my favorite. I will probably try the new 4-pot as Iíve heard they have a bit more modulation and more power. But the codes hit the sweet spot for me. You wonít harm baby seals if you go with any brand/model.

    PS. I canít believe any mechanic would admit a sram brake is hard to bleed. I hope that is just sarcasm.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jon123 View Post
    I find my Guide Ultimates a breeze to bleed. Not sure what you're talking about here.

    The Sram closed bleed system with the bleed ports is super easy. Gets any bubbles out fast.

    In fact I'd argue it's a more bullet-proof system than Shimano (yes I bled Shimano brakes for years). I can think of about five different ways people recommend to get a good bleed on Shimano brakes. With the Sram systems there's just the one way. The vacuum system is far more effective. IMO.
    IF mtb was a religion and i had some kind of prophecy over there and shimano vs Sram brakes were the branches of that religion ....

    I would command to massacre all those who believed in Sram faith





    Im kidding but as a mechanic i really want to bang my head in the wall becuase of the people who like these items:

    * Sram brakes
    * Internal cable routing

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