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SRAM is on the Level with all new XC disc brake range

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SRAM_Level-Ultimate-mountain-bike-disc-brakes_lever_TLD

SRAM’s new Level brakes take the Downhill Worlds winning tech from their Guide brake and trims it back into a smaller and lighter design, better suited for cross country and trail riding. Available at five different spec’s from the basic Level all the way up to a Level ultimate, SRAM has trail riding stopping covered from the weekend warrior up to the World Cup warrior. Get a closer look and details below the fold, plus a video shot with the SRAM TLD team testing the new brakes last week…


SRAM TLD Racing’s sponsored riders Todd Wells and Russell Finsterwald were getting familiar with the new brakes last week in Arizona, so they sent over some on the bike pics of what we expect to see a lot racing the World Cup circuit this year.

SRAM_Level-Ultimate-mountain-bike-disc-brakes_front_TLD SRAM_Level-Ultimate-mountain-bike-disc-brakes_profile_TLD

Based on the Guide tech, the new Level brakes use the same timing port closure mechanism that delivers strong and predictable braking action across all spec’s. Each Level also gets the same expandable bladder reservoir and seals for reliable braking in all weather, and even after sustained braking. The new two-piston brakes also uses SRAM’s DirectLink lever design to deliver balanced power and modulation.

SRAM_Level-Ultimate-mountain-bike-disc-brakes_front-caliper+rotor_TLD SRAM_Level-Ultimate-mountain-bike-disc-brakes_rear-caliper_TLD

Level replaces the working man DB line as well as X0 and XX. Top range Level Ultimate gets all of the bells and whistles while keeping weight down to replace SRAM XX brakes. The new Level TLM replaces X0, while Level TL, Level T, and Level versions take the place of Avid DB5, DB3, and DB1, respectively.

SRAM_Level+Level-T-mountain-bike-disc-brakes_lever SRAM_Level-TL+Level-TLM-mountain-bike-disc-brakes_lever

The most basic Level brakes will sell for just $65/70€/£55 a set and weigh in at 430g a wheel including a G2 rotor. It builds in the Guide piston, seals, reservoir, and bladder tech with a simple pinch bar clamp. At $85/90€/£70, the Level L steps up to a two-bolt Matchmaker clamp for a bit more flexibility and 20g of weight savings. The TL adds even more adjustability with tooled lever reach adjust, via bolts tucked away from the elements for a protected, clean look, and the even slimmer Matchmaker X mount. Level TL gets a slimmed-down lever body, dropping to 370g with a CL rotor, and will sell for $100/110€/£85 a wheel.

The two highest-end Level brake calipers also get some gravity-inspired tech, including a stainless steel heat shield for the Ultimate and TLM versions, derived from the Guide Ultimates to help isolate the caliper body from the pads and rotors to limit heat transfer. The Level TLM drops another 14g and climbs in price to $190/210€/£160 a wheel with the addition of a new monoblock, one-piece cast caliper body with 21mm diameter pistons.

SRAM_Level-Ultimate-mountain-bike-disc-brakes_caliper+rotor SRAM_Level-Ultimate-mountain-bike-disc-brakes_lever

The Ultimates also swap in a carbon fiber lever rotating on proper bearings. The $300/325€/£250 Level Ultimate setup also adds titanium hardware and alloy backed pads to drop more weight for a claimed system weight (for one wheel) of 318g, including the direct mount caliper, 800mm of hose, a 160mm CLX rotor, and all the ti mounting hardware.

Retail availability on the new Level brakes is slated from as early as this week for some models, and as far out as June 2016 for others. More details over at SRAM’s mountain home.

SRAM.com

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21 Comments
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Matt
Matt
6 years ago

There is a reason most all bike manufacturers that spec SRAM groups on their bikes also spec Shimano brakes.

Eric Hansen
Eric Hansen
6 years ago
Reply to  Matt

Yeah, because prior to the Guide line, they were crap for a number of years. Guides actually don’t suck, and this ‘xc’ line looks REALLY comprehensive! This is serious contender level stuff.

Seraph
Seraph
6 years ago
Reply to  Matt

The reason is that they’re stuck in the past. Guides blow all Shimano brakes out of the water.

Ck
Ck
6 years ago

Glad to see some 2-piston brakes being brought up with the Guide quality. Never really felt like I needed a 4-piston brake for XC.

Klaster_1
Klaster_1
6 years ago

Does a “set” mean both front and back or just one side?

duder
duder
6 years ago

I’ve converted to Guides on both my trail bike and my DH bike. Sram is killing it with these brakes. My only complaint is that the stock pads seem to wear out faster than other brakes I’ve ridden, but small price to pay for power, modulation, and reliability.

Bazz
Bazz
6 years ago
Reply to  duder

I’d second that. Happy with my Guide RS brakes. Stock pads that came with them went very quickly and seemed thinner? Replaced them and wow, thank goodness! They are just what I wanted and so far they haven’t developed my personal hate – sticking pistons. Might just look at a set of these Level brakes as well…

suede
suede
6 years ago

“the new Level brakes use the same timing port closure mechanism that delivers strong and predictable braking action”

The same technology used on almost every open system hydraulic brake in use today, across every vehicle platform ever invented.

IMHO Sram should have walked away from Taperbore technology much, much sooner than they actually did. Unfortunately not before they sullied the Avid brand name into the dirt.

Andy S
Andy S
6 years ago

Comment to see comments

Loki
Loki
6 years ago

The outline looks very Juicy Ultimate … the more things change …

Jeff Sayegh
Jeff Sayegh
6 years ago

Its funny how a bad product or a failure can last in the eye of the consumer. Its the same that when the American car manufacturers were producing not so good vehicles and Toyota and Honda stepped it up and made better cars then. The reputation for Honda and Toyota still last, while the American cars, imo, are just as good or better, but still have a bad rap.

pablo
pablo
6 years ago

i would never in a million years buy an sram/avid brake after the nightmares i had with them in the past

Mike D
6 years ago

For my money, and not to mention ease of bleeding, I’m fine with Shimano Deore brakes on an XC rig. However, the Guide brakes from SRAM are amaaaazingly better than any of the past Avid iterations. Guides on my trail bike and I couldn’t be happier with them. Great feel, great stopping power.

Cheese
Cheese
6 years ago
Reply to  Mike D

But still filled with corrosive DOT fluid, unfortunately.

xc-fr
xc-fr
6 years ago

neverending lame story.
i’m completely cured from sram brakes, forever.

they should do it like they did with the front derailleur: sram never had a competitive fd, so they decided to skip it und this was a very big bang. they should do the same with their brakes 😉

KAW
KAW
6 years ago
Reply to  xc-fr

Skip brakes? How? Offer Boost 148 XD hubs in fixed and coaster options?

Also, I’m a 1x fan, but the Yaw fronts that go with the “22” groups are pretty great.

mateo
mateo
6 years ago

Looks like two groups of people.
1) People who have used Guide, and universally like it.
2) People who haven’t and want to whine about Elixir.

pablo
pablo
6 years ago
Reply to  mateo

when avid gives me 800 bucks back for the pair of XX that lasted 1 and 3 months i will stop whining. Until then i will ride with magura which are better anyway

Matt Grothoff
6 years ago
Reply to  pablo

And by “better” do you mean “more plastic than a walmart brake lever?” Everything from the handlebar clamp to the torx bleed screw on the lever body. Plastic. Perhaps if you get the top-shelf model it is slightly more robust, but that much plastic doesn’t belong on any bike over $300. Magura’s are miserable, from their bleed procedure to the material selection.

^genius lol
^genius lol
6 years ago
Reply to  Matt Grothoff

That “plastic” you refer too has a higher yield that you aluminum… also its used in 3000$ frames… so is your version of better backwards???

Marin
Marin
6 years ago

It might just be me, but I’m using Avid Trail 9s for about a year and a half and can’t fault them.
Bleeding is bit more tricky, but I only had to bleed them once when I accidentally pushed the piston out.

On the other hand, I had 2 pairs of XT M785 which had great power but I always hated the lever feel which is hard to dose properly and the fact that there’s lot of free lever travel in the beginning that does nothing.

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