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.
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.
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.
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.
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.