SRAM just announced Guide brake technology in a more compact, lighter package for cross-country and trail applications. Five different models of Level brakes will replace the SRAM XX, X0 and DB5, and Avid DB3 and DB1 models.
All models of Level brakes feature SRAM’s DirectLink lever design with 2-piston calipers and reach adjusters hidden from the outside elements. The Levels also utilize the proven technologies developed for the Guides that we have come to love, including SRAM’s improved brake fluid reservoir, excellent modulation, ambidextrous lever placement, ease of adjusting lever reach and contact point for personalized brake feel, a reshaped bladder that better regulates and reduces air bubbles, and minimized time between when the lever is engaged and the pads contact the rotor.
The top four models purport to all offer the same braking power. The top two feature SRAM’s unique design for simplifying fluid management and maintenance.
The Level Lineup
Level Ultimate: 318 grams, $297
The top-of-the-line Level brakes are distinguished by titanium hardware; carbon levers and blades; and a new, 21-millimeter, 2-piston monoblock caliper for superior heat management, consistency, control and feel. Fancy.
Level TLM: 356 grams, $190
Level TL: 370 grams, $102
Level T: 410 grams, $82
Level: 430 grams, $63
Prices and weights are per wheel.
Weight weenies rejoice! Actually, everyone should rejoice. The Guides are excellent brakes and have helped us banish bad memories of the most infamous Avids. The Levels will actually banish some Avids. If they are indeed slimmed-down versions of Guides, they should be great brakes. We’ll try some and let you know. Meanwhile, read our long-term test of the SRAM Guide brakes.
More info: SRAM.com