[First Ride] 2018 SRAM Code RSC Brakes



Today SRAM announced a massive revamp of the Code brake lineup. The new Code R and Code RSC take a page from Guide’s book. The brakes adopt a handful of recent, brilliant updates. To name a few in SRAM speak, Heat Shield & Bleeding Edge technology are possibly the most notable and effective.



• Four Piston Caliper
• Tool Free Reach Adjust
• 330 Grams per brake w/o rotor(our tested weight for rear brake)
• Code R $154 (US)
• Code RSC $244 (US)/(tested)
• Bleeding edge technology
• Heat Shield

The new 4-piston caliper utilizes a pair of 15mm and 16mm pistons which provide 15% more power.  Organic brake pads offer lots of bite, and tool free pad removal keeps things simple and easy to maintain, while lots of air flow through the caliper help the brake run cool under pressure.

You can’t see it here, but “heat shield” acts as a buffer to keep the temperature from building up at the pads and overheating the fluid in the caliper/hose/lever. When the Guides first adopted this technology, we felt noteworthy performance gains and improved consistency.

The new brake has reach adjust and a much larger master cylinder than its Guide counterparts. Codes have 30% more brake fluid. This means it operates slightly differently than other SRAM brakes, so gone are the days of mixing and matching the Code levers & calipers with other SRAM levers and calipers. In the past, we ran Guide levers with Code calipers, this is no longer an option with the new brakes.

On the Trial

We’ve had limited time on the new Code RSC brakes but from the get go, they were everything we’ve always wanted. Over the last few years we weren’t all that impressed with the lever feel of the old Codes but we loved the power we got from the caliper. Therefore, we ran Guide levers (due to their improved consistency) and Code calipers. Mixing and matching is/was a pain and really wasn’t cost effective. But now the new Codes are here…

We just got these brakes a few weeks ago and have only ridden them a few times, but from the second they broke in, they’ve been faultless. They have the adjustments that most riders want/need and setup is simple. What really matters is these three things: more consistent, increased power, improved modulation.  In terms of dexterity, the new levers take the shape of the Guides, providing an excellent feel which we personally like better than the old lever shape. We’ll keep you posted on our long term findings, but so far we are confident that SRAM knocked it out of the park with these brakes. Time will tell…



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