The big one.
For years, SRAM's Code brakes were the go-to for everyone from recreational shuttle lappers to competitive gravity nuts. The latest generation of Code R Disc Brakes doesn't change the reason why; instead, it reinforces it by adopting the same cam mechanism that made the new Guide models such big hits among the all-mountain crowd. The cam's excellent modulation is paired with a larger reservoir and pistons in order to increase stopping power for applications that need it—think gravity rigs, e-bikes, and anything else where weight isn't a consideration. The reworked Code R is a big brake for big rigs.
Increased power aside for now, the cam mechanism adopted from the Guide model is the real star. It alters the amount of force applied as the lever is pulled deeper and the calipers engage the rotor. The result is that, when you first touch the lever, the caliper jumps to the rotor; however, after biting, the cam modulates the force being applied, helping to prevent lock-ups and, well, enabling the kind of modulation we need on loamy courses or while lightly scrubbing speed.
Compared to those Guide brakes, the Code's pistons are larger (15 and 16mm vs the Guide's 14 and 16mm) and it features 30% more volume in the reservoir. The result is more stopping power that stays honest for longer during heavy use—SRAM even goes so far as to credit the new Code with 15% more power than the older model. If you're used to more trail-oriented brakes, the increased stopping power is alarming at first, but it's impossible to argue against it when it's still on-point long after other brakes would have begun to fade.
The Code also features the same heat-dissipating technology that's general across SRAM's brake line—most notably the stainless steel Heat Shields and the improved heat management of SRAM's DOT 5.1 hydraulic fluid. SRAM claims that the latest generation of DOT resists boiling for three times longer than its predecessor, DOT 4, and the Heat Shield inserts serve as a firewall to separate the brake pads from the calipers so that less heat overall makes it into the fluid system.
As with its less robust stablemates, the Code's bleeding, bladder shape, and heat management all contribute to maintaining consistent bite and lever feel, and the sealed bearings and SRAM's new timing port closure design ensure that the levers themselves maintain the smooth, one-finger operation we've come to expect from SRAM's new generation of stopping systems. The levers are MatchMaker and MMX compatible, and the PiggyBack Reservoirs let you run the brakes moto if that's your jam.
- Hydraulic brakes for heavy-duty needs like gravity and e-bikes
- Cam mechanism bites fast but modulates after engaging
- Larger pistons increase stopping power
- Expanded reservoir maintains consistent braking
- Heat management features reduce fade
- Easy bleed operation makes for simple maintenance
- Adjustable bite and reach tailor to your tastes
- Encourages reduced cockpit clutter by integrating with MatchMaker components