SRAM mountain bike brakes 2023 - Level, G2 and Code models
This is your complete guide to SRAM hydraulic disc brakes, featuring everything from lightweight Level brakes and more powerful G2 models to the burly four-pot Code stoppers and everything in between. Whether you are looking for an upgrade or want to check out a new bike's component specification prior to purchase, we've got you covered with full specification lists, prices, weights and the differences between brake models.
- Your complete guide to Shimano mountain bike disc brakes
- Your complete guide to SRAM MTB drivetrains, from AXS and XX1 Eagle to NX
- Your complete guide to the RockShox rear shock range
We’ve featured all the hydraulic brakes in this article that are available, with market prices and retail prices listed. Any weights quoted are the claimed weight per brake (one lever and one caliper) and will not include the rotor weight.
Keep reading to see all the models or click one of the links below to jump straight to your SRAM mountain bike brake of choice.
SRAM mountain bike brakes
- Level T
- Level TL
- Level TLM
- Level Silver Stealth
- Level Ultimate Stealth
- G2 R
- G2 RE
- G2 RS
- G2 RSC
- G2 Ultimate
- Code R
- Code RSC
- Code Silver Stealth
- Code Ultimate Stealth
SRAM mountain bike brakes
This is the entry-level and cheapest brake in the whopping nine brake Level lineup. The Level is available as a two-piston brake that was introduced in 2016. This brake has an alloy lever blade but doesn’t get the Matchmaker clamp, it gets a simple clamp with a single bolt which is rather large and unwieldy. You'll get a tooled reach adjustment that is positioned under the lever blade and adjustable via an Allen key.
The caliper is a two-piece design and uses the older G2 design of rotor, not a Centreline as you’ll see on more expensive brakes. As well as being the cheapest, the Level is also the heaviest, with a claimed weight of 430g.
It gets the same tech as the higher-level brakes, such as the Direct Link lever design, Expandable bladder and Timing Port Closure. The reshaped bladder, SRAM says, helps reduce air bubbles. It's shaped to remove air from the lever and push fluid where needed, improving pressure and consistency. The brand also says that when the lever is squeezed a cup seal closes the port, pressurising the system, which also helps improve braking power and consistency, this is called the timing port closure system.
- £65 per end
The Level T brakes aren’t all that different to the Level. Although it does get a Matchmaker clamp, it’s a two-bolt configuration, not the hinged one as on the Level TLMs. The lever blade is stamped alloy and it gets the tooled reach adjustment. The caliper is the same two-piece design seen on the Level brake and uses Centreline rotors, 140mm at the rear and up to 200mm at the front.
They have a claimed weight of 410g and also take advantage of the trickle-down tech such as Direct Link lever design, Expandable bladder and Timing Port Closure.
- £80 per end
This brake matches an alloy DirectLink lever, and the same caliper found on the Level T to a lever body that contains the same technology found in the Level TLM. It gets a two-piece caliper along with a lever that gets a hinged clamp that gets the Matchmaker X treatment which accepts up to three controls.
The brakes weigh a claimed 370g (hence TL for lightweight) per end.
- £92 per end
The SRAM Level TLM brake is a two-pot option aimed squarely at cross-country riders. It sits beneath the Ultimate and Silver models above it. The brake is a lightweight one (claimed 365g) that gets SRAM’s ‘Direct Link’ lever design with a bearing pivot and also provides the ‘Matchmaker X’ compatible hinged clamp so you can keep your bars free of clutter, attaching rear shifter on the right lever and Rockshox dropper post on the left. The Level TLM gets alloy lever blades and uses a new Monoblock one-piece calliper to save weight over the two-piece version of the Level TL.
Like its sister brake, the Level T, there is lever reach adjust positioned under the lever blade and adjustable via an Allen key which is somewhat frustrating and can be tricky to reach; you might you’ll need to take the lever from the handlebar to access this.
Other tech includes a reshaped bladder in the lever that SRAM says helps reduce air bubbles, and is shaped to remove air from the lever and push fluid where needed, improving pressure and consistency. SRAM also says that when the lever is squeezed, a cup seal closes the port, pressurising the system, which also helps improve braking power and consistency. This is called the timing port closure system. Lastly, there is a stainless steel heat shield between the pad and the calliper to reduce calliper fluid temperature.
The brakes get SRAM’s ‘Bleeding Edge’ tech, where the bleed port is moved to the bottom of the caliper and, along with a Bleeding Edge tool, the system enables you to fully pressurise the system and lock the nipple off at the caliper before you remove the hose. We reckon it makes bleeding brakes super easy.
Level TLM can be used with up to a 200mm Centreline rotor up from and a 140mm at the rear.
- £170 per end
Level Silver Stealth
This is a new addition for 2023 to the SRAM brake line-up. It features the new sleek Stealth body the same as the top of the Level model line-up, the Level Ulitmate Stealth. This Stealth design compliments the SRAM AXS styling with an improved tidier handlebar aesthetic. The other benefit over the rest of the Level models sat below the Silver is the tool-free lever reach adjustment. It is also available in two or four-piston caliper variations.
- £190 per end (2 piston)
- £204 per end (4 piston)
Level Ultimate Stealth
Another new model for 2023, the Level Ultimate Stealth brake gets a carbon lever blade and a bearing in the lever pivot. These brakes also use the SRAM’s ‘Bleeding Edge’ tech when it comes to bleeding the brakes, which we really like.
The brake has the Direct Link lever design, Expandable bladder, Timing Port Closure, and stainless steel heat shield between the pad and the caliper to reduce fluid temperature and therefore increase brake power.
Recommended brake rotors are the Centreline CLX, and the brakes will come with aluminium-backed pads to help shave off a few more grams. Like the Level Silver brakes, the SRAM Level Ultimate Stealth comes in a two-piston or four-piston caliper option, so you can have the choice between overall weight saving for XC racing or more power for trail and all-mountain applications.
- £295 per end (2 piston)
- £312 per end (4 piston)
This is the entry point to the G2 model range. It features a tool-free reach adjustment at the lever and an all-around good value package. Yet still offers 'mini Code' type performance with a sleek S4 four-piston caliper. It boasts heat shield insulation and Bleed Edge porting for easier bleeding. The G2 R also gets the Timing Port Closure for a reliable feel and dependable consistency in the power department.
- £136 per end
The SRAM G2 RE takes all the same benefits from the G2 R lever but offers a beefed-up gravity-focused caliper from the Code series. This brake system is aimed at e-MTB machines with a higher average speed and increased mass that is associated with electric bikes. It also packs an all-metallic sintered pad to fend off fade and increase longevity.
- £136 per end
The SRAM G2 RS focuses on modulation and reducing the dead band action in the lever's travel whilst improving modulation. This effectively means that the brake pads come into contact with the disc rotor sooner. The feel is further helped by speccing organic pads in the four-piston caliper. You get tool-free reach adjustment at the lever, and Bleeding Edge fluid install and maintenance to boot.
- £160 per end
The RSC offers riders both contact and reach adjustment at the lever and, for convenience's sake, tool-free. This really is a dependable, versatile brake option. It is the workhorse of the SRAM brake lineup. It features the same svelte S4 caliper as the G2 R but packs more adjustability, Swinglink technology, and Timing Port Closure, all wrapped up with stainless steel hardware and steel-backed organic pads to finish it off.
- £182 per end
The top brake in the G2 range, commands top dollar at £285 per end at full retail. SRAM says the new brake is its lightest four-piston brake outfitted with every feature and material you’ve come to expect from something called Ultimate. SRAM also says its engineers built it to contain features they would want on the trail: power, modulation, silky-smooth lever feel, and complete adjustability, with test riders dubbing the new design “mini-Code” for its Code-like performance. It gets the same new caliper as the G2 RSC, that new brake pad compound, and pivot bearings in the lever too.
Elsewhere there is a carbon fibre lever and titanium hardware helping the G2 Ultimate to weigh in at 242g.
- £285 per end
The Code line-up of brakes has long been aimed at the downhill rider but with enduro riders and e-bike riders looking for more powerful brakes, it is not uncommon to see them on long-travel trail bikes and electric ones, too.
The Code R is the cheapest of the four model line. It gets the Direct Link lever which is mated to an oversize four-piston caliper, 15/16mm compared to 14/16mm in the Guide T, R, and RS brakes. There’s a tool-free reach adjust even on this level of brake but the lever gets a bushing at the pivot rather than a bearing.
The entry-level Code R also gets Bleeding Edge tech, the Expandable bladder, Timing Port Closure, and Heat Shield, all talked about earlier in this article. The Code brakes also get 30% more fluid compared to G2 brakes to reduce heat build-up and deal with braking more consistently.
The brake weighs in at 443g.
- £165 per end
The top-end gravity-fed brake is just like its cheaper sibling, the Code R, seen on harder-hitting trail, enduro and e-bikes as much as it is on downhill bikes. This one is, in essence, much the same as the Code R, but it gets a Swing Link lever and pivot bearing rather than bushes.
It also gets contact point adjustment and can come with that titanium rainbow hardware that looks oh-so-good! The lever blade here stays alloy, presumably to prevent it from snapping in a heavy crash; downhillers aren’t on the whole as bothered about weight saving as trail riders using the G2 or Level Ultimate brakes, for example. The Code RSC weighs 443g, the same as the Code R variant.
- £260 per end
Code Silver Stealth
Stealth by name and stealth by nature. The legendary gravity brakes in 2023 now feature improved cockpit aesthetics. The Hose runs closer to the bar to keep your sledge looking modern, neat, and tidy. The proven internals remain mostly unchanged, with SwingLink providing that familiar feel. The Code Silver lever also features tool-free contact, reach adjustment, and pivot bearing to give an unmatched lever feel. Slotted into the four-pot caliper, you will find metallic sintered pads as standard to provide both a durable wear rate and power.
- £278 per end
Code Ultimate Stealth
The next new edition to the SRAM anchor line-up for 2023 is the Code Ultimate Stealth, the flagship four-piston brake designed for downhill, enduro and e-MTB applications. This beauty screams premium touches and unrivalled aesthetic details on both the caliper and the lever. It carries all the same features packaged in the Code Silver Stealth model; if the polished finish didn't scream premium enough already, only the Ultimate comes with a sexy carbon lever. Your bike could wear this jewellery too, providing your bank balance can match the price tag.
- £312 per end