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SRAM offers new mountain bike brake family

Published March 25, 2014
The new Guide RSC lever.

CHICAGO (BRAIN) — SRAM is launching a new mountain bike disc brake family called Guide, which will be available in June. SRAM said it started from scratch in designing the new line, which is notable for not including the Avid brand.

The three Guide models use DOT fluid and share new features for disc brakes from the company. The new features and their names:

  • Swing Link: a lever geometry that is said to improve modulation and create a more positive pad engagement. The cam system reduces leverage when the pads hit the rotor for better modulation. 
  • TPC Plus: TPC stands for "Timing Port Closure." The timing port is the connection between the reservoir and the master cylinder bore. When the lever is squeezed, a cup seal passes this area and closes the port, which pressurizes the system. SRAM’s TPC Plus is said to feature durable seals and an "ultra-smooth cylinder bore finish." 
  • Piggyback Reservoir: The brake fluid reservoir allows easier bleeding and also allows for ambidextrous lever placement, making it easier to set up bikes for riders who prefer "moto"-style braking.
  • Contact Point Adjust: Allows riders to adjust the amount of lever throw that occurs before the brake pads contact the rotor. This feature is available on the Guide RSC levers.
  • Reach Adjust: A dial that adjusts lever position for different hand sizes and preferences.  
  • Pure Bladder: The new levers have a reshaped bladded intended to reduce air bubbles

The  three new models — the Guide RSC, Guide RS and Guide R — all use the same four-piston Guide caliper and new Centerline rotors. The difference between the models is in the lever features and available finishes. All of them feature the Pure Bladder, TPC Plus, Reach Adjust and Piggyback Reservoir features.

The Guide RSC, which weighs 375 grams, is available in polished black or silver anodized finish and will retail for $199. It is the only one of the three new models with a ball bearing lever pivot and the Contact Point Adjust feature. It also includes the Swing Link feature. 

The Guide RS weighs 380 grams and will be available in black for $149 retail. Like the RSC, it includes the Swing Link feature. 

The lowest priced model, the $129 Guide R, does not have the Swing Link feature, but instead uses Direct Link, "a no-nonsense solution to give you precise control."

SRAM notes the four-piston Guide caliper weighs just four grams more than its two-piston cross-country specific calipers. The new Centerline Rotor was designed to minimize vibration. The one-piece, 6-bolt rotor will be available in 140, 160, 170, 180, and 200mm sizes.

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