Like a phoenix from the ashes, SRAM dropped their new Code brake back in 2017, and since then we have seen the DH-targeted brake finding itself on increasingly more enduro and heavy-duty trail bikes. Boasting more power than the SRAM Guides from the larger pistons in its quad-piston caliper, (15/16 mm compared to 13/14 mm respectively), the SRAM Code also features 30% more brake fluid compared to the Guides. The entry-level SRAM Code R features Bleeding Edge with porting for fast bleeds, a heat shield to help minimise heat build-up and a forged aluminium Direct Link lever, rather than the SwingLink lever as found on the top-end Code RSC. The lever boasts great ergonomics, sitting easily to hand and integrating very well on the cockpit–provided you are running SRAM components. On the trail, the Direct Link lever cannot quite match the smooth modulation of the more expensive SRAM Code RSC with its Swing Link lever, but it is €100 cheaper. It’s not a DH bruiser like some of the bigger hitters on this test, but using 200mm rotors the power is suitable for even the rowdiest rider. The OEM steel-backed sintered pads can warble a little when wet and the caliper design means that it can be a little tricky to access the rear post mount bolt, but other than that, the power/modulation/price ratio of the SRAM Code R is very impressive indeed.

The SRAM Code R is a powerful trail/enduro brake, offering great modulation and good pad life, without the grab and mind-bending deceleration of some of the competition.


– Great usable power
– Affordable


– A little noisy
– Not as smooth as the RSC with SwingLink Lever

Price: € 170 (sigle)
Weight: 514 g (set, w/o rotors)