SRAM Level Ultimate

We never really expected SRAM’s Level Ultimate to smash this test. Weighing just 170 g a brake, they are insanely light and aimed at the XC/trail sector. However, there is a famous saying, ‘it’s not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of fight in the dog’. Borrowing technology such as the Bleeding Edge from the SRAM Guide line-up, the Level’s feature a slimmed-down caliper and slimline lever. The Ultimate model is the top of the line and comes complete with a Direct Link lever with a beautiful carbon fibre blade, titanium hardware and ball bearing pivot. The one-piece (lower models are two-piece) sculpted monoblock caliper provides good power delivery for its size, scoring very well in the lab with a precise and sharp bite point. On the trail, we found the lever action to be beautiful, providing crisp and precise control over deceleration with a perfectly consistent bite point that never wandered. While deceleration was prompt in the lab, on very steep terrain and with heavier testers we soon started to feel that the Level’s were hanging on, ‘only just’ hauling us down from high speeds. We found we had to work them hard at speed, and in mountainous terrain we got through pads quicker than expected. At €310 they will not only lighten your bike, but also your wallet.

If you count the grams on your bike and ride mainly XC and light trail, the Level Ultimates are the, well, ultimate. However, if you love Alpine descents or fierce g-forces, the bigger, four-piston SRAM Guide or Code would be a better choice.


Strengths

– Beautiful levers
– Pinpoint precision

Weaknesses

– Expensive
– Low on power


Price: € 310 (single)
Weight: 352 g (set, w/o rotors)

Info: sram.com