SRAM’s Guide brakes have inaugurated a new era of brake technology when they were first introduced in 2014, replacing the Avid brand and paving the way for a realignment within the SRAM group. Now the Americans pile the fire up with the launch of the new SRAM Level brakes, aimed at the XC and trail bike segment and replacing the SRAM XX, SRAM X0, SRAM DB5, Avid DB3 and Avid DB1. Many technologies of the Guide found their way in the new line of brakes and we’ve taken a first look at the lineup. All specs in the official press release:

When it comes to braking power and control, SRAM believes in freedom—options. They believe that there should be an absolute best solution for every type of rider and every kind of ride; that there really isn’t a One-Size-Fits-Most when it comes to brakes. That’s the concept that led SRAM to the development of the SRAM Level, a new brake designed for the needs of modern cross-country and trail riders.

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Level puts the same proven SRAM brake technology used on the 2015 Downhill World Championship-winning bike into a smaller, lighter-weight package. Braking power and modulation are optimized by matching our DirectLink lever design with authoritative 2-piston calipers. Reach adjusters are hidden from outside elements, giving the entire package a clean, confident look. And with five options to choose from, Level makes it easy to find the perfect setup.

Proven SRAM technology, entirely new options: Level

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Lever Design

  • New lever design—based on Guide, but more compact and lighter
  • Same Timing Port Closure mechanism—solid and predictable braking
  • Same seals—stable and durable
  • Same Expandable Bladder reservoir—dependable and consistent braking power in all conditions
  • DirectLink—solid, positive feel and engagement
  • New detent design for the tooled reach adjust—same pistons, seals, reservoir, bladder
  • Smaller lever body with DirectLink
  • New detent design for the tooled reach adjust
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Caliper Design

  • Incorporates technologies developed on Guide Ultimate’s S4 caliper
  • Heat Shield: stainless steel shield reduces heat transfer from the rotor and pads to the caliper’s body
  • Consistency, control and feel: optimized gland geometry, seals and piston rollback
  • Bleeding Edge: the easiest and cleanest way to bleed your brakes
  • Two 21mm pistons
  • Monoblock construction

SRAM Level Ultimate


As its name implies, this is our Ultimate brake design for cross-country and light trail use and replaces the SRAM XX. We took the same technology used in the brake that Loic Bruni rode to a Downhill World Championship and packed it into a smaller, sleeker, lighter-weight and XC-optimized package. The carbon-fiber level blade pulls crisp and clean, thanks to pivot bearings and our DirectLink design. And it maintains that feel throughout the ride because it is matched to our monoblock, two-piston caliper. This caliper’s superior heat management and smooth piston actuation give you braking power exactly when and how you need it. And the BLEEDING EDGE design significantly simplifies fluid maintenance.


  • Carbon lever and blade
  • Lever pivot bearings
  • Ti hardware
  • Alloy backed pads
  • MatchMaker X

Weight 318g | Price $297/ €324/ £249



It has a championship-winning pedigree, and is ready to take all of the punishment you want to give it, thereby replacing the SRAM X0. Level TLM puts proven SRAM braking performance and consistency at your fingertips, in a sleek, lightweight design optimized specifically for cross-country and light trail use. Power and modulation are delivered via the Level TLM’s alloy lever blade, DirectLink actuation, DOT 5.1 fluid and our new two-piston, monoblock caliper. The design provides superior heat management for consistent, fade-free performance all day long, and BLEEDING EDGE technology makes maintenance incredibly simple, so your brakes feel great all day — every day.


  • Alloy lever blade
  • Lever pivot bushings
  • Stainless hardware
  • MatchMaker X

Weight 356g | Price $190/ €207/ £159



Heavyweight performance in a lightweight package. Level TL packs the same XC and trail-optimized power delivery into a brake set that won’t break the bank. This SRAM DB5 replacing brake matches an alloy DirectLink lever to a lever body that contains the same technology found in the Level TLM, Level Ultimate and Guide series of brakes, for reliability and consistency you can count on.


  • MatchMaker X
  • Tooled reach adjust

Weight 370g | Price $102/ €111/ £85

SRAM Level T


Level T capitalizes on the same trail-taming brake technology that conquered the 2015 World Mountain Bike Championships, to deliver a powerful and consistent XC and trail-optimized brake set that keeps your capital in the bank. This budget-minded, MatchMaker compatible brake set provides all the power of its siblings, keeping you in complete control. For 2016, this replaces the Avid DB3.


  • MatchMaker
  • Two-bolt clamp

Weight 410g | Price $82/ €89/ £68

SRAM Level


The SRAM Level brake levels the playing field with power and reliability stuffed into a lightweight package, replacing the Avid DB1. This is a no-nonsense performer, but don’t let its understated disposition fool you — Level gives you the art of braking in minimalist form.


  • Distinct contact point
  • Pinch clamp

Weight 430g | Price $63/ €69/ £53

Words & Photos: SRAM PR

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