Sram Code RSC Brake Review

Posted by Chris Dalziel on

One of the most important parts of going fast is slowing down, proper braking will make you a faster, more efficient rider. The tracks we ride are now faster and rougher than ever before, this makes braking more critical than ever. Have Sram done what it takes to answer our needs and made the perfect gravity brake with the Code RSC? Will it perform dependably or flake when you need it most?

The Details

Sram designed these brakes with hard, fast, long descents in mind. Take a glance at them and it’s clear to see with this meaty setup that offers 15% greater piston power and 30% more lever volume than previous makes. The RSC model gives riders the option to adjust not only lever reach but the brake pad contact point as well. This enables you to customise the feel of the brake to your personal preference without having to touch a syringe. Simply turn the adjusters on the lever to set the lever throw and bite point that you feel most comfortable with.

The Ride

I’ve ridden more brakes than most, Avid Juicy, Elixir X0, Shimano Saint, XT, Formula R0, Hope Tech 3 E4 and so on. I prefer a snappy on / off feel overall but know there are times where modulation is key, a lesson quickly learnt on large wet Canadian rock slabs. I have always set my brakes up accordingly with each model I have used with varied levels of success. Having not used Sram brakes for over five years I was curious to see how the modern Sram brake would fair.

Utilising the lever adjustments on the Code RSC and after a quick car park test, I had the brake lever feel and bite where I needed it to be, time to ride. Sram brakes have a lever feel that suits me really well and I was instantly at home with the new Code lever design. Whilst there have been upgrades made to the lever its great to see their trademark feel has not been lost. On the long descents when I was fatiguing hard, I’m relieved to say the brakes did not, offering the same lever feel and bite point as they did at the top. This can be accredited to the 30% larger lever volume which provides superior heat management.

The new Code RSC has also put a huge tick in the braking power department, offering all the power I’d expect from a four piston gravity brake and more. There was no protest from the rotors as I pulled on the lever, delivering the fast, snappy braking feel that lets you stay off the brakes that little bit longer into the corner. I’m also pleased to report that control was not sacrificed at the expense of braking power either. On steeper technical terrain I found braking modulation was quite natural to find and didn’t require excess thought, just what you want from a good brake.

But not everything is perfect in life. Although I can’t fault performance there is undeniably better-looking brakes out there. The large Code lever although effective, won’t give you the same satisfaction to look at as a finely CNC’d Hope lever. With the extra lever size comes the extra weight, at just over 440g an end there are lighter brake options on the market as well.


Now having these brakes for a longer period of time I can confidently say Sram are back in the braking game with a great product in the Code RSC. It offers all the performance riders should expect from a top of the line brake without compromising reliability. If you’re looking to build a light bike there are other options out there that are easier on the eye. But, if you preference performance and want a no nonsense brake you can depend on when you need it, the Code RSC should be at the top of your list.

RRP$349.95 Shop Sram Codes RSC brakes here.

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