SRAM announces new G2 mountain bike brakes

The new G2 brakes are an evolutionary replacement for Guide brakes. SRAM promises stronger braking force (likening them to mini versions of their downhill Code brakes), even pad wear, and has launched a new pad compound that offers more bite. The new G2 brake will be available at launch in two models: G2 Ultimate and G2 RSC.


Read the press release from SRAM below for further details:



All new brake delivering mini-Code power
Code set the benchmark for braking power — and won a few championships, too. G2 brings it to the trail. We call it “mini-Code.”




Even pad advancement
We dissected every brake on the market, then built a better one. Our calipers advance pads consistently over the life of the brake, ensuring longevity with control.




A new pad compound that offers more bite
Pick the right pad for the right purpose. Metallic for aggressive, high-wear conditions. Organic — in Quiet or our new Power — for their respective specialities.


G2 Ultimate

This is our all-new, lightest 4-piston brake outfitted with every feature and material you’ve come to expect from something called Ultimate. Our engineers built it with what they would want on the trail: power, modulation, silky-smooth lever feel, complete adjustability. Our test riders dubbed the new design “mini-Code” for its Code-like performance.


  • All new brake delivering mini-Code power
  • Added stiffness in the caliper
  • A new pad compound that offers more bite
  • The pivot bearing offers a snappier lever feel
  • Offering a finger fatigue-free ride
  • SRAM’s lightest four piston brake


G2 RSC is the half-ton pickup truck of the mountain bike brake world — dependable, go anywhere, do anything, plenty of power when you need it, and all of the features you need. The new G2 RSC is based on the SRAM Code design, so it puts Code-like power and modulation into a mini-Code package. And of course the signature Guide lever-feel and contact-point adjustability ensures that this brake works great for every rider. The G2 RSC presents rider-controlled offering with an alloy blade, lever pivot bushings, stainless steel hardware.


  • Reach and contact point adjustments for every type of rider
  • A new pad compound that offers more bite
  • Added stiffness in the caliper
  • Delivers the mini-code feel

G2 Question and Answer:

Where does the name G2 come from?


G2 stands for the second generation of our Guide brake platform.


Is this the new Guide?


Yes, G2 brakes are the second generation of Guide brakes. They’re entirely new, but evolutionary, not revolutionary. The caliper is entirely new – stiffer and more powerful – but still uses the same pad shape and hose connection as the previous generation Guide, meaning simple and familiar installation.




How much do the brakes weigh?


In order to find the correct balance between power, performance and durability, our brakes have to be built with the correct amount of materials and structural integrity. Our brakes, therefore, weigh just enough, but not too much.

  • G2 RSC – 255g brake assembly, 850mm hose
  • G2 Ultimate – 242g brake assembly, 850mm hose
What is the intended use of the brakes?


All types of mountain biking. G2 brakes will be at home on anything from a fun, light trail bike to a race-day enduro set-up.


Are these brakes suitable for ebikes?


SRAM Code and Guide RE brakes are the best choice for ebikes. However, all our brakes are ISO certified and will withstand use on an ebike. G2’s 4-piston configuration paired with larger rotors will provide good performance on ebikes.


What are the brake pad compound offerings? What are the technical differences and intended uses of the different offerings?


We developed a new, more powerful organic pad compound for G2. This pad will have a “Lunar” grey backing plate and will be available as a replacement part. Our pad offerings will include:

  • The new Power Organic configuration -- Grey backing plate
  • Quiet Organic pads – Black backing plate (currently used in Guide and Level brakes)
    • A good all-around pad, quiet, but not as powerful as the Power Organic version.
  • Metallic – copper backing plate
    • Our most powerful, hardest hitting pad compound. Long lasting and great in wet and muddy conditions.
How did you achieve the increase in brake power over Guide?


Every part of the Guide system has been improved. In designing a new caliper, we looked to the lessons learned when we designed Code. We focused on stiffness, so the pad pocket is a little narrower and the connection points around the body bolts are larger which results in less caliper flex, which therefore provides more direct power transfer than in previous designs. We also developed our new Power organic pad compound. This compound delivers a more aggressive “bite” and increased power during sustained braking


How much has the brake power increased by (%)?


Approximately 7%, but the on-trail feel is the most telling and where we see the most user benefits.


Are there any changes in the service intervals?


Service intervals are the same. All disc brakes require proper service. We recommend replacing your brake fluid once a year and replacing your brake pads when the pad puck and backer plate total thickness is less than 3mm.


Is the DOT brake fluid the same as the brake fluid used in Guide?


Yes. We use Ravenol DOT 5.1 brake fluid.




Can you explain the reasons you choose to use DOT brake fluid in your brakes?
There are many reasons why we firmly believe DOT brake fluid is the best option for brakes:

  • Higher boiling point than mineral oil systems
  • DOT brake fluid manages water effectively. Absorbing water inside the brake system rather than pushing it to the edges. This helps maintain brake performance and does not allow water to collect in a brake system. Water can cause corrosion and will boil at 100C.
  • Material selection. The EPDM seals we use have a much broader operating temperature range than the buna rubber (NBR) used in mineral oil systems. This temperature range isn’t just for sealing, but for elasticity.
  • DOT brake fluid allows the calliper seals to behave more consistently at varying temperatures. Meaning SRAM brakes can have a large amount of pad roll back and consistent lever throw. These seals also maintain performance when the temperature of the brake is high.
  • DOT brake fluid has a higher bulk modulus than any of the variety of mineral oils used in bicycle brakes. DOT brake fluid compresses less than mineral oil at the pressures found inside of a brake. That means mineral oil systems may have a softer feel than DOT brake fluid-based systems.
  • DOT Brake Fluid can be cleaned off a bike or brake with just water. Mineral oils are “sticky” and require a solvent to remove.
  • DOT and Mineral oil should be handled the same way – wear gloves, catch, and recycle.
When Guide was introduced you increased the pad spacing to allow for more airflow and better heat management. Can you explain why you have reversed this now?


During G2’s development, we continued to test calipers and refine our convective cooling. The G2 caliper still employs the concepts we introduced with our Guide S4 caliper whereby the pad pocket is wide open, fully exposing the brake pads, and the pads stand away from the caliper allowing for cooling between the pad and caliper.


Is the heat management of G2 better than Guide?


Heat management of G2 and Guide is the same.




You are no longer using HeatShield G2. Why is this?


Phenolic pistons are used throughout our line, eliminating the need for a heat shield. We’ve refined the inside of the caliper so aluminium pistons are no longer needed. The aluminium piston conducted heat into the caliper, removing them eliminates the need for the heat shield.




Is there a difference in power output on standard rotors and 2 piece rotors of the same size?


Power is similar between these two configurations. Our CLX rotors were designed to save weight. Our one-piece CenterLine rotors do a better job managing high temperatures because they are heavier.


The hoses on G2 are different to Guide. Can you explain the reason for changing and what the advantages are?


The new hose is less prone to holding a shape, allowing for easier installation and a cleaner look. G2’s hoses have a matte appearance as the result to a change in the outer sheath.




What are the main differences in the new G2 caliper from the S4 caliper?


The G2 caliper has all-new caliper machining to refine control of seal/piston/caliper interface, which results in some great benefits. It’s easy to align the caliper by having an improved pad gap. G2 brakes have a consistent bite point as the pad gap remains the same as pads wear - this means the lever will hit at the same spot throughout the life of a set of brake pads. The caliper is also stiffer which increases braking power.


How has the piston square seal changed on G2 and how does this help with more consistent and increased rollback?
The square seals remain consistent, but the way in which they are held in the caliper has evolved. The gland which contains the square seal within the caliper controls how far the brake pads move and when the pistons slip past the square seal to advance the brake pad toward the rotor as the pad wears. We’ve refined the gland in the caliper to make a best-in-class brake with respect to these critical aspects of brake performance.


Has the brake fluid volume increased on G2 over Guide?


No, it is the same as Guide.




Can you explain the differences in the lever from Guide to G2? Is the lever more similar to Code?


The leverage ratios of Guide, Code and now G2 SwingLink brakes are all the same. We tested a variety of new curves during G2’s development, but deliberately used our current ratios. The leverage rate defines our on-trail feel, and that’s important.


We refined the small parts and assembly approach of G2 RSC to reduce the cost and bring contact point adjustment to more riders
G2 RSC features a new pivot dowel and bushing that provides a laterally stiff connection for the lever blade with minimal deflection at the tip.


G2 Ultimate improves on all of this by incorporating lever pivot bearings and a carbon blade


Is G2 compatible with current Guide brake pads?


The pads are the same for Guide and G2. With G2 we also introduced a new pad compound, the Power Organic compound.


Are the pistons still phenolic pistons, and are these used on all G2 brakes?


All G2 brakes are equipped with phenolic pistons. We choose phenolic because it is an excellent insulator and we can control the surface finish of the piston helping with set-up and pad advancement.


Schnavel, Mar 28 2019 04:20

  • DOT Brake Fluid can be cleaned off a bike or brake with just water. Mineral oils are “sticky” and require a solvent to remove.

As someone who bleeds their own brakes, I find this statement very misleading. I hate working with DOT fluid when compared to mineral oil. DOT fluid is much more likely to damage paint etc.

Other than the continued used of DOT fluid, these brakes look great! For once, it's also refreshing to see that SRAM aren't claiming these are the best brakes since sliced bread and without them you won't be able to stop - evolution vs revolution. It's also nice to see that a lot of the components such as brake pads etc. are backwards compatible

droo, Mar 28 2019 05:25





Was that intentional?

Nick, Mar 28 2019 07:25





Was that intentional?


Ouch. That was me. I'll go whip myself now.

JXV, Mar 28 2019 09:33

All the drivel about DoT fluids being better at higher temperatures is true but misleading. Its necessary for motor vehicles but mtb brakes don't get nearly as hot and certainly not hot enough to where the high temp superiority of DoT fluids would come into play. Our thin MTB discs would warp from heat long before that point. Same goes for the pressures at which mtb systems operate compared to cars with power assisted brakes and ABS mechanisms.

I way prefer mineral oil for mtb
- true it doesn't absorb water ...but they neglected to mention it repels the stuff
- no need for solvents to wash it off...a tissue or cloth will do...but you can't leave a film of DoT fluid residue on your paintwork
- the main competitor's mineral oil brakes are much easier to bleed

Robbow, Mar 29 2019 04:10

oooohhhh....lets change the name and hope everyone's fooled into buying the same piece of rubbish that the Guide's were.


Better yet, lets call them a mini version of the Code's.....pity that they are rubbish too.

stefmeister, Apr 01 2019 08:41

Who was this imaginary person that asked all these useless questions without the most important ones; will my lever pistons seize up as soon as summer starts again? And why did you not implement a safety recall on your faulty products?

laichzeit, Apr 04 2019 11:47

I hope they are better than their previous version. It seems like SRAM can learn a thing about brakes from Shimano (Shimano XT) and Shimano can learn a thing or two about drivetrains (1x12) from SRAM. 


Even Trek, after partnering with Rockshox (Sram is Part of the Rockshox Group)  have dumped the Sram brakes in lieu of Shimano XT brakes on their 2019 Top Fuel Range.