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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Man....after all these years of development and refinement opportunity, you'd figure that SRAM would have worked the bugs out. Nope. After one season of working brilliantly, my Guide RE levers start failing to retract and cause an almost complete loss of modulation. We all know the story...and the reason...and the result...and the warranty process. Why after all this time is SRAM STILL not able or willing to work the bugs out? How are they able to engineer and manufacture to such a high level, but can't seem to make a brake that continues to work when it gets a little warm out? :madman::madman:

I'm done with their garbage. From here on out it's SRAM driveline, Shimano brakes. My XTs and SLXs have been model brakesets for the everyday MTBr, right down to the simple and fast bleed procedure that doesn't invlove stupid dual syringes and nasty DOT fluid, only to have the brakes fail anyway.

OK, rant over. I feel better now.
 

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West Chester, PA
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Lol. I'm not laughing at you, I'm laughing with you. It amuses me when I ride with people on brand new bikes with squealing sram brakes and I look at my 7 year old XTs that still work perfectly (and quietly).
 

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We've got two sets of Codes in the fleet and they are working great. My older Shimanos work great as well. My newer Shimanos have the dreared wandering bite point that can't be fixed and reviews of the new Shimano brakes also note the wandering bite point issue.

So at the moment I wouldn't buy more Shimano brakes and I'd just get another set of Codes. If Shimano gets the problem sorted I'll give them another chance, but they've had the same issue for a few years now so that's not sounding promising.
 

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To the OP...please lighten up on SRAM brakes.
They have only been making them for 25 years....give them a chance to get it right. (that's sarcasm if you don't get it)
And any minute now....some one who has gotten 72 sets of bad Shimano brakes that all "pump up" will post in 5...4....3...2....
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
We've got two sets of Codes in the fleet and they are working great. My older Shimanos work great as well. My newer Shimanos have the dreared wandering bite point that can't be fixed and reviews of the new Shimano brakes also note the wandering bite point issue.

So at the moment I wouldn't buy more Shimano brakes and I'd just get another set of Codes. If Shimano gets the problem sorted I'll give them another chance, but they've had the same issue for a few years now so that's not sounding promising.
The problem with the Guide REs is a damn shame, as those things were outstanding brakes before SRAMitis set in. They handily dispatched my Shimano brakes in both power and modulation (they are basically Code calipers with Guide levers). Hence how maddening the failure. Any one of us can buy Chicom aluminum pistons from Ebay that permanently fixes the problem and restores them to their former glory. So SRAM has no excuses whatsoever at this point for using the same problematic plastic pistons. See: the definition of insanity.

I have a set of early M8000s and managed to get lucky or dodge a bullet, as mine never had the wandering bite point. The ice tech rotors aren't exactly on my favorites list, but reliability is never an issue.

Ironically the out-and-out most consistent and reliable brakes I've owned at this point, from lever to rotor, is cheap Tektro hydros - three sets now on lower end bikes. They are utterly unflappable. Unfortunately they are also chronically under qualified for trail bike duty for a number of obvious reasons.

So what I want is Codes/Guide RE performance with the reliability and consistency of cheap Tektros and the engineering of Shimanos. Not to much to ask, right?:rolleyes:
 

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psycho cyclo addict
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I have a mix of Shimano XTR and all sorts of SRAM ranging from 10 to ~2 years old (Elixir 5, Juicy 5, Level Ultimate and XX World Cup) ... they all work flawlessly. Shimano brakes squeak sometimes too lol

I know of a couple of folks who've had issues with recent SRAM ones and got warranty replacements ordered from local bike shops where they didn't purchase them.

Magura - pass. Why the hell not get brakes where a local bike shop might actually have parts in stock (or have a clue how to service them), particularly if you were in a pinch traveling and wanting to ride?

Magura has had recalls too. There was a nice warranty issue years back where brakes would fail below ~40 F. My buddy had a set of those and both failed at the same time on a nice downhill when we were out riding on a cold evening. He was lucky not to lose his chicklets, break his face or worse.

If I had my choice on a new build, it would probably be XT/XTR but I would not balk at SRAM either.
 

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I haven't that problem with Sram brakes (probably about 7-8 sets of Guide Ultimates and G2's) in 3 or 4 years. And if they worked flawlessly for a year, then were warrantied and replaced with some that would likely work flawlessly for years, why so much anger? Oh yeah, I see, it's cuz you're going back to Shimano brakes with the wandering bite and severe on-off issue. Yuck!
 

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Freezer
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I have a set of near new set of Hope Tech3 E4 brakes and rotors in black with blue accents if anyone is interested. They perform and modulate flawlessly but the lever feel is a bit mechanical for my taste. PM me if interested.
 

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Shartacular Spectacular
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It's not. They're called Magura brakes.
For whatever reason my SRAM's seem to require more frequent bleeding, but that could be from riding predominantly park on them... not sure. Other than that, I can't say I've had major issues with my SRAM's thus far. I've been tempted by Magura's as they seem to strike a nice balance between power and modulation, but I CAN'T stand brake rub and I've heard that's an issue they are particularly prone to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I haven't that problem with Sram brakes (probably about 7-8 sets of Guide Ultimates and G2's) in 3 or 4 years. And if they worked flawlessly for a year, then were warrantied and replaced with some that would likely work flawlessly for years, why so much anger? Oh yeah, I see, it's cuz you're going back to Shimano brakes with the wandering bite and severe on-off issue. Yuck!
Nope! I'm gonna buy $20 worth of replacement aluminum pistons from some random machine house in China that's more capable than SRAM of making components that actually work, yet somehow doing it without endless R&D budgeting and 'cycling tax', and replace them myself to return to the best brakes I've personally ever used. But don't think for a second that I'm not going to bust their balls about propagating the same known stupid and easily fixed problem for over a decade. No interest in warranty replacements that will eventually do the same thing and sideline the bike for weeks again.
 

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For whatever reason my SRAM's seem to require more frequent bleeding, but that could be from riding predominantly park on them... not sure. Other than that, I can't say I've had major issues with my SRAM's thus far. I've been tempted by Magura's as they seem to strike a nice balance between power and modulation, but I CAN'T stand brake rub and I've heard that's an issue they are particularly prone to.
When I got my Trail Sport set, I used the SRAM Centerline rotors that came with the Guide T brakes. They worked fine with zero rubbing. Recently upgraded to 203mm rotors and went with Magura's Storm HC rotors this time. They're definitely a bit thicker so pad to piston clearance is less, but I don't have any pad rub at all.
 

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I've had a couple sets of older Guide RSCs have the piston issue, but I thought it was sorted; bummer to hear it's not.

I also have some XT M8000s on my second bike at the moment, definitely getting the infamous wandering bite point on those.

My Code RSCs have been superb for ~18 months, including a PNW winter and multiple park days.

Currently debating replacement for the Shimanos, and I'll probably get a set of Levels, as it's my XC bike. TBH I think that SRAM brakes have, on balance, better feel, adjustability, and reliability than the latest Shimano stuff.
 

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I've had a couple sets of older Guide RSCs have the piston issue, but I thought it was sorted; bummer to hear it's not.

I also have some XT M8000s on my second bike at the moment, definitely getting the infamous wandering bite point on those.

My Code RSCs have been superb for ~18 months, including a PNW winter and multiple park days.

Currently debating replacement for the Shimanos, and I'll probably get a set of Levels, as it's my XC bike. TBH I think that SRAM brakes have, on balance, better feel, adjustability, and reliability than the latest Shimano stuff.
Codes are fantastic. Sram mixes in some really excellent product with their well-marketed garbage. Buyer beware.
 

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I haven't that problem with Sram brakes (probably about 7-8 sets of Guide Ultimates and G2's) in 3 or 4 years. And if they worked flawlessly for a year, then were warrantied and replaced with some that would likely work flawlessly for years, why so much anger? Oh yeah, I see, it's cuz you're going back to Shimano brakes with the wandering bite and severe on-off issue. Yuck!
How is not being able to control your finger a Shimano on-off issue?
 

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SRAM brakes are very good, but it is all in the bleed. If they are not bled properly, they suck. That being said, the bleed process sucks for SRAM brakes. Very difficult to get a good bleed, but there are some tricks that work. With the new bleed port, it is much better to get a good bleed because you can push more fluid into the system without overflow.

If the lever is not retracting, there is a known problem with the lever piston. When the outside temperature gets hot, the lever piston expands and lever becomes very stiff and doesn't retract. The solution is the updated new piston. SRAM was warrantying the levers for a while but it took months and you have to go through a bike shop. It is possible to buy the updated piston and replace yourself, but it doesn't look like the easiest task. There are YouTube videos on it.
 

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Over many years, people have been complaining about Shimano brakes because of their andering bite point, while SRAM earns complaints for a difficult bleed process. Brakes that aren't Shimano or SRAM might work better, but for those "other" brands, availability of spares is likely to be an issue. I know mine is a minority opinion, and I don't suggest them for everyone, but my mechanical brakes have been working fine for years. Avid Black Ops levers, BB7 calipers, big rotors, good pads, well-cut standard cables and housing. Never done me wrong in stopping power or modulation, although there is a weight penalty and I do have to twiddle the knobs now and again to keep the pads adjusted.
 
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