The SRAM Guide Ultimate brakes aren't cheap but they offer unrivalled control
As the name suggests, the Guide Ultimate is the flagship brake in SRAM’s arsenal. There’s more to it than lightweight titanium bolts and a fancy carbon lever blade, though.
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The key difference to the regular Guide brake is the new S4 caliper with its integrated Heat Shield — a small U-shaped steel insert that sits just in front of the pads. And as simple as that sounds, it really does prevent the brake from overheating.
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How can we be so sure? Well, in addition to our standard testing in South Wales, the Guide Ultimate endured three days of chairlift-assisted riding in the Alps. It was blisteringly hot and the trails were super-steep, but not once did the Ultimate brake falter — modulation was great and it always had plenty of power in reserve, too.
SRAM has really nailed the lever feel and position on the Ultimate, and while we used the minimum Contact Point Adjustment setting, the wide range of adjustability makes it easy to get your preferred lever feel.
Our only criticism of the SRAM brake is that the reach adjuster feels flimsy, and we suspect that it’s prone to creeping ever so slightly too. Not cheap, but they do offer unrivalled control.
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