SRAM Guide RSC S4 MTB disc brake review£222.00

Excellent brakes become exceptional

BikeRadar score5/5

The latest Guide RSC gets all the adjustment you need, plus the latest S4 caliper from the Guide Ultimate to create a superb stopper.

The extra spend over the already impressive Guide RS gets you a bite point adjustment dial that for once actually makes a significant difference to where the pads contact the rotor. Lever reach can also be adjusted externally through an updated, smaller knob with clearer clicks and no creep.

We’ve always been big fans of the distinctive sweep axis of SRAM levers from their close-to-bar pivot. The stiff carbon blade swings silkily on a proper cartridge bearing too, so it starts silky smooth and stays that way even on well-used sets.

The SwingLink actuator cam also gives plenty of pad clearance for scuff-free running but fast engagement and increased power at contact.

New Bleeding Edge porting works superbly to banish bubbles too and Guide family reliability has been relentlessly excellent. Weight is average, so gram counters should wait for the imminent SRAM Level brakes.

From June 2016, the latest versions also get the same S4 calliper as the top-end Guide Ultimate, including remodelled heat-shielded, bi-material pistons, and new seals and shaping for outstandingly consistent control on even the longest, most demanding descents.

The result is consistently rich and impressive modulation that eclipses anything else you’ll find.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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