Borne from SRAM’s Guide series of brakes, the new Level brakes are designed for XC and trail riders who want similar braking power in a lightweight package. The lever body is smaller than the Guide’s, and the lever design is more compact and lighter. SRAM calls it DirectLink and says it produces a more positive braking feel.
Level brakes do not feature the same external reach adjuster that Guide brakes have. Instead, the reach adjust on Level brakes is hidden and must be adjusted with a tool. This presumably saves weight at the lever. You’ll also be able to adjust lever throw using SRAM’s contact point adjuster.
At the monoblock caliper, SRAM has added a stainless steel shield to help prevent heat from transferring from the rotor and pads outward to the caliper. That should help keep braking power consistent, even on long descents. The calipers also feature two-piston activation for more power.
To understand the key features of each brake in the lineup, SRAM has provided this handy guide: T stands for tooled reach adjustment; L stands for lightweight construction; M stands for monoblock caliper.
Level Ultimate $297 — Replaces SRAM XX
Level TLM $190 — Replaces SRAM X0
Level TL $102 — Replaces SRAM DB5
Level T $82 Replaces Avid DB3
Level $63 — Replaces Avid DB1
To read more about Level brakes, check out SRAM’s website.