The Guide already has a lot of models to its name. The R, the RS, the RSC, the Ultimate and even the RE for the electric bike fans out there. That family just got a new member, the T. But it’s not lighter-weight, heavier-duty, or more advanced than its siblings. It’s just less expensive.
And just because it’s less expensive doesn’t mean it’s any more susceptible to the slow or sticky lever return issues that have plagued many Guide and Level brakes. Sram has since made design changes that prevent the problem from occurring on current products, including these.
The SRAM Guide T is, you guessed it, a hydraulic four-piston trail and all-mountain brake. What you might not have guessed is that it will retail for $105 per wheel without a rotor, about $30 cheaper than the Guide R. Using the same S4 caliper found on the other Guides, the T promises the same performance as the R model. The caliper comes with steel-backed organic pads, the lever blade is stamped aluminum, and the lever body attaches with Sram’s classic split clamp, compatible with their classic Matchmaker. With an 800-millimeter hose, the brake weighs in at 280 grams.
The lever uses Sram’s Direct Link assembly to compress the master cylinder, not the more advanced, cam-action Swing Link of the higher-end Guide models. But it is not a completely bare-bones offering. It’s fitted with Sram’s drip-free Bleeding Edge bleed fittings, and the hose attaches to the caliper with an adjustable banjo-style connection, not a fixed, direct mount. In addition to being a higher-class budget replacement part, the Guide T will likely be a go-to OEM option that’ll help bring mid-range bikes more within reach.