Launched simultaneously with the new SRAM Eagle transmissions, the new Code and Level brakes are designed to work in harmony with the new drivetrain offerings. In real terms, the levers sit a little closer to the bar, which for folk with small hands like myself is pretty neat.
The cynic might suggest that this makes the brakes work far better with headset cable routing, something that many people have found as the thing they hate the most in mountain biking, despite probably having little experience with.
Back to the brakes and the Code Ultimate Stealths are the first Code to bear the SRAM Ultimate moniker and gain a titanium hardware, a carbon lever and a nice chrome-look to the caliper over the lower rung brakes. Everything else carries over from the tried and tested Codes that have been so long-lived, and rightly so.
These brakes replaced the struggling Codes on my Santa Cruz Hightower. A bike just too capable for 180mm rotors, regardless of the brake. A bike screaming for more capable anchors. Mated to a pair of 200mm HSC rotors the bike has found a new lease of life, and in low grip situations, there might be a touch too much stopping power out back.
The Code Ultimate Stealths were a welcome addition to a bike that definitely needed some increased power, and in time, I’ve come to fully appreciate their ability to haul me to a stop on a dime.
Lever feel is wonderfully light thanks to the bearing pivot, and the tool free reach and bite adjust allows me to fine tune the feel to be exactly how I want it. Whilst this isn’t unique to the Ultimates, it’s always a feature that’s very welcome indeed.
The high power and light lever feel actually make descending less tiring. In a similar vein to the Hope Tech 4 E3 brakes, you can put less power into braking, leaving your hands and arms to do more steering knowing you’ll be able to pull the panic levers to bring you back into line.
On the second ride out the rear brake started to rub but a quick realignment and it’s stayed central since. Not quite sure what caused that, as it was on a long climb of all things, but it’s been no problem since.
What do we think?
While they might be one of the most expensive brakes we can think of, the SRAM Code Ultimate Stealths look the bees’ knees and will get you slowed down faster than most.
Look the business
Super light feel
All the power
Could do better:
They’re anything but cheap…
You can check out the SRAM Code Ultimate Stealth brakes over on their website here.