Mountain Bike Action Product Test: Sram G2 Ultimate Brakes
Sram G2 Ultimate Brakes
When it comes to our bikes, we want parts that help us go faster; however, brakes are the one exception to that rule. A rider can smash the pedals as hard as he wants, but without the ability to come to a quick and safe stop, or at least slow down before a turn, that rider will be in for a bad day. SRAM’s G2 brakes are designed for trail riders looking for the power of SRAM’s Code enduro brakes but in a lighter-weight package. This month we put SRAM’s top-of-the-line G2 Ultimate brakes to the test here on our home trails.
Before we even speak about the G2 Ultimate’s performance, we first have to touch on its exceptional appearance. If you splurge for the top-of-the-line G2 models, you’ll find anodized hardware throughout the brake system. This eye-catching look will make any bike appear more pro. Beyond the anodized hardware, a pair of carbon lever blades also help to reduce weight. Similar to other SRAM brakes, the G2s can be flipped upside down and swapped sides for riders who prefer to run a moto brake setup.
SRAM claims the G2’s calipers are stiffer than those of previous trail brakes and offer a new pad compound for an increased bite. Pivot bearings were added for a crisp lever feel. At just 240 grams per brake, these very well might be the lightest four-piston brakes on the market; however, they come with a premium price tag of $280 per brake. Entry-level G2 R brakes can be had for $130 each but weigh nearly double what the Ultimates do.
Field test results:
Once we got past the eye candy, it was time to see how these top-notch brakes would perform on our trails. After spending a little time making sure the brakes were burned in, we approached a steep section of trail and rolled in with some speed, testing the brakes’ ability to keep us at a comfortable pace. With just a light lever pull, we quickly noticed the G2’s hard yet controlled bite. Feathering the brake levers offered ample power without locking them up. In panic situations, riders need to remember the power these lightweight four-piston brakes can make in a hurry. Not one of our testers had any complaints about the G2s other than the premium price point.
That said, riders have four different price points to choose from, making the G2 more affordable for budget-constrained riders. If you’re looking for a set of trail bike brakes that can stop you like a boat anchor but won’t weigh you down like one, SRAM’s G2s might just be for you.
- Excellent stopping power
- Lightweight package with premium materials
- Anodized hardware is eye candy
- Premium price on Ultimate models
Price: $280 each
Mountain Bike Action is a monthly magazine devoted to all things mountain biking (yes, that’s 12 times a year because we never take a month off of mountain biking). It has been around since 1986 and we’re still having fun.