Review: SRAM's New G2 Ultimate Brakes - Pinkbike
What's New on the G2?
The G2 is the lightest four-piston stopper in SRAM's catalog, although it's within a handful of grams of the Guide Ultimate that we reviewed back in 2015. They are light, though, at just 242-grams (without a rotor), and that's with SRAM actually leaving more material on the caliper.Wait, what? We're used to hearing about companies paring just a few grams off their latest creation, but SRAM has actually left extra material around the two bolts connecting each side of the caliper. They've also removed less material from the pad pockets in each of the caliper's face. The idea with all that is to up the caliper's rigidity, which in turn should make for a firmer feel at the lever when you're pulling it like your life is at risk. We all end up there sometimes. If you're looking for numbers, SRAM is citing a 7-percent increase in power from those changes.
How'd They Perform?As fun as locking a wheel up can be, power is nothing but trouble if you can't use it properly, and I've long rated SRAM's Guide stoppers, along with Magura's, at the top of the list when it comes to modulation. My concern was that a bump in power, along with a firmer feel at the lever, might mean that the G2 loses some of the control that its predecessor was known for. That's a non-issue, though, as they feel every bit the SRAM brake that they are. That means an initial bite that's relatively gentle, at least compared to four-piston brakes from Shimano and others. That's with the new power organic pads, too, and it's always helpful when traction is low and the chances of going down are high. Picture wet, steep rock faces, of which there are always plenty to choose from here in Squamish, BC, and you'll get the idea. Locking up can mean a quick trip to the ground.
The other question that needs answering: Are they consistent and reliable? I've had them on my strange Giant Trance Advanced 29 for a few months now, which probably isn't enough time for me to comment on the latter. That said, I've had zero issues with the G2's predecessor, so I have high expectations for these. They have been completely consistent (and quiet), with zero change in lever feel from day one. The end of the G2's lever throw is quite firm, too. A perfect bleed? Definitely, but there's a good combination of firmness without a hint of that nasty wooden feeling regardless.
|The new G2 is essentially an updated Guide brake that's going to be a good choice for anyone who doesn't need Code-like power. That's a lot of us, I suspect, and they make a lot of sense for trail riders and enduro types who fall into that category.— Mike Levy|