Comparison | Sram Code RSC vs. TRP DH-R Evo

Sram Code RSC Mountain bike brakes review on truvativ descendant handlebars and dmr death grips
TRP DH-R Evo Mountain bike brakes review on burgtec handlebars and dmr death grips

    There have been quite a few exciting newcomers to the burly downhill brake market in the past few years but two of the most race proven have been the Sram Code RSC's and TRP's Quadiem. Admittedly, the TRP's lacked a bit in the power department and weren't quite up to the task of going head-to-head with Sram's legendary Code brakes. Last year that all changed with the release of TRP's new DH-R Evo Brakes (we'll call them the TRP's from here on out 😁).

    Over the past 7 months, I've had the chance to give both brakes a shot on different builds and even wrote a quick comparison between the TRP's, Codes, and XT's in my full review of the DHR Evo last summer. That review can be found here. This time however, I'll be diving deep into both breaks and give an honest opinion on which I would choose!

Sram Code RSC

  • Sram's most powerful, most adjustable brake yet. Bigger and beefier than the G2's with Sram's trade-mark class leading modulation. Features: reach adjust, bite point adjust, swing-link lever blade.


  • Ground up redesign of TRP's Quadiem series downhill brake. The same great burly build quality with tons of new tech that equate to huge power, reliability, and precision. Features: reach adjust, dimpled brake lever.
SRAM Code RSC mountain bike brakes review rear caliper installed

Quality, Features, and Feel

    Both the TRP's and the Codes have are top-the-line options and the quality definitely shows. That said, the brakes take drastically different approaches to the way they are constructed. Both brakes feature a durable aluminum construction but the TRP's are much burlier feeling (not to say the Codes are insufficient by any means). With all of their dials and adjustment, you'll notice instantly that the Codes look and feel much more high-tech than the TRP's but this is actually somewhat misleading.

    The Codes are definitely more feature rich with their bite point adjust and more precise feeling lever blade compared to the TRP's lever throw adjust and substantial feeling lever . That said, when you pop the hood on the new TRP's, it's a completely new ball-game.

    The TRP's are redesigned from the ground up and take on the problems of heat dissipation, power, and lever feel in a very unique way. For a start, they use a thinner 5mm brake hose, thick 2.3mm rotors, a totally new lever assembly, and new "performance flow" caliper design. All this amounts to a stronger, firmer feeling brake with better heat management properties than previous generations. I've gotta say, I was a skeptic at first, but the combination of all of these is instantly noticeable on the trail.

TRP DH-R Evo Mountain bike brakes review on burgtec handlebars and dmr death grips

Bleed, Setup, and Feel

    I'll start off with the TRP's since they're super quick in this department. These brakes are the easiest to bleed and get set-up of any brake I have ever personally owned or installed. After routing the brakes, it took all of 5-min per side to install and bleed. Since they're a mineral oil brake, the bleeding process is super similar to Shimano and just require a simple lever bleed to get them feeling completely dialed.

    In contrast, the sram's bleed process is much more in-depth and takes a bit longer to get feeling perfect. Nothing out of this world hard, but compared to the TRP's, the Codes take a bit more patience and finesse to get dialed in out of the box. One nice feature you get with Sram's is the bite point adjust. I found this to be extremely beneficial in getting the brakes dialed in and it adds a completely new dimension in getting your desired brake feel.

    While you do get the addition of a bite-point adjust on the Sram's, the TRP's just felt perfect right out of the box and I never wished for more adjustment than they had. Additionally, I found myself to prefer the TRP's lever feel to the Code's. The TRP's were simply more snappy and substantial feeling and have a nice textured lever blade with cozy little dimples that keep your hands put in wet conditions (we have an awful lot of that here in Bellingham).

On the Trail

Sram Code RSC

    The first thing that comes to mind when you think of Sram Brakes is without a doubt their modulation. While the Code RSC's definitely have this quality in spades, they offer a much more precise feeling than all of the previous the G2's or the older Guides. While I always felt like the Guides had a somewhat spongy feel to them, I never found this to be true with the Code's.

    We have some ridiculously steep trails in Bellingham that require fairly constant braking from top to bottom and as a result the terrain really does put a brake through its' paces. I always joke that Bellingham is where brakes come to die- and this one didn't, far from it in fact. The Code RSC's have been problem free with a super solid feel from top to bottom. Minimal fade, now wandering bite-point, and I have yet to glaze them over or overheat the rotors. These things are solid and reliable on even the steepest of trails.


    Similar to the Codes, the TRP's are super reliable. One thing I will say is that the TRP's are the first brake I've ever owned or ridden that have been 100% fade free. Being somewhat new to Bellingham, I'll shamelessly say that I do occasionally overuse my brakes on the steeper, more demanding trails in town. Despite this, the TRP's have put up absolutely zero fuss.

    Now that's not to say that the Code's struggled in any way, far from it. What I can say is that the TRP's for some reason felt more solid and reliable than the Codes. That said, the levers on the TRP's definitely do have a more solid and confidence inspiring feel to them than the Code levers do.

    Another amazing thing about the TRP's is how long of service intervals they require. I never once felt any change in performance between brake bleeds. The same cannot be said for the Codes- you definitely start to feel a drop in performance at the end of a bleed period.

TRP DH-R Evo mountain bike brakes review rear caliper installed

A word on those 2.3mm rotors

    2.3mm rotors- are they the future? Maybe. Did I notice a difference? Maybe. As with many subtle changes to bike setup, it can be hard to tell if there's really a drastic difference. Since this whole brake set is a system, and I never ran a thinner rotor with these brakes, I can't really say there's that much of a difference. What I can say is that I never bent or warped a rotor (which I have a habit of doing) and these brakes had a super solid bite. Whether that's do to the wider rotors is up in the air.

SRAM Code RSC mountain bike brakes review front caliper installed on a rockshox pike ultimate suspension fork


Quality Winner







Lever Feel


Build Quality




Final thoughts and who they're for

    Both of these brakes are absolutely phenomenal and I think anyone who rides either would be super stoked. Both offer similar amounts of power and modulation (the modulation is somewhat of a happy medium of the classic sram feel and instant bite of Shimano brakes). That said, I think if you are super nit-picky with your setup and want your brakes to feel exactly the way you want, the Sram Code RSC's are really for you. If you're more of a set-and-forget rider that just wants something that feels amazing right out of the box while being super reliable, the TRP DH-R Evo's are your choice. For myself the choice is super hard between which I prefer, but I think when it comes down to it I'd pick the TRP's. They just work, and they work really well. I've yet to find a more consistent, reliable brake out there.

Featured Products

SRAM Code RSC Mountain Bike brake
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TRP DH-R Evo Mountain bike brake
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Henry Hibbeln



Bellingham, WA

Current Bikes: Revel Rascal, Surly Straggler

Bike Size: Large

Favorite Trails: Chuckanut Trails in Bellingham/Glorieta Trails in Santa Fe

About Me: Transplanted from New Mexico and Michigan before that, Henry is a fan of spicy food, chunky trails, and endless bike park laps! Henry bounces back and forth between creating media content, taking photos, and helping customers get gear that will get them out on the trails. Looking for shock recommendations or where to get the best green chili? Henry might just be your guy.