World Cup Downhill stars review the all-new Code brakes.
Watch any top-level professional athlete, in any sport, and you’re going to see a certain level of obsessive attention to detail that people do not typically exhibit in normal life. When split seconds, millimeters and personal safety are on the line, attention to the smallest detail matters. The notion of change can instill terror in the heart of an athlete.
How about when that change is made to arguably the most important part keeping a downhill bike between the course tape? How about when that change is to a tried and true workhorse?
When we presented our downhill roster with the all-new Code brakes just days before practice began at the first round of the UCI World Cup downhill, we expected hesitation to the last minute swap. But the majority of racers decided to make the switch, and with podium finishes in both the men’s and women’s categories, Code proved that change can be awesome.
Troy Brosnan / Canyon Factory Racing: “I was so stoked to see the new Code brake. It looked powerful and after testing it felt even more powerful! The lever feel is so delicate, yet the braking power is crazy; with more fluid getting pushed through my brakes will never overheat. I like to have my Levers really wound in for my small hands but I want them to bite almost straight away. This was super hard to get with my previous brakes, but now my mechanic Aaron Pelttari sets them up with ease.”
Elliot Heap / CRC Nukeproof: “First impressions: holy cow they’re the most powerful brakes I’ve ever used. Second, the power and control of the new Code is so good comparing to any brake I’ve used. Before you’d normally think more power would mean more skidding... but with the new Code that’s not the case — the power is so useable. If you’re coming into a turn too hot, the new Code has you covered. I love it! I like my brakes to bite quite close to the bar otherwise I find myself dragging them all the way down. Also I like my levers quite close to the bars so my fingers are relaxed and not stretching to reach the blade. This helps me prevent arm pump on the longer rougher tracks.”
Charlie Harrison / Intense Factory Racing: “The new brakes are really good. I was able to adjust to them very quickly, and felt real confident on them. I generally set my brakes up to have instant engagement, as I am a fan of late braking, and I like my brakes to have a lot of bite, which these are great at.”
Josh Button / Kona Factory Racing: "Blacked out Codes, hell yeah! They have unbelievable power, it honestly took me a few runs at Lourdes to understand how much power, at first I kept locking up! The consistency really stood out, over the entirety of World Cup weekend, not a change in the feel. I am looking forward to trying them out somewhere longer and steeper like Andorra. I set my levers with a fair amount of throw, slightly closer pad engagement in the rear. I do this so when I have a sketchy moment, I'm not immediately (or accidentally) grabbing the brakes and making things worse."
Marcelo Gutierrez / Giant Factory Offroad Team: “The new codes are awesome. At the very first run I struggled a bit while playing with the reach, but after couple runs I started loving them. Solid all the way down, good power and really comfortable and adjustable lever. I can’t wait to for some more racing and riding on them!”
Mark Wallace / Canyon Factory Racing: “My first impression of the new Code was that it had the same great lever feel as the Guide but with extra power and even more consistency, especially when they got hot. Even on a track like Lourdes with heavy braking, they never felt even the slightest bit different or affected by the temperature changes — that was pretty cool. I run my levers a pretty normal distance from the bars, the bite point is also average. The bite point on the rear is a little bit earlier. I run the bite point in the middle because I want to be able to get on the brakes quick but still have some room to feather.”
George Brannigan / Commencal Vallnord: "The new Code is genuinely the first brake where I like all key points: the feel of the lever, the power of the brake, and most of all, the consistency. It's crazy — they don't fade at all, or pump up. I run my lever reach and bite point really close to the bar and it's always been a problem getting my brakes to work consistently for me. The fact that they stay super consistent for where I run my levers is impressive. I’m really stoked on the new Code brake!"