The Deore XT mono body body caliper is machined from a single cold forged block in order to maximize stiffness. A perfect balance of stiffness and weight.
Servo Wave allows more pad clearance, more lever travel, improves controllability and increases bra
I have these brakes on my santa cruz superlight. 160mm front and rear. They look good and the lever feels good as well. Stopping power is fine, one finger braking. I found the front brake would squeal, even after I changed the pads, sanded the disk and pad, and cleaned with alcohol. I ended up buying some squeal off grease and no problems since. You could bleed the brakes from the caliper up, but the most effective way for me was just to follow the instructions by pouring into the lever reservoir. Make sure you pump the lever and open and close the bleeding port at the caliper. I run these inside my sram x9 shifters and they dont sit flush against them, so the angle of the shifters is slightly off. Overall a great brake.
Bike Setup: santa cruz superlight, fox 120mm fork, xt crank, sram x9
Date Reviewed: September 11, 2012
Strengths: Reasonable price
Weaknesses: Heavy, average power, appauling bleeding problems. cannot stand the bike upside down as the brakes don't work. Pad replacement far too expensive.
They always need bleeding and this is such a massive pain. They will not bleed totally and power is just not good enough. They are also very heavy for a "top-end" brake.The servo wave is rubbish as it has too much lever throw that does nothing. Power only comes at the end of a long stroke and not much power at that. There are better brakes on the market....in fact the Deore are cheaper, better and only a few grams heavier.
Date Reviewed: May 13, 2012
Strengths: Superb stoping power fo XC, not very expencive, easy to maintain
Weaknesses: bit heavy
Great breaks for money. I've been using Juicy's five, Stroker's Tail but those are a way beter then Avid & Hayes products.
Similar Products Used: Avid Juicy 5, hayes Stroker Trail
Bike Setup: Trek 8500, American Classic MTB wheels, full XT, syntace bar, steam & seat post
Date Reviewed: April 25, 2012
Strengths: Not overly expensive
Weaknesses: Spongy, lacking in power, rediculously expensive replacement pads, immensly difficult to bleed and heavy for their size & performance.
I have 2 sets of these brakes, both 180/160, both with the 2 varieties of XT rotors available. They are both spongy and underpowered. I have absolutely bled them to death reservoir to caliper, caliper to reservoir over & over. I am a vehicle mechanic & have bled more systems than I've had hot dinners & yet I just can't fathom out what is going on...obviously I've checked both systems for perished seals, pin leaks etc. I have replaced the pads but to no good performance levels. There is a failure of design here, which shimano have addressed in their later calipers, where the air bubbles always collect in the corner of the caliper and this added to the servo-wave modulation gives an unnervingly spongy and low powered feel to these units..
Similar Products Used: Saint 810,SLX,Juicy 7,Formula...
Bike Setup: Opium 7
a Cross Country Rider
from Oakland CA
Date Reviewed: August 14, 2011
Strengths: These are the best brakes in their category as far as I am concerned, especially for an average price. On sale even better. Great adjustability reach/stroke. EASY to bleed/replace oil. East to adjust calipers
Weaknesses: Need to keep Caliper pistons clean. Alcohol on Q-tips very easy.
I never have a problem w these(CA Temperature is mild). See guys try brake after brake w/ problems then try XT and are happy. I change Mineral oil every yr. Also, I have wimpy 160mm rotors. 180 are probably even better. Sometimes we descend 1500-2000 ft at a time and they never fade.
Similar Products Used: Hayes El Camino, Juicy five(good), Saint single piston(2 not 4)good,
Bike Setup: GT Carbon Marathon Pro, Niner SIR 9
a Cross Country Rider
from berkely, CA, usa
Date Reviewed: August 9, 2011
Strengths: Relatively easy to set up and bleed.
Nice adjusters for reach and power/lever "feel".
Best ergo/feeling lever of any brake I've used, reminds me of the XTR v-brake lever.
Great modulation/feel, not like some brakes (hayes) that have a distinct "on/off" feel.
Weaknesses: Post-mounts suck when it comes to trying to align the caliper.
Uses mineral oil -- a mixed bag, really -- while there's no worry about eating paint, the brakes do tend to pump up a little on longer descents which I'd attribute to the mineral oil. It's not a deal breaker (I have these brakes on 3 bikes, I like them that much) but I do notice it.
No split clamp so you have to remove grips to get the lever off.
The pads they come with stock squeal like mad in the wet.
While I've listed a bunch of little complaints, these really are very nice brakes for xc use.
I might try them on my nomad, but I tend to ride that bike on steeper stuff with lots of heavy braking and would have to wonder about the (minor) pump issue.
If you're riding xc trails without too many extended descents (where you're going to be really heating up the brakes) I'd give these a shot, I think you'll like 'em.
Similar Products Used: Disc brakes from Shimano, Magura (never again), Avid, and Hayes (strokers, not bad but a little too "on/off").
Bike Setup: singlespeed.
a Weekend Warrior
from Miami, FL
Date Reviewed: July 7, 2011
Strengths: Strong, lots of pad clearance, silent except when wet, solid construction
Weaknesses: Weight, not the fanciest brakes
I am using these brakes right now and love them. They have a lot more pad clearance than my Elixir CR's which made noise all the time and were nearly impossible to get adjusted so you had no drag. These shimano's have been completely quite except when wet and are plenty strong. They are a little heavy and expensive but are very good brakes.
Similar Products Used: Elixir CR, Juicy 3 & 5, BB5
Bike Setup: Rip 9
a Cross Country Rider
from Portland, OR
Date Reviewed: May 15, 2011
Strengths: Utilitarian, looks, strength, MINERAL OIL!, ease of bleeding, availability of parts
Weaknesses: Weight, pads are LOUD when dirty
I scored some XTs for a buddy and felt them on his bike and was sold instantly. In comparison to my old Hayes they have modulation! First time out, after buying them used on mtbr classifieds, they were squealing like a dead woman howling for her children! I was close to selling them pronto. Instead, I read up and used brake cleaner and baked the pads and they are now silent! LOTS of power and I'm only running 160 Alligator rotors. I have a 180 for the front but I don't think I'll need it. The feel of the lever is incredible and they never squealed or faded on a good 7 mile downhill. They're a little more heavy than the Carbons but for the modulation, adjustability, mineral oil vs DOT and power, I'll take a minor weight penalty.
Last but not least, every single part is available through Universal so I feel secure for the future. At retail, they're expensive, but they are really solid brakes that are no frills but work the best that I've tried.
Bike Setup: Trek 8500. Sram x9 and shimano Crank, wheels. Fsa k-force group
Pedal Damn It
from New Jersey
Date Reviewed: January 17, 2011
Strengths: Really None
Weaknesses: Poor modulation, spongy feel
Not a good brake from Shimano. Poor modulation and never felt strong. On 30-degree rides this brake would rub like crazy: Shimano response: "uhh yeah we don't guarantee this brake under 30-degrees" During a race in JULY, the front seals blow out. Shimano warranty'd the caliper, which blow up again in December! Hey Shimano, quit pawning your junk off on the honest working man; I bet the XTR versions don't break every other month during "use". Or advertise XT for "light trail use only".
Similar Products Used: Magura, Hope, Formula, Avid, Sram
Bike Setup: MTB, whatever
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: January 1, 2011
Strengths: loads of power, excellent modulation, no fade on long descents
I upgraded my Avid BB7 and Deore XT complete brake set-up and I would say it definitely equals the BB7 in terms of power. It is actually much more responsive than a BB7 with Gore cables. Brake pad clearance with the rotor is much more than my BB7 for the same brake feel. It is TRUE ONE FINGER BRAKING. I've used the Avid BB7 for the better part of a decade...this blows it clear out of the water!
a Cross Country Rider
from Boulder, CO, USA
Date Reviewed: November 24, 2010
Strengths: Works great in warm weather.
Weaknesses: 08 model does not work at all in cold weather, the pistons do not retract. Had the brakes bled, worked fine in the shop. Put the bike on top of my car for the 5 minute ride home. Once I got home the pistons did not retract
Will never buy Shimano brakes again.
Shimano told me that if I plan to ride in below 40F weather I should put the bike inside the car when I drive to the trail head.