These Shimano XT Disc Brakes M785 are a big improvement over old XT brakes. At first glance you'll see how they use an in-line master cylinder as opposed to the radial design of the M-775. This allows a lighter weight system and an easier bleed process. They still use mineral oil as a hydraulic fluid. The great part is that it's non-toxic and non-corrosive. If you spill some when you bleed your brakes, there's nothing to worry about.They take their design cues from the new XTR M988 Trail Brakes. And though these might not be as visually refined as the highly polished XTR units, the performance speaks for itself. This is hands down the best XT brake we've ever ridden. In addition to the excellent power and modulation, the XT Brakes offer easy adjustment to make your hands happy and to give you ultimate control. There is a tool-free reach adjustment that you can dial on-the-fly. They also have a free stroke adjustment that lets you determine how far you like the blade to travel before your pads make contact with the rotor. You can dial them to perfection.Sizewise, the M785 levers are much lower profile than the M775 levers, but more importantly, the movement of the lever pivot towards the bar creates a more ergonomic design. In essence, the arc of the lever optimizes your natural finger movement and position of strength with the point in the lever travel where your power is transferred through the system to the caliper. These also feature Shimano's Servo Wave technology. Servo Wave allows the pads to sit further from the rotors at rest (a great feature for trail/all mountain bikes that might see more rotor abuse than a race machine). This is possible as the piston travel changes relative to lever travel as you squeeze on the brakes to close the gap to the rotor quickly, then slowing to allow predictable modulation.The calipers use a 22mm ceramic piston for inspiring stopping power, and Shimano has brought back a banjo fitting for the hose attachment at the caliper.
Bike Setup: Santa Cruz Nickel, FOX shocks, DT Swiss wheels. XT Brakes.
Date Reviewed: February 27, 2013
Strengths: 1 finger braking that stop's you with little effort. Way cheaper than XTR.
Weaknesses: XTR look better
@ Shleppy, clad you're not my wrench. Not sure why you had a problem installing them. I put mine on myself, no problem, easy to set up.
Best stopping power for me so far. I love to brake late & these give you the confidence to do just that. Brake lever is spot on for comfort & economic's. One finger braking with less effort than other brakes = less fatigue. The first time you squeeze the lever, will leave you gobsmacked. Quite too, what's not to like unless you like squealing like a pig. Cheers...
Weaknesses: the only thing would be the alignment, they need a small amount of copper grease on the washers between the caliper and fixing bolt otherwise when u tighten them up they move ever so slightly and feel spongy and no power.
had juicy bb7 bb5 all crap then formula great power but noise and vibration make these crap too.
lets face it all mtb brakes make noise when wet but dry these are by far the best brakes i have used
Strengths: Consistent, just one finger needed, work great in wet conditions
Weaknesses: none yet
I have been riding for about a year and a half and have had the opportunity to ride serveral different bikes. Breaks have almost always been one of the weak points, however these have been an exception to that rule. I have to add the caveat that I have not riden these breaks for a really long time, but in the time I have had them they have been a dream. The last set of breaks I had always required two fingers and when your flying down a steep and fairly technical trail and need to slow down two needing two fingers can be an issue. Especially at the end of a long ride when your grip strength may not be what it was when you started. I would recommend these to anyone and for just about any bike.
Strengths: Gobs and Gobs of power
Nice Feel at Lever
Easy to Bleed
Weaknesses: Expensive if you paid retail
Don't include rotors.....especially at price.
Takes a while to break in
Been on these brakes for about 3 months now. Been running Elixir R's on my SS.
Built up a new SS and heard good things about these, so decided to give them a go.
Hoses were too long for my L Highball, so had to immediately shorten the hoses. Simple task, but bleeding the brakes was kinda a pain without the bleed cup. Micky Moused my own cup and made it work. No loss in performance since then.
First ride out I found them to be waaaayyy too grippy......like lock of the wheels with just light pressure on the bars. Thought this may have been caused partially by the Avid G3 160mm rotors I am running. I found myself a bit timid to break with the front wheel in turns....felt like it wanted to tuck under me. After about 1.5 weeks of riding they bedded in and all was good. Feel at the lever got better and I was able to modulate them the way I wanted. I could only imagine how these work on a bike with 8" rotors.
I have run older 765 XT's in the past and these are much nicer. Not sold on the looks, but they function very well.
I have had some issues with noise coming from the pads. The Metallic pads, mixed with the Avid rotors causing a horrific squeal when they get hot. Planning to swap out for ICE Tech rotors and organic pads.
I run them on the SS so I don't know how well the levers mate up with the X.0 Grip shift I would normally run.
Only wish they included the rotors.
After the first couple of rides, thought for sure I would be selling these quick. They have grown on me.
Similar Products Used: Avid BB7 and BB5. Avid Juicy 5, Juicy 7 and Juicy Carbons. Hope Pro Mini. Magura Martas.
Bike Setup: Trek Superfly pro Al
Date Reviewed: November 8, 2012
Strengths: Quiet, good modulation, VERY strong stopping power
Weaknesses: none yet
These are the first Shimano brakes I have owned, Hoses were very long, easy to mount, and setup.
After riding BB7's on my 29'er FS, I had to re-learn braking with single finger, They are VERY strong, and smooth, After owning SRAM (Jiucy's, Elixirs, BB7's) these are my favorites!!
Strengths: One finger breaking, great modulation, hassle-free setup, adjustability, serviceability and of course: POWER!
Weaknesses: Bit pricey (should have gone for the SLX), some braking noise in the front brake - perhaps due to the rigid fork.
I've owned an earlier model from Shimano (also XT), and had high expectations based on that... and the new XT does not disappoint. This is what a hydraulic disc brake should be like.
Date Reviewed: September 30, 2012
Strengths: Without leaking caliper = great stopping power, good modulation, great ergonomics/adjustment with levers, pad clearance/servo
Weaknesses: Leaking=pad contamination & power loss
Price to have a leaking issue
resin pad life
Expensive if compared to mech BB brakes
Boght these in January '12 and was initially very pleased. After a few rides, front brakes lost a lot of braking power and howled badly, while rear stayed strong & silent. Then tried some resin pads on the front, and thought I'd fixed the issue as these pads initially were grippy and silent, but they too developed the howling and loss of power. Read some blogs and learned there was an issue with leaking at the banjo nut on the calipers, which is the problem I have. I read where you can "cook" your contaminated pads, which does help, but until the leak is fixed, all solutions are temporary. Mine are back at Shimano, awaiting repair. The rear brake has never been a problem and have lived up to expectations. I'm certain that if Shimano fixes the issue under warranty, I'd give them at least 4 chilis overall.
Date Reviewed: September 27, 2012
Strengths: Couldn't tell you what strengths they have. Pulled them off my bike after 5 minutes.
Weaknesses: Disc rub and initial setup of caliper is horrific! Can not get the calipers to stop rubbing the rotor.
Could not get the brakes to stop rubbing against the rotor. Worked as a mechanic in bike shops for 10 years.. and been wrenching an additional 10 since I left my life as a bike mechanic and these are the worst to adjust of any disc brake I have encountered. Installed the brakes on a brand new bike and could not get either the front or the rear to stop rubbing against brand new - perfectly straight rotors. I should mention that I wasn't using the Shimano "ice tech" rotors, but the width of the rotors I was using is the same as the Shimano's. Tried the usual loosen caliper bolts, grab brake lever, tighten caliper bolts method a dozen times with no success. Then tried the shim method... no dice either. Brakes dragged no matter what I tried. The darn pistons don't retract enough to clear the rotor even when perfectly aligned.
Have owned Avid Juicy 5's, Juicy 7's, several pairs of Hayes, Hopes and even low end BB7's and BB5's.. never encountered rubbing like I encountered on the XT's. Sionara Shimano.. It's back to Avid I go.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: September 25, 2012
Strengths: Practically maintenance free after the initial brake line trim and system bleed. Takes less than five minutes to swap pads. Allowed me to go from 180mm to 160mm on the rear with no loss in performance.
Weaknesses: Can't find one!!!
Been riding this system for over a year and I truly believe they are the best bang for the buck. So much so I have them setup on two of my rides.
Strengths: Absolutely CRUSHING stopping power.
Short lever which enables them to be set up so your index finger lands right on the end of the lever but you can still reach your shifter, this is not the case with the Avid levers that have a lever that is a full 1/2" longer.
Weaknesses: Kinda spendy, but worth it.
I went from some old hayes strokers to the XTs, I wanted true one finger braking, and I got it. I never have to use more than %50 finger pull with these brakes, on dry pavement with my but way behind the seat and %50 pull of the brakes my rear tire lifts off the ground.
The ice tech is great as well, 1000' blazing fast downhills result in zero brake fade.