Shimano XTR BR-M985 Disc Brake System

4.17/5 (18 Reviews)
MSRP : $221.99


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Product Description

XTR Race Underpowered brakes leadTo defensive ridingTechnique and, ultimately,To slower lapTimes. EnterThe new XTR Race brake, which encourages racersTo attackTechnical downhill sections with confidence, leavingThe competition squealing and squawking inThe dust.How? First off,They produce 110 percent ofThe power ofTheir predecessors while shedding precious grams atThe sameTime, soThey’re as viable a race-bike pick as ever.Throw in ergonomically re-engineered lever pivots and XTR Race lays


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Reviews 1 - 15 (18 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mark Swofford

Date Reviewed: May 10, 2014

Strengths:    Consistent, reliable, progressive, quiet, powerful, low maintenance.

Weaknesses:    Not much bling, if you care. I don't .

Bottom Line:   
If you're brake shopping, and who isn't, save yourself some massive aggravation with this simple tip. Buy the best shimano brakes you can swing, and don't buy SRAMs.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Vincenzo a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: June 2, 2013

Strengths:    Weight, looks and lever ergonomics.

Weaknesses:    Lack of consistent braking, easily contaminated pads and many brake related trips to bike shops.

Bottom Line:   
I have the xtr trail brakes on my tallboyc. Brakes started out great, but eventually the hose started leaking. Shimano warrantied the hose and threw in some new pads. I'm scared to even wash my bike for fear of contaminating the pads. I did some winter trail riding and somehow contaminated the rear pads - then replaced them. Now my front pads are contaminated again and need to be thoroughly cleaned or replaced once more. I wash my bike semi regularly with either car wash soap or sometimes dish detergent. This is ridiculous. I wish I had my old formula one brakes, not a single issue.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Yes please.

Duration Product Used:   1.25 seasons

Purchased At:   Lbs

Similar Products Used:   Formula "the one", avid elixir cr, avid bb7... Many more.

Bike Setup:   Santa Cruz tallboyc xtr, Thomson, mavic c29smax, conti Mtn king 2.2

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by rob a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: December 1, 2012

Strengths:    Easy set up. One finger braking, Have not had to touch them as far as bleeding goes. Most powerful XC brake I've used.

Weaknesses:    Was working in a bike shop up till recently and ordered new pads from Shimano, wanted alu back pads but each time they sent out metal backed ones.
A little pricey.


Bottom Line:   
Best brake I've ever used on an XC bike.So based on my experience of owning and wrenching on brakes it was the M975s.

Expand full review >>

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Have had on one bike of mine or another: new Deore, new LX, M960, M970, Martas, Avid XX (worst brake ever - harder to keep bled than the Formula B4 SLs of ten years ago), Oro Puros and horrible Hayes. It was a toss up between Magura MT8 (have had two lots of Magura Martas and loved them), Formula R1 (my B4 SL and two sets of Oro Puros were nightmares when it came to reliability and the need for frequent maintenance).

Bike Setup:   Have these on my carbon rigid single speed for group single speed rides and racing up to six hrs solo. Used with Ashima 180mm and 160mm rotors.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by RJ

Date Reviewed: October 13, 2012

Strengths:    Stopping power, stopping modulation, no more tired fingers. And yes, more stopping power, more modulation and relaxed hands and arms. And no brake fade.
Sweet looking and shiny.
My Avid Codes (2012) have been awesome with great stopping power, thats what i thought untill I rode the XTR's.


Weaknesses:    At this price I don't expect any and there aren't. Shimano has done it again - brilliant.

Bottom Line:   
If you can afford them buy them - XT has also been my pick of parts. But this year I splurged and went full XTR. Reminded myself why racers and riders use XTR. All works so well together. The difference between XT and XTR. The XTR just have that solid feeling to them and are still lighter.
Look after these brakes and they'll look after you, don't skimp on cheaper pad options. Do yoiu put cheaper brake pads in your car?

Ride and enjoy!

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by eastspur

Date Reviewed: October 11, 2012

Strengths:    Great stopping power, awesome feel, good modulation, easy to bleed, quiet, light weight, and sexy. These brakes do exactly what I want when I want it. They are very predictable and confidence inspiring.

Weaknesses:    Price? After 4 month of use I've almost gone through 2 sets of pads. Pads are expensive!

Bottom Line:   
I've had Avid Elixir Rs and Elixir 5s. These are night and day compared to the Avids. If I could do it over I might go with the XTs (they are suppose to be just as good). I love how these look though. Straight out of a Star Wars movie. I sometimes just stare at them.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   4 Months

Similar Products Used:   Elixir 5 and Elixir R

Bike Setup:   Single Speed 29er

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Dan

Date Reviewed: August 16, 2012

Strengths:    Great modulation, easily adjustable and easy to remove pads and clean, fantastic stopping power. The cooling fins on the pads always get a good comment from other riders.

Weaknesses:    Getting use to using only 1 finger instead of 2 fingers to stop. My old Juicy 5's I used 2 fingers (and sometimes three when two fingers got tired) to stop. Now I have to use 1 finger or these bad boys will throw me out the front!

Bottom Line:   
I've been abusing these brakes since they first came out and love them. Extended downhills no longer cause hand fatigue like my old brakes use to.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by torque29er a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: May 13, 2012

Strengths:    Great Modulation.
Single finger braking.
Great feel.
light.
Stop on a dime.


Weaknesses:    None Yet...

Bottom Line:   
Have these brakes on three different bikes for different riding styles. Scalpel 1 for when I need the speed. Sworks Stumpy fsr for "just go over everything" rides or when I need to feel some air. Giant Anthem Advance 26in for tight fast trails.

Breakdown: Great stopping power. Great Feel. Extreme control of power with one finger. Very reliable and trouble free. My LBS head mechanic is a former US Race Team Travel Head Mechanic so brakes have been perfectly professionally set up from the start. Haven't experienced any of the negative experiences posted for these brakes. I replaced the Avid XO brakes with the XTR on my Scalpel. No comparing the modulation, XTR is in a class by them selves. On the other two bikes I put them on from the start. I have an Epic EVO with Formula R1 brakes, they're great so far too.

Expand full review >>

Similar Products Used:   Avid Elixir XO Carbon
Formula R1
Avid Elixer 3
Avid Elixir 7 SL


Bike Setup:   2012 Scalpel 1... XTR Brakes
2012 Sworks Stumpy fsr 29er... XTR Brakes
2009 Giant Anthem Advance Race... XTR Brakes

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by cyclingmagnet

Date Reviewed: April 17, 2012

Strengths:    super nice modulation.

Weaknesses:    nothing with the brakes but the Ice rotors are a bit on the heavy side.

Bottom Line:   
Came on my Epic build. Had heard they were amazing and was happy to find out they were. Super sweet one finger control. Best brake I've had.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by hwhishon5 a Weekend Warrior from Peoria, IL, USA

Date Reviewed: September 19, 2011

Strengths:    Progressive, good modulation up to full stop

Weaknesses:    These brakes EAT brake pads and I mean eat brake pads. Leaked and contaminated my disc up front.

Bottom Line:   
Good stopping and very progressive when working. BUT these consume brakepads and I've lost a front disc brake due to them leaking on it and not being able to get clean according to my LBS and no I didn't buy the new disc from him. Pads lasted not quite 2months for my 6'0" 195lbs, before needing replaced. The cooling fins are nearly impossible to get and are ridiculously priced. Don't waste your money on the metal, they don't last any longer and absolutely "scream" when worn. For the price expect better quality AND durability. Didn't happen with this product shimano, these are junk.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   The Next One

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   speedgoat

Similar Products Used:   Avid, formula, Hope Magura

Bike Setup:   Pivot 429, Full XTR setup, Fox RLC kashima, thomson stem, seatpost, I9 hubs on Arch rims.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by cmdrpiffle a Cross Country Rider from San Jose California

Date Reviewed: July 27, 2011

Strengths:    Weight, power, modulation, noise free

Weaknesses:    none yet

Bottom Line:   
Abolultely love them so far. I've run them 5 rides a week for about 3 weeks.

I am running a 5 year old Dirty Dog rotor (160mm) up front. The XTR's work perfectly with it.

On inspection yesterday, I did notice a very light oil film around the caliper. Could be normal, or I may have something starting to leak. We'll see.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Santa Teresa

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $288.00

Purchased At:   Trail Head Cyclery

Similar Products Used:   none. Long time Avid BB7 user. These are my first hydraulic brakes (hydroulic breaks for you MTBR'ers)

Bike Setup:   no name aluminum hardtail. Vbrakes rear, 985's up front. Ritchey carbon fork, yada yada yada

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Matty a Cross Country Rider from Cleveland

Date Reviewed: July 24, 2011

Strengths:    Ergonomics aren't bad. easy maintenance

Weaknesses:    These brakes are complete junk!! I have spent over $200 fixing and replacing parts! they need complete service every time I want to ride! I sent back the first set and the new set is the exact same way! These things couldn't stop a 2 year old going up hill on a big wheel! NO POWER AT ALL!! they squeal as if they were being tortured in third world country prison.
I have three friends having the exact same problems with their brakes and shimano does nothing about it!!


Bottom Line:   
STAY AWAY FROM THESE JUNK BRAKES!!! Fool me once shame on you, send me junk twice and this is the review you get!!!!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Pisgah

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Bike Setup:   Yeti ASR 5 Carbon, XTR shimano, Fox Talas 150, Mavic ST, Maxxis Ignitor, Crank Brothers Iodine C Bar

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by rapsac a Cross Country Rider from Netherlands

Date Reviewed: July 2, 2011

Strengths:    braking power, modulation, weight, relatively large brake pad spacing, looks

Weaknesses:    none perceived

Bottom Line:   
The best disc brakes I have used up to now. Awesome performance and build quality. Mineral oil is nice too!
I use them with the XT 6 bolt alu spider rotors, which are very stiff laterally (no noise!).

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   www.Bike-Discount.de

Similar Products Used:   Formula R1 (2 years), Formula Oro K24 (3 years), Magura Louise FR (2 years), Shimano Deore BRM555 (1 year).

Bike Setup:   Specialized Epic Marathon 2008, XTR, Chris King +NoTubes ZTR wheels, RS Reba fork

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by cogsmith82 a Racer from Park City, UT, USA

Date Reviewed: June 5, 2011

Strengths:    Light. Quiet/Silent. Extremely smooth braking.

Weaknesses:    None that I can tell

Bottom Line:   
Bottom line is I can't stand Avid brakes. My Elixir CRs need constant adjusting and constant cleaning and lubrication. Plus, there's hardly any adjustment between the pads and rotors. When they brake, they turkey gobble super loud. It's embarrassing. When I got me 2011 Trek Superfly, I swapped out the Avid brakes with XTR because I heard so many raving about them. True to their word, the XTRs are the quietest, smoothest braking brakes I've used and they seem to require no adjusting. They just work.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Deer Valley Hammerfest Course

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Similar Products Used:   Avid Elixir CR. Avid Juicy 7.

Bike Setup:   2011 Trek Superfly Elite

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by rockyuphill a Cross Country Rider from Vancouver

Date Reviewed: May 25, 2011

Strengths:    Lots of braking power, easy modulation, fairly light, consistent brake disc performance

Weaknesses:    The levers are short enough that as a middle finger braker with other systems, I sometimes miss them after switching between bikes with different brakes. I have had to switch to index finger braking with these brakes.

Bottom Line:   
The performance of these brakes is amazing, right out of the box with no bedding in they will pop your eyes out. They have great modulation, but I still switched the rear disc to a 140mm to keep the lever pressure about the same front to back, otherwise the rear was prone to locking on descents. There is so much power available with these brakes it is amazing.

They really ruin you for hopping back on to other bikes with different brakes, as everything else takes much more lever pressure. A big part of their performance might come from the ICE tech rotors, but I haven't swapped the rotors into other systems to try.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   anything Squamish

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   Different Bikes

Similar Products Used:   XTR 970, Magura Marta SL, Hope Mono Mini, Avid Juicy Ultimates

Bike Setup:   Rocky Mountain Element Team with Fox fork, mixed Race Face and XTR drivetrain.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by chris a Cross Country Rider from Nelson, New Zealand

Date Reviewed: April 26, 2011

Strengths:    superb power and modulation, real one finger braking even with those dinky levers. Look to be beautifully made, nice to have a hinged clamp finally. Good pad clearance too.

Weaknesses:    couple of small vices in relation to the virtues - the free-stroke adjustment doesn't seem to do that much, and bleeding is still a bit of a mission if you want to get a totally air-free line.

Bottom Line:   
Running the 988 levers with the 966 calipers, so that means a bit less power than I'd get with the new 985 series calipers and their dedicated hose, but still so much power I've swapped back to a 140mm rear rotor. Superb level of feedback. Heaps better than the XTR 975. Not sure how the older 966 calipers would go with extended downhill braking but not a problem so far. Excellent brake.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   the last one

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $170.00

Purchased At:   chainreaction Irelan

Similar Products Used:   Formula B4 (excellent but fragile), Hayes Mag, Shimano LX and XT (previous 760 model) XTR (975), Hope mini, Avid and Hayes mechs.

Bike Setup:   Giant Anthem

Reviews 1 - 15 (18 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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