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
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.
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.
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?
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!
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.
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!
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.
Strengths: Great Modulation.
Single finger braking.
Stop on a dime.
Weaknesses: None Yet...
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.
Weaknesses: nothing with the brakes but the Ice rotors are a bit on the heavy side.
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.
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.
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.
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!!
STAY AWAY FROM THESE JUNK BRAKES!!! Fool me once shame on you, send me junk twice and this is the review you get!!!!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: March 3, 2011
Strengths: this new generation XTR brakes are ahead of the pack with much power than formula ORO and better modulation than hope.
Design and ergonomy are awnsome...good job shimano.
Significant weight improvment .
1- more power
2- Better modulation
3- nice looking
4- Perfect ergonomy
6-Center lock rotor benefit.
7- No bleeding required from stock
8- Mineral oil
9- No pads contact like formulas R1
Weaknesses: price you need to add rotor on top of the brake kit
these brakes are the best improvment of new shimano group set.
Buy it with confidence these brakes rocks
a Cross Country Rider
from Charlottesville, VA
Date Reviewed: February 21, 2011
Strengths: Power, looks ridiculously awesome!
If you're trying to save some money run XT's with 203 rotors. (or 203 front 180 rear) If you're not trying to save money run these bad boys! They look awesome and they have insane stopping power. I'm a one finger braker, and my fingers are not getting tired because these brakes are so effortless. A breeze to bleed! Very confidence inspiring!