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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yes, I did read quite a bit about both, and I understand lots of people like the Shimanos. My 2013 Trek came with Elixir 3s and after bedding in brakes feel pretty strong. Rear one never felt smooth for some reason, it's like grinding something when breaking, but it is effective. Minimal rubbing and no noise, I have 180/160 Avid G2 disks. But I find them a bit on/off and seems like the performance is not always the same. Hard to feel when they will lock for instance.

A pair of XT or SLX is 200$+, is it worth it for better feel/ modulation?

Does anyone have experience with both Avids and Shimanos and can share their opinion about modulation compared? Breaking power?
I do use just one finger for breaking. Thanks
 

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I'm admittedly an X/T fan. First thing I do to a new bike is ditch the Avid's for x/t's. My experience is that shimanos are quieter, stronger, easier to bleed, and give less trouble. As far as modulation goes, the x/t's do have an off/on feeling at first. However they feel really consistent and you quickly learn to ride with them. I appreciate the lack of noise and the ability to stop completely in a sketchy spot. I know plenty of guys that are fast on Avid's, but have never heard anybody switch from shimanos to Avid's.
 

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If you're somewhat satisfied with the Avids and they still work, keep them. If there are any issues, it's worth the upgrade. I've owned varied flavors of Avids and Shimanos and have to admit Shimano really raised the bar when they came out with their current line of XTR/XT/SLX brakes. Super great feel, extremely low service/maintenance and they stay adjusted and just keep working.
 

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I had Avid Elixir 1's that came on my bike stock. They worked great, had nice power, and modulation. After awhile I upgraded to Shimano SLX, there was nothing wrong with the elixir 1's at this point just had some extra money to throw around. The SLX brakes blew away the Elixir 1's in every way shape and form :). They had more power than the Avids which gave me more confidence to go faster on the trails knowing my brakes would be up to the task of slowing me down quick. I also 1 finger brake with the Shimanos compared to 2 finger with the Avids Elixir 1's. If you can afford it go with XT's, if on a budget SLX or even the Deore brakes.
 

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or comparing 0 bux less to spend on life to 200 bux less..

If the bike stops fairly safe and its not built bad ass from the ground up you can just as well use the avids I think
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Lots of good stuff, thanks.

I have Shimano drivetrain, Deore and SLX components on the bike, almost stock. So I do not think it would qualify for the badass tag...Avids stop the bike and are not making funny noises yet. Don't know what I am missing as I did not ride a bike with SLX/XT/XTR

Interesting comparisons though :)

I think I will keep an eye on the XT and run the Avids for now. For some reason I am more inclined to go with XTs, if I am to change anything, even though I know that is very little difference from SLX (but about 50$ more per pair)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, since I also wanted to swap the levers, left with right(I get all messed up since the dirt bikes have front on right hand) I bit the bullet and ordered the XTs from chainreaction. Brakes, bleeding kit and oil, olives and inserts (have to shorten hoses).

Is BH90 olive and insert the proper one for the M785s?

I assume the brakes come filled with oil? (silly question?)
 

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I would say monitor XT/slx prices to get a sale. You get the best prices when you dont have to buy. I rode avid elixir 5's for a month (braked fine) and then they got very noisy and mushy. I bled and bled, cleaned brakes, used brake adhesive etc. Finally got them quiet and working well but the shimanos were already ordered. Was able to sell them for $100 (I think). So the upgrade only cost about $120.

My best upgrades were:

XT Brakes
Carbon wheels/tubeless/lighter tires
dropper post
shadow + derrailleur

In that order
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
ok, I have received the XT M785s from CRC and only had to pay tax and 10$ handling fee to Canada. They came with spare olive and insert, yellow caliper insert and cable yellow halfs, all I needed to shorten the cable.

Shortened hose and installed rear brake on the left side - 160mm Avid G2 disk and WOW. All of a sudden quiet braking and after a bit of bed in tremendous power. No rubbing whatsoever. Zero fiddling with it to make it work.

Removed the front brake and...I need longer screws! 180 disk, 20mm post seems to work just fine with the XT caliper, but the Shimano screws are too short and the Avid screws are too long.

Wonder if I will just find the screws or have to buy the 20mm Shimano adaptor that comes with screws? Anyway, can't wait to install the front!
 

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Removed the front brake and...I need longer screws! 180 disk, 20mm post seems to work just fine with the XT caliper, but the Shimano screws are too short and the Avid screws are too long.

Wonder if I will just find the screws or have to buy the 20mm Shimano adaptor that comes with screws? Anyway, can't wait to install the front!
I have the exact same problem with my XT's that came in this week. I have a 180mm adapter for up front and the included 'short' screw is too short! The long is perfect, but they include the long for the top and the short for the bottom. I took the concave and convex washer pair out of the equation and it allowed the short screw to bite enough. Still...if you find someone selling the 'long' let me know!
 

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My first bike had Shimanos and the second one had Juicy 3s and I rather soon swapped out the Juicy 3s for having poor modulation. They felt like an all-or-nothing affair and when they didn't open up completely but were constantly grazing the disks no matter how I adjusted the calipers, they slowed me down and I got rid of them.
 
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