Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 565 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,979 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently build up a new bike with the 2012 XT brakes, with 160mm Ice Tech rotors. I really like them a lot.

My previous hydro brakes were Elixir CR's. They had plenty of power and generally worked well, but had some issues:
- Lever travel was always too long for my preference, even with the pad contact adjusted to the max and after multiple bleedings.
- Bleeding was a pain in the butt. I used the Avid brake bleed kit with the syringes, but it was still a hassle.
- Getting the calipers adjusted so they didn't drag took a lot of trial and error. The method of squeezing the lever while tightening the bolts didn't work well.
- The front brake chattered and the rear brake made chirping noises.

For the new XT brakes:
- Shortening the hoses was easy and did not require bleeding the brakes.
- Gravity bleeding is simple and easy.
- It's nicer to work with mineral oil than DOT brake fluid.
- The lever travel and feel is perfect for me. At first the levers seemed awfully short but they are actually perfect for 1-finger braking. They can be used for 2-finger braking as well, but seem to be optimized for 1-finger use. The pad contact adjustment doesn't seem to do a whole lot, but it does enough to make the lever travel and pad contact point perfect, and the lever feels very firm after pad contact.
- Caliper adjustment was easy. Tightening the bolts while squeezing the lever worked well.
- No chattering, chirping, squealing, or other wierd noises.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
Nice writeup. Thanks for the comparison. I recently installed a set myself. I have only ridden them once, but couldn't be happier. The feel is better than any other brake I've tried.

I am glad to hear it was easy to shorten the lines. I still need to do that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,979 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I used this procedure to shorten the hoses, and it worked like a champ.
http://bike.shimano.com/publish/con...downloadFile.html/02) Brake Hose Trimming.pdf

The only thing different was when I was finished the lever travel was too short, so I set the levers horizontal and removed the reservoir bleed screw/cap to allow any air and extra fluid to burp out and then reinstalled the bleed screw/cap, and then they were perfect.

The new brakes come with an extra olive and insert in the box for this purpose.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
835 Posts
2 things to watch........if you have the 2012 XT/XTR's

*Hose crimp on the banjo (caliper) ends of the hoses leak
*Leakage of brake fluid from pistons seal
 

·
Moosehead
Joined
·
1,908 Posts
^Gripo, hopefully the first issue is solved by correctly seating and tightening the banjo or compression nut against the olive, and the latter by not pushing out the pistons too far. I've had this happen on other brakes during bleeds or cable trims and it ended up being operator error (me) for the most part.

Jabrabu, thanks for the trim post, I had seen that but didn't know if it would work on the 2012's without that funky bleed funnel they supposedly have for the lever. I just rigged another clean syringe for bleed overflow from the lever instead as the funnels don't seem to be widely available yet. +rep to you Jabrabu, thanks for this post.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
422 Posts
I've been contemplating a brake upgrade, focusing on the 2012 XT's. Performance seems to have the best deal going on right now:

M785's on Sale

With the 15% off and adding NM sales tax that's ~$118 each for front and rear (plus cost of new rotors).

Is that about as good as it gets for buying new?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
I got mine at Performance during a 15% off sale and the sale did not include Shimano stuff. But I was happy at $130. Best pricing I've seen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
184 Posts
I got mine at Performance during a 15% off sale and the sale did not include Shimano stuff. But I was happy at $130. Best pricing I've seen.
just ordered mine through universalcycles.com, with 15% (vip15), performance would be: $275 (+sales tax) universal came to $248

--Adam
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
835 Posts
^mooshead..these 2 faults are nothing to do with operator error....but genuine manufacturing faults.

*the hose issue has nothing to do with tightening the banjo...it is the factory crimp of the banjo onto the hose that fails....

*i've had 1x set of 2012 XT calipers fail by saturating my brake pads in fluid....no extended piston here....4 rides old
*early this week, "new in box" 2 different sets of XTRs had a caliper each soak the pads in brake fluid....you could see the fluid and air bubbles coming out from the pistons when you squeeze the brake.

I have a set of 2012 XT's that are hanging together that are amazing......but fact is I don't trust'em.

This is a quality control/manufacturing issue!
 

·
Moosehead
Joined
·
1,908 Posts
^mooshead..these 2 faults are nothing to do with operator error....but genuine manufacturing faults.

*the hose issue has nothing to do with tightening the banjo...it is the factory crimp of the banjo onto the hose that fails....

*i've had 1x set of 2012 XT calipers fail by saturating my brake pads in fluid....no extended piston here....4 rides old
*early this week, "new in box" 2 different sets of XTRs had a caliper each soak the pads in brake fluid....you could see the fluid and air bubbles coming out from the pistons when you squeeze the brake.

I have a set of 2012 XT's that are hanging together that are amazing......but fact is I don't trust'em.

This is a quality control/manufacturing issue!
My bad then Gripo, was hoping for these to deliver as reviewed, plus just hung a set on my rig. That stinks if these suffer from QC issues.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
603 Posts
just ordered mine through universalcycles.com, with 15% (vip15), performance would be: $275 (+sales tax) universal came to $248

--Adam
That's a nice deal. Thanks guys. I'm getting one!
BTW, how does it compare to the older XTs? I have a set of older XTs. I like the modulation, but the power is a little lacking.
 

·
Moosehead
Joined
·
1,908 Posts
Gripo, I now see in the XTR air raid siren thread where the rear crimped banjo also is leaking. Guess it will be new Jagwire for brand new brakes. Crap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
496 Posts
That's a nice deal. Thanks guys. I'm getting one!
BTW, how does it compare to the older XTs? I have a set of older XTs. I like the modulation, but the power is a little lacking.
I just switched from the old XT's to the 2012's and have yet to experience brake fade…Big improvement IMO…I noticed that I'm moving faster through the technical stuff too, cuz I have more confidence in slowing down faster...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
603 Posts
I just switched from the old XT's to the 2012's and have yet to experience brake fade…Big improvement IMO…I noticed that I'm moving faster through the technical stuff too, cuz I have more confidence in slowing down faster...
Thanks for your feedback! moving faster through the techy stuff is always good:thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Hey guys, I just put a set of the new xt brakes on my bike. I shortened the hoses using the recommended method, hoping to not have to bleed them. Now the brakes seem crisp and strong, until I pump the lever rapidly and it engages closer and closer to the bar each time. When I let go for a second the engagement goes back out to the original position. My lbs says they just need to be bled, but I have bled them twice now with no luck. Am I just not getting a good bleed, or is there some other issue? Any suggestions would be appreciated!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Hey guys, I just put a set of the new xt brakes on my bike. I shortened the hoses using the recommended method, hoping to not have to bleed them. Now the brakes seem crisp and strong, until I pump the lever rapidly and it engages closer and closer to the bar each time. When I let go for a second the engagement goes back out to the original position. My lbs says they just need to be bled, but I have bled them twice now with no luck. Am I just not getting a good bleed, or is there some other issue? Any suggestions would be appreciated!
Sounds like it's just not getting a good bleed. Either that or you might have a leak somewhere. If it's not leaking one thing that has helped me while bleeding shimano brakes in the past is while squeezing oil into the caliper, tap the caliper lightly on something, this will help force some of the air that might be trapped in a hidden space inside the caliper.
 

·
The Punk Hucker
Joined
·
3,755 Posts
They are not the easiest brakes to bleed but what you describe is symptomatic of a bad bleed. did you use the Shimano "gravity-style" bleed method or Avid's "push-pull" method?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
I first did the shimano gravity style bleed by leaving the plungers out of the avid syringes. That was very messy to do by myself and i decided I needed the shimano kit or a friend to try it that way again. I then did the avid push-pull method, which was much easier and cleaner, but basically same results. Maybe I need to try again as grldmn3 said, taking more time to manipulate and tap the lever and caliper? Thanks for the replies!
 
1 - 20 of 565 Posts
Top