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I need to upgrade my brakes on my XC - Trail bike and considering Shimano XT. In some places they are listed as 2 options. Fin or no Fin. what is the difference ?

Since my bike is a 2010 with SLX shifters, I need spec A ?


thanks
ERnie
 

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I have XT brakes with finned pads on my rigid 29er....Even though they look cool, I am not so sure that the heat sink/ fins make much difference.

I will replace the pads with non finned pads when they wear out because they rattle against the caliper body when the trail gets rough.

(I am positive that this is the correct cause because the rattle ends when the brakes are applied)

I am unsure if the rattle would exist with a hard tail or full suspension bike.

Other than this minor annoyance at times, I really like the brakes! :)
 

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SS Pusher Man
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I replaced the finned pads in my XT's with the non finned organics G01A pads.....cheaper and lighter. Was on a trip and needed a new set of pads, all they had was the finned pads, didn't feel any different...didn't last any longer.
 

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Hoolie Ghoulie on Strava.
Ripmo
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As Sheepo pointed out, some people don't have long downhill sections. I do, and the thing I will add is this, I went from 3 sets of metallic, to my first set of organic, and was a little disappointed. Now that the organic pads are 5 rides old and bedded in, they seem fine, until I get back onto other bike with metal pads. The difference is very minor though, but it is there. Both bikes have same brakes, with finned pads. These new brakes with metal pads seem very quiet too. I don't think the metallic are very noisy, and the performance is better. Again, I have some 2000 - 3500 foot descents.
 

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Bro Mountainbiker
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As Sheepo pointed out, some people don't have long downhill sections. I do, and the thing I will ad is this, I went from 3 sets of metallic, to my first set of organic, and was a little disappointed. Now that the organic pads are 5 rides old and bedded in, they seem fine, until I get back onto other bike with metal pads. The difference is very minor though, but it is there. Both bikes have same brakes, with finned pads. These new brakes with metal pads seem very quiet too. I don't think the metallic are very noisy, and the performance is better. Again, I have some 2000 - 3500 foot descents.
The industry recommends swapping to new rotors when switching pad compounds.
Supposedly a high strength automotive brake cleaner will help remove the old pad material off the rotors if you don't wanna replace em.

But that's probably the reason they diddnt work too well at first
 

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Hoolie Ghoulie on Strava.
Ripmo
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Hey, that is really helpful. I bet that will help, thanks. Cleaned with Alcohol, but I will lightly sand rotors and re bed, as these are worn rotors anyway. New set comes in next week.
 

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I do some extended downhills so I ran the finned pads on my new setup. Not sure if they make a difference or how big a difference they do make if they do but they sure as hell look cool! Isn't that the most important part, looking cool? Kidding, but they really do have a good look to them.
 

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mmmmm bikini.


Fins or non fins - its all about maximizing brake cooling/fade resistance. Same goes for Ice-tech rotors VS traditional rotors.


My general rule of thumb on the subject (assuming you currently have non finned pads and regular rotors)

If on the longest descents that you do, you are not experiencing brake fade, then there is no need to change anything.

If on the longest descents that you do, you are experiencing brake fade at the very end, then either finned pads, and/or ice tech rotors will help dissipate heat a bit better, so would be a worthy upgrade.

I have run finned and non finned, ice tech / regular rotors, and I have not noticed any difference in power between them - the only thing I have noticed is fade resistance.
 

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My bike had finned metallic front and rear. The rear locked up too easily so I swapped them for resin pads in the rear and now I have a spare set of those comparatively expensive finned metallic pads for when my fronts die.

I can't say that I can tell a difference between finned or not. Can't even say I can tell a difference between metallic and resin for the front, but I could in the rear. My old bike had XT brakes with resin pads and it stopped just the same with no discernible difference in modulation as my new bike with metallic up front.
 
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