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Over the last couple of years I've had two respected sources (owner/manager of two high volume shops) tell me how much they liked XTR brakes, but I could never reconcile that with the reviews and posts I saw here. Well, I finally decided to give them a shot and so far they are my favorite brakes. I really like the fact that there's more space between the pads and the rotor preventing that annoying drag and the longer lever throw actually gives me more control in preventing lock-up. We'll see how they stand the test of time, but so far so good.
 

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the catalan connection
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Somehow it makes sense. Normaly, nobody posts saying how round his/her wheel is...only when it bends.
BTW, you say how much you like the extra clearance of the pads. I´m not sure whether newer xtr have extra clearance or you´re talking about XT´s with the "servo wave". Anyway...
 

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Photog Cyclist.
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I have used XTR for many years, they have always worked very very well. I have ridden bikes with other systems, none of them have been earth stopping. I am a big fan of the mineral oil, their ease of bleeding, and ease of trimming the hoses. I use the Saint (older 2 piston XT type) on my Bullit and really like those too.
 

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I have the 975s. The pistons on the front have needed recentering a few times, which is annoying but other than that they've been worry free.

Drew
 

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I am one of those bad reviews. I found that they need recentering/balancing a lot, and the space between the pads isn't so great.

I've figured them out (I think) and they work great when they work. But they are pretty finicky.
 

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About a year and a half old now ant my XTR's finally needed some work, as one puck on the rear caliper started to stick after a wet ride.

I removed rear wheel and pads, pumped the pucks out just a bit (be careful!), wiped outer edges of pucks with cleaner using Q-tip, used other end of Q-tip and lightly lubed the outer circumference of pucks, squished pucks back into place, re-installed everything, now perfect again...

I've never had them fade during long decents (running Magura discs) while some of my buddies are whining about their (non shimano) brakes.

Yes, XTR's are under rated IMO....
 

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I ran a set this past summer for the first time and loved them. My other experiences were with Avid Juicy 7's and Hope X2's. I like the XTRs and Hope's much better than the Avid's and between the those I'd pick the XTRs. I just like the feel of them better and Hope's lever is a monstrosity on the bar. Its enormous and I find it a pain to mount with a shifter in any kind of way that makes sense.
 

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They were my first hydraulics brakes, my second were the avid elixir CR.
I much prefer the XTR, as the lever feels like it has a much more proportional braking feel to it.
I have had to recenter the calipers several times, but on reflection, if i buy another set of brakes it will be the xtrs, not the elixir CR.
 

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Onetrack said:
I think the XTRs are underated as well. Unfortunately they do not have the raw power that so many riders like
Raw power? Any power! Don't get me wrong, they are fine brakes and are very light. I have them on my XC hardtail and I quite like them. But, if the trail gets steep and fast they run out of power pretty quick.

People that rag on them do not keep in mind that they are an XC race brake, not a DH stopper.
 

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Can Tree Member
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I am reasonably happy with mine. They have enough braking power for what I do, they modulate fine, they are far lighter than the 525's they replaced, and they are little pieces of machined, anodized bicycle jewelry.

I started down the path of "recentering" the calipers when they didn't behave, but that gets you nowhere because the pistons re-recenter themselves and you are back where you started. My two "secrets to a happy marriage" with these stoppers are to keep them clean (as noted by CactusJack) and to replace the pads when they start dragging, even though it looks like they still have some useful life. The brakes just don't work as well when the pistons are extended too far to compensate for pad wear. It may be an expensive solution, but it's still cheaper than new brakes.
 
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