Shimano brakes – which ones for best value/power?

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  • Shimano brakes – which ones for best value/power?
  • wl
    Member

    Love the Zees on my main bike and now I want some cheaper Shimanos for my hardtail. Which are the best bet in terms of power, reliability and value. Deore or SLX I’m guessing? Ta for any tips.

    Premier Icon howsyourdad1
    Subscriber

    Deore. Outstanding brakes for the money.

    SHIMANO DEORE BRAKES

    Premier Icon YoKaiser
    Subscriber

    I don’t think there is anything between Deore,SLX or XT in terms of power. Its mostly down to adjustment and finish though XT’s might have ceramic pistons IIRC.

    mark90
    Member

    Having had Deore (M615), SLX (M7000) and XT (M785) there is no noticeable difference in power. It’s all down to features, tool-less reach adjust, banjo connection on caliper, ceramic pistons, etc.

    Splash-man
    Member

    Was looking to get a set of the Deore from here

    Paul@RTW
    Member

    I’ve got Deores (M615), SLX(M675) and XTs(M785). I think the difference is just the adjusters and a bit of cosmetic stuff. which is a bit puzzling as:

    The XTs just don’t feel as nice. I’ve a couple of sets and they all have a bit of a vague bite point despite regular bleeding etc. and the bite point adjusters don’t actually seem to do anything.

    The SLX pair and the Deores just feel good, solid and consistent all the time.

    Power is the same as far as I can tell across the lot.

    I’d buy the Deores next time, no point spending more in my opinion.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    Deores are great.
    Only problem is, when you put them on your kid’s bike, all the other kids want a go to do skids on it.

    Premier Icon howsyourdad1
    Subscriber

    OT but this is the first time I’ve seen the new four pot XT brakes available

    https://www.bike-discount.de/en/buy/shimano-xt-disc-brake-br-m8020-8000-set-678894

    Edit *available in 6 weeks 🙂

    tjagain
    Member

    surely if its the best power per pound then the cheapest given that even the cheapest disc brakes have plenty of power. More money gets yo more adjustment, lighter weight, better heat handling etc

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    Deore every time.
    (Or Magura MT2 for ‘feel’ or M4 for max powah)

    mindmap3
    Member

    Deore’s would get my vote – they were the most reliable Shimano brakes that I’ve had out of XT, XTR and Zee’s.

    P-Jay
    Member

    @howsyourdad1

    I wanted those as soon as I saw them, sadly there’s nothing unique about them – they’re XT levers with Zee/Saint callipers. You could have them right now, probably for a few quid less, minus the XT badge.

    Premier Icon Tracey
    Subscriber

    Been hovering over the Saints in the sale on the Evans site but keep thinking how happy I am with my XTs

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    Another vote for Deore.

    Most reliable set of modern Shimano brakes I’ve owned.

    Bit grabby, but you can work around that.

    Just do what I’ve done zee calliper on the front deore rear on two bikes. Best of both worlds.

    Premier Icon howsyourdad1
    Subscriber

    Is that with deore levers?

    Yes keep the levers together on each bike as a pair .
    Then just swop over at levers ( zees / deore are the same )

    bwfc4eva868
    Member

    Deores had the m615 and they were great.
    Have m8000 Xt on current bike and they are great.

    Got to say I prefer my Xt m8000 over my older slx m675, levers just feel better.
    The teething problems Shimano had on earlier production seem to be over.

    Was planning on the slx m7000 on my xc hardtail as they looked decent , but for the extra £20 I thought I may as well get the extended warranty which may cover my older set

    Think I’ve bought into the hope e4 hype for my current build, but it seems no reviewer has both Xt and e4s, I hope I’m not dissapointed

    I have the previous XTR (M980?) on a bike and have just purchased M7000 SLX for a new build.

    Visually(colour and branding aside) I can tell zero difference between the levers. The SLX calliper appears to be Approx 100% heavier than the XTR. I’m anticipating similarly decent performance out of the SLX!

    Ps. Slx m7000 £105 a set on RIbble cycles

    Premier Icon iainc
    Subscriber

    Have ordered slx7000 ones over xt8000 on a new Bird build. They seem to get better reviews and not suffer the random bite point problems that some xt’s have.

    Premier Icon aikon
    Subscriber

    I’ve had SLX, XT & Deore on the last 3 bikes and apart from the adjustment honestly couldn’t argue a case for spending more than the Deore, the only thing that bothers me about the Deore is the split pin pad retention so I bought some of the XT screws & upgraded them, the threads there, just cheaper to fit a split pin OEM I guess.

    Having upgraded to GX Eagle and wanting a Matchmaker mounted shifter but not being able to face Avid/SRAM brakes I went for Hope this time, first non Shimano brakes ever & I’m impressed.

    Tom_W1987
    Member

    @whatyadoinsucka Two sets of Deores here, both have suffered bad fade, moving bite points and leaking – I’m moving back to Hopes. Notice in the recent Pinkbike brake grouptest, how much love there is for Hopes in the States and Canada – despite how much the yanks love “Made in America”.

    Premier Icon chrisdw
    Subscriber

    Ceramic pistons start at SLX level

    JackHammer
    Member

    I saw an article on pinkbike recently and either in the article or the comments below it was hinted that the reason you get inconsistent feel with shimano brakes is due to them not polishing the internal surface of the master cylinder. It was also said that Deore levers use a plastic plunger which “fits” the unpolished/unsmoothed master cylinder better as it can deform, but the plungers wear fast and tend to bend and get stuck in the bore. Whereas the higher spec (i am assuming saint and xtr, maybe xt?) have a metal plunger, which deforms less but doesn’t fail as spectacularly.

    No idea how true any of that is, but definitely some food for thought.

    FWIW I have an OEM deore on the front that came with my bike 3 years ago, hasnt missed a beat, rear SLX that the lever is slow to return (propbably dying) sometime pumps up. Then on my HT i have SLX that seems ok, but i have had them pull to the lever occasionally which I can remedy with a bleed.

    Tom_W1987
    Member

    The mineral oil leads to water pooling in the brake lines as well, apparently.

    JackHammer
    Member

    Question is, if they know these problems exist. Why don’t they fix them 👿

    Currently running XT’s and Deore + had another pair of Deore in the past. As has been said, in practice they all feel very similar. XT’s seem to be a bit better quality but then they cost more. Noticed on the p7’s Deore it says you can only use resin pads. Someone said it’s because the internals can’t handle the heat produced from other pads although I have no idea if that’s true.

    Just gone back to Hope though because blue.

    Premier Icon pictonroad
    Subscriber

    I wanted those as soon as I saw them, sadly there’s nothing unique about them – they’re XT levers with Zee/Saint callipers. You could have them right now, probably for a few quid less, minus the XT badge.

    Is this 100% true? I’m after some new brakes, was holding out for these. Are they really re-badged Saints?
    Saints came out in 2012/13, are these the same?

    If this is the case I won’t wait for them and will look for saints in the sales.

    P-Jay
    Member

    Question is, if they know these problems exist. Why don’t they fix them

    I personally think they have.

    I had a set of M615 brakes, they were faultless, bombproof, but lacked a bit of power, well until I stupidly bought a pot of Halfords mineral oil and a month later they leaked from everywhere they could leak from.

    I had a set of M785 brakes, didn’t use anything but Shimano oil and they never lost a drop in 18 months, but first pull was a bit of a mystery pull you could slow, or just find the bar, nothing I did could fix it, but after a few months it was literally just the first pull, they’d be consistent for the rest of the day, I got in the habit of pumping them up before I started, finally the plastic thing in the lever that is something to do with the bite point adjust failed.

    Shimano gave me a set of M8000s and they’re mint, my mate has early ones and they’re inconsistent like my old M785s but mine are pretty much perfect brakes, feel / power / reliability – perfect, the lever is also quite different and I don’t think they will fail in the same way.

    I think they keep it quiet, but they do evolve them between model changes.

    Premier Icon Tracey
    Subscriber

    £125 an end for Saints at Evans

    P-Jay
    Member

    @pictonroad

    Make your own mind up, but I’ve read they’re identical bar Zee uses a split pin and the rest screw, but like the older SLX brakes I’d bet my balls there’s a thread in there if you wanted to upgrade. – not sure if Zee loses ceramic pistons or something, but I’ve read they’re exactly the same. If I was looking for brakes I’d probably go with M7000 levers and Zee callipers.

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager
    Subscriber

    Are the deores the ones that take a slightly different brake pad [similar shape but less wide] to slx / xt? I don’t like them much at all, really basic off/on feel to them IME, and noticeably different to slx / xt. The power is fine, though.

    bigyinn
    Member

    Tom_W1987 – Member

    The mineral oil leads to water pooling in the brake lines as well, apparently.
    Do explain…..

    JackHammer
    Member

    I’m assuming that due to mineral oil and water being immiscible and water generally is heavier than most oils the water sit at the bottom?

    Dunno where the water is coming from though. Mineral oil isn’t like DOT fluid, so it shouldn’t absorb water as readily (yes it will have some, but not a significant amount)

    bigyinn
    Member

    Thats what I don’t get, its a sealed system, where does the water magically appear from?

    Tom_W1987
    Member

    Nothing is ever totally sealed though is it, otherwise you wouldn’t find dirt in your lowers and dot fluid wouldn’t take on water.

    ceept
    Member

    I’ve got no real complaints with my SLX brakes, except that you can’t use sintered pads with the standard discs, so I used the opportunity to put 203mm discs on – particularly on the back (which only had 160mm as standard), the big disc has made a massive difference to the feel of the brake – it has so much more modulation now.

    edward2000
    Member

    So if you were concerned about heat build up which shimano brakes would be the most heat resistant?

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