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shimano XT disc brakes

edited October 2009 in MTB buying advice
hi guys, ive just had a new bike and its come with XT br-m775 calipers/levers with 6 inch rotors.. and to be honest their censored ! ok its brand new and ive had two very short rides just to test the bike out but theres no power or modulation at all not compared to the brakes im used to... for the past 9 years ive had bikes with hayes brakes, my other bike at the moment has hfx mag 9's with 8 inch rotors and their perfect to stop my lard censored ..

so my first question is do i bear with these shimanos or get some hayes? im seriously tempted to get a set of hayes again as i know them and have confidence in them where my initial confidence with the xt's is pretty low.. ok i know they may bed in but theres still very little 'feel' to the brakes even though ive adjusted them several times. im sure theres nothing wrong with these its just im used to a brake with a lot more grunt

my second question is which hayes do i go for? ive been of the mtb scene for a couple of years now and looking at chain reactions webiste they have several sets of hayes on offer. im stuck between the stroker carbons at £120 and £140 or go, i think including rotors with the older hfx-9 which are £40 a wheel, plus rotors.. obviously a big saving which id prefer as i dont have money to waste but id rather get my bike right and if it means spending more then so be it!

so what do you guys think?
oh and if i do get new brakes i have a set of xt discs for sale, used for 1/2 a mile :)


  • rowlersrowlers Posts: 1,614
    I think you need to give the XTs a bit more time.
    I'm sure they are decent brake liked and used by many!

    I'll have them if you do get new ones :wink:
  • I love my XT brakes, but confidence is a very personal thing. If you're not happy now then you never will be, switch them out or they'll always bother you.
    Northwind wrote: It's like I covered it in superglue and rode it through ebay.
  • KIFFYKIFFY Posts: 110
    thats a big thing with me, ive just turned 39. my days of bombing down the side of a hill at silly speeds are behind me (well almost behind me :) ) but i think even if they improve itll eat away at me.. i know these are not just shimano a well known brand but xt which should be the dogs danglies but their not so far.. its bloody wierd!
  • Regarding the choice of Hayes, i have a set of Stroker Trails on my Scott. I wouldn't change them for the world, awsome stopping power and modulation. Really easy to service and good support from Hayes website.

    Never had a chance to use XT brakes yet so i couldn't comment on your bad experience with them.

    Good luck.
    Scott Speedster S40
    Scott Spark 29 Elite
  • if you want hayes nine style power with a bit more modulation look at the avid elixir... stonkingly good brake.

    The formula brakes also get raved about.
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,675
    There's something not right, pads not bedded in yet or (more likely) air in the system, my only criticism of the XTs is that they're quite hard to get all the air out of, and too easy to get air back into, but otherwise they're ace so I'll forgive that. I reckon the feel's superb... Power is good enough, not amazing but a 180mm rotor on the front does me fine.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • jaysonjayson Posts: 4,606
    Why not fit a bigger rotor on the front before shelling out an arm and a leg on a complete set of new brakes? £20 is much better than £140+ surely and if u still dont like them then u can put them on ebay and make a few quid towards ur chosen brakes.
  • fwb2006fwb2006 Posts: 212
    Sounds like the setup to me. I've got them on my XL 575 they stop me on a penny which is good considering I'm 6' 4" and ~15 stone on 180 front 160 rear.
  • Nothing wrong with my XT brakes; they did take a while to bed in, but so do all disc brakes. I'm happy with mine, been to Wales a few times and they're nice and powerfull, thats only running 160mm rotors F & R.

    They're not as powerful as Hayes Nines (which I run on my other bike with 180 rotors), but for singletrack stuff they're perfect. Wouldn't bother spending £150+ on an equivalent set, just give them some time to properlly bed in before splashing cash needelssly.
  • stubsstubs Posts: 5,001
    Different brakes have different feel but I am surprised you say the XTs have no modulation its what they are known for.

    Could be the pads are contaminated with oil or brake fluid my Commencal when it arrived in its box had some oil on the front disc. I didnt notice this till I rode down the drive put the front brake on and nothing nearly went into my neighbours car. Might be an idea to check this out before you blow a load on new brakes.
    Fig rolls: proof that god loves cyclists and that she wants us to do another lap
  • KIFFYKIFFY Posts: 110
    thanks for all the replys guys, they are appreciated, especially from those already running the same brakes.

    ive had an email back from chain reaction and their sending me a bleed kit so im gona give that a go first.. then if no luck (ive never had any patience) their on ebay :lol:
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,675
    No need for a bleed kit, all you need's a bit of hose... Bloody rip offs those things. It's an open top master cylinder so easy to bleed. A big syringe (50p or so) is helpful too.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • KIFFYKIFFY Posts: 110
    their warrenty dept is sending me a kit, they offered.. i havent ordered one but yes i know their a rip off i bought ahayes kit donkies years ago and its a couple of bits of pipe and im sure i paid about £20. as for a syrynge.

    out of curiosity anyone know how much the brakes would be worth? the full thing, rotores, levers and calipers.. a week old and riden a half a mile
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,675
    I'll give you 10p, they're obviously broken :lol:
    Uncompromising extremist
  • KIFFYKIFFY Posts: 110
    :lol: umm.. i tell you what, ill think about it
  • rowlersrowlers Posts: 1,614
    £20, seeing as they need a bleed!
  • pte1643pte1643 Posts: 518
    KIFFY wrote:
    out of curiosity anyone know how much the brakes would be worth? the full thing, rotores, levers and calipers.. a week old and riden a half a mile

    Got mine from the "bay" only a couple of months ago... They were £130 all-in for front and rear pair (BNIB).

    Bloody cheap... That's why I jumped on the offer, the guys Buy It Now of 25 units were gone within minutes.
  • KIFFYKIFFY Posts: 110
    thanks for that bte, gives me an idea of what to ask for on there now :)
  • m_cozzym_cozzy Posts: 132
    Short rides as in round the block a few times?
    The same brakes are fitted to my new bike, they feel rubbish comared to my juicy 5's but I'm convinced its because they are new & need bedding in.
    Also I did the tie the lever back to the bars trick overnight & that firmed up the pressure by a noticable amount.
    Banned from singletrack forum again :-)
  • canada16canada16 Posts: 2,360
    Mine took a solid 2 weeks to bed in.

    Now they stop on a dime and I love them.

    Well until a motorist decided to hit me and write of my bike... :twisted:

    But I would have no problem buying them again
  • The XT brakes on my Commie are quite frankly awesome!! Went to the alps this summer and even when I could smell them burning up they still had great feel and I could easily get enough power to lock a wheel up easily with one finger. Mind you I do have a 180 on the front. They're a bit of a faff to bleed but after experience with both Avid and Hayes the XT brakes are all I touch now.
  • pdidpdid Posts: 1,065
    Airienteer wrote:
    The XT brakes on my Commie are quite frankly awesome!!.

    +1, never had any problems with my XT`s. They are far superior to the Hopes on my Rocklobster and they`re easy to bleed/ no need for a daft expensive bleeding kit.
  • KIFFYKIFFY Posts: 110
    well thanks for all the replies guys, its plain to see from your replies my xt brakes are damn fine breaks they just need bedding in and maybe a bleed. but i decided to stick with what i know and love and more importantly for me anyway trust. so ive bought a set of hayes hfx-9 from crc, a bargain to about £160 for the whoe lot including 8 inch rotors and the adapters to fit them and they came today so im a happy chappy :lol:

    all i need to do now is figure out how to shorten the hose on them, but im guessing ill start a new topic for that question

    p.s. look out for a set of xt brakes on ebay soon :)
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