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Shimano XT Disc Brake M785

Average User Rating: (Outstanding)
Vital MTB Retail Partners:
Chain Reaction Bicycles Jenson U.S.A. Competitive Cyclist Backcountry

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    Featured Review

    “Excellent all-around brake”

    The Good: Impressive stopping power. Modulation is simply the best available. Easily adjustable.

    The Bad: The finned heat-sink pads are expensive.

    Overall Review:

    I ran these brakes on a cross-country race bike for five months this year and came away thoroughly impressed. I had been using previous-generation Shimano SLX brakes, but these brakes blew those older models out of the water. The reach adjust is simple and doesn't migrate or wiggle. The increase in stopping power was immediately evident. After a few rides I also noticed that the modulation was superb. I never locked up a wheel unless I was trying to. I wouldn't hesitate to run these brakes on a trail bike, or even on a gravity bike with some larger rotors installed. They're the best brakes I've ridden. I didn't have to bleed the brakes during the time I owned them, so I can't comment on the ease of bleeding. The only downside I can think of is that the finned pads are very expensive. However, I ran my brakes with the standard pads and never had any issues with overheating or brake fade, so if you're on a budget you could skip the fancy pads and still enjoy the great feel and power of these brakes.

    “certainly worth the money”

    The Good: Great stopping power, great price, look good--seem to last forever. Easiest brake bleed on the planet.

    The Bad: can damage very easy in a crash

    Overall Review:

    Every time I think I am going to try out a different type of brake I always end up coming back to these. They never squeak and bark down the trail, stopping is smooth, and they look classy. I do believe the greatest shimano feature is how easy these suckers are to bleed. As of now, I think one of the top brakes on the market.

    “Performance at an unarguable price”

    The Good: The XT brakes are some of the best out there for any discipline. They are very light and pack the stopping power of any DH specific brake. The lever is short and pulls without any unnecessary movement. The power is consistent and the brake can be dialed in to the riders liking.

    The Bad: Although the adjustments are present, a wider selection of setup options would be nice, the adjustments available seem rather small.

    Overall Review:

    Overall these are a very good representation of "bang for your buck" they are absolutely phenomenal brakes and will be consistent stoppers for all mountain, XC, or slopestyle riders alike.

    “Perfect middle”

    The Good: Great braking power, fantastic look, minimal noise, impossible to overheat, reach adjust can be adjusted without tool.

    The Bad: Price of ice tech rotors and vented pads is very high.

    Overall Review:

    When I first time looked at this brake I taught: ''There's no difference between this and SLX brakes.'' And that isn't far from truth. Only difference is in final look and in addition of so called ''Free stroke'' mechanism. Some people think this is completely useless, but I was able to see, just like my friends that it has some difference. Main reason I had this brake? Whole bike had XT group so I thought if whole bike is XT group, I will go for it. Is it worth additional money for difference in 20 grams per brake? It's all up to you. I would personally go for it because one group above SLX can mean difference in quality, performance and lasting after few years of usage. Also, if you go trough a lots of descends and really long ones, buy this. I used 180mm front and 160mm rear Ice tech rotors and pads and even when I tried to overheat them, but I was far from it. Plus, Free stroke actually helps in those situations. If you go for XTR, you won't have all this luxury.

    “Dependable and strong brakes”

    The Good: this is what a brake should be like, reasonable price too

    The Bad: these quiet brakes won't scare off wild animals or hikers

    Overall Review:

    Brakes make a huge difference in both ride performance and confidence on the trail. These are at the top of the pile of brakes I've used in the past decade. Shorter levers allow for controlled one finger braking with plenty of power, and when paired with the cooling fined brake pads and ice-tech rotors, I have seen a noticeable difference in fading (or the lack thereof) from other brakes. Add to that some big rotors and it can even work for lighter DH riders.

    As far as the XT level componentry goes, thankfully Shimano has created their brakes to work nearly identically as the higher end XTR, while being a mid-priced offering. The bling factor and a little bit of the feel of the lever are all that separates this from the XTR (which I have on another bike). When I add all the positives together, I can recommend the XT trail brakes without any reservation.

    “A great brake, but a bit over-hyped.”

    The Good: Adjustment opportunities, power, modulation, single finger lever design, reasonable price and build quality.

    The Bad: Not as fantastic as some reviews would have you believe, expensive gimmicky finned pads, need for Shimano's own hydraulic mineral oil, worry about brakes not heating up in cold weather, Shimano's (aftermarket) own rotors can be a bit sub-par .

    Overall Review:

    Having used quite a few brakes I was drawn to the XT brakes due to a reasonable price and stellar reviews. Having used them for months I have to agree they are certainly a well made brake that is powerful and modulates very well. Props to Shimano for making such a good brake, but more than that such a great range of brakes. Honestly though I have a M596 paired up on the rear and another on the front of another bike and it really is 98% as good as the M785 (minus a bit of power and a few adjustments), perfectly adequate for most XC and trail riders. Also many reviews say that the XT is super powerful, but I find that unlikely compared to a four piston Saint brake for example. Also I have some worry that with all the ice-tec and finns in our -10 winters the brakes might take a bit long to warm up.

    “amazing brakes!”

    The Good: price quality looks power modulation ceramic pistons lever feel

    The Bad: cooling fins are useless 90% of the time

    Overall Review:

    wow! very impressive braking system. really powerful even with 180mm rotors and they feel so good.

    factory bleed was great and is still lasting well. the modulation and overall feel is better than anything i've tried. they are sharp but you can still dab them and they don't lock up straigh away. you can always bleed them to your perferance. speaking of bleeding, this is very easily done as with any shimano brake and takes no time at all.

    problem i find with a lot of brakes is the pistons seize up. so shimano nw have ceramic pistons which means a reduced risk of seizing up and lighter action. all that and the brakes are priced very well and made to a high quality. a little bit heavier than the xtr but that's about the only difference ( xtr also have a one piece calliper and slimmer lever body).

    i reccomend these to anyone even for dh bikes if you can't quite strecth your budget to get some saints

    Vital MTB Retail Partners:
    Chain Reaction Bicycles Jenson U.S.A. Competitive Cyclist Backcountry


    Riding Type
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    Fluid Type
    Miscellaneous Shimano XT Disc Brake M785. Brakes Disc. Features: Powerful fully bled XT hydraulic Servo Wave disc brake Rear fully bled lever and calliper comes without adapters or rotors giving you the freedom to customise to suite your bike short stroke Servo-Wave mechanism for quick pad engage .... .
    Price $57.06
    Vital MTB Retail Partners:
    Chain Reaction Bicycles Jenson U.S.A. Competitive Cyclist Backcountry