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  1. #1
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    2012 Shimano Deore M596 Brakes - User review

    a few months ago I swapped out the Elixir R brakes on my 26" Stumpjumper to 2012 Shimano XT brakes. I loved them so much I decided to swap out the Juicy 3 brakes on my Rockhopper 29er HT to something similar.

    Since the RH is my 2nd bike and only ridden a 10% of the time, I didn't want to spend the money on another set of XTs and looked for a cheaper alternative. I looked at the SLX m666 brakes, but those were only $40 cheaper than the XTs. Then I saw the Deore M596 used the same shaped brake lever and were well over $100 cheaper than the XTs. I figured I'd give them a shot.

    First Impression-

    I was shocked by how nice the levers look/feel. I think they are better looking than the XT or SLX. The matte gray paint is a lot less "blingy" than the XTs, and the levers appear to be identical in shape. The calipers on the other hand are a little plain. from the side they are all black with no graphics or markings, which is actually fine with me. They have a nice clean look. The lever also seemed to have a lot of forward/back play, but that was mainly due to them being cranked all the way in out for the box. Once moved back into the position I wanted (need to use an allen) the play wasn't an issue.

    Break-in/First ride-

    After installing the brakes, I was surprised by the lack of power out of the gate. They barely stopped the bike. While the XTs felt incredible out of the box with tons of power, the Deore did not. I decided to do my normal pad break-in procedure and after slowing from 20 to 5mph about 15 times, the pads came alive and started to bite much harder.

    My first ride consisted of tight twisty singletrack with short steep downhill sections followed by tight turns and short climbs. The brakes felt great and were smooth and powerful. I've always thought the XTs were a little on/off with a very short lever pull that took a little getting use to. The Deore were different. They have a bit more lever travel and are easier to feather, but take a little more effort to get full power. It isn't a huge difference and it isn't bad, it is just different than the XTs. Part of if it could be due to the smaller rotors (185/160 vs 203/185) and larger wheels (29 vs 26) too. Even when wet, the Deore brakes had no problem stopping fast, and never did I feel I needed more than 1 finger to stop, which is what I was looking for.

    Conclusion-

    I'm very happy with my decision to swap out my Avid Juicy 3s for the Deore M596. The levers alone were worth it (if you are a single finger brake user) , and I'm happy to get away from the hit or miss reliability of the Avids. I also appreciate the simple bleed procedure and the easier to work with mineral oil the Shimano brakes use.

    If you are looking for some hydro brakes that wont break the bank ($150 range), I don't think you can beat the Deore M596.

  2. #2
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    Nice write-up, thanks!

  3. #3
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    Sweet review.

  4. #4
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    Wednesday I'll be testing them out on some fast flowy downhill trails, so it should give me good feedback on how resistant they are to brake fade and how they hold up to a little mud.

  5. #5
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    Agree 100%, if they last well they might be a BB7 beater.

  6. #6
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    So last night I got my first real ride with the Deore m596 brakes. The trails we rode consisted of 2 mile long fast singletrack, with a few tight switchbacks and a decent amount of mud. I rode about 8 miles and got a really good feel for how they brakes perform.

    Out of the 5 types of hydro brakes I've ran on various bikes (Juicy 4SL, Juicy 3, Elixir R, Shimano XT), I have to say the Deore have the most analog feel of them all. The intial bite is not as strong as other brakes, not even close to how the XTs feel, but the power ramps up real smooth and I had no problem locking them up with 1 finger if needed. Mud/water didnt seem to really effect them either. They stayed quiet and braking power was always there.

    On long downhill sections with lots of braking there was zero fade, and at no point did the levers take extra effort or have extra level pull, which seemed to be an issue with the Avid brakes I have used. Compared to the XTs I'd say the Deore take 50% more effort to get full power, which isn't as bad as it sounds since the XTs are really sensitive and have an on/off digital feel. 1 Finger was all I needed no matter the speed/conditions.

    Overall I'd say these brakes would be perfect for someone new to hydraulic brakes, or someone who is looking for a brake with smooth modulation that makes it easy to pick the right about of braking power you need. I probably wouldn't recommend them for an aggressive bigger rider or someone who wants an very short pull, instant on type brake, but i do think they would make a perfect commuter/XC/trail rider brake. They are well worth the low price, dont feel/perform cheap, and blow away any mechanical disc brake I've used along with most other brand entry level hydraulic brakes.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for additional info.!

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    Nice review, thanks for that!

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    I only have the M596 on the rear for now (needed to replace the rear Juicy 3). The spacing between the pads and the rotor is one of the biggest I've seen.

    Also, I need to pull the lever a lot to get the power but the power is definitely there. It can be felt when you pump the lever fast and then press the brake. The lever throw is then much smaller (cause the pads are closer to the rotor of course) and it brakes much stronger.
    Since they use a new lever design with the old caliper, this could be to the fact that the piston in the lever is smaller than the one in the older M595 brake (or even older models) and it can't pump enough oil so that the pistons travel faster to the rotor, therefore the lever throw is longer.

    P.S. The brake is properly bled. That the first thing that I thought I needed. Did that 2 times, even with proper bleed kit - no bubbles still the long throw on the lever.

    For 50$/brake, great entry/low end brake. Not strong like the Elixir 1 or 3, but trouble free surely!

  10. #10
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    I wonder how these compare weight wise with BB7s.

    (I have the BB7s and think they are great...)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Lynch View Post
    So last night I got my first real ride with the Deore m596 brakes. The trails we rode consisted of 2 mile long fast singletrack, with a few tight switchbacks and a decent amount of mud. I rode about 8 miles and got a really good feel for how they brakes perform.

    Out of the 5 types of hydro brakes I've ran on various bikes (Juicy 4SL, Juicy 3, Elixir R, Shimano XT), I have to say the Deore have the most analog feel of them all. The intial bite is not as strong as other brakes, not even close to how the XTs feel, but the power ramps up real smooth and I had no problem locking them up with 1 finger if needed. Mud/water didnt seem to really effect them either. They stayed quiet and braking power was always there.

    On long downhill sections with lots of braking there was zero fade, and at no point did the levers take extra effort or have extra level pull, which seemed to be an issue with the Avid brakes I have used. Compared to the XTs I'd say the Deore take 50% more effort to get full power, which isn't as bad as it sounds since the XTs are really sensitive and have an on/off digital feel. 1 Finger was all I needed no matter the speed/conditions.

    Overall I'd say these brakes would be perfect for someone new to hydraulic brakes, or someone who is looking for a brake with smooth modulation that makes it easy to pick the right about of braking power you need. I probably wouldn't recommend them for an aggressive bigger rider or someone who wants an very short pull, instant on type brake, but i do think they would make a perfect commuter/XC/trail rider brake. They are well worth the low price, dont feel/perform cheap, and blow away any mechanical disc brake I've used along with most other brand entry level hydraulic brakes.
    I am not surprised about your review, and thanks for helping to solidify my decision in the purchase of the M596 brakes. Good to see Shimano didn't go backwards on last years M595. The M596 will be going on my 29er. I also like the fact the M596 lever is nice and clean in design. Only wish shimano offered a silver version of the calipers. Anyways, I got the M595 on my commuter/trail, now I can't really see past them for brakes on my bikes. Sure there are better, but Shimano really made a bang for the buck here, that wouldn't surprise me if it didn't bite just a little into SLX sales. I may also get some metal pads to see how much improvement they really provide.
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  12. #12
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    I have the M595 brake set (same caliper as the M596) and the one thing I didn't like about the caliper were those cotter pins. What I did was purchase the pad retaining pins that are used on the M775s and used a tap on my caliper so I could use them. Looks much better and don't have to run the risk of gouging the caliper trying to remove the cotter pins.
    Craig

  13. #13
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    New Deore brakes use the old SLX M665 calipers. FWIW.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slurry View Post
    New Deore brakes use the old SLX M665 calipers. FWIW.
    I wouldn't be surprise if Deore get calipers with finned pads in the near future.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slurry View Post
    New Deore brakes use the old SLX M665 calipers. FWIW.
    Look exactly the same as my M595 calipers.
    Craig

  16. #16
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    I believe the calipers are the same as the M595 and they just added the redesigned levers.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Lynch View Post
    I believe the calipers are the same as the M595 and they just added the redesigned levers.
    yep, just new levers. I really like the clean look of them.
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  18. #18
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    I have heard nothing but excellent reviews on the Shimano XT 2012

  19. #19
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    The 2012 XTs are sweet, but they are the noisiest brakes I've even used in the wet. The m596 are quieter when wet but still pretty loud.

  20. #20
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    Do the M596 levers have a reach adjustment knob?
    Craig

  21. #21
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    The reach adjustment on the M596 is a set screw so you need to use an allen wrench. Not a big deal because I generally set the reach once and never mess with it. The set screw is in th esame exact spot as the knob on the SLX/XT/XTR levers, and I bet you could replace the screw with a knob if you wanted.

  22. #22
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    Just fitted one to a friends bike and thus far impressed,baffled as to why it has a safety catch on the bar clamp but otherwise good and the lever is a huge improvement on the current saint lever.

  23. #23
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    The safety catch is on all 2012 models. It is so they can use one bolt, but still keep the lever from coming off if you crash hard and break the bolt, or the bolt comes loose. It woudl suck big time to have the lever fall off into the wheel while going fast.

  24. #24
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    Why won't anyone post pictures?

  25. #25
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    What do you want to see?

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    I have bought a set of M596 in May last year for my flat handlebar road bike. I loved them so much I bought a second pair for my XC race bike.

    Currently awaiting 785 XTs for my race XC bike, and 596 will be shifted to my beater bike.

    Hopefully won't be dissapointed going from 596 to 785, I am not expecting miracles, since 596 are performing better than 775 or older XTR, at a very reasonable 300g weight.

    Anyway, I don't think this brake can be beaten for the money. Shimano always made solid brakes, but the new 2012 series really makes a difference for the money.

    My chime in for the review is that the 596 has a more distinct initial contact with the pad compared to older shimanos I've used (more smooth). That is the only thing that I would call a "drawback". Otherwise, I've not experienced fade at any stage, modulation is great, never lacked power, ergonomy is clean and hand friendly.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Lynch View Post
    What do you want to see?
    Hot chick posing with the levers and calipers?

  28. #28
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    more spec differences: 596's don't have servo wave or sintered pads. Change the pads and I'd bet the feel is a lot closer to the XT's. The rest of the power difference can be accounted for by the wheel and rotor sizes.

  29. #29
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    The m596 do have servo wave...

    "There's also a new Deore disc brake. The M596 inherits the Servo Wave cam system that was previously the preserve of Shimano's higher-end discs. This provides more pad clearance and a power-assisted feel. "

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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Lynch View Post
    The m596 do have servo wave...

    "There's also a new Deore disc brake. The M596 inherits the Servo Wave cam system that was previously the preserve of Shimano's higher-end discs. This provides more pad clearance and a power-assisted feel. "

    from here
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  32. #32
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    Thanks for such a detailed review! I currently am using Tektro mechanical disc brakes (stock on Giant Revel 1) and hate them soooo much. Would the M596's be a major improvement on these or do I need to go to a more expensive model to really notice a difference? I really want a quiter brake with 1-finger stopping capability. Also, I'm only 150lbs, 5'10".

  33. #33
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    They would be a huge upgrade from the Tektro mechanical brakes. It would be a night and day difference.

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    Sweet! May have to make the plunge then.

  35. #35
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    I just scored an awesome deal on a set of Shimano Deore M596 brakes. But these ones are all black. Anyone have seen these? They don't have "Deore on the brake reservoir or the caliper but rather "Shimano. They are stamped M596 though. I was think of getting a set of 2012 Avid Elixir 1. Did I make a better choice with the M596?

  36. #36
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    I personally like the m596 over the elixir 1. Better lever shape and the m596 are more resistant to fading.

  37. #37
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    +1.
    Shimano traditionally makes trouble free brakes, these calipers are well proven, and the lever is cascaded from stronger models.

    I've tried Avid Elixirs 1 for 2012, and although they felt good, DOT oil, need of a bleed kit reputation of beeing good at start ta getting issues later on, together with large lever drove me away.

  38. #38
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    My buddy has a 2012 Giant with the Elixir ones, and they feel solid cruising around be give him issues any time we have extended downhill sections. The levers arent even in the same league as the Shimano levers either unless you like to brake with 2 or 3 fingers.

  39. #39
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    Ok...

    I have to post my opinion on the Deores. Not these, but the M575. As you know they were the Deore AM (all mountain) edition. It is surprsing that your initial feedback is the same i had with mine. Nice modulation, good power when using the full travel of the lever... The probelm is they started to go wrong after several 30m descents on 2 days. Power never got back (even on super sticky pads, bleeding process...). And now i'm replacing them. Thank you for your feedback, as i was going to buy the new Deores, and now i get it. Can't do it. It will be the same...

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    Thanks for the review. I had Shimano M486's on my 2009 Gary Fisher and loved them. Not sure if they still make them, but they were no fuss, no noise, great modulation, great braking power, & little to no maintenance in 3 years. Gonna look at going back to a Shimano brake over the Avids that came on my new bike.
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  41. #41
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    If you really want these brakes to shine, I recommend metal pads.
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    Hi. I have Hayes Stroker Ryde. I didn't like them. Want to buy new brakes. But i don't know what will be better slx 666 (with hayes discs) or deore 596 (with shimano rt-76). Can you help me to choice? I tried Avid Elixir 1/3/5, Juicy 5, Code 5, Shimano 445, XTR. And i think they are good brakes all. My budget is 175$ only. My friend speaks that i must to buy slx.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vuco View Post
    For 50$/brake, great entry/low end brake. Not strong like the Elixir 1 or 3, but trouble free surely!
    where were you able to find these for $50 each??
    im about to buy a set and cant find anything under $80 each...

    any ideas as to where i can find the best price on these?
    is ebay okay or are there fake versions of these brakes out there?

    any direction would be appreciated. thanks

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  44. #44
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    A set is on the way for the wife's bike. I got to see a set in person after the order, and was just amazed by the quality look and feel. Really looking forward to see if they perform any better than the M595. yeah, pictures don't do these brakes justice.
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  45. #45
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    Nice review thanks!

  46. #46
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    So I got the brakes, only to see they are moto style. My goof up, will just have em switched when I go to shorten the cables. Otherwise, great product so far. will see how they work out.
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  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by amamdani15 View Post
    where were you able to find these for $50 each??
    im about to buy a set and cant find anything under $80 each...

    any ideas as to where i can find the best price on these?
    is ebay okay or are there fake versions of these brakes out there?

    any direction would be appreciated. thanks

    edit:my grammars
    So did anyone find where to get them for $50/brake?

  48. #48
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    I paid $150 for mine, which was still totally worth it.

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    Do these work with the new Ice Tech rotors? And where do you find the pads for them? There are supposed to be metal pads and resin available.

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    And how badly do sintered pads eat the rotors?

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    After reading up on the M596's, I'm pretty set on getting my own pair. What rotors do you guys feel work best with them?

  52. #52
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    Ive had mine for nearly 7 months and I have nothing but good things to say about them. They are great brakes and a lot quieter than the XTs I have on my other bike. Id highly recommend them over anything in their price range.

  53. #53
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    I just replaced an old set of Juicy 3's with these 596's on my AM HT. Did a handful of sprints and stops 'round the 'hood before heading off to the trail for a break-in ride. Really like the feel of these brakes, pull hard = brake hard. Once the pads set in, I felt like I was exploring the edges of my comfort zone, carrying more speed and braking later in turns, than I did with my previous set-up. I needed that extra feel and power to save my ass on more than one occasion where I made a poor line choice, carried too much speed, or both. As a plus, they were silent the entire loose, dust-filled ride.

    I paid $120 shipped for levers, calipers and mounts. New rotors, which I guess I didn't need, were $45.

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  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by h0bbes. View Post
    After reading up on the M596's, I'm pretty set on getting my own pair. What rotors do you guys feel work best with them?
    Any Shimano rotor's should work fine. I personally use the Ice-Tech rotors. Set up 180mm Front and 160mm rear.

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    hi
    I am assuming the 596s come with resin pads. has anybody switched to sintered and noticed any difference in performance.
    Last edited by Snipe; 11-01-2012 at 10:56 AM.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snipe View Post
    hi
    I am assuming the 596s come with resin pads. has anybody switched to sintered and noticed any difference in performance.
    I'm still using original resin pads that came with the brakes and I have to say that I see no reason to move to sintered pads when I'm through with these because the brakes are brutally strong as it is. Really great one-finger brakes.

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    that's great to know. I was getting the impression that the 596s were not as powerful as the new xt and that a switch to sintered pads might close that gap. I guess I will see for myself when the new 596s arrive. At half the cost of the xt set, if they come close I will be happy. Ordering them from CRC into canada so will be interesting to see if they get tagged for duty and taxes or slip through.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snipe View Post
    that's great to know. I was getting the impression that the 596s were not as powerful as the new xt and that a switch to sintered pads might close that gap. I guess I will see for myself when the new 596s arrive. At half the cost of the xt set, if they come close I will be happy. Ordering them from CRC into canada so will be interesting to see if they get tagged for duty and taxes or slip through.
    I'm sure you won't be disappointed. Be warned though these brakes have almost zero power when brand new. I've never seen anything like that before. They need a long bed-in period.

  59. #59
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    I have sintered pads and 203/185 rotors with my Deore brakes now. Overall power is VERY close to the feel of my XTs with 180/160 rotors. The Deore come on a little slower, but ramp up very linear compared to the XTs.

  60. #60
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    So these are a definite upgrade over the juicy 3's?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Vuco View Post
    I only have the M596 on the rear for now (needed to replace the rear Juicy 3). The spacing between the pads and the rotor is one of the biggest I've seen.

    Also, I need to pull the lever a lot to get the power but the power is definitely there. It can be felt when you pump the lever fast and then press the brake. The lever throw is then much smaller (cause the pads are closer to the rotor of course) and it brakes much stronger.
    Since they use a new lever design with the old caliper, this could be to the fact that the piston in the lever is smaller than the one in the older M595 brake (or even older models) and it can't pump enough oil so that the pistons travel faster to the rotor, therefore the lever throw is longer.

    P.S. The brake is properly bled. That the first thing that I thought I needed. Did that 2 times, even with proper bleed kit - no bubbles still the long throw on the lever.

    For 50$/brake, great entry/low end brake. Not strong like the Elixir 1 or 3, but trouble free surely!
    You can usually reduce the lever throw by removing your wheel and pumping the lever to bring the pistons out further. Push the pads open just enough to squeeze the disc back in, job done.
    If you need to fine tune the distance or even out the pistons you can push the disc slightly against the pad you want to move or hold the disc against one pad and pump the brake lever to move the other piston out further.
    You can normally get the feel your after using this method.
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  62. #62
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    I just got em for my On-One Inbred 29er single speed.

    Using them with 180/180 RT56 rotors and the original resin pads.

    I did 10-15 "bed-in" stops from 15-20mph using both brakes.

    The power from 1-finger braking is awesome, so much better than from the Formula RX's that were on the bike before.

    I was able to install them in less than 20min with perfect alignment and it was easy-peasy.

    I'd recommend these to anyone.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by socalrider77 View Post
    So these are a definite upgrade over the juicy 3's?


    Sent from my iPhone 4s using Tapatalk
    I replaced my Juicy 3s with them. It was a HUGE upgrade. Quieter, better lever shape and feel, and more than enough power to bring me to a stop without the fear brake fade.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Lynch View Post
    I replaced my Juicy 3s with them. It was a HUGE upgrade. Quieter, better lever shape and feel, and more than enough power to bring me to a stop without the fear brake fade.
    I have a 4 year old set of Juicy 3's with 160 rotors on my XC HT. My front caliper has some issues. It was rubbing badly on the rotor and I was not able to adjust it myself. Took it to LBS and they say they would need to do a caliper overhaul to get it working properly. They did say they cleaned it up and adjusted the best they could. They also bled both brakes as part of the tuneup. They said the issue is that the piston is not returning properly. It barely rubs now, and feels ok, and could last a while, but since then I was thinking of just replacing these brakes with something else.

    As always beeing on a budget, my research led me to a new set of 2012 Deore M596 brakes. Looks like I could get them for around $120 without rotors.

    I currently have Avid Cleansweep G2 160mm rotors front and back. Will these work with Deore brakes? Since I have Alivio centerlock hubs, these Avid six bolt rotors are mounted via and adapter.

    Do I need to spend the extra money for new Shimano rotors, ie. RT-64 centerlock or RT-66 six bolt? I would think if yes then RT-64 centerlock would be a better choice so I can avoid adapters and extra potential issues? Will those Avid G2's be just fine?

    Front fork is RS Recon XC SL which what looks like Post mount, however rear looks like IS mount and what looks like some sort of avid IS to post mount adapter. Assuming I get Post mount version of these Deore brakes, can I re-use this adapter or do I need shimano adapter.

    Sorry for a lenghty post, just want to make sure I order things right the first time. Also thanks for the great review. I'm excited to know they are an actual upgrade in performance over Juicy 3's and should be easier to maintain.

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    hi
    I also had trouble with juicys and elixirs not retracting enough especially when I would put in new pads. I would bleed them and it would be the same thing. Then it dawned on me that I needed to make sure that the pistons were pushed back all the way with the bleed port open during the bleed process. If you bleed the brakes leaving the pistons at the same position as when you remove the pads to do the bleed then the system is filled with oil and the pistons have no where to retract further. Make sure the lbs uses a bleed block to push the pistons all the way back flush with the caliper.

    If you don't want to do a complete bleed I have removed the pads, inserted a bleed block or some other block to put pressure on the piston and then opened the lever bleed port for a second to allow a drop or two of fluid to escape and then screwed the port back in quickly. Removed the block, pads back in, and I found that the pistons were able to retract a little further.

    hope that helps a bit.

  66. #66
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    I took Juicy 3s off my 29er and swapped them for M596 brakes. I reused my Avid G3 rotors and Avid mounts. Everything has worked perfect since I started this thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snipe View Post
    hi
    I also had trouble with juicys and elixirs not retracting enough especially when I would put in new pads. I would bleed them and it would be the same thing. Then it dawned on me that I needed to make sure that the pistons were pushed back all the way with the bleed port open during the bleed process. If you bleed the brakes leaving the pistons at the same position as when you remove the pads to do the bleed then the system is filled with oil and the pistons have no where to retract further. Make sure the lbs uses a bleed block to push the pistons all the way back flush with the caliper.

    If you don't want to do a complete bleed I have removed the pads, inserted a bleed block or some other block to put pressure on the piston and then opened the lever bleed port for a second to allow a drop or two of fluid to escape and then screwed the port back in quickly. Removed the block, pads back in, and I found that the pistons were able to retract a little further.

    hope that helps a bit.
    I never bled these brakes myself and they were bled last week by my LBS. They would charge me to do any repair at this point. I may still tackle this myself in case I decide against a new set. Thanks for the advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Lynch View Post
    I took Juicy 3s off my 29er and swapped them for M596 brakes. I reused my Avid G3 rotors and Avid mounts. Everything has worked perfect since I started this thread.
    Perfect!! I was hoping it will be trouble free swap.

  68. #68
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    Avid Juicy 3 are known for having "sticky" pistons. Remove the pads extent the calipers and clean and lube the piston (DOT fluid or rubber grease). Push pistons back in and replace pads. It has been covered many times on here, Search for better instructions on what to do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jernas View Post
    I'm sure you won't be disappointed. Be warned though these brakes have almost zero power when brand new. I've never seen anything like that before. They need a long bed-in period.
    fitted a pair today on a specialized big hit 2010 and brand new out of the box have plenty (by plenty i mean close to my 2010 XT brakes ) stopping power. note that out of the box the rotors have not been touched by even a fly and neither the pads .
    will be fun to see how they handle a 10 - 15 minutes long and steep descent if the uk weather allowes us to ride in the next few days .


    p.s. forgot to mention that i got the ones with shimano on ... not deore and 203 rotors both front and back .. and from what i read in this thread ... i'm guessing the organic pads altho not 100% sure . haven't checked and won't either

    and as everyone else here , they were an upgrade over leaky crappy juicy 3 . with no lever feal but to be fair goodish stopping power

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by kryten View Post
    I have a 4 year old set of Juicy 3's with 160 rotors on my XC HT. My front caliper has some issues. It was rubbing badly on the rotor and I was not able to adjust it myself. Took it to LBS and they say they would need to do a caliper overhaul to get it working properly. They did say they cleaned it up and adjusted the best they could. They also bled both brakes as part of the tuneup. They said the issue is that the piston is not returning properly. It barely rubs now, and feels ok, and could last a while, but since then I was thinking of just replacing these brakes with something else.

    As always beeing on a budget, my research led me to a new set of 2012 Deore M596 brakes. Looks like I could get them for around $120 without rotors.

    I currently have Avid Cleansweep G2 160mm rotors front and back. Will these work with Deore brakes? Since I have Alivio centerlock hubs, these Avid six bolt rotors are mounted via and adapter.

    Do I need to spend the extra money for new Shimano rotors, ie. RT-64 centerlock or RT-66 six bolt? I would think if yes then RT-64 centerlock would be a better choice so I can avoid adapters and extra potential issues? Will those Avid G2's be just fine?

    Front fork is RS Recon XC SL which what looks like Post mount, however rear looks like IS mount and what looks like some sort of avid IS to post mount adapter. Assuming I get Post mount version of these Deore brakes, can I re-use this adapter or do I need shimano adapter.

    Sorry for a lenghty post, just want to make sure I order things right the first time. Also thanks for the great review. I'm excited to know they are an actual upgrade in performance over Juicy 3's and should be easier to maintain.
    best thing to do is go with shimano discs as well as brakes . i have tried mixing shimano brakes with other brand discs (formula) and did not go well at all . noisy and no stopping power at all . bad feal and list goes on .
    once you decide what size discs you can buy the adapters also as the avid adapters are slightly different in size than the shimano ones .
    i have found that shimano caliper sits closer to the frame (the caliper bolts on the adapter are about 4mm closer to the frame - the adapter is smaller ) for the same size disc .

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by doriann View Post
    best thing to do is go with shimano discs as well as brakes . i have tried mixing shimano brakes with other brand discs (formula) and did not go well at all . noisy and no stopping power at all . bad feal and list goes on .
    once you decide what size discs you can buy the adapters also as the avid adapters are slightly different in size than the shimano ones .
    i have found that shimano caliper sits closer to the frame (the caliper bolts on the adapter are about 4mm closer to the frame - the adapter is smaller ) for the same size disc .
    I can get two new 160mm Shimano RT75 (XT) 6 bolt rotors for a good price. Those should work well with those M596 right? I will look into a shimano adapter.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by kryten View Post
    I can get two new 160mm Shimano RT75 (XT) 6 bolt rotors for a good price. Those should work well with those M596 right? I will look into a shimano adapter.
    my advice is get the brakes first try them with the current adapters . if they work they work if not buy shimano ones. best way to try to save money . the rt75 look like good rotors altho i have never tried them . i have owned to date 3 types of shimano discs and never been let down . in terms of rotor size it is all up to you on what you use your bike , obviously the bigger rotors give better braking performance and better cooling but only to those who really need it (downhill for example) and also look alot better on the bike . however my personal opinion is to get 180 in the front and 160 in the back or both 180 if you can afford it and also if you are coming from 160 avids you could just get away with a 4mm spacer (i used the adjusting spacers of an old vbrake pads and made an avid 180 rotor fit an 203 shimano disc and caliper ) make sure you use the flat one not the rounded one as you want to keep the caliper perfectly aligned as it was sitted on the original flat surface
    hope this helps

  73. #73
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    That was the plan so far.

    So, just to clairify.

    For front with 160mm rotor: attach deore caliper to post mount on fork, try with Avid rotor. If it does not work well replace avid rotor with shimano rotor.

    For front with 180mm rotor: attach shimano adapter for 180mm rotors to fork post mount and attach deore caliper to it, replace avid rotor with shimano rotor.

    For back with 160mm rotor: attach deore caliper to avid adapter (from is to post mount.). If it does not work well, replace avid adapter with shimano adapter and install shimano rotor.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by kryten View Post
    That was the plan so far.

    So, just to clairify.

    For front with 160mm rotor: attach deore caliper to post mount on fork, try with Avid rotor. If it does not work well replace avid rotor with shimano rotor.

    For front with 180mm rotor: attach shimano adapter for 180mm rotors to fork post mount and attach deore caliper to it, replace avid rotor with shimano rotor.

    For back with 160mm rotor: attach deore caliper to avid adapter (from is to post mount.). If it does not work well, replace avid adapter with shimano adapter and install shimano rotor.
    i think you got a bit confused there and now you are confusing me .
    what i would do i scrap the avids all together and try to sell them to someone who wants to get a cheap pair of entry level first time hidraulic upgrades for his bike and go with all shimano ( brakes discs and adapters) - less headaches . if you don't have much experience fideling with bikes just buy everything to fit from new and install it yourself. its dead easy when everything is made to fit
    BUT be sure not to touch the brake surface on the disc when you install them . after you have everything installed try to align the caliper with the disc by looking at the small gap in the caliper where you can see both disc and pads and try to position it in the most central way. press the brakes a few times and then position again so that the disc and pads are perfectly paralel and have same gap size on either side of the disc . also double check by spinning the wheel and make sure it doesn't rub . This is where i thing the shimano brakes win it over the Juicy's or most other brakes out there . there is a lot of tolerance when it comes to space to play with between disc and pads .
    if you have trouble fitting them i will make a tutorial on how to .

  75. #75
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    When I got my 29er it came with Juicy 3s and 160 F/R Avid G3 rotors.
    I hated the Juicy 3s so I put M596 brakes on the bike but left the 160 G3 rotors and the avid 160 adapter in the rear. I had no issues but need a bit more power. I swapped on a 185 G3 with an Avid 185 adapter up front, and everything worked fine. A few months later I ended up with a spare 203 G3 rotor, so I put that up front with an Avid 203 adapter and moved the 185 to the rear, also with a Avid 185 adapter. Still zero issues.

    You can use the M596 with any size Avid rotor as long as you have the right size adapter.

  76. #76
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    yes thats what i was saying . the adapter may be different as my friend used 2 spacers with 180 adapter and 203 rotors on his avid setup but when swaped to shimani with same adapters he had to use just 1 spacer for perfect alignment .
    with regards to what rotor to use ... i'm happy it worked well for you . i tried shimano xt metalic + formula 203 rotors (they look exactly like the g3 avids ) and it was loud as Fk and no braking power . at that point i decided to invest in some shimano XT rotors (the RT76) and works like a charm .

  77. #77
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    Ive had these the 596's since they came out last year> Great brakes.
    A few things
    1) I improved them by using pentosin hcf 7.1 fluid in place of shimano oil. Gives faster response.
    2) set pad space using the red pad spacer as in this videohttp://www.pinkbike.com/video/298060/
    I have been using them for dh and I weigh 190 no problems...
    using a 180f/160r
    3) Also add more oil as pads wear in to maintain lever throw.
    4) the stock pads are oreganic resin /sintered combo fwiw
    Last edited by Reelchef67; 02-17-2013 at 11:40 PM.
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  78. #78
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    Rehashing an old thread here;
    Replacing my Elixir 5's with a set of these 596s.
    Anyone know if I'll need adapters or anything else to make the change?
    Rotors are staying.

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    What size rotors you have on your bike now?

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    Quote Originally Posted by divernick View Post
    What size rotors you have on your bike now?
    160 and 180

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morganwil View Post
    160 and 180
    Then all you should need is a Shimano 180mm adapter for the front and a 160mm adapter for the rear if your frame has IS mounts on the frame (as opposed to post mount)

  82. #82
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    you are going to need the shimano adapters since the sram ones are a different shape. 180 for the front and 160 for the rear. I assume you have IS mount on the rear.
    I just put a set of these on and they work virtually as well as the XTs with ice tech that I have on another bike. While on the ride I certainly didn't lack for stopping power. Don't have the same easy reach adjustment etc but I can live with that for the price. And thats one ride and with the stock pads so I expect that things can only get better. Also a lot more tolerance between pad and rotor with servo wave so setup is way easier. Nice.

  83. #83
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    Does Anyone know if these work with Shimano's I-Spec system?

  84. #84
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    The new ones are ice tech compatible Shimano Deore Scheibenbremse BR-M615 schwarz vorne

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by schwinnguy74 View Post
    The new ones are ice tech compatible Shimano Deore Scheibenbremse BR-M615 schwarz vorne
    Thanks for the reply but I was wondering if they worked with the I-spec Integration unit. The system that lets you attach the shifters to the brake.

  86. #86
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    Yup, according the website, it is compatible. See here:
    Product

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    whew, just bought a set of these on impulse to replace my mechanicals. glad i did after reading this thread. now, should i purchase new rotors? i currently have shimano centerlocks 160 both front and rear. but one of the reasons im replacing my mechs is the terrible brake squeal i cant get rid of. id like to go cheap but i dont want to risk still having the squeal. could i go brand new 180 up front and give the old 160 a shot in the back? im not an agressive rider, but i am a big boy, 6'4 250 without gear.

  88. #88
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    If you have centerlocks, check out Jenson USA, they have OEM versions of Shimano rotors as a good price this weekend. I was 265 and ran 180 FR/160 RR. I still run it that way, but now I'm at or around 220. In my opinion, that's a good size combo for general trail riding.

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    haha thats where i ordered the brakes! i think i saw rotors for about $20 apiece, is that a good price?

  90. #90
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    Yes, they are OEM, typically they are double I believe. Hopefully you used the $10 coupon they have?

    Jenson is great, I have bought a ton of stuff from them.

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    i did not, it was an impulse purchase. but now that i know there is a $10 coupon, that makes a new pair of rotors that much more appealing. where did you find the coupon?

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    Re: 2012 Shimano Deore M596 Brakes - User review

    Ordered a set for my rig, should be here Monday finally getting rid of my bb7s

    Sent from my HTC EVO LTE

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by stpaulstchris View Post
    i did not, it was an impulse purchase. but now that i know there is a $10 coupon, that makes a new pair of rotors that much more appealing. where did you find the coupon?
    I just looked, it must have expired. Here is a link to their current offers.
    Jenson USA Coupons and Promotional Codes | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop
    Still a great price for those brakes, even beats Universal Cycles with the 15% code.

  94. #94
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    Hey people.....
    Slightly interested in these brakes, certainly cheaper than XT's.... However one question I have is there much of a weight penalty for the m596's over the XT's? Had a look around the net and cant seem to find the weight of either brakeset.... Cheers.

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    I replaced my avid mechanicals that i rode for over ten years & have been very happy with these brakes. I used both my avid 160 rotors & they work fine. I was also very pleased that the brakes were set-up moto style, since I am right handed & have always had my brakes set-up this way cause I ride a dirtbike too.
    -always thinking about the next ride-

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    ok got my brakes but now i have to order adaptors. i thought i had schimano mechanical discs but they are avids. so let me see if i have this right. post mount would only be on the fork and that means that the bolt threads into the fork? help me find the right adaptors.

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by stpaulstchris View Post
    ok got my brakes but now i have to order adaptors. i thought i had schimano mechanical discs but they are avids. so let me see if i have this right. post mount would only be on the fork and that means that the bolt threads into the fork? help me find the right adaptors.
    Yeah that's a post mount.

    Adjusted the brakes a tad more and very impressed by these brakes, ordering some semi metallics (disco) and getting SLX 180/160 rotors next week.

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    These brakes have been flawless

    I couldn't be happier with these brakes. I took a vacation day & went riding on Thursday for 3 & half hours & 24 miles. These brakes only needed 1 finger for stopping & not a single noise from them at all. Even with several creek crossings. They have plenty of modulation in my opinion & are great for cross/country riding. They were whisper quiet the whole ride.
    -always thinking about the next ride-

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    Sorry to rehash an old thread, but gotta question for those that have these brakes...

    What is the shortest reach that the lever can be adjusted to? I want to get these for my son, and want to make sure that he'll be able to use them easily. If someone could adjust the lever reach back and take a picture I'd be really appreciative.

    Thanks folks.

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