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  1. #1
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    Resin or Metallic Pads for my XTR 988 brakes?

    I need some help here. I just put some XTR 988 Trail brakes on my new Tracer and absolutely love the brakes BUT.... after about 6 rides they have become ridiculously loud squeakers to the point where it sounds like I'm hitting an air horn everytime I brake just moderately hard.

    I'm guessing I contaminated the pads somewhere down the road and I already tried cleaning the rotors thoroughly with denatured alcohol and even sanded the pads with 600 grit but it's still just as bad.

    I see there are both resin and metallic pads available for these XTR brakes. Here's what I think I know about the difference:

    Resin - Less noisy, will wear down faster, cheaper

    Metallic - Better initial bite(?), wear longer, some squeak noise, $40 per caliper.


    Should I assume I just f-ed up somewhere and contaminated the pads and new metallic will be fine or are XTR's inherently loud and I should go with just replacing resin pads more often if I want a quiet ride.

    The guy at my shop told me that some people are going resin one side metallic the other? He said the resin pads are not as "grippy" on the initial bite so this compensates for that? Anyone heard of doing this?

    I'm not particularly wealthy at all, but in this case I don't care about the money I just want a good quiet brake so take the pad cost out of the equation.

    Any advice is much appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Interesting concept on the hybrid install of metallic and organic. I recommend organic, but a like a little mushier feel then what I get from metallic. I recommend Swiss Stop. Super good stopping capacity and allows you to have input when you want it.

  3. #3
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    I've been reading a little more and looks like the resin/metallic hybrid setup is fairly common, might be worth a try.

  4. #4
    That Unicycle Guy
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    I got pretty much the same thing with a M775 brake. switched from metallics to organics and it went from screeching stuttering stops to not quite as powerful but very nice smooth quiet stops.

  5. #5
    Home Mechanic
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    id take stopping power over screeching

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by patIH View Post
    id take stopping power over screeching
    Thats what I like. Stopping power and no screeching.

  7. #7
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    My setup is M985 trail brakes with shimano resin pads and xtr 2 piece rotor ( non icetech). It stop very well with no howling or screeching noise since day one.

    I definitely think you are on the right track by changing out the pads. Go metallic. I will try metallic pads in a few months when i change out the pads.

  8. #8
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    What brake rotors are you using with them?

    I don't think that the finned metallic pads which come as stock with the M988 XTR Trail brakes are inherently noisy. I've had my M988 XTR Trail brakes for a few months now and the brakes have been quiet in both the dry and wet (a bit of squishing noise on muddy rides but no howl or squealing even then).

    It's worth giving the brake rotors a wash after any particularly muddy or wet rides. I'll use a piece of damp kitchen paper (only water, no degreaser or brake cleaner) to wash the brake rotor and then dry the rotor with a piece of dry kitchen paper afterwards. It cleans the brake rotor up so its good for when you ride again the next day.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lost Biker View Post
    My setup is M985 trail brakes with shimano resin pads and xtr 2 piece rotor ( non icetech). It stop very well with no howling or screeching noise since day one.

    I definitely think you are on the right track by changing out the pads. Go metallic. I will try metallic pads in a few months when i change out the pads.
    Not necessarily. With the 810 Saints I started with the stock metallic shimano pads. The rear would howl something FIERCE. So I switched to EBC brand organic pads. Not quite as much power but quiet. Pads wore very quickly though.

    Through a series of warranties & good deals I had ended up with 4 sets of new shimano metallic pads and decided to give them another go. I roughed up the rotors to give the new pads a fresh surface, and have started to get the same howl back in the rear.

    But I use the same rotors (Hope rotors) on my trail bike, and use the metallic pads with the new 785 XT's and get no noise at all.

    I hate brake noise, and that it seems to be something that can be so finnicky.

  10. #10
    SLO Town
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    Sounds like your pads are just contaminated. New pads, either metallic or resin should make them silent again.

    I have a organics in the front and metallics in the rear. Both are completely silent.

    Choose organic for a little less initial grab
    Choose metallic for more power and better pad life

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