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  1. #1
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    shimano XTR m987 brakes

    Has anyone tried em yet? What's you guys take on these new brakes? I know some people dont seem to like magnesium and 2 pieces caliper much. I dont like the idea of being stuck with the shimano icetech rotor, I want to run my own rotors, 6 bolts.

    My sram groupset is disapointing me over and over with parts breaking up without much use so I will have my next bike mounted full XTR, the only thing im not sure about is going with the XTR m987 brakes or what seems like a very reliable a trusted version, the m985 ones.

    thanks

  2. #2
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    987s are just a cheaper and lighter design. They figured out how to make it lighter, but apparently 1 piece forged wasn't the way to do it. Don't know why people don't like Mg. I don't know how you would be able to tell the difference. Its a brake caliper.

    Not sure what you mean about having to use an ice tech rotor. Just like every single other disc brake you can pretty much use any rotor you want with the correct caliper mounting adapter.

    Shimano also makes ice tech versions in 6 bolt, although I don't believe with any of those fins. However the original Ice Tech design with Aluminum sandwich but no fins is still a top quality rotor and is quite effective for heat dissipation.

    I have not used the 987s but I have a 985 caliper on my front with XT levers.

  3. #3
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    the issue with the rotor was more toward heat dissipation as people seem to say magnesium does'nt dissipate heat well and could cause some issues with the brakes. I suppose the main heat issue comes from the caliper rather then from the master cylinder. There is not much info on the web on the new brakes and the very little info I found had people question the design and material of the new brakes, saying it *could* be a performance downgrade from the m985

    Im far from a brake expert so I do need a few advices.

  4. #4
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    Only the brake caliper is made out of Mg. The rotors remain SS-Al-SS sandwich, or just solid SS for the cheaper ones.

    As far as thermal characteristics go, I have just done some quick eyeballing of Al and Mg. The two pure metals have basically the same molar heat capacity but Al has about 60% higher thermal conductivity. However I think heat capacity is more important here.

    In the intended operation of Shimano's Ice Tech brakes, the caliper itself absorbs relatively little of the heat generated. This is because heat is carried away in the rotors and with the finned pads. The caliper is shielded from the heat by its ceramic pistons which have poor conductivity.

    At the bottom of a good descent, my rotors will be hot all the way to the spider, the fins on the pads will burn you but you can still touch the caliper. I wish I had a thermographic camera. The system works really well.

    Both Aluminum and Magnesium alloys have reduced yield strengths at higher temps of 200-400šF, but I don't really think this is much of a problem for brakes. I've never heard of someone's caliper just breaking from pressure.

  5. #5
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    great.

    what do you think of the forged monoblock design versus 2 pieces design on the new model?

  6. #6
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    I was doubting between the M987 and the M988 - the M985 was never an option as the i-spec clamp was the old 'type A' and would not be compatible with the newer i-spec 'type B' shifters.

    Ended up buying the M988, in favor of the polished look, servo-wave, i-spec type B and monoblock design (which should result in a stiffer caliper). The magnesium brakes are painted, and from past experience (Avid, Magura) paint doesn't hold very well on magnesium : it chips and flakes off easily.

  7. #7
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    If anyone has experience with the new MY2014 BR-M987 Race brakes, don't hesitate to share the information here.
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  8. #8
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    I had my hands on them last week at Bike Motion Utrecht. Very nice made brakes, the carbon levers are very solid. The magnesium of lever / caliper seemed to have a clearcoat finish.

    Lever stroke is the same as the current BR-M985 Race. The stroke of the trail brakes which I currently own, is a lot shorter and firmer compared to the Race brakes.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the information. After a few weeks of usage, could you write us how this brake performs? Thanks a lot!

    Actually my biggest concern is the long-term reliability because of the ceramic pistons which are moving in the softer magnesium calipers (early versions of Avid XX brakes had a similar concept and so many issues were reported - however, issues probably came from the synthetic brake fluid + magnesium combo, I don't know).
    I think I will wait 2-3 months for the first tests, we will see, how this brake will perform. If it will be good then I choose the XTR Race, if not, the 985 Trail version. (Saving some grams would be very good but reliability is more important.)
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  10. #10
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    im in the same boat but will purchase soon. Right now, 985 can be had for 180$ on the net VS 230$ for the 987.

    Im just not sure I can justify the risk of going 987 after seeing how the 985 was such a success. There is too little information right now on the new brakes

  11. #11
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    My LBS told me these have a delivery date of January 31. Anyone hear otherwise?

  12. #12
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    Already out in Hong Kong, but still waiting the SM-SL98-B XTR I-Spec Upgrade Kit.

    F:190g (uncut 1000mm hose), R:206g (uncut 1700mm hose).
    Last edited by cwcheung; 11-14-2013 at 09:18 AM.

  13. #13
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    any idea how much it cost in hkg?

  14. #14
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    Any more updates on this brake? Building up my new bike and looking for some 987 feedback. I share all of semmiho's concerns regarding this option. I have had the 985 and they are great. The other option for me would be the 988 trail but I don't really feel the need for the extra adjustment and since they would be going on an S-Works Epic would prefer the more race oriented version.

  15. #15
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    Hi, new here.

    I've had a set on my new custom build 2014 RM element for three rides.

    So far, there are great. I've ridden xtr 988's before and they are not quite as good but very close. I didn't weigh them however have no reason to doubt that they are 40 grams an end lighter than the 985's. I'm using 160 mm xt icetech rotors.

    A great improvement over my magura mt8's in feel, power and reliability so far.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bh78 View Post
    I've ridden xtr 988's before and they are not quite as good but very close.
    The new BR-M987's are not as good as the 988's, or the other way around?

    How's the lever stroke before making pad contact? Longer compared to the BR-M988's ?

    How about the power build up compared to the 988's?

    Thanks

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by madskatingcow View Post
    The new BR-M987's are not as good as the 988's, or the other way around?

    How's the lever stroke before making pad contact? Longer compared to the BR-M988's ?

    How about the power build up compared to the 988's?

    Thanks
    The 988's have a little more power, that's all.

    Free stroke seems about the same - bare in mind I did not ride them back to back.

    From my experience, consider the 987's a very worthy brake.

  18. #18
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    bh are you using ice-tech rotors? I have non-ice tech shimano rotors on the bike in question.

  19. #19
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    Yes mate xt icetech 160mm.

    The carbon levers are also very solid. Not a hollow profile like you'd expect.

  20. #20
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    I have been trying to purchase these since October, every month the release date seems to get pushed back....? Whats going on? Are there issues? Every bike shop I have called has said they are not available yet. When I called Shimano in Sept they said Oct , when I called them in October they said November....
    I am located in California...

  21. #21
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    2014 S-Works Epic, Era, and Stump HT's are shippimng with them now.

  22. #22
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    any more people have time on the new m987?

  23. #23
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    I have set up a few on S-works at my shop. I havent had any trail time on them though. They seem to be a downgrade in power from the Servo style brakes(obviously) and one brand new Stumpjumper appears to have a leaking caliper.

    I set on an employees Santa Cruz Highball Carbon tonight, but it was raining and I couldnt bed them in.
    ill report back tomorrow after I get some time on them.
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  24. #24
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    Any folks with experience of the M987's think they'd be ok on a trail/enduro bike with bigger rotors? Trying to figure out which would be best, I have a set of M987's but not sure whether to flog them and go with M988's

  25. #25
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    shimano XTR m987 brakes

    Quote Originally Posted by lawman1991 View Post
    Any folks with experience of the M987's think they'd be ok on a trail/enduro bike with bigger rotors? Trying to figure out which would be best, I have a set of M987's but not sure whether to flog them and go with M988's
    According to Shimano, the servo actuated levers will earn you 1 rotor size worth of extra stopping power.

    Honestly, for you application, I would choose the extra power of the 988 or 785 brake.
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  26. #26
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    I'm also looking for feedback on the 987 brakes. I have never ridden xtr's before. I have read numerous reviews on 985's and a few friends have them. Only knock on xtr brakes I hear is that they are a bit on/off feeling. Or to put it another way, they lack some of the feel and modulation that some others might give. For those who have tried both the 985's and the 987's, do they feel about the same? I'm considering the new epic expert world cup and I'm thinking brakes may be a good upgrade. XTR's are one of the brakes I'm considering.

  27. #27
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    Personally, I don't feel the premium paid for the XTR's over the XT's is worth it. However, I did consider them. Went with the XT's and what a good decision! With the exception of the cost, I don't think you can really go wrong with the XTR's!
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by wsmc42 View Post
    I'm also looking for feedback on the 987 brakes. I have never ridden xtr's before. I have read numerous reviews on 985's and a few friends have them. Only knock on xtr brakes I hear is that they are a bit on/off feeling. Or to put it another way, they lack some of the feel and modulation that some others might give. For those who have tried both the 985's and the 987's, do they feel about the same? I'm considering the new epic expert world cup and I'm thinking brakes may be a good upgrade. XTR's are one of the brakes I'm considering.
    I have 985s and just installed a set of 987s. I can't tell a difference between the two. As far as the on/off feeling you're describing as being a complaint, it sounds like the feel of the "trail" style brakes with servo-wave. I find that the "race" style is very linear.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by wsmc42 View Post
    I'm also looking for feedback on the 987 brakes. I have never ridden xtr's before. I have read numerous reviews on 985's and a few friends have them. Only knock on xtr brakes I hear is that they are a bit on/off feeling. Or to put it another way, they lack some of the feel and modulation that some others might give. For those who have tried both the 985's and the 987's, do they feel about the same? I'm considering the new epic expert world cup and I'm thinking brakes may be a good upgrade. XTR's are one of the brakes I'm considering.
    I'm currently running the 985's. I could see how some would say they have an on/off feel especially compared to the weaker 975 brakes that have better modulation. I'm running the Kettle carbon rotors 160/160 and the Kettle carbon pads on my 985's and they are great, same power as steel rotors but way better modulation - very similar to 975's.

  30. #30
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    shimano XTR m987 brakes

    Yep the Servo Wave of 988 lever gives more of the 'on/off' feel than 985 lever which some have described (I agree) as almost having a mechanical feel. Servo Wave makes the grab touchier as the lever is pulled in (Shimano describes as giving more travel earlier in stroke which is same thing). To me having ridden rim-caliper/V brakes for years, Servo Wave (front brake) gives an OTB feel which I think the 985 avoids fully. In comparison the 'power' of Formula R1 to me translates into 'put you OTB if not extremely careful' which literally caused me to hold back on riding.

    Pricepoint has m985 for $179 ea. which becomes <$160 with 15% coupon, so the price premium can be minor.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by ca_rider View Post
    Yep the Servo Wave of 988 lever gives more of the 'on/off' feel than 985 lever which some have described (I agree) as almost having a mechanical feel. Servo Wave makes the grab touchier as the lever is pulled in (Shimano describes as giving more travel earlier in stroke which is same thing). To me having ridden rim-caliper/V brakes for years, Servo Wave (front brake) gives an OTB feel which I think the 985 avoids fully. In comparison the 'power' of Formula R1 to me translates into 'put you OTB if not extremely careful' which literally caused me to hold back on riding.
    ^^^^^^what ca_rider said. Great description

  32. #32
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    Well the magura MT 6īs are still lighter than the new M987 set is, but probably not as good as the M987 so how are these brakes i mean if i come at speed to a corner and need to brake a bit does it respond immediately as i pull the lever? i mean i donīt have to worry the bike wonīt slow down when i pull the lever i had that problem with my Avids on the Carve Pro i almost went off the trail in amongst trees so i got a real scare, after that i had to pump up up the pressure this is also the issue with my MT6īs so that is why i will go M987īs instead.
    hoping to get response as soon as i pull the lever

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by PekkaS-works View Post
    Well the magura MT 6īs are still lighter than the new M987 set is, but probably not as good as the M987 so how are these brakes i mean if i come at speed to a corner and need to brake a bit does it respond immediately as i pull the lever? i mean i donīt have to worry the bike wonīt slow down when i pull the lever i had that problem with my Avids on the Carve Pro i almost went off the trail in amongst trees so i got a real scare, after that i had to pump up up the pressure this is also the issue with my MT6īs so that is why i will go M987īs instead.
    hoping to get response as soon as i pull the lever
    I went from the MT8 to the M987 mainly for reliability on the trail, by that I mean safety. I now have a brake that works consistently. I've not been disappointed.

  34. #34
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    so how much heavier might the M987īs be compared to the MT 6īs i mean caliper,lever complete kit that is

  35. #35
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    I had the MT8's. Did not weigh them to be honest. A quick google will give you an answer though.

  36. #36
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    I was running M985 Race for two years prior to getting the M987's. M985 perform flawlessly! My buddy picked up a bike with MTS, but the lever pivot was sloppy and felt like poop. Upgraded to the M987's, but had been holding off because of two piece caliper. 2 months so far and I can say that everything about how the brakes feel is identical. I did find myself bringing the lever clamp closer to the grip. I run 160 R1 2p front, 140 AiRotor rear. I ran my buddy's wheels with 160/140 IceTech's and could tell the difference in rotor feel, as they felt extremely smooth, in braking force consistency and in the lever feedback. I have ZERO problems with steel rotors stopping power, or the slight lever pulse created by the AiRotor. Just like the M985 the M987 never fades or pumps up. I gotta get really really picky here as it's so slight, and maybe a break-in or lubrication issue, but there seams to be a little more stiction in the lever pivot motion, poss caused by the carbon lever material. You can only feel it off the bike and squeezing the lever very slowly, but hey might as well mention it. The caliper might be two piece but the halves look completely sealed up, especially with whatever paint they coated it with. Says "This doesn't really come apart, and won't ever need to". Interested to see if there will be paint issues on the Magnesium like with other brands.

  37. #37
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    I used these m987s on my rear. They felt lovely, on about my third ride I came off. The brake lever mechanism died, not sure what exactly has broken but there are 2 washers floating around and the lever is sticking out at an obscene angle, I can use the reach adjust to bring the lever back in but the brake now has no power no matter how hard I pull. I will replace with 785s for half the price if I cant rely on a more expensive product not to be flimpsy. It was a reasonable fall but I have had many worse and never had a brake fail before.

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