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  1. #1
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    Shimano XTR Race (BR-M985) short review

    I got a couple real rides in on the XTR Race M985 brakes and wanted to post for anyone researching. Most info I found prior to purchase was based on OEM complete bikes equipped with Trail versions.

    I'm 6'1 200# on a 5 Spot and these things have crazy amounts of 1 finger braking power for trail riding. Enough that I'm glad I didn't get the Trails, which are touted as having even more power due to the servo wave levers. The beauty of the XTRs is they also have great modulation. It's easy to feel when you're at the limit of braking traction and they let you know when to back off.

    Reach is adjustable with a hex key, and once set, I didn't find the need to fiddle with it. I'm running this set with stock Race pads, and Avid XX rotors and did not experience noise of any kind.

    In short, more power than Elixrs, Juicys, Hayes, and K24s I've run. Better modulation than the K24s, equal in modulation to Elixirs. No noise.

    If you're on the fence about the Race versions due to "not as much power as the Trails", Don't sweat it. These things work great and are lighter if you feel you don't need the added dials found on the Trails.

  2. #2
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    Glad that you like them, I love mine!

  3. #3
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    I just received a set of these. This is my first time with Shimano brakes, and I am not sure they are properly bled.

    The levers feel a lot "softer" in the pull than my Avids or Hayes felt in the past. Is this increase modulation, or air in the system.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonw9 View Post
    I just received a set of these. This is my first time with Shimano brakes, and I am not sure they are properly bled.

    The levers feel a lot "softer" in the pull than my Avids or Hayes felt in the past. Is this increase modulation, or air in the system.
    Hmmm. Might be air in the system. Mine feel pretty solid on the pull. And once the pads have clamped the rotor, they tighten up (meaning no soft squish at the lever).

    My XTRs feel less soft than the Avid Elixrs I just came off of.

    Do both the front and rear feel the same way? Are you running the reach really close to the bars? Mine "feel" softer the closer they get to the bars if I adjust them in too much.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by k1creeker View Post
    Hmmm. Might be air in the system. Mine feel pretty solid on the pull. And once the pads have clamped the rotor, they tighten up (meaning no soft squish at the lever).

    My XTRs feel less soft than the Avid Elixrs I just came off of.

    Do both the front and rear feel the same way? Are you running the reach really close to the bars? Mine "feel" softer the closer they get to the bars if I adjust them in too much.
    I have the reach adjusted to my desired position. On the stand they seem to stop pretty good. The avids had a shorter stroke, and had a point where I could tell the brake was locked.

    This ones I can pull in, but they never feel hard. I guess I will start looking into bleeding instructions.

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