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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005

    XTR RACE brakes, no free float adust, pads don't self- adjust

    With new pads I don't feel the difference between my XT or XTR Race brakes. They are both great.

    There is no free-float adjust in the Race XTRs. This means that though you can change the reach, you can't change the throw before they engage. Normally this isn't a problem, but I've found with the XTR Race, as they pads wear my throw becomes further and further. Two avoid bottoming out against my grips I can only adjust the reach further out, and the throw distance gets a bit ridiculous.

    In all other hydraulic brakes I've used, as the pad wears the brake sort of resets itself so the throw stays consistent. This doesn't seem to happen with the XTR Race, they seem to return all the way back as if new thick pads were installed.

    So one 'cheat' I've found is a bit dubious; I take the wheel out so the rotor is clear, then pump the brake 5-10 times, put the wheel back, and the throw is greatly reduced. It only works if I remove the rotor though, pumping them with the rotor doesn't still leaves the pads too far away.

    Am I doing something wrong? Is this how the XTR was designed? Yes I love the weight savings, and yes the brakes have phenomenal performance. It's not a bleed issue because when they do engage there is no mushy feel. I wonder if everyone else has found similar issues or solutions?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    I think something is wrong. The way all open system hydraulic brakes work is the square seal around each piston flexes when the brakes are applied and flexes back to pull the pads back in. As the pads and rotors wear, the piston will slide slightly against that seal and then pull back. That way over time, the piston should be extending in proportion to wear but pull back the same amount so that the distance from the pad and rotor is more or less constant. Pad contact adjust is something that occurs in the master cylinder end and contrary to popular belief does not make the pads closer or further from the rotor. That adjustment affects how much lever movement is needed to get those pads to contact the rotor. The Shimano version does not seem to do that much in comparison to others. I would like someone to explain how that pad contact actually works though because I have never had a good explanation.

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