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  1. #1
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    XT Brake upgrade 4 anthem 29er

    Well, I'm giving up on the Elixr CRs that came on my '11 anthem x1. I've decided on the Shimano XTs. Has anyone else made this upgrade? Did you need to use the shimano adapters or did the stock ones work? Anyone tried running the 185 rotors up front (Shimano specs 180s)?

    I suppose I'll end up playing it safe and getting new XT everything, but those rotors and adapters add up to another $100...

  2. #2
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    All I know is that Shimano XTs are worth every penny.
    The unexamined life is not worth living - Socrates
    Bearded Women Racing

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by J3SSEB View Post
    All I know is that Shimano XTs are worth every penny.
    I rode the XTs on a Mach 429 I demo'd. I didnt realize what I was missing (or suffering through).

  4. #4
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    My Elixer CR's have worked well. Sounds like a defect or improperly adjusted.

  5. #5
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    Dump the Elixer CRs for the Shimano XTs - I did and never looked back. Its amazing how much better the XTs are. Much more braking power and lots less noise.

  6. #6
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    Do it

    I upgraded mine on my anthem. I left the stock rotors to save a couple bucks. They are great.

  7. #7
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    Right you don't need to upgrade the rotors. I left the stock rotors on the XTC Comp and they work fine with the XT brakes. On my Anthem X I did the XT brakes and rotors and the rotors are a bit better but not worth the extra $100.

  8. #8
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    You guys who upgraded to XTs but kept the stock rotors, did you switch to the XT adapters? Or stick with the stock ones?

  9. #9
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    One bike has CR SL brakes. Have organic pads and tried several rotors. It's on a lightweight 29er carbon HT so I'm not doing any crazy speed on downhills because of geometry and setup. It's pretty good. Admittedly the weakest part of my build.

    My other bikes have the XT and XTR brakes. I'm a frugal bastard, but those things are so darn nice in every way. One bike has the IceTech rotors and the other has regular 160mm (Formula rotors, I believe). If I did a lot of long fast extended downhills I'd go IceTech, but my riding is more xc and trail vs freeride or DH.

    I know faithful SRAM equipped racers who make "amends" and won't run brakes other than the new xt or xtr.

  10. #10
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    I would go with the Saints. I own a 2011 Anthem X3 and swapped out the Elixir 3's for Shimano Saints BR-M810, not the BR-820's that were introduced this year.

    If you go to a 180mm RT-76/86 rotor the Saints have enough power to cope with anything you encounter,we'll not quite everything but they are more than enough for 99% of the riding that you will do. There is nothing more fun than letting go of the brake hitting some crazy speeds and stopping at the last minute.

    I've tried 160 mm xt's on a Tallboy and they definitely lacked the sheer drama and power the Saints.

  11. #11
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    Made the upgrade - and decided to go "full boat" - i.e. - brakes w new rotors ( i did go with the new ice tech rotors)... all i can say is holy shnikeez!! what a difference - my break in ride was the kokopelli from fruita to moab approx 150 miles ending on porcupine - IMO - you don't need anything more than the new XT's - they work and work extremely well - i've seen em on sale on line for $109

  12. #12
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    My XTs and adaptors will be delivered today. I'll see how it works with my stock Avid and/or Ashima rotors. If I can't get them to work, I'll be looking for a 180mm Ashima or just getting a new set of Ice Techs. I'm starting to see how everyone ends up with overflowing boxes of extra parts!

  13. #13
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    Good call

    I did the XT upgrade as well on my Anthem X 29er. First set of stock Elixir 3s got sticky piston syndrome, warrantied with Elixir 5s, which came with a crap bleed. Re-bled them and were fine for awhile then started developing rubbing and noise problems. That's when I decided I had enough and got me some XTs. Night and day difference: increased stopping power with true one-finger braking, increased pad clearance, better clamp and lever design, better heat dissipation, lower noise level, better adjustability, ability to integrate i-spec, the only thing they don't do is save me 15% on car insurance!

    I did switch to the RT86 ice-tech rotors as well, but I imagine the stock rotors and 185mm adapter would work with the XTs as well. I think you'll be happy either way and good luck!

  14. #14
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    Well, I made the swap this weekend and it was incredibly easy. The XTs went on without a hitch. I used the 185mm (stock) adapter in front, but I ended up using some of the hardware that came with the 180mm Shimano adapter because the stock bolts were too long and bottomed out (you use fewer CPS washers with the XTs). I also trimmed the hoses and didn't need to mess with bleeding at all. The new hoses, neatly trimmed, rattle much less than stock.

    Performance of the XTs is great so far. Much more confident 1-finger braking and very quiet (knock on wood) with my Ashima rotors. I couldn't be happier with the upgrade.

  15. #15
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    So, what XT brake and rotors should I get for my 2012 Anthem 29? I"m 200 lbs, what size rotors should I get? How long do the front and rear cables need to be?

    BlueSkyCycling.com - Shimano XT M785 IceTech Disc Brake w/Adapter
    would this work? Which rotor 81 or 86?

    Thanks Bill

  16. #16
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    So, what XT brake and rotors should I get for my 2012 Anthem 29? I"m 200 lbs, what size rotors should I get? How long do the front and rear cables need to be? Thanks Bill

  17. #17
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    Good price - I'm guessing 160 should be fine but not 100% sure. The cable lengths are standard you have to cut them down to fit your bike if they are too long.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billinsd View Post
    So, what XT brake and rotors should I get for my 2012 Anthem 29? I"m 200 lbs, what size rotors should I get? How long do the front and rear cables need to be? Thanks Bill
    I'd go 180 ft and 160 bk, or 180 on both. I went from 160 upfront to 180, and it was a significant improvement.

  19. #19
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    So, what XT brake and rotors should I get for my 2012 Anthem 29? I"m 200 lbs, what size rotors should I get? How long do the front and rear cables need to be? Thanks Bill

  20. #20
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    Stock sizes work fine. Same size as you, mine are great. 180 front 160 rear.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billinsd View Post
    So, what XT brake and rotors should I get for my 2012 Anthem 29? I"m 200 lbs, what size rotors should I get? How long do the front and rear cables need to be? Thanks Bill
    Im running 185 and 160 ashima rotors. As for hoses, I got the ones that come with the pre-bled kits (bought at Tree Fort Bikes). it looks like, based on the boxes, that the hoses were 1700 and 1000 mm, and I was able to trim a bunch out.

  22. #22
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    I just made the switch from Avid Elixir 1's on my XTC 2 to new XT's. I went with the Ice tech Rotors(180's in front and 160 rear) I know the Elixir 1's are entry level at best but the XT's are incredible. It's so nice to know you can slow down when you need to. It gives trail riding confidence a whole new meaning.

  23. #23
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    I was about to purchase a set at Blueskycycling but noticed the hoses are shorter in their description vs one purchased with the packaging. Does anyone know if they really do come with shorter hoses and if they do will the shorter hoses fit a large Anthem 29er? I hope it's a description mistake because I'd like to get one ordered before I get back to town. Thanks.

  24. #24
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    Perhaps they are take offs from bikes hence the shorter hoses? Only way to know for sure is contact them...

  25. #25
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    Have a question for you guys

    I have a 2011 Anthem X3 29er. I have Avid Elixr 3's with 185mm front rotor and 160mm rear rotor.

    I have bought the XT brakes already and am going to buy the Shimano RT86 rotors, but the front front rotor is 180mm. The question is:

    Do I need to buy a different adapter for the smaller rotor or will the stock one used for the Avid caliper work? Thanks guys!

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