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  1. #1
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    SLX, XTR, XT brakes input from fellow riders.

    Would like to upgrade my brakes from Juicy5s. On a 29er that sees a maximum of trail style riding. So I held onto these Juicys for forever. I was planning on SLXs, but in your experiences, would it be worth the extra coin for XTs or XTRs? Would they match or beat the longevity of the Avids? Is the modulation knob on the XTRs better than the SLX? Are they better for a long-ish decent or will I not notice? Will they work with the XX rotors I have already? Should I also splurge on the Ice-Tech rotors? Is the weight savings enough to justify the cost? A better ride is what I am after, I'll live off ramen for a few weeks.


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  2. #2
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    I have XTR's and love em. Easy set up, powerful, and they modulate awesome. I think that XT and SLX are going to be pretty much the same, just weigh more. I am assuming that the modulation knob is going to have the same effect on all of the brakes. You can't go wrong with any of the three.

    Yes, get the rotors for the brakes you are gonna get. Yes there are some rotors/calipers from different companies that have a degree of interchangeability, but seriously, why bother? Just get the lightest Ice Tech's you can justify spending the money on, and be stoked.

  3. #3
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    My XT's are great and quite, using the RT86's as well 180/160 and no issues except great stopping power and the ability to feather them when needed.

    Enjoy,

    Mark
    2012 XXL Carve Expert

  4. #4
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    SLX, XTR, XT brakes input from fellow riders.

    I've got SLX and I've ridden XT. There's no discernible difference. There's a free stroke adjustment on the XT that no one has ever used. After that, you're paying for minimal weight savings at a big premium.

    I love my brakes, specially coming from Elixir 3 honkers.

  5. #5
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    SLX, XTR, XT brakes input from fellow riders.

    +1 on the SLX. 180/160 at 230lbs riding weight. They do what I ask and never make a sound.



    Sent from a cliche device from a cliche location...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Quint View Post
    I've got SLX and I've ridden XT. There's no discernible difference. There's a free stroke adjustment on the XT that no one has ever used. After that, you're paying for minimal weight savings at a big premium.

    I love my brakes, specially coming from Elixir 3 honkers.
    Actually, I used the free stroke adjustment when I set my brakes up. Actually helped a bit. However, SLX brakes, at $40 cheaper per wheel than XT are an unbeatable deal.
    On MTBR, the reputation is infamous.

  7. #7
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    SLX, XTR, XT brakes input from fellow riders.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    Actually, I used the free stroke adjustment when I set my brakes up. Actually helped a bit. However, SLX brakes, at $40 cheaper per wheel than XT are an unbeatable deal.
    Quiet you! ;-)

  8. #8
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    I switched from Elixir CR to XT brakes, and I love the XT brakes. However, the free-stroke adjustment doesn't seem to do much. I don't think you could tell the difference with the SLX brakes, which are probably the best deal for the money.

  9. #9
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    The free stroke adjustment is awesome. I upgraded from Zee to Saint for that reason. If there's even a possibility that you will be tweaking out over your brakes, get xt.

  10. #10
    There's always next year.
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    I love my XTs. Great power, run drag free all the time. They are night and day better than all the Avid brakes I've run. If you've got money to burn, XTRs. If money's tight, SLX.

    Ice-Techs are heavier than other rotors, but I believe they're worth it--all the more if you've got big mountains you regularly ride.

  11. #11
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    I upgraded the Avid Elixir R to SLX and it is the best thing I've done to my Specialized Epic 2011. The SLX is very powerfull , excellent modulation and it works with Avid Rotors. More than 3000 miles ridden and "zero" problems. I highly recommend it and SLX is the best for cost/benefit .

  12. #12
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    SLX, XTR, XT brakes input from fellow riders.

    I have XT"s and SLX's. They are, as others have mentioned, excellent brakes and fundamentally the same animal.
    If I were buying brakes new, I'd go SLX, and I'd keep my old rotors.
    -Chris

  13. #13
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    Had a pair of XT's and currently two pair of XTR Trail. I love them. There is no reason to own anything but Shimano for the money...Whether that means SLX, XT, or XTR.

  14. #14
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    Re: SLX, XTR, XT brakes input from fellow riders.

    Besides the color, I can't tell any functional difference between xt and slx. The xtr's have a nicer lever. All of them work great. I lust after the xtrs, but given I'm relatively cheap and usually ride with full fingers gloves, I have slx and xt brakes on the bikes at my house...

  15. #15
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    I think the slx have a cast lever and the xt a forged lever.

  16. #16
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    [QUOTE=Bruski;10417743]+1 on the SLX. 180/160 at 230lbs riding weight. They do what I ask and never make a sound.

    Wish I had a wife like that!

  17. #17
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    Got XTs on both my bikes and they are great , no gripes whatsoever.

  18. #18
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    I've got a set of take-off wheels from a 2013 Kona Satori and they came with SLX centre lock rotors (160/180). Can I use ANY of the following calipers with these rotors? SLX, XT, or XTR?
    Thanks

  19. #19
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    SLX, XTR, XT brakes input from fellow riders.

    XT here, replacing squealing Elixir 1s on my X-Cal. Looked at the SLX, but decided to spend extra since I was so unhappy with the Elixirs. Did keep the Avid rotors for now, however. Great, great brakes; I love them. Opinion says is have been just as happy with SLX, though, and saved some dosh.

  20. #20
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    Was using juicy 3's on old bike ,upgraded to XT's with ice tech 180/160.
    First time I rode it I practically spat myself over the bars..lol
    So I would recommend them.!!
    I chose XT's over the SLX only because got good deal on them.

  21. #21
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    I have been using XTR Trail for 9 months (coming from Magura SL). Great stopping power (even at 160/160), true 1 finger action, and modulation is fantastic. Lever adjustment is at a finger tip, free stroke adjustment a bit hard to judge, great bar clamp.

    I bought front and rear on sale for $360 and to save a bit I got Avid HS1 160mm rotors for dimes on e-bay. With my weight (160) and riding style I see no reason to use a 180 front.

    No experience with XT and SLX, but they are both considered great brakes and bargain price (Gee ... you can get a SLX set for $150!!!! )

  22. #22
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    Save a ton of money and get the new deore brakes. The have the same lever feel, geometry and power as my xt's. They don't have the adjustable banjo at the caliper so they don't play great with sharp bends for cable routing near the caliper.
    That being said, my xt's are really really nice. I'm running them with 180 ice techs. The set is two years old, just bled for the first time and they've been perfect. Swiss stop makes a nice inexpensive replacement pad. Can't tell the difference between them and the finned pads.
    Here's a pack of matches, go play in the street

  23. #23
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    SLX, XTR, XT brakes input from fellow riders.

    I have XTR trails and my son has SLX and both are fantastic!!

  24. #24
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    SLX, XTR, XT brakes input from fellow riders.

    On xtr race for the past 4 years , still trying to find fault with it :


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  25. #25
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    I have all 3. I'd get XT or SLX depending on the price you can find them for (sometimes you can find XT for about the same as SLX). The XTRs are great, but I honestly can't tell much if any difference in performance, so not worth the price premium (like most XTR components IMHO).

  26. #26
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    I have had a set of elixer 5's and replaced them with a set of slightly used slx for my older fuel. A much better brake. My next bike had slx stock with standard shimano rotors. I considered a set of ice tech pads but ended up selling the fuel 29 for a niner rip that comes stock with xt and ice tech pads/rotors. I did demo a niner with xo brakes and IMO did not have near the feel or modulation of the xt. You can't go wrong with slx or xt. Buy what ever is cheaper. If you still cannot decide pick between the matte silver or chrome top cap. Shimano brakes are a must have.
    2014 Niner RIP 9
    Full XT
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  27. #27
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    Just replaced Elixir 3s with XTs M785. Very easy to install and trim the hose. Did not bleed yet as I do not see the need right now. Very adjustable lever and love the shape. As for braking...very powerful and predictive. If you have the money...

  28. #28
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    I put slx on mine. They're fantastic brakes for the money, but they got even better when I put on the ice-tech rotors.

    Sent from my XT1080 using Tapatalk

  29. #29
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    I'm trying to decide between xt's and xtr trails will be using ice tech rotors. Is it worth the extra money to get the xtr's?

  30. #30
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    Nope. At least not in my opinion. I have all three, and to be honest I can't tell the difference in performance. In fact, the SLXs are actually feeling the best right now. The XTRs look the nicest, but that's not worth the premium.

  31. #31
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    I have xt's and like them but if the xtr's are better I was going to get them. So xt's it is then thanks for the input.

  32. #32
    Now, THAT'S gonna hurt!
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    Just went from Elixer CR's to Shimano XT's with Ice Tech Rotors. 203 front, 180 rear. I never thought brakes could make me faster but these did. Insane brake control. Superb product!

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by So Cal RX View Post
    Nope. At least not in my opinion. I have all three, and to be honest I can't tell the difference in performance. In fact, the SLXs are actually feeling the best right now. The XTRs look the nicest, but that's not worth the premium.
    I agree , my personal opinion is that the XT's are just right in spec and price.
    I do try..!!

  34. #34
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    I installed XT's after blowing out a set of rather new Elixir 5's. Why did I not go to Shimano sooner!?

  35. #35
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    I have M615 brakes that came stock on my crave pro and love the way they feel.

    would there be any benefit or noticeable difference to go to SLX or XT over the M615's?

  36. #36
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    I ran m615s on my 29er, then sold it and got a fatbike with SLX. The SLX might have a tad more power, but it is really close. I think the M615 modulate better and are less on/off feeling that the SLX/XT.
    I ran XT on my trail bike for a bit and I dont think there is any difference between the SLX and XT.
    Currently I'm running Zee on my trail bike, and they modulate much better than the SLX/XT, and overall power is a tad stronger. They actually feel similar to the m615, but with more power.
    13 SJ Evo, 14 Aurum, 14 Fatboy, 15 P.3

  37. #37
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    SLX, XTR, XT brakes input from fellow riders.

    Maybe a good thing is to keep my m615s but just upgrade to 203/180 rotors instead of my 180/160 rotors that are stock. Might as well get ice tech rotors and pads with my m615s and I'd be good to go huh?

  38. #38
    Ruckus99ss
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    Who has best price on xt's?

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruckus99ss View Post
    Who has best price on xt's?
    Go look in the Where are the Best Deals forum. There's a couple different threads on this very topic. Short answer: probably Ribble or Merlin or Chainreaction, depending on your sensitivity to pad type (finned or not) and if there are discount codes in play.

  40. #40
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    Nobody is even close to the prices on bike-discount.de
    Its a German site and currently full sets of SLX are $109, SLX with Icetech pads are $131, XT icetech are $163, and Zee are $197.

    Shipping is a flat $27 to the US, so I generally get together with some buddies and place a larger order and split shipping. It the best palce to order Shimano parts and Schwalbe tires way under US cost.
    13 SJ Evo, 14 Aurum, 14 Fatboy, 15 P.3

  41. #41
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    I'd like to politely suggest that this discussion is more appropriate in the threads dedicated to this very topic in Where are the Best Deals forum, but I'd also like to challenged this statement:

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Lynch View Post
    Nobody is even close to the prices on bike-discount.de
    I'm also a fan of bike-discount, but saying "nobody is even close" is hyperbole. The shipping charges alone make bike-discount higher than most of the UK sites, unless, as you point out, you aggregate a bunch of friends into a large purchase. But if that isn't an option to the person asking above, then the UK sites are better options.

    Example:
    XT icetech at CRC: Today $164 shipped. Was $144 last week during their $20 off $149 promo.


    So its great to add bike-discount into consideration, but when XT Icetech are $164 shipped from CRC and they are $163 + $27 shipping at bike-discount, I think we can agree that other sites are in fact "close" . . . or even better.

  42. #42
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    I stand corrected, as least with the XT brakes. That is a good price on the XTs at CRC, but for the price I'd go SLX. I dont notice any difference between the SLX and XT, and I prefer the matte silver of the SLX over the blinged out XTs.
    13 SJ Evo, 14 Aurum, 14 Fatboy, 15 P.3

  43. #43
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    I'm just happy there are so many affordable options on the excellent Shimano brakes. Its pretty rare that a functionally superior component is also ridiculously cheap!

  44. #44
    DBY
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    Shimano XT M785's for $82.49 w/ IceTech pads

    Shimano XT M785 Disc Brake | Chain Reaction Cycles

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davide View Post
    I have been using XTR Trail for 9 months (coming from Magura SL). Great stopping power (even at 160/160), true 1 finger action, and modulation is fantastic. Lever adjustment is at a finger tip, free stroke adjustment a bit hard to judge, great bar clamp.

    I bought front and rear on sale for $360 and to save a bit I got Avid HS1 160mm rotors for dimes on e-bay. With my weight (160) and riding style I see no reason to use a 180 front.

    No experience with XT and SLX, but they are both considered great brakes and bargain price (Gee ... you can get a SLX set for $150!!!! )
    Just an update, the Avid HS1 disk in front started to squeal horribly. Cleaned it, sanded lightly the pads, got better a bit, then started to squeal again, cleaned put in new pads, eventually re-started squealing AND during all this the brake lost power.

    So I gave up, bought a XT Ice-tech rotor (at Chain reaction, very cheap!), went 180 just to contradict my previous post and ... geez what a difference. With the HS1 160 the XTR was great (while the rotor lasted) but with the 180 Ice-tech the increase in power is very noticeable, with the same outstanding modulation. I would be curious to compare with the 160 Ice-tech ...

    Anyway it makes a real big difference on the trail and did I mention? Zero Squeal! Go Ice-tech rotor!

  46. #46
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    Hello fellow riders! Sorry for pulling up an old thread.

    XTR 980/987 owners, can you please give me a feedback on your lever travel?
    I try to make lever travel shorter, as i had on my previous XTR 975, but it is pretty long, no matter how i bleed them .
    Is it me, or is it normal for this brakes?
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