shimano BR-M8120 vs BR-M8020 shimanos new 4 piston brake set- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    shimano BR-M8120 vs BR-M8020 shimanos new 4 piston brake set

    I just started looking at new shimano brake sets and noticed shimano is releasing a new 4 pistion xt and trigger set june 14th. Are the updates worth waiting two weeks for and probably paying atleast and extra $100+ for? I can get a br-m8020 set for $279 on ebay and it says the BR-M8120 will be priced at $209.99 per front and rear and probably be a little cheaper on ebay. I guess if I wait the m8020 will probably go down in price as well. Anyoneone know more specifics as to how much better the new xt set up is compared to the current version?

  2. #2
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    No idea but am very interested in this discussion if anyone has actual experience. Cura 4 and Magura MT trail are appealing to me as well, but Formula has very little retail presence in US (not even sure where cura 4 is available) and I didn't have the best of experience with some Maguras in the very early 00's (probably unfair, but the bias is still there). My initial internet reviewing seems to point me toward XT 4 piston stoppers. Reduced price 8020 would be really nice if there isn't some compelling reason to wait for the 8100 set release.

  3. #3
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    Shimano has been the best brake I have owned and I like the non toxic braker fluid and ease off bleeding. Im on slx from a few years ago and I want to be able to adjust my pad contact as well as my triggers

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    What I wanna know is if anything really changed, i read they usually take current xtr tech and put it in the next version xt. With the new fancy names did anything change? It sounds like the calipers are the same and they upgraded the triggers.

  5. #5
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    Shimanos website say that the new XT is 10% more powerful than the old XT (both 4 piston).

    The first ride reports scattered across the web all talk about a bit better modulation than the previous generation as well, without losing the trademark shimano "bite".

    I've also seen at least 2-3 first ride reports saying that the free stroke/pad contact adjustment on the new XT doesn't do much, for what its worth.

    And, the only difference between SLX, and XT, is that the XT has that free stroke/pad contact adjustment, as well as a dimpled lever (for more traction). So, if the pad contact thing doesn't work that great, it sounds like SLX could be the way to go to save some money, and get the new brake with better modulation.

    We'll probably know more when longer term reviews come out though.

  6. #6
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    The new XT 4 pistons M8120 (calipers and levers) looks like 4 pistons XTR M9120, while the "old" XT M8020 looks like the saints (and using the same pads).

    I wonder how they all performed against each other and whats the caliper size difference between all of them?

    Also, is it possible to mix between old levers and new calipers (and opposite way)?

  7. #7
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    Deore, Zee, SLX, XT, Saint, XTR levers from newest generations and 2 previous gens are cross-compatible (with calipers) within the same group and cross-group. They share same diameter master cylinder and when pressing the trigger, the master piston travels the same distance.
    If you see/read reports about bigger master pistons in the levers for 4 pistons calipers or that more oil is needed to push 4 pistons is not true at all.

    The only thing that's true is that inside of larger calipers themself (with 4 pistons), there is more oil, which is to be expected.

    XTR/Saint/XT/SLX/Zee BR-M9120/820/8120/8020/7120/640 have same size pistons (2x16 mm + 2x18 mm).
    P.S. - Magura MT5, MT7 and MT Trail share same caliper body and have 4x17 mm pistons.

    XTR/XT/SLX BR-M9120/8120/7120 are redesigned for more straight oil route inside the caliper, which results in better response to the lever trigger actuation (no matter which lever gen and group).

    + It's also easier to bleed (air-free) vs. Saint/XT ("old")/Zee, where the bleed nipple is parallel to the banjo and thus it's more complicated to bleed (air-free), because in the further part of the caliper some air can still be trapped.

    + One can adjust the direction of the banjo, which is really helpful vs. Saint/XT ("old")/Zee, where the banjo is in a fixed position and like 2 times longer. So depending on the frame caliper mounting, it can face pretty down and thus require the hose to be bent up pretty hard right after the banjo end.

    For modulation difference, they slightly change/rework the curve of the Servo-Wave of the levers of different gens/groups.

    The choice should be pretty obvious!

    Non-finned pads are all cross-compatible.
    Finned XTR/XT (new)/SLX pads are not compatible with Saint/XT ("old")/Zee calipers.

    Resin pads for 4 pistons calipers contain more metal than those for 2 pistons calipers.
    + They transmit heat more to the disc/hub vs. metallic/sintered pads, that transmit the heat more to ceramic pistons and then to the oil, resulting in wandering bite point when braking for prolonged periods + very noisy in wet.

    Best 4 pistons resin pads for Shimano are Trickstuff 260 Power+.
    They have better initial bite power and better maintain it, when braking for prolonged periods + wear out less than Shimano resin.

    Right now I'm on Saint calipers + XTR Trail (9020) levers with Trickstuff pads.
    I'm planning to move to new XTR calipers.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails shimano BR-M8120 vs BR-M8020 shimanos new 4 piston brake set-shimano-xt-v-h-set-scheibenbremse-br-m8020-schwarz-satz-vr-hr-62177-267180-1557324936.jpg  

    shimano BR-M8120 vs BR-M8020 shimanos new 4 piston brake set-shimano-xtr-enduro-scheibenbremse-br-m9120-mit-resinbelag-grau-hr-65396-237985-1545221598.jpg  

    shimano BR-M8120 vs BR-M8020 shimanos new 4 piston brake set-p4pb5447205.jpg  

    Last edited by Groove_c; 11-29-2019 at 02:30 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Groove_c View Post
    Deore, Zee, SLX, XT, Saint, XTR levers from newest generations and 2 previous gens are cross-compatible (with calipers) within the same group and cross-group. They share same diameter master cylinder and when pressing the trigger, the master piston travels the same distance.
    If you see/read reports about bigger master pistons in the levers for 4 pistons calipers or that more oil is needed to push 4 pistons is not true at all.

    The only thing that's true is that inside of larger calipers themself (with 4 pistons), there is more oil, which is to be expected.

    XTR BR-M9120, Saint BR-M820, XT BR-M8120/8020, SLX BR-M7120 and Zee BR-M640 have same size pistons (2x16 mm + 2x18 mm).
    P.S. - Magura MT5, MT7 and MT Trail share same caliper body and have 4x17 mm pistons.

    XTR BR-M9120, XT BR-M8120 and SLX BR-M7120 are redesigned for more straight oil root inside the caliper, which results in better response to the lever trigger actuation (no matter which lever gen and group).

    + It's also much easier to bleed (air-free) vs. Saint/XT ("old")/Zee, where the bleed nipple is parallel to the banjo and thus it's more complicated to bleed (air-free), because in the further part of the caliper some air can still be trapped.

    + One can adjust the direction of the banjo, which is really helpful vs. Saint/XT ("old")/Zee, where the banjo is in a fixed position and like 2 times longer. So depending on the frame caliper mounting, it can face pretty down and thus require the hose to be bent up pretty hard right after the banjo end.

    For modulation difference, they slightly change/rework the curve of the Servo-Wave of the levers of different gens/groups.

    The choice should be pretty obvious!

    What I don't know is if BR-M7120 have ceramic pistons (like XT), but judging by Zee having them, I would say yes, because Zee is SLX level.

    Non-finned pads are all cross-compatible.
    Finned Saint/XT ("old")/Zee are not compatibe with XTR/XT (new)/SLX calipers.

    Resin pads for 4 pistons calipers contain more metal than those for 2 pistons calipers.
    + They transmit heat more to the disc/hub vs. metallic/sintered pads, that transmit the heat more to ceramic pistons and then to the oil, resulting in wandering bite point when braking for prolonged periods + very noisy in wet.

    Best 4 pistons resin pads for Shimano are Trickstuff 260 Power+.
    They have better initial bite power and better maintain it, when braking for prolonged periods + wear out less than Shimano resin.

    Right now I'm on Saint calipers + XTR trail (9120) levers with Trickstuff pads.
    I'm planning to move to new XT or SLX calipers.
    Tnx for all the info, it was very helpful!

    The changes are not so dramatic, so i dont see any reason to upgrade from the "old" XT M8020 i got.

    PS, Maybe you also know piston sizes for Sram Guide and Code?

  9. #9
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    Groovec, the choice is easy? Do you mean get the m8120 as in the choice is easy. It's basically the last version xtr with new triggers correct?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muddy-Runs View Post
    ..

    PS, Maybe you also know piston sizes for Sram Guide and Code?
    As far as I know, the Guide uses 13mm and 14mm pistons, and the code uses 15mm and 16mm pistons.

    And, for reference/comparison (other brakes in the same price/category), the TRP Quadiem uses four 16mm pistons, while their new "Trail SL" brake uses 14mm/16mm pistons.

    I'm curious if the old versions prices will drop as places clear out inventory. I've got a old hardtail with some Tektro Aguria pro brakes that function fine, but are a giant pain in the butt to bleed. And I'd love to replace them with something with more power, are cheapish, and aren't awful to bleed.

  11. #11
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    It's 100% identical to XTR (aluminum), except steel pads retention allen head bolt vs. titanium flat screwdriver head bolt, which weights slightly more than the titanium one, but at least one always has allen keys during the ride and it's easier to unscrew.

    You can order only the caliper itself and keep your existing levers and hoses.

    https://www.bike-components.de/en/Sh...nbelag-p71478/

    Appropriate banjo bolt comes with the caliper.

    Pads clearance adjustment has never properly worked for Shimano.
    You don't need this damn bolt, really.

    Levers reach adjustment on the other hand can be handy.
    But you already have it.

    You could also wait a little bit more and buy the SLX BR-M7120 caliper which will be also 100% identical to XTR/XT, the only differences being not so shiny caliper painting and resin pads instead of metallic pads.

    Pictures of banjo bolts for 2 pistons SLX/XT, 4 pistons XTR/XT/SLX and 4 pistons Saint/Zee/XT.

    Pictures of pads retention bolts for XTR, Saint/XT/SLX/ and Deore/Zee.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails shimano BR-M8120 vs BR-M8020 shimanos new 4 piston brake set-shimano-brake-hose-bolt-br-m985-m8000-sm-bh90-sb-universal-universal-46351-214541-1524494191.jpg  

    shimano BR-M8120 vs BR-M8020 shimanos new 4 piston brake set-shimano-brake-hose-bolt-br-m9120-universal-universal-70208-254672-1552299473.jpg  

    shimano BR-M8120 vs BR-M8020 shimanos new 4 piston brake set-546850-da8121-y8h098010.jpg  

    shimano BR-M8120 vs BR-M8020 shimanos new 4 piston brake set-shimano-pad-retaining-bolt-br-m985-m9120-rs805-universal-universal-46715-186992-1500635914.jpg  

    shimano BR-M8120 vs BR-M8020 shimanos new 4 piston brake set-shimano-pad-retaining-bolt-br-m785-m8000-m820-universal-universal-46356-215208-1524745057.jpg  

    shimano BR-M8120 vs BR-M8020 shimanos new 4 piston brake set-shimano-safety-pin-br-m7000-m9000-m8000-m6000-rs785-silver-universal-33185-94427-1481268492.jpg  

    Last edited by Groove_c; 11-29-2019 at 02:56 PM.

  12. #12
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    Have found a picture of SLX BR-M7120 and as you can see, it has the steel pads retention allen head bolt (like XT) and also finned pads (like XT).

    I honestly prefer more the XT painting vs. this marine blue SLX painting.
    But I know it's done on purpose to widen the already extremely small gap between XT and SLX 4 pistons calipers.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails shimano BR-M8120 vs BR-M8020 shimanos new 4 piston brake set-shimano-slx-m7100-3.jpg  


  13. #13
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    Not to throw a monkey wrench into the system, but you missed one. Look up the other Shimano 4-pot brakes that have been getting good reviews (MT520) and let me know whether you think it's worth the increased cost of SLX/XT.
    :nono: :thumbsup:

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    I haven't missed anything. Here it's about XT. Not Deore BR-MT520.
    Deore have same diameter 4 ceramic pistons, but not possible to adjust hose position, not possible to fit finned pads and no pads bolt, but a pin.
    And they are also more difficult to bleed (air-free), like Saint/XT/Zee BR-M820/8020/640 vs. new XTR/XT/SLX BR-M9120/8120/7120.
    I don't see why should/would one downgrade to Deore.

  15. #15
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    Shimano has used similar to Sram 4 pistons liquid route design.
    Here one can clearly see the route (Sram) of the liquid and having the bleed port on the opposite end of the same side of the caliper as the banjo bolt is much better to bleed (air-free) vs. having the bleed port at the same end/place as the banjo bolt, but on the opposite side of the caliper. Simply physics.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails shimano BR-M8120 vs BR-M8020 shimanos new 4 piston brake set-3_fb5b0635d8.jpeg  

    shimano BR-M8120 vs BR-M8020 shimanos new 4 piston brake set-pinza-freno-disco-shimano-xt-m8020-dos.jpg  

    Last edited by Groove_c; 06-04-2019 at 10:10 AM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Groove_c View Post
    I haven't missed anything. Here it's about XT. Not Deore BR-MT520.
    Deore have same diameter 4 ceramic pistons, but not possible to adjust hose position, not possible to fit finned pads and no pads bolt, but a pin.
    And they are also more difficult to bleed (air-free), like Saint/XT/Zee BR-M820/8020/640 vs. new XTR/XT/SLX BR-M9120/8120/7120.
    I don't see why should/would one downgrade to Deore.
    LOL, what? Because they work the practically the same and cost less. But of course you didn't miss anything. Oooh, the hose is slightly less adjustable...and a pin? The horror!

    Since when is Shimano difficult to bleed? Oh, that's right. They're not and never have been so saying the new ones are easier than easy? Don't see the point.

    If Shimano's started copying SRAM, I'm gonna have to stay away. Sometimes I ride in temps above 90 degrees.
    :nono: :thumbsup:

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    Read the topic title onсe again. It's NOT about Deore.
    It's like when one asks for advise wether to buy a BMW or a Mercedes and you tell him to buy a Folkswagen.
    And show me where I've stated even once that Shimano are difficult to bleed.
    I've only stated that it's now easier to bleed them air-free.
    And that Shimano 4 pistons calipers are less easy to bleed (air-free) than 2 is a well known fact. (for those who own them!)
    And deciding to use similar liquid route, which is more optimal than the existing one has nothing to do with reliability or heat management.
    So your statements...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Groove_c View Post
    Read the topic title onсe again. It's NOT about Deore.
    It's like when one asks for advise wether to buy a BMW or a Mercedes and you tell him to buy a Folkswagen.
    And show me where I've stated even once that Shimano are difficult to bleed.
    I've only stated that it's now easier to bleed them air-free.
    And that Shimano 4 pistons calipers are less easy to bleed (air-free) than 2 is a well known fact. (for those who own them!)
    And deciding to use similar liquid route, which is more optimal than the existing one has nothing to do with reliability or heat management.
    So your statements...
    Ooh, I'm soooo sorry for contaminating your pristine thread with all this talk about completely unrelated subject matter.

    What exactly is this new made up "air-free" terminology supposed to be about? They're either bled properly with no air in the system (air free, as it were) or they're not. With Shimano, it's easy to achieve this and has been since forever on ALL their brakes so nope, not buying it.

    If you wanna close your eyes to a product that performs the exact same job with nearly identical results, whatever dude. You choose XTR/XT/SLX, but oh noes, not Deore because...errr...who knows? You're entitled to your opinion, but stating it as fact doesn't make it so and when someone comes along with helpful info, you might consider just saying "thanks" rather than jumping down their throat and trying to belittle them.

    Welcome to my iggy list.
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    thanks for posting the good info Groove_c. I'm still waiting for the prices of the M9120 to come down. Looks like a good upgrade to my 2 piston XTR.

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    Looking forward for real life comparison between the 'old' XT M8020 and the new XT M8120 (as well as against XTR M9120 & Saints). All i know so far based on Shimano that the new version having 10% more power and having better modulation. More power and better modulation are always welcome, even thou i dont feel the XT M8020 missing in these departments.

    PS, I saw the last DH race, and looks like many Shimano riders using XTR M9120 instead of Saints, thats says a lot about these brakes..

  21. #21
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    There is no 10% perf increase vs. 'old' XT BR-M8020 or Saint/Zee. It's 10-17% vs. 2-piston calipers.
    There's more modulation and less weight, because studies have shown, that calipers only get hand warm vs. pads, pads' back-plates, pistons and mineral oil. So no need to have that massive caliper body like Saint/Zee. XT BR-M8020 is already a little bit lighter/smaller than Saint/Zee. With XTR/XT/SLX the caliper body was trimmed down further.
    Last edited by Groove_c; 06-11-2019 at 02:13 PM.

  22. #22
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    Not huge braking performance differences here, but the new 8120 lever shape is a little bit different, they have a support bridge thing similar to the xtr to avoid flex and also use the new ispec-ev mount.

    So the short thing there is if you were using ispec-ii then these brakes won't be compatible, supposedly the ev offers a lot more adjustment so if doing a full upgrade that could be nice.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Groove_c View Post
    There is no 10% perf increase vs. 'old' XT BR-M8020 or Saint/Zee. It's 10-17% vs. 2-piston calipers.
    There's more modulation and less weight, because studies have shown, that calipers only get hand warm vs. pads, pads' back-plates, pistons and mineral oil. So no need to have that massive caliper body like Saint/Zee. XT BR-M8020 is already a little bite lighter/smaller than Saint/Zee. With XTR/XT/SLX the caliper body was trimmed down further.
    Tnx for the info!
    So not much difference between the old and the new XT 4 pistons...

  24. #24
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    XTR/XT/SLX calipers are lower than Saint/XT/Zee.
    I've found pictures with Saint/Zee pads inserted in the XTR caliper vs. new XTR/XT/SLX pads.

    No words needed here.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails shimano BR-M8120 vs BR-M8020 shimanos new 4 piston brake set-20181206_210632.jpg  

    shimano BR-M8120 vs BR-M8020 shimanos new 4 piston brake set-20181206_210641.jpg  

    shimano BR-M8120 vs BR-M8020 shimanos new 4 piston brake set-20181206_210725.jpg  


  25. #25
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    I think it's more about to have same group levers/calipers to match the rest of the group on the bike and a little bit less weight. I don't really see how XTR and new XT and SLX calipers can outperform Saint/Zee with same pistons and virtually same pads. Same goes for XT BR-M8020.

  26. #26
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    Zee and XT BR-M8020 are more cost effective upgrades for those who don't care much about the look and weight, but are as powerful as the new Shimano 4-piston offers.

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    Absolutely more cost effective, also if you are upgrading and want to use integrated mounting systems they don't work together. IE 8020 brakes with 8120 shifter you need a complete clamp for shifter instead of using ispec as I understand it.

    As someone who has a complete 12 sp kit coming whenever it gets released matters a bit to me personally.
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  28. #28
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    You can always buy new XT/SLX. On par with Saint or cheaper.

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    Help

    Got the be-m8020 brake set with The ice tech pads they come with recently and the retention spring/clip that provides outward tension to the pads sometimes rubs against the rotor. It only happens if the top portion of the retention clip/spring (portion the retention bolt goes through) that separates the two halves of the spring is not centered towards the middle of the screw/caliper.

    On my other Shimano disc brakes which are the cheaper Deores versions there isnt much room for the top of the retention clip to have side to side play as there isnt much of a gap between the top of the pads and caliper.

    Has anyone else experienced this? The rotor is completely true and the caliper is perfectly aligned. No rubbing occurs if the clip is centered.

    Any feedback would be appreciated.

    I

  30. #30
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    Got the br-m8020 brake set with The ice tech pads they come with recently and the retention spring/clip that provides outward tension to the pads sometimes rubs against the rotor. It only happens if the top portion of the retention clip/spring (portion the retention bolt goes through) that separates the two halves of the spring is not centered towards the middle of the screw/caliper.

    On my other Shimano disc brakes which are the cheaper Deore versions there isnt much room for the top of the retention clip to have side to side play as there isnt much of a gap between the top of the pads and caliper.

    Has anyone else experienced this? The rotor is completely true and the caliper is perfectly aligned. No rubbing occurs if the clip is centered.

    Any feedback would be appreciated.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Groove_c View Post
    You can always buy new XT/SLX. On par with Saint or cheaper.
    Thanks for your info in this thread, it's really useful.

    One of the most annoying issues I have with my M8020s is that lever flex and popping that comes from the mount. If I understand you correctly, the M9120/M8120 lever should be stiffer, but functionality the same aside from that, and is cross compatible with the M8020 caliper? Is that correct?

  32. #32
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    @Adodero
    Yes.
    But you need to consider that new levers have different shifters' mountings.
    If your shifters have separate from lever mountings (their own), then it doesn't matter.
    If your shifters are mounted onto the levers, then you will need to buy new shifters as well.

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    WOW noapathy, you're more than a bit of a tool. Calm down and be polite! The way you write is frustrating and annoying to read.

    Groove_c thanks for being useful and providing so much useful info.



    Quote Originally Posted by noapathy View Post
    Ooh, I'm soooo sorry for contaminating your pristine thread with all this talk about completely unrelated subject matter.

    What exactly is this new made up "air-free" terminology supposed to be about? They're either bled properly with no air in the system (air free, as it were) or they're not. With Shimano, it's easy to achieve this and has been since forever on ALL their brakes so nope, not buying it.

    If you wanna close your eyes to a product that performs the exact same job with nearly identical results, whatever dude. You choose XTR/XT/SLX, but oh noes, not Deore because...errr...who knows? You're entitled to your opinion, but stating it as fact doesn't make it so and when someone comes along with helpful info, you might consider just saying "thanks" rather than jumping down their throat and trying to belittle them.

    Welcome to my iggy list.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Groove_c View Post
    @Adodero
    Yes.
    But you need to consider that new levers have different shifters' mountings.
    If your shifters have separate from lever mountings (their own), then it doesn't matter.
    If your shifters are mounted onto the levers, then you will need to buy new shifters as well.
    Thanks, that makes sense.

    Also, if I understand you correctly, the M8020 and M8120 caliper are mostly the same aside from the shape, which is more scaled down for weight on the M8120? So there is no change in power?

    Quote Originally Posted by T-80ned View Post
    WOW noapathy, you're more than a bit of a tool. Calm down and be polite! The way you write is frustrating and annoying to read.
    For real, he acts like being on his ignore list is some kind of punishment. He also counter downrepped me when I downrepped him for his contentious and pointless contributions to this thread.

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    @Adodero
    Weight and look.

    noapathy has also downrepped other users, because he was not ok with the fact that someone who owns XT level group didn't want to consider/downgrade to Deore and he also didn't like that someone pointed out that changing mineral oil route in the caliper had nothing to do with the heat management or caliper/lever quality, contrary to what he affirmed

  36. #36
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    I know this is a little older of a thread but I figured I would bring it back for a couple of questions. So right now between my Pivot Mach 6 and Pivot Firebird 29, I have the XT-8020 and the Saint M820 on the bikes respectively. I love my Saint on the Firebird for their power (I ride this bike mostly park with some trail). I am not really in love with the 8020's. They just don't have the same power (even after bleeds) that my Saints have. Would the 8120's provide more of a powerful feel and better modulation over the 8020's, or would I be better off throwing a Saint set on my Mach 6?
    2018 Pivot Firebird 29
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  37. #37
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    I really don't know if the new 8120 brakes will give you what you want. There's really not a lot of difference between the two. Since it's subjective, I guess you would just have to try them yourself.

    I'd say put Saints on. You really like their feel and power - might as well stick to what you prefer.

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    Hello Groove_c - THANK YOU for your generosity and expertise. I learned a lot reading through this thread. I am left here: Need to replace my horrid Avid Elixer brake set. But the shifters are integrated. (I think...) - - - Based on this thread, and being a novice/intermediate rider who doesn't race and is cash-poor... seems the best choice for a new brake set may be M8000, M8120, or Deore. BUT I got lost in all of the (awsesome) technical language. Can you recommend? I'm on an old Niner Jet9.

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    @The_Meeting_Guy you can buy SLX brakes (BR-M7120) or Deore (BR-MT520).

    I've found Servo-Wave picture from current XTR Trail lever (BL-M9120) vs. (BL-M9020/M988/M820) and looking at it, one can clearly notice much more linear/gradual Servo-Wave curve.
    So power doesn't rump up as brutally as it always did before, despite power remaining same.
    Results in more modulation, much closer to XTR Race levers (BL-M9100/9000/987).

    Fore those who previously had to combine race levers (with thinner triggers and without Servo-Wave) with trail calipers (Zee, Saint, XT), it's now over.

    Probably same goes for XT (BL-M8120) and SLX (BL-M7120) levers.
    But I'm not sure, since there one can't see the curve it takes.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails shimano BR-M8120 vs BR-M8020 shimanos new 4 piston brake set-sans-titre.jpg  

    shimano BR-M8120 vs BR-M8020 shimanos new 4 piston brake set-bl-m9020-r_2.jpg  

    shimano BR-M8120 vs BR-M8020 shimanos new 4 piston brake set-p4pb54472051.jpg  

    Last edited by Groove_c; 09-19-2019 at 09:01 AM.

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    I've never really had any bite point wandering problems, since I ride mostly when it isn't really cold.
    Trail bike -> XTR Trail levers (BL-M9020) + Saint calipers (BR-M820).
    CX bike -> Saint levers (BL-M820) + XT calipers (BR-M875).

    Could reproduce this problem only when standing near my bike and depressing levers' triggers really quickly, without fully releasing them.

    When it gets cold, this is when already thick Shimano mineral oil gets even thicker and has more difficulties to flow back to levers' reservoirs through so called "sniffing openings", which are really small, compared to much bigger "filling opening", which remains blocked/closed by master cylinder piston, if you don't fully release levers' triggers. (see pictures attached)

    This results in calipers' pistons not able to (fully) retract as fast as levers' master cylinders' pistons do, followed by next levers' triggers depression, with calipers' pistons not being at their default position, which creates this bite point wandering.

    Now, with Putoline HPX R (2.5 WT), which is much less thick than Shimano's (10 WT) and much more consistent at any temps, my brakes feel even more consistent/solid.

    And no fading when very steep and long descents, with my 96 kg (naked) + clothes + backpack with 3 L water + tools + Scott Genius 150 mm.

    I use Putoline also for my Reverb Stealth seatpost, since it also uses 2.5 WT mineral oil (RockShox).

    Synthetic oil is of much better quality (vs. mineral oil), much more consistent and is cheaper, since here in Europe, 1 L Shimano mineral oil is almost 20 + additionally 10 for only 120 ml RockShox mineral oil for Reverb Stealth.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails shimano BR-M8120 vs BR-M8020 shimanos new 4 piston brake set-ahr0chm6ly9mc3rhdgljms5tdgitbmv3cy5kzs92my8xos8xotezlze5mtm2nzytzmhmohzqcwf6czfnlxnoaw1hbm9zy2hu.jpg  

    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Groove_c; 09-19-2019 at 05:23 PM.

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    As one can see in this table, Putoline HPX R (2.5 WT) remains consistent at any temp, that's why in the column marked as "VI", the number is very high (468), whereas Shimano mineral oil is only at 98, because of huge properties' discrepancies at different temps.

    The lower the number in column marked as "VI", the less consistent is the fluid at different temps.

    Don't be scared because of "only" 180C, because it says that it withstands at least 180C, whereas Shimano mineral oil is limited to max 225C.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails shimano BR-M8120 vs BR-M8020 shimanos new 4 piston brake set-sans-titreas.jpg  


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    Hey guys, building an e-bike, and researching parts as i need them.
    Can i use the BL-M8100 lever with BR-M520 caliper? From what read here its doable right?
    The price of that lever is only 10 bucks more than BL-M501, but has several adjust i consider worthy.
    Im considering using the BH-90 Hose too, from research it can be used in place of BH-59 and gives better modulation.

    If im wrong please correct me.

    Thanks in advance

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Groove_c View Post
    As one can see in this table, Putoline HPX R (2.5 WT) remains consistent at any temp, that's why in the column marked as "VI", the number is very high (468), whereas Shimano mineral oil is only at 98, because of huge properties' discrepancies at different temps.

    The lower the number in column marked as "VI", the less consistent is the fluid at different temps.
    Any idea how this Putoline would actually work in very cold temperatures? My old M666 SLX brakes have smaller and smaller gap between pad and disc as the temperature gets colder. At ~-20 - -25C there's no gap and the brakes (and bike) becomes unusable. When the bike gets warmer, the gap returns to normal. How much is this due to the minearal oil properties and how much due to seals etc?

  44. #44
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    Is the Putoline HPX R (2.5 WT) available in the US? Quick search didn't bring up many "buy" links. Just curious - I've been ok with Shimano mineral fluid, but always looking for a bargain ( especially if there could be a performance benefit )

    Saw it on fleabay ... and maybe dirtbikebitz.com

    Also - they make 5W and 7.5W ... wouldn't one of those be closer to the Shimano mineral oil?

    Finally, any worries if using in a hot climate like the south west US?

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Groove_c View Post
    As one can see in this table, Putoline HPX R (2.5 WT) remains consistent at any temp, that's why in the column marked as "VI", the number is very high (468), whereas Shimano mineral oil is only at 98, because of huge properties' discrepancies at different temps.

    The lower the number in column marked as "VI", the less consistent is the fluid at different temps.

    Don't be scared because of "only" 180C, because it says that it withstands at least 180C, whereas Shimano mineral oil is limited to max 225C.

    Where can this be purchased?
    Is it actually a fork oil?

  46. #46
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    There is no fork or brakes specific oil.
    Only different viscosity at different temps and compatibility with seals, made of different materials.

    You have to search yourself if you can find it.

    Scott Genius 710 (2016)
    XTR Trail levers (BL-M9120) + XTR Trail calipers (BR-M9120)

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    It's not logical to try to buy oil that has same properties or close to original Shimano oil. It won't cure wandering bite point problem, which is due to thickness of original Shimano oil and to small openings for oil to circulate from and to the reseevoir inside the lever.

    I don't have the numbers for 5 and 7.5W variants.

    Scott Genius 710 (2016)
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  48. #48
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    I've found the 2.5 but it says "fork oil" on the bottle.

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    This is the right one.

    Scott Genius 710 (2016)
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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tree View Post
    I've found the 2.5 but it says "fork oil" on the bottle.
    Did you locate a retailer in the US? All I found were vendors overseas.

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    I can somewhat confirm oil theory but still not 100% sure.
    I bled mine with Silkolene Pro RSF 2.5w and it seems to work great. At least better than LHM+ and the original oil. It is more of a "damper oil" which is quite thin (compared to original shimano and Total LHM+), it has VI more that 400 so it doesn't change its viscosity with temperatures too much. LHM+ also has high VI but it a bit more thicker by itself.

    Also, all that talk about oils and piston materials is great unless the lever doesn't leak under the master cylinder piston which could be the reason for some glitches


    ps: There are lot of similar threads and I'm a bit confused where to reply. I've been reading this part of the forum lately because I've ordered 7120 caliper and there is almost no info in the internet apart from couple of marketing articles. I was thinking about 520 caliper, but went for SLX, because I don't like the pin holding the pads and changing connector from banjo to straight would almost negate price difference.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwapik View Post
    Did you locate a retailer in the US? All I found were vendors overseas.
    Only found overseas

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    @graved1gger Fuchs Silkolene Pro RSF 2.5W is much thicker than Shimano original at all temps, except -40C.
    Viscosity index (VI) only indicates the consistency of oil at different temps, not how thick/thin it is.
    So it was a bad investment.

    I suppose you've only checked viscosity index and seen that it's 2.5W instead of 10W Shimano and made your decision.
    Shimano 10 W is thinner than this 2.5W )))
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails shimano BR-M8120 vs BR-M8020 shimanos new 4 piston brake set-sans-titre78.jpg  


    Scott Genius 710 (2016)
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    Hmmm, my mistake, but where did you found specs for original shimano?

    4 cst @ 20C not that much thicker (we ain't riding at -40C or +100C). And it feels a lot better.

    Aaaand it wasn't an investment it was an experiment with an oil which I already had and I like it the most of the 3 others

    I suppose you've only checked viscosity index and seen that it's 2.5W instead of 10W Shimano and made your decision.
    Nope, you suppose wrong.
    As I've wrote above - I had it already and decided to try.
    Well, to be honest I haven't seen the specs for shimano original, but I checked operational viscosity and I wasn't looking just for VI.

  55. #55
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    @graved1geer Fuchs Silkolene Pro RSF 2.5W is actually 22% thicker @ 20C than Shimano original 10W.
    100C is not when riding, but when braking.

    So Putoline HPX R 2.5W is the oil of choice for Shimano brakes, if you can find it or ready to pay for oversea shipment.

    Putoline is 104% thinner @ 20C than Silkolene.
    Putoline is 68% thinner @ 20C than Shimano.

    Scott Genius 710 (2016)
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  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Groove_c View Post
    @graved1geer it's actually 22% thicker @ 20C.
    +100C is not when riding, but when braking.
    And Putoline is 26% thicker "while braking*" and you still like it better than shimano.
    Something doesn't add up


    But we need to define "braking", dragging brakes all the way down would heat the breaks and the fluid even more than 100C, but braking in a short bursts and releasing lever even for a couple of seconds would be enough to cool the fluid a lot, I'm not saying up to an air temp, but a lot.
    --
    Nevertheless, after I've changed the leaking levers (which is usually the primary reason for several shimano brakes glitches) I didn't have any problems either with shimano or silkolene oils, yet with silkolene it feels more consistent. I know a lot of people who use total lhm+ which also works, but the feeling is a bit off. As I've wrote before, I'm not 100% sure and everything is quite subjective but I like what I've got in the end.

    PS: for now I have other fluids to experiment with

  57. #57
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    Hm, I found Putoline locally and it is even a bit cheaper than other synthetic or semi-synthetic offerings.
    I'll give it a try a bit later.

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    @graved1gger Putoline HPX R 2.5W is fully synthetic, not semi-synthetic.
    Be cautious. There are also 5W and 7.5W variants, which you shouldn't buy.
    Where do you live?
    Quote Originally Posted by graved1gger View Post
    Putoline is 26% thicker "while braking*" and you still like it better than Shimano.
    Something doesn't add up
    The problem with Shimano is at ambient and sub-ambient temps.
    So I don't really look at 100C numbers.
    But it shouldn't be very low as well. Otherwise it's almost like water, which is bad, because the boiling point is lower.
    So 26% thicker @ 100C Putoline vs. Shimano is even better.

    Scott Genius 710 (2016)
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  59. #59
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    I'm going to order the Putoline HPX 2.5 and give it a try. All three of my bikes have Shimano brakes so it will be worth the investment.
    How concerned should I be with draining the Shimano fluid from the system? Will the synthetic Putoline play nice with the little amount of Shimano fluid left in the system?
    Or will it be fine just purging the Shimano fluid out with the Putoline?

  60. #60
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    I've just opened the bleed port at the caliper and depressed the lever to let as much of Shimano oil out as possible and also used the syringe, connected to the caliper to pull out some more. Just in case if. Because I don't know how both can mix together.

    Scott Genius 710 (2016)
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    You could also try making on a small cup 50/50 mix with shimano and putoline and see what it does overnight. Most likely they'll just mix and nothing happens, but if it reacts somehow, it is probably quite quickly visible. If it somehow reacts, maybe safer to try draining old oil out as much as possible...

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    got myself a bottle. but I'm too lazy to experiment until the caliper arrives
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails shimano BR-M8120 vs BR-M8020 shimanos new 4 piston brake set-dsc_20191008_161418_790.jpg  


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    You would think that if fixing the wandering bite point problem was just a matter of oil weight then Shimano would have addressed that by now. One would hope anyway....

  64. #64
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    It is.
    Because me and hundreds/thousands of people using Putoline for some people already more than 3 years in cold, have reported significant improvrments.
    But it's also due to the size of holes of the lever, between the system and reservoir.
    Not only oil weight.
    By now, Shimano has produced so much of this oil and has all their fabrics lines equipped with specific machines for specific size and shape pieces, that it's economically not so simple to just throw away all the oil (loose a lot of money) and change all the machinery.

    But this is what should be done, ideally.

    And also acknowledging the problem would be a very big image hit for them.
    Since the problem exists since several generations and is so widely spred.

    It means a lot of recalls and returns by all the shops and customers.

    So better (for them) not to acknowledge and then release revisions or new models/generations, where it's corrected and continue to deny.

    Just my 50 cents

    Scott Genius 710 (2016)
    XTR Trail levers (BL-M9120) + XTR Trail calipers (BR-M9120)

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    Again, so much shimano threads here dunno where to post, but since I've posted here already I'll continue here.
    Here is my subjective impressions of the new 7120 caliper and Putoline oil.

    So I've got 7120 caliper and bled front and rear(xt 2pot) with Putoline about a month ago.

    As far as the front goes:
    1. Banjo bolt is included in the package, banjo is now on the "correct" side of the caliper.

    2. It is definitely easier to get a good bleed than on zee/saints.
    2.1. I and friend had some fun times getting a good bleed on his Zees earlier. Also he said he likes his Zees with Putoline more than with original Shimano or Total LHM+. One more for the Putoline train? And I like my xt-slx 4pot more than his Zees (Also metal pads and same rotors. The only thing that comes to mind is that the servo-wave trajectory is slightly different in Zees (essentially slx/xt lever from 2012).

    3. Same pistons as the Saint/Zee, but the caliper is smaller and initially it looks like pistons are tiny.

    4. I do love how the new finned pads look. They look like a part of radiator from high end PC motherboard or memory rather than a bicycle part. Couldn't say that about old finned pads.

    5. Maybe it is just a placebo but the brake feels a bit nicer than with 2pot caliper. More modulation with both metal and organic pads? Dunno how to describe. Odd.

    6. Power increase? Definitely yes, despite the difference in hydraulic leverage between 2pots and 4pots is only about 6%, the actual braking feels noticeably more powerful. Greater pad contact area? Pressure is being applied more equally to the pads? Well, it definitely works.

    7. Aaand insane thing about the pads. I've got both organic and metal pads. Being the metal pads guy, I used metal pads right away to compare the calipers, bedded the pads in, took for a couple of rides, was impressed by the setup blah-blah-blah. And then decided to try organic, was skeptical about them at first, I didn't like organic pads on XTs back when I bought them, swapped for metal pads and was on the metal pads since then. But these new organic pads are awesome, yeah, not that grabby like the metal ones, but still more powerful than 2 pot caliper with metal pads, while the feel is a lot better and the pads are totally silent. Probably going to save metal pads for bike park use in spring.

    ---

    And for the rear as it remained the same, but bled with Putoline.

    I haven't spotted a noticeable difference between Putoline and Silkolene. I wasn't able to test Putoline in sub-zero temperatures yet but at anything from 5C to 15C it works the same and works great, maybe the lever feels a slightly lighter with Putoline which is expected, but I never had any consistency issues with Silkolene either. I'd say the combination for consistent shimanos is a proper bleed + oil with high viscosity index + no leaking levers or calipers.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Groove_c View Post
    But it's also due to the size of holes of the lever, between the system and reservoir.
    Not only oil weight.
    Didn't you say Shimano corrected this by increasing all of the orifices on the 7120/8120/9120 series.

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    Couldn't check, since levers are one piece and I don't want to destroy one just to look inside.

    I like my XTR 4-pot a little bit more than my Saints.

    Scott Genius 710 (2016)
    XTR Trail levers (BL-M9120) + XTR Trail calipers (BR-M9120)

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by graved1gger View Post
    oil with high viscosity index
    It's only partially correct.
    High viscosity index only is not tell the whole story, since it only tells you, that this oil is pretty consistent, but you don't know how thick it is.
    It can be really thick, but have a high viscosity index, because of consistency.

    Scott Genius 710 (2016)
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    Btw I have Putoline HPX R (2.5 W) in my XTR 4-pot and ride now in 0- -3C and it's rock solid/ consistent all the time, very fast/responsive.

    Scott Genius 710 (2016)
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  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Groove_c View Post
    Btw I have Putoline HPX R (2.5 W) in my XTR 4-pot and ride now in 0- -3C and it's rock solid/ consistent all the time, very fast/responsive.
    0 to -3? My regular shimano fluid does just fine in those temps, also "very fast/responsive". Call back at -20C.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  71. #71
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    This are temps now at my place.
    I like Putoline more.
    Better quality and more consistant than Shimano.
    I'm not the only and no, it's not placebo.

    Scott Genius 710 (2016)
    XTR Trail levers (BL-M9120) + XTR Trail calipers (BR-M9120)

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    That reminds me my Poutine should be showing up sometime soon.
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  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Groove_c View Post
    Btw I have Putoline HPX R (2.5 W) in my XTR 4-pot and ride now in 0- -3C and it's rock solid/ consistent all the time, very fast/responsive.
    Is this correct - you are putting 2.5wt fork oil in your XTR caliper brake? I have the XTR Race 2-pot and looking to bleed - change out the fluids. Should I also go with the Putoline fluid for better performance?
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  74. #74
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    Dont put fork oil in your brakes. Great way to trash them.

    Mineral oil regardless of brand for these brakes is pretty much the same.and -3C is NOTHING. That's not even cold. And all my shimano brakes work just fine. As Jayem said, come back when your talking -20C, at which point my shimanos still work perfectly without any bogus fluid not meant for brakes.

    Sent from my SM-N975U using Tapatalk

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by NH Mtbiker View Post
    Is this correct - you are putting 2.5wt fork oil in your XTR caliper brake? I have the XTR Race 2-pot and looking to bleed - change out the fluids. Should I also go with the Putoline fluid for better performance?
    Yes, that' what I'm using in my 4-pot XTR right from the beginning and that's what I was using before in my 4-pot Saint with with great results at different temps and for a long time.
    Other guys I know are doing same for more than 3 years now and no problems with seals at all.
    Seals size and condition are still like they were several years back.
    0 degradation or change in size.
    Otherwise it would have leaked or it wouldn't have been possible to move.
    But they still operate lick a Swiss watch.

    It's not any mineral or synthetic oil with 2.5 WT, but Putoline HPX R 2.5, since by now we know 100%, that there is no harm to the brakes, because of unknown additives.
    Thanks to 0 troubles real experience of hundreds of people and several years of its usage by us.


    Despite it being "only" 2.5 WT and not 10 WT as Shimano, it's premium quality synthetic oil, which is much better than mineral Shimano.
    It's not less heat resistant than Shimano. May be even more resistant, despite 4 times difference in viscosity.

    And the most important is that even at ambient temp it's 68% thinner than Shimano and this level of viscosity remains almost unchanged, even at very low temps.
    Whereas Shimano gets much thicker, even if it still functions correctly.

    So basically, more liquid fluid has less troubles to follow/react the/to movements of the lever master piston vs. much thicker fluid.

    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    Dont put fork oil in your brakes. Great way to trash them.

    Mineral oil regardless of brand for these brakes is pretty much the same.
    Don't mislead people with your ignorance!
    1. Not even tried
    2. Different brands of mineral oil have different boiling points, different viscosity, different consistency and different additives.
    Same applies for different brands of DOT.

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  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    As Jayem said, come back when your talking -20C, at which point my shimanos still work perfectly without any bogus fluid not meant for brakes.

    Sent from my SM-N975U using Tapatalk
    Well, they worked (9000s), they sure as hell didn't work perfectly, zero lever travel and on/off with no modulation. You usually aren't traveling very fast at -20, but still, if you had different results I'd be interested to hear it. I did have some M987s fail in the cold.

    Anything that makes these more cold-resistant/consistent is welcomed by me.

    I can't notice a huge different with the Poutine on my 8000s, just spent a week down in AZ, but the heavy-braking scenarios on the steeps there were limited, not nearly as extreme as Washington state from in the last few months. Action seems a little lighter and it seemed they were a bit more resistant to wandering bite, but I can't say it was all gone either. I have it in my 9000s too, which is a winter-bike and I'll be testing that out much more during the coming weeks.
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    Another Putoline HPX R 2.5 comment / experiment here... I have a set of BR-M8020 and since I bled them with Putoline, I've used them only in freezing temperatures ranging from -2C to -22C.

    Yes, they work. I'd say the bite point issue is much less pronounced from around -2C to about -10C? At -16C to -22C couple of quick lever pumps and it still wanders but it's still better than with Shimano oil. As Jayem said, the lever action seems (I'd say definitely is) lighter and that may be off putting to some.

    As a side note, I also bled my TRP Hylex brakes on my commuter with Putoline. Previous winters, as the temperature dropped, they felt overly stiff, started rubbing and the bite point changed permanently until the pistons were pushed back manually in spring. With Putoline they have yet to show any of these problems. YMMV obviously.

    As the temperature drops here in northern Finland quite regularly down to >-25C, I'm surprised fellow bikers here don't seem to mind this aspect of Shimano brakes. I guess you get used to it. I'm waiting something better to come along that's as easy to bleed and doesn't you an arm and a leg.

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    I mind but it does not get below -20C too often here in centern Finland. That's when the non-existent free stroke becomes a problem on my SLX BR-M675 brakes. At -25C they drag too much to be usable. Where did you get your Putoline?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hece View Post
    I mind but it does not get below -20C too often here in centern Finland. That's when the non-existent free stroke becomes a problem on my SLX BR-M675 brakes. At -25C they drag too much to be usable. Where did you get your Putoline?
    I ordered mine from amazon.de but there's at least this Finnish retailer:
    Telariöljy HPX R SAE 2,5 - Indy.fi

  80. #80
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    Ok, so a good bit of testing today with the Putoline HPX R 2.5. Conditions about +5 to -5F, or about -15 to -21C.

    Terrain included a good bit of steep stuff that while not long, replicates some of the longer steeper stuff I ride.

    M9000 series brakes with Ai2 rotors, 180 front, 160 rear.

    I've ridden this bike in this config a few times, but nothing serious. The bleed went well, nice firm lever feel, no issues there.

    Lever travel/action seems decent, it's not super heavy as you tend to get in the cold. That said, this is still a good bit off from the -20F I've taken the shimanos to, where the lever travel was basically nil and they were on/off.

    The bad part is that the inconsistent bite point is as bad as ever. Grab the lever once for braking, then your finger gets tired or you go to re-position for another section and all of a sudden the lever engages way far out. If you do it in quick succession even more, it dang near locks out all the way. If you grab it and let off for a few seconds, then grab it again, it's fine, but this seems to go back to one of the inherent problems (besides the MC bore and weeping ceramic pistons) with the brakes, the inconsistent bite point. If you engage it and then let go and re-engage, which is normal for braking on any steep tech terrain, when it engages now further out, it makes it much harder for your fingers to deliver the same clamping force, so if you go through this cycle a few times, it significantly affects your ability to brake.

    Front and rear are consistent with this behavior.

    At this point, I am done with shimano brakes. I will wait for these and my other current ones to fail and I'll be replacing them with brakes that don't suffer from these inherent issues. The weeping pistons is not the end of the world, but the MC cylinder bore being rough and the lack of seals for both plus this inconsistent lever bite point make them a poor choice for hard riders. I think most get by just fine because they get rid of the bike/brakes in a few seasons or just never ride terrain where you have to be braking this hard, either that or they just live with these issues and think they are normal.

    I got some 2-pot hopes coming for my other fatbike and those should work great given that huge power is not needed in the winter for this kind of riding. When the brakes on my RFX fail again (because it's already happened a few times) I'll have to think about it much more, replacing with something that doesn't have huge compromises, but the price of the Trickstuff brakes is a big turn-off.

    The Putoline probably helps with the winter action and the indications seem to be it IS more resistant to the slowing-down of the action inherent with the Shimano mineral oil, but by not coming close to solving the bite point issue, it's not something I'd do again or even recommend to others.
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  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    At this point, I am done with shimano brakes. I will wait for these and my other current ones to fail and I'll be replacing them with brakes that don't suffer from these inherent issues.
    Check out the Hayes Dominions, they have a bit of a Shimano-like lever feel and bite point without the inconsistency issues.

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Groove_c View Post
    It's not any mineral or synthetic oil with 2.5 WT, but Putoline HPX R 2.5, since by now we know 100%, that there is no harm to the brakes, because of unknown additives.
    Thanks to 0 troubles real experience of hundreds of people and several years of its usage by us.
    Yup - can confirm this works really well, it's been more than a year since I've started using Putoline in all my brakes. Zero issues in temperatures from -18 C (~0 F) to over 40 C (104 F). In my experience, also better, more consistent modulation, as opposed to on-off feeling with original Shimano fluid.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corvette View Post
    Yup - can confirm this works really well, it's been more than a year since I've started using Putoline in all my brakes. Zero issues in temperatures from -18 C (~0 F) to over 40 C (104 F). In my experience, also better, more consistent modulation, as opposed to on-off feeling with original Shimano fluid.
    Zero issues at all? That's impressive, given the master cylinder bore and caliper piston issues. No dampness around the MC plug? That said, I find it strange that you aren't getting at least some pump-up when you go to grab the lever immediaely after using it. It was very pronounced today.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  84. #84
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    Well, whenever I change brake pads I also do a quick half-bleed just with the funnel to let out any air bubbles and have a short & firm lever, so there's that.

    Caliper pistons have been inconsistently wearing out brake pads regardless of the brake fluids that I've tried (Shimano, LHM, Bleedkit.com Gold, Putoline, etc.), it's better on 2-piston brakes than on 4-piston ones. Mostly it happens that one side is worn out at an angle or both sides (on 4-piston calipers) are worn out in a "V" shape. Could be just a combination of my setup (brakes, rotors) and riding style.

    But I'm certainly not experiencing lever pump-up, it seems pretty consistent to me. Haven't noticed any dampness. XTR Trail M9020 and XT 8020 levers.

  85. #85
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    After a full bleed, I re-work the lever to get all the bubbles out. So yeah, nice and firm lever.

    I don't have any inconsistent pad wear issues.I do notice that when aligning the caliper you often have to "manually" push it/set it into place, just loosening and squeezing makes it go back into the same position the metal is "keyed" to, which may or may not be centered.

    But yeah, real odd with the lever pump up. I wonder if it's a function of the cold and the fluid still thickening and not being able to pass through the reset port, but then again, it wasn't *that* much colder than what you've ridden. The effect was pretty pronounced...while the lever action was not bad (how light it felt in the cold).
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  86. #86
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    To be honest, whenever it drops below -8 (17.6 F) or -10 C (14 F), I'm having trouble keeping hands warm, so the attention is anywhere but on the lever firmness Also, the trails and terrain I ride normally calls for longer, sustained braking, so this would probably be less pronounced than on shorter, more on-off braking style.

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    It's 100% lever bores size problem.
    And I think, that it of course depends on temps as well, if the problem was not so pronounced.
    But in a particular case, where the problem was really pronounced, even Putoline can't help.
    I think that it's a quality/consistency control problem at Shimano.

    Trcikstuff levers cylinders get manually polished inside, each, for smooth lever action, when master piston glides inside.
    So there is no dark color of oil and no particles of aluminum, that get scrubbed off by master piston movements over time.

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  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Groove_c View Post
    It's 100% lever bores size problem.
    And I think, that it of course depends on temps as well, if the problem was not so pronounced.
    But in a particular case, where the problem was really pronounced, even Putoline can't help.
    I think that it's a quality/consistency control problem at Shimano.

    Trcikstuff levers cylinders get manually polished inside, each, for smooth lever action, when master piston glides inside.
    So there is no dark color of oil and no particles of aluminum, that get scrubbed off by master piston movements over time.
    I doubt that this is the full story...

    The Shimano master piston is plastic(at least on those brakes I've opened so far), while the cylinder is aluminium alloy of some sort. It might be that the surface is not quite as smooth as on Trickstuff or something else, but it would be the plastic piston that wears rather than the aluminium cylinder.
    The other thing is that the darkening fluid comes from the caliper, not the master cylinder. At least on my observations the dark stuff always comes from the caliper end, not the lever end. If you start by connecting syringe to caliper end and cup with oil to the lever, then press couple of times lever, you see immediately dark fluid coming to the syringe hose. When you press the syringe, there is always coming plenty of clean fluid in the cup before the dark stuff starts coming.

    It could be that that the piston/cylinder wears and the dirt moves down the hose towards the caliper, but I doubt that this is the case as the fluid that initially comes out from the lever end is clean. If that would be the case, it would mean that either the piston or cylinder wears and problem(s) should get more pronounced over time, but the general impression has been that the "behaviour" of the brakes stays consistent over time, at least what I know.

    I believe the darkening of the oil comes from the heat in the caliper while braking hard, but I have no evidence on this however. Would be interesting to just test by heating the oil and see what it does.

    BTW. @Groove_c, have you experienced darkening of the oil with the putoline synthetic oil..?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Verttii View Post
    The other thing is that the darkening fluid comes from the caliper, not the master cylinder. At least on my observations the dark stuff always comes from the caliper end, not the lever end. If you start by connecting syringe to caliper end and cup with oil to the lever, then press couple of times lever, you see immediately dark fluid coming to the syringe hose. When you press the syringe, there is always coming plenty of clean fluid in the cup before the dark stuff starts coming.
    This as well, since dirt enters the system around calipers pistons.
    Quote Originally Posted by Verttii View Post
    have you experienced darkening of the oil with the putoline synthetic oil..?
    Yes.

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  90. #90
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    Yeah, with the HPX today, I noticed a significant difference in the braking action right out of the warm garage (friends garage) and for a few min the action was excellent with no difference in bite point. When cold soaked, I definitely notice it. The other day above, they were pretty much cold-soaked right away due to the temps we were experiencing.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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    I am testing Red Line "LikeWater" in my XT m785s. The specs on the Red Line fluid appears to be thinner than HPX. Before changing to the Red Line fluid, I mixed a little of both Shimano and Redline and let it sit overnight to make sure there was no separation, there was none. Changing over to the Red Line fluid went very easy. The Red Line fluid is a lot thinner than the Shimano fluid, it flows very fast. Bleeding seemed to be easier with the Red Line and I got a nice firm lever on both front and back.

    In the past when the trail gets steep and rocky and I have to use the brakes on and off quickly, the m785s (and some of my other Shimano brakes) did sometimes experience the inconsistent bite point. Although to me the inconsistent bite point was never that big of a deal, this discussion made me wonder if there is room for improvement for my brakes. So far I have 4 rides on them and the m785s are working perfect, no inconsistent bite point yet.

    I am going to see how they work for another few months and if they are still working this good with no problems, I'm going to change all of my Shimano brakes over (m675, m9120).
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    Groove C, thank you so much for info in post 7. Great info. I am 3 months into XT 8120 brakes, and pads wore out unexpectedly fast, ate a brake pad spring. No damage to rotor, but pads are backordered all over the internet. Thanks to you and Inonjoey, I will order some Non finned Saint pads.

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Yeah, with the HPX today, I noticed a significant difference in the braking action right out of the warm garage (friends garage) and for a few min the action was excellent with no difference in bite point. When cold soaked, I definitely notice it. The other day above, they were pretty much cold-soaked right away due to the temps we were experiencing.
    I got Hope X2s for a different bike, not to replace shimano brakes yet, but the difference is staggering, totally consistent braking in these temps. Shimano would have been pumping like crazy, even with the HPX. Temp is in F, so -17C. Using large rotors and braking power is not an issue, maybe a little too much power and I might downsize the rotors since it's a winter bike, but so far a dramatic improvement.


    shimano BR-M8120 vs BR-M8020 shimanos new 4 piston brake set-81086067_10101896621312878_3542390550730637312_n.jpg

    shimano BR-M8120 vs BR-M8020 shimanos new 4 piston brake set-2c493bf9-bfc8-4773-a7ab-c0ccdb4b289d.jpeg
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    Quote Originally Posted by danny.mendes View Post
    I am testing Red Line "LikeWater" in my XT m785s. The specs on the Red Line fluid appears to be thinner than HPX. Before changing to the Red Line fluid, I mixed a little of both Shimano and Redline and let it sit overnight to make sure there was no separation, there was none. Changing over to the Red Line fluid went very easy. The Red Line fluid is a lot thinner than the Shimano fluid, it flows very fast. Bleeding seemed to be easier with the Red Line and I got a nice firm lever on both front and back.

    In the past when the trail gets steep and rocky and I have to use the brakes on and off quickly, the m785s (and some of my other Shimano brakes) did sometimes experience the inconsistent bite point. Although to me the inconsistent bite point was never that big of a deal, this discussion made me wonder if there is room for improvement for my brakes. So far I have 4 rides on them and the m785s are working perfect, no inconsistent bite point yet.

    I am going to see how they work for another few months and if they are still working this good with no problems, I'm going to change all of my Shimano brakes over (m675, m9120).
    So interested in RL "Like Water" for my BR-M8020, as tried but could not find any Putoline HPX in Japan. Please keep posting how "Like Water" works with Shinamos, thanks in advance.
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  95. #95
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    Well some more testing of the HPX in cold temperatures. Did the Frosty Bottom 50 on my bike that has the M9000s on it with the HPX in temps from zero to -13F, average about -6. I must say, they were as bad or worse than with the shimano fluid. Lever engagement was all the way out where you basically have no lever travel and very difficult to modulate. Definitely at least as bad as I've experienced with shimano mineral oil in -20 or so. Not even getting to the pumping, which was as prevalent as ever, but thankfully that wasn't a huge problem because this race is mostly non-technical and doesn't require a lot of braking. But the bottom line is that this fluid is definitely not improving the cold-weather performance. It's possible that the lever action is still a little lighter, but that's pretty far down the list of concerns when it only takes 3 mm of lever travel to lock up your brakes. Maybe there's a benefit to running this in warm temperatures, I almost did last week when I was in Texas for a work trip with my XC bike, but at the last minute I decided I didn't want to lug the bike around with me. So I may still try that at some point. Just got back from a ride on my other fat bike that I have installed Hope X2s on. They are a dream comparatively. They actually work in the cold and are consistent. It's like the shimano brakes behave like old hope closed disc brakes, rather than "open" brakes as all should be in this day and age.

    shimano BR-M8120 vs BR-M8020 shimanos new 4 piston brake set-81970224_10215794103026561_979965752872271872_n.jpg
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    Can you install a 8100/8120 brake lever on the 8020 master cylinder/handlebar set up? Im just talking about replacing the actual lever itself (the 20-30ish dollar part)

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    I suspect the piston seals have something to do with the bite point issue too. If theyre not flexing as quickly when cold, then thatll cause fluid volume fluctuations just as bad as thickened fluid.
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    Hi,I'm wondering if anyone had the same issue as me. My rear brake (br 8020) has problems adjusting to pad wear. What I mean is after I bleed it, it works great, without usual wandering brake point issues, but after the pads wear a bit, it starts having problems. As if there was a connection issue with master cylinder. When I bleed them they work fine again, until pads wear a bit. Also If I remove the somewhat worn pads, push the pistons back, and then bleed, the pads will have problems extending, and they will work bad right away.

    No such issues with front brake.

    Any advice? It was like that from the start

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    Quote Originally Posted by mireczek View Post
    Hi,I'm wondering if anyone had the same issue as me. My rear brake (br 8020) has problems adjusting to pad wear. What I mean is after I bleed it, it works great, without usual wandering brake point issues, but after the pads wear a bit, it starts having problems. As if there was a connection issue with master cylinder. When I bleed them they work fine again, until pads wear a bit. Also If I remove the somewhat worn pads, push the pistons back, and then bleed, the pads will have problems extending, and they will work bad right away.

    No such issues with front brake.

    Any advice? It was like that from the start
    You can try removing the pads and using the bleed syringe to apply Shimano mineral oil around the pistons. Pull the lever a few times to extend them VERY SLIGHTLY (not too far or they pop out and you're hosed), apply oil, push back in, repeat several times.
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    That sounds as if it would help mostly for when the pistons wouldn't extend when they should. And they do, it's just that the oil doesn't seem to movbe from reservoir to the system when it needs to. Just as if there was no oil in the reservoir, or very little of it

    The pistons do extend when they need to (however slower than they should - i need maaany brake puuls to cover the distance to halfway used pads). But when they do, they behave as if there was not enough oil in the system.

  101. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by mireczek View Post
    That sounds as if it would help mostly for when the pistons wouldn't extend when they should. And they do, it's just that the oil doesn't seem to movbe from reservoir to the system when it needs to. Just as if there was no oil in the reservoir, or very little of it

    The pistons do extend when they need to (however slower than they should - i need maaany brake puuls to cover the distance to halfway used pads). But when they do, they behave as if there was not enough oil in the system.
    Unfortunately that's about all you can do to service Shimano brakes. Still worth a shot.
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  102. #102
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    Hi all,
    I have M6000 brakes can i use M6000 lever and XT M8120 caliper?
    i want on front 4 piston for more power, if it is possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adodero View Post
    Thanks for your info in this thread, it's really useful.

    One of the most annoying issues I have with my M8020s is that lever flex and popping that comes from the mount. If I understand you correctly, the M9120/M8120 lever should be stiffer, but functionality the same aside from that, and is cross compatible with the M8020 caliper? Is that correct?
    Not sure if it's the same, but the only noise I've ever noticed from my 8020 (and prior, 8000 2 pots which use the same lever model) was actually from the servo-wave/linkage, not from the mount itself. Seemed to be caused by grime buildup in the linkage and where the servo-wave cam rolls. A little bit of q-tip action and a drop of oil seems to clear that up consistently for me.

    I've been running the 8020's since before my LBS's had even heard of them, and have loved them, but decided yesterday to pick up a set of 8120's. Looking forward to some testing, but a few initial observations:

    The clamp type change sucks and is awesome. The levers do feel way more solid, especially when really grabbing a fistful of lever, but it woulda been nice if they had just done the same thing while keeping ispecII. As it stands, I had to move my shifter and dropper levers to discreet clamps. (Luckily, I just installed AXS, so that came with one of the needed clamps, and the LBS I bought the 8120's from had another that I used for my dropper.) Hoping the wolftooth adapters start ramping up production a little since they're outta stock all over the place right now.

    Caliper size vs the 8020 are TINY. Okay, they're not tiny, but they're a hell of a lot smaller than the outgoing model. I had to double check the piston sizes and brake pad contact surfaces just to make sure I wasn't making a mistake with the swap. They are indeed identical, so the only variable that's left to be seen is how that mass change, as well as much smaller finned-portion of the pads will affect heat dissipation. I'm riding in 100 degree + temps right now (Phoenix summer... yay) so they're gonna get put to the test for damn sure.

    Installation was easy. Woulda been even easier had I done more reading prior, but the way they capped off the hose leading from the caliper is very welcome. There's a little rubber boot that looks like it's designed to help ya fish the cable through the frame (2018 stumpy carbon, so no help needed with end-to-end cable paths). Take that boot off, and there's already a barb installed (kinda a waste unless you actually need the full hose length) that's covered with a small plastic seal. That lets ya run the hose through your frame without leaving a snail trail along the way. Levers have the olive already shoved in there, along with the threaded part that clamps down. Didn't realize the intention of having the olive already inside the lever until the 2nd brake, so I had opened it up and fished that out and donethe install like normal. 2nd time around, you just pull the yellow stopper from the lever, and jam the cable (with barb (and rubber boot!) installed, then wrench it down and bam. It skewers the olive on the way in and seems to work beautifully.

    The banjo adjustability being on a different axis from 8020 was nice too to help more cleanly route the hose.

    Not really related, but tied to some comments further back in the thread, I'm actually not a giant fan of the 'tool free reach adjust'. The only time I screw with that is during setup in my garage, and MAYBE a couple times on trail for fine tuning. After that, it stays set for eternity. So kinda a waste to have that knob on there. I mean, it's not really hurting anything either (god knows i'd never notice the 2 grams) but I think it'd be nice to not have that there just from an aesthetics point of view.

    Anywho, looking forward to beating the shit out of these brakes very soon. They sure do look nice =)

  104. #104
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    Thoreau, 4-pot SLX/XT have same power as Saint/Zee/XT M8020, provided same pads material, but are slightly less heat resistant due to less caliper material.
    Whether you will notice it or not, depends on ambient temp, bike speed, number, steepness and length of descents, your weight and of course ho often and how hard you will brake..

    Scott Genius 710 (2016)
    XTR Trail levers (BL-M9120) + XTR Trail calipers (BR-M9120)

  105. #105
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    Here you can see power in newtonmeters curve after x time in seconds
    4-pot XTR (8) vs. Saint (2)
    Results are not very reliable since tests were done on different rotors, that come from each brand/manufacturer.
    Pads used were also no all sinter. For some brakes it could have been sinter, but for other no sinter pads available to buy.
    But for Shimano it's ok, since rotors were same, Freeza for both 4-pot XTR and Saint.
    If all these brakes would have been tested on same rotor model, no matter which brand, results would have been sligthly different.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails shimano BR-M8120 vs BR-M8020 shimanos new 4 piston brake set-trickstuff.jpg  


    Scott Genius 710 (2016)
    XTR Trail levers (BL-M9120) + XTR Trail calipers (BR-M9120)

  106. #106
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    thats some good data to geek out on there.

    the 8020s have certainly served me well without issue. the smaller size of the 8120 caliper was extremely obvious the second i opened the box, and comparing the pads side by side, the finned bits are definitely smaller.

    despite the extreme ambient temps here though, im pretty confident these will leave me smiling tonight during my ride.

    not a lotta massive sustained downhills around here anyway.

  107. #107
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    id also wonder how beneficial the extra mass of the 8020/saint/zee caliper really is in a place like Phoenix. at a certain point, that mass is just saturated with heat and not doing a lot to expel it since it isnt given any kinda texture to increase surface area.

    the older burlier calipers and the shiny new smaller 8120s are both getting to start off with a good bit of heat just from me driving to the trailhead on roads radiating back the afternoon sunshine =)

  108. #108
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    I'm from europe, so no idea how conditions are at your location )

    Scott Genius 710 (2016)
    XTR Trail levers (BL-M9120) + XTR Trail calipers (BR-M9120)

  109. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thoreau View Post
    comparing the pads side by side, the finned bits are definitely smaller.
    Yes, they are.

    I also moved from Saint to 4-pot XTR on my 2016 Scott Genius 710.
    It's rather a "sidegrade" than an upgrade, but I like 4-pot XTR better, because of vertically and not useless horizontally adjustable banjo + it's now inside and not outside, slightly stiffer levers, slightly better modulation, due to flatter Servo-Wave curve and also easier to bleed the caliper air free, since the port is on the back, same side as banjo and not in front, opposite to banjo.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails shimano BR-M8120 vs BR-M8020 shimanos new 4 piston brake set-20181206_210725.jpg  


    Scott Genius 710 (2016)
    XTR Trail levers (BL-M9120) + XTR Trail calipers (BR-M9120)

  110. #110
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    Quick question: Other than branding - is there any difference between M7120 and M8120 brakes sets? Internally? Externally? Thanks.

  111. #111
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    I believe the only difference between the two are: XT lever has the free stroke adjustment and dimples on the lever.

    I might be mistaken - Groove_c would know for sure

  112. #112
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    XT is anodised SLX is not

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