Shimano XTR M9000 vs XT M8000 brakes on cross country hard tail- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Shimano XTR M9000 vs XT M8000 brakes on cross country hard tail

    I'm having quite a hard time deciding on the XTR M9000 or XT M8000 brake set my my 2012 Specialized Carve hard tail. I have upgraded almost everything on the bike except the brakes and pedals and this winters upgrade will be brakes. The current BR446 brakes leave a little to be desired in weight and performance so they need to go. I weigh 200-205 lbs while the bike is about 22.5-23.1 lbs depending on the scale so the big question which brake set is best for my needs. Cost between the two is a not a concern.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outlaw Bill View Post
    Cost between the two is a not a concern.
    For me, 'cost' and 'not a concern' don't go in the same sentence. It's a disposable income thingy.
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  3. #3
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    I can vouch for the XT M8000's as a great option but I can't say I've compared them to the M9000's. I rode with some SRAM Guide Ultimates on a bike I rented for 3 days and absolutely loved the feel and modulation. The new XT's entirely remind me of that experience. As powerful as the old XT's but better modulation without the sudden grabbiness.

    I weigh around 190-200 depending on how much I allow myself to indulge in holiday treats between Thanksgiving and New Year's and I run 180/160 Ice-Tech XT rotors. While deciding, do note that the XTR's come in a regular (XC?) version and the 9020 trail version.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Outlaw Bill View Post
    Cost between the two is a not a concern.
    I think with this in mind, your choice is really between the XTR 9000 and 9020. I'd wager that most people (myself included) buy XT over XTR because cost is a concern.

  5. #5
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    XTR = cost is not a concern.

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    This why I ask if the XT brakes comparable or equal to the XTR(trail or race). I have no problems spending more if the product is better. I hope this clears up my cost statement, sorry if I caused any confusion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Outlaw Bill View Post
    This why I ask if the XT brakes comparable or equal to the XTR(trail or race). I have no problems spending more if the product is better. I hope this clears up my cost statement, sorry if I caused any confusion.
    No worries. XT is equivalent to a slightly lesser version of the XTR Trail brakes. In most cases, Shimano's stuff is offered in levels where one is trumped by the next. For mtb, it's Altus, Acera, Alivio, Deore, Deore SLX, Deore XT and Deore XTR. Everything below Deore is big-box and bargain bike level and each level is superior to the one before.

    Generally, the difference between XT and XTR is very small. In most cases, performance is perceivably the same with XTR saving on weight.

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    If you look through the threads in the this section and look online there has been some issues it seems with the latest XTR version. Actually less reliable than the XTs. There is not a huge difference in weight and no difference in performance if both are running ice tech rotors. Especially for XC. I would go XT and pocket the cash for other upgrades like light wheels.

  9. #9
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    I have XTR M9000s and am not happy with them. Nowhere near the stopping power of any iteration of XTs I've used over the years.

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    I should add that I have the M9000 Race model.

  11. #11
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    ^^^ And where do you think the issue is with your M9000's?
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    Not sure where the issue is, but I can tell you what the issue is; they just don't have the bite and power my XTs have. Fine for flat cross country riding, but for extended descents here along the CO Front Range, I find them to be inadequate. I've tried different types of pads with no improvement. Just one guy's opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lewis17web View Post
    If you look through the threads in the this section and look online there has been some issues it seems with the latest XTR version. Actually less reliable than the XTs. There is not a huge difference in weight and no difference in performance if both are running ice tech rotors. Especially for XC. I would go XT and pocket the cash for other upgrades like light wheels.
    The bike has these upgrades.

    2012 Carve Comp white/green/black
    SRAM X01 11-speed
    Roval Control SL wheels
    Fast track 29 x 2.0 tires
    S-Works carbon 700mm flat bar
    S-Works SL 90mm stem
    Phenom expert seat
    Pro Alloy 2 seat post
    Stock Shimano 446 brakes
    Rockshox SID WC XX fork
    Last edited by Outlaw Bill; 12-26-2015 at 03:37 PM.

  14. #14
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    Performance wise XT would be an upgrade over those brakes. All shimano brakes work but XT are super reliable especially when used with ice tech rotors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ltspd1 View Post
    Not sure where the issue is, but I can tell you what the issue is; they just don't have the bite and power my XTs have. Fine for flat cross country riding, but for extended descents here along the CO Front Range, I find them to be inadequate. I've tried different types of pads with no improvement. Just one guy's opinion.
    I have this exact problem with my XTR Trail brakes. I've always had XTs and figured I'd go for the "nicer" brakes on my last build. They ride fine for mellow stuff, but on long, sustained (30-40min) technical descents, just feels like they are lacking...I'd switch back to XTs in a heartbeat..or maybe some Guide RSCs

  16. #16
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    ^^^^ A heat build-up related issue perhaps?
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ltspd1 View Post
    Not sure where the issue is, but I can tell you what the issue is; they just don't have the bite and power my XTs have. Fine for flat cross country riding, but for extended descents here along the CO Front Range, I find them to be inadequate. I've tried different types of pads with no improvement. Just one guy's opinion.
    From an earlier post of yours you said you have the XTR Race version.
    The race version of the XTR brakes don't use the servo wave technology, so you get less leverage and hence less bite and power. Great modulation though.
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  18. #18
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    I got M987 race versions, F and R to save weight. They are virtually identical to the M9000s, unlike the version before the 987, which was significantly different. I run them with fairly light Ashima rotors, except 180mm F and 160mm rear. This is on my winter fat-bike (which sees duty commuting and occasional XC rides in the summer). The power isn't earth shattering, by any means. I have XT Trails on my other bike and they are significantly more powerful. The XTR work great though and I like them, I'm about 170lbs and my expectations were a good light brake, not the most power. The XTR Trail *should* be on par with the XTs as far as power, but the brake overall is more delicate, thinner material, softer material (like magnesium), etc.

    One thing people tend to overlook is putting the same brake or rotor size front and rear. The rear brake does not need anywhere near the power of the front to be as effective, so you can get away with a smaller rotor or one-caliper system (like a freeride/AM setup with a Zee 200mm up front and an XT 180mm rear) in the rear with no difference in "power" felt by the rider. This usually dictates my rotor size, but one could go with an XT up front and XTR in the rear. XTR is usually about prioritizing weight, while still retaining acceptable performance. Emphasis on acceptable, not outright most.
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