Brake question (cold weather): XT M8000 vs Guide R vs Guide RS?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    LCW
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    New question here. Brake question (cold weather): XT M8000 vs Guide R vs Guide RS?

    Shopping for brakes for the fatbike. Either M8000 XT, Guide R or Guide RS.


    Couple questions-

    How is the Guide R vs the RS? Is the swing link a huge benefit? Worth the extra 15-20 per brake?

    I run the newest Saints on my trail bike (SB-66) and like the feel and modulation.

    Good sale on the M8000 right now on BC/CC. I'll soon have my M8000 XT 1X11 shifter/derailleur installed. But I'm not stuck on having matching brakes & drivetrain. I don't run matchmaker or i-spec setups. Can get the XT M8000 for almost same price as Guide R.

    But I'm concerned about cold weather performance below 0F (in MN), and also want good modulation as I like the way my Saints works. Don't want on/off. So from what I'm reading, that would lean me towards the Guides (both for DOT vs mineral oil) and the supposedly better modulation.

    Thoughts?

    Santa Cruz Hightower LT


  2. #2
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    This is my $.02 and reasoning behind brakes. All of them have good modulation now a days so to me it is more just getting used to which ever brake you have. They all vary a bit so one or two rides and i know where they bite and how to modulate them. I have never had mineral oil freeze and I live in Minneapolis and ride year round. I have never actually had them stiffen up even. I run all shimano (4 bikes now) for two reasons. First DOT is messy when spilled and when bleeding it is hard not to get it on things and it can eat into finishes if not cleaned up. Second is for bleeding. Shimano brakes are the easiest to bleed. SRAM have that weird two siringe thing you have to suck all the bubbles out BS. It is a pain. Shimano just has one siringe and you push from the bottom and fill up the funnel on the reservoir. Done. All my bikes have been bleed in one shot. Super easy.

    So with that I would say XT. Also I have read only good things about them and their modulation.

  3. #3
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    Shimano still makes the best brakes IMO, but having said that Sram Guides are the best brake they've ever put out to date and I am sure you'd be happy with them. But if I were buying from scratch, Shimano all the way, and it isn't even close.

  4. #4
    Workin for the weekend!
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    If you're really worried about cold performance, mechanicals are the only real option. I've never had issues on my XTs to -20C.

    Colder than that and there isn't much fun for my tastes.
    Todd :thumbsup:

  5. #5
    LCW
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    Thanks for the feedback fellas... this is the sort of input I'm seaking...

    Cheers

    Santa Cruz Hightower LT


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    I am currently running the cheap m395s from shimano on one of my rides and they perform better then my old juicy 7's. They are heavy but the power is unreal for such a cheap brake. That power is something that I have always found lacking in SRAM's offerings. I am a bit on the insulated side though so my needs may be more than your in the stopping dept.

    Mechanicals are an option but I have found the keeping my old BB7s noise free was a pain. They howelled like a mother all the time. Drove me nuts.

  7. #7
    RAKC
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    I have Shimano as well on my trail bike. My fat bike is bb7s. You can feel a difference in the lever with hydraulic brakes when it gets cold but not bad at all. Just feels a little bit stiffer but brakes work the same. I know my shimanos aren't "on/off" feeling at all compared to my bb7s, which have some bite to them even when cold.

  8. #8
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    I have Guides on my fat bike and fat tandem, the Tandem has RS, the bike has RSC. I have not noticed any difference in function or performance. The fat bike sees more cold weather; teens are the lowest we've seen this year, and they worked fine other than some horrendous squealing.

    Mechanicals work fine, I ran BB7 and Spykes last year. I took them off because hey don't have the dry season stopping power I need and they are also hard to adjust "close to the rotor" without having rub, which leads to a soft lever pull.

    I don't think the bleeding is a big deal, I had Maguras for years and had to use two syringes. I like the mineral oil, which is what Shimano uses. I have no idea if DOT fluid is better for cold weather than mineral oil, but my gut feeling is yes.

  9. #9
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    I ride the Guide RS's and they have bucket loads of modulation. I don't think I've ever ridden the Saints. Compared to XT's, SLX's, and Deore's the modulation difference is big, the Shimano's have always been on/off for me personally, not a lot of finesse.

    I'd say go RS over R, RSC if you're super picky about lever feel.

    Dot 5.1 does have a larger temperature operating range, but you'll never ride in temps cold enough that would have significant effect on Mineral Oil.

  10. #10
    The Dog.
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    I was always a BB7 guy, but due to some hand issues I switched the beargrease over to XT M785's this summer. Mainly due to laziness, but also due to ongoing hand issues, I left the XT's on this winter.

    I have had sh*t luck with the old Shimano's in the past, but I have been really pleasantly surprised by the XT's this winter. Ridden down to zero without issue. They were a little slow to return at first, but almost seem to have softened up with further use in the cold. I actually used to get all kinds of issues with ice packing up on my rear BB7 caliper, but no longer with the XT's.

  11. #11
    LCW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogdude222 View Post
    I was always a BB7 guy, but due to some hand issues I switched the beargrease over to XT M785's this summer. Mainly due to laziness, but also due to ongoing hand issues, I left the XT's on this winter.

    I have had sh*t luck with the old Shimano's in the past, but I have been really pleasantly surprised by the XT's this winter. Ridden down to zero without issue. They were a little slow to return at first, but almost seem to have softened up with further use in the cold. I actually used to get all kinds of issues with ice packing up on my rear BB7 caliper, but no longer with the XT's.
    thanks... doesn't sound too bad

    Santa Cruz Hightower LT


  12. #12
    LCW
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    Will give these a go...


    Santa Cruz Hightower LT


  13. #13
    LCW
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    Rode them on Sunday... MUCH better. Great power with one finger. My fears of poor modulation are quelled. Feel is very similar to my Saints. They don't feel on/off which is good. Quiet. Way less effort. Better performance. Very happy with them.






    Santa Cruz Hightower LT


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