Must stop, don't wanna'.
These Shimano XT Disc Brakes M785 are a big improvement over old XT brakes. At first glance, you'll see how they use an in-line master cylinder as opposed to the radial design of the M-775. This allows a lighter weight system and an easier bleed process. They still use mineral oil as a hydraulic fluid. The great part is that it's non-toxic and non-corrosive. If you spill some when you bleed your brakes, there's nothing to worry about.
They take their design cues from the new XTR M988 Trail Brakes. And though these might not be as visually refined as the highly polished XTR units, the stopping power speaks for itself. This is hands down the best XT brake we've ever ridden. In addition to the excellent power and modulation, the XT Brakes offer easy adjustment to make your hands happy and to give you ultimate control. There is a tool-free reach adjustment that you can dial on-the-fly. They also have a free stroke adjustment that lets you determine how far you like the blade to travel before your pads make contact with the rotor. Basically, you can dial them to perfection.
Size wise, the M785 levers are much lower profile than the M775 levers, but more importantly, the movement of the lever pivot towards the bar creates a more efficient design. In essence, the arc of the lever optimizes your natural finger movement and position of strength with the point in the lever travel where your power is transferred through the system to the caliper. These also feature Shimano's Servo Wave technology. Servo Wave allows the pads to sit further from the rotors at rest (a great feature for trail/all mountain bikes that might see more rotor abuse than a race machine). This is possible as the piston travel changes relative to lever travel as you squeeze on the brakes to close the gap to the rotor quickly, then slowing to allow predictable modulation.
The calipers use a 22mm ceramic piston for inspiring stopping power, and Shimano has brought back a banjo fitting for the hose attachment at the caliper. We're glad, because it allows more flexibility with hose routing to keep it safe and looking nice. They also employ Shimano's Radiator Pads. They have integrated fins that rise up out of the caliper to dissipate heat from the pads and caliper body, reducing the temperature by around 50 degrees Celsius.
The Shimano XT Brakes M785 are available separately as right or left levers and calipers and have hinged, split clamps for easy mounting. They come as pre-bled lever/caliper/hose assemblies and are complete for each end of the bike except for rotors (sold separately). Shimano XT Brakes will work equally well with XT Ice Tech Rotors or standard XT rotors.
Please Note: If you plan to run 180mm or bigger rotors, you may need to also purchase the proper Shimano caliper adapters. Check your frame and fork compatibility to determine your needs.
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Share your thoughts
I don't have a ton of reference regarding disc brakes, but I upgraded to these from Avid Elixir 1's. Night and day difference. The Avid rear brake howled no matter what. These are silent. These are easier to bleed and don't use corrosive fluid like the Avids did. You can adjust the reach on these levers without tools. I like the shorty levers too, they encourage one finger braking, and you definitely only need one finger to operate these. These have great rating here, on MTBR and the guys at the LBS raved about them. You can spend a lot more or a little less, but everyone loves these brakes.
Great lever feel, no issues with heat, basically no maintenance required. Have held up great over a about 1000 miles of riding so far.
Do these come with the metal Ice Tech pads?
They come with the finned resin pads.
- Gender: Male
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
The first time I took these out I couldnt beleve two things about them. 1. The stopping power and 2. how quiet they were in all conditions. They make no noise even in the dustiest or wettest conditions. I have not found one problem with them in over a year of riding.
- Gender: Male
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I've ridden Juicy 7's for years, as well as spent a lot of time with standard Deore's, and some Formula and various Hayes offerings.
These are without question the best hydro discs I've ever used. They are incredibly powerful (easy, easy, easy one finger braking) and the modulation is great. Maybe they do lock up easier than others? Could not say as anyone will just get used to how much pressure to apply and when and the issue will be moot. Point is you can feather these as well or better than any other brake, but it's that one finger operation and the power that makes them so damn good.
The lever is nicely shaped keeping it very comfortable and well out of the way of your middle finger knuckle when pulling them in.
I would like to give these four stars since the "free stroke" screw really does seem to do nothing and it would be a nice feature if it did, but the braking performance is really that good.
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
There are 2 kinds of brakes in the world....the kind that slow you down and the kind that stop. These are the later. Ive ran them all and these are on all of my bikes.
I have been running the Shimano Saints for a while now and was really impressed with the stopping power and feel of the brakes. When looking for brakes for my XC bike Shimano was the first company I looked at. After considering both the XTR and XT model, I decided on the XTs. They are only slightly heavier, the price was right, and they offer all the adjustability of the XTRs. I was not disappointed at all. They are super powerful and have great lever feel. These are also a dream to bleed like all Shimano brakes. If you are looking for a reasonably priced, great performing brake these are it.
I have SLX levers on my other bike. The BL-M785 hydraulic levers are smaller, feel good in my hands, are adjustable on the fly. The sleek design looks cool!
BR-M785s without the cooling fins
What color are these, black or silver?
Stops on a dime. I now have pads on my bike without fins and they are great. I bought backup pads with the fins to see if there is a recognizable difference between the two pads. Shimano says the fins benefit those who do a lot of down hill riding. I see them extending as the life of the rotors no matter what your style of riding is.
Do these come with resin or sintered pads.
How long is the hose?
1700mm rear, 1000mm front
WOW! The feel that you get from these guys is amazing. At first they can be a little touchy but after a few min you are good to go. The power that these little guys have is just out of this world. Coming from Avid's it was night a day. Simple to setup, simple to bleed, simple to adjust just great design. You should be aware that the lever is a little on the sort side, personally I like it but it may not be for everyone.