Shimano XT M8000

For many generations, the legendary Shimano XT brake was the marker by which braking performance was judged. When the M8000 dropped, we were excited by the new sexy lever design, not only did it have Servo Wave but also the Shimano XTR’s flattened and dimpled blade and expensive-looking grey colour scheme. But then we rode them and were plagued with problems. When riding hard we found the bite point would wander around like a drunken horse, making precise braking impossible–frustrating to say the least. Shimano was clearly aware of this unreliability and quietly revised the internals of the brakes through a number of rolling changes. For nearly a year now we have neither had, nor heard of significant problems with the latest Shimano XT M8000s off the production line. This is a good thing because on the trail, the Shimano XTs are excellent performers. The twin ceramic pistons deliver a powerful punch on the trail, with a fast and precise bite. Riders who like clear on/off braking with highly ergonomic levers will love them. Modulation is good but does require a lighter touch than the best in test.

The Shimano XT M8000 brakes appear to have put their dubious past behind them, now delivering great performance. More suited to those who prefer a strong bite, good modulation is possible but you need to be gentle on the lever.


– Clear and precise bite
– Easy to bleed


– Modulation can be grabby
– Finned pads are expensive

Price: € 146 (single)
Weight: 528 g (set, w/o rotors)