Best Shimano XT Disc Brakes: Your Guide to Pads and Versions

Shimano XT disc brakes are some of the most popular mountain bike brakes on the market, and for good reason. They're reliable, powerful, and relatively affordable. But with so many different versions of XT brakes available, it can be tough to know which ones are right for you.

What are the different versions of Shimano XT disc brakes

Shimano offers a range of XT disc brakes, each with its own unique features and benefits. Let's take a closer look at some of the most popular versions:

Shimano XT M8100/M8120

 Shimano BR-M8120 Brake pads

The Shimano XT M8100 and M8120 brakes are the latest and greatest from Shimano. They were released in 2020 and feature a number of improvements over the previous generation, including:

  • A new lever design with improved ergonomics
  • Enhanced braking power for better control on the trails
  • Increased heat dissipation for more consistent performance
  • Lightweight construction without compromising durability

These brakes are perfect for riders who demand the best performance and want the latest technology.

Shimano XT M8000

Shimano BR-M8000 brake pads

The Shimano XT M8000 brakes are the predecessor to the M8100/M8120 and are still a popular choice among mountain bikers. They offer reliable stopping power and excellent modulation, making them suitable for a wide range of riding styles and conditions.

What are the best brake pads for Shimano XT disc brakes

Choosing the right brake pads is crucial for optimal braking performance. Here are some recommendations for the different versions of Shimano XT disc brakes:

For Shimano XT M8100/M8120:

For the latest M8100/M8120 brakes, Gorilla Brakes recommends using their Enduro Pro brake pads. These pads feature a unique set of compounds that helps dissipate heat, resulting in more consistent and reliable braking performance, especially during long descents.

For Shimano XT M8000:

For the M8000 brakes, Gorilla Brakes offers a range of brake pad options, including Pro Resin and Pro Semi-metallic and Pro Ultimate compound pads. Resin pads provide excellent modulation and are quieter, while metallic compound pads offer increased stopping power and durability, making them ideal for aggressive riding styles or wet conditions.

It's important to note that brake pads should be replaced regularly to maintain optimal performance and safety. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's recommendations and consult a professional if you're unsure about the best brake pads for your specific riding needs.

In conclusion, Shimano XT disc brakes offer a wide range of options to suit different riding styles and preferences. Whether you're a professional rider or a weekend warrior, there's a Shimano XT brake that will meet your needs. Remember to choose the right brake pads for your specific brake model to ensure optimal performance and safety on the trails.