Wandering bite point is a concern
Another bike brand favourite, the Shimano XT M8000 disc brake showcases big performance features for the lowest priced brake in the mid-price category.
Review by Charlie Collins
Shimano is forever developing its groupsets, and as with most of their range, takes benefits from trickledown technology.
What the XT gets over the Deore is premium Ice-Tech features. These are found in the finned, steel-backed sintered brake pads and aluminium-cored rotors, and meant we had no concerns of inconsistencies on longer or steeper descents from over heating.
However, after a couple of test rides, we decided they needed bleeding due to some strange bite point issues. Occasionally the lever would pull closer to the bar, and other times it would pump up and grab earlier. But no matter how much we tried, there was no getting away from it, and something of a concern. We also discovered that the ‘free stroke’ adjustment screw on the lever made little to no difference in the way it functioned.
While we’re on the subject bleeding, the continued use of mineral oil as the hydraulic fluid is far safer to work with in comparison to DOT fluids used by most other brands. You’ll need their specially designed bleed ‘bucket’, some clear tube and oil, but this can be picked up for around £10, and as we found out is a simple affair to do.
The brake itself was certainly the most powerful in category, and although at first was sometimes difficult to modulate, you soon adapted to this to make the most of the power. Needless to say though, as the variable bite point suggests, you still have to constantly readjust to this during a descent.