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Brake Upgrade - SLX 4-pot or Zee

April 26, 2020, 11:32 a.m.
Posts: 462
Joined: Nov. 25, 2013

I'm in the Clydesdale category. I've been running SLX 2-pot brakes for a few years and am finding that they are borderline under-gunned for the shore. Considering that I will be riding this bike also at the bikepark (hopefully this year), I'm looking at brake upgrades.

I see two options:

- Upgrade them to Zee's

- Keep the lever and just buy SLX/XT 4-pot calipers

Thoughts/recommendations? Has anyone done a comparison on braking power?

I plan to stay with Shimano.


 Last edited by: Taz123 on April 27, 2020, 8:03 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
April 26, 2020, 12:43 p.m.
Posts: 1781
Joined: Feb. 26, 2015

I put the 4 piston XT's on last summer.

Love em, I'm 190 pounds...There is a thread on here about some people having issues but mine have been stellar. Put new pads on last week, took a couple rides for them to wear in enough to feel great again. Highly recommended.

People always ask me what's the phenomenon
Yo what's up? Yo what's goin' on- Adam Yauch

April 26, 2020, 1:32 p.m.
Posts: 18
Joined: Aug. 14, 2019

I second Brocklandrs experience with the four piston XT 4pot. Love the 4 pot XT brakes. I am 260 and never find I have too little power.

April 26, 2020, 9:04 p.m.
Posts: 293
Joined: March 6, 2017

I know you said Shimano but Magura MT5 can be had for cheap on Jenson and, as a clydesdale myself, will never go back to shimano calipers. I'm currently on Mt5 calipers with xt levers but the stock MT5 system is tough to beat for value and power.

April 26, 2020, 9:16 p.m.
Posts: 218
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

I bought Zee's this year and am very happy with them.  More powerful than slx/XT 2-pots, and cheaper than XT 4-pots.

April 26, 2020, 10:40 p.m.
Posts: 1073
Joined: May 11, 2018

Posted by: T-mack

I know you said Shimano but Magura MT5 can be had for cheap on Jenson and, as a clydesdale myself, will never go back to shimano calipers. I'm currently on Mt5 calipers with xt levers but the stock MT5 system is tough to beat for value and power.

What's the deal with shimano levers matched with magura calipers? Why not magura levers?

April 26, 2020, 10:41 p.m.
Posts: 462
Joined: Nov. 25, 2013

Posted by: T-mack

I know you said Shimano but Magura MT5 can be had for cheap on Jenson and, as a clydesdale myself, will never go back to shimano calipers. I'm currently on Mt5 calipers with xt levers but the stock MT5 system is tough to beat for value and power.

MT5 calipers with XT levers is an interesting frankenbrake. MT5s are pretty well on par with Zee's price-wise. Buying just calipers is cost-prohibitive.

I'm leaning toward Zees since they are cheaper than an XT/SLX 4-pot and I'm thinking I could use the stoppage. The other benefit is that I can then put my SLXs on my wifes bike after I get her some new rotors.

Next question is whether I go to 200 on the front - currently running 180/180 rotors.

April 26, 2020, 11:22 p.m.
Posts: 176
Joined: July 24, 2009

You're a Clyde? Zee and 200mm rotor, that's not even a question.

April 26, 2020, 11:40 p.m.
Posts: 1750
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

I have the slx lever and zee caliper up front on the bigger bikes and just slx/slx in the rear. Good combo and cheap as you'll only need to by the one caliper for the front. You could even splurge and go saint.

April 27, 2020, 7:54 a.m.
Posts: 1781
Joined: Feb. 26, 2015

Posted by: RAHrider

Posted by: T-mack

I know you said Shimano but Magura MT5 can be had for cheap on Jenson and, as a clydesdale myself, will never go back to shimano calipers. I'm currently on Mt5 calipers with xt levers but the stock MT5 system is tough to beat for value and power.

What's the deal with shimano levers matched with magura calipers? Why not magura levers?

Had maguras on my last bike. Really liked them, the drawback for me was the replacement of levers because they are so delicate. Had to replace 2 in one year. So in the long run cheaper for me to run the XTs. No they wouldn't warranty them, a light crash still considered a crash in their opinion. They crack inside and lose pressure oh so slowly.....

April 27, 2020, 9:23 a.m.
Posts: 1383
Joined: Sept. 30, 2006

Zee's and Saints are on sale over at TBS right now.  Better than Jenson pricing and Canadian!

https://www.tbsbikeparts.com/product/shimano-saint-m820-brakes/

April 27, 2020, 9:54 a.m.
Posts: 462
Joined: Nov. 25, 2013

Yeah, that's where I've been looking. I agree, keep the $$ in the country where possible.

Plus, I may aswell order a new tire or two at the same time. :)

April 27, 2020, 11:11 a.m.
Posts: 52
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Posted by: Bagheera

You're a Clyde? Zee and 200mm rotor, that's not even a question.

^^^ This. Absolutely this. SLX/XT calipers also haven't proven to be all that reliable past 1 year, Zee/Saint are a lot better.

April 27, 2020, 12:52 p.m.
Posts: 58
Joined: Sept. 30, 2010

Recently chose to put Formula cura 4 brakes on a new build. Previously had Zees, and XT/SLX single pots. Can't say that the premuim paid for the new formula was money well spent vis a viz going with a set of Zee brakes.

Zees simply work well for me and my riding style.  Much better stopping power and control  than the single pots. Early days with the formula's, I find that they have a long brake lever that, so far at least, I've not managed to get comfortable with.

April 27, 2020, 1:09 p.m.
Posts: 462
Joined: Nov. 25, 2013

Great perspective thanks. I have a few buddies that swear by Formula's, but I've fallen in love with the shimano lever design.

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