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Brake Upgrade - SLX 4-pot or Zee

April 27, 2020, 2:28 p.m.
Posts: 246
Joined: March 6, 2017

Posted by: Brocklanders

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.....

Yeah my rear lever developed leaks twice so I tossed them and got the XT masters. The power is immense and zero fade. I'm all about 1 piece calipers, 2 halves bolted together in such a high pressure, small package just seems ludicrous to me.

April 27, 2020, 3:23 p.m.
Posts: 1160
Joined: Nov. 21, 2002

Posted by: JVP

^^^ This. Absolutely this. 

To add, I have wished for less braking power a grand total of zero times in my life. 

I get some find the Shimanos don't modulate great, but I've personally had no issues here and I'm in love with their lever shape also

April 27, 2020, 4:10 p.m.
Posts: 328
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Posted by: JVP

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.

My XT 4 pot callipers are identical to Saint and Zee. Excellent brakes. I have last years version on both my bikes. Very happy with them.  I keep them topped up with the odd top down bleed and they are all good.

April 27, 2020, 6:08 p.m.
Posts: 334
Joined: June 28, 2011

My Xt levers with saint calipers seem to be doing just great on my DH bike. Every time I jump on the trail bike I wish I had the same set up.

April 28, 2020, 7:12 a.m.
Posts: 50
Joined: Feb. 16, 2013

Posted by: shoreboy

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/

I bought the on-sale Saints from TBS for my new Ripmo AF (came with Guide T, puke...), as I didn't want to mess around. They run great with the stock Sram rotors (200/180), have decent modulation, and gobs upon gobs of power. I have so much control over my heavy ass 29" wheels/tires it's like cheating. Highly recommended.

One caveat for Saints, the pads rattle loudly, because they have a bit of room to move around and a very heavy heat sink attached to them. I fixed that by bonding a small segment of zip tie below where tabs of the pad rest on top of the caliper (only on the back side, not the front). This moves the pad very slightly, into a position it won't rattle (tight fit).


 Last edited by: mammal on April 28, 2020, 7:45 a.m., edited 2 times in total.
April 28, 2020, 9:21 a.m.
Posts: 328
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Posted by: mammal

Posted by: shoreboy

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/

I bought the on-sale Saints from TBS for my new Ripmo AF (came with Guide T, puke...), as I didn't want to mess around. They run great with the stock Sram rotors (200/180), have decent modulation, and gobs upon gobs of power. I have so much control over my heavy ass 29" wheels/tires it's like cheating. Highly recommended.

One caveat for Saints, the pads rattle loudly, because they have a bit of room to move around and a very heavy heat sink attached to them. I fixed that by bonding a small segment of zip tie below where tabs of the pad rest on top of the caliper (only on the back side, not the front). This moves the pad very slightly, into a position it won't rattle (tight fit).

Another thing I’ve seen people do is stick a small piece of fuzzy Velcro under the fins on the callipers.

April 29, 2020, 11:11 p.m.
Posts: 29
Joined: Aug. 13, 2017

I'm also on XT levers (785 IIRC) with Zee calipers on my Murmur.  They work well.  I was running full Zee but swapped to the older XT lever for reach adjustment.  I'm running 203 / 183 rotors which is the smallest I would go on any bike.

May 4, 2020, 2:20 p.m.
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct. 16, 2018

XT 4 pot, Saint and Zee are all the M820 caliper. The Saint lever pushes more fluid and has higher power, so that's the Shimano lever you're after if you want outright power. The brm520s are a great bang for your buck though, plenty of power, like an xt lever on m820 calipers, but not as good with heat management. A Galfer 223 rotor will bump up power in the front though, but good luck finding an adapter for the rear on most bikes.

May 4, 2020, 11:17 p.m.
Posts: 680
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: fartymarty

I'm also on XT levers (785 IIRC) with Zee calipers on my Murmur.  They work well.  I was running full Zee but swapped to the older XT lever for reach adjustment.  I'm running 203 / 183 rotors which is the smallest I would go on any bike.

Makes you wonder how we ever made it out of the parking lot with things like canti’s or gasp, purple Hayes

May 5, 2020, 7:16 p.m.
Posts: 800
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

question about brake pads. i've got the new Shimano xt 4 pots on my bike. M8120 is the proper name i think.  i can't find much info about brake pads and compatibility. i don't care about the fins and will avoid the price premium to have them, but would like metal finless pads, like i used to have for the Zee's that were on my previous bikes.

May 5, 2020, 10:42 p.m.
Posts: 648
Joined: May 11, 2018

Posted by: syncro

Posted by: fartymarty

I'm also on XT levers (785 IIRC) with Zee calipers on my Murmur.  They work well.  I was running full Zee but swapped to the older XT lever for reach adjustment.  I'm running 203 / 183 rotors which is the smallest I would go on any bike.

Makes you wonder how we ever made it out of the parking lot with things like canti’s or gasp, purple Hayes

I remember pulling my canti levers with all my might and barely slowIng down when they were wet. I also used to have to use more than one finger. Xt v brakes were a game changer. Amazingly,  the lever shape hasn't changed in over 20 years.

May 6, 2020, 7:51 a.m.
Posts: 389
Joined: Nov. 25, 2013

Posted by: JBV

question about brake pads. i've got the new Shimano xt 4 pots on my bike. M8120 is the proper name i think.  i can't find much info about brake pads and compatibility. i don't care about the fins and will avoid the price premium to have them, but would like metal finless pads, like i used to have for the Zee's that were on my previous bikes.

I've ordered replacement pads (non-finned) from "disco brakes" for years - sintered pads for a fraction of the price of retail...and good quality/performance to boot.

May 7, 2020, 8:07 p.m.
Posts: 800
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

great reference, never heard of them, but i'm going to try them.

May 15, 2020, 9:25 p.m.
Posts: 389
Joined: Nov. 25, 2013

I went with Zee + 200 up front - got the hoses cut and fit up today. Hoping for a ride tomorrow. Thanks for the input everyone.

July 1, 2020, 2:01 p.m.
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan. 21, 2020

Ah so that's how Magura get's the brakes so light!

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