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Item # SHI003V

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  • One Color, Front ($139.95)
  • One Color, Rear ($139.95)
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Item # SHI003V

The race stops here.

Already considered some of the best brakes a cross-country racer can buy, Shimano's XTR Race brakesets are light, reliable, and powerful enough even for moderately seriously trail riding. The newest generation, the Shimano XTR BR-M9000 Race Brakes, sees even further refinement — including to the oft-changing I-Spec design, which adds yet one more generation to become I-Spec II.

If you've got a pair of I-Spec II shift levers, you can save valuable cockpit real estate by attaching both the shift and brake levers with one clamp; however, do note that the expanded customization options of I-Spec II levers mean they aren't compatible with the less adjustable I-Spec A or B models.

While the basic platform of the XTR Race brakes hasn't changed dramatically, and it will be cosmetically familiar to anyone who knows mountain bikes and has eyeballs, a host of improvements have been made under the skin. Foremost, the Race calipers and master cylinders are now made out of magnesium, while the lever blade is now made of carbon fiber, all in the name of weight savings without sacrificing strength or performance. The Servo-Wave lever cam has also been eliminated and the lever motion refined for smoother engagement and control. Inside, ceramic pistons have been replaced by phenolic glass ones, which Shimano says are more durable and better at heat insulation. New insulation of the pistons and special insulation on the backing of the pads across the XTR brake range all furthers the mission of heat management, all but negating your concerns for compromised braking performance or control on even the longest and fastest of descents.

The Shimano XTR BR-M9000 Race Brakes come in one color, and rotors are not included. Shimano strongly recommends its new 140mm, 160mm, and 180mm Freeza rotors for use with the Race brakes. The brakes are sold as individual front or rear units, so please purchase one of each if you’d like a complete set.

  • Magnesium caliper and master cylinder
  • Carbon fiber brake lever
  • Refined braking engagement
  • Improved heat management

Tech Specs

carbon fiber
Lever Adjustability:
Mount Type:
post mount
Shimano mineral oil
not included
Actual Weight:
One Color, Rear: 200g
Recommended Use:
cross-country, trail
Manufacturer Warranty:
3 years

Reviews & Community


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when ordering a set, is the rear brake lever set to be on the left side?

Hey Jimmy,

Typically the rear brake is on the right side. Some folk (often UK and moto cross over riders) prefer them swapped, but most people will prefer left as their front brake and right as their rear! Let me know if you have any other questions and I'd be happy to help!

Avg. ride time: 8h 7m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

Amazing brakes

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

There is nothing I could improve with these brakes. Every detail is accounted for, from the feel of the lever, to the modulation to the stopping power. I am coming from Avid XO, which worked great until the didn't and then Guide Ultimate, which never worked for me. These brakes do their job, are some of the lightest made, and the modulation is truly best in class. Oh, and bleeding them is super easy!

Avg. ride time: 5h 19m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

Platinum Standard

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These are my go to brakes -- apart from changing my pads from time to time, I never worry about them. Modulation is the best on the market, and you don't sacrifice power in the process. They are competitively lightweight, and durable as all get out.

Gold Standard of Race Brakes

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

There may be slightly lighter brakes on the market, but none work as well or as reliably XTR Race do. While Shimano calls these their race brakes as opposed to their trail brakes because they lack Shimano's Servo Wave technology, you could arguably say that these give you better modulation instead of ramping up quickly, producing that "on-off" feeling that other shimano brakes (XTR Trail, XT, SLX) are known for. Plus, the few less grams than XTR trail never hurt either.

Avg. ride time: 9m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

Love the consistent power and security

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

It's winter here but I've been able to put a couple good rides on these brakes in combination with the RT-99 Freeza rotors. First impressions are that these are very powerful, with a consistent power that does not fade under heavy braking- 20-30minutes with rock drops and decreasing radius switchbacks. My last pair of XTR 985 race brakes worked flawlessly for over 3 years with the only maintenance being changing the brake pads a couple times per season!


  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is the lightest strongest brake set I have ever used. This stuff stops on a dime, its so light when you take it out of the box it feels almost cheap, but its not, just high quality material from a high quality company!