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Item # SHI0665

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  • Rear/Right, One Size ($148.99)
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Item # SHI0665

Shimano put the X in XTR.

The Shimano XTR BR-987 is the lightest hydraulic disc brake to hit the XTR line. It features the same command and control as the 985 while burning off 40 grams per wheel. And if you gave the 985's a try, you find that Shimano carried over a pension for serious racing and cross country duty in the new BR-987.

At the control end of the brake, the lever blade is carbon with titanium caliper bolts for a snug fit at the recommended torque. It's also dimpled for extra grip. This version foregoes the free stroke adjustment, as it adds some complexity and a few grams to the lever set. However, they do retain a reach adjustment so that you can dial them to fit your hands and preferences. The master cylinder was designed from magnesium and the svelte I-spec lever body  keeps your handlebars clutter-free.

In comparison with the previous XTR's radial master cylinder design, this 987 XTR master cylinder is far different. For starters, the integrated barrel reservoir sits along and atop the master cylinder which is positioned at a tangent to the bar rather than straight out from it. Sizewise, these levers are much lower profile, but more importantly, the movement of the lever pivot towards the bar creates a more ergonomic design. In essence, the arc of the lever optimizes your natural finger movement and position of strength with the point in the lever travel where your power is transferred through the system to the caliper.

The caliper of the BR-987 was also constructed of magnesium. This two-piece design adds stiffness while at the same time dropping weight — and unbeatable combination. It also manages heat build-up more effectively especially when used in combination with Shimano's proprietary IceTech rotors. 

The Shimano XTR BR-987 are available separately as right or left levers with calipers and have hinged, split clamps for easy mounting. They come as pre-bled lever/caliper/hose assemblies and are complete for each end of the bike except for rotors (sold separately). Shimano XTR Brakes will work equally well with XTR Ice Tech Rotors or the more standard XT 6-bolt rotors. I-spec B compatible. Please Note: If you plan to run 180mm or bigger rotors, you may need to also purchase the proper Shimano caliper adapters. Check your frame and fork compatibility to determine your needs.

Tech Specs

Mount Type:
post mount
Recommended Use:
mountain biking
Manufacturer Warranty:
2 years
Actual Weight:
Rear/Right, One Size: 229g

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Less power than XT brakes

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

So far I've been very disappointed with these brakes. I replaced my Shimano XT BL-M785 with these brakes and upgraded my wife's brakes with the XTs. Unfortunately the XTRs have a lot less power, I'm constantly over shooting corners and my hands go numb from squeezing the levers so hard. I had my fingers crossed the pads needed an extra long time to wear in but that was not the case. I did a lot of trouble shooting and bled the brakes twice. I started by swapping out the pads with pads that were on brakes that worked and this didn't help. I have 4 sets of Shimano brakes, 2 XT BL-M785's and an older Shimano XTR BR-985, all of these have Shimano resin pads paired with either XT or XTR rotors and all three work great.

The levers on my new 987s feel great and are not spongy, it doesn't seem possible Shimano would upgrade their brakes to weigh less yet sacrifice power. I can see having one defective brake but not a pair of bad brakes. I'm stumped, anybody have any suggestions before I return these brakes?

Avg. ride time: 12h 46m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

So far , so good

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I use these on my Xc race bike. They perform flawlessly. For non-race situations, the trail version is a better all around brake. For a lightweight, reliable brake, this is the go-to race brake