XT BR-M8120 Disc Brake
Here at Competitive we have a saying that brakes only slow you down, and while we throw around the saying in jest, the truth of the matter is that only the best brakes are capable of stopping you on a dime. Shimano brakes have received universal praise for doing just that for years, and the XT BR-M8120 Disc Brake doesn't fail to impress with its quick-stopping power. With the launch of the new Shimano 8100 series we see some improvements made to the 8120 brakes, but largely they stay the same. You'll see the same 4-piston design for intensely strong stopping power and its improved heat dissipation over the 2-piston model, plus the same lever shape and integrated master cylinder, but with the addition of an extra 10% stopping power over the 8000-series brakes, and reduced rotor noise. The narrow clamp makes for a tidier cockpit to play well with remote lockouts and dropper posts, plus its compatible with the new I-SPEC EV design to save you more space on the bars.
While lighter riders rolling in smoother XC conditions may benefit from the featherweight XT 8100 series brakes, riders who are heavier and more aggressive riders who transition between trail and enduro riding will covet the increased power and modulation of the 8120 when things get steep, technical, and rowdy. Shimano opted to refine the brake levers we saw previously with the 8000 series, with updated Servo-Wave technology to match up with the next generation of I-Spec EV Rapidfire Plus shifters, with two-way release, instant release, and multi-release that offers more control and confidence in your modulation. Unlike previous models, the new 8100-series brake lever is built for both the 8120 and 8100 calipers, allowing your cockpit to feel the same when you transition from your all-mountain rig to your XC rocket. This new clamp features a more inboard clamp position modeled after the 9100 series, creating an extra point of contact between the bar and lever for increased efficiency and control, while minimizing its impact on cockpit real estate.
The calipers continue to use Shimano's reworked pivot location that we saw in the 8000 brakes, which offers improved modulation when you brake. The superior modulation is due in part to the Servo Wave technology that adjusts the piston's travel relative to lever travel. As you squeeze the levers, the gap to the rotor quickly closes, then slows to permit predictable modulation. This allows the pads to sit further inbound relative to the rotors so they are less likely to drag. The 4 ceramic pistons push Radiator Pads with integrated fins that dissipate heat and reduce fade on long descents full of trail features. An adjustable banjo fitting allows for easy hose management and the routing of various frame designs.
The lever/hose/caliper assembly is sold as a front or rear unit and comes pre-bled and ready to install, made even easier with its hinged split clamps so you don't even have to remove the shifter or grips. Rotors and adapters are sold separately and the XT Ice Tech Rotors are highly recommended.
- Shimano's popular trail brake ups braking power and modulation
- 4-piston stopping power offers quicker braking than 8000 series
- Predictable modulation allows for precise braking
- The ceramic pistons reduce heat build-up
- Finned pads further dissipate heat
- Clamp designed based on XTR for better bracing, I-Spec EV compatibility
- The pre-bled lever/caliper/hose assembly is ready to install