Why We Like The XTR BL-M9120 Disc Brake
If you follow mountain bike news, then you already know well about Shimano's leap into the future with its new 12-speed groupset, and with the beefier cassette and gear range, there's no doubt that you'll want a shiny new brakeset to go along with your setup. In years past we knew Shimano's XTR brakes by their "Trail" and "Race" designations which have been done away with this year, and to keep things simple, we'll say that the new XTR BL-M9120 follows the line of evolution from the 9020 Trail brake from before, but with some major improvements, like quicker brake engagement with shorter free stroke, and increased stiffness over the 9000 series, even under high temperatures.
The XTR BL-M9120 is stocked with all of the bells and whistles we want for enduro riding and multi-day peak-to-peak epics, like Servo Wave for lever powerful, controlled braking, an updated brake lever shape that's more comfortable to use. It's compatible with Shimano's newest I-Spec, the I-Spec EV shifting lever mount, for a clean and organized cockpit. With I-Spec EV you'll find that the clamp location moves inward from the previous design, while the new master cylinder contacts the handlebar, elevating lever rigidity and improving braking response. The lever features a simple reach adjust, and pairs up with a refined 4-piston caliper that increases braking power a claimed 10% above the M9020 of last year.
You may be wondering where the M9120 falls in comparison to the equally new and shiny M9100. While the M9100 may shed grams above the M9120, you'll find that it lacks the adjustability, and some of the stopping power. The M9120 uses two more pistons in the calipers making it more ideal for enduro and trail shredding, while the M9100's minimalist approach slides it to the ideal spot for racing cross country and marathon. That's because 9100 skips the bells and whistles, like Servo Wave and free stroke adjust, opting for a more minimalist, but featherweight application.
- Shimano's top-tier 4-piston MTB brake
- Optimized with 10% more braking power than 9020
- Servo Wave enhances braking power and control
- Dial in the perfect lever positioning with freestroke adjust
- 4-pistons offer ultimate stopping power under pressure
- Compatible with I-Spec EV for improved rigidity and braking response