Shimano's XTR brakes are pretty near faultless.

Shimano XTR brakes on Dirt.


When it comes to XTR brakes there are two options, Race or Trail, and the difference largely comes down to the lever. The ones pictured are the Trail version which offer more power along with bite point adjustment and a tool–free reach adjust, but some riders prefer the lighter feel of the stripped down Race levers which have nothing more than a simple allen key reach adjust. Only you can decide which brake you prefer, but we rate both of them very highly indeed, although that said if you’re edging towards the Trail version Shimano’s XT brakes are almost identical yet they’ll leave more money in your wallet. Either way you’ll be treated to first class power and control along with the now trademark Shimano reliability. Oh, and those fancy Ice–Tech rotors really do work at keeping heat at bay on long descents.

PRICE: TRAIL £209.99, RACE £189.99, ROTORS £49.99 - £59.99 WWW.MADISON.CO.UK / WWW.SHIMANO.COM

Photos by Andy Lloyd Photography