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XTR Trail vs Race brakes

HAB

Chelsea from Seattle
Apr 28, 2007
10,582
886
Seattle
I think I'm going to put some XTR brakes on my Megatrail. I'm not sure if I want to go with the Trail or Race variety, or the 98x generation vs the 90x0 generation. I definitely like the pared down lever on the Race versions better, but if there's a substantial power difference between the two then it might not be worth it. Does anybody have time on more than one variant of these who can comment? Am I right in thinking that for the 98x generation, the difference is just the lever and the finned pads, or lack thereof? I know the 90x0 generation has completely different calipers for the two versions.
 

Steve M

Turbo Monkey
Mar 3, 2007
1,995
23
Whistler
Don't know about the different calipers, but my experience has been that you lose a fair bit of power with the Race version (I have only used the earlier 98x versions of each actually, and AFAIK you are correct about the pads and lever being the differences). The Race version feels pretty well like the M800 generation Saint (2 piston, same as the XT/LXs of the time) in terms of power and lever feel. If you're light and they're going on a trail bike it should be fine, but if you're 180lbs+ and these are going on something that sees some serious descending then they may not be so suitable.
 

HAB

Chelsea from Seattle
Apr 28, 2007
10,582
886
Seattle
Thanks. I'm pretty light (~155lb) but do tend to try to ride the bike like it's a DH rig. I'm leaning towards Trails then.
 

rscecil007

Chimp
Oct 18, 2007
48
7
Not sure if this will help, but in terms of levers, the Trails have the servo-wave, the Race don't. Also the Trails also have a knob for on the fly lever reach adjustment, and the Race you need a small allen to do it. The knob is convenient, but I've found this is more or less a set it and forget it adjustment anyway.

I've not ridden a stock set of Race brakes, but I have the new 9020 (or whatever) Race levers mated up to Saint 820 calipers and love them. I much prefer the non-servo wave feel to be honest.

I'd like to ride a set of stock Race though to compare to my m988 Trails just to see how they compare.

HTH...
 

rscecil007

Chimp
Oct 18, 2007
48
7
Interesting, I didn't realize the calipers where different. Looks like the Trail caliper are a solid one piece design, and the the Race are two piece, similar to XT's and whatnot.
 

HAB

Chelsea from Seattle
Apr 28, 2007
10,582
886
Seattle
Yeah. The race calipers are magnesium and two piece. The trail ones are aluminum, one piece, and finned.
 

Lelandjt

Turbo Monkey
Apr 4, 2008
1,721
121
Breckenridge, CO/Lahaina,HI
A Shimano tech at a EWS race this summer said during the previous generation the only difference was servo-wave and finned pads. Now they're totally different brakes and though the Race is finally competitively light with Magura and Formula in his words you'd "burn it up" doing enduro style riding.
 

Jm_

Turbo Monkey
Jan 14, 2002
9,249
1,672
AK
I'm considering the race for the front of my fatbike. 180mm