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BB5 to Shimano XT

Old 10-08-15, 03:42 PM
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chefisaac
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BB5 to Shimano XT

I preface this by saying I am a great chef but horrible mechanic.

On my commuter bicycle (my commute is 38 miles round trip) I have BB5 disc brakes and I hate them. Noisey and, for me, hard to adjust. I asked a friend and a friend mechanic their recommendations. I was looking to buy a new commuter bike but they suggested at putting on hydraulic brakes and suggested the Shimano XT.

I am pulling the trigger on them soon. Any advice, thoughts or suggestions on them versus the BB5s? I've never owned hydraulic brakes before.
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Old 10-08-15, 04:26 PM
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My advice is to be careful the first time you pull that front brake. XT hydraulic brakes will be much more powerful than BB5's, for that matter any hydro brakes will be way better than BB5's.
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Old 10-08-15, 05:59 PM
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XT hydraulics are great brakes, some of the best out there for XC mountain biking. But honestly, ALL of the latest mtb hydraulic offerings from Shimano are really, really good. You could save some money by going with something like Deore for your commuter and still have awesome hydraulic brakes. I have M615 Deore hydraulic disc brakes on one of the mountain bikes I race, XT hydraulics on another, and I don't notice any difference in performance.....they're both great.
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Old 10-09-15, 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by well biked View Post
XT hydraulics are great brakes, some of the best out there for XC mountain biking. But honestly, ALL of the latest mtb hydraulic offerings from Shimano are really, really good. You could save some money by going with something like Deore for your commuter and still have awesome hydraulic brakes. I have M615 Deore hydraulic disc brakes on one of the mountain bikes I race, XT hydraulics on another, and I don't notice any difference in performance.....they're both great.
What type of maintenance will they need?
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Old 10-09-15, 07:18 AM
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Your bike will need to currently have full length brake housing. If it doesn't, you will have to find work arounds. Depending on the style of fittings/braze-ons, you may have to remove the hose from the brakes to run them. You may have to shorten the brake hoses when you install.
For maintenance, there is a good chance you will not have to do anything at all. Possibly in a few years you may have to have them bled.
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Old 10-09-15, 08:32 AM
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Good recommendations here.

I changed my fat bike from the stock Tektro Gemini hydraulic brakes to XT M785 hydraulics, and it was a big improvement. I think the XT rotors were a big part of that improvement.

Any Shimano hydro discs will be a massive improvement over your BB5s.

I found the best prices on Shimano brakes from bike-discount in Germany. Only $23 to ship to the US, takes 1-2 weeks.
Deore M615
SLX M675
SLX M675 w/IceTec pads
XT M785
they have good prices on rotors and lots of other stuff.
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Old 10-09-15, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
What type of maintenance will they need?
In my experience, Shimano hydraulics are the most trouble-free (and maintenance free) disc brakes out there. Just keep an eye on pad wear every so often. Chances are it will be a very long time, if ever, that you will need to bleed them. Shimano hydraulics, from top of the line to entry level, are the best going for trouble free disc brakes.
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Old 10-09-15, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Tim_Iowa View Post
I found the best prices on Shimano brakes from bike-discount in Germany. Only $23 to ship to the US, takes 1-2 weeks.
Deore M615
SLX M675
SLX M675 w/IceTec pads
XT M785
they have good prices on rotors and lots of other stuff.
Merlin, Ribble & CRC have good prices too.
*Merlin currently has an extra 10% off disc brakes too.

http://www.merlincycles.com/disc-bra...?brand=shimano
http://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/pp/mtb...rakes-mtb/bram
http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/u...tb-disc-brakes
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Old 10-09-15, 09:17 AM
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tried cleaning the disc, and cleaning off the caliper and replacing the pads.. new cables and housing?

Disc Hydraulic MTB brakes are a big investment.. go for it if you have the funds..

But if this bike does not have Mountain bars the XT Its DNF .. Hydraulic master for road bars is not made by Shimano for XT

TRP has a road brake hydraulic master hose and caliper set

as well as their Cable operated HyRd that has both master , lever in the caliper itself & slaves that move the pads,
to use road Brifters with a brake cable.


The BB7 offers an inner and outer adjustment Knob .. & much larger friction pads..

the New US made Paul's Clamper offers big easy to turn knobs for the user pad wear adjustment.

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-09-15 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 10-09-15, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
But if this bike does not have Mountain bars the XT Its DNF .. Hydraulic master for road bars is not made by Shimano for XT
Actually, they do, Bob. They are "non-series" like their CX products, but these are considered Ultegra-level:
Shimano ST-RS685 - hydraulic brakes, mechanical shifting
Shimano ST-R785 - hydraulic brakes, Di2 electrical shifting

Thankfully, hydraulic brake calipers are ecumenical and work with road or MTB hydro levers equally
(unlike cable-operated discs, that have two different cable pulls for road and MTB). So, these road controls would work with XT calipers, but I bet the paired calipers are just about as well.

These are pretty tempting for a drop-bar gravel/adventure bike, especially compared to the weird "easter island" ergonomics of the SRAM road hydraulics.

Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
TRP has a road brake hydraulic master hose and caliper set

as well as their Cable operated HyRd that has both master , lever in the caliper itself & slaves that move the pads,
to use road Brifters with a brake cable.


The BB7 offers an inner and outer adjustment Knob .. & much larger friction pads..

the New US made Paul's Clamper offers big easy to turn knobs for the user pad wear adjustment.
Those are all valid upgrade options from BB5s.

In addition, the Gevenalle hydraulics look quite tempting for $400-$450 complete with calipers and rotors (but they are out of stock). They take TRP's Hylex brake levers and add a Shimano-compatible mechanical thumb shifter to the front of the lever. Available in 10s road, 11s road, or 10s MTB.
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Old 10-10-15, 08:15 AM
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OK . out here I just dont see much Expensive Cross stuff , It aint PDX.. small and relatively affordable
But that is getting less true as the Market Rate of housing Inflates as it gets harder to find rentals.
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