Shimano XT BR-M8120 4-Piston Hydraulic Disc Brakes [Rider Review]

Our "Rider Review" article series features the honest reviews from verified purchasers of Worldwide Cyclery. They contain the photos, thoughts, feedback & overall review you are looking for.

Shimano brakes have been a favorite among riders for years because of their power and lever feel. Our friend, George, just swapped his brakes out to Shimano's XT brakes and loves the braking power. Check out what he thinks!

Shimano Disc Brakes


I have been running Sram code RSC brakes on my Santa Cruz Hightower for 5 years. They have been very good to me until a recent trip to Kernville. They locked up on the infamous trail named “just outstanding.” We were done with the really fun part of the trail and now just had to get down the fire road back to town. Luckily it was the last day and we were able to get down the mountain safely.

With another adventure planned the following week, I decided to look online at some replacement options. Many of my friends run Shimano brakes and swear by them. I have always run Sram brakes and components and have been very happy. I started looking online at what was out there and what was available with all the inventory shortages caused by the Pandemic.

Shimano Disc Brakes

During my online google search, I looked at everything on Amazon and many online bike stores. I ended up on the Worldwide Cyclery site watching their helpful YouTube videos. After watching many of them, I decided on the full replacement Shimano Deore XT BL-M8100/BR-M8120 disc brake lever. When I contacted the very attentive customer service team at Worldwide Cyclery they asked me some great questions. What bike are you currently riding? What is your riding style? And how much do you want to spend on a new set of brakes? They agreed the Deore XT complete brake kit would be a great option and they had them in stock. This was very important to me for obvious reasons. I asked if it was possible to have them shipped to my residence by Thursday. Mind you I was calling on a Monday. They walked me through the different shipping options taking Covid delays into account.

The brakes arrived on Thursday as requested. I was beyond stoked to open them up. Upon arrival, I began reading the installation instructions and realized the installation was fairly straightforward. I didn’t even have to bleed them. They arrived ready to go. I did watch multiple YouTube videos from various sources to make sure I knew how to install them properly.

We headed to Big Bear the next day. What a huge difference.

The lever feel is excellent, and the brake modulation is so controllable.

My old brakes had gotten very spongy and had some bad fade. I didn’t realize how bad it was until I got to test these new brakes. Bonus, my brakes no longer sounded like a screaming goat on the downhills. :)

Final Thoughts

I quickly found I could come into corners more aggressively and brake later. When I need to scrub a little speed right before a jump, much less input is needed and the fade is gone.

Shimano Disc Brakes

November 23, 2021

brakes › Rider Review › Rotor › Shimano › Shimano XT Brake ›

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