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  1. #1
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    Brakes? XT 2 piston vs 4 piston vs TRP G-Spec Trail SL

    Got a new Instinct C-70 coming. I have used 2 piston XT for years and like them, but thinking about if the 4 piston is a bit of an upgrade?

    1) buy just the 4 piston caliper and bolt that on.

    2) Buy a full 4 piston XT set (lever and caliper)

    3) Buy a G-Spec Trail SL (similar feel to the XT I have heard?) and similar price to just the 4 piston caliper only

    4) XT 2 piston are just fine, use that (have not had issues before)


    bike will be a mix of a bit of shuttle/chain and mostly pedaling, no racing, 1000-3000ft downs. More riding long, then getting rad.


  2. #2
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    Subscribed.

    Ive had bad luck on both sram and shimano brakes the last few years. Im likely going TRP on the next build in lieu of the more expensive options...


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  3. #3
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    There's an XT option with 4-piston front and 2-piston rear. I like Shimano and very much dislike SRAM brakes, so YMMV.

    I went with an older set of 4-piston Zee brakes for the last set I bought. They were something like $105 each end, US $, with sintered ice tech pads. No complaints, I like them.
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    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  4. #4
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    I love Shimano brakes when they're working right, but every pair I've owned in the last 10+ years (quite a few) has developed issues with inconsistent bite point after a season or two. The ceramic pistons develop tiny, tiny surface cracks that cause them to weep fluid, and and master cylinder bores wear and get sloppy. I've given up on them.


    Broadly speaking though, when was the last time you were like "damn, I wish my brakes were less powerful"? Unless you're really counting grams, brakes are an easy place to upsize, in my opinion.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Chupacabra View Post
    There's an XT option with 4-piston front and 2-piston rear.
    This is what I'm running on my Intense. Bought a 4-piston XT caliper to replace the stock 2-piston in the front, kept the levers, cables, etc... The difference isn't huge but it's noticeable in terms of raw power.
    I didn't think getting a 4-piston in the back was justified, I just went to a bigger rotor.
    I do occasionally get bite-point float but nowhere near as often or as bad as the Shimano haters seem to experience. For me it's always a completely dead lever for 1 pump and it resets with a couple of quick pumps then behaves as expected for the next 2 or 3 rides.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    556
    About 2 years ago I went from XT 2 piston (M785s) to Magura MT Trail Sports (4 front, 2 rear), and noticed an improvement, but mostly appreciated a consistent bite point. Early last year I threw on a 4 piston rear (Basically was running MT5s), and again found some improvement in terms of power. Then towards then end of last year, I put a 203mm rotor up front, and noticed a big improvement.

    When I'm talking about improvement, I'm referring to my ability to quickly scrub speed in a controlled fashion in short bursts, rather than just dragging and skidding. The 203 rotor up front was particularly nice for controlling speed prior to steep roll-ins.

    So I'd suggest starting with a bigger front rotor and see if you like it. That's only like $35 for the rotor and maybe another $10 for adapter. Then if you still want more power, try 4 pistons. No comment on different brands - that's hugely personal preference.

  7. #7
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    Sram Codes. No piston seizing issues like the Guides. Better modulation and no wandering bite point like the XT's. More power than XT or TRP. Best bleed system on the market.

  8. #8
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    Jan 2018
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    agree. Sram Code RSC. they're awesome.

  9. #9
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    I like codes. Have them on one bike. I prefer the 4 piston shimano though by a small margin. They do bite quick but you adapt and no issues. I think they have a touch more power. It comes in handy on long downhills. You can relax more and have fun. I put 220 rotors on with my codes and that gave them more power and also sharpened the bite. Not quite shimano quick bite but a bit more initially.
    Chain reaction used to have zee 4 piston calipers for 75cad before they stopped selling shimano out of country. Not sure where the best price would be now. Full slx 4 piston might be the way to go

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  10. #10
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    thanks

    so sticking with shimano (or TRP) have parts, have pads, easy to bleed, etc.

    bike is stock 2 piston and 180mm rotors (both F&R)

    more of a change with bigger rotors or more pistons?


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mntlion View Post
    thanks

    so sticking with shimano (or TRP) have parts, have pads, easy to bleed, etc.

    bike is stock 2 piston and 180mm rotors (both F&R)

    more of a change with bigger rotors or more pistons?
    If the goal is more power, rotors.

  12. #12
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    Rotors would be cheaper but id side with 4 pistons. Havent tested my theory but i wanted more power than 2 piston xt with 200 rotors on my trail bike so went with saint. To a degree i almost want more power on the little bike. I take it down the same trails as the big bike. I can make less mistakes on the little bike so im on the brakes much more

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  13. #13
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    I've had fade issues on 2 piston XTs but not on the 4 piston XTs. I prefer the feel of Shimano brakes but could get used to SRAM if I had to. No experience with TRP.

    Calipers only vs full kit = whichever is cheaper. The lever is the same. The XT 4 piston is just a Zee/Saint caliper mated to a XT lever, as far as I can tell.
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  14. #14
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    I really like an 8" rotor up front for my sloppy 195+ and flexy fork. 4 piston up front sounds bad ass, but with metal pads and where/how I ride, it's unnecessary.
    Does the 4 piston resist fade better than 2 piston, all things being equal? Is that the main purpose?
    No longer stuck.

    Quote Originally Posted by stuckathuntermtn View Post
    Just an uneducated guess.

  15. #15
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    I switched from 2 piston Shimano to 4 piston shimano on my trail bike a few years back. Will never go 2 piston again. Just a waste of time. As said above, when was the last time you said to yourself "I wish I had less power in my brakes". Or to see it another way, do you really imagine yourself going down the trail thinking "Damn these powerful rear brakes are just too much!"?
    I'd do Zee over 4 piston XT if it were me. Better price, for a Saint brake without tool free reach adjust. Just go new all around and don't dick around with mix-matching old/new between models.

    Honestly, I've ridden a little on friends bikes with the TRP brakes. Sure, they work okay. But the biggest difference by a large margin is the feel of the massive massive lever. Deal breaker for me and I've got relatively big hands.
    Lots of Cream, Lots of Sugar

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jm2e View Post
    Or to see it another way, do you really imagine yourself going down the trail thinking "Damn these powerful rear brakes are just too much!"?
    To be honest, I think that pretty much every time I get on Saints or some of the Maguras. Mostly for the front - if I'm trying to feather the brake through a low speed corner, those things come on so strong, so quickly, I find it really hard to not break traction. Similar issue, albeit to a lesser extent, with XT's.

    That only really applies to trail bikes. The higher speeds + bigger suspension + meaty rubber on DH bikes usually means I'm happy to have lots of power.

  17. #17
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    I really wanted to love my 8120 4 pistons and hoped the new design had fixed the problems but the wondering bite point and inability to maintain a short lever throw just made them frustrating to use. Once Shimano finally fixes these issues I will go full Shimano. Fortunately the Code RSCs play nice with Shimano 12 speed.
    Last edited by Eluder; 01-07-2020 at 11:50 PM.
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  18. #18
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    Jul 2008
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    Have a set of XT 4 piston and XTR 4 piston and previously had a another set of XT 4 piston. They are all brilliant.

    That is all.
    Do I detect a lot of anger flowing around this place? Kind of like a pubescent volatility, some angst, a lot of I'm-sixteen-and-angry-at-my-father syndrome?

    fuck that noise.

    gmen.

  19. #19
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    I got a set of XT 8020 4-pistons for cheap from TBS Bike Parts this summer, actually came out ahead selling the Guide RSC's off a new bike and swapping to Shimano (I hate SRAM brakes). Old trail bike had XT 8000 2-piston front/rear with 203/180mm. New bike is 8020 4-piston front/rear and 203/203. Definitely a step up in power. I weigh 210lbs and it's noticible controlling my speed on rock slabs on Squamish, long ass descents in Whistler and just in general confidence.

    Would not go back to 2-piston, and I prefer the bigger rotor out back as a bigger dude.

  20. #20
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    Am I crazy to like the Guide RS and RSC I've had? Outright power is similar to XT 2-piston, but the feel is so much better. I agree that Codes are very excellent - similar lever feel to Guides but with a more solid bite at the end.

    I have XT 2-pistons on my hardtail and am also having the inconsistent bite point issue.

  21. #21
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    I have to make an obligatory plug for Hayes Dominion A4s. Yeah, they're expensive, but priced the same as Code RSCs, and they come with a spare set of pads. Mine replaced XT 2-piston and there's just no comparison. More power and better modulation (way, way better), and they don't need to be bled every 5 rides. DOT fluid has been a non-issue.

    Paging One(+)Sentence....

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dantheman View Post
    I have to make an obligatory plug for Hayes Dominion A4s. Yeah, they're expensive, but priced the same as Code RSCs, and they come with a spare set of pads. Mine replaced XT 2-piston and there's just no comparison. More power and better modulation, and they don't need to be bled every 5 rides. DOT fluid has been a non-issue.

    Paging One(+)Sentence....
    You may eventually sell me on a set of these. My XTs are all over the place.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boissal View Post
    I do occasionally get bite-point float but nowhere near as often or as bad as the Shimano haters seem to experience. For me it's always a completely dead lever for 1 pump and it resets with a couple of quick pumps then behaves as expected for the next 2 or 3 rides.
    On my SLXs this happens 2-3 times a ride. It can be super scary.



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  24. #24
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    Dec 2015
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    Need more info. How much do you weigh, and where do you ride?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJG View Post
    Need more info. How much do you weigh, and where do you ride?
    weigh #155, rocky instict, rides are some chairlift, and either pedaling steeper/techy things. (have a bikepacking hardtail and a light SS as well) so this is when I need gears or suspension.


    Trying to solve issues with getting more bite/stopping power quickly on steeper things.

    dont have issues with any of my other XT with fade, or bite point.

    not switching to sram for many reasons


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