Shimano Deore M596 disc brake£93.00

Bulletproof bargain brakeset

BikeRadar score4.5/5

Shimano’s new Deore M596 brake isn’t light and doesn’t get the company's latest ‘icing’ but it still delivers superb power and single-finger control for an absolute bargain modular-based price.

The master cylinder uses Shimano’s latest double barreled layout and short lever design. Bite point adjust is via a hidden screw rather than a tool-free knob, but the hinged, hidden locking pin clamp first debuted on the last Deore makes fitting easy and adds safety too.

While it doesn’t get the Servo Wave leverage change cam of SLX and upwards it’s still easy to set up without drag and there’s more than ample power for one finger anchoring. Modulation and general lever feel is good in overall terms and excellent for the price, and apart from the weight you’d never know you were working with a brake that costs under £100.

While it comes with relatively short lived resin pads, sintered pads are widely available to boost soggy weather lifespans. The slightly different calliper shape means it can’t take finned Ice Technologies pads to reduce heat build-up but you could opt for the sandwich construction Ice Tech rotors. Alternatively, you can pick the standard alloy spider rotor (£36.99), the basic steel rotor (£24.99) or just use whatever rotors you’ve already got, to go with the £59.99 brakeset.

Also consider: Shimano Deore M595, £108. There have been several Deore disc brakes in recent years. The previous-generation M595 works okay but is more expensive, while the older but similarly priced M575 is nowhere near as good.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 44
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster tfhan the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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