Shimano M545 mechanical disc brakes review

Improved cable-actuated stoppers

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £39.99 RRP | USD $63.20
Shimano M545 Mechanical Disc Brakes

Our review

Excellent build quality and top all-weather performance
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We always felt Shimano’s mechanical Deore disc brakes were robustly built and well priced, but they lacked the feel and lighter weight of Avid’s BB7s. These latest versions go quite some way to redressing the balance. They skim weight in the forged one-piece alloy body – they’re just 300g apiece – and improve performance. 


Other notable upgrades include the use of sintered pads, which are much better suited to mixed-weather riding as well as matching lighter, sintered-friendly 160mm rotors.

Two rotor versions are available: Center Lock, which is particularly easy to fit and shares the same tool as a cassette locknut remover, or the usual six-bolt affair.

The standard and post mount-compatible callipers themselves are also a doddle to set up – you don’t need any shims, and the right and left pads can both be adjusted with an Allen key.

Unlike the BB7s, there’s a retaining pin to make sure they don’t drop out when you’re transporting the bike without its wheels, which is good for tourers.

In use, they don’t match the light action of a hydraulic brake or the sheer power of the Avids, but they’re plenty sufficient nonetheless, offering the same savings on rim wear and all-weather braking – both of which are good news for touring and commuting – as well as ease of maintenance. 

The brakes themselves are a very reasonable £40 each, which includes everything you’ll need bar the levers – you can either use your existing V-brake levers, or a set of matching Deores will set you back a further £17. 


Mountain bikers will almost certainly want the power of hydraulic disk brakes, though dirt jumpers tend to like the crash-resistance of cable discs. For round-town bikes such as urban cyclo-crossers, though, cable brakes make sense and the revamped Deores are plenty powerful enough.

Product Specifications


Name M545 Cable Disc Brakes (08)
Brand Shimano

Weight (g) 300
Compatibility Cable operated mechanical disc brake design means that you can upgrade to discs using existing compatible V-brake levers
Brakes Additional Features Shim-less mounting system for quick and easy setup
Front/Rear Caliper Front
Cable/Hydraulic Lever Cable
Brake Pad Type Sintered (Disc)
Rotor Fitting Center Lock
Brake Caliper Type Cable Disc
Brake Lever Type Cable/V-Brake
Braking System Includes Cable Caliper Pads Rotor
Brake Body Material Alloy
Brake Rotor Diameters 160mm
Mount Compatibility International Post Mount