Shimano XTR M980 Race disc brake review

Flagship race brakes

Our rating 
3.5 out of 5 star rating 3.5
GBP £260.00 RRP | USD $354.98
Shimano XTR Race disc brake

Our review

Great feel and control but slightly heat vulnerable, especially without the Center Lock ICE rotor
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The Race’s master cylinder uses the same high polish piggyback reservoir design as its XTR stablemate, the Trail (M985), but with the bore cap on the reservoir screwed in to reduce capacity (and weight) and only small Allen key reach adjust on the lever.


It’s not a flip-flop design and it’s heavier than other flagship race brakes but the hinged bar clamp makes fitting easy. Feel from the short lever blade is superb – slightly squeezy but with outstanding modulation and fine control of its average power. The four-arm-spider ICE rotor (140mm size; the larger sizes, as pictured, are five-arm) uses a high-tech sandwich construction to reduce heat build-up.


However, our sample was fading at the end of the 150N pull sequence. The ICE rotor is only available in a Center Lock splined version which limits it to Shimano and DT Swiss wheels. It’s sold as separates so you can swap to a standard six-bolt XT rotor if you’re not going to cook it too hard.

Product Specifications


Name XTR Race brake (11)
Brand Shimano

Weight (g) 377
Brake Rotor Diameters 140mm 160mm 180mm 203mm