Shimano brings back four-piston XT brakes

They're back! Shimano has released a four-piston version of its venerable XT brake, marking the first time the workhorse groupset has offered such a spec since the early part of the 2000s.

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The caliper is known as the M8020, it's designed to complement both the bigger-travel bikes that are so popular these days, as well as offering more stopping power for heavier e-mtbs.

It's essentially a rebadged version of the company's Zee caliper teamed with the current M8000 lever; this is a hack that many riders have already done over the years, particularly with the company's big-dollar four-piston Saint downhill caliper.

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From experience, this nets a brake that has a softer feel at the lever than the two-piston version, but with a greater spread of power. It's best to team it with at least a 180mm rotor, or even a 203mm rotor if your frame and fork can cop it.

Shimano claims the new stopper adds a 20 per cent increase in braking power for your hard-earned dollar. We're still awaiting for confirmation from Shimano Australia, but we understand the Australian RRP of a brake and caliper set is around the $230 per end mark, and that the first shipment has come and gone.

We've ordered a front set from our favourite supplier for the office Optic, and we'll let you know how they go in the next issue of the mag.

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