new stopping power from the Japan
The new Deore range was recently launched and recently we also subjected it to a larger test. With it, of course, the new brakes were launched, which are successfully part of the new image outlined by the Japanese for this wonderful range. This range that represents the perfect balance between acquisition cost and performance, a range that has taken many out of the dark, as they say. Until recently we had at our disposal the MT520 brakes which were a kind of surrogate for this range, but inexplicably, the people from Shimano did not stamp the Deore logo on them, leaving them to fade out in a bizarre anonymity. That doesn’t mean they weren’t necessarily good brakes, but the new M6120 is a job well done. And it feels like that.
So, after a warm welcome to the first serious Deore 4-piston brakes, let’s talk a little about them. In terms of design, an unsuspecting eye could say that there is not much difference between them and the 2018 model (so quickly did Shimano launch a new range?). But the uninformed eye must also be at a respectable distance so as not to see the differences. The lever is new, it has a support point on the handlebars under the lever and the clamp on the center of the body, and this means that it is as stiff as possible and does not flex when you operate it with maximum force. I’ve never measured how much flex the old lever vs. the new one, but the design is logical and expresses greater rigidity. The story of the clamp brings it to the new i-Spec EV standards, probably the most intuitive ever launched by Shimano (after the avalanche of i-Specs we’ve been subjected to in recent years), and that means you can easily catch and quickly shift the lever and you can rotate it to a certain inclination. Wonderful!
The assembly is easy, with the mention that the safety pin must be actuated to loosen the clamp on the handlebars. After installation, a simple bleeding was required. And I say simple because it can be made with the funnel that can be purchased from Shimano and is idiotic-proof. Basically, my grandmother could have bleeded these brakes without any impediment, with brief explanations before.
The shape of the lever borrows from the design of the upper ranges, but it does not come with free-tool to adjust the distance between the lever and the sleeve, so you will have to do it with the help of a thin imbus. It’s not bad, you only do it once. The lever also feels good on the finger and is a broader idea than the previous model, which means an increased sense of security when operating it.
Now that we have learned that life is wonderful with the new Deore, let’s move on to the candy on the cake: the caliper with 4 pistons, two smaller and two larger. These are actually the heart that pulses the mineral oil on the only artery of the system. Obviously, it is a plastic way of expression, because you produce the action when you press the lever. But something spectacular happens when you do it: in addition to the excellent modulation, these brakes really stop the bike, whether it’s an e-bike or a normal one. I mentioned the e-bike because I had them installed on such a bike, for the simple reason that the test is thus more difficult for the brakes and the unit has to work harder.
With a 180mm disc they performed exemplary and I never encountered the problem with the burned-out discs existing in the previous generation (but which had only 2 pistons in the caliper). It should be mentioned that you can also choose the Deore M6100 brakes, with two pistons in the caliper. However, the design of the 4-piston caliper is clearly more spectacular than the one with 2 pistons. And at the same time, it says a lot about how you go downhill. They come with resin pads, which is perfect because they are not very noisy. The pads can be replaced quickly, they are fastened securely and not with a screw, but with a safety pin, which must be bend. If you want a screw connection you will have to buy a set of XTRs, but be careful, it costs about 2.3 times more than these.