01 July, 2015
The new 2015 Shimano Deore M-615 brakes are now coming stock on several complete bikes this year. Since they come on several high end bikes, like Niner's RDO series, we thought we would take a closer look to see if they are worthy enough to be put on such a expensive bike. To get an idea of comparison, retail price on the Deore M-615 brakes is $79.95 per brake.
The Deore M-615 disc brakes are Shimano's new entry level Mtb brake, that are simple in design but have everything you need. There are a few bells and whistles that the Deore's don't have, like the tool free reach adjustment and the contact point adjustment that comes on the higher end XT brakes. I actually like the tool adjustment better on the Deore's, since its a cleaner look and if you don't adjust your levers all the time, the tool free adjustment isn't needed. The Deore's also have a matte gray finish, when the higher end brakes come with a nicer Silver/Chrome finish. Which doesn't do anything for function, but some people prefer the look of the higher end brakes. The only other feature that the Deore's don't have is the screw in brake pads, which is the same as the SLX Model. With the pin, you can still run the Resin pads, Sintered Pads, or the Ice Tech Pads as well.
Now how do they work. It is pretty rare that you find a affordable product that excends your expectations. Being half the price as the Guide RSC and the Shimano XTR, the Deore brakes are pretty comparable with a good balance of power and control. Other brakes I've rode in the past I put the reach as far out as I could and they still come to close to my knuckles with having to much lever stroke. But with the Deore brakes, I didn't have to put the reach out all the way and the lever stroke is much shorter. I was very impressed with the Shimano brakes for this reason. The brakes feel much more powerful, aggressive and in control. The brake lever feels great for either one or two finger braking and if your running a Shimano drivetrain, they feature the I-Spec easy clamping system for the shifters. Like all the other brakes in Shimano's line, the Deore's feature the two piston design with Mineral oil fluid. The weight is pretty reasonable for the Deore's as well, coming in at 325g, compared to Sram Guide RSC at 375g and the XT brakes at 315g.
Reach adjustment not full out, showing finger reach.
Showing the mount of stroke the brakes have before full engagement.
With several rides on the Shimano Deore M615 brakes, I am very happy with what they have to offer for performance on my bike. It is also nice not having to spend any more money on higher end brakes that feel and perform every similar. I wasn't sure why Niner and other companies would spec these brakes on there higher end bikes, but after several rides I can see why. The company saves money on the build, can put other higher end components on the bike while keeping the price point down for retailers. If your looking for a new set of brakes for the summer or need a upgrade whether on a budget or not, the Shimano Deore M-615's are a great valve while very comparable to many higher end brakes on the market.
Check out more features of the Deore M-615 brakes here.