Shimano Zee M640 Hydraulic Disc Brakes (2013)


Shimano Zee, the rebel kid of the Japanese manufacturer’s range, came to this world last year. And it had a clear purpose: to draw attention. Yet, it manages to go the extra mile and to offer a decent-priced choice for extreme riding. Today’s subject are the Zee M640 hydraulic disc brakes, designed for freeride and downhill, but which also to the job when it comes to enduro.

In order to get a clear picture of Zee’s performance, it would be fair enough to compare them with SRAM’s X0 Trail. It’s also true that the American manufacturer used finer materials, but the price went up accordingly, so the natural question occurs: which one is the best choice?

Zee’s levers are built including Shimano’s Servo Wave design and aren’t very different from the one’s present in the Deore, SLX, XT and XTR ranges. Quality revolves somewhere around the Deore level, however extra grip is secured thanks to small holes found along the levers’ surface. Basicly, two fingers should be enough to trigger them, although I found out that one does the trick equally as well.

Eventhough braking power is huge, modulation overshadows this feature. The 4-piston ceramic caliper is capable of generating both impressive stopping power, and also a very sensitive control of it, with maximum power reached at halfway of the lever’s travel. And yes, this goes even for one-finger triggering.

These performances where reached given using 180mm ICE Tech rotors and a rider’s weight of 70 kilograms, but I am sure that even with 160mm rotors, things wouldn’t have got out of hands. Thus, the new Shimano Zee hydraulic disc brakes work like clockwork, and are pretty much pocket-friendly, proving to be more than a match for X0 Trail, which are about twice as expensive.

Weight: 453 grams (180mm rotor)


  1. Just thought that I’d add im 95kg and the stopping power is amazing. Iv gone from elixir 7 carbons to the zees and wow what a difference! at first they feel a bit ‘on-off’ but with a light finger the modulation is fantastic. This is no 2 finger brake one finger is more than enough!