I am seriously considering buying the new Epic world cup expert. The only component on the bike I am not too sure about is the brakes. It comes stock with Magura MTS. A friend bought the same bike in November and was having problems with chatter and howling from the brakes straight away. He found that the rotors were cracked in a few spots next to the mounting holes. According to the LBS, magura claimed it was because the bolts were over torqued. My buddy replaced the rotors and pads with Shimano rt-86 ice tech rotors and endurance pads. The brakes are quiet now and he says they have good feel and modulation. He also says that given his choice, he would prefer shimanos. (he had xt's on previous bike). I have only spent reasonable time on cheap avids, xx avids, and the Formula R1/RX brakes on my current epic. I did not like either of the avids and I like my formulas. I am up in the air if I should just go the same route my friend did, or put complete new brakes front and rear. We have a team buy coming up where we can get pretty good pricing. I can probably get a great deal on the new shimano 987's. I figure if I go this direction right off, I have a brand new set of MTS's I can sell for a hundy or two on ebay. So, I'm looking for your feedback on shimano xtr brakes (especially the new 987's), Magura brakes and Formula R1's. Anyone tried all three? What is your favorite and why? The guys at the LBS preach shimano brakes. I always like to get opinions from people other than who I am buying from. I know by reputation that the xtr's are solid, I've just heard they are a bit on/off feeling and up until the 987's, not exactly on the lighter side.