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Getting brake levers to engage close to the grips?

Discussion in 'Downhill & Freeride' started by Salami, Jul 4, 2009.

  1. Salami

    Salami Turbo Monkey

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    Are there any tricks to getting the lever to engage closer to the grip? I just got a new set of the older Shimano Saint brakes (BR-M800 calipers and matching lever kit). I assembled and bleed the brakes my self. After I bleed the brakes I turned the lever adjustment screws all the way in to bring the blades closer to the grips. The levers still engage much further from the grips than what is comfortable for me. The tech at Shimano claims there are no adjustments I can make.


    Ideally I like the brakes to be fully engaged when the lever is almost touching the grip. Is there any thing I can to help?
     
    #1 -   Jul 4, 2009

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  2. frango

    frango Turbo Monkey

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    I am afraid not.
    This was one of the main disadvantages of old Shimano brakes, for me. Latest brakes have no better pad contact adjustment IMO.
    You should have chosen Avid or Formula, if you needed good engagement adjustment.
     
    #2 -   Jul 4, 2009
  3. jvnixon

    jvnixon Turbo Monkey

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    You can adjust it with the bleeding actually.
     
    #3 -   Jul 4, 2009
  4. Salami

    Salami Turbo Monkey

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    How? The only thing that came to mind was re-bleeding the brakes with the levers in the closest to the bar position hoping when the pads reset the lever blades wind up closer to the grips.


    My Hopes all can be adjusted really close to the bars and they appear to be similar in bleeding techniques.


    At $116 for the set, Avid and Formula weren't any where in the ballpark.
     
    #4 -   Jul 4, 2009
  5. Bicyclist

    Bicyclist Turbo Monkey

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    So the new Shimano brakes don't have effective pad adjustment either? Dang, I wanted a set of Saints based on the reviews I have read.
     
    #5 -   Jul 4, 2009
  6. motomike

    motomike Turbo Monkey

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    Yeah just bleed out a little bit of fluid from the caliper, test it out, and go from there. Just do a tiny bit at a time and the levers will begin pulling in farther.
     
    #6 -   Jul 4, 2009
  7. jvnixon

    jvnixon Turbo Monkey

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    It's not very hard to adjust the bite point with the bleed imo but it could be easier too. If you read the Saint review we posted up it says this pretty much too.

    Yep that's how I do it as well. Hook up the small hose that comes with the brakes, crack the bleed hole at the caliper a tiny bit at a time and it will begin to pull closer to the bar.
     
    #7 -   Jul 4, 2009
  8. Salami

    Salami Turbo Monkey

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    Should I pull the lever at all or just crack the nipple and let what ever comes out by itself?
     
    #8 -   Jul 5, 2009
  9. motomike

    motomike Turbo Monkey

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    pull it a little bit. You will see when you do it. Just don't let go of the lever before you close the bleed nipple. its very easy, should only take a few minutes.
     
    #9 -   Jul 5, 2009
  10. richgardiner

    richgardiner Monkey

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    can anyone give a simple step by step for doing this, theres a possibility of me using someone elses saint brakes for a holiday this summer (ive never used/bled shimano before), and it would be handy to know just incase they feel uncomfy.
    thanks
     
  11. JeffKill

    JeffKill Monkey

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    Not sure if this helps, but I took a quick look at Shimano's website and found this: http://techdocs.shimano.com/media/t...37A/SI_0037A_002_EN_v1_m56577569830648123.PDF

    And this on the Park Tool site: http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=126
     
  12. Sandwich

    Sandwich Pig my fish!
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    What about removing the rotors and pumping the pads in? That sometimes works for certain systems.

    FYI, I have no problems with my NewSaints, and I haven't even messed with the bite point control yet. I have them super close to the bars and rode all day at whiteface with no more than one finger... But I guess with that I can't really comment whether the BPC works or not.
     
  13. Salami

    Salami Turbo Monkey

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    I must be missing something because what I am doing is not working. Should the reservoir cap be open or closed? If it should be closed should I add top off the fluid level when done or just leave as is? If cap should be left on and the fluid not topped off, how much fluid is safe to be removed from the system?
     
  14. rewster

    rewster Monkey

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    rich,

    keep the res closed, and don't release the lever while the system is open. adding more fluid will just put you back to square 1. you have to create a "vacuum" in the system if you want solid performance with less oil volume. as long as you have a solid seal on the res diaphram, you shouldn't have any problems

    as for how much can be removed, that's a little guess and test. bleed incrementally until you get the desired performance.....you'll know if you dried out the master cylinder when the caliper no longer engages. shimano's are, in my opinion, the simplest brakes to bleed/tweak without adjustments. just treat them like any other basic hydraulic system. i've run deore 525s for years, and they feel better to me than some hopes and codes when set up properly
     
    #14 -   Jul 6, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2009
  15. motomike

    motomike Turbo Monkey

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    Leave the cap on. Its very easy, just attach a hose to the bleed nipple on the caliper, put some pressure on at the brake lever, and open the nipple a little bit until some fluid comes out. You will know how much by feeling the lever pull in as fluid comes out. Do just a little bit at a time and always close the bleed nipple before you let go of the brake lever.
     
  16. Salami

    Salami Turbo Monkey

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    This must be the step I am missing. I tried letting brake fluid out with the cap off and was adding topping off which was making ZERO difference.

    I will try it with the cap on.

    How close have you guys been able to get the levers to the grips using this technique?
     
  17. rewster

    rewster Monkey

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    with the proper bleed and lever throw adjustment, you can get them to feel however you want. you just have to play around with it. i run mine a bit out from the bar, but can adjust them to fully engage just before contact