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Shimano Brakes - How stiff should the lever feel with a good bleed?

beedlo

Chimp
Mar 21, 2008
2
0
I have a new set of Shimano Zee M640 brakes. With the bleed block in place, I squeeze the lever until I start feeling pressure (when the pistons start squeezing the block); from this point, I can pull the lever another ~10-15mm if I squeeze harder.

  • Is this flex or is this air?
  • Should the lever be dead stiff?
  • Should there be a bit of flex?
  • How much flex?

Anyone of you have experience with M810/M640/M820 and lever stiffness? How about other Shimano brakes with Servo Wave?

My lever felt exactly the same after a bleed, both front and rear.
 

amishmatt

Turbo Monkey
Sep 21, 2005
1,188
326
Lancaster, PA
I've got the new XT's, and they don't feel as solid at the lever as my Juicy 7's or Elixir's did. Better in every way than both, but don't feel as solid (in stock for or after a good bottom up bleed). I moved my pistons closer to the rotors by squeezing the lever a bit with the wheel off the bike, and they feel better after that, but not as solid as any good Avid/Formula/Hope I've tried.
 

buildyourown

Turbo Monkey
Feb 9, 2004
4,837
0
South Seattle
I've got the new XTR and Saint brakes. Both have a lever that you would describe as mushy after coming off Avid brakes. These are both with factory bleeds still.
They work great though. Took a couple rides to get used too but loving them overall.
 

ridefast

Monkey
Jan 25, 2006
433
0
Not where I'd like
Anyone that claims that the new offerings from Shimano are lesser products than Avid obviously haven't set the brakes up properly. Or don't know how to properly evaluate brakes.

Or have sniffed too much tubular glue.
 

slimshady

¡Mira, una ardilla!
Anyone that claims that the new offerings from Shimano are lesser products than Avid obviously haven't set the brakes up properly. Or don't know how to properly evaluate brakes.

Or have sniffed too much tubular glue.
Please don't start this again. The people who has commented their experiences with the Shimano brakes vs the Avid ones just pointed out the lever feeling is much more clear on the Avids. Almost everyone agrees with this, leaving aside the performance of the brakes.
 

oldfart

Turbo Monkey
Jul 5, 2001
1,205
24
North Van
Do those brakes have a servo wave function? That feels different I think that a brake without. Been on Shimano xt and xtr for the past season and don't recall them feeling much different than the XO I had previously. Shimano are easier to bleed well though.
 

TWeerts

Monkey
Jan 7, 2007
473
0
The Area Bay
That bleed block is plastic, and more compressible than pad backing, material, and a rotor.

I have experienced a drastically different feel between the bleed block and the installed pads and rotor. That being said, some experience and A/B'ing will allow you to feel a successful bleed even when a bleed block is installed.
 
Last edited:

msaman

Chimp
Dec 6, 2012
64
1
I do not want to hijack this thread but I've got a problem with my M820 brake lever.
I did bleed my brakes with the yellow plastic block first .The feel I wanted was not firm enough so I put the red plastic between the pads and inject some fluid inside.
The front one feels perfect now but my rear brake leaks from the lever .I mean I took out all the air and screwed the top screw and after that injected a bit more fluid into the system and the brake started leaking from this golden tap on the side ;(((
What do you guys think ?
If you put your finger on the side(this golden tap or what ever colour is on your XTR,XT,SLX) and squeeze the lever few times can you feel a pressure building up there ?
Cheers guys