Hybrid mix and match brakes
I think I read somewhere that somebody was running Shimano Dual Control levers with some other calipers... like Hope, maybe? I don't remember the details, it was so long ago. But I do remember that it involved running DOT4 fluid in the Shimano master cylinder. I don't remember it it was successful. I would imagine the seals would have to deal with different chemistry, and such... might start leaking or have the wrong actuation ratios or something.
Anybody try this... or seen it done?
The main issue would be seals (lever piston and caliper) swelling because of incompatibility with fluid. There are numerous anecdotes floating around about working mix-and-match DOT/mineral set-ups, but I'd take most with a pinch of salt.
Unless you'd be prepared to fully overhaul or replace calipers and levers, any experimentation would have to be limited to same-fluid systems, so Shimano and Magura (and Tektro, I suppose) could be mixed; Avid, Formula and Hope could be on the DOT side.
Fluid issues aside, I don't think I'd be concerned too much by actuation ratios. No solid reasoning behind that, I just doubt that there's going to too big of a difference between manufacturers.
What luck for rulers, that men do not think - Adolf Hitler
back in the day.. i tried to swap a grimeca master/brake lever for my xt one that i had bent.. looked exactly the same except that the grimeca used dot fluid..and the xt was mineral oil...worked good when i first bled it but by the time i went to go for a ride..i grabbed the lever and it got stuck in....that's when i noticed the DOT4 ONLY on the reservoir cover...took it off and the rubber bladder/seal popped out 5X it's normal size and absorbed all the mineral oil
on my old dh bike.. i have an xt lever on my rear magura gustav and it works real good..(both shimano and magura use mineral oil)