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  1. #1
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    I hate the new XT 2012 brakes

    This is how much:

    !@#$!@#$!@#$!@#$!@#$!@#$!@#$!@#$@@X$@@!#@#$!@#$@!# $!!@#$@!#$@#$@!#$!@##!@@#!$!@#$@#!$@#$@#!$$@#!!@!! !!!!!!!!

    For the last four hours, I've been trying to install the front brake so that the pads don't rub against the rotor. I've loosened the mounting bolts at least 50 times, and following the instructions I depress the brake lever and then tighten the mounting bolts. But the rotor always rubs.

    I've tried tightening the clamping bolts after pushing the brake cable forward, backward, and to the side. I've also tried it with the brake housing clamped to the Fox cable guide on the left fork leg and unclamped. I've tried tightening the bolts with the handlebars turned to either side as well as pointing straight ahead. Nothing works!

    There are 3 washers, 2 sides to the adapters in addition to the post mounts, and as far as I can tell there is no may the tolerances of all those surfaces is going to allow you to line up a rotor that has at most 1mm of clearance to the brake pads on each side of the rotor. Depressing the brake lever while tightening the mounting bolts does absolutely nothing to prevent the brakes from rubbing against the rotor.

    My brakes came completely assembled, but I resorted to removing the brake pads in order to try pushing the pistons in. They didn't budge--but it's not like I could can get any leverage on them. They are white(is that the piston?) and both stick out about 1mm.

    Oh yeah, I had to buy a Torx wrench to install the RT75 rotors. What idiots would ever use torx bolts for any application? The person who invented the torx wrench?? And the instructions for the rotors say I am supposed to bend the tightening plate over the bolts? Impossible!

    I will never buy another Shimano product again. I've never seen a system so badly designed. How is it possible that there isn't an adjustment screw for each brake pad?

    !#@$!@#$!@#$!@#$!@#$!@#$!@#$!#@$!@#$!@#$ you Shimano!

    not happy, not riding
    Last edited by happyriding; 09-30-2011 at 02:34 PM.

  2. #2
    Big Test Icycles
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    Have you looked at the rotor. Could it be warped. Is it new. Just a thought.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
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    Brand new rotor, never used. Spins straight and true, not warped.

  4. #4
    Weird huh?
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    Another possibility: Pull off the front wheel and put it back on paying careful attention to making sure it's precisely centered. If even slightly off by a half a millimeter in one of the dropouts on your fork, it'll rub.

    Good luck!
    Poaching Demo...that's why we can't have nice things...

  5. #5
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    Thanks. I thought of that too. When I removed the brake pads, I had to remove the front wheel, so I thought remounting the front wheel might help. I have a 20mm through axle fork, and the tolerances of the through axle are pretty tight--in fact it is a pain to get it to slide through the second fork leg.

  6. #6
    Moosehead
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    Have you ridden the bike and/or bedded in the pads? This usually does it, especially for the XT's which are typically easier setup than most hydraulics.

    Other possibility is too much fluid in the system, a bit less may cure the problem but would try bedding them in first.

    Toss out the lock tabs that are to be bent over the torx bolts, most wrenches do the same.

  7. #7
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    Find a business card. Cut it in half. With the caliper bolts loose, slide each half between each pad and the rotor. Depress brake lever while tightening caliper bolts.
    NOAH SEARS
    MRP - Brand Manager
    Pivot Cycles - Team Rider

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    For the last four hours, I've been trying to install the front brake so that the pads don't rub against the rotor. I've loosened the mounting bolts at least 50 times, and following the instructions I depress the brake lever and then tighten the mounting bolts. But the rotor always rubs.
    Holding the brake lever on and then tightening the bolts doesn't really work that well for aligning disc brakes. It's better to align the pads by eye. Assuming that your brake rotor is completely true (difficult to tell just by looking at them) then the easiest way to align brake pads is usually outdoors in direct sunlight. The sunlight shows up the small gap between the pads and rotor more clearly than doing it indoors.

    For the front brake if you turn the bike upside down so that it is resting on the saddle and handlebars then you can look down through the caliper and see the clearance between rotor and pad. Don't pull the brake lever whilst the bike is upside down. Part tightening the caliper bolts and then gently pushing the caliper sideways small amounts allows you to fine tune the alignment of the caliper with the brake rotor. By having the bolts part tightened it allows you to make fine adjustments to the caliper alignment.

    If the rotor is warped then you can true it by carefully bending it straight.

    Disk Brake Rotor Precision Truing

    If it's a new bike build then you might need the suspension fork's post mounts faced also so that they're flat.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    Oh yeah, I had to buy a Torx wrench to install the RT75 rotors. What idiots would ever use torx bolts for any application? The person who invented the torx wrench??
    Sorry, but that's standard for all 6-bolt disc brakes. Torx bolts are starting to pop in lots of other places now too (chainring bolts, stems, etc). Every multi-tool in recent years has had a Torx T25 wrench. "Those people" were smart because torx heads do a much better job of resisting stripping out compared to whatever size hex head you could fit on the size bolt head.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    Holding the brake lever on and then tightening the bolts doesn't really work that well for aligning disc brakes. It's better to align the pads by eye.
    +1

    I was frustrated and unable to centre my SLX calipers using Shimano's "squeeze the lever" technique. Doing it by eye worked great. The clearance on each pad is extremely tight.

    Also, the pistons in my calipers stick out a tiny bit when they are all the way in. I don't think this is a problem

  11. #11
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    are your fork/frame tabs clean, and faced?

  12. #12
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    Is one pad rubbing or are both pads rubbing? Aligning a caliper is a delicate deal. Never use the "squeeze the lever" method, doesn't work. You should align it visually and tighten it as you watch. It is common for the caliper to "walk" out of postion if you crank the bolt really hard or too fast. Tighten the bolts slowly, very slowly. In some cases, you may even need to put some force against the caliper with one hand as you tighten the bolts to keeping it from "walking".

    If both pads are rubbing, try riding it around the block a few times. If that doesn't fix it, there may be too much fluid in the system.

    Have you considered taking it to your LBS???

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by moosehead View Post
    Have you ridden the bike and/or bedded in the pads? This usually does it,
    Maybe it's just the brakes that I've used, but whenever I change the pads I get some rub until I bed them in- especially with brand new rotors. The squeezing the brake lever method of centering the caliper has also always worked for me. They are supposed to be "self-centering." Maybe I've just been lucky with that, though.
    The new XTs are supposed to be pretty hassle free. If it's really that much of a PITA to line them up, I wouldn't be surprised if something was defective. But just try bedding them in properly first (if you haven't already) before you go any more ape-****.
    Also, I understand the frustration and the need to rant, but I've never seen anything other than torx bolts on rotors.

    Best of luck.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    My brakes came completely assembled, but I resorted to removing the brake pads in order to try pushing the pistons in. They didn't budge--but it's not like I could can get any leverage on them. They are white(is that the piston?) and both stick out about 1mm.
    This is likely your problem, the pistons are sticking out too far. Rotate the lever assembly so the master cylinder is horizontal and then loosen the bleed screw slightly. Now press the pistons in by inserting the plastic separators that came in the front & rear calipers and wedging a screwdriver between them. You should be able to get the pistons flush with the caliper surface. Don't forget to tighten the bleed screw before moving the lever. I just went through this with new M666 SLX brakes.

  15. #15
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    Thanks for all the responses.

    I ended up adjusting the pads by feel. With the brake mounting bolts loose, I pulled the brake body away from the wheel so that the inside pad hit the rotor. Then I moved the brake body outwards in small increments, tightened the caliper bolts, and spun the wheel to listen for rubbing.

    The Park Tool website also has a couple of suggestions:

    Park Tool Co. » ParkTool Blog » Shimano® Hydraulic Brake Service and Adjustment

    The one that helped me finally get the front brake aligned was to only undo one of the mounting bolts and then pushing on that end of the brake body to move the pad slightly.

    Depressing the brake lever does squat. !@#$@!##@! Shimano for the shite instructions. Thanks mtbr for the real instructions!

    As for facing, my LBS said not to bother with the post mounts on the fork because they said the adjustment was going to be side to side. But they did face the rear brake mounts. The facing on the rear didn't make any difference: squeezing the brake lever, then tightening the bolts led to rubbing. I tried five times, and the brakes rubbed each time. Once again, I removed the brake pads and checked the pistons and they each protruded about 1mm just like in the front. So I ended up adjusting the rear brake by feel too.

    The reason I decided to remove both brake pads was because when I was mounting the levers on the handle bars, I gently squeezed the brakes while checking their position, and then I noticed that the orange insert had fallen out of one of them. I thought maybe the pistons on one of the brakes might be screwed up because of that.

    I have a question, there is a long thin bolt I unscrewed to remove the pads--it had a clip on the end of it. When I unscrewed that bolt it seemed to break free as if was glued in there--but the Park Tool website doesn't mention putting any loctite on there when reinstalling. Does that bolt need loctite?

    Now I'm watching for leaking brake fluid. I've got my fingers crossed.

    Oh yeah, after aligning the rear brake, I realized I needed to route the cable on the inside of the chain stay. Rather than remove the rear brake, I'm going slide everything off the bars and use the brake lever to route the cable. I want no part of adjusting the rear brake again!
    Last edited by happyriding; 09-30-2011 at 10:11 PM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoahColorado View Post
    Find a business card. Cut it in half. With the caliper bolts loose, slide each half between each pad and the rotor. Depress brake lever while tightening caliper bolts.
    I can't see how that could possibly do anything. The whole problem is that the mounting bolts can flex the rotor. Adding business cards won't prevent that.
    Last edited by happyriding; 09-30-2011 at 10:25 PM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by moosehead View Post
    Have you ridden the bike and/or bedded in the pads? This usually does it, especially for the XT's which are typically easier setup than most hydraulics.

    Other possibility is too much fluid in the system, a bit less may cure the problem but would try bedding them in first.

    Toss out the lock tabs that are to be bent over the torx bolts, most [mechanics] do the same.
    Thanks. I couldn't get a small screwdriver under the tightening plates to bend them, and after a few seconds of trying, I gave up. I just laughed at what a miserable idea those tightening plates are, and I didn't waste any more time on it. The bolts have some blue stuff on it, which I assume is loctite.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    I have a question, there is a long thin bolt I unscrewed to remove the pads--it had a clip on the end of it. When I unscrewed that bolt it seemed to break free as if was glued in there--but the Park Tool website doesn't mention putting any loctite on there when reinstalling. Does that bolt need loctite?
    Glad you've got the alignment sorted out. Hopefully you'll come to enjoy your brakes It is surprising that Shimano continues to publish that method when it can easily not work. They should at least add a "If the pads continue to rub..."

    I've heard that the little clip doesn't matter. Plenty of people lose them without problems. Just make sure the bolt is tight (not too much, of course).

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    Thanks for all the responses.

    I ended up adjusting the pads by feel. With the brake mounting bolts loose, I pulled the brake body away from the wheel so that the inside pad hit the rotor. Then I moved the brake body outwards in small increments, tightened the caliper bolts, and spun the wheel to listen for rubbing.

    The Park Tool website also has a couple of suggestions:

    Park Tool Co. » ParkTool Blog » Shimano® Hydraulic Brake Service and Adjustment

    The one that helped me finally get the front brake aligned was to only undo one of the mounting bolts and then pushing on that end of the brake body to move the pad slightly.

    Depressing the brake lever does squat. !@#$@!##@! Shimano for the shite instructions. Thanks mtbr for the real instructions!

    As for facing, my LBS said not to bother with the post mounts on the fork because they said the adjustment was going to be side to side. But they did face the rear brake mounts. The facing on the rear didn't make any difference: squeezing the brake lever, then tightening the bolts led to rubbing. I tried five times, and the brakes rubbed each time. Once again, I removed the brake pads and checked the pistons and they each protruded about 1mm just like in the front. So I ended up adjusting the rear brake by feel too.

    The reason I decided to remove both brake pads was because when I was mounting the levers on the handle bars, I gently squeezed the brakes while checking their position, and then I noticed that the orange insert had fallen out of one of them. I thought maybe the pistons on one of the brakes might be screwed up because of that.

    I have a question, there is a long thin bolt I unscrewed to remove the pads--it had a clip on the end of it. When I unscrewed that bolt it seemed to break free as if was glued in there--but the Park Tool website doesn't mention putting any loctite on there when reinstalling. Does that bolt need loctite?

    Now I'm watching for leaking brake fluid. I've got my fingers crossed.

    Oh yeah, after aligning the rear brake, I realized I needed to route the cable on the inside of the chain stay. Rather than remove the rear brake, I'm going slide everything off the bars and use the brake lever to route the cable. I want no part of adjusting the rear brake again!
    Check that bolt for tightness after every ride for a while. If it starts to loosen, use loctite, otherwise no need.

    I hate to break it to you but each time you have to remove a wheel, for a flat or to change a tire, you MAY (not for surely, though) need to do a slight caliper realignment. That's just part of the game...

  20. #20
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    After you've ridden the bike a few times, and bedded the pads in, it's often worth going back and tweaking the caliper alignment to make sure it's still running smoothly.

    For taking wheels on and off the trick is to get the skewer and wheel back into the same position that it was in when you aligned the caliper initially. When you take the wheels on and off the brakes will stay in alignment if the skewer tightness is exactly the same each time. If the skewer tightness is different between taking the wheel on and off then it changes the rotor position relative to the brake caliper very slightly, which can make the brakes rub.

    Systems like the Fox 15QR are good because the set number of turns means that you will reliably tighten the skewer back to the same tightness.

    The picture below shows the rotor / pad gap on my Shimano XTR M988 brakes. Your brakes should have a similar gap.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails I hate the new XT 2012 brakes-xtr_pad_gap.jpg  


  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    Holding the brake lever on and then tightening the bolts doesn't really work that well for aligning disc brakes. It's better to align the pads by eye. Assuming that your brake rotor is completely true (difficult to tell just by looking at them) then the easiest way to align brake pads is usually outdoors in direct sunlight. The sunlight shows up the small gap between the pads and rotor more clearly than doing it indoors.

    For the front brake if you turn the bike upside down so that it is resting on the saddle and handlebars then you can look down through the caliper and see the clearance between rotor and pad. Don't pull the brake lever whilst the bike is upside down. Part tightening the caliper bolts and then gently pushing the caliper sideways small amounts allows you to fine tune the alignment of the caliper with the brake rotor. By having the bolts part tightened it allows you to make fine adjustments to the caliper alignment.

    If the rotor is warped then you can true it by carefully bending it straight.
    .
    This is what I do, it's the only thing that works properly IMO.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsilva View Post
    Glad you've got the alignment sorted out. Hopefully you'll come to enjoy your brakes It is surprising that Shimano continues to publish that method when it can easily not work. They should at least add a "If the pads continue to rub..."

    I've heard that the little clip doesn't matter. Plenty of people lose them without problems. Just make sure the bolt is tight (not too much, of course).
    I didn't loose the clip, my question was about the bolt. I removed the clip before unscrewing the bolt. It's just that it was really hard to unscrew such a small bolt, and it felt like it broke free--as if it was was loctited in there.

    For the first few rides, I will have to check every bolt on my whole bike because this is my first mtb build.

    Thanks for the "taking off the wheel" advice. After rerouting the brake cable on the inside of the chain stay, I had a heck of a time just getting my wheel back on. I have the rear derailleur and chain installed now, and trying to get the wheel around the derailleur while guiding the rotor into the brake caliper, and getting the drop outs to sit on my rear through axle proved almost impossible for me to do. It was a real struggle, and I had to abort my first attempt. When I finally got my wheel back on, I was sure I had knocked the rotor or brakes out of alignment, but I guess I got lucky.
    Last edited by happyriding; 10-01-2011 at 06:55 PM.

  23. #23
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    I've wondered why the caliper doesn't use jack screws, like on v brakes for spring adjustment, against the caliper bolt. It would sure help with adjustment and repeatability. I mentioned this years ago and got flack for it from someone. Am I missing something?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    I didn't loose the clip, my question was about the bolt. It was really hard to unscrew such a small bolt, and it felt like it broke free, like it was loctited in there.

    For the first few rides, I will have to check every bolt on my whole bike because this is my first mtb build.

    Thanks for the "taking off the wheel" advice. After rerouting the brake cable on the inside of the chain stay, I had a heck of a time just getting my wheel back on. I have the rear derailleur and chain installed now, and trying to get the wheel around the derailleur while guiding the rotor into the brake caliper, and getting the drop outs to sit on my rear through axle proved almost impossible for me to do. It was a real struggle, and I had to abort my first attempt. When I finally got my wheel back on, I was sure I had knocked the rotor or brakes out of alignment, but I guess I got lucky.
    The bolt holding the brake pads in place should be tight. The clip is an additional safety measure. You really don't want that bolt holding the brake pads to fall out as then you'd lose the brake pads also.

    Getting the back wheel into the frame with a disc brake takes a bit of practice initially. Whenever you take the wheel off make sure that the chain is in a lowish gear before you start - I'll usually use middle chainring and 1 up from the smallest rear sprocket (33T chainring x 12T sprocket). The more tension that there is on the chain the harder it is to get the wheel back into place so this makes it easier to do.

    With the bike upside down (resting on the saddle and handlebars) loop the chain back over the same small sprocket, and then rotate the entire rear derailleur backwards so that it's fully out of the way. You can now drop the wheel into place near the dropouts with one hand whilst the other hand holds the rear derailleur back. If you're lucky you'll be able to guide the brake rotor into the caliper straight away.

    If the brake rotor doesn't go in first time, let go of the rear derailleur and rotate just the spring loaded derailleur cage round by hand. This takes all the tension off the chain so that you can easily guide the disc brake rotor into the correct position. Without any chain tension it makes it easier to line up and drop back into place.

  25. #25
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    At some point, I am going to have to cut the rear brake hose to shorten it. Is there a simple way to do that to avoid having to bleed the whole system? I plan on doing some test rides before cutting the hose so that I know what the brakes feel like out of the box.

    The only thing I have left to do is put on the grips. Then I'll double check all the bolts, read about the adjustments for the shock and fork, and I'll be ready for a test ride. Oh yeah, I still need to take the tubes out of my tires and fill the tires with Stan's sealant.

  26. #26
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    I've used this method a few times for shortening the hose without bleeding. Unlike the lever squeeze, this actually works

    http://www.shimano.com/publish/conte...20Trimming.pdf

  27. #27
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    Thanks! First test ride today, then I'll have to shorten up the rear hose.

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    Aside from the headache of mounting them, I'm curious how the new XT's perform. Please post your impressions after the ride.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by theZapper View Post
    Aside from the headache of mounting them, I'm curious how the new XT's perform. Please post your impressions after the ride.
    Xt's are not any harder to mount then any other brake. This seems like more of a case of user error (sorry OP) but I don't want these brakes to get a bad rap because of one persons problems. These are great brakes some of the best brakes and easiest I have used and I have Formula's, Magura Marta's, Hopes, Hayes Carbon's, BB7's, Juicy Ultimates all at different times of coarse but hands down I like the feel of these brakes over all others. Not a peep out of them either

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    I hate bean sprouts.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdundee View Post
    Xt's are not any harder to mount then any other brake. This seems like more of a case of user error (sorry OP)
    I tried mounting the front brake at least 50 times following the specific Shimano instructions. They are not hard to follow. The problem is: they are dead wrong. That fact has been confirmed by a number of people in this thread. This is my first mtb build, so if you want to call it operator error, fine.

    Aside from the headache of mounting them, I'm curious how the new XT's perform. Please post your impressions after the ride.
    They seemed to work fine. I noticed some rubbing on the front when I made a tight turn in the parking lot. I don't really understand how that is possible with a hydraulic system. I guess it could be wheel flex, but I have a Stan's Flow rim, Hadley 20mm TA hub, and Fox 36 Talas fork on the front end.

    On the trail, the brakes modulated better than on the workstand, where they seemed on/off. I weigh about 240 with gear and a pack full of tools, and the XT brakes stopped me fine with one finger. The reach to the lever is a little far for me--and I wear 3XL Fox Dirtpaw gloves. I have my XTR M980 shifters(XT's were out of stock) mounted between the brakes and the grip because that was the only configuration that allowed me to reach everything. I would like to get the brake closer, but if I switch the shifter and the brake, I can't reach the shifter. In what order do most people mount the shifter and the brake?

    This is my first mtb, but last year I demo'ed a lot of bikes at Outerbike, which were mostly equipped with XT brakes, and every time I touched the brakes on one of those bikes, I was almost catapulted over the bars. I'm a roadie, and I'm not used to such good brakes. I can't say whether the new XT's are better than the old XT's. If my new XT brakes don't leak, I'll be happy...and riding.

    I found a goathead in my front tire after my hour test ride, and when I got home both tires were flat. The final thing I have to do to finish my build is to remove the tubes and add Stan's sealant.

    As far as I know, no parts fell off the bike, and I didn't crash, so it was a successful test ride. I did hear a couple of horrendous metallic cracking noises while riding. I don't know if it was the crank or the shock/pivot area. I'll give the bike a once over tomorrow to see if anything looks amiss.
    Last edited by happyriding; 10-03-2011 at 11:07 PM.

  32. #32
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    2012 XT brakes are the best brakes ever. They are by far the easiest to set up and to service.

    If it does not work for you - bring it to a mechanic.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    2012 XT brakes are the best brakes ever. They are by far the easiest to set up and to service.

    If it does not work for you - bring it to a mechanic.
    +2, Knowing when you have reached the limits of your abilities is crucial when trying to save $$$. This is an awesome brake system!!!
    Last edited by zenkem; 10-04-2011 at 05:14 AM.

  34. #34
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    My 985 XTRs are hands down the easiest brakes to setup I've ever seen. I'm pretty sure the XTs are as easy.
    Last edited by PissedOffCil; 10-04-2011 at 04:58 AM.
    Check out my SportTracks plugins for some training aid software.

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    Don't bash on a product when you don't know how to properly set them up. Bring them to your LBS!!!!

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    User Error all the way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lipster94 View Post
    Don't bash on a product when you don't know how to properly set them up. Bring them to your LBS!!!!
    Okay, all you Shimano fan boys can go hold hands and sing "We are the World" in the "I love the new 2012 XT brakes" thread.

    It's funny how once some people buy a product, it has to be the best there is in order to validate their own self worth.

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    Knowing when you have reached the limits of your abilities is crucial when trying to save $$$.
    Point of fact: I got them set up on my own--by abandoning the Shimano instructions, so I hadn't reached the limit of my abilities yet. The replies hear confirmed that I did the right thing.

    In addition, forums like these are for getting help. So when I do reach the limit of my abilities, I can still avoid going to an LBS by asking questions here. The advice, "Take it to the LBS" is not what I am after unless the only course of action involves expensive specialized tools, which installing brakes does not require.

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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    Okay, all you Shimano fan boys can go hold hands and sing "We are the World" in the "I love the new 2012 XT brakes" thread.

    It's funny how once some people buy a product, it has to be the best there is in order to validate their own self worth.
    Hurray, let's dance in the rain!

    Seriously, I have a strong positive bias for Shimano. I love their products and speak greatly about them. Now, setting up a brake caliper is one of the simplest operations on a bike and is not rocket science. Admittedly I have the trail version with Servowave so their are certainly easier to setup in order to get no rub. However when someone comes complaining about how they hate their brakes and questioning the use of torx bolts on Shimano rotors, he loses all credibility.
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    Hizzah! I'll dance with you. Love my new XTR trails

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    I bought the 2012 XT's a couple months ago and also had some brake rub issues. My problem was that I was tightening the bolts too quickly. After centering the caliper by depressing the brake lever, I would torque one caliper bolt. Problem is that I was tightening it down so hard it would angle the caliper ever so slightly so the whole body was crooked and the pads would rub.

    The solution is to tighten down the mounting bolts just 1/8-1/4 turn at a time. The caliper will stay parallel and the pads won't drag. Ever since I figured it out, I've had zero brake drag issues.
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    Okay, all you Shimano fan boys can go hold hands and sing "We are the World" in the "I love the new 2012 XT brakes" thread.

    It's funny how once some people buy a product, it has to be the best there is in order to validate their own self worth.
    I'm not so much of a Shimano fan but a fan of what works and right now it's the xt brakes. I would've loved to have my Formulas work and feel and nice as the xt's, it would've
    saved me a bunch of cash. Peace

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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    Okay, all you Shimano fan boys can go hold hands and sing "We are the World" in the "I love the new 2012 XT brakes" thread.

    It's funny how once some people buy a product, it has to be the best there is in order to validate their own self worth.
    It's also funny how when people give up on figuring out a problem, it's never their own ineptitude at fault. A bunch of people here have responded that were able to figure it out, why couldn't you?
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    That's what the OP was doing wrong.

    Sometimes you have to be extremely delicate on this part of the process because the rotor is flimsy and will bend when trying to tighten down one caliper bolt then the other. I've used the squeeze the lever method many times on all kinds of disc brakes, old and new, and it's never failed me. Granted, that little tidbit should be in the instructions.
    Quote Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing View Post
    I bought the 2012 XT's a couple months ago and also had some brake rub issues. My problem was that I was tightening the bolts too quickly. After centering the caliper by depressing the brake lever, I would torque one caliper bolt. Problem is that I was tightening it down so hard it would angle the caliper ever so slightly so the whole body was crooked and the pads would rub.

    The solution is to tighten down the mounting bolts just 1/8-1/4 turn at a time. The caliper will stay parallel and the pads won't drag. Ever since I figured it out, I've had zero brake drag issues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    I noticed some rubbing on the front when I made a tight turn in the parking lot. I don't really understand how that is possible with a hydraulic system. I guess it could be wheel flex, but I have a Stan's Flow rim, Hadley 20mm TA hub, and Fox 36 Talas fork on the front end.
    If you try holding the front wheel and rocking it from side to side can you see any play in the hub or the brake rotor moving at all?

    How tight did you fasten the Fox 20qr axle? It sounds like you may need to get the threaded thru axle fastened tighter before closing the two quick release levers on the fork if the brake rotor is twisting.

    Using the Quick-Release Lever

    It could also be something else like play in the hub bearings but the Fox 20qr is what I'd look at first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    Okay, all you Shimano fan boys can go hold hands and sing "We are the World" in the "I love the new 2012 XT brakes" thread.

    It's funny how once some people buy a product, it has to be the best there is in order to validate their own self worth.
    It's also "funny" how you had problems with the cranks, chain and brakes. It tends to make us think there is a possibility that some amount of user error (also known as the learning curve) may be at play.

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    XT Brakes

    It took all these posts for someone to say the guy is not a mechanic?

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    When I had the previous XT brakes I had a similar problem, no matter how much I worked with them I couldn't stop them from rubbing. I would try to spin the wheel, hammer on the brakes, hold, turn each screw slightly until tight. After multiple attempts I pulled the pads and reset the pistons. Each time I'd do this and re-try setting them up I'd end up with the same problem. What I eventually found was that while I was re-setting the pistons I was leaving the bolts at the top and bottom of the caliper tight. This kept the caliper in the same alignment, although the pads were spread farther. Eventually I realized it would make sense to center the caliper over the rotor (by sight) AFTER re-installing the pads PRIOR to pulling the brake lever. This ensured the caliper was centered over the rotor and the pistons were being pushed out a similar distance on both sides. After I did this I never had another problem. I've had to do the same thing on different brakesets and had the same positive results.

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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    Okay, all you Shimano fan boys can go hold hands and sing "We are the World" in the "I love the new 2012 XT brakes" thread.

    It's funny how once some people buy a product, it has to be the best there is in order to validate their own self worth.
    What the heck are you talking about?

    I have bought, used and serviced Avid, Formula, Hope, and Shimano hydraulic brakes since I have went to disk brakes more then ten years ago. The fact that 2012 XT are the easiest to setup and to service among many models I have tried is just that - a simple observation of a fact. Just like the fact that Avid Ultimates that I have also bought are the worst.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tiflow_21 View Post
    Eventually I realized it would make sense to center the caliper over the rotor (by sight) AFTER re-installing the pads PRIOR to pulling the brake lever. This ensured the caliper was centered over the rotor and the pistons were being pushed out a similar distance on both sides. After I did this I never had another problem. I've had to do the same thing on different brakesets and had the same positive results.
    Setting the caliper by sight, without pads, works very well for me with Shimano and Formula brakes. You just drop pads after centering, and it just works. This way if one piston was not retracted the same way, it just readjusts after I put the pads back in: good video from Hope: Hope Technology - Caliper/Pistons Centralise - YouTube

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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    Point of fact: I got them set up on my own--by abandoning the Shimano instructions, so I hadn't reached the limit of my abilities yet. The replies hear confirmed that I did the right thing.

    In addition, forums like these are for getting help. So when I do reach the limit of my abilities, I can still avoid going to an LBS by asking questions here. The advice, "Take it to the LBS" is not what I am after unless the only course of action involves expensive specialized tools, which installing brakes does not require.
    The important thing is that you learned something from the process and next time you‘ll know…no sense in bashing the product when it works so well for others, ask for help instead...Happy Trails!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by gmcttr View Post
    It's also "funny" how you had problems with the cranks,
    Yah, it's funny that this Shimano product is so badly made that you have to hit it with a hammer to install it correctly. I am reluctant to hit any bicycle component with a hammer. If Shimano products need to be hit by a hammer to get them to install correctly, that should be stated in the instructions.

    chain
    In my opinion, another poorly designed Shimano product. In this instance, Shimano did have detailed instructions on how to install the chain. I tried to follow them, but I got it wrong.

    and brakes.
    Yep.

    It tends to make us think there is a possibility that some amount of user error (also known as the learning curve) may be at play.
    I don't think you know what 'error' means. Is it an error if your first instinct isn't to pull out a hammer and start hitting a crank to make it fit? Is it an error if you follow the brake installation instructions exactly, and the brakes don't work correctly?

    But then you aren't interested in the truth, are you? Another take on all my questions might be: Why are Shimano products so screwed up?

    I'm going to continue to post my opinions on the products I use. If you don't like it, don't read them.
    Last edited by happyriding; 10-04-2011 at 07:13 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing View Post
    I bought the 2012 XT's a couple months ago and also had some brake rub issues. My problem was that I was tightening the bolts too quickly. After centering the caliper by depressing the brake lever, I would torque one caliper bolt. Problem is that I was tightening it down so hard it would angle the caliper ever so slightly so the whole body was crooked and the pads would rub.

    The solution is to tighten down the mounting bolts just 1/8-1/4 turn at a time. The caliper will stay parallel and the pads won't drag. Ever since I figured it out, I've had zero brake drag issues.
    In the 50 attempts I made to install the brakes, I tried every iteration of any combination of things I could think of. At least 10 times, I tried tightening each bolt in small increments--it didn't work for me. Thanks for the suggestion, though--it might help someone else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by theZapper View Post
    Aside from the headache of mounting them, I'm curious how the new XT's perform. Please post your impressions after the ride.
    On my second test ride, I had some howling on the front brake when braking at high speed coming down a fire road. At slower speeds, it was fine.

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    I'd take it to a shop along with a 12 pack and see if you can watch them do it. I know that's not what you want to hear, but either you got a bum unit or you're doing something wrong. If there were an inherent problem with these brakes, there would be a lot more reports of problems.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing View Post
    I'd take it to a shop along with a 12 pack and see if you can watch them do it. I know that's not what you want to hear, but either you got a bum unit or you're doing something wrong. If there were an inherent problem with these brakes, there would be a lot more reports of problems.
    I do not know to what you are referring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing View Post
    It's also funny how when people give up on figuring out a problem, it's never their own ineptitude at fault.
    I followed the instructions exactly. The brakes didn't work correctly. Apparently, the instructions don't work for other people either. Sorry we are so inept.

    A bunch of people here have responded that were able to figure it out, why couldn't you?
    I did, thanks.

    I can do some pretty inept things, but I'm always cautious when building bikes so that I don't do something that damages a part just because I can't figure out how to install it. But I'm also able to figure things out, too. Most things in fact. Sometimes just writing up a question is enough to trigger an idea. Other times, just putting everything down and trying again the next day will lead to some new idea.

    We are all inept aren't we? There is always someone who can run circles around use in any endeavor we undertake. If we actually say to ourselves, "I'm too inept to do this", then we are giving up. In this instance, I'm too tenacious to give up, so "no" I'm not going to admit that I'm inept. Sorry.
    Last edited by happyriding; 10-04-2011 at 07:38 PM.

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    If you think Shimano stuff is difficult to set-up wait until you try working on other companies stuff.

    The method that Shimano recommended works just fine I have set up hundreds of brakes like. Everybody has been setting up post mount brakes like that for the past dozen years. However, from time to time it doesn't work for one reason or another. In those case you have to do something different.

    Mountain bikes are difficult to work on and take quite a bit of experience to do it efficiently.

    If you want something that will really piss you off, try converting your regular tires to tubeless. Totally worth it but can be pretty difficult for a novice user.
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    Quote:
    chain
    In my opinion, another poorly designed Shimano product. In this instance, Shimano did have detailed instructions on how to install the chain. I tried to follow them, but I got it wrong.


    Exactly
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    Yah, it's funny that this Shimano product is so badly made that you have to hit it with a hammer to install it correctly. I am reluctant to hit any bicycle component with a hammer. If Shimano products need to be hit by a hammer to get them to install correctly, that should be stated in the instructions.
    By that point I am convinced that you are trolling us. Good job. I took you seriously for a little while.


    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    I don't think you know what 'error' means.
    You most certainly do know what is an error.
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    That guy is nuts. Shimano chains are badly designed because you don't know how to loop them in your derailleur? Is that it? Their cranks are badly designed because they have a tight tolerance with the bottom bracket bearings? I guess you really have no clue what you are dealing with based on your post history, this one being the one of the funniest :

    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    How far into the non drive side crank should the spindle protrude? Flush with the outer edge? Sticking out by 3mm? Recessed by 3mm?
    Clearly you don't understand the instructions as they are very clear that the left crank arm goes on the spindle and that you must tighten then preload cap. That doesn't leave much room for interpretation, does it?

    We can therefore expect you can't understand the chain and brake installation either. This thread has become a waste of time!
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    If you think Shimano stuff is difficult to set-up wait until you try working on other companies stuff.

    The method that Shimano recommended works just fine I have set up hundreds of brakes like. Everybody has been setting up post mount brakes like that for the past dozen years. However, from time to time it doesn't work for one reason or another. In those case you have to do something different.

    Mountain bikes are difficult to work on and take quite a bit of experience to do it efficiently.

    If you want something that will really piss you off, try converting your regular tires to tubeless. Totally worth it but can be pretty difficult for a novice user.
    lol. I'm working on that right now. So far, I have been unsuccessful. Any tips? I have Stan's Flow rims and 2.35 Kenda Nevegal's. I tried removing the valve core to get a higher flow rate with my floor pump, but without the core my pump couldn't clamp onto the stem.
    Last edited by happyriding; 10-05-2011 at 09:53 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PissedOffCil View Post
    That guy is nuts. Shimano chains are badly designed because you don't know how to loop them in your derailleur?
    No. In that instance, I think the Shimano chain instructions are horrible. The chain is badly designed because of the necessity to break the chain at a particular pin, which isn't exactly easy to figure out. Instead of engraving Shimano all over the chain, it would be more helpful to engrave a star next to the pins that you should break.


    Their cranks are badly designed because they have a tight tolerance with the bottom bracket bearings? I guess you really have no clue what you are dealing with based on your post history, this one being the one of the funniest :

    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding
    How far into the non drive side crank should the spindle protrude? Flush with the outer edge? Sticking out by 3mm? Recessed by 3mm?
    Clearly you don't understand the instructions as they are very clear that the left crank arm goes on the spindle and that you must tighten then preload cap. That doesn't leave much room for interpretation, does it?
    I was asking about the step before that. The Shimano instructions say, "Insert the right crank unit." That seems easy enough except when it isn't. For instance, the instructions do not say how far to insert the right crank unit. Until it stops? That is what I did, but it didn't look to me like the spindle protruded far enough. As it turns out, I had to hit the right crank with a big mallet several times to drive the right crank unit all the way through the bottom bracket. Even then I wasn't sure if the right crank went all the way through or not.

    It's pretty clear you are more interested in misrepresenting what I say and insulting me than having any meaningful discussion.
    Last edited by happyriding; 10-05-2011 at 10:06 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    It's pretty clear you are more interested in misrepresenting what I say and insulting me than having any meaningful discussion.
    No, it's clear that you hate Shimano/INSERT_NAME_HERE because of your own mechanical ineptitude. Once you get more experience working on bikes you'll probably change your mind.

    When you come asking for help, don't start with bashing products, that would be a good start.
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    ...It's pretty clear you are more interested in misrepresenting what I say and insulting me than having any meaningful discussion.
    And it's pretty clear that you are in complete denial.

    The problem isn't your needing help and asking questions...we all do.

    The problem we have is the Shimano (insert any manufacturer) bashing as a preface to the questions.

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    This thread is so ridiculous . . .

    OP, the problem isn't whether or not you are "inept" . . . . you may or may not be. What is completely clear from this and all the other threads you have posted is that you don't know what you are doing, and the problem that I - and clearly several other people here have - is that you fail to take any responsibility for that. Rather, you blame someone else (in this case, Shimano, though it will likely be any of the manufacturers who's products fall into your hands).

    Its fine to not know what you are doing . . . every person here started somewhere. I certainly don't know what I am doing with a lot of things, and I just went through the SAME exact experience with a set of Hope brakes . . . was I frustrated? You bet! Did I come on here and start bashing Hope for "inferior instructions" . . . no.

    I can only imagine what's next in your misfortunes . . .

    Anyone want to take bets? I'm guessing it will be Fox. Or maybe Santa Cruz? Oh geez, I can only imagine what its going to be like when this guy needs to service his pivot bearings . . . have you SEEN those instructions?!

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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    lol. I'm working on that right now. So far, I have been unsuccessful. Any tips? I have Stan's Flow rims and 2.35 Kenda Nevegal's. I tried removing the valve core to get a higher flow rate with my floor pump, but without the core my pump couldn't clamp onto the stem.
    Never mind. I got them setup.

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    Often....

    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    At some point, I am going to have to cut the rear brake hose to shorten it. Is there a simple way to do that to avoid having to bleed the whole system? I plan on doing some test rides before cutting the hose so that I know what the brakes feel like out of the box.

    The only thing I have left to do is put on the grips. Then I'll double check all the bolts, read about the adjustments for the shock and fork, and I'll be ready for a test ride. Oh yeah, I still need to take the tubes out of my tires and fill the tires with Stan's sealant.
    ... I can get away with this trick:

    First, you are going to need a new olive and barb... if that is what Shimano is using lately... They still use olives, right?

    Also, this is assuming the lever end has the replaceable connector, not the permanent factory pressed-on connector.... and not the braided steel hoses that can't be shortened.

    ... and wear eye protection. That brake fluid loves to squirt around or splatter sometimes. You may also want to wear a shirt and pants you don't care about too much. I wear a shop smock as well. Brake fluid of all kinds does not wash out of clothing easily.

    remove the rear wheel and brake pads. Gently squeeze the lever to push the pistons out a little further than they would normally go, unless you had very worn brake pads. Be careful you don't actually pop the pistons out.

    Open up the brake reservoir, Use a syringe to suck out all the brake fluid you can.

    Unscrew the brake line and remove it from the lever. Cut it with whatever Shimano recommends cutting it with... sharp utility knife on a wood block works for me for the resin hoses. Thread on the strain relief (if present) screw hose connector, new olive and press in the barb using the yellow plastic hose holders. I sometimes clamp the yellow plastic hose holders in a pair of vice grips and tap in the barb gently with a small wrench. DON'T tap in the barb until you have all the other pieces in place down the hose, or you'll have a hard time getting them on after the fact.

    Install the hose back in the lever and cinch it down nice and snug.

    Put some brake fluid in the reservoir, but leave enough for more.

    Here's the fun part; gently push the caliper pistons back in in a nice smooth square motion. If all goes well, you should see a 'burp' of bubbles in the brake lever reservoir. You just pushed whatever air was in the top of the brake line back up into the reservoir.

    Put the yellow plastic pad block in place, and set the correct brake fluid level. Give it a good squeeze, and if it all went well, it should be nice and firm at the lever.

    I've done this trick a few times, and it has never failed me.

    YMMV.

    BTW, Shimano XTR chains are the best. I get double the miles from an XTR chain than SRAM chains.... although I have not tried Whipperman. THE setup is XTR 9 speed chain with SRAM Powerlink. Yeah, the Shimano press pins suck.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot View Post
    THE setup is XTR 9 speed chain with SRAM Powerlink.
    Word.

    For 10sp chain I went with Wipperman's link though. I do not think SRAM's 10sp is reusable. Just got to pay attention about its orientation - Connex does not seem to be symmetric, just like Shimano 10sp chain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    It's just that it was really hard to unscrew such a small bolt, and it felt like it broke free--as if it was was loctited in there.
    Locktite isn't necessary if you check that bolt reasonably frequently and the clip is still in place but it sure wouldn't hurt. If you have Locktite on hand it's probably worth putting on that bolt.

    Did you ever get an answer on how to quickly shorten your brake hose? I stopped reading when everyone started bashing your newb questions and comments.
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    quite often problems stem from the frame mounting brackets or hub not the brakes. Regardless of brake brand, I do it by sight then use feeler gauges to align and check the calipers as this allows you to properly check that the rotor pad spacing is equal and that the caliper is not skewed after torquing. I reckon both the eye method and the pull the brakes and torque method can be hit and miss. I also use a straight edge to check (even new rotors) are not warped prior to and after installation and that the frame mounting brackets are machined flat and parallel(ish) to each other and the rotor. It is also handy to keep a few 1/4 and or 1/2mm shims on hand for the mounting brackets. I have on odd occasions come across new warped rotors and quite often find the frame mounting points need a touch of facing and shimming as they are not parallel to each other or the caliper is too far / too near to the rotor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    Did you ever get an answer on how to quickly shorten your brake hose? I stopped reading when everyone started bashing your newb questions and comments.
    Yes, thanks. I followed these instructions

    http://www.shimano.com/publish/conte...20Trimming.pdf

    and I also looked at this complete overview of installing the rotors and brakes:

    http://www.bbinstitute.com/dl/dx_demo_chapter_37.pdf

    Unfortunately, the Shimano instructions did not work. I followed the Shimano instructions exactly, and everything seemed to go as described (except I found it very hard to tap in the insert without a vise)--right up until the last step where the instructions say to squeeze the brake levers, and that's when all the mineral oil ran out of the brake lever. If I had realized those were Shimano instructions when I started, I would never have read them. Thanks again Shimano! Your brakes are a disaster.

    Now what? I don't have time to order a bleed kit.
    Last edited by happyriding; 10-07-2011 at 12:14 PM.

  73. #73
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    Funny how I followed the same instructions to perfection...
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    Unfortunately, the Shimano instructions did not work. I followed the Shimano instructions exactly, and everything seemed to go as described, right up until the last step where the instructions say to squeeze the brake levers, and that's when all the mineral oil ran out of the brake lever. If I had realized those were Shimano instructions when I started, I would never have read them. Thanks again Shimano! Your brakes are a disaster.

    Now what?
    You must have done something wrong. That is the exact procedure to shorten the brake line the easy way word for word, picture for picture. Where is the oil coming from?
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    Shortening the brake hose was super easy, not sure what could have gone wrong. I followed their instructions as well with no problems. No bleeding necessary after shortening the hose either!
    "Got everything you need?"

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    The oil ran out where the hose goes into the lever.

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    You have to put the hose back in there before it will work.
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    The oil ran out where the hose goes into the lever.
    Well let's think it through, obviously it was because of your line attachment then.

    • Did you put in a new insert? When you cut the line there is no longer an insert.
    • Did you cut the line straight so that there is no gap on the pin? Super important.
    • Did you press the insert in all the way?
    • Did you tighten the fitting sufficiently?
    • Did you assemble all the parts correctly? Olive/insert/lever?


    You're missing something.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PissedOffCil View Post
    However when someone comes complaining about how they hate their brakes and questioning the use of torx bolts on Shimano rotors, he loses all credibility.
    Agreed
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    Well let's think it through, obviously it was because of your line attachment then.

    • Did you put in a new insert? When you cut the line there is no longer an insert.
    • Did you cut the line straight so that there is no gap on the pin? Super important.
    • Did you press the insert in all the way?
    • Did you tighten the fitting sufficiently?
    • Did you assemble all the parts correctly? Olive/insert/lever?


    You're missing something.
    I did everything exactly as per the instructions. I read the instructions several times over several days, and I read other instructions for clarification(What is the olive for? Do I need to squeeze it with pliers to clamp it to the hose?). Then I read through the instructions again before I started, and then I looked at the directions for each step while trimming the hose. Then I reviewed the instructions after I was done, and I made no mistakes.

    I'm guessing that screwing in the compression bolt 1/4 turn after you feel resistance is no where near enough to smash(?) the olive. In any case, I need a do-it-yourself method to add oil and bleed the brakes--there are no bleed kits available locally, and I don't exactly feel like giving Shimano another dime of my money.
    Last edited by happyriding; 10-07-2011 at 12:41 PM.

  81. #81
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    I did go past 1/4 turn I believe but it should be fine as long as the hose doesn't move when you pull on it.

    Free the hose and check where to olive crushed the line. My guese is either
    1) You didn't push the insert deep enough
    2) Your line wasn't all the way in and the olive didn't crush over the line but rather over the insert. Your line might have moved, I had this happen to me once and I held it tight and pushing towards the lever on the next attempt.
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    I did everything exactly as per the instructions. I read the instructions several times over several days, and I read other instructions for clarification(What is the olive for? Do I need to squeeze it with pliers to clamp it to the hose?). Then I read through the instructions again before I started, and then I looked at the directions for each step while trimming the hose. Then I reviewed the instructions after I was done, and I made no mistakes.

    I'm guessing that screwing in the compression bolt 1/4 turn after you feel resistance is no where near enough to smash(?) the olive. In any case, I need a do-it-yourself method to add oil and bleed the brakes--there are no bleed kits available locally, and I don't exactly feel like giving Shimano another dime of my money.
    God help you if you ever had to bleed an Avid if you can't figure out Shimano.

    The only piece of advice I can give you is to unthread the compression fitting and inspect the olive. If it's still visually in good shape then you can probably try seating it again. I find that if I hold the hose bottomed out against the inside of the lever body (pushed in until it stops) before I thread in the compression fitting then I have the most success. And I will suggest making sure that the compression fitting is plenty snug, perhaps you're misunderstanding what they mean by the layman's terms of threading in that fitting. You should be turning it until you can't anymore, which should be the same as their instructions but it's worth mentioning that the fitting needs to be tight.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PissedOffCil View Post
    I did go past 1/4 turn I believe but it should be fine as long as the hose doesn't move when you pull on it.

    Free the hose and check where to olive crushed the line. My guese is either
    2) Your line wasn't all the way in
    How would one know that??

    I had this happen to me once and I held it tight and pushing towards the lever on the next attempt.
    There's nothing in the instructions about pushing on the hose while screwing in the compression bolt. The instructions make it seem that the compression bolt will take care of pushing/clamping the hose. Thanks Shimano! If I had pushed on the hose while tightening the compression bolt, I couldn't have claimed I had followed the directions exactly. Is the fix as simple as adding oil to the brake reservoir and trying again?

  84. #84
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    You need to push the hose completely in, obviously. The compression bolt doesn't touch the hose at all. It sits againt the olive which crushes itself on the hose, therefore creating a seal. You're right, the instructions don't mention that.

    No the fix is to buy a new olive & insert and to start over. This time however, you will need to bleed the brakes as you let air in the system during the leak.
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  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    Unfortunately, the Shimano instructions did not work.
    Not ONE person reading this thread is the LEAST bit surprised!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    I followed these instructions . . .

    http://www.shimano.com/publish/content/global_cycle/en/us/index/tech_support/tech_tips.download.-Par50rparsys-0008-downloadFile.html/02)%20Brake%20Hose%20Trimming.pdf


    . . . . If I had realized those were Shimano instructions when I started, I would never have read them.
    Really, dude? I mean c'mon . . . my 7 year old nephew coulda' told you where those instructions were from. Hey, here's a tip for ya, THOSE AREN'T for the 2012 XT's! The lines might be the same as the previous version, but they might not be!

    Honestly man, I applaud your tenacity and desire to learn and do it on your own, but at some point you gotta bite the bullet and acknowledge that you really have no clue what you are doing and that the reason things aren't going well for you with your brakes, your cranks, your chain, etc. is your own lack of skill, ability - and to be honest - common sense (sorry, but its true). This coupled with the fact that you take ZERO responsibility for any of your mistakes and well . . . . you get threads like this.

    I mean seriously . . . "the directions didn't say so" . . . c'mon man.


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    Why are you guys feeding the Troll!!!! Drop this thread...

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    Can anyone tell me what size tubing I need to fit on the bleed nipple? I'm going to try to find a couple of syringes and tubing.
    Last edited by happyriding; 10-07-2011 at 08:42 PM.

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    Can anyone tell me what size tubing I need to fit on the bleed nipple? I'm going to try to find a couple of syringes and tubing.
    Probably 4mm. Check aquarium shops.

  89. #89
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    OP- Please just take the bike into a shop and let them clean this mess up for you.

    You'll be a lot happier if you were out riding instead of doinking with your bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OO7 View Post
    Probably 4mm. Check aquarium shops.
    Tubing that small is not available anywhere: not in aquarium shops, not at hardware stores. The smallest I could find was 1/4"(8mm). It fits on the bleed nipple but not very tight, so it needs constant minding.

    My old olive had two small marks on it, but otherwise it was not deformed, so I decided to reuse it. This time I pushed on the cable while screwing in the compression bolt, and I kept turning the compression bolt until I thought the olive was good and crushed--at that point turning the bolt any further was getting pretty hard. For further guidance, I looked at how far the compression bolt was screwed in on the front brake.

    I managed to find the proper Shimano funnel at an LBS. The funnel screws into the brake lever reservoir and comes with a stopper. I also bought some Shimano mineral oil, a couple of syringes, and some 1/4" clear plastic tubing. Then I got started. I removed the rear wheel and the rear brake pads, and I installed a yellow brake block that came with my brakes. Then I poured some oil into the syringe body, which ran down into the tubing. I'm not sure how you are supposed to connect the tube to the bleed nipple without there being air in the line, so I just connected the tubing to the nipple, and then I began the painfully slow process of coaxing the bubbles up the line and into the syringe body.

    Then I put the plunger in the syringe, loosened the bleed valve 1/4 turn, and tried to depress the plunger--all the while trying to ensure the tubing didn't slip off the bleed nipple. I couldn't see any oil flowing into the funnel, so I depressed the plunger harder. Still no oil flowed into the funnel. So I pushed the plunger hard, and the tubing shot off the bleed nipple and sprayed mineral oil everywhere. At that point, I thanked Shimano for making sure the bleed nipple was too small to fit commonly available tubing.

    I decided that there must be something wrong with the crushed olive at the brake lever end of the line, so I unscrewed the compression bolt, and I pulled the hose out of the lever. I compared my olive to the original olive that was on the end of the hose that I cut off to shorten the brake line, and they looked identical. Nevertheless, I cut off about 1/2" of brake hose, and then I pounded in a new insert and put on another olive. Then I screwed in the compression bolt again while pushing on the hose. Once again, I kept screwing in the compression bolt until it matched how far the front brake's compression bolt was screwed in, at which point the compression bolt was getting very hard to turn.

    I hooked up the syringe plus tubing to the rear brake's bleed nipple and pushed the plunger, and this time oil started flowing into the funnel. I still had to push pretty hard on the plunger, though. At first, I could see a couple of tiny bubbles rise into the funnel, but as I kept pushing on the syringe, while minding the hose/bleed nipple connection, no more bubbles appeared in the funnel, so I tightened the bleed nipple. The funnel was about 3/4 full.

    I unhooked the syringe from the tubing, and I wrapped a plastic bag around one end of the tube, and I hooked the other end up to the bleed nipple. Then I opened the bleed nipple and watched as some oil flowed very slowly out of the bleed nipple and into the tube. No bubbles came out. I tapped the caliper body and along the entire brake line, and I tapped the brake lever reservoir, but no bubbles flowed out, so after about five minutes I closed the bleed nipple. The reservoir was still about 1/5 full.

    Next I wrapped some yarn around the brake lever to depress it. Then I tried rapidly opening and closing the bleed nipple on the rear brake caliper. The first time, oil flowed into the tube. There were no bubbles. The next couple of times that I loosened the bleed nipple, nothing flowed into the tube (Was I supposed to let up on the brake lever and depress it again?). Then I tightened the bleed nipple.

    Finally, I squeezed the brake lever rapidly and looked to see if any bubbles flowed into the funnel. Nothing. Then I pulled hard on the brake lever--squeezing it all the way to the grip. The lever action seemed to stiffen after that. I did that routine a couple more times. Then I rotated the brake lever up 30 degrees and rapidly operated the lever. No bubbles flowed into the funnel. Then I rotated the brake lever down 30 degrees and rapidly operated the lever. No bubbles flowed into the funnel. After all that, the brake lever seemed to work pretty well.

    I put the stopper in the funnel, unscrewed the funnel from the brake lever, and I reninstalled the screw plus o-ring into the hole from which I removed the funnel. I cleaned up the rear brake caliper and rear triangle with alcohol, and then I removed the brake block and reinstalled the brake pads. I took my bike outside for a test ride on the sidewalk, but the first time I pulled the brake lever, there was no resistance at all. I didn't see any oil leaking out of the brake lever. I did see a couple of drops on the frame below the rear brake caliper, but those might have been there from before. Oil did not appear to be leaking out of the bleed nipple. I'll have to check things more closely tomorrow.

    Any advice?
    Last edited by happyriding; 10-10-2011 at 02:12 PM.

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    The smallest I could find was 1/4"(8mm).
    1/4" is 6mm. If you want to keep maintaining your brakes, it is worth it to invest in a kit. I use Jagwire Mineral Bleed Kit for Shimano (and Formula's original for Formula).

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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    ...Any advice?
    Take it to your lbs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    Any advice?
    Bleeding brakes is probably the toughest thing to do on a bike. Many bike shops don't get proper results as it's easy to get a good temporary lever feel and since they don't ride the bike, they can't see the problems coming.

    In your case however, I would bring it to a shop, I consider thing totally out of your reach but if you really want to try, then go for it. It'll take you many attempts and there are many tricks on bleeding the brakes in other threads. The Shimano method is not necessarily the best and I had better results with other methods or a mix of different methods. I think there's a thread called "Blleding xt brakes" out there, read it first.
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    I do not know to what you are referring.
    Just relax brotha....

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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    I hooked up the syringe plus tubing to the rear brake's bleed nipple and pushed the plunger, and this time oil started flowing into the funnel. I still had to push pretty hard on the plunger, though. At first, I could see a couple of tiny bubbles rise into the funnel, but as I kept pushing on the syringe, while minding the hose/bleed nipple connection, no more bubbles appeared in the funnel, so I tightened the bleed nipple. The funnel was about 3/4 full.
    Next time stop at this step. I don't know where you got the whole cracking the bleed port open and closed and all the other crazy things you did. Think of it this way, every time you open the bleeder if fluid isn't moving out of the caliper then air has probably entered it. Normally during a bleed you would be pushing fluid through the system and pushing air bubbles all the way through, but you weren't pushing air all the way through, just opening and closing the port.

    Yarn doesn't provide fluid movement, if you feel like you must push fluid backward through the system you need to be pumping the lever and not just tying it into a single position. One position does not move fluid. That's not a normally necessary step in Shimano brake bleeding anyway. Though sometimes I've found that holding the lever back a little bit helps move air through the system, you can watch the valve on the inside of the lever and see when it is open or closed and try to press the syringe during those points but I'm rambling on because all you need to do is the text I've quoted above.

    Repeat the part I quoted and stop there. Test for function and if it works move on and if not try again.

    Also, I would make sure no brake fluid found its way onto your rotor and pads since you sprayed fluid everywhere. Does your lever feel firm and you're not getting power or is your lever bottoming out on the grip with no resistance. The first problem is pad contamination the second is bleeding.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PissedOffCil View Post
    I think there's a thread called "Blleding xt brakes" out there, read it first.
    2012 is a somewhat new bleeding procedure. I have done it when shortening hoses, and it is as easy as it can be. And with no DOT splashing around. I think it would be no harm done if he keeps trying at it. But a good bleeding kit does help to keep it all neat.

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    Dang it. I just edited my post instead of quoting it.

    The gist of what got erased was: I finally got my rear brake working following the procedure in the Shimano document--but I clamped the rear brake at least 20 times while opening the bleed screw. The final result was that the rear brake was a little soft, but I could skid the rear tire, so it was usable.

    Also, I would make sure no brake fluid found its way onto your rotor and pads since you sprayed fluid everywhere. Does your lever feel firm and you're not getting power or is your lever bottoming out on the grip with no resistance. The first problem is pad contamination the second is bleeding.
    Bottoming out with no resistance. Both my rear wheel and brake pad were placed out of harms way, so no oil got on them. However, I consider it good advice to place your brake pads and wheel in another room from the one you are working in.



    I'll try bleeding again by pushing fluid into the funnel with the syringe and then stopping the procedure there.

    Thanks for the advice.
    I thought I'd give that a quick shot to see if it would stiffen up the rear brake lever, but that didn't work for me. The brakes were much softer, and I couldn't skid the back tire. So I performed the procedure outlined in the Shimano manual again, but this time I only clamped the brake lever three times. Everything went smoothly, and after reinstalling the brake pads and putting on my rear wheel, the rear brake lever felt pretty stiff--maybe better than before. I took my bike out for a test ride on the sidewalk, but when I tried to brake and skid the back tire, I heard a horrible howling noise. I tried again--same result. I stopped and looked at the rotor, and I could see oil on the rotor.

    I took the rear wheel off and cleaned the rotor with some 'brake clean' I had left over from installing my Stan's tubeless system. I also cleaned the brake pads with the brake clean. Then I tried to determine the source of the leak.

    No oil was dripping out of the bleed nipple, and I could detect no oil dripping out of the banjo. I looked at the pistons, and the left piston had oil collecting on the bottom of the big circular indentation. I got a Q-tip and wiped up the oil, then I reinstalled the brake pads, and I put the orange insert between the pads, and I pumped the rear brake about ten times. Then I removed the brake pads, and once again oil was collecting on the bottom edge of the big circular indentation in the left piston. I checked the bleed nipple again, and no oil was seeping out of it, and no oil was dripping out of the banjo.

    I repeated the above procedure three times, and each time I could see oil pooling on the inside of the left piston. What's going on? It looks to me like the left piston is leaking oil.
    Last edited by happyriding; 10-09-2011 at 07:36 PM.

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    I just thought I'd add that at some point I noticed that the Shimano document has a picture of the brake caliper hanging straight down from the brake lever. That is not my situation. My rear brake is installed on my bike, and the hose has several twists and turns. If I were to remove my rear brake caliper, there is no way the brake caliper could hang straight down from the rear brake lever--the hose is too long. Do I need to remove my rear brake to bleed it?

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    You don't need to remove your rear brake to bleed it.

    Shimano's tech docs assume existing knowledge, generally. They are not and do not claim to be comprehensive. The docs would be too long and contain too much information if every problem or question were addressed (though I do think they should mention an alternative way of aligning the caliper since enough people have had a problem with their recommended approach).

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