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  1. #1
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    nstalling Shimano SLX

    Hey I'm getting my first pair of hydros tomorrow or Thursday and i think i will install them fine. The hosing will probably be long because i have a 16" frame. If it is extremely long should i cut the hosing and re-bleed and if anything goes wrong ill just take it to my lbs; or should i just like the lbs install them to begin with. i would rather do it myself to get the experience. Can you just give me tips on how to install the SLX and how to maintain them while installed would be great. I will get back to you once they come in and tell you how it went.
    Last edited by Matt123; 06-02-2009 at 07:12 PM.

  2. #2
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    as a mechanic, take it to your lbs and watch them do it. its easier for me to fix something that isnt covered in hydro fluid. also dont contaminate your pads.

  3. #3
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    Matt, the bleed process is extremely easy if you are careful and prepared.

    Follow this link for Shimano's instructions.

    Use the "bleeding air at the reservoir" instructions and follow it to the letter, you can't screw it up. Make sure to have a container that is easy to pour from, something like a turkey baster would be perfect as you have to periodically add small volumes of mineral oil to the lever as the fluid drains from the caliper. I did it on my bike with no complications but it may be easier to mock up before you actually attach it to your bike and then hang the system the way Shimano suggests off the bike during the bleed process. The whole thing is gravity driven, requires only fluid, something to pour with, a small diameter hose you can get for like $0.25 at a hardware store, and a container to hold the old oil.

    The other thing you want to make sure of is to install the shortened hose properly, if you do this you may be able to avoid an entire bleed altogether. Make sure to fully install the broach head (I think thats the terminology for the hollow thin brace that goes into the hose, not super familiar with brake terminology to be honest.) all the way up to the flange and to screw the housing in enough to completely squish the olive or banjo fitting out so it seals. When you take your original hose out you will see how it should work. I will post pics of everything I'm talking about when I get my camera back, it picked a great time to crap out on me.

    If you have any questions please post them up and we'll help you out. This isn't something that absolutely has to go to a bike shop, it can easily be done at home. These SLX brakes are a breeze to bleed compared to my old Hayes 9's and Avid Elixers.
    Bike good, work bad.

  4. #4
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    I have similar questions:
    -many sellers offer to cut hosing to required length. Are there any tips &tricks with measuring length of it?
    -now I have vbrakes and frame has handles for it. Are there any simple and elegant way to lead hosing through frame up to rear wheel?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt123
    Hey I'm getting my first pair of hydros tomorrow or Thursday and i think i will install them fine. The hosing will probably be long because i have a 16" frame. If it is extremely long should i cut the hosing and re-bleed and if anything goes wrong ill just take it to my lbs; or should i just like the lbs install them to begin with. i would rather do it myself to get the experience. Can you just give me tips on how to install the SLX and how to maintain them while installed would be great. I will get back to you once they come in and tell you how it went.
    A couple questions......have you ever bled brakes on a car or other similar devices like a hydraulic clutch? If so, like Clutchman83 posted, shortening the lines and bleeding will be easy. If not......I would lean towards getting help on this. While generally an easy project, there are several small issues that can quickly make this very frustrating if you have never done anything like this before.

    Brian

  6. #6
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    yea i do the brakes on the car all the time so that would be easy i guess. also what do you recommend to cut the hosing without doing damage to it. I might just take it to the lbs for them to cut, i think they'll do it for no charge. thanks

  7. #7
    squish is good
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    I use a Park Tools cable cutter, make sure you use something that slices and doesn't crush like a regular wire cutter. Even a sharp knife will do.
    Bike good, work bad.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt123
    yea i do the brakes on the car all the time so that would be easy i guess. also what do you recommend to cut the hosing without doing damage to it. I might just take it to the lbs for them to cut, i think they'll do it for no charge. thanks
    I used a sharp utility knife to cut the lines on my XT brakes. Set the brake line on a block of wood and just gradually applied pressure while pulling the blade across. Very clean cut. Shimano brake hose looks like it is made of plastic or nylon, very easy to cut with a sharp tool.

    You are going to need a set of olives, connecting inserts and Shimano mineral oil. Your bike shop will probably have all this. Shimano sells a bleed kit, which includes a small bottle of mineral oil, a short hose and a baggie to use with the hose. Personally, I do not think it is worth the cost. The hose is too short and is a pain to use. A small jar and a 12" piece of hose from Autozone works a hundred times better. Probably cost a lot less too.

    Like what has been posted many times before, these things are easy to bleed. If you have bled car brakes......the exact same thing only on a smaller scale.

    A couple things to keep in mind. Constantly keep the reservoir topped off. It is small and if it looks only about half full, especially when you initially start the bleeding, one pull of the lever and a release, you will suck it dry and add more air to your lines. Also the connecting insert, the brass piece that goes into the end of your hydraulic line, wipe it down with a little mineral oil before inserting. The first time I ever did this, I attempted to insert it bone dry and spent 20 minutes getting it into the line. When I did the other line, I wiped a little mineral oil on it and it slid right in.

    Last but not least, if you have the brakes mounted and will be doing this job while they are on the bike, remove the brake pads and rotor/wheels to make absolutely sure you do not contaminate them.


    Brian

  9. #9
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    sorry but one more thing can i use any type of mineral oil or should i use the shimano one. would shimano mineral oil be different from others and effect performance, thanks

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt123
    sorry but one more thing can i use any type of mineral oil or should i use the shimano one. would shimano mineral oil be different from others and effect performance, thanks
    This issue can go both ways depending who you ask. Here is a recent debate on this subject....

    Safe fluids for use w/ shimano brake systems


    Personally, considering bleeding is not something you should have to do very often, I'll stick with what is recommended by Shimano.

    Brian

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianU
    Also the connecting insert, the brass piece that goes into the end of your hydraulic line, wipe it down with a little mineral oil before inserting. The first time I ever did this, I attempted to insert it bone dry and spent 20 minutes getting it into the line. When I did the other line, I wiped a little mineral oil on it and it slid right in.
    Excellent advice, I too tried to insert it dry the first time and it was a pain to get in, a little lube is exactly what it needs.

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianU
    Last but not least, if you have the brakes mounted and will be doing this job while they are on the bike, remove the brake pads and rotor/wheels to make absolutely sure you do not contaminate them.
    I think that may be a bit overkill but if he wants to be absolutely sure then he could follow this. I popped my caliper off and cut a few of the zip ties so it would hang lower but the hose I used was very tight around the bleed nipple, it won't leak any fluid if you get the right hose so pad contamination isn't an issue given the proper equipment.

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianU
    Personally, considering bleeding is not something you should have to do very often, I'll stick with what is recommended by Shimano.
    Agree 100% . My shop gave me enough Shimano fluid to do 3 or 4 bleeds for free! Your results may vary though...
    Bike good, work bad.

  12. #12
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    cutting hose

    hey i got the brakes and the hose was to long and i cut it, since my brakes didn't come with an extra olive i went to the bike shop. they gave me a olive but not made by Shimano and they were positive if it will be fine for the bh59 hose but they said it should work so i brought two of the for like a 1$. i was wondering if i should order shimano ones that work for the brake hose or use these. i don't want to put these in and destroy the lever or something. the olive also isn't brass its aluminum, i dont think that would effect anything. im not in a rush so i want to make sure i have the right part. could you tell me is the olive will work without any problems. the bike shop mainly carried parts for Hayes brakes if that helped. Thanks, i want to ride these brakes these weekend.

  13. #13
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    Matt, I don't have enough brake experience to tell you whether or not it would be fine for sure but I'd feel confident that the olive and the pin brace shouldn't matter what material they are made out of. The point is to just crush it so it spreads out against the lever housing and seals the system airtight. You may want to wait for a second opinion though, I used the hardware Shimano included with the brakes and I haven't shortened hoses on any other brakes before.
    Bike good, work bad.

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