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  1. #1
    Uncle
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    Post your Shimano disc brake complaints here!!!

    I'm considering buying a set of XTR levers to enhance the performance of my m765 disc brakes. I have a set of m775s on my new bike, and thus far, they're exactly what I want in a brake system -- good feel, adequate power & modulation, easy set up. So why am I looking for complaints? Based on what I've found via searches, there isn't much explanation as to why there are so many lever sets and parts for both the XTs and the XTR brakes for sale for so cheap. Did they just over produce them? Perhaps, but if folks are having issues with leaks or performance, I want to know before I make my purchase.

    Air out your stanky laundry here, folks. What do you hate most about your (not looking for non-owner bashing here) latest generation Shimano disc brakes?
    Great prices - some sweet vintage stuff: http://classifieds.mtbr.com/showprod...product=101010

  2. #2
    Underweight Rider
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    Using SLX, love it, no leaks, adequate power and modulation and sweet pricing.....only 1 quip..Shimano should make MORE BLING STUFFS!!!!
    Those excess lever sets and parts you mentioned for sale cheap are mostly over stock inventory from the OEM channel....even mine is hence the great deals.

  3. #3
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
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    I have several sets of shimanos with different levers for a couple of years now...and no big issues so far...

    I agree with AznRider, slow economy + a bit of overstock cause prices to drop

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 105millimetersofpleasure
    Air out your stanky laundry here, folks. What do you hate most about your (not looking for non-owner bashing here) latest generation Shimano disc brakes?
    Have had trouble with a set of XT 775's in the winter, the sticky piston problem. When it's not cold out, I love em.

    Also have two sets of SLX, great performance similar to XT, and they work fine in the cold.

  5. #5
    Uncle
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    What do you mean by "cold"?

    Quote Originally Posted by lyndonchen
    Have had trouble with a set of XT 775's in the winter, the sticky piston problem. When it's not cold out, I love em.

    Also have two sets of SLX, great performance similar to XT, and they work fine in the cold.
    Hey lyndonchen, with "cold" being a relative thing, tell me: Where do you ride, and what kind of temps are you talking about?

    Thus far, the general sense I get from reading is that the calipers can sometimes be finicky. So -- no one having issues with the levers? Also, ServoWave adjustment aside & weight aside, are there any power or performance benefits with the XTR levers over XT, or vice versa?

    Thanks again.
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  6. #6
    ballbuster
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    I did a rain ride once...

    Quote Originally Posted by 105millimetersofpleasure
    I'm considering buying a set of XTR levers to enhance the performance of my m765 disc brakes. I have a set of m775s on my new bike, and thus far, they're exactly what I want in a brake system -- good feel, adequate power & modulation, easy set up. So why am I looking for complaints? Based on what I've found via searches, there isn't much explanation as to why there are so many lever sets and parts for both the XTs and the XTR brakes for sale for so cheap. Did they just over produce them? Perhaps, but if folks are having issues with leaks or performance, I want to know before I make my purchase.

    Air out your stanky laundry here, folks. What do you hate most about your (not looking for non-owner bashing here) latest generation Shimano disc brakes?
    ... down to Rodeo Beach in Marin, and they developed sticky jammed pistons. Once I cleaned them up, they were fine.

    I'm not sure XTR levers are going to do anything for you that your XTs aren't doing now, except do it 40 grams lighter.

    Yeah, good feel, almost as good as my Hope Mono Minis. I got some '07 XTRs and mated them to LX flippy shifters.

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/QJDx2djokCPqPKsTVPxNUQ"><img src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/_zZ7tZYTZu1o/SP4VYuBM1hI/AAAAAAAADrc/LzbPAlXFtIs/s800/IMG_0522.JPG" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/etisnado/Fantom29er">Fantom29er</a></td></tr></table>

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/hfVK9hNt0e705jt3h4cw9w"><img src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/_zZ7tZYTZu1o/SP4VaUTkSGI/AAAAAAAADrk/6PowhI_U6sw/s800/IMG_0523.JPG" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/etisnado/Fantom29er">Fantom29er</a></td></tr></table>

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/WSLOBlwJIFajbz-6VtVL3w"><img src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/_zZ7tZYTZu1o/SP4VkoMWWnI/AAAAAAAADsE/Tu__9u-mPOs/s800/IMG_0527.JPG" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/etisnado/Fantom29er">Fantom29er</a></td></tr></table>

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 105millimetersofpleasure
    Hey lyndonchen, with "cold" being a relative thing, tell me: Where do you ride, and what kind of temps are you talking about?
    I'm in Denver CO. The problem seems to crop up when temps drop below freezing.

  8. #8
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    I've heard a couple guys complain about the XT/XTR brakes when it's below zero but they complained about the Avid Ultimates too.

  9. #9
    Chillin the Most
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    Several sets of Shimano hydro brakes = zero complaints. Now hayes, that's a whole other bucket of worms.

  10. #10
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    Until 2008 I would have said Shimano brakes were great but one by one Shimano has moved their stupid servo wave design onto more of their brakes and they’re all rubbish. They’re too hard to bleed, even without seal problems and sticky pistons they work poorly in cold conditions, they’re powerful enough but not compared to the competition, they don’t work 100% with anything but Shimano mineral oil, they’re totally unreliable, the sintered pads lack power and the organic ones have the power but get contaminated far too easily. Their customer service and apparent love of sending buckled discs out is also really bad. The only good things about their brakes are the modulation and lever blade design. I’m using Hayes now, much better…

  11. #11
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    I tried a few brake setups and I ended up with 2007 XT's on 8" F& R.

    I will NEVER touch any brake products from Avid again...they are the "****"niz.

    Only complaint I have with Shimano are the XTR...found they flexed too much. problem fixed with the XT's. Money well spent because they really work! I decided to not follow the croud and stick with 6-bolt rotors instead of centerlock because Shimano hubs are crap to begin with

    I just love these brakes. Who ever disses them is a Sram/Avid follower. I am a true Shimano follower...especially with their new Shadow der. I LOVE Hope products too like my new Pro Hub II and my seat clamp. haha.

    thx.

  12. #12
    Uncle
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    Quote Originally Posted by gdl357
    Only complaint I have with Shimano are the XTR...found they flexed too much. problem fixed with the XT's.
    Was the caliper flexing, or the lever? Thanks for the feedback all.
    Great prices - some sweet vintage stuff: http://classifieds.mtbr.com/showprod...product=101010

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 105millimetersofpleasure
    Was the caliper flexing, or the lever? Thanks for the feedback all.
    Problem is where they bolt up to the frame.

    See the difference. The XTR has thin tabs to distribute the force. The XT uses the adaptor which is MUCH thicker and therefore does not flex.
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  14. #14
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    It shouldn't matter... Lots of calipers use IS style mounts. There are very few forces acting perpendicular to the plane of the mounting surface. When braking, it should put the front arm in compression and the rear arm in tension. There should be very few (if any) torsional/side to side forces acting.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by XSL_WiLL
    It shouldn't matter... Lots of calipers use IS style mounts. There are very few forces acting perpendicular to the plane of the mounting surface. When braking, it should put the front arm in compression and the rear arm in tension. There should be very few (if any) torsional/side to side forces acting.
    put on some 8" rotors and see how the XTR flex. Its only getting pushed from one side, there is your side to side movement. I owned them both and i saw the diff.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by gdl357
    I tried a few brake setups and I ended up with 2007 XT's on 8" F& R.

    I will NEVER touch any brake products from Avid again...they are the "****"niz.

    Only complaint I have with Shimano are the XTR...found they flexed too much. problem fixed with the XT's. Money well spent because they really work! I decided to not follow the croud and stick with 6-bolt rotors instead of centerlock because Shimano hubs are crap to begin with

    I just love these brakes. Who ever disses them is a Sram/Avid follower. I am a true Shimano follower...especially with their new Shadow der. I LOVE Hope products too like my new Pro Hub II and my seat clamp. haha.

    thx.
    Funny, my sets of juicies are flawless and my shimano centerlock hubs were cheap, fast rolling, well sealed, and easy to service. I can take my centerlock rotors off in 1/5th the time it takes me to deal with 6 stupid torx bolts, and they're lighter. To each his own, i guess...

    You can buy XTR calipers in post mount or IS varieties.
    affect befect cefect defect effect fect

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by gdl357
    put on some 8" rotors and see how the XTR flex. Its only getting pushed from one side, there is your side to side movement. I owned them both and i saw the diff.
    What do you mean it's only getting pushed from one side? It's an opposing two piston brake. It clamps onto the rotor. And the rotor flexes very easily... long before the caliper will start to flex... look at single piston/mechanical disc brakes. The flex should be showing in the bridge of the caliper. The larger rotor would not create more flex in the bridge. There are no side forces acting on the mounts. As I said, it will put the arms in compression and tension. Yes, the larger rotor would affect that. The XT relies on those little steel bolts to hold it all together, and they're up to the task. I think the solid chunk of forged aluminum should be just fine... The rotational force or torque applied to those mounts should be relatively low.

    I've had several sets of Juicies, they all worked fine. The Elixirs are great. The Codes are phenomenal, though a bit difficult to bleed.

    I've had Shimano hubs. They're super easy to maintain and they roll well. The engagement is meh.
    Last edited by XSL_WiLL; 12-19-2008 at 12:07 AM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by XSL_WiLL
    What do you mean it's only getting pushed from one side? It's an opposing two piston brake. It clamps onto the rotor. And the rotor flexes very easily... long before the caliper will start to flex... look at single piston/mechanical disc brakes. The flex should be showing in the bridge of the caliper. The larger rotor would not create more flex in the bridge. There are no side forces acting on the mounts. As I said, it will put the arms in compression and tension. Yes, the larger rotor would affect that. The XT relies on those little steel bolts to hold it all together, and they're up to the task. I think the solid chunk of forged aluminum should be just fine... The rotational force or torque applied to those mounts should be relatively low.

    I've had several sets of Juicies, they all worked fine. The Elixirs are great. The Codes are phenomenal, though a bit difficult to bleed.

    I've had Shimano hubs. They're super easy to maintain and they roll well. The engagement is meh.
    I thought the Shimano calipers were single piston.

    I'm 260lbs...I'll make the XTR flex if you want me to....thats all I'm trying to say. I am not challenging you Will.

    Anyways, I hate Avid brakes, starting from the BB5 to the Codes. I tried them all. Their machining tolerances are way to slack for me. To me they are just another "made in China part" that had some great marketing to get the hype flowing.. Shimano is a better product in my book.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg
    Funny, my sets of juicies are flawless and my shimano centerlock hubs were cheap, fast rolling, well sealed, and easy to service. I can take my centerlock rotors off in 1/5th the time it takes me to deal with 6 stupid torx bolts, and they're lighter. To each his own, i guess...
    Sometimes all the above gets pushed aside just because of SOUND. I LOVE the way my Hope hubs Sound...

  20. #20
    Meh.
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    Weight does not make the brake flex more... A brake can only produce so much power. Look at it from an engineering point of view.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by gdl357
    I thought the Shimano calipers were single piston.
    Shimano calipers are not single piston, they are dual, coming from both sides.

    As for me, I've been using my 08 XT's for about 2.5 months now. I really like them overall, in terms of power modulation, etc. I think my rear has a sticky piston in the cold though, the lever "pumps up" when the brake is squeezed a bunch of times in quick succession, meaning that the contact point gets a bit farther out in the lever travel. In warm weather though, its no big deal.

    My main complaint though is the routing of the hoses. I know I've posted this before, it just really irks me. There's no 90 degree banjo available either, I've checked a number of places.

    Also, its annoying that the brakes don't come with rotors. I worked at a shop when I bought my brakes, and I ended up with Hayes rotors (and rear adaptor) due to the lower shop cost. I'm using 160 front, 140 rear, fwiw.
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  22. #22
    nnn
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    Only complaint about Shmano brakes is that they don't sell them for free...
    "Life begins at 140" Richard Burns
    http://www.nikolay-k.com

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by gdl357
    Sometimes all the above gets pushed aside just because of SOUND. I LOVE the way my Hope hubs Sound...
    So by "crap" you mean too quiet then?

    I've had two sets of 765s, one of which is still on my SS. They're great, once you swap the pads out for something like galfer reds. My only real gripe is that they aren't rebuild able. They don't have the feel or the power of my hope 4 pots, but they can be had for FAR less money.

  24. #24
    mvi
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    I have got the old-first generation- 4 pot XT,s that are still flawless. Would like to move them around but need new hoses.
    Is there an alternative for the heavy- , braided- banjo equiped OEM lines?

  25. #25
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvi
    I have got the old-first generation- 4 pot XT,s that are still flawless. Would like to move them around but need new hoses.
    Is there an alternative for the heavy- , braided- banjo equiped OEM lines?
    I'm running these one one (of two sets) of my 4-pots and have been very happy with them. The "kit #1" includes both in-line and 90-degree fittings for older and newer shimano brakes.

    Linky


    Quote Originally Posted by msrothwe
    My main complaint though is the routing of the hoses. I know I've posted this before, it just really irks me. There's no 90 degree banjo available either, I've checked a number of places.
    These are available actually- I recently bought some at my LBS. They come stock with some generations of XTR calipers.

  26. #26
    wants a taco
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    yea my only complaints with shimano brakes comes from an old set of xt 4 pistons that started acting up. The lever pivot developed alot of play, the brakes became increadibly inconsistent but they just need to be completely rebuilt, not too bad for 4 years of racing on them.

    The new xt's feel great, I do not own them but have ridden them a few times and a few of my riding buddies have them. The only problem ive seen is the sticky piston problem in cold (just under 30f).

    Personally I still dont understand all the avid bashing, both are great brakes. I know at least 20-30 local guys who ride HARD and have never had an issue with their avids, myself included. Its all in being able to set the brake up properly regardless of brand. Personally I will keep my avids because as nice as the new xt's are i just perfer the feel of the avids.

    To the OP their is no advantage going to the xtr levers, you will only save a little weight, it wont change the feel at all. Shimano uses the same technology in both xt and xtr just different materials if i remember correctly.

  27. #27
    Meh.
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    The XTR lever does not have Servowave technology.

  28. #28
    wants a taco
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    Quote Originally Posted by XSL_WiLL
    The XTR lever does not have Servowave technology.
    my bad...is their a reason why? I know a few guys with full xtr bikes that chose to run xt's over xtr's and I figured they would want their newest technology on their highest end stuff. I cant see it being any lighter.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    These are available actually- I recently bought some at my LBS. They come stock with some generations of XTR calipers.
    I think you might be wrong, but I hope you're not. What do the connectors look like? The hose entry for the caliper looks just like the hose entry for lever...I don't see how a banjo would connect.

  30. #30
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    xt have proved to be a little more friendly than the xtr

  31. #31
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by msrothwe
    I think you might be wrong, but I hope you're not. What do the connectors look like?
    Here's what I bought from my LBS. You can get the same fittings with the SM-BH63 hose kit.




  32. #32
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    Well, I ordered some XTR levers, which will be mounted on my 29er rigid, and mated to 765 calipers. They don't have the servo wave adjustment, but my XTs, with the adjustment, don't seem to do anything but make the lever a bit sticky. I've set the SW adjustment to allow the lever to feel fluid. The pads never rub the rotor, but the pads engage with minimal lever travel necessary. My hope is that the XTR levers, even without the SW adjustment, will still allow the rotors to turn freely without a lot of wasted lever stroke.

    Would be happy to hear that such ideals are being met by the XTR levers for someone else.
    Thanks all for the input; more is welcome.
    Great prices - some sweet vintage stuff: http://classifieds.mtbr.com/showprod...product=101010

  33. #33
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by 105millimetersofpleasure
    Well, I ordered some XTR levers, which will be mounted on my 29er rigid, and mated to 765 calipers. They don't have the servo wave adjustment, but my XTs, with the adjustment, don't seem to do anything but make the lever a bit sticky. I've set the SW adjustment to allow the lever to feel fluid. The pads never rub the rotor, but the pads engage with minimal lever travel necessary. My hope is that the XTR levers, even without the SW adjustment, will still allow the rotors to turn freely without a lot of wasted lever stroke.
    servowave and free stroke are different things...

    servowave has to do with the lever pivot, the leverage that the lever has and amount of oil pushed (AFAIK it is not adjustable, only the free stroke)

    http://bike.shimano.com/publish/cont...ervo-wave.html

  34. #34
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    Ah yes, thanks for the correction, Crisillo

    Quote Originally Posted by crisillo
    servowave and free stroke are different things...

    servowave has to do with the lever pivot and the levrage that it has (it is not adjustable)
    I was thinking of the Free Stroke screw. Well, no ServoWave and no Free Stroke -- the XTRs are starting to sound like the stripped down version of an XT lever. With a set of XTR levers on the way, I'm starting to wonder if I've made a mistake

    Well, they're light and they say "xtr" on them, but at this point, I just hope they feel better than my 765 levers (kinda flat/dead/vague), if not as good as the XTs.
    Great prices - some sweet vintage stuff: http://classifieds.mtbr.com/showprod...product=101010

  35. #35
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by 105millimetersofpleasure
    I was thinking of the Free Stroke screw. Well, no ServoWave and no Free Stroke -- the XTRs are starting to sound like the stripped down version of an XT lever. With a set of XTR levers on the way, I'm starting to wonder if I've made a mistake

    Well, they're light and they say "xtr" on them, but at this point, I just hope they feel better than my 765 levers (kinda flat/dead/vague), if not as good as the XTs.
    no prob ...... if it is any consolation, also the xtr levers will probably allow a "cleaner routing" of the hoses.......

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by 105millimetersofpleasure
    I was thinking of the Free Stroke screw. Well, no ServoWave and no Free Stroke -- the XTRs are starting to sound like the stripped down version of an XT lever. With a set of XTR levers on the way, I'm starting to wonder if I've made a mistake

    Well, they're light and they say "xtr" on them, but at this point, I just hope they feel better than my 765 levers (kinda flat/dead/vague), if not as good as the XTs.
    The XTR levers came before the new XTs so it's not a stripped down version or anything. You also have to realize the XTRs were designed for XC racing while the XTs can even be used for DH racing if Team Animal Commencal have anything to say about it.

    From what I hear the XTRs offer good modulation but with low stopping power. They are relatively light though, and do look really pretty. If you look at the review section you'll find only a single positive review so I'm surprised you ended up buying them. Me, I stroke the lever and drool every chance I get.

    -Shimano Fanboy

  37. #37
    wyrd bi ful rd
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    no complaints from my M775s or the older M765s ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    Here's what I bought from my LBS. You can get the same fittings with the SM-BH63 hose kit.



    yea, see I don't think that would work. The threading on the hose entry, as you can see from the picture I posted, is huge. The bolt that holds the banjo on would be too small to fit. I wish Shimano would take email tech support questions, its such a pain in the ass to try to contact them over the phone, even for a bike shop worker.

  39. #39
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    The only annoying thing about Shimano is they sell the calipers and the lever separately.

    If you don't need XC light or freeride powerful, pick up a set of Deores, they're great brakes for general riding and soooooo cheap.

  40. #40
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    My 2008 XTR brakes are noisy (even if completely dry) and the pistons get sticky after a couple of rides. Stopping power is fine running 180/160 on my Mojo. It's rare that I can ride without them getting a bit wet and dirty. I have been taking a Q-tip and alcohol to wipe around the piston and then they work properly again for a few more rides.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by avam
    My 2008 XTR brakes are noisy (even if completely dry) and the pistons get sticky after a couple of rides. Stopping power is fine running 180/160 on my Mojo. It's rare that I can ride without them getting a bit wet and dirty. I have been taking a Q-tip and alcohol to wipe around the piston and then they work properly again for a few more rides.
    you could try lubing the pistons with mineral oil with another q-tip, after you clean with alcohol...

  42. #42
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    I've got two sets of M765 (the '06 model I think). Love them, just getting into DH and still finding them powerful enough with 6" rotors (yeah don't have super long DH tracks here though).
    Anyway only gripe is probably that I overtightened the hose into one of the levers and can't pull it out now (olive stuck or something) because I wanted to switch them back around to RHS front brake. Oh well now I've got two bikes that have opposites in regards to what hand controls the front brake. Not such a bad thinkg - makes you think about what brake you're using when.

    But it's fantastic that you can buy hose and bleed oil relatively cheacp!

  43. #43
    Meh.
    Reputation: XSL_WiLL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ducktape
    I've got two sets of M765 (the '06 model I think). Love them, just getting into DH and still finding them powerful enough with 6" rotors (yeah don't have super long DH tracks here though).
    Anyway only gripe is probably that I overtightened the hose into one of the levers and can't pull it out now (olive stuck or something) because I wanted to switch them back around to RHS front brake. Oh well now I've got two bikes that have opposites in regards to what hand controls the front brake. Not such a bad thinkg - makes you think about what brake you're using when.

    But it's fantastic that you can buy hose and bleed oil relatively cheacp!
    That's normal. You just have to pull really hard.

  44. #44
    Underweight Rider
    Reputation: AznRider's Avatar
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    Try the twist and pull motion on the stucked cable, mine worked.

  45. #45
    Uncle
    Reputation: Entrenador's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greyhorse
    From what I hear the XTRs offer good modulation but with low stopping power. They are relatively light though, and do look really pretty. If you look at the review section you'll find only a single positive review so I'm surprised you ended up buying them. Me, I stroke the lever and drool every chance I get.
    -Shimano Fanboy
    I based my purchase on the fact that most of the complaints I have heard focus on sticky calipers. I only purchased the levers, and will use them with 765 calipers. Hoping the XTR levers feel better and increase the power a bit than my current 765 levers.
    Great prices - some sweet vintage stuff: http://classifieds.mtbr.com/showprod...product=101010

  46. #46
    I AM I AM
    Reputation: ducktape's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XSL_WiLL
    That's normal. You just have to pull really hard.
    Yeah I've tried twice now, for some reason this one is really stuck. I am used to having to pull a reasonable amount. The other side came out relatively easily.
    I've tried pliers / rag to no avail. I'll leave it be for now, having built up the other bike I can't afford to ruin the hose or anything.

  47. #47
    Underweight Rider
    Reputation: AznRider's Avatar
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    Ducktape, try yankin the thing left/right....dont really need pliers....mine was a bit stubborn but eventually it slipped out fine.

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