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  1. #51
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    Has anybody in this thread come across the issue of the hose leaking near the caliper?
    Last edited by morkys; 03-23-2013 at 01:57 PM.

  2. #52
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    Re: Shortening Shimano XT hoses

    Quote Originally Posted by morkys View Post
    Has anybody in this thread come across the issue of the hose leaking near the caliper?
    No, didn't go near my caliper to shorten my hoses

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  3. #53
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    I did this procedure on a set of SLX brakes a couple weeks ago and it worked like a charm. The bike has been sitting idle - my wife is supposed to be taking it out for its first ride on Friday. Last night I was looking it over and when I squeezed the rear brake lever it went straight to the handlebar. Repeatedly pumping the lever got the brake working again so that it feels like the front brake. So what's going on? There is obviously air somewhere in the system, but I don't understand this well enough to know where. Could it be air at the top of the hose and the air bubble got worked out into the reservoir, or is it somewhere in the caliper? The only thing I did with these was shorten the hose at the brake lever, so I don't see how there could be air down at the caliper. Thanks for any insight!

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by TurnerConvert View Post
    I did this procedure on a set of SLX brakes a couple weeks ago and it worked like a charm. The bike has been sitting idle - my wife is supposed to be taking it out for its first ride on Friday. Last night I was looking it over and when I squeezed the rear brake lever it went straight to the handlebar. Repeatedly pumping the lever got the brake working again so that it feels like the front brake. So what's going on? There is obviously air somewhere in the system, but I don't understand this well enough to know where. Could it be air at the top of the hose and the air bubble got worked out into the reservoir, or is it somewhere in the caliper? The only thing I did with these was shorten the hose at the brake lever, so I don't see how there could be air down at the caliper. Thanks for any insight!
    You should wipe everything down with OH, clean and dry. Rebleed the brake. If the problem is solved, then that's that. If there is a leak, you should check very carefully. The hose/lever junction, the banjo, the piston seals.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fachiro1 View Post
    You should wipe everything down with OH, clean and dry. Rebleed the brake. If the problem is solved, then that's that. If there is a leak, you should check very carefully. The hose/lever junction, the banjo, the piston seals.
    There's no sign that anything leaked so that makes me think the air is up in the reservoir for the master cylinder. Unfortunately I don't currently have a bleed kit - I was naively optimistic that I wouldn't need one. Anyone have any good links to instructions on bleeding Shimano brakes? And no, I haven't used the search function yet...

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by TurnerConvert View Post
    Anyone have any good links to instructions on bleeding Shimano brakes?
    Shimano techdoc for bleeding XT M785

  7. #57
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    Name:  XT caliper pistons out.jpg
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    In the descriptions saying to pull the lever a few times so that the pistons are out about as much as the picture shows is kind of imprecise. Doesn't the amount the pistons stick out when you do this determine anything about piston and pad position once you are done? I wish they gave you a measurement or an amount. Like if you put the red spacer in without the pads, or two red spacers, or some sort of measurement.

    Anyhow, I will try it one way or the other. A friend recommended a black olfa blade instead of the cutters like in the Shimano guide. I am just getting the tools together to do this for my front and rear XT brakes not installed yet.

  8. #58
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    Some great info here, I read the tech docs and posts but still pretty confusing/complicated to someone coming off BB7. Just finished a build with these XT brakes and the hoses need to be shortened. Couple of questions:

    1.Can the lines be trimmed without bleeding or removing the pads(as described in the tech docs), since the bike is in a stand and the calipers are lower than the levers?

    2. If I have an issue what is necessary to bleed? Shimano tech doc Indicates the SM part with oil funnel and stopper. Does this include the tubing they show in diagrams?

    3. A syringe is needed too? How bout that plastic bag in the pics, use a regular sandwich bag?

    4. Looks like you always need oil and is the Shimano the best choice or will any mineral oil work?

    Sorry for all the questions but it's my first time with hydro maintenance.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by BacDoc View Post
    Some great info here, I read the tech docs and posts but still pretty confusing/complicated to someone coming off BB7. Just finished a build with these XT brakes and the hoses need to be shortened. Couple of questions:

    1.Can the lines be trimmed without bleeding or removing the pads(as described in the tech docs), since the bike is in a stand and the calipers are lower than the levers?

    2. If I have an issue what is necessary to bleed? Shimano tech doc Indicates the SM part with oil funnel and stopper. Does this include the tubing they show in diagrams?

    3. A syringe is needed too? How bout that plastic bag in the pics, use a regular sandwich bag?

    4. Looks like you always need oil and is the Shimano the best choice or will any mineral oil work?

    Sorry for all the questions but it's my first time with hydro maintenance.
    I can only comment on 1 and 4.

    1) Yes you can definitely trim the brakes without bleeding, many people here are doing it. Yes you can do it without doing the pad removal and piston movement, but it's good to try it Shimano's way. It's instructed that you do it that way in order to reduce the chance of any air getting in that may then require a bleed. I am doing it the Shimano way today. Will report back.

    4) Only use Shimano mineral oil. Shimano brakes are designed using Shimano mineral oil which is proprietary. Do not use any other mineral oil.

  10. #60
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    Dude this should be a sticky! My local bike shop wanted to charge $45 per side to shorten my brake cables. Spent less than an hour to shorten both cables and saved 90 bucks!

  11. #61
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    I've been so busy this week. This is also replacement job too, as I'm upgrading my brakes and rotors, a complete install, not just shortening hoses.

    So far, I've only done the front. I messed it up the first time because I was rushed and also once done, I felt I hadn't quite cut it short enough anyhow. Second time was good. Being the first time I have installed these brakes, I am also aligning everything too at the same time. Front 180 mm Icetech rotor was a hair warped. Gentle bend at the right place with my hand and it's all good. Next comes the rear brake.

  12. #62
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    I just shortened my hoses on my new shimano deore brakes using these instructions & it was quite simple & easy. The only mistake that i made was that i should of loosened my master cylinder & turned it on the bars so when i diconnected the hose, the brake fluid wouldn't have dripped out. I also used a sharp exacto knife which made a perfect cut both times. I tried my cable cutters, just to see & they make a terribly burred cut. The brakes work great & the lever pull is just fine. No big deal to shorten the hoses. The only problem is the non-stop rain & I can't ride.
    -always thinking about the next ride-

  13. #63
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    Answer below.

    Quote Originally Posted by BacDoc View Post
    Some great info here, I read the tech docs and posts but still pretty confusing/complicated to someone coming off BB7. Just finished a build with these XT brakes and the hoses need to be shortened. Couple of questions:

    1.Can the lines be trimmed without bleeding or removing the pads(as described in the tech docs), since the bike is in a stand and the calipers are lower than the levers?

    2. If I have an issue what is necessary to bleed? Shimano tech doc Indicates the SM part with oil funnel and stopper. Does this include the tubing they show in diagrams?

    3. A syringe is needed too? How bout that plastic bag in the pics, use a regular sandwich bag?

    4. Looks like you always need oil and is the Shimano the best choice or will any mineral oil work?

    Sorry for all the questions but it's my first time with hydro maintenance.
    1. Yes. It is easy. If you do something wrong, though, then you will need a bleed.

    2-3. The funnel is necessary to prevent air from going back in to the reservoir (I learned this the hard way). Some mechanics have a good feel for how to do it without allowing air in, but the funnel makes it foolproof. You can use either a syringe (easiest) or the small Shimano squeeze bottle to push the fluid up, which is the most important step. Any ziploc/plastic baggie works.

    4. Yes, use Shimano oil. Supposedly some other types of oil may not agree with the rubber in the brake seals. I have been told that Tektro oil is the same, but am not sure.

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fremenrider View Post
    I just shortened my hoses on my new shimano deore brakes using these instructions & it was quite simple & easy. The only mistake that i made was that i should of loosened my master cylinder & turned it on the bars so when i diconnected the hose, the brake fluid wouldn't have dripped out. I also used a sharp exacto knife which made a perfect cut both times. I tried my cable cutters, just to see & they make a terribly burred cut. The brakes work great & the lever pull is just fine. No big deal to shorten the hoses. The only problem is the non-stop rain & I can't ride.
    I just did my new brakes and just like you, found it to be pretty easy. I should have read your post more closely as I tried to use cable cutters as well but had the same results! Otherwise, a super easy job.
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  15. #65
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    I did the same procedure but I used Cigar cutter to cut the line. Couldn't find my cutters.

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirthugger View Post
    I did the same procedure but I used Cigar cutter to cut the line. Couldn't find my cutters.
    Now that is a great idea. Never even thought of that...
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  17. #67
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    Hi guys,

    I have just bought some new XT 785s and I need to shorten the hoses. I just tried to do it, but once I'd unscrewed the connecting bolt the hose wouldn't come out, even after pulling reasonably hard.

    Am I just being too cautious? I don't want to break anything, I've already learned the hard way about using brute force!

    Also, would it make more sense to take the lever off the bar again so I can prevent oil coming out of the lever / reservoir?


    One last question: Is it good practice to regularly oil the pistons and clean them with a q-tip? My old brakes screwed up and I assume this was through lack of maintenance?


    Thanks for you help - This thread is really useful even though I haven't succeeded yet.

  18. #68
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    This has to be one of the most useful threads I have come across. I just shortened the hoses on my new XT brakes using the instructions, which are ridiculously easy to follow. Took me less than an hour, and no bleeding required, brilliant!
    Real men do it in the dirt

  19. #69
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    Do the 785 brakes feel a little stiff if the universal olive and barb are used instead of the BH90 one?

  20. #70
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    I don't know how they feel with universal parts,but they feel pretty firm and powerful with the Shimano parts. My only knock on the Shimano brakes is that they don't have a whole lot of modulation - I still think they are pretty amazing though.

  21. #71
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    I have done less on two sets of shimanos. Perfect both times. The shimanos may not be as flashy as formulas or as light as maguras but, for the money, I think they are just awesome.

  22. #72
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    So amazing how easy that is to do as a task. Kudos to Shimano for making it rather simple. It's not like overhauling a Reverb. Follow the instructions to a T and it will go smoothly. I let out a little air from the reservoir and it feels the same as before.

  23. #73
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    When shortening the hoses, do I need any spare parts, like the connecting rod and the olive?

    I have ordered some XTR 985 brakes and might need to shorten the hoses..

  24. #74
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    Shortening Shimano XT hoses

    Quote Originally Posted by Devincicx View Post
    When shortening the hoses, do I need any spare parts, like the connecting rod and the olive?

    I have ordered some XTR 985 brakes and might need to shorten the hoses..
    You need the olive and the barb, which come w/ the kit unless buying OEM


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  25. #75
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    my brakes will be pre-bled I think. I should order some olive and barb then and see if I can cut the hoses myself. Hopefully I will. Im not a skilled mechanic.

  26. #76
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    I shortened my shimano XTR hoses.

    The front lever has a short throw and feel firm.

    The rear lever was much much softer and had a longer throw. I pumped it a couple times and now the throw is shorter and feels more firm, but it is not quite the same as the front lever, close, but no the same.

    Did I do something wrong? Should I bleed the rear brake?

  27. #77
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    Bit of a bump here, but does anyone have a copy of the original document handy? Shimano's site throws a 404 when I try to hit the PDF link.

    Edit: Disregard, nabbed it from archive.org and attached it here in case anyone else needs it.

    Edit #2: Did this without touching the calipers, and didn't have to bleed. The whole process took about 10 minutes for both cables. Just measure about 12 times before you cut, and make sure you leave enough room for the bars to turn lock to lock cleanly.

    Didn't have to bleed or crack the reservoir - just a few pumps with the lever and they're perfect. Thanks for all the tips in this thread!
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  28. #78
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    Shortening Shimano XT hoses

    Quote Originally Posted by Seventh-777 View Post
    Bit of a bump here, but does anyone have a copy of the original document handy? Shimano's site throws a 404 when I try to hit the PDF link.

    Edit: Disregard, nabbed it from archive.org and attached it here in case anyone else needs it.

    Edit #2: Did this without touching the calipers, and didn't have to bleed. The whole process took about 10 minutes for both cables. Just measure about 12 times before you cut, and make sure you leave enough room for the bars to turn lock to lock cleanly.

    Didn't have to bleed or crack the reservoir - just a few pumps with the lever and they're perfect. Thanks for all the tips in this thread!
    Thanks for posting that document! Installed a set of SLX on my wife's bike this afternoon.

    If anyone wants an alternative the shimano bleed kit, go to tractor supply company and buy a 49¢ syringe and 1/8" fuel line. Does the trick for a fraction of the cost.


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  29. #79
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    Shortened both new XTR hoses, super easy and intuitive. I pulled the pads and pumped out the pistons a few times to fill the caliper with more fluid. A good idea, it made for a firm lever...
    Todd

  30. #80
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    [QUOTE=bluebomberx;11004255]Thanks for posting that document! Installed a set of SLX on my wife's bike this afternoon.

    If anyone wants an alternative the shimano bleed kit, go to tractor supply company and buy a 49¢ syringe and 1/8" fuel line. Does the trick for a fraction of the cost.


    Were you able to thread into the caliper and master cylinder?

  31. #81
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    Shortening Shimano XT hoses

    Quote Originally Posted by Tree View Post
    Were you able to thread into the caliper and master cylinder?
    Not the master cylinder. They shimano funnel is only to catch the over flow. If you don't mind spilling some liquid gold, there is no need for it. I'll probably buy one for future use, but no need to spend they additional $20 on the syringe. The syringe only slides over bleed nipple. No threading involved.


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  32. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seventh-777 View Post
    Bit of a bump here, but does anyone have a copy of the original document handy? Shimano's site throws a 404 when I try to hit the PDF link.

    Edit: Disregard, nabbed it from archive.org and attached it here in case anyone else needs it.

    Edit #2: Did this without touching the calipers, and didn't have to bleed. The whole process took about 10 minutes for both cables. Just measure about 12 times before you cut, and make sure you leave enough room for the bars to turn lock to lock cleanly.

    Didn't have to bleed or crack the reservoir - just a few pumps with the lever and they're perfect. Thanks for all the tips in this thread!
    Thanks for re-posting the document. Just what I needed.

  33. #83
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    Worked like a charm, saving the pdf to my hard drive. I used an exacto knife to cut the hose and I think the cut was much smoother and event than when I have cut cables with cable cutters. I don't have a vice so I used Vice grips to clamp the yellow blocks and the hose and held it against something for resistance while hammering that insert into the hose. No leaks and no bleeding needed.

    On a related note, my ice tech rotor did not come with the fixing washer. I called Jenson and they said that Shimano no longer uses the fixing washer but they haven't update their instructions. They claim that a lot of customers have called them about it...

  34. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjsb View Post
    I don't have a vice so I used Vice grips to clamp the yellow blocks and the hose and held it against something for resistance while hammering that insert into the hose.
    I used the Vice Grip widget too and it worked like a charm.

    Shortening Shimano XT hoses-img_6094.jpg
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  35. #85
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    Shortening Shimano XT hoses

    I did this today, thanks for all the tips. Simple simple simple. I wish all threads on here were this helpful!


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  36. #86
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    Quick question before I attempt this on my XT's...
    Does all of the fluid leak out the opening, when the hose is removed from the lever? Or is it similar to my Stealth Reverb post, with a ball valve type of assembly that closes when the contact is opened?

  37. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by turfnsurf View Post
    Quick question before I attempt this on my XT's...
    Does all of the fluid leak out the opening, when the hose is removed from the lever? Or is it similar to my Stealth Reverb post, with a ball valve type of assembly that closes when the contact is opened?
    I just did it last week on Deores and there was 2-3 drops of fluid after I disconnected the hose that dripped once I accidentally moved the lever. I don't know what kind of valve is in the lever, but fluid does not leak out.

  38. #88
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    As cjsb stated, you will only get a few drops out. That is, assuming you DON'T pull the brake lever. Note that any fluid coming out is being displaced with air and it's this air that we bleed off after re-assembly. The more fluid loss, the more air introduced.
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  39. #89
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    I also just did this with my deore's and there was no noticeable loss from the master but I was very careful not to bump it or touch the lever. I did bump the line which made a few drops come out but I'm hoping that didn't matter since it was before I cut the line.

  40. #90
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    Shortening Shimano XT hoses

    The reason you pump the pistons out before cutting the line is because your are forcing that fluid back in to the reservoir after the line is reattached. A drop or three if loss won't matter.


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  41. #91
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    Shortening Shimano XT hoses

    Shortened new XT brakes last night and couldn't believe how easy it was. Thanks to everyone for their additional comments to enhance the instructions. Excited to be done with Elixir 3 brakes... they were truly awful.


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  42. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by mn_biker View Post
    Shortened new XT brakes last night and couldn't believe how easy it was. Excited to be done with Elixir 3 brakes... they were truly awful.
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  43. #93
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    I am just looking to reroute my brake line through my frame. Will it leak fluid if I disconnect the line form the lever (step 3 in the PDF)?

  44. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain_America1976 View Post
    I am just looking to reroute my brake line through my frame. Will it leak fluid if I disconnect the line form the lever (step 3 in the PDF)?
    When I did mine I had 2-3 drops come out well after I removed the line when I accidentally bumped the lever.

  45. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjsb View Post
    When I did mine I had 2-3 drops come out well after I removed the line when I accidentally bumped the lever.
    So assuming I don't touch the lever I should be good? Either way I will wait until after I ride tomorrow to mess with it.

  46. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain_America1976 View Post
    So assuming I don't touch the lever I should be good? Either way I will wait until after I ride tomorrow to mess with it.
    You're going to get some minor fluid loss through the open brake line, but that's to be expected. You might have to do a quick bottom up bleed, but if done by expanding brake pucks first, you should be fine without having to bleed. You can find that process here on MTBR. My assumption is that you're disconnecting the line from the master cylinder?
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  47. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain_America1976 View Post
    So assuming I don't touch the lever I should be good? Either way I will wait until after I ride tomorrow to mess with it.
    just follow the instructions in that document and it should be fine.

  48. #98
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    Re: Shortening Shimano XT hoses

    Quote Originally Posted by cpfitness View Post
    personally, all this jazz about removing brake pads and pushing calipers and opening reservoirs seems to be overkill. I did it according to the instructions in this video and it worked flawless. I will add that while I do plenty of my own wrenching, I come from a roadie background and didn't feel entirely comfortable doing my brand new 785 hydros. After seeing just how easy it looked in the video I said "screw it" lets do it.

    Super easy.

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  49. #99
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    Just finished trimming my slx hoses. Followed the pdf that seventh-777 posted. Worked like a charm! I did have to crack the front reservoir to let some air out. But the back one was fine and that was not needed.

  50. #100
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    Just did my XT's tonight. The original link was bad and didn't see the updated link until now.

    For anyone wondering if you can do this... I did front & rear in a hotel room. No stand, no vise, no vise grips. With the calipers on the bike (pads out)

    Just some Allen wrenches, tire levers, small Channel Locks, Crescent wrench and a utility knife with a fresh blade (simply cut the hose while it was laid horizontal on a table).

    Still need to pop the reservoir cap on the front brake, it's really stiff/firm.

    Followed similar (same?) procedure.

    Shorten Shimano Brake Hoses without Bleeding | Epic Bleed Solutions

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