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  1. #1
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    Are the XT 775 that weak?

    So I just picked up a pair of XT 775's and man are they weak? Are they really that weak? Seems like the lever doesn't extend far out as my XTR or LX brakes and has some weak power. My LX brakes I can bleed and they'll be stiff as nails. Extend the lever all the way out and they're powerful. The XTRs aren't as powerful but after extending the lever all the way out I can get them to feel very stiff. I can't get the XT's to be that powerful and/or extend the lever as far as the XTR/LX.

    I'm pretty sure I got all the air out of the lines, I bled them a couple of times just to make sure. I thought I got pretty good at bleeding the XTRs and LX as I've never had an issue with them. I've extended the XT levesr all the way out and tightened the free stroke screw all the way in; nothing.

    Any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    Are they new, and have you bedded the pads/rotors in yet.

    Have you also inspected the calipers to see they 1. are dead centre over the rotor, 2. the pistons engage evenly 3, pads are parallel to the braking surface.

    All of these could be a cause of poor braking performance. You haven't specified whether its the lever feel, the overall power or both that you're specifically unhappy with. XT's are usually a pretty good brake, and generally regarded as the pick of the Shimano range.
    Rimmer - "There's an old human saying - if you talk garbage, expect pain"

  3. #3
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    I've had both LX and XTR brakes of various vintages (including the latest generation of XTR), plus Hayes, Avid, and Magura, and by far my two sets of XT 775s are the most powerful, maintenance-free, and nice-feeling brake I've used. Sounds to me like you might not have them set up quite right, or, as Alex said above, that they just haven't burned in yet. If you're used to older generations of Shimano brakes - specifically ones with linear master cylinders (the part of the lever that houses the master cylinder is in line with the hose) - be aware that the newer generations use radial master cylinders (the cylinder is perpendicular to the bar) and these are somewhat more difficult to bleed thoroughly.

    Should only take one good ride or less to burn the brakes in. Good luck in bleeding/adjusting if that doesn't do it!
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  4. #4
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    Actually I haven't ridden them more than just out in front of the house. I guess I should have mentioned is that I just don't like the way they feel. I have to press them down way too far, they come close to touching my fingers and I can't get the 1 finger brake to work. The LX and XTR I can't even get half way to the bar before they have a death grip on the rotors. Just want to make them stiffer so I can't pull them so close to the bar.

    The calipers are dead center, the pistons extract/retract evenly and the pads are parallel.

    I'm almost pulling them to my handlebar before I get a GOOD FEELING GRIP; the XTR and LX start to grip much faster. I extend the lever on the LX/XTR very far out and the XT's just don't go that far out. I guess I'll be trying to bleed them a few more times to see if I can get them right. The thing is that the left one came stock-bled and it just feels sloppy/spongy. Not to say that the factory couldn't screw up the bleed. I've bled them both ways from the piston and into the piston. Same results, though from the piston up they now feel a TINY bit stronger.

    Thanks for the suggestions.

  5. #5
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    During the bleed are you getting the levers to feel really stiff? Because you'll know you've bled it done right when you get that.

    With the bleeding block in there, and when it's bled correctly the lever will just move a short distance before it feels solid.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldskoolbiker
    During the bleed are you getting the levers to feel really stiff? Because you'll know you've bled it done right when you get that.

    With the bleeding block in there, and when it's bled correctly the lever will just move a short distance before it feels solid.

    Not really I guess. Maybe there's a bubble stuck somewhere and I can't get it out. I was rotating and tapping the brake during the bleed, it's kind of stiff but nothing compared to the other pairs I have. I'll be trying again and again until I get it right.

  7. #7
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    Well, put the LX brakes back on for now. The XT's just aren't getting the feel I want. If they were to extend a little farther maybe they would have the same feel but it seems the new finger extend screw just doesn't get them far enough out. They're so close I can't use them for one finger braking.

    I re-bled them a few times and the same thing happens, they're just not stiff enough. The LX moves about 1/2 an inch and it's hard as a rock. There's no way I can even get it half way to the bar when I compress the lever. The XT's move 2-3 inches and it's still soft feeling; I can almost get them to touch the bar. That's the worst part, they don't extend far enough out and the lever touches my hand.

    I've bled them injecting into the caliper, I bled them while compressing the levers and opening the caliper. Both as per step by step instructions from Shimano; they just feel spongy. Maybe I'll put them back on later and give them a try on the trails but right now I'm going back to what works for sure. Totally disappointed in whatever this new design is.

  8. #8
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
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    Also check you connections...maybe bad sealing is allowing air out (unlikely I know, but a possibility still).

    Check for mineral oil in the hose attachment points.

  9. #9
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    Have you played with the travel adjustment screw yet?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott
    Have you played with the travel adjustment screw yet?
    If you're referring to the free stroke screw on the lever, yes. I tried that in and out. I've tried bleeding with the screw in and with the screw out but I get the same feel. Seems like it's a lot firmer when the screw's tightened. Which I supposed is what the thing's supposed to do because I don't want any free stroke, I want the brakes to come on instant.

    I know on the LX and XTR levers I have to bleed with the lever all the way in, then I extend the lever out and I get the extra hard feel.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by norcom
    If you're referring to the free stroke screw on the lever, yes. I tried that in and out. I've tried bleeding with the screw in and with the screw out but I get the same feel. Seems like it's a lot firmer when the screw's tightened. Which I supposed is what the thing's supposed to do because I don't want any free stroke, I want the brakes to come on instant.

    I know on the LX and XTR levers I have to bleed with the lever all the way in, then I extend the lever out and I get the extra hard feel.
    Hmm I just bleed from the caliper up.....I might pull the lever once or twice, but caliper up works fine.

  12. #12
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott
    Hmm I just bleed from the caliper up.....I might pull the lever once or twice, but caliper up works fine.
    Same here...I barely need to touch the levers in the process

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by crisillo
    Same here...I barely need to touch the levers in the process

    I don't touch the levers while bleeding, only when you're supposed to press the brake and release the valve on the caliper for half a second to let more bubbles out.

    What I meant is that when I set the lever closer towards the bar and do the bleed; after the bleed is done I extend the lever all the way out. For me bleeding with the lever closer to the bar seems to make the LX/XTR brakes even stiffer. This didn't help on the XT's either way.

    I have a liter of brake fluid coming Saturday. I'm hoping to get things worked out as the weather's supposed to be bad.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by norcom

    What I meant is that when I set the lever closer towards the bar and do the bleed; after the bleed is done I extend the lever all the way out. For me bleeding with the lever closer to the bar seems to make the LX/XTR brakes even stiffer. This didn't help on the XT's either way.
    As far as I understand there's no need to do this...pulling the lever will just close the system, so no air will move towards the reservoir....

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by crisillo
    As far as I understand there's no need to do this...pulling the lever will just close the system, so no air will move towards the reservoir....

    Not pulling the lever, using the screw on the front (NOT on M775 XT brakes/screw) to shorten how far the lever is extended. Duno, it helps me. I've done it quite a few times and that always made it stiffer after the lever is extended out with the screw.

  16. #16
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    Once break-in the pads and rotors, things should work and feel like normal. You may or may not like it but before the pads are bedded in you can't tell the different yet, IMO

    I have the 775, like the power but not the feel too, but different reason than you though.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885
    Once break-in the pads and rotors, things should work and feel like normal. You may or may not like it but before the pads are bedded in you can't tell the different yet, IMO

    I have the 775, like the power but not the feel too, but different reason than you though.
    Yeah, I didn't test ride longer than in the front yard. I figured I might like when the power's not INSTANT; that always dead stops me in the corners. I am a little worried about the moment when I do need to dead stop though. They're off and I just tried them, seems like they got stiffer overnight, maybe they just feel that way off the bike. I'm not giving up on them yet. I think one way or another I'll get them right. They're Shimano JDM after all.

  18. #18
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    I like the XTR and the old XT lever feel better, but they both don't have the power of the XT775.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by norcom
    Well, put the LX brakes back on for now. The XT's just aren't getting the feel I want. If they were to extend a little farther maybe they would have the same feel but it seems the new finger extend screw just doesn't get them far enough out. They're so close I can't use them for one finger braking.

    I re-bled them a few times and the same thing happens, they're just not stiff enough. The LX moves about 1/2 an inch and it's hard as a rock. There's no way I can even get it half way to the bar when I compress the lever. The XT's move 2-3 inches and it's still soft feeling; I can almost get them to touch the bar. That's the worst part, they don't extend far enough out and the lever touches my hand.

    I've bled them injecting into the caliper, I bled them while compressing the levers and opening the caliper. Both as per step by step instructions from Shimano; they just feel spongy. Maybe I'll put them back on later and give them a try on the trails but right now I'm going back to what works for sure. Totally disappointed in whatever this new design is.
    it also happens to me when i used different type of mineral oil, the lever goes all the way to the grip, i overhaul the whole lever, drain all the oil out, then rebleed using shimano mineral oil, problem solved.

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