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  1. #1
    Baliw
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    Shimano insider info wanted

    Any of you traders know why the Saint brakes aren't available yet? Is it a quality problem with the product or just paperwork?

  2. #2
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    delays becaus of the hubs

    The brakes and hubs should be shipping now. There were some delays because of the hubs. I know of one bike manufacturer who got their complete bikes with Saint groups just 2 weeks ago.

  3. #3
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    The Saint caliper looks similar to the XT 765 caliper, but weighs about 20g more. Do you know if the insides are totally different, or is the Saint just a beefed-up version of the XT? Price-wise the two seems to be about the same, and the Saint in fact uses the XT 756 levers.

  4. #4
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    different caliper

    I believe that calipers are different with the Saint being just a touch beefier than the 765 XT. The Saint is only avaiable with 200mm rotors. In addition to the 765 XT levers, you could also use the M525 or M555 level Deore levers - with the proper connectors and hose. I'm sure that there could also be more interchangeability between Saint / XT / XTR / and possibly Deore level calipers/rotors/levers. The Saint and 765 rotors are center-lock only, but you could use 755 XT 6-bolt rotors in both 203mm and 160mm with the new stuff. I'm running new XTR hydraulics with XT 6-bolt rotors on King hubs with no problems. Contrary to popular belief that Shimano is forcing you to buy groups, the new parts have a lot of interchangability. The problem will be finding the individual pieces and putting the whole shootin' match together.

  5. #5
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    New question here. Saint rotor on XTR hub?

    Do you know if the larger Saint rotor will fit on an XTR hub? The stuff I've read seems to imply that the spline may be different. I'd like to be able to try a larger rotor with my XTR hubs and calipers (woud also need an adapter, or Saint front caliper).

    -David

  6. #6
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    No

    Quote Originally Posted by fallzboater
    Do you know if the larger Saint rotor will fit on an XTR hub? The stuff I've read seems to imply that the spline may be different. I'd like to be able to try a larger rotor with my XTR hubs and calipers (woud also need an adapter, or Saint front caliper).

    -David

    No, the Saint spline is larger diameter than the XTR - another reason why if you are using Saint calipers, rotors, you have to use their hubs which means you have to use the Saint r/d. But, you can use Saint calipers, XT levers and 6-bolt XT rotors on any disc hub. The hot set-up would be an XT lever, Saint calipers and XT 6-bolt rotors.

  7. #7
    Baliw
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    Questions, questions.....

    The $64 question is, can I use a Saint caliper with a standard 6-bolt 200mm rotor on a standard hub? Or even a 6-bolt 160mm rotor with an adaptor? I read somewhere in here that the Shimano pads are actually narrower in width than other pads (ie the pads sweep a narrower path on the rotor than most other pads).

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by fallzboater
    Do you know if the larger Saint rotor will fit on an XTR hub? The stuff I've read seems to imply that the spline may be different. I'd like to be able to try a larger rotor with my XTR hubs and calipers (woud also need an adapter, or Saint front caliper).

    -David
    The spline is different but there was supposed to be an XTR centerlock rotor in 203mm coming out at some point.

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    haven't heard of a 203mm XTR rotor

    I haven't heard of a 203mm XTR rotor coming down the pike, but to answer the $64 ?, you can use older 6-bolt XT rotors in 203mm. They would match the caliper. You could experiment with other rotors, but that might prove costly buying rotors. I say just use the 6 bolt XT rotors with saint calipers. I'm sure you could use Saint caliper with 160mm XT 6-bolt rotors with the correct adapter.

    Or if trying to figure all these combinations out gives you a headache, you could just go with Hayes or Avid. Avid Juicy brakes are pretty dang nice.

  10. #10
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    Stuck Piston

    I've got the Saint disk brakes and one of the pistons does not retract. I've tried bleading, pushing the pistons back in, spreading the springs further apart but nothing helps. Can someone help?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hkbiker
    I've got the Saint disk brakes and one of the pistons does not retract. I've tried bleading, pushing the pistons back in, spreading the springs further apart but nothing helps. Can someone help?
    The same thing has been known to happen with XTR pistons. If this doesn't work - it might be "contact Shimano for a warranty time."

    Remove both pads. Squeeze the lever a couple of times to push the piston out to the point where the o-ring is almost visible. Drip some of the mineral oil around the piston and let it soak into the o-ring. The sticky problem is probably just an issue of dry o-rings. Once the oil seems it's coated the o-ring, push the pistons back in, wipe the excess oil off, reinstall the pads and give the lever a few squeezes to see if both pistons are moving and retracting. You can also use the yellow blocks without the pads to do the final test to avoid repeating the pad removal/install step if necessary.

  12. #12
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    Is it possible to extend the pistons too far?

    Thanks for the tip, I will try it tonight. If I go too far with extending the pistons, will it fall out? In case I need to contact Shimano, anyone got their email address?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by hkbiker
    Thanks for the tip, I will try it tonight. If I go too far with extending the pistons, will it fall out? In case I need to contact Shimano, anyone got their email address?
    YES, they will come out. I just checked on my bike and actually ended up bleeding the brakes because the piston popped right out - of one side because the other side was sticky! You have to really pump the brakes several times to get the pistons to pop out. If you pump the brakes to the point the pistons are extending past the caliper body no more than 5mm, you will be okay.

    Another tip, if one piston is sticky is to
    1. remove wheel
    2. remove pads
    3. with a flat blade screwdriver, push against the piston that is moving freely to hold it in place
    4. pump the lever. with the free piston held in place, only the stick piston should move out.
    5. then you can drip some mineral oil around the piston and let it soak in

    Another tip is that while your pads are out, give the pad spring holder a bit of a tweak to make the spring action stiffer. Not much, but just widen the spring a bit. Every little bit helps.

    So, it ended up that my brakes had a sticky piston and I did all the steps above and both pistons are moving nicely now with no pad drag.

    If you need further Shimano assistance, go here http://bike.shimano.com/services/index.asp This page has links to FAQ, consumer warranty claim form and all warranty info.

  14. #14
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    Hmmm.......

    I've been running XTR discs and have found that tweaking the little X-shaped spring (in an attempt to improve the piston's ability to retract) actually does more harm than good.

    This spring's purpose is NOT to assist in retracting the caliper's pistons, but rather to gently hold the pads up against the piston so they won't rattle when the brake is not applied. So I say to tweak the spring so that it has <i>very little </i>tension.

    Just as a test, try running the brakes with the spring removed. They will actually work better. The only thing is that they will rattle a lot.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssmike
    So, it ended up that my brakes had a sticky piston and I did all the steps above and both pistons are moving nicely now with no pad drag.
    So is it the case that Shimano XT/XTR/Saint disc calipers suffer from sticky pistons? Will this be an on-going headache or will fixing it once work forever?

    Also, won't putting oil on the piston seals actually attract dirt and gunk? I wonder if other disc brakes suffer from this condition...

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    Quote Originally Posted by TeamTwentyFour
    I've been running XTR discs and have found that tweaking the little X-shaped spring (in an attempt to improve the piston's ability to retract) actually does more harm than good.

    This spring's purpose is NOT to assist in retracting the caliper's pistons, but rather to gently hold the pads up against the piston so they won't rattle when the brake is not applied. So I say to tweak the spring so that it has <i>very little </i>tension.

    Just as a test, try running the brakes with the spring removed. They will actually work better. The only thing is that they will rattle a lot.
    Shimano's race mechanics tweak the springs to keep them retracted and reduce less rattling and yes, the springs purpose is not to retract the pistons but to keep the pads away from the rotor. The most important thing you can do to keep pads from rubbing on the rotors - besides having true rotors is facing the caliper mount so it is perpindicular to the axle.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juramentado
    So is it the case that Shimano XT/XTR/Saint disc calipers suffer from sticky pistons? Will this be an on-going headache or will fixing it once work forever?

    Also, won't putting oil on the piston seals actually attract dirt and gunk? I wonder if other disc brakes suffer from this condition...
    Any brake can suffer from sticky pistons where rubber o-rings are involved. Much like wiper seals on a suspension fork, if they dry out, friction is introduced. Regular maintenance and lubrication is essential to both. The light oil on the pistons (which are behind the pads) does not attract a lot of dirt and going with the regular maintenance of wiping them down every so ofton will keep the grime down. Nothing more severe than wiping your fork legs down or any other part that attracts dirt (chain, derailleurs, clipless mech...)

  18. #18
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    Not sure....

    I'm not sure if I'd go as far as putting oil on any external surface of the brakes.....sounds like it would attract dirt/ gunk AND possibly bleed through the back of the pad material (remember there are small holes in the metal backing).

    This definitely does not sound like a good idea.

    I think the best fix & maintenance is to keep the brakes as clean as possible (use a mild degreaser or solvent & rinse off with water) and make sure that little spring has the least amount of tension possible without having the pads rattle.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeamTwentyFour
    I'm not sure if I'd go as far as putting oil on any external surface of the brakes.....sounds like it would attract dirt/ gunk AND possibly bleed through the back of the pad material (remember there are small holes in the metal backing).

    This definitely does not sound like a good idea.

    I think the best fix & maintenance is to keep the brakes as clean as possible (use a mild degreaser or solvent & rinse off with water) and make sure that little spring has the least amount of tension possible without having the pads rattle.
    No, you shouldn't be getting oil over everything. All you do is pump the pistons out a bit, drip a bit of oil into the gap and let it soak into the o-ring. Push the pistons back in and wipe the excess oil off. This isn't anything that the Shimano race mechanics do or their multi-service team doesn't do as well.

    You also have to be careful how much degreaser gets into the caliper / pistons because a degreaser is, well, it's a degreaser. It de-greases. You don't want to degrease beneficial lube - like inside the piston. A simple wipe down is all it needs.

    And the spring thing - well, to each his own. That's just a trick the Shimano race mechanic showed me. That and using one metallic and one resin pad together.

    Cheers.

  20. #20
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    Tried that. Nightmare.

    Quote Originally Posted by ssmike
    That and using one metallic and one resin pad together.
    While it makes good sense performance wise, the resin's wear out fast and you're left with mis-matched metallic pads.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by endo verendo
    While it makes good sense performance wise, the resin's wear out fast and you're left with mis-matched metallic pads.
    Yes, they do wear out faster, but in the dry of So Cal, the resins last a decent amount of time in XC use. The other minor benefit if you bought the brake set aftermarket is the set comes with one pair of resin and one pair of metallic. By using the metallic/resin combo, your brake set comes with two pair of matchin brake pads! But for pure DH use, metallics are the way to go.

  22. #22
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    Lever return sucks!

    Quote Originally Posted by ssmike
    No, you shouldn't be getting oil over everything. All you do is pump the pistons out a bit, drip a bit of oil into the gap and let it soak into the o-ring. Push the pistons back in and wipe the excess oil off. This isn't anything that the Shimano race mechanics do or their multi-service team doesn't do as well.
    I couldn't see the piston o-rings on the Saint brakes before the pistons pop out, so I just oiled the pistons themselves. Still a little sticky, but with use they might loosen up.

    The biggest problem now is the lever feel. I'm using XT M-756 levers with the Saint calipers, and even after proper bleeding the lever return is crappy. The levers have a firm feel when squeezed, but the return is slow and spongy. Is this an XT feature or is there a tweak I need to do? I fiddled around with the little grub screw on the lever but that didn't affect the return rate. On top of that, the right lever clicks when squeezed, like a small popping sound. Pretty bleedin' painful for a supposedly high end brake set.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juramentado
    I couldn't see the piston o-rings on the Saint brakes before the pistons pop out, so I just oiled the pistons themselves. Still a little sticky, but with use they might loosen up.

    The biggest problem now is the lever feel. I'm using XT M-756 levers with the Saint calipers, and even after proper bleeding the lever return is crappy. The levers have a firm feel when squeezed, but the return is slow and spongy. Is this an XT feature or is there a tweak I need to do? I fiddled around with the little grub screw on the lever but that didn't affect the return rate. On top of that, the right lever clicks when squeezed, like a small popping sound. Pretty bleedin' painful for a supposedly high end brake set.
    No, you wouldn't see the o-rings, so it sounds like you did it right. Sot sure why your getting a bad feel at the levers. I don't know of any tweak to do. The little grub screw is just for reach adjustment. The click is probably the bushings in the lever seating. A drip of lub on the pivot might cure that. Did you bleed the brakes with a fresh bottle of mineral oil? I'll check out a couple of things and post back.

  24. #24
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    O-ring on the saint

    Actually the o-ring on the saint is on the caliper body, not on the pistons. Found that out when I popped the pistons completely out.

    I'm using the XT levels and also experiencing slow level return, but I'm not bothered by it.

    Heard about using 2 different pads too, what's the reasoning behind it?

    PS: My brakes are going back to Shimano, tried the oiling and spring thing but they didn't help.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssmike
    No, you wouldn't see the o-rings, so it sounds like you did it right. Sot sure why your getting a bad feel at the levers. I don't know of any tweak to do. The little grub screw is just for reach adjustment. The click is probably the bushings in the lever seating. A drip of lub on the pivot might cure that. Did you bleed the brakes with a fresh bottle of mineral oil? I'll check out a couple of things and post back.
    The pistons are working quite well now, both going in and out smoothly but the lever return is still slow. The brakes, hoses, levers are new, assembled it all myself and I used a new bottle of Shimano's mineral oil. It did take quite a few pumpings for the oil to reach the caliper, but I followed the instructions and I'm definite all the air has been bled. There is no sponginess when I squeeze the levers, only when they retract. The pistons disengage rapidly when I release the lever and the pads don't drag, but the lever takes its sweet time returning to its original position. Might take it for a ride, maybe the lever needs breaking in but any insights appreciated.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by hkbiker
    I'm using the XT levels and also experiencing slow level return, but I'm not bothered by it.
    Are your XT levers new? Are they the M756 or M755? I'm wondering if the levers need breaking in as well... Let us know how Shimano's solution goes.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by hkbiker
    Actually the o-ring on the saint is on the caliper body, not on the pistons. Found that out when I popped the pistons completely out.

    I'm using the XT levels and also experiencing slow level return, but I'm not bothered by it.

    Heard about using 2 different pads too, what's the reasoning behind it?

    PS: My brakes are going back to Shimano, tried the oiling and spring thing but they didn't help.
    My bad on the o-ring, but I corrected myself later. Yes, it is in the caliper body.

    The reasoning behind the dual pads is back in 2002, Shimano did a lot of testing of their brakes and competitors with some of the top dh riders. They did blind tests (not the riders, the riders rode a dh trail without knowing what brakes they were using). The results among the various Shimano combinations placed XT with metal/resin pad combination at the top of the heap based on a cumulative score of modulation, stopping power, lever effort, brake pump, fade and ergonomics. The same question was posed here http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=5518 So with dual pad, you get benefits of each.

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    Don't know the model number of my XT levels, and yes they are brand new. I didn't send the levels to Shimano, but will let you know how it goes with the caliper.

    Interesting point about using dual pads, will try it out when I get the calipers back, thanks.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by hkbiker
    Don't know the model number of my XT levels, and yes they are brand new. I didn't send the levels to Shimano, but will let you know how it goes with the caliper.

    Interesting point about using dual pads, will try it out when I get the calipers back, thanks.
    Hmmm, did Shimano ask for only the calipers? It would have made more sense to send the whole assembly (levers, hose, calipers) back so they could be looked at as a system. Here is also what Shimano has to say about the pad options: "Brake pad options include, a maximum power, fade resistant, longer wear metallic compound or a best modulation, low noise, smooth feeling resin compound."

    Hope it works out for you.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juramentado
    The pistons are working quite well now, both going in and out smoothly but the lever return is still slow. The brakes, hoses, levers are new, assembled it all myself and I used a new bottle of Shimano's mineral oil. It did take quite a few pumpings for the oil to reach the caliper, but I followed the instructions and I'm definite all the air has been bled. There is no sponginess when I squeeze the levers, only when they retract. The pistons disengage rapidly when I release the lever and the pads don't drag, but the lever takes its sweet time returning to its original position. Might take it for a ride, maybe the lever needs breaking in but any insights appreciated.
    Sounds like you did everything right. A ride or two might bring the system up to your liking. The one thing I do notice about Shimano hydro brakes vs. Hayes is that the Shimano system feels more like a cable brake - in other words there is a bit of sponginess at the lever which isn't bad - it has a better feel to me in terms of modulation. It won't feel like clapping two bricks together like Hayes feels like sometimes, but there is some resilience-like feel at the lever. But they should return freely.

    Yes, the one complaint I have with a new system is the length of time to get the rear brake bled. Shimano has a bleed kit that makes the job much easier. Might not be worth it if you are only doing one brake and then subsequent bleeds. But if you do a lot of brakes in a shop, then it makes a lot of sense.

    Let me know how it turns out after your ride.

  31. #31
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    Tip for young players

    It's not enough to put the lever oil reservoir in a level position, you have to tip the lever end up a little to let all the air out of the line (making sure oil does not spill from the reservoir). I did this and gobs of air escaped from the reservoir, where it must have accumulated in the area where the hydraulic line screws on to the lever.

    That seems to have improved the levers somewhat... I rang Shimano about it and the guy's response was to take the levers to my LBS to troubleshoot it. I think I'll just return it straight to Shimano if they don't get much better.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juramentado
    It's not enough to put the lever oil reservoir in a level position, you have to tip the lever end up a little to let all the air out of the line (making sure oil does not spill from the reservoir). I did this and gobs of air escaped from the reservoir, where it must have accumulated in the area where the hydraulic line screws on to the lever.

    That seems to have improved the levers somewhat... I rang Shimano about it and the guy's response was to take the levers to my LBS to troubleshoot it. I think I'll just return it straight to Shimano if they don't get much better.
    You always want to bleed the brakes with the reservoir rim in a horizontal position - probably should have been pointed out early on. Fill the reservoir up to the rim with mineral oil so that when you put the rubber diaphragm on, oil spills out. And when you tighten the cap down, a bit more oil with seep out of the reservoir. If you do this and know that there is no air in the system, it should all be good to go. I've never had a problem by this point.

  33. #33
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    So ssmike...
    Did your calipers come back fixed from Shimano after warranty, or did you get new ones. It seems like you had problems with these warrantied ones also but was able to fix it. Did Shimano have anything to say? What gives???

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaparzo
    So ssmike...
    Did your calipers come back fixed from Shimano after warranty, or did you get new ones. It seems like you had problems with these warrantied ones also but was able to fix it. Did Shimano have anything to say? What gives???
    I've never had to send in any brake parts to Shimano for warranty. I was always able to fix them myself with the tips noted above. My brakes have been running perfectly for at least 6 months. I've been using XTR. I have also set up a bunch of other XTR, Saint and XT brakes with no issues.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssmike
    You always want to bleed the brakes with the reservoir rim in a horizontal position - probably should have been pointed out early on.
    I got that the reservoir needs to be horizontal when bleeding/filling, as per instructions. However, what I found was that with the set-up I had, it was possible to have the reservoir horizontal and still have air trapped on the lever body itself. I got rid of this air by tilting the reservoir so that the tip of the lever was slightly higher than the reservoir itself, and pumping the lever several times.

  36. #36
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    Idea!

    I just came across this chart concerning using two different pads at the same time. It looks like it is recommended by Shimano, and a good compromise between the two pads:

    http://www.shimano.com.au/publish/co...c_pad_info.pdf
    Last edited by bikeny; 02-27-2004 at 09:38 AM. Reason: Delete wrong instructions.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeny
    I just came across this chart concerning using two different pads at the same time. It looks like it is recommended by Shimano, and a good compromise between the two pads:

    http://www.shimano.com.au/publish/co...c_pad_info.pdf
    Those are the exact test results that I was referring to. I didn't know they included it in their tech info. Two of the pros who performed the test were Brian Lopes and Mike King.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juramentado
    Are your XT levers new? Are they the M756 or M755? I'm wondering if the levers need breaking in as well... Let us know how Shimano's solution goes.
    Shimano sent me a new caliper and both pistons are retracting perfectly. But the slow level return issue has gotten worse.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by hkbiker
    Shimano sent me a new caliper and both pistons are retracting perfectly. But the slow level return issue has gotten worse.
    I sent back my lever for warranty and got a new one. Both levers are now working perfectly and the calipers, once I oiled the pistons, are moving as required.

    If your levers are slow in returning, it could be that they need fixing; I think mine must have had a bad bladder or return mechanism. Warranty them and get new ones. I'm surprised that an XT level component can have such a big fault but maybe Shimano had a bad batch.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juramentado
    I sent back my lever for warranty and got a new one. Both levers are now working perfectly and the calipers, once I oiled the pistons, are moving as required.

    If your levers are slow in returning, it could be that they need fixing; I think mine must have had a bad bladder or return mechanism. Warranty them and get new ones. I'm surprised that an XT level component can have such a big fault but maybe Shimano had a bad batch.

    I called Shimano and they also say to return it. They also mention something about a bladder, what is it?

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by hkbiker
    I called Shimano and they also say to return it. They also mention something about a bladder, what is it?
    I believe the bladder is that rubber piece that you put on top of the reservoir before you screw the plastic lid on. I'm not sure why it has a wedge shape, it must serve a function of sorts apart from sealing the lid.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juramentado
    I believe the bladder is that rubber piece that you put on top of the reservoir before you screw the plastic lid on. I'm not sure why it has a wedge shape, it must serve a function of sorts apart from sealing the lid.
    The rubber piece that goes on top of the reservoir is a seal that allows the fluid to expand. Air between the reservoir cap and the seal escapes through a tiny hole/notch at the cap.

    The bladder is inside the master cylinder. If you look inside the body where the lever pushes the piston into the master cylinder, you'll see a rubber boot - that's the bladder.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssmike
    The rubber piece that goes on top of the reservoir is a seal that allows the fluid to expand. Air between the reservoir cap and the seal escapes through a tiny hole/notch at the cap.
    I see. I had wondered why the seal displaced quite a bit of oil when the lid was screwed back on, if it was just a seal.

    Quote Originally Posted by ssmike
    The bladder is inside the master cylinder. If you look inside the body where the lever pushes the piston into the master cylinder, you'll see a rubber boot - that's the bladder.
    That seems to be the part that Shimano is having a lot of problems with.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juramentado
    I see. I had wondered why the seal displaced quite a bit of oil when the lid was screwed back on, if it was just a seal.


    That seems to be the part that Shimano is having a lot of problems with.

    Oil displacement is necessary to ensure the reservoir is totally full. If you are having problems with lever return, the bladder is the likely culprit.

  45. #45
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    Idea! Shimiano's 2004 XTR Caliper is VERY DIFFERENT.

    I just had a front 03 XTR caliper replaced by Shimano for the usual sticking piston problems.

    The new part is VERY VERY different. You can see it in the shape -- it's a FULL RE-DESIGN. The new part number for the FRONT has a "-F" after the numbers -- that's how you can easily tell the difference. I haven't seen the new rear-end part, but I may be waranteeing that sucker too.

    There, it's said and done! -- eat your heart out Shimano and make this RIGHT for your customers by publicly recalling these bad parts!

  46. #46
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    kamusta pare! are you riding the trails here in the us or are you cruising the bundoks back home.

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    Quote Originally Posted by urayamu
    kamusta pare! are you riding the trails here in the us or are you cruising the bundoks back home.
    US. Some of those trails in the Flips look pretty good though...

  48. #48
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    which state then? im @ maryland. yup the trails in iloilo ang guimaras island is awesome, was there last jamuary and tried the trails they had and it was fun, plus there was a lot of fellow mt.bikers since it seems that the sport is currently the "in" thing back home.

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