Removing "free stroke" from my brand new XT M8000 brakes

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Removing "free stroke" from my brand new XT M8000 brakes
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Posted: Jun 12, 2019 at 8:31 Quote
Afternoon all,

New 2018 Intense Tracer with M8000 brakes. Not happy with the free stroke AT ALL. I have the little phillips screw all the way in and nothing. I have to have the lever reach so far out just to get the brakes to start to work before the lever hits the bar. Brakes are freshly bled also.
I know the stopping power should improve once pads are bedded in, but the frees troke has got to be better than this.

Thanks for any help.

Sid

Posted: Jun 12, 2019 at 10:39 Quote
It's well known that the free stroke adjustment screw does nothing. I reduce the free stroke on my M8000's by removing the wheel and pulling the lever about 1/2 - 3/4 of the distance between the lever and bar a couple times. Doing this moves the pads closer together, but will require you to realign the caliper mounted on your fork or frame if the pads rub. Be careful not the pull the lever too far or too many times.

Posted: Jun 12, 2019 at 11:01 Quote
It sounds like a bad bleed to me if the brakes aren't biting until they hit the bar. If that is truly the case and you are confident the bleed is good then the brakes must be defective in some way. The suggestion above shouldn't be needed for brakes with fresh pads, only when the pads wear down.

Posted: Jun 14, 2019 at 4:37 Quote
It is also known that Shimano brakes must be bleed with Free stroke screw fully out. That way free stroke screw actually do something when screwed in after the bleed... :-)
With screw fully out when bleeding you achieve that later when you screw in adjuster there is some oil moving inside the brake system which has nowhere to go but to the pistons which then move closer to the rotor (alias you get less free stroke).
Shimano should really update their bleed manual :-)

Posted: Jun 15, 2019 at 23:23 Quote
I stripped and rebuild mine a while ago. In doin so i realised what the free stroke screw does, and why it doesn't seem like a lot. It works a bit like a limit screw, so wound out there's some lever movement before the caliper piston starts to move. Useful if like me you always have the lever covered as it stops accidental or comfort braking.

Pushing the pistons out a bit to get them to bite earlier is a sound idea, or making a spacer that you can use for set up would also work. There are lots of useful youtube videos dealing with brake setup, maintenance and adjustment. Gmbn have a few good ones. There's also one from Santa cruz syndicate where Greg Minaar's mechanic does a bleed and setup.

Good luck. They're poxy when they aren't working well, and usually go unnoticed whenever they are.

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