Strongest Shimano levers

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Strongest Shimano levers
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Posted: Sep 20, 2021 at 18:32 Quote
I recently managed to snap off both brake lever blades off my Shimano SLX m7100s in a small crash. I was able to find some replacement grey market lever blades, but with how easily I managed to destroy the first set I'm also looking for other lever options with better long term durability. I've found the Flo motorsports aftermarket lever blades that seem solid, but here in Canada a set costs almost as much as a whole set of SLX levers. Would a Saint or Zee lever be stronger and compatible with the m7120 caliper? I've had good experiences with Shimano brakes in the past, but this latest generation seems to be made of cheese.

Posted: Sep 20, 2021 at 18:55 Quote
tuckfordouble wrote:
I recently managed to snap off both brake lever blades off my Shimano SLX m7100s in a small crash. I was able to find some replacement grey market lever blades, but with how easily I managed to destroy the first set I'm also looking for other lever options with better long term durability. I've found the Flo motorsports aftermarket lever blades that seem solid, but here in Canada a set costs almost as much as a whole set of SLX levers. Would a Saint or Zee lever be stronger and compatible with the m7120 caliper? I've had good experiences with Shimano brakes in the past, but this latest generation seems to be made of cheese.

One of my friends has the same brakes and snapped a lever blade just from pushing against it on a climb. I gave him a take off lever blade from an older XT lever and it went on just fine, would imagine a Zee or Saint would work as well. Have had a bunch of different Shimano brakes including Zees and the only ones I've ever had fully snap were carbon. Agree that the newer Shimano stuff is seriously disappointing durability wise (coming from someone who used to only run Shimano stuff)

Posted: Sep 22, 2021 at 0:13 Quote
Zee and Saint lever blades are stronger than the current generation SLX/XT/XTR (possibly Deore aswell, but haven't seen a pair up close recently), but not 100% compatible. You will have to file a bit of material for it to fit. Same with M8000 blades vs M8100, the M8000 are stronger, but not out of the box compatible with the M8100.

There was a US brand making aftermarket lever blades for Shimano brakes, but pretty expensive ($90 for a set) :
https://flomotorsports.com/products/copy-of-beta-brake-lever-1

The M*100 series have super weak lever blades, they all fail at the same place, where it's super thin material, even if you're not crashing.

Posted: Sep 22, 2021 at 3:35 Quote
I snapped my SLX lever blade after a few months use, it just broke hoping up a ledge.
Replaced it with the blade off of my old levers which were these:

https://bike.shimano.com/en-EU/product/component/deore-m6000/BL-MT501.html.

They had already had a year plus of similar use and are much thicker material at the point were the SLX levers brake. I did have to file down some of the lever blade to allow it too slot into the body, but it works fine. They also have a similar enough shape to the fancy levers that you cant tell the difference.

Posted: Sep 22, 2021 at 9:50 Quote
Ploutre wrote:
Zee and Saint lever blades are stronger than the current generation SLX/XT/XTR (possibly Deore aswell, but haven't seen a pair up close recently), but not 100% compatible. You will have to file a bit of material for it to fit. Same with M8000 blades vs M8100, the M8000 are stronger, but not out of the box compatible with the M8100.

There was a US brand making aftermarket lever blades for Shimano brakes, but pretty expensive ($90 for a set) :
https://flomotorsports.com/products/copy-of-beta-brake-lever-1

The M*100 series have super weak lever blades, they all fail at the same place, where it's super thin material, even if you're not crashing.

Do you know if the Zee or Saint lever (whole thing not just the blade) is compatible with the SLX caliper? That might be my next choice if I break them again. I think I could save a bit of money by only replacing part of the system.

Posted: Sep 22, 2021 at 11:14 Quote
They are, pretty much all Shimano calipers and levers are interchangeable. You could put a Zee caliper with an XTR lever if you wanted.

I mentionned "pretty much" as I don't know about the low end calipers/levers like Alivio and bellow. Deore, and above, you're fine.

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