Red Panda Release the Lobster Upgrade Kit That's Claimed to Improve the Reliability of Shimano Brakes

May 14, 2021
by James Smurthwaite  

Shimano brakes have been a big talking point this week on Pinkbike following some criticism they received in our Value Bike Field Trip about, among other things, their wandering bite point.

A component brand out of Russia, called Red Panda, has developed a new product that they believe solves that problem by adding some extra protection to the master piston. They believe that a lack of protection around the cylinder in a Shimano system allows dust, dirt and water to enter, which scuffs the walls of the cylinder and damages the lever axle. This allows oil to escape and play to develop in the lever.


Their solution is a polyurethane cover called the Lobster. It's basically a fork sleeve for your brake's master cylinder and prevents that damaging ingress of grime. Along with the cover are 2 o-ring seals, a set of bushing and grub screws to hold it in place. We can't guarantee that it delivers on its claims or that Red Panda has diagnosed the issue with Shimano brakes correctly but they're certainly confident in it and say the Lobster "significantly extends the life of the brake and the stability of its performance during operation."

The kit can be installed without any specialist tools and without bleeding the system. It is also removable if you need to send back the brakes for a warranty or service. A video showing the installation in full can be found, here.


The Lobster can be installed on Shimano Non-series BL-MT501 / Deore BL-M6000 / SLX BL-M7000 / XT BL-M8000 / SLX BL-M7100 / XT BL-M8100 / Saint BL-M820 with XTR versions coming soon. The product is manufactured in Russia and weighs 3.5 grams if you fancy giving it a go, it can be ordered direct from redpandacomponents.com and costs around €60.00 for a kit that works on both levers (left and right kits are also available separately).


368 Comments

  • 173 2
 How would damage from abrasion result in shifting brake point within the same ride? I would expect that kind of damage to slowly change the bite point but not minutes apart.
  • 113 2
 I say marketing bullshit.
  • 68 7
 I think the wandering bite point (which badly affected my M8000 brakes from new) is a design fault.

This bootie is a nice idea to protect the brakes, but it’s not going to solve that issue, in my humble opinion.

P.S. Guides do not suffer from the wandering bite point!
  • 20 7
 @jaame: I had Guide RSC before the Saints now on my bike. It's a carbon XL YT Tues, I'm 6'2" 210lbs, so it's a lot to ask of brakes. The RSCs would frequently just not be strong enough and I've absolutely had situations where I wasn't going to be able to brake in time for a corner, or had to brake earlier than I wanted for corners (with the RSCs).

With the Saints, there is more power but the bite point is all over the place even a few turns into bike park laps. I now use the 223mm Galfer front rotor with the saints and the power is absolutely enough front and back but the bite point issue remains.
  • 28 44
flag redrook (May 14, 2021 at 1:10) (Below Threshold)
 @jaame: I run M8000s and never had that issue. I assume Shimano fixed it very quickly and so this kit, which costs the same as a new brake, is unnecessary for most people.
  • 12 0
 I doubt this will solve the bite point, but it definitely does become more of an issue as the lever wears and eventually sticks. Prolonging the life of the lever is a benefit in itself.
  • 49 0
 @TrevZ: not exactly a fair comparison.

Guides are a trail bike brake, Codes would be a better companion to the Saints.

Thus, guides are known for fading earlier in steep downhill use which is not surprising.

But normal undulating trail riding, they're perfectly fine.

That and the difference between R/RS/RSC is all at the lever, adjustability and materials. But all the guts of the brakes are the same.
  • 44 4
 @redrook:
Shimano never fixed the problem.
It's still there. Even the new brakes have it.
  • 33 2
 @TrevZ:
Try different oil.
A lot of riders use thiner fork oil instead of Shimano's mineral oil and claim it fixed the wandering bite point.
I just installed a pair of Saint's on my bike yesterday and didn't even bother to bleed them with mineral oil and used Putoline instead.
Check the comments on this here
www.amazon.de/Putoline-HPX-2-5-Gabel%C3%B6l-Liter/dp/B00D0A06W4
  • 9 6
 @OneTrustMan: Yeah, I have XTR 9120 front brake, and I'm like, "how is this possible". Oh well. Should probably get into the brake business, it's pretty lucrative. Good thing I'm not my father, he would have absolutely f*cking snapped, if he paid that much for a brake, and it was that bad.
  • 15 3
 @TrevZ: I use xt m8000 levers with mt7 calipers, no wandering bite point, 220 magura rotors. powerfull and even the bite adjust screw works, it looks like its a caliper issue, as every other shitmano system I tried has been plagued by the same wandering bite point, since I changed to mt7 caliper/hose the issue is gone
  • 7 13
flag speedy-fox2 (May 14, 2021 at 3:28) (Below Threshold)
 It is not about shitty bitepoint, it is about brake fluid turning black after two weeks of good shred. I've owned XT BL-M8000, this shit is real. One fall into sand and you have a dead brake lever.
  • 35 63
flag excavator666 (May 14, 2021 at 3:29) (Below Threshold)
 Properly bled brakes don't wander.
  • 4 3
 It doesn’t change the bite point. I bought one of their kit after my saints levers leaked oil on their 2nd ride. Both had dirt and grime inside the master cylinder and the pistons were scratched.
  • 12 4
 @Forest-Gnome: bro, it is supposed to be mounted on new brakes, not on already broken ones. It prevents scratches from appearing, but it does not help fix the present ones.
  • 5 11
flag Forest-Gnome (May 14, 2021 at 3:56) (Below Threshold)
 @speedy-fox2:

Did I mentioned that I mounted the system on the broken levers ?
  • 16 4
 Back out the free stroke screw one full turn and do a top bleed. Screw freestroke back in when done. See if this solves your wandering bite. @TrevZ:
  • 3 1
 @redrook: umm, so why did they re-introduce this issue again in M8120?
  • 12 0
 @donpinpon29: it's a russian april fool, no worry.
  • 11 2
 @TrevZ: another big and tall dude here, I had the same issue, SRAM too weak, Shimano too flaky. Give the Mt5/7 a go and I think you'll walk away happy. The strength of the saints with the modulation of SRAM.
  • 16 0
 @adespotoskyli: What brake fluid are you using with that setup?
Magura Royal blood is less viscous than Shimano mineral oil.

The wandering bite point probably results from an oil return port that is too small for the viscosity of the regular Shimano fluid.
  • 3 0
 @excavator666: I wish that was true. I loved the XTR trail's power and looks. But I had to sell them.
  • 3 0
 @jaame: Yeah, I too have had M8000 with wandering bite point from new
  • 5 0
 Does the wandering bite point happen less with the non servo wave levers? I’ve heard positive things from people who have done this. The brakes are also less grabby at initiation.
  • 1 0
 @adespotoskyli: I've been reading more and more lately about ShiGura brake setups like this. Does it still give the same power as a Shimano brake, or is it slightly weaker like the Maguras? Or to ask it another way, does using the Shimano levers on the Maguras actually improve the performance over stock Magura brakes?
  • 1 0
 @OneTrustMan: Thanks for that tip!
  • 2 1
 @powderturns: My last bike had M6000 deore brakes. No servo wave, but it was still an occasional issue.
  • 4 0
 @jaame: i think wandering bite point if from tiny bit of air always ending up where it shouldn't, they're usually better freshly bled. it could also be the piston seals being too slow to return the piston. i'm used to always pumping up the lever a bit before i intend to brake so it's no big issue for me but yeah, it's a design flaw
  • 1 0
 @TrevZ: totally agree. My SLX 7100 rear brake, from the factory, has a wandering bite point, but the front is mint, same brake. Either a design, tolerance, or bleed issue. Mine improved after a bleed.

I’ll wait to see if someone posts (again) a different fluid to try. I’ve seen it posted before, but I don’t remember where. Edit- some just did- Putoline!
  • 38 7
 @pcbsdusr: it's air in the system.

Took me a long time to learn it properly, but it I use the Marshy bleed technnique.

You need to get ALL the air out of the calipers and bubbles out of the lines.

My Zee's have worked faultlessly for years like this.

People trying to tell me that Greg Minaar earned the title of GOAT with wandering brakes?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=piWBVDh1pTE
  • 2 0
 @OneTrustMan: sounds great! Just tried to find on Amazon but it is not listed if in USA.
  • 3 4
 damage from abrasion causes scoring, which allows oil leaks. oil leaks change the bite point.
  • 3 2
 @Forest-Gnome: you mentioned it was leaking. That is called a broken lever. You mentioned you bought Lobster after that. Either you made a grammatical mistake or you fitted it on a broken lever.
  • 3 0
 Someone needs to invent something that makes bleeding Shimano brakes more idiot-proof than they already are, if that's possible.
  • 2 0
 The Lobster never said it fixed the wandering bite point immediately, Pinkbike insinuated it though. Relax. Of course dirt and grime getting into the system is going to have noticeable effects over time.
  • 3 0
 @adespotoskyli: Ha! I have the exact same setup. I could never get the bleed right with MT7 levers so swapped to XT and they have been great.
  • 3 0
 @vw4ever: I just remembered my younger brother having multiple small bottles of Shock Oil for his PILOT Gas powered 4WD RC Car. Had a quick look, and came up with this.....

www.amazon.ca/-/fr/Spectro-L-SFUL-Liquide-ultra-paquet/dp/B077GVWQTN/ref=sr_1_27?dchild=1&keywords=rc+shock+oil&qid=1620996917&sr=8-27

Not something I've tried, but it's the same weight (2.5) as the Putoline up above........
  • 9 0
 Use Putoline 2.5 instead of Shimanos own oil. It's like water and cures that problem. Tested 1000 of times by the mtb-news.de users
  • 2 1
 @GT-CORRADO: bonus points for Corrado in your username!
  • 8 0
 @big-red: Shiguras have more hydraulic leverage than both Saints and MT5/MT7. And according to the data that i could find the overall leverage is higher than all other brakes on the market.
  • 2 1
 @Ktron: Brake fade is more due to the type of stock pads than the brakes. Organic fades more than sintered, but has more initial bite.
  • 1 0
 @adespotoskyli: I was running an XT lever with my rear mt5 caliper, after the mt5 lever started leaking at the reservoir. Worked consistently but I had to pump the lever once each time to make it work, so not ideal. All the Shimano brakes I have used have worked consistently well but not necessarily ideally.
  • 4 0
 @excavator666: Not sure how I missed this video - really great way of bleeding with some fab tips - Thanks!
  • 2 0
 @c-radicallis: if Shigura setups don't have a wandering bite point issue that would point to the calipers being the cause and not the levers, correct?

Previously, I thought it might be related to servo-wave, but maybe not.
  • 12 9
 @jaame: Guides do suffer from a wandering bite point. Oh wait, I mean wondering bite point: wondering when you're going to bite the dirt next because you can't stop in time for a corner.
Guide R's are the worst brakes I've ever tried since cantilevers.
  • 3 0
 @big-red: Different feel. The magura caliper has a noticeable amount more power over the 4 pistons Shimano. The shimano lever is a little bit firmer feeling than the magura ones. The combination is a pretty aggressive initial engagement of the brakes and good initial power. I think if you rode Saints and wanted a bit more power it would be a good solution. Does not have more power than stock maguras just a different lever feel.

I will note the magura calipers are a pain to bleed (mostly just messy) but the shimano lever makes top bleeds really easy. I also felt like I needed to do lever bleeds to top up the fluid around every 10 rides; I think part of this is the magura pads wear pretty quickly (this is likely where most of the extra power is coming from).
  • 6 0
 @excavator666: ^this. I've had 2 bikes with M8000s, Saints on my DH bike and M8020s on my current trail bike. Taking 10 mins every 2 months or so to get any tiny air bubbles out and a fresh bleed twice a year and I don't have any wandering issues. I did on my first pair, before I learnt how to maintain them, but I couldn't be happier with Shimano brakes.
  • 5 1
 @comparing guides to saints is ridiculous! At your weight you should be on codes. They’re as good as saints but without the wandering bite point.
  • 6 2
 @OneTrustMan: I’ve tried this with a 2.5Wt Maxima Fork oil and it never fixed the issue.
I’ve used nearly a litre of Shimano Brake fluid over a year just bleeding my wife’s brakes and my brakes using the gravity method and the syringe methods and probably bled them 40 times (?) over the year. On our six bikes, we had brand new levers, old levers, XT’s SLX’s, Deore’s. Same variation in the calipers. I even did two brake bleeds over the course of DAYS to try and get a proper bleed. I still prefer the light instant feel of Shimano brakes over Sram brakes but as someone who manuals every chance he gets (I know that’s arrogant), I need to know when the brake is going to grab or it’s no bueno.
The best Shimano Bleed method was to bleed some money out of my wallet for Guides or Codes.
When the fix the problem, I’ll go back.
  • 15 6
 @jaame: guides suffer from not stopping shit.
  • 2 0
 @OneTrustMan: Does anyone know if you can get the Putoline in Canada? I haven't been able to find it at a retailer here and you can't ship it internationally via Amazon because it is a hazardous product. Would like to try it in my brakes
  • 1 0
 @jaame: you said the G-word now i'm legally obligated to downvote you
  • 1 0
 @OneTrustMan: Yeah, i use the old Volvo mineral oil from zentralhydraulikol. Not sure if it's an exact match for the shimano but i don't suffer the wandering bite point, and it's ripping cheap
  • 1 0
 @excavator666: Shimano even admits that well bled brakes still wander. I've bled hundreds
  • 3 1
 @TrevZ: sram code. Just saying.
  • 3 0
 @powderturns: it’s air getting back into the brake line when your braking over rough ground and the levers are being shook then you pull the brake again and it pulls the air back out giving your brake a different bite point pretty much whenever everytime you pull the brake levers. You have to keep the system topped up with fluid to minimise how much air is in the lever. Also I’ve tech rotors don’t help as they come warped from new and only get worse as soon as you get some heat in them and a wrapped rotor will give you an inconsistent brake also.
  • 1 0
 My thought exactly!
  • 2 0
 @OneTrustMan: I've got a litre of that putoline sat waiting for my upcoming pad change. So many positive reviews it cannot be coincidence.
  • 2 1
 PPS, guides start out weak and fade to horrible @jaame:
  • 3 0
 @TrevZ: guides and saints aren’t on the same level.

I do have to say my long travel bike has code rsc’s and they make it hard to get used to the less powerful guide rsc’s on my shorter travel bike.
  • 3 8
flag RobHesse (May 14, 2021 at 9:51) (Below Threshold)
 Codes are nowhere near as good as Saints. I replaced a set of codes with Saints and it was drastically better. The XTR’s on my new bike are fantastic too. I think anyone with Shimano issues should bleed their brakes and try again. @mikelee:
  • 3 0
 @CONomad:also a heavy guy here, Saint levers with mt5 calipers solves all the issues I had
  • 7 0
 Everybody is talking about putoline and shiguras. The company never claimed that it will affect the bite point. The author started his article by mentioning the plaguing problem of wandering bite points in shimano levers. When you use phrases like : "they believe that.... we can't guarantee that...".... Red Panda probably asked or paid pb to do a shoutout for their product, along with a few lines of info and pictures. The author wrote this "article" without any knowledge on the system and/or the problem red panda is trying to adress with their product whatsoever.

Lobster is made to protect your main cylinder's piston to go bad and leak oil because dirt and grime can enter the lever body freely since it's not sealed out from the environment.
  • 2 0
 @TrevZ:
Get some magura’s With 2 finger levers. consistent and Powerful, problem solved
  • 1 0
 @excavator666: Shimano’s do
  • 1 0
 @pyromaniac: that’s actually a pretty plausible theory
  • 2 0
 @powderturns: I have the full brake system with non-servo levers. There is no bite point wandering, and no servo-wave crap. You put the levers inboard enough that you are using the very end of the lever with one finger. Works great.

bike.shimano.com/en-EU/product/component/acera-m3000/BL-MT400.html
  • 2 0
 @JohSch:
Yup count me in.
Had my first Trail ride on the Saint's today.
No matter how much and fast I pull the lever in a row, the bite point stays the same.
  • 4 0
 @iridedj:
The Guide RSC are actually dang good.
On of the best brakes I have ever used.
Good modulation and the bite point is always the same and very aggressive.
My Codes on the other gand are just plainly aggressive. They feel more digital on/off than my Shimano brakes.
  • 1 0
 @TrevZ: Galfer pads would have made the RSCs pretty great. I like RSC a lot and the bite-point dial works for me.I have those on my trail/enduro bike with SRAM rotors. No problem with predictability. I kept the Tektros TRP that came on my 2018 XL CF TUES but am using Galfer floating rotors and Pro pads and they are uniformly good run after run. I'm an inch shorter and about 10 lbs lighter fully geared-up.
  • 2 0
 @RobHesse:

I think anyone with Code issues should bleed their brakes and try again.
  • 3 0
 @moturner: I really wanted to like and use mineral oil for brakes but ran into 2 issues.

1. There are no standards for 'mineral oil' and a lot of different fluids with varying properties can be labeled Mineral Oil. Shimano says you must use their own version.

2. DOT X.X will be the same stuff more of less across all manufacturers and it is by design, Brake Fluid.
  • 4 1
 @OneTrustMan: I’ve flat out abused my guide RSC’s. They’re five years old and they’ve been bled twice in that time only because I thought I should not that they needed it. Codes is what made me switch from shimano / hope and they great on flat out fast stuff but the guides are better on super steep super gnarly tech trails just due to how much control you have over the wheel locking up on steep off camber roots. Currently running them with truck stuff power pads. They have more than enough power for my weight 80kg.
  • 3 0
 @OneTrustMan:
Yes; Putoline for the win! We use it in our.shop, with good result.
  • 2 0
 My understanding with the bite point is it has more to do with the rubbers that have to be used as piston seals and lever seals. The rubbers used due to the fluid interface as by design have less speed in returning to position and stiffness is a factor too.
  • 2 0
 @adespotoskyli: Ive solved the wandering bite point by bleeding behind the screw in the caliper. I completely removed the screw, bled, screwed back in with oil, procceded the rest of the bleeding process. I also remove the air from the oil before bleeding. Just close the seringe and create vacuum. But the fork oil is a nice touch too!
  • 1 0
 @TrevZ: Hope V4 with vented rotors. You're welcome!
  • 1 0
 @Br0ken: oh yeah that screw that does nothing. Thatl fix it
  • 3 3
 The marshy bleed makes no sense. Bubbles travel up. Bleeding bottom up is more efficient.
  • 1 0
 @excavator666:
Thanx for the linky.

I will try removing the nipple like that.
  • 2 0
 @englertracing: it works and if your brakes are like mine, it makes sure you get all that horrible black fluid out. My brakes work for longer with this bleed.
  • 1 0
 @vw4ever: Well, you'll probably withdraw your bonus pints when you discover the handle comes from my old GT Corrado MTB (1994), not the VW Corrado
  • 1 0
 @TrevZ: TRP DHR Evo is your answer my man!
  • 2 0
 @Endurahbrah: looks good. So crazy to take a top level caliper and mate it to a bottom level master cylinder. I wish you could just change out the actual lever and servo wave assembly. Or modify it to be less wavy...
  • 1 6
flag englertracing (May 14, 2021 at 22:31) (Below Threshold)
 @OneTrustMan: WTF? codes with metallic pads dont have the bite of a worn out slx with organic pads that have been pissed on.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: um, you could push several syringes full of fluid up from the caliper untill nothing but clean oil comes out. PS i have switched to redline like water and the fluid stays cleaner longer.. and any time I dick with my brakes I do a full flush.
  • 1 0
 @TrevZ: ah, the real “big man” size and weight issues. I’m the same height and near the weight.

I’ve been contemplating the step up in rotor size so this is a great advert for me.

I personally have a set of Sram on the demo and some shimano on the Stumpjumper Evo so a very loose comparative test can be had between the two. I personally have no issues with the bite point on the shimano’s but I see this as something that people are going to turn to if their brakes are feeling that wonder. Not because it’s the answer to the problem but the fact that with limited stock of parts, getting one of these kits will elongate the gear they’ve got to just keep on riding.

Nothing worse than not being able to ride when you’re hamstrung waiting for a single part to come in the mail.
  • 1 0
 I don’t think it’s air in the system because the bite point on mine wandered in and out. It was like the master cylinder couldn’t control how much oil was in the line when the going got rough, like the port from the reservoir was a tad too long or something
  • 1 0
 @englertracing: try it. It’s so much easier. If your doing a lever bleed and a bit of black oil comes out all you need to do is take the pads out and take the bleed screw out and you’ve done a full bleed in less than two min. Waste less fluid also.
  • 2 0
 @englertracing: You haven't a clue what you're talking about. Shut up.
  • 1 0
 @big-red: stock mt7 maguras are more powerfull than any shitmano, shimano levers coupled with mt7 calipers are even stronger than stock maguras
  • 2 0
 @Notmeatall: You are on to something with that method. A lot of people try the bottom-up syringe method, only to introduce an air bubble that resides in the bleed nipple. You can get all the air out of your syringe, but as soon as you place it on the bleed nipple, you have that small amount of air inside the nipple. It gets pushed right into the caliper. I've struggled with this myself, and have decided that the syringe method is not the best. A normal gravity bleed is better. Also, make sure your pads are not worn too much. I've found that the piston seals can not tolerate that much movement. If you must use worn pads, then adjust where the pistons normally sit (further out). Your lever will feel better too.
  • 1 0
 @excavator666: I have been pushing mineral oil from the caliper up but ill try this. I have saints and they are super consistent as long as you can get the bubbles out.
  • 1 0
 @monsieurgage: yep, it's all about getting the bubbles out. Can take a fair bit of lever flicking to finish the job, but it's job it's absolutely essential.
  • 2 0
 @Endurahbrah:

You can avoid the bubble from bleed nipple by first compressing the lever once after you've opened the bleed nipple, if there would be air, you would see that on the syringe tube. If there is bubble(s) coming from the bleed nipple, press couple of times more to get the bubbles in the syringe, then push fluid up the line.

the "gravity bleed" might still be better option, as it won't push the dirty fluid up to the hose and eventually to master cylinder, where it tends to clog up to the seal and potentially to the reservoir ports too...
  • 1 0
 @Endurahbrah: I've got this idea after learning that Ohlins remove bubble by vaccum on the oil they will put on dampers. they do 5 min of vaccum, then pressurize the thing to introduce the oil in the shock. I'll do the vaccum trick on any oil, dot or mineral, and the results are good.
  • 2 0
 @Notmeatall: shimano's inconsistency has nothing to do with the bleeding method, it's a design issue.
Personaly never had any issue with bleeding any brake. You are chasing ghosts
  • 2 0
 Abrasion of the master cylinder would cause a tiny quantity of air (including some humidity/moisture) to enter the hydraulic circuit.
This would happen immediately even with freshly bled brakes.
Your hydraulic circuit now contains a mixture of mineral oil and a minuscule amount of water. When the brake fluid is cold, this water is liquid and is not compressible. As the brake fluid becomes hot, the water turns to vapor which is compressible. So your bite point will wander as the brake fluid temperature varies.

Just my 0.02 € of course
  • 2 0
 @TrevZ: You are comparing trail brakes, the Guides, with the DH Saints, it's not a fair comparison. Try the SRAM Codes, that would be a fair comparison with the Saints.
  • 1 0
 @excavator666: Yes. And just because they don't know how. That's whats wrong with us, we all arrogant and nothing is our fault, "how could it be, I'm perfect" type of problem with the civilization.
  • 1 0
 @excavator666: oh yeah the laws of physics bend just for you.

If the buoyancy of an air bubble is not adequately defeated via fluid velocity the bubble will basically stay put.

Personally I use a 200cc syringe first doing a full flush then doing a "typical bleed" like any car or motorcycle where you close the bleeder squeeze the lever, and then open the bleeder.

I use redline like water a I have no issues with wandering bite point.

Also. When I do a motorcycle to be thorough sometimes I'll elevate the caliper above the master cylinder to allow normal direction (master to caliper) bleeding but In an uphill fashion.

I assure you that I do know what I'm talking about.
  • 1 0
 The price should tell you everything you need to know for some cheap-ass 3D printed marketing mumbo-jumbo.
  • 1 0
 @big-red: I run XT M8000’s on my P7 hardtail with a serious wandering bite point on the rear, I also run Magura MT5’s on my Privateer with a single finger lever modification. Admittedly the MT5s are 4pot but the modulation and pure braking power are absolutely unparalleled, I’ve ran Hope E4 and SRAM Guide RSC previously and from now on I’m sticking with the Magura!
  • 1 0
 @donpinpon29: lol my base tektro brakes dont have it
  • 1 0
 @englertracing: actually it makes sense if the bubble is trapped in that area at the caliper. Bigger area to escape and it's just another method to try for me. There is always hope
  • 1 1
 @donpinpon29: it’s unlikely there’s air trapped in your brake lines. Pulling the lever, heat and vibration from use will dislodge any air bubbles pretty fast where they’ll float up to the lever. If you ever do a bad bleed, as long as the fluid is clean. All you’l ever need to do is to top the fluid up after a few rides after the air has made its way to the lever and your good to go. It’s pretty hard to bleed brakes incorrectly.
  • 1 0
 @TrevZ: i run the same rsc Code with magura 220 rotos, and its brutally strong compared to the stock 200/200
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: mate to put it the fun way: I have tried even with unicorn sperm during a full moon eclipse. The wandering point is real AF. Putoline is my hope now
  • 1 0
 @FastRiding: The design of rotors makes a difference in stopping power as well. I have tested several different rotors and found some stop better and/or squeal less than others.

That would be a good PB test. Braking power of different brakes, rotors, and pads. Just like a lot of youtube car channels test different car stopping power. They could have a specific hill they roll down to a parking lot and have a line and measure the distances. All done with same person and bike so the speed would be pretty constant.
  • 1 0
 @OneTrustMan: Yup I've been using a Bmw power steering mineral oil that works perfect with Shimano and works better especially the winter in North Shore Vancouver. 1 Can has lasted 5 years and y deore m595 's are still working great with regular maintenance. Brakes are snappy and strong with it.
  • 1 0
 @Reelchef67:
Interesting. I will keep that in mind.
Thanks
  • 1 0
 @excavator666:
I'll give this a go! Thanks for the tip bro
  • 2 0
 @jacinto46: It can be hard to get all the bubbles out of the line tbh. Even when you think they're all out, sometimes you can still have a spongey brake.

Sometimes it can take a couple of bleeds to get the bubbles out completely, but once this happens, then the Marshy bleed eliminates the possibility of introducing air back into the system.
  • 1 0
 @jaame: correct, sram got around the wandering bite point issue with the guides by simply not spec'ing guides with a bite point at all.
  • 2 0
 @conoat: Sram got round the wandering bite point issue by just making their brakes vague as f*ck.
  • 1 0
 @conoat The SRAM RSC and Ultimate brakes have contact point adjustment to control the bite point.
  • 1 1
 @tacklingdummy: I think you have been tackled one too many times and missed the joke....
  • 1 0
 @excavator666: it’s not hard to get the bubbles out at all. Bubbles don’t want to be trapped in the brake lines they naturally float to the highest point. It’s hard to bleed brakes incorrectly. Worst case scenario is that you don’t get all the air out. The air makes its way to the lever and you have to top up the fluid after a few rides. That spongy feeling is your calliper out of alignment and you can feel the rotor flexing because one of the pistons is making contact with the rotor before all the others.
  • 1 0
 @powderturns: I tried this... Ordered an XTR rear lever without servo wave. It did not fix it. Still wandered. Putoline HPX oil instead of mineral oil was the fix for the wandering bite point. I would not even bother with mineral oil.

Make sure to bleed the brakes with the santa cruz pit method (take out the bleed nipple entirely). See youtube for this.
  • 1 0
 @GT-CORRADO: Not all companies have the same viscosity for oil weight. Don't trust the oil weight.
  • 1 0
 @chubby5000: I would bet maxima fork oil is thicker than putoline hpx. Oil weight is pretty much meaningless between different brands. putoline worked wonders for me with 8120's.
  • 2 0
 @thenotoriousmic: LOL. uh no. a spongey brake lever is 1 of 2 things. air in the system(a tiny amount can be noticeable) or brake line expansion. This is why your rear brake never feels quite as firm as the front.

a quality MTB hydraulic brake works on such an insane mechanical advantage, that the effort it takes to bend the rotor 1-2mm is absolutely nothing and you wouldn't feel it in the lever at all. This has to be the most insane take ever....
  • 1 0
 @conoat: what happens when you fart in the bath? Lol, no your right air bubbles like to defy the laws of physics by not floating to the highest point as you rattle down a trail pumping the brakes and adding heat to the system. Wink

And yeah loosen the two bolts and that spongy feeling will go. It’s usually the back that needs the most attention because that’s what flexes the most and knocks the calliper out of alignment. That spongy feeling is feeling the rotor flex. Someone needs to bring back floating callipers or at least a better mounting system so the brake isn’t so easy to knock out of alignment.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: When you fart in the bath with no one around, does it make a sound? Yes, yes it does.
  • 4 0
 The air bubbles tend to rise up in a fluid if there is no restrictions. However, when the size of the air bubble is close to the inner diameter of the brake hose, things tend to get more tricky, as the bubble would have to move the fluid in order to get higher.

The bubble could split to two or more smaller bubbles, but surface tension doesn't like to do this.

The bubble will get smaller when you increase the pressure, hence the rubberband-on-the-brakelever-overnight -trick works, it keeps the fluid pressure high and bubbles small, so they can more easily move yup on the brake line. But again, the air bubbles left after bleeding likely isn't trapped in the hose, but behind some kink in the caliper and it might be difficult to get moving somewhere it could escape out, unless if the caliper happens to be in correct alignment...


Misaligned caliper could cause some spongy feel too, likely not if it is just not in the middle in sideways direction(as @conoat descibed), but if it causes twisting motion of the disc it might indeed cause some spongy feel, at least until the pads wear to match this "new direction"...
  • 1 0
 @conoat: you're right about mechanical advantage in a hydraulic system, but you're wrong about not feeling it. You can instantly tell when your brake pad touches the rotor, so if the brake pad touches the rotor early due to a misalignment... you'll still feel it. Just like you'd feel the oddly uneven bitepoint between front and rear, or from bike to bike with identical setups.
  • 1 0
 @Vertti83: This is why you have to bleed the lever and caliper because air bubbles tend to get trapped in those areas.
  • 1 0
 @tacklingdummy:

Yea, I know, but it was merely a comment against that bubbles would somehow automatically migrate from the caliper/hose up to the lever, which is higher...
  • 1 1
 @Vertti83: have you ever bled sram brakes? Degased the fluid using the syringe? If that’s what gently pulling on the plunger while flicking the syringe does what do you thinks happening when your braking over rough ground same with flicking the lever bleeding shimano brakes. Air doesn’t stay in the lines for long. You only need to do a full bleed to replace the fluid to get the air out you only need to bleed the lever.
  • 1 0
 @Vertti83: I know, but if you bleed the lever and caliper correctly, you can get a good bleed. I used to have problems with SRAM brakes until I figured out how to bleed the brakes better. I don't follow the SRAM protocols for bleeding exactly.
  • 3 0
 @excavator666: you got downvoted hard for this but I feel this has A LOT to do with the “wandering bite point”. It’s nearly impossible to fully de-gas the fluid initially. Over time all of the gasses in the fluid will work their way to the master cylinder. Even after a fresh bleed. After a good bleed I give the bike a quick ride, let sit overnight with the bike right side up then perform a quick lever bleed to pull out any remaining gas that’s made it’s way upstream. This has solved my problem 100%. Consistent braking every ride. It also explains why people using thinner fork oil yield good results. Just my 2 cents...
  • 1 0
 @Leo48333: Spot on man. It's very hard to get ALL the gas/bubbles out of the lines first time. I also find that doing another follow-up bleed soon after the first one, helps to ensure this and gives me a great feeling and consistent lever.

@thenotoriousmic if you look really closely, I think you'll find that you have actually been watching UP instead of doing a brake bleed.
  • 2 0
 @excavator666: it’s not hard at all, your clearly doing something wrong or you wouldn’t have to top up the fluid after a few rides. What brakes do you use? I’m running sram and shimano and never get a bad bleed. I have to keep my shimano’s toppped up every five or six rides to prevent the random bite point issue but even with shimano I get a good bleed first time.
  • 1 0
 @OneTrustMan: interesting. Will try this. I have zero issues with the 8120 but occasional wandering bite point on the 8020s
  • 3 0
 @OneTrustMan: My man! Took your advice and bled my XT M8000s with the Putoline 2.5w as suggested and it’s spot on! Thank you
  • 1 0
 @andyk: thanks for this - but I’m also after making the brakes a little less bitey. Did the xtr race (or deore) linear levers decrease the initial bite and improve modulation?
  • 1 0
 @powderturns: I'd say so, yes.
  • 1 0
 If you truly ride in all conditions, its a must!
  • 1 0
 @powderturns: Yes. Modulation is improved. I have a slayer with 203mm rotors front and back. Top end power is decreased using the xtr race lever. I use the linear lever on the rear; it does make controlling manuals easier. heading down steep slow tech, you do really need to pull hard at times. Also, lever throw is a bit longer. I'm going to try out galfer 2mm rotors to see if that tightens up the pull distance (my OCD is showing here).

it's a balance...
  • 1 0
 @andyk: rotor width will not change lever stroke because piston retraction is a function of seal/housing geometry.
  • 55 1
 To solve the wandering bite point just change the mineral oil to Putoline HPX R 2.5 (yes, damping oil). Works for me (and many others, tip was first published some years ago on german mtb-news.de forum) since more than two years, costs 10$.
  • 6 0
 YEP! I gave it ago with my rear Shimano XTR and it solved it! No issues since. Front works fine for now but when it needs a bleed will swap it to the Putoline HPX R 2.5. This it cost me 15chf here in Swiss.
  • 5 0
 I can confirm. Have been running it for 2 years without the slightest problem, even at -10C, where the wandering bite point/pumping up problem was especially critical in the past. Had it massively on my slx (rear) and a bit on my zee (front), too.
  • 7 0
 I changed oil to Putoline HPX R 2.5W. It didn't solve the issue completely, but I feel the bite point wanders slightly less than with Shimano oil.
  • 1 0
 @bluegoose86: where do u get it from?
  • 24 0
 Wondering how it's called in Spain...
  • 1 0
 @Marasdfg: same for me.
  • 16 0
 @dick-pound: f*ckinglinea 3000
  • 2 0
 @theoskar57: El mejor comentario de nunca en español......JAJAJAJAJAJAJA mis dieses.... XD
  • 2 0
 I was just about to post the same thing.. mine have been different brakes since taking the mineral oil out. Cant recommend enough.
  • 7 0
 Putoline can be a little hard to get in the US. Redline "Like Water" suspension fluid is a good alternative.

www.redlineoil.com/likewater-suspension-fluid. This fixed the wandering bite point in my XT brakes.
  • 2 0
 @Marasdfg: You need to be super anal with the bleed on these brakes too (not that im saying you didnt but its possible) I am so bored of bleeding shimano brakes now....
  • 1 0
 @blast-off: interesting that you sub a 0 wt oil for a 2.5 wt. Is this more suitable than their Extralight 2.5?
  • 2 0
 @benno92: technically, you're still putting a "mineral" oil in it... or at least, something compatible Smile
  • 1 0
 @Marasdfg: On the rear it did come back for a run the other day.... then went.... LOL no idea why! but overall seems to do the job
  • 1 0
 Anyone able to get this in Canada for less than 30 euros plus duty? I know DHL is going to absolutely destroy me with hidden fees...

Also is there an equivalent 2.5W oil from another brand I could try? Such as Maxima, Torco, something more common?
  • 4 0
 @swenzowski: There is a class action lawsuit in Canada against DHL going on because of their "duty" fees that are really not duty fees but an extra $20 in their pockets. I hope they get punished hard!
  • 1 0
 @Lwerewolf: I think Putoline is synthetic though, that's why I was a bit scared to put it in my brakes at first.
  • 1 0
 thank you!
  • 2 0
 I think some have tested Redline LikeWater successfully(long-ish thread on this replacement oils for shimano on MTBR, haven't tested it personally), that might be somewhat easier to find as it is fairly common brand with suspension oils. Similar synthetic oil as the Putoline, AFAIK...
  • 1 0
 @timmeygasmus what about the mineral oil BMW uses? I read something a couple years back about people using that one too as Putoline was trickier to get in the US.
  • 1 4
 It’s not going to make any difference what fluid you use. It’s a fault with the lever design not the fluid.
  • 1 0
 @swenzowski: Look up lhm fluid. It's used in old Citroen hydraulic suspension been using it for years in Shimano brakes without issue
  • 1 0
 @Vertti83: How is redline common in the EU? I've had trouble locating the "usual" high performance oils that are recommended "over the pond" (redline, maxima, spectro, torco, 100% missing something). Oddly enough, I can get their engine oils, albeit with great difficulty.
  • 1 0
 @Lwerewolf:

Not sure if Red Line is "common" elsewhere in EU, but at least one of our biggest "automotive warehouses" in Finland, Motonet(.fi) does sell some Red Line products, and I think I've seen those elsewhere too. Unfortunately Motonet doesn't seem to deliver outside of Finland, so not much of a help I guess.

In UK there used to be quite good selection of these, but not sure how it is now post-Brexit and how easy it is to get anything from there.

@briain

You can use LHM+ fluids for Shimano, good, cheap and easy to find option, but it does not really help with the bitepoint issue, as it is actually "stiffer" than the Shimano oil. Shimano viscosity at 40C is about 8.5cSt while LHM+ is around 18cSt. The mentioned Putoline is around 6.5cSt and Like water would be 4cSt.
  • 2 0
 @justanotherusername: Need to be "super anal" with shimano brakes bleeding? I don't see the connection... Do you mean that it works better while sitting on a butt plug? Smile
  • 2 0
 Red Panda must me crimson red now. You just ruined their propaganda with your 10€ Putoline trick. Well done and thanks Smile
  • 1 0
 @swenzowski: motorex do a 2.5w oil. I use slideway oils for brakes and forks. I can’t remember what cst it is, might be 22 or 38. It’s the same stuff as suspension oil but 1/10th the price.
  • 1 0
 @dick-pound: in case you can read Dutch: In 1970 is Jan Put de grondlegger en naamgever van Putoline Oil (got it from their website)
  • 2 0
 @bluegoose86: danke dir
  • 52 0
 Just replace the mineral oil with snake oil, satisfaction guaranteed. 30ml bottles for sale on my buy/sell page
  • 13 1
 I'm pretty sure that's what's being sold here.
  • 1 0
 You can use Slide and Ride mate lube mate, that keeps them pumping!
  • 26 0
 So why do some people report wandering bite point on NEW brakes?
  • 8 15
flag Jahtaka (May 14, 2021 at 0:19) (Below Threshold)
 There are two reasons, one of them is damage of the master cylinder. The second is too viscous oil, which changes its characteristics at low temperatures.
Probably, people with new brakes rode in cool weather Smile
  • 17 3
 @Jahtaka: how about manualling over a section of roots for 0.2 of a second? Does that also change the viscosity of the oil?
  • 5 3
 @jaame: you need to work on your manualling!
  • 6 0
 Big bite point debate on PB.
  • 10 0
 @jaame: The issue as I understand is that the oil is too thick and the return port too small. So if you use the brake repeatedly, it grabs a different points if all the oil hasn't returned yet. If you wait long enough between braking, the bite point 'should' be consistent.
  • 6 0
 @ryan77777: exactly, use Putoline 2.5 instead of Shimanos own oil. It's like water and cures that problem.

Tested 1000 of times by the mtb-news.de users
  • 6 0
 @ryan77777: THIS THIS THIS THIS. It has little to do with bleed method. This is precisely why the rear brake is more of a problem… longer hose, more oil, slower return. The braking point doesn't "wander" at all. It's incredibly repeatably. Pump the brakes in quick succession 3-5 times and you will easily feel the lever firm up because there's less free stroke, because the caliper has not had enough time to return to full open. Give the brake one good squeeze and then let it go for 1-2 seconds… no issue.
  • 5 2
 @jmvcolorado: It's totally unacceptable that you should have to pre-pump your levers for each time you need to properly slow down. That's a massive problem, and in my opinion, a safety hazard. Brakes should work EVERY time you need to pull them. If you're riding on the edge, you rely on your instincts. You don't have time to think about pumping up your brakes so that they work.
  • 2 5
 @leon-forfar: Lol. I hear you, but it’s definitely NOT a safety hazard. And you misinterpret the issue, there’s no need to pre-pump the lever. Read what I wrote again. The brakes DO work every single time. The only difference is the lever feel IF you pull/release the brakes the rapidly.
  • 1 0
 @jmvcolorado: mine would wander in an out. You would have the lever set to bite in the optimum position of the stroke, and more often than not the bite point would move out! It was like the free stroke screw was going from min to max and back to min by itself. It is definitely a safety hazard!
  • 2 1
 @jmvcolorado: well people who run their levers close to the bar find it problematic.
  • 1 1
 @englertracing: Huh? I run mine close to the bar too. The lever will pull the farthest on the first pull. So tune your lever reach to that, which will be the vast majority of your braking. If you rapidly release and pull the lever, the pad engagement point moves away from the bars, not closer.

Not defending Shimano, as I wish they would just use a lighter oil and call it done. But I think there’s a lot of hate and misunderstanding for what’s actually happening. It’s not all that bad, or mysterious, or unavoidable once you understand it. Like maybe try clean brake pulls with more feathering rather than multiple rapid pulls.
  • 1 0
 @jaame: Sounds like something else then. The classic “wandering” bite point is from slow oil resetting the caliper. Your issue sounds like maybe a combo of this along with a bleed issue (air in the system), which would explain the bite point moving in sometimes, and then out if you pulled rapidly. Def not ideal, but you could prob improve things a bunch.
  • 1 0
 @jmvcolorado: I've tried them myself, and it absolutely is a safety hazard. Yes, they will brake when you pull them, but sometimes you're not needing the full power brake. It's the worst when just trying to feather and modulate speed and the brake. If you're bombing down a hill or trail section in a manual, and your brake doesn't bite when you expect it to, that can be the difference between keeping the manual going or looping out at 50+km/h. Dropping into a long chute or rock face and not having your bite point be predictable (aka trying to feather vs lock), it can be the difference between maintaining traction, and losing it and getting out of control. My point is, yes, there are ways to adapt/ predict the wandering bite point, but you shouldn't have to on such an important component. Can you imagine if we had to do that with cars?
  • 1 0
 @jmvcolorado: I run redline like water and I can't think of ever having a wandering bite point since.
  • 1 0
 @ryan77777: this is the only logical answer I have found so far. Thanks sir.
  • 25 1
 Your mom has a wandering bite point
  • 5 1
 But she said your thrust piston was too small.
  • 1 0
 Bloom!
  • 14 0
 "... a new product that they believe solves that problem..."
"... They believe that a lack of protection around..."

Ah... beliefs.... beliefs.................. hum.
  • 6 1
 I believe I dont even have a problem with my shimano brakes.
  • 3 0
 We put it this way so it's clear that we at PB haven't evaluated their claims or performance.
  • 3 0
 @brianpark: You need to get to the bottom of The Shimano Wandering Bite Point Scandal once an for all. There are too many sensitive index fingers suffering out there, on a daily basis! Send Levy to Japan (by boat) to investigate and get to the bottom of this ASAP. Pinkers world wide demand it!
  • 11 0
 As far as I know, the bite point problem is result of the low viscosity of the Shimano mineral oil.

The last (three?) generations of brakes have much less oil volume and smaller diameters for oil flow. The original oil is not “thin” enough for this design. It creates an imbalance in the re-flow to the reservoir. Thus it feels like you‘ re pumping the liquid and shifting the bite point closer each time.

The problem is:
The mineral oil is unchanged for decades. There are millions of old type of brakes in the field, that need the old oil. So they can not exchange it. It would be a logistical and marketing nightmare to introduce two different types of oil.
On the other hand, they can not improve the performance of the brakes without the design changes that lead to the reduced diameters. It’s going to be very hard for Shimano to find a way out of this…

Disclaimer:
I can not back this hypothesis up with any insider information, nor do I have statistical data to prove it. But I switched the oil in all of my Shimano brakes and never had the problem again.
  • 10 1
 About wearing out master cylinders in real life:
fastpic.co/images/20210401_211547.jpg
fastpic.co/images/20210401_211612.jpg

This is a half season use.
  • 1 0
 Yep. I have also had leaking pistons on very used slx brakes.
  • 8 0
 Looks cool but not convinced it will work. And at 60 euros for two bits of molded plastic, I bought my XTR M9120 lever for £70 each.
  • 3 5
 The pandemic and the lack of goods in stock will somewhat improve the situation )
  • 8 0
 Shigura here, zero problems with the wandering bite point with shimano levers so..

Levers have been fine BTW. (But I would surely welcome anodized bores)
  • 10 1
 I wont be Russian to buy these. The price is far too high and for that reason i wont be Putin them on my bike.
  • 6 0
 The problem is two fold. Every Shimano brake I've worked on has had air in the reservoir. Didn't matter if they were new stock or OE on bikes. Every single one. When we noticed this at the shop I used to work at, we started bleeding every brake we got in. Sucks, but at least it's easy an prevents a customer from having to wonder if they're brake is failing. Second, the wandering bite point tends to only affect brakes using the ceramic caliper pistons. For my personal SLX set, I replaced the pistons and seals with aftermarket phenolic ones and the problem went away completely, even on rides at -20F. The surface on the ceramic pistons is rougher than the phenolic ones found in Deore and lower tier brakes, and I suspect that surface finish is affecting the amount of seal slip for the caliper piston, causing the seal to roll more rather than let the piston slide through, so you end up having too much retraction at the caliper. It also explains why folx who go out and pick up a Magura caliper and run it on their Shimano MC don't report this issue. So, as for this product? I'd want to see the data that lead them to their conclusions.
  • 6 0
 My name is Andrey, I'm from Red Panda Components.

Thank you for your feedback, it's very important for us.

Need to say about our product and problems it actually solves. In short, the Lobster seals out dirt, dust and water (IP65). Every time you push the lever, the piston takes along some contaminations. Dirt particles settle between the piston cuffs and the cylinder walls and scratch them over time, which is the common cause of oil leaks. Leaking levers => degrading braking power, inconsistent brake feel et cetera. The Lobster drastically expands the lifespan of the lever hydraulic, saving your time&money, and contrary to what was said on PB, it is definitely NOT a magic pill for the bite point.

In article there is link to video in Russian, so here is in English language: www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjZtdG9yvbM

And soon (today i think) we weill publish some history and explanation article about us and our products at our site.

Thank you guys Smile
  • 1 0
 @Jahtaka

Very nice and refined looking product!
I'm guessing you have investigated and found that adding the silicone dust cap only is not enough, hence the plastic "guide" part is required too to make it work..?

Regarding the plastic guide part, have you studied if the original "servo wave" guide is the same shape on all of the brake models or are there some more or less subtle differences between models?
And have you thought if it would be possible to create some different kind of guide shape to change the linkage leverage?

The Lobster is maybe a bit pricey for what it is now, but maybe it could be possible to make a version 2.0 with slightly altered servo wave guide. So, just throwing ideas in the air... Wink

BR
-S
  • 25 20
 Don't really understand the hate around bite point with shimano brakes. I have never had a problem with it. I can leave my hardtail with slx's in the garage for a months and every time I go back to ride it the brakes work perfectly. (barely ever need bleeding too). It's like night and day compared with the sram brakes I have on the full sus where its a 50/50 chance as to whether the brakes even work or not. I have some new shimanos to go on the full sus and they'd be on there in a heart beat if I wasn't so lazy/mechanically challenged.
  • 7 10
 It purely depends on the bleed I find, if your bleed is anything less than 110%, you get a wandering bite point
  • 8 2
 Agreed I've never had this issue, and I've never bled them, just fitted them from the box.
  • 15 3
 Same. I've never had an issue with any of my Shimano brakes.
Several Alps seasons on Zees and now XTRs. I just maintain the bleed regularly.
The Guide RS I had were terrible and had too much modulation and no power. Had Hope for a year but they weren't much better.
I like a powerful on/off brake as I can modulate with my fingers.
  • 26 0
 It also depends how you use the brake, I believe. Problem likely originates from too weak caliper piston seals, that don't provide enough force to pull the pistons back and push the fluid to the master cylinder.

So if you use your brakes so on repeated braking actions so that you release your lever all the way out before next braking, the piston seals can't push pistons all the way in, due to which the master cylinder sucks a little extra fluid from the reservoir and when you next time push the lever, there is ever so slightly more fluid in the hose, causing bitepoint to wander outwards. If you do not release brake lever all the way out between braking actions, the master cylinder stays engaged and it can't suck more oil from reservoir to the hose, hence bitepoint doesn't change.

If, and I presume when, this is the case, then lower viscosity fluid(like the putoline mentioned) would help with the problem, and the problem would be worse in cold conditions. Another thing that can make this worse, is if the brake line has sharp bends/turns or if it might have some dents, further restricting the fluid flow...

Bad bleed won't cause the problem, but certainly doesn't improve the situation...
  • 8 27
flag timbud (May 14, 2021 at 1:32) (Below Threshold)
 @Vertti83: Yeah, so basically it's down to poor setup; lack of maintenance, and poor technique.
None of which any of the "bite point sufferers" will ever admit or even consider.
Cognitive dissonance yo.
  • 2 4
 @Vertti83: Add to that the pad wear,it is a closed system. When your pads evaporate,the piston need to move more,so more chances to suck air... My last SLX brake set worked almost perfect in any condition for 4 years,only thing I did to them is replaced the pads early,like half of the material still on the pads.That way I think you can keep the fluid/air problem away. I had the bite problem in older XT brakes and it was very frustrating. Many new bikes have internal routing,the cable is not so exposed to the elements anymore.
  • 8 0
 @timbud:
Maybe.
But, I can use your very own comment against your bashing of Sram brakes.
"it's down to poor setup; lack of maintenance, and poor technique."

Personally, my Sram brakes have been much more reliable than my Shimano brakes.
  • 3 1
 Yep, no issues on any either. I do the burp bleed method and have crispy brakes all round. New XT 4pot on trail bike, Zee on DH bike, Ultegra on roadie.
  • 1 0
 @Vertti83: interesting thoughts, but the only issue I ever had with wandering bite point was when the bite point moved inwards toward the bar, rather than outwards. I've had little issues since changing the bleed procedure. This procedure is the one that works best in my experience.

youtu.be/39kX85XEXIA
  • 13 10
 @timbud: Gotta love a Shimano fanboi circlejerk. It's not poor maintenance. It's not a bad bleed. It's not a conspiracy to sell Russian-made trinkets to fix your brakes.

It's a design flaw that Shimano refuses to address. JFC, don't shoot the messenger. If your brakes don't do it, I understand not caring, I have a set of SLXs that don't. But carrying water for them online won't make corporate daddy love you back. Spending money on XTs and getting hot, wandering trash is not okay. Shimano needs to find a fix, warranty some brakes, and take care of their customers.
  • 2 0
 @Vertti83: yep, when used with magura calipers there's no such a thing as a wandering bite point, and more powerfull
  • 7 7
 @OneTrustMan: Nothing to do with my setup or maintenance. I work in a shop so have ALL of the tools, and experience to get a good bleed and have plenty of customers on all setups with no issues from my work. When I do screw up, I suck it up and do the work again foc.

@TheRamma You start your argument with an insult. Poor start.
Shimano do warranty brakes, we've had plenty of calipers and masters replaced because of poor seals. And several refused because the customer has used an aftermarket mineral oil which. Even some factory bikes have come with non-standard mineral oil which has caused issues to.
All I know is that every one of my customers that has had previous issues has been solved with a bit of maintenance and a proper bleed. That's not fanboi, it's just personal experience and opinion.
Sorry if that hurts your mantra that it's not your fault but always someone else's.

@Vertti83 I'm keen to try that setup. Love a powerful brake and can't afford trickstuff
  • 3 0
 There's nothing to understand, the problem is just there. You've been lucky, that's all. My last generation SLX worked perfectly for7 months, then yesterday for about 30 min the lever was touching the grip every 4-5 brakes. Then re-started to work properly. I call this pretty dangerous, even of they're by far the most performing brakes I've owned
  • 2 2
 @RottenFR: err, that's all quite normal if you've not bled them in that time. Heat and build-up of contaminants can cause it. Time for a full bleed.

Unfortunately, there are countless factors that can effect the life of your brake (and other bike components too). Not just how you use the bike, but how you store it, clean and maintain it. The temperature for example has a massive effect on the life and performance of seals (not just when you ride it). And that's all before you add in the human factor. Just look at the difference in the performance of F1 teams. Each of them has 2 cars that are exactly the same but massive differences in driver perfomance/results for ALL teams on the grid
  • 1 2
 @Vertti83: The piston seal doesn‘t pull the piston back, it‘s the vacuum generated by the brake lever‘s master cylinder that pulls the pistons back.
  • 3 0
 @edfw: You are wrong, and right.

Yes, the vacuum does pull the pistons back. But it pulls the pistons plus the flexed seals.

check this out: www.freeasestudyguides.com/brake-piston-seal.html
  • 2 2
 @pcbsdusr: Thanks, I know how it works, am a mechanic myself so I would argue that the vacuum does 85-90% of the pulling back...
  • 3 1
 @Davec85:

If you have problem on wandering bitepoint so that lever moves closer to bar, then it is indeed something different than the logic I described in my previous post.

If lever tends to migrate closer to the bar, then it could be a) if the disc is slightly warped or caliper misaligned, causing the disc to push back on the pads so that they retract a bit too much, so that slightly longer lever pull is needed to get pads in contact with disc on next braking. Another option could be if there system can't get more oil from the reservoir, it could be that there is not enough oil(due to poor bleed) or there is dirt in the reservoir blocking the ports.


@RottenFR
"There's nothing to understand, the problem is just there."
That is a bit crappy attitude, IMHO. There is always some reason behind why something works or doesn't work, trying to understand these reasons might help you to solve the problem or maybe figure out that it isn't the fault of the product, but an user error...


@edfw:

The main force comes from the caliper piston seals, the return spring on the lever contributes a bit, but it isn't the main force that retracts the pistons. Good informative video on this topic from Parktool: youtu.be/vQXFFgRButo?t=46
If you have ever dismantled a shimano brake lever, you can find the return spring for the master piston and it isn't very strong...

Another indication that would point towards the caliper being the problem is that those who have went with "Shiguras", so shimano lever + Magura calipers, do not seem to suffer this wandering bite point problem, at least not to same extent as with shimano calipers...

Anyway, regardless if the main force comes from caliper seals or return spring, the main reason would still be that something restricts the flow of the fluid too much. It could be interesting to test if brake hose with bigger inner diameter(Hope?) could help, or if it is maybe the banjo bolt or something else along the line, or is it indeed just the caliper seals...
  • 1 0
 I have yet to have issues with my 8120s so I am cautiously optimistic that I got a "good" set but I do read these threads and have worry or fear it may creep up eventually. I bled them out of the box and was extremely anal about it so I am hoping that helps so I am crossing my fingers.
  • 1 0
 @ctd07: with that kind of maths Shimano could employ you
  • 5 2
 @timbud: no it’s completely down to shimano making shitty products that aren’t fit for purpose as per usual.
  • 2 3
 @thenotoriousmic: lol you're a dick. +'d you because I genuinely wish we could all argue this shit over a pint or seven
  • 2 0
 @timbud: haha agreed, I’m definitely a dick but what does +’d mean though? On the plus side this post just reminded me to bleed my XT’s for tomorrow.
  • 1 1
 @thenotoriousmic: its the opposite of -‘d
  • 2 1
 @TrevZ: same here, zero issues with shimano brakes and they're just so much better and more powerful than sram. Totally understand how some don't like too much power but they're just so good. Put a Zee on the front of the bike and it actually has more modulation than two piston shimano brakes but when you really pull hard the bike completely locks up. Interesting how people are saying you can use a thinner mineral oil too. I don't usually ride in weather under 55F so maybe that's why I've been good, if anything it's usually more like 80F+.
  • 2 4
 @DylanH93: they don’t actually have that much power, they just feel like it in the car park because they don’t have much modulation. They’re super underpowered out on the trail, overheat really fast because of how early you have to hit the bitch sticks. Shimano brakes are easily the worst brakes you can buy from a somewhat respectable brand where codes are generally considered gold standard in braking though the trp’s are supposed to be up there too though I’ve not tried them.
  • 2 1
 @Vertti83: Take two syringes, fill one up with water, conect the two with a little tube, it you pull on one side, the oder side will follow, without any vacuum airbubbles pulled out. I know how a caliper looks and have completely disassembled many Sram calipers and those quadrings are never strong enough to pull the pistons back that much, and it the master cylinder runs smoothly the spring doesn‘t have to be that strong.
Also if you put a lower viscosity oil in the brake, the lever will feel lighter and will return faster. And that‘s not down to the piston seals pushing the oil but the master cylinder pulling
  • 1 0
 @Molesdigmyjumps: I feel some sattire was lost in translation, i.e. your bleed will never be good enough to stop the issue.

I run saints on my trail bike for the extra power, my rear brake doesn't have the bite point issue but the front does, I have bled it a couple of times but it still has a different bite point at the start of every ride, a quick adjustment at the start and its good though
  • 3 1
 @timbud: @timbud: eh, if you can't take being called a fanboi, don't act like one. Going online to say "I've never had an issue with Shimano brakes" is jut silly. Like it refutes that there's an issue. I'm sure there are some happy Yugo owners out there, or people with Poles that didn't break. Doesn't take a 100% failure rate to make a product shitty.

To your other points, Shimano is inconsistent about warrantying brakes with wandering bite point. And warranty is not an adequate solution for brakes like SLX/XT/XTR. Offering a technical bulletin with a solution is. Just one failure could be catastrophic. Much like SRAM's stuck piston. One failure can put you in the hospital in the wrong situation. SRAM actually nutted up and fixed the issue. That's the difference.

You're trying to use your personal experience on the internet to refute a widely reported phenomenon. We can all pretend we have "customers" and have worked on tons on brakes. Not a compelling way to disprove a professional review site and their mechanics saying this is an issue. BTW, every good bike mechanic I actually know, IRL, recognizes the wandering bite point issue. Not to hurt your totally believable expert mantra.

Like I said, corporate daddy will never validate you. No idea why you're covering for him. Weird to make this about me, I'm fine with holding any company responsible for shitty practices. You want a pass for Shimano. Weird.
  • 1 2
 @TheRamma: righto Rolleyes
I even pretend to ride bikes lol
  • 1 0
 @timbud: I have some down votes for saying this: Bike brakes = close system. The only way you can compensate pad wear is moving the piston down in it´s travel,not adding more fluid like cars or bike do with a reservoir. Pistons need negative pressure to move back to their original place,but with more pad wear,piston body and seals are more exposed to dirt&water cos they travel further out or even not fully retracting. There is a point,if you keep wearing till the end your pads the pistons are totally exposed you ruin the seals very quick. That simple. Same thing for the lever,the more wear in the pads,more movement in the lever,more wear in the dry faces of the seals.
But why Shimano had this problem when other brads not?That is the real question,it is a poor design or implementation?I bet the lever body material is key,cheaper ones (Deore&SLX)are more durable than expensive ones,less prone to fast wear.
  • 2 0
 My XTs work great too!
  • 2 0
 @edfw:

One could intuitively think that the syringe comparison is legit and that is also the case with the the vacuum from main piston return spring would be enough to pull the pistons back. But when you work out the piston surface areas and resistance from the thin brake hose and all bends & twists in it, it is not quite so. Also, the caliper piston seals might seem very weak, but the distance those have to travel is also very short, maybe 1mm at most, while the surface area is very big compared to the main piston, so there is actually enough force on the caliper piston seals to pull the pistons back.

It is fairly easy to test and prove this when you are bleeding your brakes:
- Add piece of tube or open syringe in the caliper bleed port(when it is closed)
- Push on the lever firmly and keep the pressure
- Release the pressure from caliper by opening the bleed port
- The fluid pressure releases to the tube/syringe and system becomes "open"
+ Now if the pads retract normally and pads aren't rubbing against disc, the calipers seals have obviously retracted the pads without help from the master piston return spring and any "vacuum" from that.
* If the pads won't return properly and stay rubbing against the disc, I was all wrong and I lose Wink

Lower viscosity fluid will have no significant effect on the lever feel, but the return speed should be faster, that is kind of the whole point of the "exercise" with different thinner fluid. The force you can create with your finger via the lever combined with the "linkage" is far greater than what the caliper seals (or return spring) can generate, so the effect on return speed is much more significant.

@homerjm

Shimano brakes, as well as virtually all other hydraulic bicycle brakes (except for Brake force one maybe) work with very much the same basic principle as automotive brakes. Caliper pistons might work a bit differently, but the outwards migrating caliper pistons require more fluid to be taken from the reservoir on the lever. On lever there is a rubber bladder that compensates for the fluid volume that has been added to the system, while preventing air entering the system(=closed system)...

You are correct that worn pads exposes more of the caliper pistons to the elements of outside world, as well as the alignment might be less optimal and cause some added drag. But as pads wear the caliper pistons will at some point slip a bit, so effectively the piston always moves the same amount when you pull on the lever.
Same way the main piston movement always stays about the same. Otherwise you would have increased pad clearance and wildly changing lever throw while pads wear out, or you would need to be constantly bleeding or/and adding fluid, which isn't the case in real life. If you properly bleed your brakes with bleed block, it should work just fine even when pads wear...

See the Park tool video on this topic: youtu.be/vQXFFgRButo?t=46
  • 1 0
 @Vertti83: not stating that the sett back is from the vaccum beiing pulled alone. I‘d say 85-90% of the return force comes from the vacuum and the rest is taken care of the piston seals
  • 1 0
 @Vertti83: also if you pull the lever 3 to 4 times in rapid repetition, of course the lever throw is going to get shorter, because you are pumping more fluid down to the caliper and not giving the whole system time to reset.
Brakes on mountainbikes are „open“. The seal around the master cylinder is able to let fluid from the back, slip past to accomodate for pad wear.
  • 2 1
 @edfw:

I'd still argue it is the other way around, the caliper piston seals accounts for most of the force returning the pistons.

For example the scenario you described, when doing fast repetitive lever pulls, the bite point migrates out. This happens because return spring pushes the main piston back and that creates a vacuum to the hydraulic circuit, which sucks replacement fluid from the reservoir past the seal. If you think your logic further, it would be the same vacuum that should pull the caliper pistons back in. So my point being, any significant vacuum created by the master piston would more likely to just pull more fluid past the seal, rather than pull caliper pistons back. So yeah, the vacuum on master cylinder helps also the caliper pistons to return, but it isn't the main force...


Regarding the question of bicycle brakes being open or closed system, it is a bit sematics and depends how you define the system. If you think of the brake system as a whole, it is a closed system: Air can't get in and fluid can't get out, even if you flip the bike upside down.

If you only think part of the system, the amount of the fluid in the "braking circuit" can vary depending on pad wear, so yeah, technically that would be open system, but it isn't the whole system...
  • 2 0
 @Vertti83: Aleight, fair enough Smile
Thanks for the discussion, still don‘t completely agree but that‘s okay Smile )
  • 1 0
 @font style="vertical-align: inherit;">font style="vertical-align: inherit;">Vertti83/font>/font>: I agree with you that the problem is in the caliper cuffs. You have the best explanation for the reasons for this problem. But I would like to clarify that most likely the reason for this is the large mud gaps in the shimano calipers, which is not present on the same magura calipers. Large mud gaps are provided due to the shape and size of the landing groove under these cuffs. An oil with a lower viscosity should improve the situation. Also, reducing the mud gaps by increasing the hardness of the caliper cuffs will also help in solving the floating point bite problem.
  • 5 1
 I've been a long time Shimano brake fan and never had an issue when well bled. I don't think my finger decides how much to brake by location of my finger but rather pressure and that is always the same. That said, I just got a set of trp Evo dhs and the lever feel is amazing and power is pretty much on par with Shimano. All sram brakes I've had were way underpowered for me. Shimanos do seem to need more frequent bleeds
  • 1 0
 Came here for this. I tell everyone I know, ditch those Shimano & Sram stoppers and grab some TRPs. I’ve got Slates and Dh-Evo and they’re both flawless. Same easy Shimano bleed process but they actually work. Plus you can grab some 223 rotors in the same order
  • 4 0
 I've hand wandering bite on most Shimano brakes I've owned. From what I've gathered through various bleed techniques is that the geometry of the master cylinder allows air to trap in corners of the reservoir. I now tilt the bike laterally to allow these bubbles to escape and have good luck with this method. I started doing this after noticing that the bite point would wander the most after high g force cornering, which I concluded was pulling those tiny air bubbles into the stroke. Once level, a few strokes would send the bubble back to the reservoir to hide in its corner again. I'm not saying 100% this is the issue, but I think the logic is fairly sound and I have had good luck mediating it this way.
  • 4 0
 Hated the wandering bite points on shimanos. Now that I am running Shiguras I never had this issue anymore => it must therefore be a shimano caliper, not a cylinder problem! the magura oil apparently also helps.
  • 4 1
 All my Shimano Brakes had wandering bite/brake-points. No matter the model, model-year or the repeated precice bleeding... I can't imagine how the Lobbster could change that.
In the meantime i run Magura-(MT5)Brakes with aluminium-brakelevers on all my bikes and they work excellent so far.
  • 1 0
 It doesn't change the bite point, the company doesn't claim this. The author of the article mentioned it's one of the problem that are plaguing shimano's brakes. This product is meant to protect your master cylinder from dirt and grime that can scratch the main piston and let oil leak. It happened to me on a set of saints levers after just two rides.
  • 8 1
 In Soviet Russia, Bike brakes you.
  • 3 1
 *Brakes bike you?
  • 6 0
 Hayes brakes and i won't go back
  • 2 0
 I just started trying to make something like that, awesome! I don't think it really is needed as it takes years of hard use to actually become an issue, but since it's the only wear I ever see on Shimano brakes, might as well try to prevent that and who knows, maybe they'll be even better!
  • 5 0
 Another rider promoting what he rides, but anyway: Get a Dominion and be happy.
  • 2 0
 I'm most intrigued by the flat head screw in the free stroke adjust port. I stripped the Phillips head of this screw on my XT M8100 levers (running them with Magura calipers btw!) despite using the correct screwdriver. Regardless of whether this screw does anything useful, it just annoys me that I'm now reminded of my own incompetence for as long as I keep running these levers...
  • 6 0
 I don’t have Shimano brakes so I’m not familiar with them, but do they perchance use a JIS screw head and not a Phillips? They look almost the same but a JIS screw really needs a JIS screwdriver to not get stripped.
  • 2 0
 @slate: I was ranting about cheap quality bolts in a different article. Thx for reminding me again.
  • 1 0
 @sjma: Ahh yes, I just checked and you are probably right.
  • 1 0
 This screw holds the red plastic sleeve that goes into your lever in place. The fit is tight, but the screw is an added security.
  • 1 0
 @sjma:

Good call. I bought a set of Japan Industrial Standard screwdrivers for working on small screws on things like engine sensors on my 4Runner after stripping a few with Philips drivers. The screw heads look virtually identical but they are not.
  • 2 0
 Had XT brakes on a bike for 2 years and no problems, got another bike with XT and had problems with front and back with wandering bite point, especially at lower temps. From what I can tell its just luck of the draw, possibly poor manufacturing tolerances from piece to piece???
  • 2 0
 This was my experience as well - XT on both bikes, set up and bled by the same mechanic using the same technique and batch of oil - both sets felt great in the stand but out on the trail, one bike never had an issue, the other bike I never knew how the brake would perform - it was almost as bad as the worst days of Avids! Even tried a quick swap with the front to see if bike size and riding style was the issue but the good one stayed good and the wandering one wandered off to look at the daisies as usual Now I am running Saints and Hope, and no issues with either
  • 5 0
 what official Shimano position on this? ask them and make a PinkBike article.
  • 3 0
 I finally converted to Hope's after being sick of the typical shimano bite point (must say though, of any OEM offering, I will happily take shimano's over Sram) but seriously the Hopes are next level i cant go back
  • 2 0
 If you want to fix the Shimano bite point problem change out your mineral oil for Putoline HPX R 2.5W. That's the rumor anyway. My friend did it last week and claims it has fixed his consistency problems with his XT brakes.

www.putoline.com/en/catalogue/product/371/hpx-r-25w/1735
  • 1 0
 I can confirm. Having used Shimano and Finish Line mineral oil in the past, I've always had the wandering bite point issue. Running Putoline now (ordered from UK -- a liter of Putoline shipped internationally cost the same as a liter of Shimano mineral oil locally sourced). No issues at all now. Best any XT brakes I've had have ever felt.
  • 2 0
 Just get familiar with the feel and ride your dam bike. I grew up with coaster brakes then cantilever then v brakes now hydraulic . Mineral feels different to dot. Both have good and bad feels when you have ridden with them long enough. Keep whining about it and you'll end up paying $1000 for low end brakes with ridiculous technology just to make a few split seconds of dideference when you squeeze the lever.....and you'll just find an issue with those anyway.
  • 7 2
 Finally .....but late guys ...I have Formula Cura on both of my bikes.
  • 5 0
 best option buy trp never had a problem with them
  • 2 0
 I want the TRP DH-R Evo Gold sooooo bad. They are so beautiful. Sold out everywhere
  • 1 0
 If it replaces the plastic bushes that 'cam' the lever then that's great as Shimano don't offer those as spare parts. I have an xt lever sat waiting for this as other than the puny plastic bushes the lever and lever body are fine!
  • 3 0
 The most maddening thing about Shimano brakes is their complete denial there are any issues. According to them, it is always an issue with the mechanic, never the brake.
  • 5 1
 I think a lot of peoples “wandering bite points” probably started after spending too much time on the internet
  • 1 0
 I've definitely had to replace all my levers after 3-4 years on XT 8000 2-pistons brakes from leaking but I'm not sure this is the cause of wondering bite point. I feel like this is more of a long term reliability fix and probably worth buying if you're getting a new set.
  • 1 0
 I've had countless sets of shimano brakes (xt and xtr) and I always do a fresh bleed when I get a new set and I have never ever experienced a wandering bite point. never had air get into the system, they have always been top notch. The only shimano brakes I have had an issue with are an ultegra di2 set and it is only the rr brake.
  • 1 0
 Can we please stop perpetuating the whole "if you put a questionable aftermarket product on your bike, just take it off for warranty claims" thing? I see it constantly. It's pathetic, honestly, and just causes more distrust between manufacturers and customers/these third party companies. It may be surprising to some, but if a third party company actually works WITH a manufacturer they often are capable of coming to an agreement and the manufacturer will allow usage/the product won't void warranty when it is put through proper testing.
  • 1 0
 I have the complete fix for the Shimano problem of wandering bite point. I fixed several of my own and loads of friends too. All you need is some fine wet and dry sand paper (280 - 400 grade) the basic tools we all have, and some patience.....
  • 1 0
 Yep. Wandering bite point is why I don't run Shimano breaks anymore. Loved the ease of bleeding but a extra handful of front brake in the dust or wet is no good. If you bleed the codes well enough they work. 180+ rotors though.
  • 1 0
 Ive had this issue with every shimano brake ive owned. New, used or w.e.
I have deores i got second hand.. put proper brake fluid in them and they have been seriously so good.
I still have 2 bikes that came with slx and i hate them so much but im unable to get anymore codes where i live.. maybe beacause i bought them all lol.
Recently picked up a remedy with code r's and back to back with my slx brakes (different bikes yes) i stopped much quicker and less skidding with the code r.
  • 1 0
 Never had wandering bite point with my SRAM brakes. You just have to do a good bleed which is not the easiest process. However, now it is a little easier with the bleeding edge technology. SRAM needs to design a clamp to hold the syringe on the bleeding edge port. It will pop off easily and spray fluid all over the place.
  • 1 0
 I always wondered about the riding effects of wandering bite points until I rode with a hayes dominion on front and shimano XTR on rear. It is simply AMAZING how much difference knowing exactly when your brakes will engage has on overall riding speed, corner braking, mental confidence, etc. Truly a game changer (I've ridden only shimanos from deore, slx, xt, xtr for years and suffered wandering in each set, but now riding hayes dominions and will never go back). The Dominions are worth e v e r y s I n g l e penny btw!!!!

Mentally I compare it too switching from a front derailleur setup (2 or 3 ring) to a 1x setup. You no longer have to think about proper shifting on a 1x.

Braking should be as intuitive as possible and not a mental strain. Brakes that wander severely limit your mind / body and riding experience.....how many bikes do I want with a 2x front derailleur? Zero. How many shimano brakes am I using in the future? Zero. It is a complete game changer and one I wish I knew years ago.....the speed you will gain is quiet possibly the best bang for the buck out there.
  • 1 0
 Saw these on some guy's bike yesterday in Novosibirsk, Russia. Had a small talk. He said he installed these by himself and had no problems. But he said he needed to re-bleed the brakes to install the Lobster. I myself have Shimano brakes on one of my bikes and still thinking about having this kit. A little bit pricey, but cheeper than a new brakes kit. Shimanos are good, but have problems with dirt getting into the master cylinder.
  • 1 0
 This seemed like a great idea until I saw the video of the Russian guy taking apart the Shimano XT BL-M8100 brake lever assembly right down to the free stroke adjustment plate and then replacing it with the housing without that free stroke adjustment plate back in. For the SLX version of ALL Shimano hydraulic brakes or any of their brake lever/master cylinders without the free stroke adjustment, this Red Lobster kit will be the perfect kit. However, for those who have the free stroke adjustment, basically by installing this kit, it renders the free stroke adjustment to be non-existent. If you're gonna do this, get the SLX version of the brake (BL-M7100) - pretty much the same as the BL-8100 without any free stroke adjustment AND the SLX version is way cheaper! If you run the older Shimano XT BL-M9020, it's a totally different beast altogether and you will not be able to take out that free stroke adjustment plate without breaking off the tab that holds it into place. I broke mine but I put it back in after overhauling the whole master cylinder internals. The free stroke adjustment will never be used again after that. The BL-M90x0 brake levers are probably the worst design Shimano had came out with. The bar clamp breaks so easily and the free stroke adjustment plate is affixed with a pin on the underside so that it cannot be removed. Even the BL-M8000 series were way better made. The BL-8100 definitely fixes the predecessor's weak clamp issues.

Anyway, wandering bite point, as it seems does not exists for a brand new set of Shimano hydro brakes until:
1) they are bleed (and done improperly or not perfectly) with air trapped in the master cylinder or at the caliper ends.
2) it is more prominent if you have the free stroke adjustment (apparently it does not exist with SLX or the race versions of the XTR master cylinders - no free stroke screw).
3) master cylinder seals are leaking (too old, gunked up with dirt or other contaminants)

Long story short, if you want free stroke adjustment - don't get this kit. If you don't need/care/have free stroke adjustment, I think this kit would work. But I still think you still need to do some cleaning of the master cylinder/piston every year to clean out the fine grit that may still get in from the bottom as this kit does not completely seal the underside closest to the master cylinder area. Also water can still get in.
  • 1 0
 €60 is a lot just for one kit for one brake lever! You're actually better off taking apart the whole brake lever and master cylinder assembly and re-apply silicone grease at the end of every season. In addition you can get new piston and/or piston seals for cheap on AliExpress that replaces the stock plastic piston that Shimano puts into all their brakes, whether it's the top end level or their lowest end models. The machined alloy pistons you can get on AliExpress are awesome and they work!
  • 3 0
 They are correct, but you can buy two new leavers for less than 60 bucks every 3 years.
  • 3 5
 But they out of stock. And you need to ride 3 years on worn out degradable brake levers.
  • 2 2
 I've never found the 'wandering bite point' an issue with Shimano brakes. I'd rather have Shimano over any Sram or Hope brake which imo and experience are awful in comparison. The new Shimano brakes are amazing, I recently replaced my Saints with the new XTR's and they're incredible. The new SLX brakes are also very good. Loads of power, maintenance free and easy to bleed and last for ever.
  • 2 0
 I've thrown out my Shimano brakes. Tried the M820 and the M8020, both had the same issues. Their original M800 brakes were great!
  • 2 0
 I have been running Saint's for year's now, my mate's hate them and ask how I ride with em. Every ride is a game of will I stop or not... Kinda fun
  • 1 0
 Whatever happened with Hayes Dominions? I thought they were going to be the next darling of the brake world. I rarely hear about them. Is that good, perhaps, or are they not in widespread use?
  • 1 0
 How come the XTs that came stock on my 2014 Yeti don’t have this inconsistent bite point issue but every Shimano brake iteration since does? What did Shimano know 10 years ago that they subsequently forgot?
  • 5 3
 Not a fan of Shimano brakes but I feel sorry for the savagery of the PB comments that this headline has encouraged.
  • 7 4
 Shimano makes terrible master cylinders. They need to do better.
  • 3 0
 Surely should be a job for Shimano to take care of...good job Lobster....
  • 1 0
 I changed from Guide RS to Shimano xt M8020...better but disappointed. Do you really need to spend over $500 NZ an end to get brakes that work?
  • 1 0
 I always had issues with Sram brakes hard to solve, the wandering point is usally fixed after a good bleed if the brake is not damaged.
  • 4 0
 Test this ASAP Pinkbike!
  • 2 0
 Great, now they're trying to hack our brakes? Pay 5 bitcoin or you won't stop in time...3...2...1...
  • 10 11
 So the Russians are going to send me a red colored mystery part to install on my perfectly functioning 4 piston Shimanos to solve a problem that I don't have. Sounds legit. I'm guessing the packaging says "This is definitely not designed to spy on you or steal your identity".

No thanks Comrade.
  • 11 0
 This is next level american lol Thanks bud, that really made me smile!
  • 5 1
 @Loki87: it's Friday, I'm here to make sure you enjoy it.
  • 2 0
 DCA? Is that you? Tin Foil much?
  • 3 0
 Am I going to have to pay a ransom mid trail to have them unlock them?
  • 4 0
 This is snake oil.
  • 4 0
 Is today April 1st????
  • 2 1
 Isn't the bite point directly a function of the freestroke adjustment? Is it a mfg issue where freestroke isn't consistently being set?
  • 1 0
 I wore out seals on the lever pivot, which they claim this prevents, that alone may be worth it to revive those since it is harder to get hands on parts.
  • 1 0
 I can confirm that my XTs have had their bite point wander on (rare) occasions but compared to the SRAMs i've had, they at least had a bite point.
  • 4 0
 One word:
MAGURA
  • 1 0
 I got so used to crappy elixers in the early 20teens that most brakes feel great these days. I go for mineral oil systems every time. Shigura FTW.
  • 1 0
 One word ,two brakes
Hope
Tech ,3
OK maybe two ,and a number,who needs brakes anyway Smile
  • 2 0
 I'll give this a miss. I don't want to add even more weight to my e-bike.
  • 1 0
 What Shimano really need to do to fix their brakes is put Servo Wave in the bin.
  • 1 0
 I agree with this for the feel but it doesn't adress this specific problem.

I have tested with "non servo wave" shimano levers on a set of XTR 9020 brakes, bleeding was ok, rock hard lever and very nice linear feel but the wandering bite would always be repeatable when braking e the bike received harsh impacts.

Moved to MT7/SLX M7100 levers (with servo wave) shigura setup and no problems whatsoever.

Best shigura setup I have tested and still use so far is with old shimano XT765 levers paired to mt5/7 calipers. Very linear actuation with not too strong beginning bite and very strong end.

the Magura calipers (and shigura setups) aren't perfect though; pads (2x or 4x) tend to wear in a wedge fashion so from the middle of the pad life forward the brakes get just a bit spongier (if you don't rotate pads from time to time).

I miss those giant Magura Gustav M calipers and pads...
  • 2 0
 Let go of your brakes !!!!
  • 1 0
 I`m just kidding. I have never had issues with my Saints, temperatures around here average +15 C all year round, so the viscosity of the shimano mineral oil doesn`t really come into play, it`s just a matter of bleeding them at regular intervals.
  • 1 0
 sometimes the wandering bite-point is caused by a to strong spring between the pads, guys.
  • 5 2
 Or just buy Hopes
  • 1 0
 there is no hope.
  • 2 0
 Or mags or code rsc...
  • 2 0
 My own Red Lobster upgrade with fish oil as brake fluid works great
  • 1 0
 Zees and Saints seem unaffected by this, at least in my experience. 2 pot XT and SLX were a nightmare though.
  • 1 0
 Strangely, my Zees on my DH bike have been unaffected but my Saints on my Enduro bike have experienced it.
  • 2 0
 In Russia no one use brakes.
  • 2 0
 The price! You can get a new lever for that...
  • 1 0
 Installation instruction in english is here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjZtdG9yvbM
  • 3 1
 In Russia, brake bites you.
  • 2 0
 Racist!
  • 3 0
 lobster really bite.....
  • 1 0
 Brake less or skid. Go fast or slow Have fun, Shimano Deore brakes are cheap and lock up with one finger. Good times.
  • 2 0
 I guess red dawn and rock lobster was taken
  • 1 0
 I solved the wandering bite point issues of my Guides and Shimanos by buying Maguras.
  • 1 0
 Full of hate on Russian made! Suck on it loosers! I will be trail testing these!
  • 2 0
 this is a simple upgrade
  • 1 0
 Did they test this on Brooklyn Machine Works bikes?
  • 2 0
 In Russia brakes use you
  • 1 0
 Racist!
  • 1 0
 Even if it worked great, I can’t stand black/red colorways.
  • 1 0
 I like Pandas and I like Lobsters. What could go wrong?
  • 2 1
 I have crabs can Russia help me?
  • 1 0
 Racist!
  • 3 1
 Or you can ride SRAM...
  • 2 0
 get magura
  • 1 0
 I rode the trail/sport setup for a while. When they work, they work great. But, the bleed process is a pain and messy, and I was bleeding them way too often.
  • 1 0
 Grab some TRPs and don't worry about it
  • 2 0
 Code
  • 1 0
 Can they release something that prevents leaky calipers?
  • 3 2
 XT Brakes Rock!
  • 1 3
 No, they suck like the rest of the deore range. Mineral oil absolutely sucks for braking.
  • 2 0
 @mtbtrekracer:
Have you been drinking your dot fluid?
  • 1 0
 @Gasket-Jeff: No, i've been busy bleeding too many Shimano brakes for people, who use the cup method.
We Sell little attachments for the top of the shimano levers to act like bleeding edge... we can pressurize the brake system and drastically increase feel. but it still uses plain mineral oil. There are other blends that last much longer and cope with heat better.
  • 1 1
 Red Panda.. why didn't they just call them Red Sonja?
XT Arnold eddition
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