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).