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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a set of the ST-M961 dual control levers and just recently my rear brake lever seems harder to pull than the front. I have been riding in dry conditions and usually I have to wash the dust off everything every other ride. To try solving the rear brake sticking issues I first looked at the cable and routing and it was dry and clean and I put some teflon lube on the cable, it still seemed rough. I didn't think it had anything to do with the dual control brake lever, but today I took it to my lbs and they sprayed some lube into the dual control levers pivot bushing and low and behold there was less friction when pulling the rear brake lever. Has anyone had this happen and have had to lube the pivot point of these levers? In this pdf file of the Shimano ST-M961 Levers it would be item #20 the Lever Axle Unit that requires the lubing.
 

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Its not that common but sure. The pivot on the 961's is pretty standard issue and pretty much the same as all shimano v-brakes have always had. With enough use and dust the pivots can become sticky. Its not a bad idea to put a few drops of lube in those parts every once in a while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes I agree some lube can't hurt

But I find it very odd that if these points need to be lubed Shimano makes no mention of it or how or what to lube anywhere. This weekend I might take the axle pin out clean it and put some lithium grease in there, which is probably the lube it should have to begin with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
No it didn't help

My problem was at the brake lever pivot point for the right side control lever and it ended up being my actual brake cable housing, noodle and rear v-brakes. I replaced the housing, noodle and cable and it worked fine for a while then after a few rides and washings it was again rough to pull. I already have a new set of XT hydraulic discs with dual controls ready to go on, I'm just waiting for the delivery of my new disc wheelset. Hopefully now I will have much better brake modulation and more consistent brake control.
 

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I have the Hydro/Shifter combo lever. After inspecting the shifter and pulling the plastic shifter covers off to spray some silicone into the pivots I was able to get the shift lever to return freely. Brake/shift lever returns after a down-shift fine, but once I tighten down the shifter's plastic covers it started sticking again-but not quite as bad as before the lubing. I loosened the top cover screws about 1/2 turn and the lever will return after a down-shift, but tightening the cover screws makes the lever sticky. Something seems to be rubbing the covers, or tightening the covers causes a worn shifter pivot to bind or stick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Something like this is ver difficult to troubleshoot unless you have the items apart and in front of you. Many times for stuff like this I take the item off the bike and put it on a white towel on a table and take it completely apart looking at all the pieces and their fit and finish. Then clean it up and replace anything that's worn and put it back together. Very often that's they only way you'll see what needs to be fixed, and also as often what needs fixing isn't even the item I just took apart. Things like this sometimes take a lot of time to diagnose and fix which is probbably why the lbs's will just say jus replace the shifter and cables and housings. Good luck.
 

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Seems to me that lubing the pivots on the lever would only atract more dirt and dust. Would have to think I would try replacing the cables and housings before I oiled the lever.
 

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That was my first thought too. I have a new cog set, new chain, new rear loop cable housing, and a new inner cable was installed in early June. I tried a drop of TriFlow on the whole length of the shift cable before inspecting the shifter/Lever unit and spraying silicone.
 
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