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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got a demo bike fitted with these. The feel quite weak. They modulate fine, but I can easily pull the lever all the way to the bar (impossible with my old Juicys).

Definitely not confidence inspiring. Do they just need a bleed, maybe pads are shot? I don't remember the Deores I rode feeling like this, but I didn't go down anything steep with the deores (and they are presumably a step up from the MT500).

The discs were wet, so that's not going to help. Doesn't explain the levers though.
 

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Sounds like they need a bleed or the lever isn't far enough out to hit the full stopping point. All Shimano's should have a rock solid feel at the end of the stroke, if not, they need a bleed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sounds like they need a bleed or the lever isn't far enough out to hit the full stopping point. All Shimano's should have a rock solid feel at the end of the stroke, if not, they need a bleed.
Cool, thanks. I'm pretty sure the reach is nearly all the way out, but I'll double check that. They aren't so far in it would explain them feeling soft.

Ugh, what a PITA. Now instead of a ride I'll be heading back to the shop.
 

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Yeah that sucks, I figured it wasn't a lever reach issue but I have seen that before. A good mechanic can get those bleed in 20 minutes or so. If you feel up to it grab a Shimano brake bleed kit, their very easy brakes to bleed. There are a few variations on how to bleed Shimano brakes some involve using a plastic bag which I don't personally like and think takes longer than needed.

This is the method I use
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Hmm, according to the shop the deores (and these) "just feel that way" and blamed it on them being plastic and flexing. They were better in the dry today but I can pull either lever to the bar. Back is worse than the front. If they are supposed to be like that they should feel the same.

I think they just didn't want to bleed the brakes. Lol and to prove they work the guy did a skid in the parking lot. Uh, ok you can lock them up on flat. Try that or a rock face and watch your balls retreat.

They have other bikes with similar brakes (low end Shimano). I'll see how easy those are to pull to the bar.
 

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Hmm, according to the shop the deores (and these) "just feel that way" and blamed it on them being plastic and flexing. They were better in the dry today but I can pull either lever to the bar. Back is worse than the front. If they are supposed to be like that they should feel the same.

I think they just didn't want to bleed the brakes. Lol and to prove they work the guy did a skid in the parking lot. Uh, ok you can lock them up on flat. Try that or a rock face and watch your balls retreat.

They have other bikes with similar brakes (low end Shimano). I'll see how easy those are to pull to the bar.
No. No. No.

Those brakes need some love. They should not feel like that, and I'd be very very very surprised if they are "plastic". I have even lower-end shimano's fitted to a beater-bike, and they are strong & engage well before the bar.

One thing you can do is adjust the lever so it sits further out from the bar in it's resting position. If that doesn't fix it, I'd consider going to a different shop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I felt a bunch of other bikes with low end Shimano and they were similar.

Maybe I'm not describing it properly. The brakes engage well before hitting the bar, but I can make either hit the bar even adjusted all the way out (sitting stationary and squeezing). Front felt okay riding in the dry. I think wet rotors we're to blame for them feeling awful the first day.

Modulation was great, but when things got fast and steep I didn't like how close to the bar they ended up. Rear I was able to touch the bar while riding, but it was also locking up by then.

Since they felt different I'm convinced the rear was not quite full, but what do I know? I'm not messing with a rental and they cut me a deal. If I buy a bike I get it all back.

If it were my bike I'd definitely be bleeding them to see if I could make them firmer. Sales guy said they felt weird to him but also noted he had never ridden Shimano brakes.

Poor performance in the wet is a deal killer for me. Around here you can ride all year long if you don't mind getting wet.
 

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I've used cheap shimano mechanical Disc brakes that feel better than that as well. I did adjust length of pull on the brakes themselves and redo the spacing between the pads and rotor. Im not sure if for you they need the spacing fixed or they need to be bled? I would check everything and make sure its all tightened up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've used cheap shimano mechanical Disc brakes that feel better than that as well. I did adjust length of pull on the brakes themselves and redo the spacing between the pads and rotor. Im not sure if for you they need the spacing fixed or they need to be bled? I would check everything and make sure its all tightened up.
Thanks for the tips. Not my bike (rental/demo) so messing with the bike wasn't really an option.

Hopped on my HT with juicy 3 brakes today (185f/185r) and world of difference. I think it's the initial bight being more prominent (also the fact I can't pull the levers to the bar). Not sure what the problem was (or even if there was one), but I think I want something with a bit more bight. I'm nearly 200lb without gear, so that's a fair bit to stop.

Also I was riding primarily black and double black trails (at least on the downhill). So, yeah brakes were fine on climbs and on rolling blue trails but when stuff got steep I wasn't comfortable with how quickly they were stopping me. In the dry I never reach the limit but it felt like I didn't have much in reserve. In the rain I nearly had to eject, which had me taking it pretty easy from that point on.
 

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Yeah sounds like they just needed a good bleed, even the lower end Shimano brakes have a real solid backwall feeling. Modulation is so so but they should all stop pretty dang hard at the end of the stroke.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks all. So sounds like it was a fixable issue. I hadn't even considered pad compound.

Had it been my bike I would have at least done a quick bleed. Strange the shop didn't even check the fluid level. I mean, it would have taken less than a minute to level the brake, open the bleed port and prove me wrong, "See, oil all the way to the top, they're fine!"

Dropper had some side to side play on it as well. So the rental/demo was a little worse for wear.

I ended up buying a bike with guide r brakes. They feel great right out of the box, but of course it's a brand new never been out of the parking lot. We'll see how they do long term. I'd definitely rather deal with bleeding shimanos, but the bike was a better build for only a bit more than the one I was considering.
 
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