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Bleeding shimano brakes - we show you how it's done!

Your brakes aren't working like they should? The pressure point isn't where it used to be and the braking force decreases? There's a chance that you need to bleed your brakes. We'll show you how to properly bleed your Shimano brakes and what you should consider.

Some useful advice in advance

  1. Cleanliness is very important. Dirt in your hydraulic brake system is very difficult to remove and can damage your brake.
  2. Use the correct bleeding supplies. Without them, it isn't guaranteed that your brake system is properly sealed when bleeding. If you use it, your brake works better after bleeding than before as well.
  3. Use the right Shimano mineral oil or the correct brake fluid. Using the wrong fluid (such as DOT) can damage your brakes and affect the brake performance of your brakes.

You have read that? Then we can now start with the bleeding!

1. Preparation

Working steps (each for the front and rear brake):

  1. Bring the master brake cylinder (brake lever) to a horizontal position.
  2. Adjust the pressure point of your brake to "soft" by unscrewing the adjusting screw as far as possible.
  3. Adjust the free-stroke of your brake as much as possible by unscrewing the free-stroke screw as far as possible.

2. Bleeding process

Working steps (each for the front and rear brake):

  1. Remove the screw plug on the master brake cylinder. Here you can now check the condition of your sealing ring.
  2. (Carefully) screw the expansion tank on the brake cylinder and remove the vent plug.
  3. Fill your bleeding injectior with brake fluid and allow it to rest so that the mineral oil can degas.
  4. Place the injector on the bleed nipple and open the bleed screw.
  5. Press the new oil (with patience) into the brake system until the expansion tank is filled with the old brake fluid.
  6. Close the bleed nipple and put the dust cap on top.
  7. Turn the adjusting screws (pressure point, free-stroke) back to their original position.
  8. Insert the vent plug into the expansion tank and remove it.
  9. Close the master brake cylinder by hand tightening the screw plug.
  10. Clean the brake system and return the master brake cylinder to its original position.

3. Function check / brake test

Before hitting the trail, you MUST check your brake for proper function.

If your brake doesn't work as desired, first theck the brake disc / brake pads for cleanliness. Maybe some oil dripped on it during bleeding? In this case, you must thoroughly egrease and clean the parts with brake cleaner. If your brake pads are heavily oiled, replace them with new ones. If no oil has gotten onto your components, repeat the bleeding process again.

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