Brake lever upgrade…

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Brake lever upgrade…

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    • #504425

      I recently got back into mountain biking after a 10 lapse…its incredible how much the technology has changed.  I had many full suspension bikes back in the day but I am currently riding a 2019 Giant Fathom 1 which I am impressed with.  I never thought an entry level bike could be so much fun after riding older full suspensions.  I could only imagine what the newer FS bikes are like…but I digress…

      The only thing I am not super happy is with the Shimano BR-MT400 brake system.  It does work but not to the level I am used to.  I ride very rocky and rooted trails in NY.  I have Shimano SLX 7000 levers lying around from an old single speed build.

      Will they make any difference in performance if I swapped out the levers?  Or is there anything else I can do to get more stopping power without getting a new brake set?  I weight about 190 pounds with gear/water…

      Thanks for the help!

    • #504554

      I am a bit surprised you are having issues with braking. I am 210 before gear and water and have little issues stopping except at really high speeds usually on a mountain trail. I assume you have hydraulic disc brakes. I also assume they don’t need a bleed and pads are good. Assuming all this some brakes have an adjustment to take lead out of them. It makes it where there is not the zone where you are pulling but nothing happens and then as you get deeper they start to grab. You may want to try and make them more sensitive. That is my preference.

    • #504664

      So I did and a little research and I didn’t realize there was a lever adjustment on the lever.   I am going to play with that this weekend.

      The levers, pads, and rotors seem to be in very good shape.  I only have about 150 miles on the system.

      I also found a video on GMB explaining slight adjustments you can make to the lever position to maximize leverage on the lever.  I always do one finger braking and currently my finger sits very close to where the lever is attached.  I have a  new Renthal Fatbar coming Friday so I am going to play with at to…

    • #504678

      The MT400 lever isn’t great – it’s designed for entry level riders that are two-finger braking. I think your SLX levers should improve the lever feel massively as they’re designed for 1-finger braking and have servo-wave, which the MT400 levers do not. This is essentially a cam that multiplies the power that the rider puts in and should definitely help with power.

      They should be pretty easy to fit, likely no need to cut the hose, simply unthread the compression nut and thread into the new lever. If you’re careful you be able to do it and only need to perform a top bleed with the funnel.

    • #504681

      Awesome thank you for that info!  I do have a little experience with bleeding shimano brakes and luckily I have the funnel and mineral oil.

    • #504760

      Three things will make even the cheapest brakes work better. The first is to makes sure your brakes are well bled. The second is to switch to metallic pads if your brakes have organic pads. The third is to put on a larger 200-220mm rotor on the front and possibly even on the rear also.

      I had the same issue but a bleed and some metallic pads solved 90% of my problems.

    • #504765

      So I was able to swap out the levers this morning and bled the system.  It’s definitely a marked improvement…I was surprised in all honesty.  I am going to ride a few times with the current setup before I invest more into the system.  I appreciate everyone’s input…

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