[Tech Corner] How To Bleed Shimano Brakes

[Tech Corner] How To Bleed Shimano Brakes

20/01/2016
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20/01/2016

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Last week we showed you how to shorten the brake hoses on Shimano brake systems, this week we are showing you how to bleed the system through, whether it is a fresh build or a bleed after a hose change swap/shortening or if your brakes just feel squishy and don’t work properly.

Tools required: 7mm spanner, Shimano bleed kit, Shimano mineral fluid, cleaning fluid, hex keys, screw drivers.

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Davide always has a tip, here it is this, a circular piece of metal, very important.

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These are the two Shimano items that are most important, the bleed kit and fluid.

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First thing to do, if you have a free stroke screw, back it off.

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Here it is backed off, if you don’t have one it does not matter.

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Now position the brake lever so the bleed screw is at it’s highest point.

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Undo the bleed screw.

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Make sure that the sealing o-ring comes out, if not retrieve it from the opening.

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Retrieve the o-ring.

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Take your bleed cup.

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And place it in the handy piece of metal AKA a cup holder! Tip of the century!

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Now your cup is stable, pour in some mineral fluid, about 1/2 full.

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Carefully thread the cup into the open bleed screw hole on the lever.

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Remove the plug in the cup.

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Pump the lever and watch the air bubbles pop out.

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Now if you need to bleed the caliper, take the syringe tool.

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Fill it 3/4 full.

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Remove the caliper bleed nipple cover.

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Remove the back wheel.

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Remove the brake pads and replace them with the brake pad spacer block.

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Retain the block in place with the pad screw.

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Attach the syringe to the caliper and release the bleed nipple screw.

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Slowly press the syringe and watch for air bubbles passing out of the system.

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After there are no more bubbles, release the pressure, tighten the bleed nipple and remove the syringe.

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Clean the caliper area with brake cleaning fluid.

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Return to the bleed cup and pump the handle some more.

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Remove the block and refit the pads and wheel.  Make sure to clean excess mineral fluid around the caliper off FIRST.  A spray bottle full of isopropyl alcohol is ace for this.

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Refit pads.

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Refit wheel.

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Pump again releasing any last air bubbles.

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Insert the cup plug.

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Unscrew the cup.

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Refit the bleed screw into the brake lever.

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Clean the brake lever.

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Check the caliper alignment to make sure it doesn’t drag.

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Reposition the brake lever assembly! You are done.

Mechanic: Davide Bagnoli @ Punta Ala Trail Center