Shimano Disc brake bleed – little tip

Zip tie lever

I read somewhere on singletrackworld about this little tip, but wasn’t necessarily convinced myself. Well whilst fettling the bike recently, I probably let the disc piston out too far when cleaning, and consequently afterwards the front brake felt awful – I wasn’t pulling the lever all the way to the bars – but not far off, and no power what so ever, could quite happily pull on the brake and the wheel would still roll whilst walking the bike – NOT GOOD!

Having not enjoyed the pleasure of bleeding brakes yet, I was quite looking forward to giving it a first go, but then remembered about this and thought I might as well give it a go first. Basically get some zip ties, and tie the lever back in it’s ‘pulled in’ position as tight as you can get it. Then leave the bike overnight, stood normally, tyres down. This should then allow any air bubbles to rise to the reservoir, you may need to give the hose a little shake as well, or tap the caliper lightly just to help (I didn’t need to).

I just came down this morning and tried it out, wow – the brake was powerful once more, biting almost as soon as you pull the lever – like the ‘Stiff’ position shown on the Shimano service instructions, rather than ‘Loose’ as it was. Now the back brake that I thought was fine doesn’t feel as good – that must of just been ‘Slightly stiff’, so that’s having the same treatment.


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