Long Term review Shimano M396 Brake

I wave these brakes on a trek 3900 I Rebuild from leftover parts from my other bikes+ some new ones, So this is a bike I don’t ride often, But 2 years ago I rode these the bike with these brakes the whole winter, in various temperatures down to -11 Celsius ,And of course I used the brakes very often, but I noticed oil leaking trough the master cylinder on the left/rear brake, So I checked it it was the Torx screws that were the issue, but that was not the case, the threads I in the master cylinder were destroyed, they were polished to powder, so the screws did not hold the seal and the lid in place properly, so I ordered a new complete lever, but after only 2 trips about 10 Km each trip, the part which pushes the got scratched,and this was not caused by a crash, these brakes are just too weak.

New lever

The lever body is flexing when you press the lever blade all the way, Which I probably why the part that pushes the piston in gets scratched, and why the threads fail, and why the brake leak.

But there is significantly less flex in the 396 than m615, the m615 flex about halfway,and the m396 flex at near to all the way.

I had not had any issues with the seal in the calliper, or the calliper, But I have not ridden the bike with these brakes as often so it’s most likely why.

Master cylinder,failed threads
Failed Threads
The spring & the black plastic part had no damage.


New Lever

Verdict:

This is a way too flexible & weak brake, I strongly advise against buying these.

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Long term review on 3 bikes: Shimano Deore M615 I-Spec-B brake set

I have used these brakes on 3 bikes, some more than others, the one That the threads for the Torx screws failed, was the one I used on my main bike.

Cons:

  • The brake lever body/Master cylinder flex when braking harder than 50%,which is why the plastic lid & the separator &  the Master piston unit to bend or get damaged, and cause leaks, so the lever will be soaked in oil, and oil will spit out through the middle where the plastic lid is.I compared the flexing in the levers on m396&m615 and there is significantly more flex in the m615, if you press the lever blade half way you wont see flex on the m396,but on the  m615 you will.
  • Leaking caused by plastic cover bending upwards, and front and the back is also being pushed upwards but sideways too, causing a leak.
    temperature changes, will cause this, a minor hit can cause this. the design is clearly flawed.
  • I had to replace one master cylinder due to failed threads, and I had the leaking issues with the new one too,but with a set of pliers it was fixed, by pressing the cover into the master cylinder until it was straight/flat against the master cylinder,but this is pointless to do, you are better off buying a mechanical brake or a proper hydraulic brake.
The threads for the Torx screw failed, which is clamping the cover which clamps down the grommet, SO fluid leaked, But I don’t know if it just failed, of if it was due to a crash, but the Torx screw was not damaged. In my opinion these screws are way too small,the design is way too fragile.
  • Impossible so far to get placement seals/grommets/diaphragms, or just the master cylinder separately.


I don’t know what caused the threads to fail, it was certainly not over torquing  the screws,I don’t know if its caused by fluid pushing the parts and girding the threads apart until they are so polished that they cant hold the cover, maybe I don’t know, I certainly was not a crash that caused it,because I never crashed with this particular brake.

Pros.

  • Hinged clamp,no need to remove grips & shifter.
  • the levers are easy to bend back if you bent them,which I have done on 2 bikes so far.
  • good modulation
  • good braking power,at least if you use Metal pads, ( if its wet or ride a lot)
  • it’s not too  expensive
  • it’s not too heavy
  • no need to take off grips to take off the brake, because of the swing arm clamping mechanism.

The Brake Lever will bend if you crash into a tree(before I upgraded the handle bars i was used to ride on the fuel ex 7 with 720 bars),at low-speed,don’t just let the bike fall on the ground,it can bend the brake lever.

  • 23779701854_0a5eeb02bd_b

You can of course bend it back with proper tools and technique.

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The I spec B system, is flawed, it’s quite flimsy, the shifter will move if you did not use Threadlocker and torqued it properly,
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2016 Shimano Deore XT M8000 Ispec B shifter mounted to Deore M615, (there is no B on the brake but its compatible jsut look for the I spec B holes) i know  the brakes are bit steep in this picture but I have tweaked that later.
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The Deore M615 on a 2010 trek 6300

Extra Info

M615 Piston seals:

IUY 21.1 25  3.19 78 NOK

Verdict:

The Both brakes are too fragile.

Because the brake lever body/master cylinder is way too flexible and that there is a palstic lid,instead of metal lid,which causes the brake to leak.

I have seen a lot of reviews claiming these brakes are a good value at a low price point.

I agree with the braking power for the money is there, but not the reliability, these brakes are too fragile.

same goes for the other brakes with the similar design, for example, M396, M395,but at least it’s possible to get seals for M396, M395.

Failed tHreads on M396 right lever/rear lever.

Flickr album

18.04.2017 Updated Review: Ironside 191271 assortment box

The only reason I purchased it was because I had to have something fast.

This is a very flimsy assortment box, & am ran out of space in them.

Overpriced, low quality, easelywhichI can’t recommend this product at all.

the plastic hinges are all different, one falls off if I try to close the box open the case.

There is risk of the plastic hinges falling off, but there is even greater chance of the hinges falling off if you drop the box.the transparent cover, does not cover/close properly, which leaves a gap so tiny parts can fall out.

the design wastes space which could be used to store something in, strange shapes which are silly, this looks m ore like a kids toy that a proper assortment box for professionals.

One more thing I hate about this box is that you can’t stack them, if I put one on top of the another one it moves in all directions, and there is no way to secure them together.

http://www.ironside.eu/the-brand/

I have an adjustable wrench and a screwdriver from Ironside, and they worked fine so far, but I have not tried other tools from Ironside.

Long term review: MRP AMg V2 chainguide

Even trough the guide itself is made of plastic, it held up well.

I have been riding pretty fast in rough terrain, up and down steep trails, jumped, did some stunts, and drops, riding down steep stairs(40-50 degrees)in low gears, the chain never came off, there were not many signs of wear, but eventually you will have to change the guide,(the plastic part with Mrp logo), but I have been using it over a year and held up well, not much wear.

one of my first thought about the guard was it might get much mud stuck in it, but even though I have been riding in bad weather, there were not much dirt or mud stuck in there. But as long as you don’t ride in extreme condition, with a lot of mud, in something like Danny Hart’s 2011 world cup run, or even thicker mud, I am sure It won’t be an issue.

Updated 17.05.2017:

I there was some missing spacers, and I lost some of the thin spacers,but later I found them, so I switched to 2x thin spacers, which should, be better, but I still think bigger gravel can get stuck in between the chain ring and chain guide, but this is impossible to avoid.

But Now as I have a Sortimo boxes I don’t have a mess so it won’t loose any more small parts.

Make sure you Use the right spacers.

After riding a lot in the spring I noticed scrape on the 36T cinch narrow wide race face chainring, which I think is caused by a stone getting stuck between the chainring and the chain guide, causing a perfect circle scrape.

I had the bike in the repair stand, after riding on gravel paths, I noticed that there was a stone stuck in the chain guide and was scraping the chainring, and fell down again, I think that’s what happen the last time.

Pros:

  • Very easy to install, & setup, No need to remove crankset or chainring to install the chain guide,
  • Minimalistic design, no bulky or unnecessary big parts.
  • after few hits, no damage done

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Cons:

  • all of the guides I got had missing thick spacers, and missing short screws.
  • the provided screws round off very easy, I have (3 guides all of the screws are as weak)the first time I screwed them in they rounded off, screwed them in gently at 5 nm, the screws should be torqued to 8-9nm according to the manual.
  • Mrp claims it should fit 38 T chainring, But in my opinion, 36T is the max, with 38T the plastic will be too close to the edge of the chain. so if the guard was few millimetres bigger, it would fix 38T better, but I don’t need a 38T ring anyway.

 

Verdict:

Recommended, but get better screws.

Product page: http://www.mrpbike.com/amg/

Shimano SLX M675 Shadow+ vs XT m8000 Shadow+

Using your 10 speed deore,slx,xt,xtr, rear dérailleur for 11 speed is possible, but it wont be as smooth.

but of course to compare this you have to have exact same setup, which I had here.

And of course The clutch tension must be properly adjusted & all other adjustments, I set mine up by decreasing tension until it the shifting performance was acceptable.

I recently rode the bike with SLX M675 few days and then the xt m8000 bike after wards and the performance is definitely noticeable.

Even on 11-42T cassettes with stock links/without goat link, the difference was noticeable.

the difference was most noticeable in the lower gears/bigger cogs.

If went up and down much faster, and made less noise.

I used KMC 11X SL Silver on both setups.

on my 2014 Fuel ex 7 29er I had to get a Goatlink to run 11-46T cassette possible. this picture shows the Rear dérailleur adjusted to the max,with a 1|1-46T XT m8000 cassette.

Is it absolutely necessary to upgrade? absolutely not,but on rougher trail  it’s nice to have better shifting.

Review: 2016 Fox Rampage Pro Carbon Full Face helmet

I have used the helmet since summer 2016 and now it’s spring.

This helmet is probably one of the most popular & reviewed helmets out there but here is my review. I was so satisfied with this helmet I ordered the exact model for the second time.

I will never do mountain biking without a full face helmet,even For just commutes I use this helmet.

Pros:

  • Very comfortable & secure fit, This is the most comfortable helmet I have ever worn so far.
  • Lightweight, you might notice the weight, over a normal helmet, but I got used to it, now it feels super light.
  • Good air flow, the ears stay cool, and every thing else, but of course the motofoam in the front of the chin guard will, of course, give less air flow, so on really hot days you might notice the extra heat, but it does not bother me.
  • double D-ring
  • does not scratch easily.
  • the carbon shell makes this a very durable helmet, unlike helmets with plastic shells, that dent just by hits from some small branches, the carbon shell won’t crack or dent even if the bike the back of it in a downhill fall.
  • the inserts are easy to remove.

Cons:

  • The glue failed to rubber skirting, the adhesive is not strong enough to hold it, Fox helmets had problems with this in the past. when you hold the helmet on the chin guard you will flex the skirting in many directions which loosen it up. but of course, you can glue it back, it’s an easy job.

I have not had any issues with this helmet apart for the chin guard skirting.

I used a  2014 model, the shell got loose so it will be returned.

and the strap sleeve had damaged button, but this must have been someone in a store that managed to damage it, but with the 2016 helmet I have not had any issues with the buttons, which I was not sure about would hold up, but so far they did, But magnets might be better.

If there is anything else I will update you on it, but so far I love this helmet.