Shimano Deore M6000 brakes first impressions & weight

I will keep you updated on how these perform, and if I destroy them or not.

Mke sure to apply Loctite to the threads for the reach adjustment, the lever will come out of adjustment quite fast without doing so.

I noticed the paint on the bleed screw was wearing off after on the first ride.

A closer look:

I replaced the Stock Resin pads with Shimano ICE-TECH J04C metallic pads, for longevity and stopping power.

 

Weight:

Shimano M6000 Original Resin standard pads,, Uncut 1700mm hose

 

Shimano M6000 finned metal pads, Uncut 1700mm hose

 

 

Pros:

The narrower clamp allows closer shifter placement, which is what I was looking for. I ran a TRP Spyke lever for months but it did not allow me the perfect shifter position, so I had to choose best brake leverage or better shifting ergonomics, but with Shimano M6000 I don’t have to choose.

  • Ergonomic lever blade, they got it right. it’s better than the TRP Spyke & M930 levers.
  • I like the light lever feel, there is enough lever trow so it’s easy to control the braking with minimal fatigue, I can’t feel any friction or play in the lever.
  • You can use XTR finned pads.
  • The reach adjustment is easier to access than the previous model (M615).
  • Minimal play in the lever, there is maybe 1 mm play or less.

 

Cons:

  • The housing kinks easily
  • The housing scratches very easily, after installing zip ties and removing zip ties I noticed the hose was quite scratched up.
  • Play in the hinge causing the lever to rock back and forths the handlebar.The plastic cover is concerning, it’s not so exposed as other components.

  • The rear brakes i got had too little fluid, so the pads were too far from the rotor, I installed one rear brake first, and and it felt wrong, I tried another brake, and same problem but it was slightly firmer, I haven’t tried all of the brakes I got, but I will have to fill them with more fluid.

 

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TRP Spyke Dual piston mechanical caliper 7 months review

For maximum leverage mount the wire on the inside, as shown in this picture.

Assembly:

When attaching the housing to chainstay make sure to account for housing movement, when going through travel, I had to only use one zip hook, and use a zip tie halfway on the chainstay to avoid the linkage movement to case braking.

Pros:

  • Easy pad adjustment
  • The Spyke brakes offer one finger braking, as powerful as the Shimano m615 brake, but without the issues of leaks and impossible to get seals(without contacting Shimano).The Pad mud gives protection against stones and dirt, so stores can’t interfere the pad/piston movement, So this is a great feature.But like all brakes they only give protection for this, rotors and the inside caliper is exposed, so I still get sand &dirt in there in wet conditions, there is no way to protect the pad surface, things will get in the rotor and can get stuck and make noises, so to prevent crunchy brakes after ride, spray water on the in to the caliper, I do this in shower.
  • The pads are held in place by a threaded pin, with a clip, which makes maintenance easier.
  • Smart bolt  & pin hold the pads securely in place.

Cons:

  • With the Spyke caliper, the lever is noticeably harder to press than with hydraulics, than a hydraulic brake, due to the stiff return spring. I noticed I my fingers got fatigued from braking after an ca 4-hour ride, but I rode so hard that I could not even pull a manual. After 7 months in March 2018, I Noticed my fingers got very fatigued by braking, I think this was due to braking a lot when riding on grosery rounds between several shops, and to home, a lot of stopping for traffic and,  but I went back to hydraulic brake, and I was less fatigued.
    But I am pretty sure most people will get used to the heavier lever feel.

I found a video showing how to reduce the pull force:

I haven’t tried this, but it’s a pretty easy fix, but it will void the warranty.

  • can’t remove brake pads from the top or without removing the wheel.
  • The barrel adjuster snapped on one of the brakes, I touched accidentally hit my hand on the barrel adjuster and it just snapped off, none of the other snapped off yet. Good, I had spares brakes. but the barrel adjuster is clearly weak, it was quite soft, A crash could probably damage it snap it.

 

TRP Spyke Snapped Barrel adjuster_0001_DxO

The bolts rounded off, but the tolerances are not perfect, which is important, I used fresh park tool Allen keys, which also don’t have good tolerances, if the fit was tighter it would wear slower, but this might also be a material issue, I don’t know which alloy is used for the bolts. the bolt was loosened and tightened over 20+ times over from the end of summer of 2017 to March 2018.

 

 

Verdict:

If the spring is modified or a lighter spring is installed, but the way it comes stock, quite firm, for really long trips and causes fatigue, So I recommend these, if don’t have too weak fingers, But more you use them strong you will get, just don’t overdo it.

You really have to look after these brakes, you have to check if the pad adjustment is too loose, and add Loctite 243(or similar) if it is, which is easy to do, and does not take long to do, I check every single week, for some this might be too much hassle, for me it’s not a dealbreaker.

 

TRP ML800 Spyke mechanical brake levers – 4 months review

Marzocchi Remote  & TRP Spyke lever_0289

The Spyke logo on the lever blade actually gives more grip as it’s engraved.

The Spyke logo on the lever blade actually gives more grip as it’s engraved, but the painted on Spyke logo wears off after few rides.

The brake levers combined with the Spyke caliper results in a rougher lever feel than Any hydraulic brakes I have tried so far,
this is due to the return spring in the caliper, it can really be felt through the lever body & lever, the return spring in the lever can also get rough, so you need to lube the moving parts in the lever to avoid squeaking or other noises,

Pros:

  • Rech adjustment, the reach adjustment allows the lever to be adjusted to kids hands.
  • the reach adjustment is on the lever and not on the lever body as on Ml930&ML940 levers this means the reach adjustments much more reliable, the lever stays in the set adjustment, flex in the lever body won’t affect it, but on the ML930
  • ML930 lever

    & ML940 flex effects the adjustment, due to reach adjustment on lever body.

  • barrel adjuster it fits well into my fingers and makes it very easy to adjust the wire tension.

Cons:

  • up and down play in the lever blade
  • No hinged mount, so you have to remove the grips, but for me this is not a deal-breaker.
  • Flex in the lever body when braking hard, which also is present in the ML930 levers.
  • the use of rivet for wire puller was a bad choice, it causes fast wear, and more play, than when they were new, and it already had a lot of play, In my opinion, bearings or bushings would be a better solution. after some weeks of use the lever made some noises, due to the wear, I had to lube the moving parts, it kept getting worse, I continued to lube it regularly
  • flimsy barrel adjusters, they feel nice to grab and adjust but the play is huge.

Product page: https://www.trpcycling.com/product/spyke-lever-set/

https://www.trpcycling.com/shop/category/small-parts/

Verdict:

The reliable reach adjustment, means I will use the Spyke lever instead of ML930.

But it’s not perfect, it has flaws, the rivets in the lever pullers for example.

A mix of these two levers, with the best elements, plus bearing would make a pretty good lever, but nothing like that exist yet to my knowledge.

TRP ML930 mechanical lever 5 months review

The lever body has visible flex while braking, But I can’t notice it while braking.

TRP offers a carbon version of this lever, which is ML940.

https://trpbrakes.com/category.php?productid=1016&catid=184

Pros

  • better ergonomics than Spyke lever, it got a rounder profile, not as great as Shimano’s shape.
  • Excellent barrel adjuster, it fits well into my fingers and makes it very easy to adjust the wire tension.
  • Lighter than the ML800 Spyke levers
  • Hinged mount for easy removal
  • Rech adjustment so these levers will work well for a kids bike.
  • I have these levers on both of my fuel ex 29ers, and they the levers on both survived crashes, on one it survived over the bar crash, where the bike landed parked upsidedownThe brake on the other bike like it survived a fall about 1 meter from a concrete wall.

Cons

  • Flex in the lever body when braking hard, Which also is present in the Spyke levers.
  • I could never get the reach adjustment bolt to fit securely for long, after some days the bolt would come loose, although I used Loctite 243 I think this is due to the flex in the lever body when braking hard, So I had to add Loctite often.
  • When the levers were new they were a significant amount of up & down play in the lever, which also is present in the Spyke levers, which increased over time. The metal bushings had some wear too, on the top and on the inside, which also contributed to the increased play, but there was significant play from the beginning, due to the bad tolerances, there was a small gap between the bushings and the lever body. The video below shows lever play after 5 months of use, but it was pretty much the same from the beginning.If you ride hard and the brake lever is pressed slightly at an angle due to the play it feels rough. All could easily be avoided if TRP had made it to a tighter tolerance, and used bearings or bushings, for the lever puller.But I have not found another mechanical brake lever that has these features.

 

 

 

 

 

  • the use of rivet for wire puller was a bad choice, it causes fast wear, and more play, than when they were new, and it already had a lot of play, In my opinion, bearings  or bushings would be a better solution. after some weeks of use the lever made some noises, due to the wear, I had to lube the moving parts, it kept getting worse, I continued to lube it regularly.

 

 

 

 

 

 


TRP ML 930 levers fitted on a 800mm Race Face Sixc handlebar, I have them setup 3cm from the grips.

A closer look at the components the Lever is put together with:

The return spring
Lever blade with all parts installed as it would be in the lever body. I managed to do some minor damage to the bolt, in a crash.
Clearly visible damage caused by play in the wire puller, there was significantly more play, in after few months of use, it was a bad choice to use rivets for the wire puller.

whole lever blade assembly: DU FLANGE bushings o lever, return spring, bolt & axle.

Weight vs more reliable reach adjustment. 

 

 

 

 I can’t call the M930 an upgrade or better than the  Spyke levers, the Spyke levers have the reach adjustment on the inside of the lever blade so the flex in the lever body won’t affect the adjustment, it’s also easier to reach, and adjust with a allen key.

I knew this could could be an issue on M930 levers , but I later found the Spyke levers, on chainreactioncycles.

 

Marzocchi Remote  & TRP Spyke lever_0289

 

Verdict:

this is not a perfect mechanical brake lever, neither is the Spyke, but due to the more reliable reach adjustment, I will use the Spyke lever instead.

But it’s not perfect, it has flaws, the rivets in the lever pullers for example.

A mix of these two levers, with the best elements, plus bearing would make a pretty good lever, but nothing like that exist yet to my knowledge.

2 Months Review of TRP Spyke caliper & Spyke ML800 & ML930 levers

I have used these brakes for over 2 months on 2 bikes without any issues.

And I have put these brakes through their paces.

I don’t think I have to wait much more than 2 months before publishing this review, as these brakes are mechanical brakes, So not much can go wrong, But I will update you if there is something more to write about.

Both levers good enough feel, but the ML930 has a smooth surface on the lever blade, the ML800 has a textured surface with a Spyke logo, but the white paint on the logo wears off after few weeks or days.

Spyke Levers:

The Spyke logo on the lever blade actually gives more grip as its engraved.

Pros:

  • Rech adjustment so these levers will work well for a kids bike.
  • Excellent barrel adjuster, it fits well into my fingers and makes it very easy to adjust the wire tension.

Cons:

  • up and down play in the lever blade
  • No hinged mount, so you have to remove the grips, but for me this is not a deal-breaker.

Product page: https://www.trpcycling.com/product/spyke-lever-set/

The brake levers combined with the Spyke caliper results in a rougher lever feel than Any hydraulic brakes I have tried so far,
this is due to the return spring in the caliper, it can really be felt through the lever body & lever, the return spring i nthe lever can also get rough, so you need to lube the moving parts in the lever to avoid sqeaking or other noises,

 

ML930 levers:

The lever body has visible flex while braking, But I can’t notice it while braking.

TRP offers a carbon version of this lever, which is ML940.Product image

https://www.trpcycling.com/product/ml940-lever-set/

Pros

  • Excellent barrel adjuster, it fits well into my fingers and makes it very easy to adjust the wire tension.
  • Lighter than the ML800 Spyke levers
  • Hinged mount for easy removal
  • Rech adjustment so these levers will work well for a kids bike.
  • I have these levers on both of my fuel ex 29ers, and they the levers on both survived crashes, on one it survived over the bar crash, where the bike landed parked upsidedownThe brake on tother bike like it survived a fall about 1 meter from a concrete wall.

Cons

  • Same up & down play as the Spyke levers

TRP ML 930 levers fittet on a 800mm Race Face Sixc handlebar, I have them setup 3cm from the grips.

Calipers:

38545312311_56f4755a28_oThe dual arm has is quite harder to pull up compared to Tektro single piston brakes, but this does not bother me This is caused by the return spring.

the Spyke brakes offer one finger braking, as powerful as the Shimano m615 brake, but without the issues of leaks and impossible to get seals(without contacting Shimano).

The Pad mud cover give some protection, but they definitely make a difference, mine was had sand on them when riding in wet conditions, there is no way to protect the pads, things will get in the rotor and can get stuck and make noises.

Note that this is the wrong way toclamp the wire, clam it agianst the arm. after soem testing I can say I feel the difference in power.

Pros:

  • well engineered, caliper, the narrow design gives good clearance so you won’t hit your heals on the brake.
  • the 3 mm piston adjustment, makes these brakes easy to set up.
  • barrel adjusters that are easy to use and by figners fit nicely on them, to adjust the wire tension I turn the barrel adjuster, and hold my finger on the swingarm, when I feel the arm move I back off.
  • With barrel adjuster both at the lever & on the caliper, you get a good amount of adjustment.
  • rubber seal helps to keep dirt from coming in the hoses.
  • Easy to align The calipers: To align the callipers with the Hope floating rotors, I screw in the outside pistons about ca 3 quarters, and the inside piston about ca 2 quarters, then I tighten the caliper bolts and loosen the pistons, which leaves me with perfectly aligned brakes.
  • easy to assemble, & get the cable clamped.
Note that this is the wrogn way toclamp the wire, clam it agianst the arm. after somw testing I can say I feel the difference in power. Even with the wire clamped wrong these brakes were powerful enough for trail riding, but you shou

Verdict, these brakes performed well so far, so far I don’t see any reason to switch to back to hydraulic brakes, But hydraulics.

https://www.trpbrakes.com/category.php?productid=1223&catid=184

To keep the brakes having consistent braking power and modulation, you only have to use thread lock on the piston threads and have proper wire tension, and check it regularly. And of course, adjust the pads inwards as they wear out.

The semi-metallic pads give excellent g braking power, and they held up well for a few months, and I think they will last a few months more.

https://www.trpbrakes.com/category.php?productid=1197&catid=187&subcat=0

 

If you get the Caliper & Rotor pack, caliper adaptors are included 

Enter a caption

 

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.

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.

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, until they failed.

Cons:

  • No banjo fitting
  • 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 changes to the materials, 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.
The threads for the Torx screw failed, which is clamping the cover which clamps down the grommet, SO fluid leaked. 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.


The cause of failure was certainly not over torquing  the screws, It 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
  • 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.

26307676250_68f1a4b4fd_b
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,
25193088823_b2f5dda76f_b
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.
21445634124_fcc18a2ed2_b
The Deore M615 on a 2010 trek 6300

Extra Info

M615 Piston seals: the number written on pistons 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 Reservoir Lid Unit for M396, M395.

Failed tHreads on M396 right lever/rear lever.

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