Can brake calipers leak?
Around last Spring I rode my hardtail, which I then put in the garage hanging vertically on the wall as usual. The brakes were fine. Yesterday I wanted to go for a ride on it (arguably I should sell this bike!) and discovered that the brakes needed a pretty hefty top-up of fluid as the levers were pretty much empty, and once that was done I realised that the pads or rotors were contaminated with oil/fluid/something as there was literally no bite. I actually left home before discovering the brakes were ineffective and had to do an old-school stopping-with-my-feet brake.
So is it a thing that brakes can slowly leak fluid out the calipers and basically slowly lubricate the pads? These are Deore M615s, if that’s relevant.Posted 9 months ago
Yes.Posted 9 months ago
I guess a follow-up question I forgot was: is this just something I need to deal with if I leave a bike hanging up for 9 months, or are the calipers broken?Posted 9 months ago
Could be that the caliper seals have perished and leaked fluid onto the rotors & pads = loss of brake fluid volume & contaminated rotors & pads = ineffective braking.
If my bikes been hanging for a bit it usually takes a couple of “pumps” of the levers to get everything tickity boo again.
I’d guess your leak is from aging as opposed to hanging.
Shimano brake spares are notoriously difficult to find, you may need to buy new calipers or even a new brake set.Posted 9 months ago
Right, I’m aware that whilst I love Shimano Deore brakes for bang-per-buck, if they break they’re disposable. I keep on looking at the Hope Tech brakes, but I think that might be quite an overkill solution!
Maybe I’ll strip the bike down for a clean and have a look in the calipers to see if they’ve obviously perished.Posted 9 months ago
Leaking is a known problem with some models of shimano caliper. If less than two years old you may be able to warranty them.Posted 9 months ago
Yes, loads of threads on this. Shimano have had lots of trouble with leaky calipers exactly as you describe. Also does not help if you haven’t used genuine Shimano unicorn jizz for fluid.Posted 9 months ago
The question isnt “Can brake calipers leak” – it should be “Can Shimano make a brake caliper that does NOT leak”. Well I exagerate (more than) a bit. 🙂
But yes – calipers certainly do. At least they have a 2 year warranty that seems to be quibble free IME. And the levers are generally fine so sometimes you can swap in a new / different caliper.Posted 9 months ago
My Spykes never have that problem.Posted 9 months ago
Yes they can/do, spares tricky to get, but then again new calipers can be had for not much money. (just got some XT’s for about £35-40 each, other calipers available for less, I think I’ve bought non-series Shimano brakes for about £45 for full brakes f&r a couple of years back)
Oh and wash your mouth out about selling it!Posted 9 months ago
I don’t ride it because I have another bike 🙂Posted 9 months ago
Yes the Deore M615s are notorious for the micro leak. The lever feels fine but there is howling and no power when braking. Often happens after a period of no using. I have them on my second bike, after replacing the calipers twice over a couple of years I now make sure I give the brakes a good squeeze every few days when I’m in the garage to keep the seals active. I don’t know if it really helps but it seems to be so far. I keep planning not to buy Shimano brakes except they’re so good for the money when they’re working.Posted 9 months ago
Dont know if its worth postage but I happen to have a brand new BOXED MT200 CALIPER ONLY… WITH resin pads… you’re for the price of the new pads and postage (£6 + P&P)Posted 9 months ago
(only the pads are of any use to me and I’ll have to buy new pads sometime or you can have the calipers without pads for P&P)
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