How to Bleed Shimano Brakes – Detailed Guide

It got no wheels-no seats if the brakes of the bike start malfunctioning. And it is not always a viable option to replace the brake pads whenever the issue originates.

The brake pads should be thrown away when their lives are over but not because of poor maintenance. While the bike got no engine, the power of the brakes should quadruple where you entrust your life to them.

Well, the aging brake pads are the prime reason for replacing them. But experiencing hesitation in braking on the newly installed brake pads can literally mean otherwise. Primarily, it is time to bleed them but the question is how to bleed Shimano brakes to retain the hassle-free and reliable braking system once again.

How to Bleed Shimano Brakes Professionally with Shimano Bleed Kit

How to Bleed Shimano Brakes

We recommend this bleeding process to take up by the folks loving to indulge in DIY things. And that is gonna limit the strain on your wallet by not taking help from the bike shop.

Tools You Need for Bleeding the Shimano Brakes on Your Own

  • Shimano bleed kit including the genuine Shimano brake fluid and such!
  • 7mm spanner
  • Allen key set
  • Needle nose plier
  • Brake cleaner
  • Brake pad spreader

Planning to work on your bike yourself? If yes, read a detailed guide on how to work on bike without a repair stand

Steps to bleed Shimano brakes

How to Bleed Shimano Brakes Professionally with Shimano Bleed Kit

Step #1: Remove Off Brake Pads

Take the needle nose plier and undo the brake pads off the caliper. Get a 3mm Allen key to loosen up the bolt and unwind them until the brake pads are off.

Step #2: Brake Lever to Come into the Flat Position

Undo the brake lever using a 4mm Allen key which will send it into the flat position.

Step #3: Removing the Bleed Cap

Yes, remove the bleed cap now once the brake lever is set to the loosened state. Insert a 2.5mm Allen key through the bleed port cap with an O-ring.

Step #4: Insert the Shimano Bleed Bucket on the Lever

Place the Shimano bleed bucket on the brake lever port where it should engrave with the rubber O-ring on its tip not to lose and bleed the fluids out. This way you would not have to hold the bucket all the time providing the air-tight seal.

Step #5: Placing the Bleed Block Through

The crucial part is to place the bleed block through the brake caliper to prevent the pistons from running and push them backward to give bleeding/fluids way.

Step #6: Fill Up the Syringe And Bleed Bucket

It is finally the time to start with really bleeding the brakes.

So, fill up the syringe to almost half the volume with Shimano Mineral Oil (part of the Shimano Bleed Kit), and make sure the pipe is attached to the tip of the syringe (will expedite later as to why you need that!)

Also, fill the bleed bucket to half with the same Shimano Mineral Oil.

Step #7: Inserting Syringe Through Caliper Bleed Nipple

But before executing this step, grab a 7mm spanner or Allen key of the same size to open the tip of the nipple. The reason here is to avoid letting any volume of air go inside the braking system.

Once you do it with one hand, insert the pipe through the caliper bleed nipple attached to the syringe.

Step #8: Start Pushing the Fluid

Push! Push! Push the syringe to flee the fluid into the system.

Do not push the syringe hard in the wake of completing the process quickly though. Rather go slow with it ensuring there is no bubble coming out from the brake lever at all.

And, if you are doing the bake bleeding after a good while may result in filling the bleed bucket with dark black color oil.

Step #9: Removing the Syringe

Now, remove the syringe after ensuring there is no air left in the system, and the clean oil starts coming out and into the bleed bucket.

But before actually removing the syringe from the caliper, first, close the bleed port with the same Allen key or a spanner of 7mm in size first to converse the air going inside the braking system.

Step #10: Pump Up the Brake Lever

Getting the brake caliper closed, now head to the brake lever and start pumping (gently to be exact) so that it clears the system by removing any trapped air if there’s any. You would notice a few bubbles coming out to present into the bleed bucket

Once the system goes clear (out of air finally), the lever pushing would feel utterly soft. If the air bubbles keep building up even after dozens of pumps, make sure the brake caliper was closed to the required tightness and not leaking into the air.

Step #11: Removing the Brake Bleed Bucket

The oil in the bleed bucket is all bad, and not meant for reuse. So, pull off the bleed bucket (gently again!) from the lever by putting the cap back on.

Step #12: Cleaning Caliper and Brake Lever

Wipe any residue of oil on the caliper and brake lever with a clean rag.

Step #13: Re-install Brake Pads

The final step and reinstalling the brake pads the same you had removed them and that will finally get your job done.

Conclusion of Shimano Brakes Bleeding

Anyways, the brake bleeding is entirely a much-needed process that you should be doing every often to make the braking system work optimally, and not when encountering the issue with the brakes.

Believe us, the Shimano braking system is in no way an inexpensive practice. More likely, you would also hit the real hassle at the time of replacing and fixing your bike’s brakes.

So better off, practice this rather than your regular maintenance because you now contain all the DIY process of how to bleed Shimano brakes on your end!

Just for curiosity, ask the nearby bike store about bleeding the brakes and you will be praising this acute Shimano brakes bleeding guide! 🙂

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