I wrote recently about a deeply satisfying weekend spent fettling my Bandit of which part was a second bleed of my front brake.

I have Shimano XT M8000’s front and back and I have to say, I love them. They are reassuringly powerful when needed but precise when full on anchorage is not required. However, on returning from Morzine this year I’d noticed my front brake was palpably spongier than my rear. Not horrendously so, but enough to cause the occasional “heavier pull” on the levers.

So I bled them with a slight improvement but it didn’t last. Working on the principal I’m mechanically incompetent (tis true…) and therefore must have stuffed up the first bleed, I bled them again last weekend, fitted new pads and spent a good 30 minutes bedding them in on a nearby hill.

All seemed well until Thursday night’s TFIT when I had the very unpleasant sensation of ‘lever back to bar’ as soon as a sharp pull on the brakes was required. Thankfully that ride was forgiving enough that I could get away with mostly rear brake action to slow me when needed.

Anyway, this morning I headed off to Cycleworks in Haslemere to see Tom P to see if he could offer any advice on the issue. And he did! Apparently there is a known warranty issue with the lever of certain batches of N stamped (mine is NF as shown below) M8000 brakes. Check out this forum thread and see the post by Buck aka ‘Oh My Sack’ on MBR here

Shimano batch sticker

Apparently Shimano just ship out a new brake so I’ll slap it back on as soon as it arrives. So if you have Shimano XT’s – check the little silver sticker on it for a batch number and if it’s an N and you have brake pump up issues – that could be a cause.

And I’m feeling at least 32.5% less mechanically incompetent…