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Old 06-30-16, 06:59 AM   #1
martynaaas
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Shimano Alfine BR-S501 Caliper replacement

So I've had squeeling brakes for a while now and have always thought that the problem was my oily brake pads and a rotor. This problem hasn't disappeared even after cleaning the entire brake set multiple times. Yesterday, I actually noticed that my brake caliper was leaking mineral oil as I was pushing brake lever.

I was told by a local bike repair guy that they don't fix such issues since Shimano don't supply individual parts for this particular brake set. I was told that my best try would be to try and order a new brake caliper from them (which would take very long as they need to order it and then wait till it actually ships here to Eastern Europe) or change the entire brake set.

After spending an hour on research, all I was able to find is the entire brake set to buy and couldn't even find just the caliper. I'm not too eager to spend $100 for a new set when all I really need is just a tiny rubber ring which would stop it from leaking. Any ideas of how I could get this fixed? Or where to find them parts?

Thanks.
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Old 06-30-16, 10:35 AM   #2
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Unfortunately the rubber seal is not a plain round O-ring; it has a square cross-section which provides the pad retraction function so you can't replace it with a round one or the pads will drag. I suspect Shimano doesn't stock parts for their brakes partly out of product liability concerns.
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Old 06-30-16, 04:19 PM   #3
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Tektro calipers are compatible, and work well with Shimano levers. Your bike shop will disagree but maybe you can convince them to try.
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Old 06-30-16, 06:11 PM   #4
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You can probably replace it with a Deore caliper. Most Shimano stuff uses a similar caliper design, and hydraulic calipers are really very simple devices.
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Old 07-01-16, 01:20 AM   #5
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You can probably replace it with a Deore caliper. Most Shimano stuff uses a similar caliper design, and hydraulic calipers are really very simple devices.
That's probably what I'm going to do. I just don't understand what are the differencies between all these hydraulic brake calipers from Shimano. I've checked Deore, Alfine, SLX, XT, XTR calipers and they all seem to work the same way (I've searched this site) although they vary in price quite a bit. Is there anything better about XTR calipers that let's say Deore calipers don't have?

If not, I'm just going to order Deore BR-M596 calipers since they also have same pads as my Alfine ones.
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Old 07-01-16, 09:16 AM   #6
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XTR/XT/SLX calipers use ceramic pistons, which supposedly slide better and reduce heat transfer to the brake fluid. XTR is a magnesium caliper with Ti hardware to reduce weight.
XT/XTR use a screw as a pad retainer, SLX/Deore use a cotter pin (which can be replaced with the screw).

There are a few more differences at lever side, but as you can see the differences are pretty much cosmetic or weight reductions not functional.
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Old 07-01-16, 04:13 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by martynaaas View Post
I'm not too eager to spend $100 for a new set when all I really need is just a tiny rubber ring which would stop it from leaking. Any ideas of how I could get this fixed? Or where to find them parts?
Have you determined where the leak is coming from on your caliper? Piston seals, hose connection, bleed screw?
If it's just the piston seals you could try measuring the old seals and do a search for ( "insert measurements here" + brake piston seal) Plenty of O-ring and seal suppliers on the net. You just have to spend some time making sure the seal is the made of the right compound for your brakes.
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Old 07-04-16, 08:50 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by gsa103 View Post
XTR/XT/SLX calipers use ceramic pistons, which supposedly slide better and reduce heat transfer to the brake fluid. XTR is a magnesium caliper with Ti hardware to reduce weight.
XT/XTR use a screw as a pad retainer, SLX/Deore use a cotter pin (which can be replaced with the screw).

There are a few more differences at lever side, but as you can see the differences are pretty much cosmetic or weight reductions not functional.
Thanks for the info, this has definitely helped me. I guess I'll stick with Deore series then.
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Old 07-04-16, 11:52 AM   #9
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Just one of many Hydro disc Brakes

http://www.shimano.com/media/techdoc...9830700389.pdf

Suppliers to Bike Shops carry more repair parts than online retailers .
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