Upgrading Shimano Mt200 and Mt400 brakes

TrevorB

Active Member
I finally finished upgrading brakes on Xroad2 and 5 give some advice on doing this. I'm assuming bike is being used for commuting, touring and light MTB, so upgrading to 2pot calipers with resin G01A pads.


Upgrading Shimano brakes is straight forward if you have some mechanical skill, see youtube videos on bleeding, replacing hoses and calipers, will need bleed kit and spare brake fluid. The most common brakes on commuter and tourer ebikes will be MT200 good reliable hydraulic brake with 3 finger leveler, typically paired with 160 or 180mm rotor in front and 160mm at rear. MT400 have 2 finger leveller, brake performances is similar with same wooden feel. These typically run 2 pot calibers with BS01 pads

My upgrades have been too Deore M6100 and SLX M7000, own bike with XT M8000. Being running these brakes for years with G03A pads and they are big step up in performance. Shimano upgraded x000 series to x100 which has different handle clamp. If you have Bosch Purion display the x100 level may not allow display to be mounted at 45degree facing you, mine ended up horizontal making button harder to activate. Good luck sourcing M6000, 7000 or M8000 levelers becoming hard come by.
SLX and XT levels both have tool free adjustment big plus over Deore need for allen key.
There is option of 2pot eg M7100 or 4 pot caliper M7120 ie xx20 in number. Only 2pot applies to scope of this thread.

Levers and calipers

Deore calipers will work with existing MT200 or MT400 hoses, big plus when upgrading rear. Saves running new hose through frame and terminating it. SLX and XT calipers will need hose replaced see picture on web of how hoses attach. On my Xroad5 where SLX hose attached to caliper interfered with rack, solved by packing rack out with washers, wasn't issue with Deore caliber. Deore hose is better quality than MT200 but slight increase in braking performance didn't justify extra work or replacing hose.

Levers and calipers are interchangeable eg use SLX leveler with Deore caliber. Gives tool free adjustments without need to replace rear hose. Can also use old 7000 leveler with new 7100 caliper. Aliexpress sell levelers and calipers separately so something to consider for rear. On front just use leveler +hose+caliper brake set as it comes. Depending on market front my be left or right hand, easily changed with bleed kit.

Rotors.
I'd upgrade any 160mm rotors to 180mm with adpator. MTx00 brakes will place different wear marks on rotors compared to Mx000 so you may need to replace rotors if they have to much mileage.
There are different spec levels of rotors but low end RT54 or RT64 should be fine for commuting and touring. RTx4 rotors use Shimano lock nut, RTx6 rotor use 6 bolts for mounting to wheel see youtube and your bike. May need special tool for RTx4 rotor replacement see youtube.

WARNING Brakes are the most important safety item on your bike.
If you don't think this is within you skill set either stay with existing brakes or pay shop to do it.





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TrevorB

Active Member
Check part number on caliper then google that for brake pads. I recommend staying with genuine factory pads, aftermarket ones can be mixed bag. The ones I tried were waste of money, poor braking and life.
Some of Tektro brakes use Shimano BS01 pads, with Shimano being superior to factory Tektro from my experience.