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Brake Upgrade Question

My wife's Norco Fluid FS1 has Alivio MT420 brakes and they are in a word - awful - either on or off as they are not servo wave - I have SLX 7100 on my Orbea Alma and they are excellent - However, I am having terrible difficulty because of Covid finding a full SLX set from a reputable dealer - if I just replace the levers to XT or SLX, will that improve the braking or is more about the combination of both caliper and lever?


  • reaperactualreaperactual Posts: 1,183
    In what way are the M420's awful? Stopping power, lever feel, lever travel or something else?🤔
  • They are very 'on or off' not a lot of control, so the lever is pulled and they are very snappy. My SLX ones are very controllable so from light braking to heavy but they are much safer while being powerful. Don't get me wrong, the Alivio ones are very powerful but not in a controllable way. If you pull them too hard you are off - the SLX ones inspire so much more confidence. Especially on fast red trails. So, it is really is working out if its just a lever issue or both lever and caliper.
  • reaperactualreaperactual Posts: 1,183
    edited October 2020
    I have two pot SLX M7000's and no experience with any 4 pot brakes but am tempted to put a replacement 4 pot caliper on the front using the same lever.

    Personally like on/off feel and immediate power, within reason of course.

    Lever compatibility wise you could fit XT/SLX servo wave levers and both M420 and SLX/XT use the same BH90 hoses.

    There is no difference between 2 and 4 pot caliper lever versions as far as I know based on research, although this seems to be argued over.

    There will be obviously more fluid transfer for the levers to deal with on 4 pot calipers but would only effect lever travel to bite point very slightly compared to 2 pot.

    Not sure if servo wave would definitely give you the better modulation you're after over changing the complete brake set?

    Perhaps the more powerful braking just needs getting used to for a while?
  • My wife has spent a year using the Alivio's and she just can't get along with them. I don't like them either - just too heavy feeling compared to my 4 pot SLX ones. I would just replace the lot but supply from Shimano is non existent just now.
  • reaperactualreaperactual Posts: 1,183
    edited October 2020
    Have noticed lack of stock on the usual online shops too. I've been looking on ebay, there are loads of new, nearly new brake sets, levers, calipers as usual so plenty of options and worth a look Pal.

    One example on at moment:-

  • david37david37 Posts: 1,313
    I thought at first she was using V brakes LOLOL

    I've swapping out defective low end shimano with Clarks M2 all summer. you can pick up a complete set for c£45 off ebay where clarks have an outlet. Theyre surprisingly good for the money.
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