Monday, 3 June 2019

Shimano MT200 Hydraulic Disc Brake Review & Install

Shimano MT200 Hydraulic Disc Brake - Intro

Search the for a set of hydraulic disk brakes, sort by price and at the top of the page you will likely see  the MT200 Hydraulic Disk Brake. They're very cheap especially if order direct from the far east. I paid £35 ($60) for my front and back set with rotors!

On the Shimano website these MT200 Hydraulic Disc Brakes are described as "Altus" which is a low end offering, but with Shimano reliability. I am steel using a 20 year old Shimano Altus chainset  on one of my bikes.

This is not my first set of budget Shimano disc brakes I have a number of  Shimano M355 Brakes which I have found very good. These MT200 Brakes and the M355 also take the same pads BS01, which is a major advantage in my book.

So I clicked buy, waited for about a week, and I will now share my findings. 

Shimano MT200 Hydraulic Disc Brake - Build Quality

Excellent when considering price. The moulding and the all sub-components are very neat and all edges are smooth and free from burs or any other machining defects.

The lever blade is made from a pressed steel, but this has been done is a way that results in a very comfy finger area (if that's a thing).

The brakes do not feel cheap or shoddy in any way they. Perhaps the one part that looks a bit odd is plastic cap that fits on to the inboard end of the lever housing. Bearing in mind the whole system has to contain considerable pressures, this large plastic section looks as though it could be considered a weakness, but I am quite happy to put my faith in the designers, I doubt it is a weakness it just looks like one.This plastic cap is fitted in SLX, Deore and XT brake levers so it must be well thought out.

Shimano MT200 Hydraulic Disc Brake -Fitting

Fitting is a cinch. You have to remove your grips etc. to slide this thing on the bars, but that no big deal. Use hair spray squirted under grips (prise up a little with thin screwdriver or small allen key) to loosen them up and then more hair spray inside when you put them back on.

The brake are pre-bled, so it is literally the case of just attaching them to the bike, and hey presto done! Fit and forget.

NOTE: When buying a set of MT200 be sure to get the right back and front lever combo. These brakes arrived with a Rear Right Hand / Front Left Hand suitable for the USA and most of Europe, whilst i wanted Front Right Hand/ Rear Left hand is is customary in the UK and Italy. 

I did think about buying a bleed kit, prior to swapping the hoses over. As it turns out I simply unbottled them swapped them around did them up with a spanner, and they worked perfectly without any further faffing. 

Shimano MT200 Hydraulic Disc Brake - Performance


These MT200 brakes work as well as my M355 brakes other then that, I cannot comment. I have used by M355 brakes on a very large cargo bike, which can stop 200kg of bike, rider and children without issue.


Shimano MT200 Hydraulic Disc Brake - Features 

Below list is taken direct from sales literature:

  • Versatile design matches numerous bike styles
  • Less pad rattling noise
  • Braking power adjusted for entry level riders
  • Accessible lever reach designed for small hands - Note: Or big hands!
  • Easy, quick and clean installation
  • SHIMANO Hydraulic Disc Brake performance
  • Reliable braking performance with less noise

Shimano MT200 Hydraulic Disc Brake - Conclusions 

It is a perfectly good brake, and will no doubt give years of satisfactory service. The design follows features found in much higher priced models such as XT and SLX, and to be delivered even a sniff of that pedigree for £35 a set is fantastic. 

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