Shimano XT Levers - two styles M8100 vs M8000


Well-Known Member
Awhile back I upgraded the brakes on my wife's bike from SRAM's to Shimano M-8125s, which have Shimano's compound action lever and 4-piston design. Unfortunately, the brake lever has an attachment point that isn't at the end, but is in the middle, like this:
Screen Shot 2023-02-13 at 7.58.15 PM.png

It's kind of hard to see here, but at the far end is a protrusion that rests against the handlebars. So your grips go to the outside of that protrusion, which is just perfect position for braking. However, since the handlebar attachment is a couple inches further away, other things you might want to mount to the handlebars are new a couple inches further away. This isn't so bad for the PAS selector, but if you're also running a throttle then it becomes a reach.

I ordered and installed the M8100 brake lever. Has the same travel and level resting position adjustments, but the attachment point is at the fat end, like this:
Screen Shot 2023-02-13 at 7.57.21 PM.png

This means that I could install the throttle closer to the handgrip, which makes it a lot easier to reach, and then the keypad isn't too far away. Before I had to install the keypad first since the throttle body was so thick.

Anyway, just a minor point for people considering upgrading to Shimano's XT 4-piston brakes to consider the brake levers as well as the calipers.
the second one is the newest version its what I have. there is a step above the xtr that lets you adjust the bite I would love that but they are really expensive.
You can adjust the distance of brake to your grips good for people with short fingers

Both versions of the XT levers have that adjustment capability. The difference is in what other items you mount on the handlebars and how close to the grips they can be. The second lever has a handlebar clamp that ends up right next to your grips and you can "tuck" the throttle or PAS keypad just after it, so that those items are actually between the brake cylinder and the handlebar, meaning you don't have to reach as far to get to the throttle or keypad.

I'll see if I can take a picture that shows what I'm talking about.
I'm confused. When I went down this path with M6xxx and M7xxxx levers older 6000 and 7000 had clamp at end as per 2nd photo. The newer 6100 and 7100 have clamp partway down as per first photo.
If running Bosch Purion display really need the older left side x000 levers as newer x100 ones clamp interfers with display mount. Result is display is more horizontal than 45degrees I prefer.

I was lucky and found older levers on Aliexpress but they are becoming hard to come by. NB only need left brake lever, right can be newer version.

ML 501 is has clamp at end and I suspect its old M6000 rebadged.
When I went down this path with M6xxx and M7xxxx levers older 6000 and 7000 had clamp at end as per 2nd photo. The newer 6100 and 7100 have clamp partway down as per first photo.
That's consistent with my limited experience.
I'm exploring options with new levers right now. I ran my bike into a concrete abutment, slow speed, but it totally scraped up the brake lever and put some nasty gouges into the main body of the brake assembly that the lever bolts onto. Also, with new handle grips, the levers that are on there would be better if they were longer three-finger levers.

The brakes specs don't clearly say what type of brake system I have, just Shimano Deore. They are stock brakes on a 2017 Gepida trekking/city Alboin.

How do I know if these levers will work?

Shimano XT BL-T8100 Brake Lever Set

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They're Deore so they'll work perfectly.

Actually, pretty much any Shimano lever will "work" with any caliper since the outside hose diameters are the same (5mm), and that's that the olive attaches to. Some levers/calipers were designed for the smaller inside diameter hose, some for the larger, but you actually can swap, even though it may not be ideal.
  • Shimano (BH90): ID: 2.1mm , OD: 5mm.
  • Shimano (BH59): ID: 2.3mm , OD: 5mm
If you want to match (and you probably should) here's a chart thingie:

The Deore's all use the BH90.

Surprisingly, the newer/better hose has a smaller inside diameter. Shimano claims that's less fluid to compress or something.
Thanks! Great info. A couple questions: Where can I find the part number for the Shimano/Deore calipers on this bike? It's a 2017 Gepida Alboin 1000 SLX 10, 10 speed trekking bike.

This bike has over 14,000 km on it. Is it wise to do preventive maintenance and change brake components, or do these last for thousands of miles? I live in an area with steep mountains and the brakes have had a lot of hard use. In this moment they are working fine. The rotors have been changed and upgraded.

Last, if I spend a hundred bucks for different calipers/levers will it result in better braking, or would there likely be no noticeable difference? Maybe what I have is optimal and I could replace the chewed up levers and leave the rest alone.
Order 7100 levers as 8100 right level typically has shifter attached to it. Performance wise there is nothing in it, both have finger adjustment while M6100 needs allen key.

For calipers I'd stay with M6100 or M6000 on rear unless you feel like replacing complete hose as 7100 and 8100 have swivel connection. See photos on web.
Front can be complete 7100 set and is probably best way to go as no connecting or bleeding required. I run 2 SLX pot with 180mm disks on similar bike on very steep hills and never found it wanting for power. M7120 4pot will require new disk and use different pads to 2pots.

7100 and 8100 calipers support finned pads while 6100 don't. Probably not issue on trekking bike.

You will also need bleed kit and brake fluid for fitting rear brakes.

Try to source old M7000 left leveler if you have Purion display/remote . See my comments further.

If your current brake pads don't look like G03A then you are up for new disks as wear marks on your old disks will be different.

This might be helpful.

Disc Brake Pad Compatibility Chart.pdf https://shimanobikes-nz.prontoavenu...age/20/Disc Brake Pad Compatibility Chart.pdf
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