I run my little bike repair shop and a customer came to me with a bicycle with Shimano's Dual Control setup: http://www.cambriabike.com/StM966-BRM965-PreBled-Hydrlc-Disc-Brake-Kit-XTR-Grey-Fr-750mm.asp

Braking was extremely poor, and although we couldn't see oil escaping, I was eventually able to confirm that both calipers are letting oil go around the pistons.

The levers themselves show no problems.

He would like to replace only the calipers, if possible, because he likes the Dual-Control levers.

I'm thinking about two possible issues: - Connecting the line: is that the same connection since that time? - Oil flow: Does, like with the short and long cable pull "standards", the amount of oil pushed from the lever and the pushed surface in the caliper have different combination or does it simply not matter from a fluid's mechanic perspective?

Thank you.

  • 1
    Given your status, I'd suggest you confirm with your shimano dealer/supplier too. You have to stand by the warranty, whereas someone working on their own bike doesn't.
    – Criggie
    Commented May 17, 2016 at 21:52

1 Answer 1


The short answer is no, the Dual Control levers are not compatible with current calipers.

Long answer:

Both reasons you mention are valid.

The master cylinder piston on a brake lever is sized very specifically for the caliper cylinder size, the type of hose, and the reservoir size.

In addition, the hose fittings are pretty specific to year and model. They may work, they may seal short term, or they may not hold at all.

Last, Shimano will not warrant brakes used with different combinations than designed. Which means that if you choose to mix and match a brake setup for a customer, the liability is on you.

If their brakes fail, you are in a world of hurt.

Great question, though. :)

  • 1
    Some sources suggest that all hydraulic Shimano calipers and levers are cross-compatible. For example something similar to OP's question. Commented May 18, 2016 at 2:31
  • Random forum guy is not a reliable source. :)
    – zenbike
    Commented May 18, 2016 at 3:28
  • SE is basically random forum guys, sometimes with reference links.
    – Batman
    Commented May 18, 2016 at 18:06
  • 2
    My answer came from Shimano. Not random.
    – zenbike
    Commented May 18, 2016 at 18:27
  • Hello @zenbike, thanks for the answer. Do you have a link to your references?
    – SuperBab
    Commented May 18, 2016 at 19:39

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