I am looking for some guidelines for finding compatible pieces with the ones I currently have installed on my bike. I have for instance a right brake lever (bl-m445) which is leaking oil. It is connected to a brake hose (bh-59) which goes to the brake (br-m447). Knowing all this how can I find out which brake levers are compatible? I found this https://bike.shimano.com/en-EU/product/component/shimano/BL-M445.html but it isn't helping with any compatibility tables

What would he approach look like for any other part?


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Here are a few web-based resources i seem to gravitate toward when musing about an upgrade or taking on a "fixer-upper"project becomes hands-on.

https://si.shimano.com/#/ is the Shimano technical documents resource. Where your link is the marketing/catalog face of a Shimano product, this site links to Shop Instructions and Dealers Manuals specific to a Shimano component. A subsection link on the above site is the Compatibility chart. Here you will find all the Shimano parts that are cross compatible within a system (for example, Mountain Front Drive Compatibility displays a chart that graphically displays Front derailleur-shiftlever-front chainwheel-bottom bracket combinations that sync). Similarly you'll find brake caliper-brake lever compatibles within road and mountain groups.

Finally, I offer you: https://www.sheldonbrown.com/ Great "how-to" resource that often discusses compatibility issues and work-arounds pertinent to the particular bicycle part or system being addressed. A couple examples include mixing mountain and road components and issues involved when one wishes to employ differently branded components (and therefore differing engineering specs) within a particular bike system (like using a Shimano shifter with a Campagnolo derailleur).

Parts compatibility in the realm of bicycles is pretty involved when it comes right down to it. Multiple standards in use as well as proprietary engineering tweaks manufacturers conjure up make for quite the mish-mash of options one must consider when a bike part requires replacement.

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