Disc brake newbie - lever touchs handlebar

I have GRX 600 disc brakes. New bike, about 2k miles. The lever has started to touch the handlebar. I’ve adjusted the reach and installed new pads, but I still have the problem. What do I need to do? Thanks.

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Probably need to add brake fluid…HOWEVER, I have had several instances where, after adjusting the pads on both Ultegra and GRX 800 brale levers, the seals have blown in the brake hood body.

Check and see if there is a small amount of brake fluid under the brake hoods.

I’d do a bleed which would also top up the fluid if required.
With Shimano it’s pretty straight forward, there’s lots of good videos on Youtube showing you how to do it. It’ll probably take about half an hour.

In terms of kit, something like this will do the job:

Which seals did you see blown? (Or is there only one?). I’ve had a similar problem to this.

If it’s both levers, I doubt it’s a blown seal on both sides simultaneously but like Henri said, check for fluid… Apart from that, try bleeding your brakes. The majority of shop mechanics, especially in the covid era ‘screw it together and send it out the door’ build quality, do a shit job assembling all but the highest end bikes and don’t take the time to do anything resembling a proper build.

First thing I on any new bike is redo every bolt with proper torque and grease/threadlocker as appropriate, adjust the drivetrain, and then trim hoses and do a proper bleed on the brakes. Of all the bikes I’ve bought in my life, maybe a half dozen have been good to go from the shop and none have been flawless.

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It was basically the seal / diaphragm in the brake level body…on the inboard side of the lever.

First time it happened, it was on an Ultegra mechanical body…I had pushed the front pads in using a brake pad tool, but it blew the seal. I replaced that lever with a GRX 800 (exact same body as Ultegra, different level blade design)…when I got back from The Rift, same thing happened when I pushed the pads back in. The seal is very thin and if the pads get pushed back in abruptly, they will blow. Shimano seems to be aware of the issue as they promptly sent out 3 replacement seals to the LBS when they called about it.

If he attempted to reposition the pads on both calipers at the same time, it could definitely be both seals. Again, the seals are very thin and sensitive. It doesn’t take much to pop them.

ETA - here is a video showing exactly where the leak occurs.

Also a thread on the issue from Bike Forums…


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Over the course of the last c.5 years, I have had bikes:

  1. Come with a shifter not properly tightened to the bars (twice);
  2. with peeling bar tape;
  3. with a flat tyre (twice);
  4. with gears obviously poorly indexed;
  5. with hydraulic brakes that weren’t set up properly and didn’t work at all well.

The shop responsible for number 5 no longer see any of my business.

After all, 1-4 are shoddy, but 5 is fundamentally dangerous. Fortunately I discovered this when beginning to try and bed the pads in on the gentle slope on the street where I live, but it could have been really pretty catastrophic.

Most shops around here are chaotically busy, and in many cases the wrenching is ordinary at best. 1 or 2 always used to do a good job, but just have too much work currently, I suspect, and corners are being cut.

It’s reached the point where there is only 1 person I’d really trust to work on my bikes, and he is based 100 miles away.

Same here, that’s me. Good thing is I am easy to reach, bad thing is I am too busy with anything not bike ^^