Replacement brake blocks for Shimano BR-M550

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
Posts: 21
Joined: 29 May 2018, 11:46am

Replacement brake blocks for Shimano BR-M550

Postby Laowai_1 » 5 Jul 2018, 2:12pm

As part of refurbishing my 1992 Raleigh DYnatech Encounter I have stripped the brakes completely. Although they still work well, they are looking a little tired. Firstly, if nothing else, the brake blocks - still the originals - should be replaced. I searched all the obvious sites but found nothing offering a brake block similar to that shown in the attached photos. The Cantilever arms are labeled BR-M550 and BR-M454 by the way.

Assuming this blocks are no longer available, what alternatives will fit? Note that the mounting bolt actually penetrates into the body of the brake block.

If I have to replace the canti arms too, what Shimano part number/model should I be looking at that will be compatible with the Deore-XT brake levers I have?
Image Attachments

Posts: 715
Joined: 25 Aug 2014, 11:13am
Location: South Devon

Re: Replacement brake blocks for Shimano BR-M550

Postby NetworkMan » 5 Jul 2018, 6:39pm

I have similar design brakes on my Horizon 1992-1993 and suitable blocks seem to be almost unobtainable. I am down to my last pair. I have bought ones that take a bolt to fit and ones that take a nut but both are just about OK though they are very wide and may not fit all rims. Also a little imagination is needed to get them to fit at all along with a shakeproof washer. I recently bought a few pairs from SJS cycles but they are so large that they overlap the rims and may be unusable:- ... y-fitting/
As an alternative brake, Brucey on here, recommends Shimano Altus which have rods attached to the rods allowing for some adjustment. You need to avoid most recent types of canti. which are intended for frames with a greater distance between the bosses.

User avatar
Posts: 14131
Joined: 9 Mar 2007, 12:09pm
Location: Kent, lorry park of England

Re: Replacement brake blocks for Shimano BR-M550

Postby gaz » 5 Jul 2018, 6:53pm