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  1. #1
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    XT shifters, RD or Cable?

    So my new 29er build which is full XT just doesn't shift as smooth as my 26er that's full XTR !! Where should I look to try and make this bike shift as smooth as my other one?? It's a noticeable difference that I don't really like. Any help greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Trail Ninja
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    29ers have more cable friction, and XTR has higher quality lubrication/coatings on moving parts to minimize friction.

  3. #3
    Trail Ninja
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    I personally use 29" wide handlebars to minimize the cable friction at the front of the bike. A number of 29er frames have routing for the FD on the left side of the frame and routing for the RD on the right side; those 29" wide bars give more room to create cleaner routing on such frames.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varaxis View Post
    29ers have more cable friction, and XTR has higher quality lubrication/coatings on moving parts to minimize friction.
    Really?
    Did you think about that before you hit the post button?

  5. #5
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    Giant said 29ers are dead. Must be because XT does not shift as well as XTR???

  6. #6
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    First of all it is my experience that things start feeling a bit smoother after the first 100km or so, due to the chain being a bit stiff initially.

    It is of course possible that the adjustment could do with a tweak, you are not describing the exact differences in experience. My XT ser shifts very convincingly, but it feels a bit "hard", is that what you mean?

  7. #7
    Trail Ninja
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    Quote Originally Posted by the mayor View Post
    Really?
    Did you think about that before you hit the post button?
    There's 29er specific gearing already. Maybe we just need 29er specific cables and housing too, to help increase smoothness, to address the longer lengths of cable needed compared to 26". Maybe some 29er specific shifters too, with longer shift levers made of stiffer and lighter material, for better responsiveness.

    Make sure there aren't any other factors, like wispier derailleur hangers that can get bent out of alignment easier, or a frame design that tried to fit big wheels into the shortest chainstay possible, maybe sacrificing chainstay stoutness, which may be not as stiff, considering their length.

    Honestly, if you haven't noticed, I'm just joking since this topic isn't really suited for the 29er component forum, and a serious post might simply be a wild guess, one that's based more on personal experience with shifting issues, than a post that truly tries to see it from the OP's perspective. The OP didn't give much detail; all we got to work off of is 26 vs 29, XTR vs XT, "new build", and a noticeable difference in shifting smoothness. Do you know what he specifically means about shifting smoothness? Can't really get mad at "free tech support on a forum".

  8. #8
    Dude, got any schwag?
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    To the OP, upgrade your cable & housings to something from Clark's, Gore, Nokon, Jagwire or even XTR. Heck, even Koolstop has nice cable/housing sets. I can't think of any more brand names, but there are some sets out there with coated cables. If you frequent a LBS, find out what the fast guys in your shop use. Just make sure the cable itself is stainless (&/or coated), and that the surface of said cable feels smooth when you run it through your fingers.

    Edit; Varaxis' responses are fooking funny!
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  9. #9
    ballbuster
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    Quote Originally Posted by the mayor View Post
    Really?
    Did you think about that before you hit the post button?
    Second that. It's not as if adding 4" of straight cable and housing is going to add any significant friction.

    However, I'm seeing a trend in bikes using road bike style down tube cable routing with the little slider thing under thhe botto bracket. I renecty built a Salsa Mamasita with this goofy arrangement and it definitely feels way less smooth.

    For the smoothest shifting and longest cable life, drill out the cable stops and run full length housing. I also use an Avid Rollamajig on all my bikes that need it to eliminate the funky rear derailleur cable bend in the back. Huge improvement.

    I would guess that whoever built your bike probably didn't finish you housing ends properly. I'll bet they left a burr in the steel jacket winding or didn't flare the inside nylon lining. I wouldn't blame the 29er or xt vs xtr.

    *edit*

    Sorry, I'm a bit thick right now. I didn't catch varaxis' sarcasm. Still, who cares if it isn't that 29er specific?

  10. #10
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    I decided to use the XT cables that came with the shifters even though I bought some XTR cable just for this reason. Maybe using the XTR cables would have been the better choice !The shifts are simply louder, Clonkier ( is this a word? ), unlike my XTR which is smooth as butter. Can't hardly tell when I shift, it's so darn smooth !! I'll adjust a bit more, and give them more break in time. If that doesn't work, I'll move on to the cable and housing. Maybe that will improve things noticeably. Thanks for the feedback.

  11. #11
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    Ok first up let's address Vraxis....I think that most of you are missing the point he's trying to make, which is that this IS NOT something that is 29er related and belongs in the drivetrain forum - adding smilies would probably help.

    To the OP, don't use the shitty XT cables, use the XTR or something better. I've found the included inner cables especially to not be that great from Shimano, personally use SRAM Pitstop inner cables and Jagwire outer, find the coating on the
    Pitstop to be really nice and smoooth.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot View Post
    I would guess that whoever built your bike probably didn't finish you housing ends properly. I'll bet they left a burr in the steel jacket winding or didn't flare the inside nylon lining.
    I would start here too - assuming the cable housings are proper length, especially the chain stay to rear derailleur housing.

    I have full XT - with XT housing. The shifting is excellent. It is not as buttery smooth as XTR. But, it is not XTR. I actually like a little chunk (more positive shift feel) in my shifting (prefer record over dura ace if that helps explain).

    The housing liner and the metal strips in the housing often get slightly bent when cutting. Additionally, if you did not cut the housing with good (shimano) housing cutters or used dull housing cutters, it is much easier to bend the metal strips to interfere with the cable. If you used normal side cutting dikes, it is very difficult to properly cut the housing and very easy to damage the housing.

    After cutting housing, insert an awl into the housing to open the liner and metals strips back up.

    At this point, you can "simply" pull your cable out, remove the ferrules on the housings, and insert an awl to re-open the liner and metal wires.

  13. #13
    Plays with tools
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    High quality cables and housing make all the difference in the world. If you bought your bike complete, it probably came with some crappy jaqwire stuff. Swap it to one of the Gore/Yokozuna/Shimano cable kits and you'll see a big improvement. I can't even begin to count the number of brand new bikes that felt like crap right out of the box because of cheap housing and cables. Bikes that can cost 6-7 grand even.

  14. #14
    ballbuster
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    Quote Originally Posted by crit_boy View Post
    I would start here too - assuming the cable housings are proper length, especially the chain stay to rear derailleur housing.

    I have full XT - with XT housing. The shifting is excellent. It is not as buttery smooth as XTR. But, it is not XTR. I actually like a little chunk (more positive shift feel) in my shifting (prefer record over dura ace if that helps explain).

    The housing liner and the metal strips in the housing often get slightly bent when cutting. Additionally, if you did not cut the housing with good (shimano) housing cutters or used dull housing cutters, it is much easier to bend the metal strips to interfere with the cable. If you used normal side cutting dikes, it is very difficult to properly cut the housing and very easy to damage the housing.

    After cutting housing, insert an awl into the housing to open the liner and metals strips back up.

    At this point, you can "simply" pull your cable out, remove the ferrules on the housings, and insert an awl to re-open the liner and metal wires.
    I've been using the REi Novarra house brand teflon black coated cables for years with good results. I'm finding they are almost too short for 29ers if you use dual control levers on H-Bars... like I am. On my Titus Rockstar (which granted... is a bit on the long side anyway) I ended up trimming off like 2" of rear derailleur cable.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varaxis View Post
    There's 29er specific gearing already.
    Where is it hiding?

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