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  1. #1
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    Issue Shifting to from 9th to 8th Cog on 9 speed cassete

    Okay I got a new slx 9 speed derauiller and deore 9 speed shifters and 9 speed sram cassette. Everything was installed and worked great and is less then a month old. For some reason I am now having some hesitation shifting from the 9th cog to the 8th cog (second smallest).

    From what I remember it shifted almost instantaneously (about a quarter of a pedal rotation). Now it seems to click and hesitate a bit but still shifts but it takes almost a full pedal rotation). I cant seem to figure it out. I have tried everything. At this point I even replaced the cable housing and housing end caps and installed new cable all together and still the issue persists. I took the hanger off as well and laid it on a piece of glass its perfectly straight no bends.

    All other shifting is crisp and perfect it just that one shift. The only thing I can think of at this point is maybe there is a issue with the shifter itself and its not clicking and locking far enough to put the derailleur in the correct position.

    One other thing to note. Turning the barrel adjuster counter clockwise seems to have no effect at all on this particular gear shift it does not make the shift quicker which I always remember it doing before. Even if I turn it further then it should be it still the same delay in the 9th to 8th cog shift. It definitely effects all the other gears though so I know its working.

    Any suggestions would be helpful.

  2. #2
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    I'd post this in the tooltime forum, as it's pretty advanced. You already tried the things I would have suggested.

  3. #3
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    Re: Issue Shifting to from 9th to 8th Cog on 9 speed cassete

    Is it the same regardless of which chainring you are in?

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk 2

  4. #4
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    Did you replace the cable whenyou you replaced the housing? Are the the housing ends square?SAre the cable ends in the cable stops all the way? Have the cables/housing bedded in? Is the gear bent? How old is the derailuer? Have you released the the cable pinch bolt and shifter and started over?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by rangeriderdave View Post
    Did you replace the cable whenyou you replaced the housing? Are the the housing ends square?SAre the cable ends in the cable stops all the way? Have the cables/housing bedded in? Is the gear bent? How old is the derailuer? Have you released the the cable pinch bolt and shifter and started over?

    I put most of these details in the post everything is about a month old. I put in brand new cables and housing to try and resolve the issue. The gear does not look bent and yes I have released the cable pinch bolt.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by drwx View Post
    Is it the same regardless of which chainring you are in?

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    Yup happens no matter what gear I am in in the front 1rst , 2nd or 3rd.

  7. #7
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    Okay so I noticed this as well. If push the shifter to 8th from 9th just to the point the shifter clicks, the gear hesitates before shifting. If press the shifter a bit further after the click and then release the gear seams to engage. You dont think its the shifter do you?

  8. #8
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    While it could be the shifter, I doubt it. I know you said you checked the cogs on the cassette and they are not bent, but unless you measured with calipers you might not be able to see a slight bend. Do you another 9 speed cassette you can try?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strife21 View Post
    press the shifter a bit further after the click and then release the gear seams to engage.
    I've been doing this for so many years that it just comes naturally. I don't even notice it anymore. Unless you're super-anal about this type of minor stuff and it works fine once engaged, I wouldn't give it another thought.

    If you absolutely must have super-crisp shifting and can afford to ditch all the new stuff you just bought and replace it once again, you might want to give SRAM stuff a try.

  10. #10
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    See if adjusting the "B" screw helps. I had a similar problem on the other end of the cassette, (1-2), and it drove me crazy for quite some time, because I need to perform that shift dozens, if not hundreds of times on some of my rides.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    I've been doing this for so many years that it just comes naturally. I don't even notice it anymore. Unless you're super-anal about this type of minor stuff and it works fine once engaged, I wouldn't give it another thought.

    Absolutely! ^ Once I was working on a bike and the customer was having the exact same issue as the OP. Pretty much new everything including cables and housing and I thought I had that thing dialed to perfection but the owner kept having the same issue. I finally figured out that I was pressing the trigger a fraction farther than the click (ingrained force of habit I guess) and though I had to consciously try not to do it, when I just barely made the first click it would not make the shift unless I relaxed the pedal pressure for a second.

    I disagree with Sram being an improvement over Shimano though, perhaps as good but not better IMO. And this doesn't seem to be the OP's problem since he says tightening the cable does not quicken that shift.

  12. #12
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    Check the derailleur hanger alignment. Mine was out and it would shift OK on some gears but not others depending on how the barrel adjustment was set.

    I don't think that being out of alignment would affect only one shift, but seeing you've ruled out almost everything else, it would be worth checking.

    You don't need a professional tool -- you can use a straitedge and a ruler. Remove the RD and hold the straightedge on the hanger so that one end extends past the tire. Position the valve stem under the straightedge then measure the distance from the straightedge to the rim. Rotate the tire 1/4 turn and repeat until you get four measurements.

    Straighten with an adjustable wrench. The things are surprisingly soft.

  13. #13
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    suggestion may seem stupid but i didn't see a mention of adjusting the stop screws on the rear derailleur. adjusting those should let the chain move over to the 9th gear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I disagree with Sram being an improvement over Shimano though, perhaps as good but not better IMO. And this doesn't seem to be the OP's problem since he says tightening the cable does not quicken that shift.
    Not better overall necessarily (I run Shimano on most of my bikes personally), but different.
    The SRAM stuff does seem to crack somewhat crisper shifts, at least on the set-ups I own or have tried out. As always, YMMV - there are a lot of variables.

    Jacking in the B-tension is worth a shot, and as someone else mentioned, chainline could possibly contribute also. But I think it might just be a matter of 'that's just the way it is'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Not better overall necessarily (I run Shimano on most of my bikes personally), but different.
    The SRAM stuff does seem to crack somewhat crisper shifts, at least on the set-ups I own or have tried out. As always, YMMV - there are a lot of variables.

    Jacking in the B-tension is worth a shot, and as someone else mentioned, chainline could possibly contribute also. But I think it might just be a matter of 'that's just the way it is'.

    Im at the point of thinking you are probably right. I think I just need to push a little further on the trigger shifter. It doesnt help that I'm kind of obsessive compulsive.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by DennisF View Post
    Check the derailleur hanger alignment. Mine was out and it would shift OK on some gears but not others depending on how the barrel adjustment was set.

    I don't think that being out of alignment would affect only one shift, but seeing you've ruled out almost everything else, it would be worth checking.

    You don't need a professional tool -- you can use a straitedge and a ruler. Remove the RD and hold the straightedge on the hanger so that one end extends past the tire. Position the valve stem under the straightedge then measure the distance from the straightedge to the rim. Rotate the tire 1/4 turn and repeat until you get four measurements.

    Straighten with an adjustable wrench. The things are surprisingly soft.
    Should I rotate the tire 1/4 of a turn or the straightedge each time. It seems if I just rotate the tire and the straight edge stays in the same spot I would get the same measurement.

  17. #17
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    Ok so took it to bike shop and asked for hanger alignment said it was almost perfect but made a very tiny adjustment. This did not solve the issue so I assume its just the way it shifts or maybe I have a bent tooth. I looked at them very closely and couldnt see any bent ones though.

    He also reset cable tension and that doesn't appear to be the issue either. So its either:

    1) bent tooth
    2) issue with shifter
    3) just the way it is and I need to push the shifter a little more.

  18. #18
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    Re: Issue Shifting to from 9th to 8th Cog on 9 speed cassete

    Quote Originally Posted by Strife21 View Post
    Ok so took it to bike shop and asked for hanger alignment said it was almost perfect but made a very tiny adjustment. This did not solve the issue so I assume its just the way it shifts or maybe I have a bent tooth. I looked at them very closely and couldnt see any bent ones though.

    He also reset cable tension and that doesn't appear to be the issue either. So its either:

    1) bent tooth
    2) issue with shifter
    3) just the way it is and I need to push the shifter a little more.
    Why didn't you just ask them to check it out for the problem rather than giving them your solution?

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  19. #19
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    Idea!

    Quote Originally Posted by drwx View Post
    Why didn't you just ask them to check it out for the problem rather than giving them your solution?

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    Because I have limited funds at the moment and he did the alignment for free. He was also busy and couldn't get to something more detailed at the time I brought it without having me leave it there and I am going on vacation and need the bike. Is that a good enough reason for you?

  20. #20
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    I tried my friends trek mamba with alivio parts and his bike shifts very crisp from 9th to 8th every time without putting extra pressure on the shifter. Mine shifts crisply about 40-50%. When I get more money ill try replacing the cassette and shifter and see if either of those fixes the issue. I don't mind having some spare parts around.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strife21 View Post
    Because I have limited funds at the moment and he did the alignment for free. He was also busy and couldn't get to something more detailed at the time I brought it without having me leave it there and I am going on vacation and need the bike. Is that a good enough reason for you?

    they probably could have found the problem in the same amount of time it took to look at the hanger. A lot of shops that I've been to will diagnose the problem for free or really cheap. It's when you want them to fix it or replace parts that they start charging.

  22. #22
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    I realize it is moot for the moment, but for future reference...
    Should I rotate the tire 1/4 of a turn or the straightedge each time.
    Yes, you are correct. You want to rotate the valve stem 1/4 turn, rotate the straightedge too, then measure to the stem again.

    It seems if I just rotate the tire and the straight edge stays in the same spot I would get the same measurement.
    If the wheel is true, you are correct, you would get the same measurement.

    The reason that you rotate the straightedge AND the wheel is that if the wheel is out-of-true, it won't affect the derailleur alignment measurements.

    Anyway, you could replace just one item instead of getting a shifter and cassette. My bet is that it is the shifter. Those little cogs are pretty tough and not likely to bend, plus you did a visual inspection. But who knows what's going on inside the shifter? The shifter is really the brains of the operation. The cassette is just there, and the derailleur just does what the shifter tells it to.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by DennisF View Post
    I realize it is moot for the moment, but for future reference...

    Yes, you are correct. You want to rotate the valve stem 1/4 turn, rotate the straightedge too, then measure to the stem again.


    If the wheel is true, you are correct, you would get the same measurement.

    The reason that you rotate the straightedge AND the wheel is that if the wheel is out-of-true, it won't affect the derailleur alignment measurements.

    Anyway, you could replace just one item instead of getting a shifter and cassette. My bet is that it is the shifter. Those little cogs are pretty tough and not likely to bend, plus you did a visual inspection. But who knows what's going on inside the shifter? The shifter is really the brains of the operation. The cassette is just there, and the derailleur just does what the shifter tells it to.

    Yea that is pretty much what I was thinking. I would think if I bent a cog I would have had to fall or something and that didn't happen when the problem arose. Jenson has a good return policy and that's where I bought the shifter. So if I put the new one on and it fixes the issue they said I could return the old one and get my money back since its within 60 days.

  24. #24
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    Re: Issue Shifting to from 9th to 8th Cog on 9 speed cassete

    You say 9th to 8th cog. This means smallest up to second smallest? But you mention trigger, but 9to8 is a thumb shift?

    You complete ask the initial adjustment following the shimano instructions including upper limit, lower limit, barrel adjustment.

    Also, check your chain length is correct. If you change the amount of teeth, chain length may change.

    You say barrel doesn't affect 9to8th, that's impossible. Try placing shifter on lowest 9th on shifter, and tightening barrel until it moves to 8th and aligned on 8th(shifter still on 9th). Then thumb shift and see of it goes clean to 7th.

    Also, if you are new at this, include closeup pics of shifter, cable housing all the way to the derailleur, cassette and derailleur from multiple angles. Might help us catch something.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob13bob View Post
    You say 9th to 8th cog. This means smallest up to second smallest? But you mention trigger, but 9to8 is a thumb shift?

    You complete ask the initial adjustment following the shimano instructions including upper limit, lower limit, barrel adjustment.

    Also, check your chain length is correct. If you change the amount of teeth, chain length may change.

    You say barrel doesn't affect 9to8th, that's impossible. Try placing shifter on lowest 9th on shifter, and tightening barrel until it moves to 8th and aligned on 8th(shifter still on 9th). Then thumb shift and see of it goes clean to 7th.

    Also, if you are new at this, include closeup pics of shifter, cable housing all the way to the derailleur, cassette and derailleur from multiple angles. Might help us catch something.
    When I mentioned trigger I was just lumping the shifters in as trigger shifters yes I am pushing with my thumb for the shift.

    I will try to take some pictures tonight.

    The barrel adjuster does effect it and tightening the cable with it eventually causes the chain to not go back down 9 from 8 without a serious amount of clicking. Even then when it does go to 9 and I shift back to 8 it still has some hesitation about 50% of the time. (I dont understand why this wouldnt make the shift quicker, like I remember it)

    I will try what you say about tightening until it aligns with 8 when I have the shifter on 9 and see if the issue happens going from 8 to 7.

    Pertaining to the chain length, when I had it installed professionally with the new derauilleuer and cassette and shifters they took some links out of the 9 speed chain so I kind figured they sized it correctly. It worked fine until this point so I would assume the chain wouldnt be the problem since I didnt add or reduce any more links and it worked fine before. It's only a month old as well.

    I'm 99.9% sure the cables and derauiller are all dialed in correctly I was meticulous about everything. I also experimented with the B tension screw which didn't make the issue better nor worse.

  26. #26
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    Well, you can pretty much rule out a barrel adjustment problem by setting it so that it shifts from 8 to 7 OK. If the RD aligned, it is either set properly for all cogs or none of them.

    The H limit screw just prevents the chain from coming off the outside of the small cog. If it were too tight, you might not be able to shift from 8 to 9, but that shouldn't keep you from getting from 9 to 8.

    You might want to pop the cover off the shifter and take a look. You probably won't see anything, but you never know. (I took the cover off my new XTs out of curiosity, and it made an automatic transmission valve body look simple by comparison. Shimano doesn't even show the individual parts in their exploded diagram).

    Bob deserves the award for recommendation of the day -- post some pictures.

    Also EXCELLENT idea he has to test the shifter. Good thinking!
    Last edited by DennisF; 07-12-2013 at 07:28 PM.

  27. #27
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    There's a bunch of pics when I get time later I will take the chain out of the derailleur and put it on the largest cog and largest chain wheel and and see if its the correct length and take a pick for you guys to verify. I don't think that's the issue though because it worked previously.

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    There is slight posibility that that cable has a broken strand where the shift from 8th to 9th happens.It could hang up on the housing causing the slow shift.

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    I have put brand new cable and housing and cable ends about 3 times so thats not it though.

  30. #30
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    Re: Issue Shifting to from 9th to 8th Cog on 9 speed cassete

    Could be a bent derailleur cage?

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    possibly i suppose doesnt look bent though when I eyeball it and I didnt fall on it. Unless I tightened the cable bolt to hard and bent the thing but I dont see how that would bend the cage.

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    Re: Issue Shifting to from 9th to 8th Cog on 9 speed cassete

    Quote Originally Posted by Strife21 View Post
    possibly i suppose doesnt look bent though when I eyeball it and I didnt fall on it. Unless I tightened the cable bolt to hard and bent the thing but I dont see how that would bend the cage.
    On one of my older bikes, I had a bent derailleur. No amount of adjusting would fix it. The cage was bent and the spring was sprung. The bike shop got it working for about a week. If you are content to stay on slx and 9 speed, you can snag one for under $50. Maybe even cheaper on eBay. This was a couple of years ago. I got an xt derailleur on eBay for $45 brand new.

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  33. #33
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    Re: Issue Shifting to from 9th to 8th Cog on 9 speed cassete

    Oddly enough I run into this but opposite end of cassette 2-1 or 3-2 shift on slx 10 speed. It's not all the time. Took some time adjusting ever so slightly and varies on how much pressure I have on the pedals. I've spent some time going through everything. Took some time but got the sweet spot for cable tension which I have to adjust a click one way or the other if outside temps change too much. Also I am used pushing slightly past the click anyway. And for some reason too much or too little pedal pressure will delay my shifting.

    Personally it works fine no wear to things from it or anything, just getting to point where I match right pedal pressure with my shifts and if I'm in the sweet spot range perfect shift every time. And imo stay with shimano, I had sram and changed it, shift is crisp but not as much of a thud and ergo of shimano shifter imo are way better (plus double pull for index ot thumb shift is awesome)

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    Quote Originally Posted by bob13bob View Post
    You say 9th to 8th cog. This means smallest up to second smallest? But you mention trigger, but 9to8 is a thumb shift?


    You complete ask the initial adjustment following the shimano instructions including upper limit, lower limit, barrel adjustment.


    Also, check your chain length is correct. If you change the amount of teeth, chain length may change.


    You say barrel doesn't affect 9to8th, that's impossible. Try placing shifter on lowest 9th on shifter, and tightening barrel until it moves to 8th and aligned on 8th(shifter still on 9th). Then thumb shift and see of it goes clean to 7th.


    Also, if you are new at this, include closeup pics of shifter, cable housing all the way to the derailleur, cassette and derailleur from multiple angles. Might help us catch something.
    Okay verified chain length was correct it was perfect. Took it out of derailleur and put it on largest cog and largest chain wheel. There was exactly one extra chain link.

    Okay so I adjusted the barrel adjuster like you mentioned. I aligned it so 9 on the shifter was in sync with the 8th cog. When I shifted from 9-8 on the shifter it would shift from the 8th to 7th cog. The shift was crisp and 100% perfect every single time. I did it about 100 times.

    So I guess this eliminates the shifter as being the problem. I'd assume if it was the shifter it would also do the same thing going from the 8th to 7th cog when I had it set like you mentioned.

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    Re: Issue Shifting to from 9th to 8th Cog on 9 speed cassete

    I'm stumped. Either get another derailleur and swap it out to see if that's the problem. Also, post this over on tooltime subforum. More exposure there.

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    Okay. I'm thinking its either the derauiller or the cassette. I mean we have pretty much eliminated the shifter and alignment of the hanger and I know the cables and housing are perfect.

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    Well it turned out to be the cassette replaced with a shimano one and everything works great.

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