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  1. #1
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    Alivio replacement ??

    Hi all I'm new at cycling and I'd like some advice on replacing the Alivio rear derailleur on my Cannondale Sl4 29er , the bike is fairly new I bought it on Dec.1 and I have been riding a lot after about a month and a half of riding it started "crunching" a lot ,missing shifts and dropping the chain on numerous occasions causing me to come off the pedals and mashing myself against the top tube , after taking it to get a tune-up it helped it but it still misses shifts and just seems like the shifts engage way late under heavy pedaling so I decided not to wait anymore I figure It's a relatively in-expensive fix my problem is I simply don't know which derailleur i need to replace it I know that I'd like to use a Shimano Xt but I dont know which I need another thing is correct me if I'm wrong but I thought I've read that Sram x7 or x9 aren't compatible with the Shimano shifters in this case Aceras the bike is a 9 speed and many of the components I see that I think I could use seem to be for 10 speed drive trains .
    So could someone point me in the right direction here it all seems a bit confusing, thanks for reading all info will be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    sometimes you have to soft pedal while under load for the rear deraillure to shift, even on the nicer RD they still make alot of noise. I know on my X9 rear I have it sounds brutal if I am under load while shifting but it hurts nothing.

    I would look into the SLX rear as well, would save you some money over the XT and be leaps ahead of your Alivio. If you are wanting to order yourself find out what type of pull your rear is now and order the same type of pull in the SLX or XT.

    otherwise I would see if your LBS has the correct one in stock or will order one for you.

  3. #3
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    The derailleur is but one component in the shifting system and I doubt that you would notice much, if any difference by upgrading it. Like TJay said you need to learn to soft pedal while making a shift, if you are shifting gears while at the same time mashing it up a hill even an XTR derailleur is going to complain by loudly crunching and groaning. Poor shifting technique is also one of the top causes of broken chains and injured private parts.

    I suggest keeping the derailleur for now and working on the way you shift gears, soon it will become second nature.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    The derailleur is but one component in the shifting system and I doubt that you would notice much, if any difference by upgrading it. Like TJay said you need to learn to soft pedal while making a shift, if you are shifting gears while at the same time mashing it up a hill even an XTR derailleur is going to complain by loudly crunching and groaning. Poor shifting technique is also one of the top causes of broken chains and injured private parts.

    I suggest keeping the derailleur for now and working on the way you shift gears, soon it will become second nature.
    You make a valid point and I'm aware that I don't quite know how to use my gears correctly but I also know that the derailleur is mediocre at best so I figured it wouldn't hurt but you're right I need to learn how to use what I have and then upgrade

  5. #5
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    This seemed to be a problem for the bike I test rode before buying a Cobia. With derailleurs in the lower-end (which, sadly Cannondale uses on the SL4), it is strongly advised to not stand and pedal while shifting... too much stress on the derailleur (found that out on my old F9).
    If you want a decent replacement, look for something higher up in the Shimano line, which may mean upgrading your bike to a 10 speed in rear. Deore XT Black looks like a good fit.
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  6. #6
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    Alivio replacement ??

    My Kona has an Alivio RD and it is just fine. I keep it dialed in properly, avoid shifting under load and it works well. To be honest, I really don't have any complaints about this piece of gear and wouldn't hesitate to replace it with the same model. Keep riding it and learn to shift well. That will make more of a difference than any upgrade.
    Free people must travel the road to productive social relations at the speed of a bicycle.- Ivan Illich

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by CannondaleF9 View Post
    With derailleurs in the lower-end (which, sadly Cannondale uses on the SL4), it is strongly advised to not stand and pedal while shifting... too much stress on the derailleur

    Though you can stand and pedal while shifting, you should never do it while you're pedaling hard- you still need to let up for a split second during the shift no mater what level the derailleur.

  8. #8
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    Echoing what everyone else is saying, never shift under mid-heavy load. It usually leads to bad things happening to your drivetrain and/or you body.

    Also, if you are experiencing ghost shifting a lot, it could be a number of things. Rear derailleur, cassette or shifters. The derailleur is pretty simple, there are high and low limits and everything else is controlled by the shifters. If you are shifting and nothing is happening, that could be the cassette. The ramps can wear out causing it to make plenty of noise but it still won't shift. Or the cassette needs to be cleaned. Then there is the chain. If you want a quiet drivetrain, get a good chain.

    Alivio may not be XTR, but it's still very good equipment. My dad has Sram X4, which is roughly equivalent to Alivio, on his Diamondback Overdrive. It runs perfectly because he knows how to adjust it, and maintain it properly.

    Just some advice. Don't mean to sound preachy.

  9. #9
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    Just a comment on Sram and Shimano. Mixing shifters and derailleurs is not a good idea. Most don't play together. Personally, I try not to mix Shimano and Sram. Unless you're talking like a Sram crankset and the rest Shimano.

  10. #10
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I had an Alivio rear derailleur on my bike for several seasons. They're fine until they wear out. Which takes multiple seasons.

    I've had opportunity to ride some bikes with high-end drivetrains. When poorly tuned or excessively dirty, they shift like ass. Go figure.

    In order to get good shifting, you need to have nice, low friction along the cable, the alignment of the derailleur needs to be right, and the indexing needs to be good. I'm betting your housings are so-so and the problem you had that cropped up after a month of riding was probably that the housings bedded in a bit more, and the indexing went bad as a result.

    Make sure the area under your bottom bracket is nice and clean. My bike has downtube cable routing too; I think that makes a real difference. Also, learn to adjust the derailleur yourself. You probably only need to adjust the barrel adjusters. Here's a link.
    Park Tool Co. ParkTool Blog Rear Derailler Adjustments (derailleur)

    The part that's relevant to you right now starts pretty far down the page, the part about indexing. Remember the site - they have clear, well-photographed instructions for almost every maintenance task on a bike. Things can go pretty sideways out in the woods, so I think mountain bikers should understand their drivetrains; this is a good way to start.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  11. #11
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    Most if not all the problems I've had is that when I'm about to got up a levee (Up hill) at a pretty serious angle I know that I cant shift under a load so I anticipate and shift early I hear and feel the gear engage so I'll start up the slope and that's when it happens, from what I can tell is that the gear hasnt engaged well or IDK but the chain has fallen off several times and I've busted my junk more than I'd like to admit, there is also the chance that I'm crossing the chain or w/e the term is which I did not become aware of until I read a thread here about the subject so I'll make adjustments on the next ride and I'll update.
    But here's another scenario; I'm riding level at a steady pace I'll make a shift up, gear seems to engage fine so I keep pedaling and then several revolutions after the shift it seems to shift again by itself which also has led the gears to jump or skip and I'll come off the pedals because when it jumps or skips it goes to a gear that has a lot less resitance. So that's my deal so far I'm going to try to go for a ride today and put my new knowledge to work on the local trail, I'll post and update if I do go, thnx all for your input.

  12. #12
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    Another thing to consider is Shimano 9 speeds and below (NOT 10) have a floating jockey pulley nearest to the cassette. That aids in shifting, but if your adjustment is right at the edge, I have experienced shifting like you describe. With that said, I got rid of all of my older type spring loaded B-Pivot derailleurs for the fixed B-Pivot Shadow design and have never looked backed. Even in 9 speed, they feel more crisp to me. If you decide to go Shadow, bluesky cycling has the OEM M592 Deore level for around 45 bucks. They are great and with the rise in 9-speed price a good deal.

  13. #13
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    You aren't cross chaining are you? Meaning (big ring on the front and big cog on the back) or (little ring on the front and little cog on the back) ?

    I have used Alivio stuff for years and found it to be reliable and durable for the money.

    Also you are dropping your chain on the cranks?

  14. #14
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    I'm a newb. Too new to post a new thread, so I'll pile in here. Are 3x systems still relevant? I like having a granny, and can use the big ring while gravel grinding, but I almost feel guilty fro having too many gears. Am I Wrong?

  15. #15
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    Sure they are, many bikes still have and use 3 rings, especially for the circumstances you wrote. I removed my big ring and put a bash guard on since that bike only sees trails and I did not want a big ring to the calf. My other bike that does fireroads, road riding, etc has 3 rings.

  16. #16
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Quote Originally Posted by dl5205 View Post
    I'm a newb. Too new to post a new thread, so I'll pile in here. Are 3x systems still relevant? I like having a granny, and can use the big ring while gravel grinding, but I almost feel guilty fro having too many gears. Am I Wrong?
    Nope. But if I try hard enough to convince people, the fashion victims will spring for new cranksets before they wear out their old ones.

    Sweet!
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