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  1. #1
    rubber side down
    Reputation: russman's Avatar
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    My love/hate relationship w/ Shimano XT integrated shifters

    As the title implies, I love my xt stuff, and I also hate it too. I love it when it works, hate it when it doesn't. I'll elaborate. Last week, in preparation for riding 50+ miles of epic singletrack, I replaced my rear deraileur cable, and housing. I've done it a few times. Something about the lower cable housing that gets all gummed up in no time that makes shifting bad. I took her out (her==Santa Cruz Blur), and all is well-no ghost shifting, no issues. Saturday rolls around, 20 miles in, it starts. ghost shifting...bloody gremlins...After a few minor adjustments (cable tension), i'm good to go again...10 miles on...ghost shifting. I find it impossible that the new cable is stretching this badly!! (or is it?). Again, I adjust, and it works for the time being. The problem is happening more and more. It's really bringing me down. I'm the only one in our group that is having this problem. I'm also the only one with the integrated shifters. This is not a new problem to me. The stuff is just downright finicky. I should have never been talked into putting this stuff on my bike. I start having visions of throwing these crappy shiters through the dealers window. Yesterday, after I calmed down, I cleaned up my bike...re-adjusted everything...and it works great again...am I in love with it again? We'll see.

    Has anyone had this type of relationship with this product?

    R

  2. #2
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    I have a similar issue with my XT drivetrain. I de-tension the derailleur cables to lube them after every few rides. My shifters never work right after this. On my old bike with 8-speed shifters, it wasn't as sensitive to housing/ferrule position.

    I guess it takes a little time for the cable ferrules to re-seat into the proper position. Usually sometime after the first ride, the shifters return to normal without any adjustment on my part.

  3. #3
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
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    Incorrect cable routing/housing length. See the other ghost shifting thread towards the top of this board.

    And BTW, the cables don't actually stretch, the housing ends compress.
    Last edited by Jayem; 07-17-2006 at 08:35 PM.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  4. #4
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    An avid rollamajig really helped out with my ghost issues on a Blur with XT.

  5. #5
    No good in rock gardens..
    Reputation: Sideknob's Avatar
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    Rapid Rise = rapid demise.
    My Cannondale Lefty keeps failing....

  6. #6
    Chrome Toaster
    Reputation: Hecubus's Avatar
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    Shifters have nothing to do with your problem. The shifter is the same 9 speed mechanical system used in Shimano shifters for the last 8 or 9 years. The fact that you now shift it with a brake lever instead of a thumb paddle doesn't change anything. If indeed you are correctly adjusting your derailleur there are a few possible suspects. The first and most obvious is its very likely you are still suffering from initial housing compression since you changed housing. This can take a few weeks to settle into place in some cases. Shift your bike on to the smallest cog if its RR or the largest if its a conventional derailleur. Grab the derailleur cable from an open run on the frame and give it a firm pull to force the new housing to fall into place and fully compress into the ferrules. You will likely need to loosen the cable at the derailleur and reclamp/readjust everything afterwards since it can go pretty slack after doing this.
    If thats not the case look for the next suspect. The derailleur hanger. Bent hangers can be tricky to diagnose because the can shift ok for some time and then start giving problems once different torque is applied over the pedals on the same gears that appeared to work fine a while ago. Besides that is anything else old or worn such as cassette or chain?

  7. #7
    Giggitty giggitty!!
    Reputation: dhpimp's Avatar
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    What type of housing are you using? That crappy Jagwire stuff or genuine Shimano? Years ago I had tons of shifting problems on my bikes cause I decided to save money and buy cheaper cables/housing. Now I only buy XTR (prepackaged) stuff or the Shimano SIS-SP41.

    Don't use crappy housing!! You have an expensive set of shifters and derailleur. Why put a cheap crappy part in between??

    Quote Originally Posted by Sideknob
    Rapid Rise = rapid demise.
    Sounds like a very educated response from someone who rides SRAM

  8. #8
    Giggitty giggitty!!
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    What type of housing are you using? That crappy Jagwire stuff or genuine Shimano? Years ago I had tons of shifting problems on my bikes cause I decided to save money and buy cheaper cables/housing. Now I only buy XTR (prepackaged) stuff or the Shimano SIS-SP41.

    Don't use crappy housing!! You have an expensive set of shifters and derailleur. Why put a cheap crappy part in between??

    Quote Originally Posted by Sideknob
    Rapid Rise = rapid demise.
    Sounds like a very educated response from someone who rides SRAM

  9. #9
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    Reputation: standard235's Avatar
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    I bought high end Jagwire housing and cables and they didn't need readjusted with my SRAM x.7 stuff in the 2 weeks I rode it.

  10. #10
    EDR
    Reputation: eatdrinkride's Avatar
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    Has this bike always had this on again/off again shifting problem? Does it happen on smooth terrain or rough stuff or all the time. I'm not trying to flame your bike at all but I have heard the Vpp designs lend themselves to 'chain growth' at times during suspension movement. Might this caus some ghost shifting issues? (assuming only that the shifter/cable components get ruled out of the equation).

    I don't know...just food for thought.

  11. #11
    the catalan connection
    Reputation: What&son's Avatar
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    once talking about the dc stuff with a shop guy told me that he had found almost impossible to sincronize properly some xt systems where never had issues with xtr´s.
    Missproduced? Shimano makes mistakes too.
    "Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordly evidence of the fact." George Elliot

  12. #12
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    Reputation: russman's Avatar
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    Wow, thanks for all the input!. Here's what I've done thus far...maybe it'll help, maybe it won't...The housing I use is Shimano SIS housing, so I don't think the bad housing thing works...Does lubing the cable housing help, or does it just attract dirt? I decided to lube it with some Tri-Flow. I re-adjusted the rear derailuer with no cable on it--so the limit screws are set right, the cable is reattached, and it works great so far (test rides in front of my house). This thing has got to get me through the Leadville 100. If I have to stop every 3 miles to readjust my derailuer, I'm gonna call it bad names, and the stuff will most likely find it's way onto Ebay for a terrific buy it now price.

    Thanks a lot for the help!

    R

  13. #13
    Chrome Toaster
    Reputation: Hecubus's Avatar
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    Make sure to verify the straightness of the derailleur hanger first and foremost. If its really important put a fresh hanger before the event. Avoid putting too much lube in the housing as it will just attract more dirt. Too much lube to the extreme will also work against the whole point of using it as the cable will have a hard time pushing against it. Hind of like bearings with a lot of fresh grease, they drag a lot even though theres more lube in there. I generally prefer to leave the housing dry and put a very light film of grease on the cable itself.

  14. #14
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by russman
    Wow, thanks for all the input!. Here's what I've done thus far...maybe it'll help, maybe it won't...The housing I use is Shimano SIS housing, so I don't think the bad housing thing works...
    No, not that simple. Old housing will have dirt and grime, no matter who makes it. Also, the cuts should be uniform and it's nice to use a dremel to cut or grind when doing the cable housing ends. Any inconsistancies here can easily add up to shifting problems, at least untill everything starts to "bed" in better, but really poor cuts can just never work right. Next, the cable routing is also important, the size of the bends. Too much cable housing is just as bad as too little.

    Next, I would NEVER put any oil based lube on cables, and the wax stuff doesn't seem to do much better. There is ONE thing that I use on cables, and that is "bike aid", available from QBP. This is a molybdenum lube, which is one of the slickest substances known to man. It's a good way to keep your shifters and cables going for longer than they normally would, and a good idea if you live in a place where it's impossible to avoid contamination of the lines. Otherwise, nothing really beats a fresh set of housing and cables, but it also has the possibility of introducing a plethora of other problems, or solving all of the problems, which is why you notice that so many people switch to the "other" companies shifters and derailers and their problem is solved. It's not the shifter or derailer, it's because they had to run the cables again, and this time it was done right, for whatever reason.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

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