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  1. #1
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    SRAM X.9 = The weakest link?

    3 weeks old. JRA. Caught a small branch (< 1/2" in diameter). All the king's horses, etc., and all of the tools in my Camelbak weren't going to be putting this mess back together. 4 mile walk out. Great time.

    15 years on Shimano rear derailleurs, including the last 7 on '98 XT 8-spd, and never a problem (aside from waning availabilty of compatable replacement parts!)

    FINALLY decide to 'upgrade' to 9 speed and give SRAM a shot. Not a good first impression, to say the least.
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  2. #2
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    two more pics

    Quote Originally Posted by Stick
    3 weeks old. JRA. Caught a small branch (< 1/2" in diameter). All the king's horses, etc., and all of the tools in my Camelbak weren't going to be putting this mess back together. 4 mile walk out. Great time.

    15 years on Shimano rear derailleurs, including the last 7 on '98 XT 8-spd, and never a problem (aside from waning availabilty of compatable replacement parts!)

    FINALLY decide to 'upgrade' to 9 speed and give SRAM a shot. Not a good first impression, to say the least.
    Here's a couple more shots:
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  3. #3
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    hah! Thats where the older 9.0's used to break constantly. Guess they never figured that one out.

  4. #4
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    Ouch!

  5. #5
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    If it ain't broke don't fix it...I'm riding with LX since years ago and have never needed to replace/reallign/ask-it-nicely-to-work etc etc

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by nnn
    If it ain't broke don't fix it...I'm riding with LX since years ago and have never needed to replace/reallign/ask-it-nicely-to-work etc etc
    Oh, believe me, I hear ya. I'd been running XT 8 spd stuff on all of my bikes since '98 and I squeeze a ridiculous number of years/miles out of every part. Just happened this time around that EVERYTHING on my current 'main' bike's drivetrain was completely worn out. Shifters, cassette, chainrings, chain, derailleur spring & pulleys...you name it. After 3 solid years of 4-seasons riding, everything had to go.

    I looked for increasingly obscure 8-spd xt shifter pods. Used to buy them from Jenson for $59/set f & r. Now, they're at least $50 each (speedgoat). After much scouring of the web for 8 spd parts at reasonable prices, I said "wtf? This is getting ridiculous!"

    Picked up the X.9 triggers and rear derailleur for $119 at Pricepoint. Got a pretty good deal on all of the other parts I needed and, in a few days, I was rolling w/ 9 spd. Worked really well for 3 weeks, then this.

    If I could have kept riding 8-spd forever, I would have. The other 'problem' with shimano being that XT stuff continues to get more and more expensive every year. Hell, today's xt costs nearly as much as xtr from just a couple years ago.

    *shrug* I thought I'd give SRAM a chance. Guess that's what I get. FWIW, I already ordered a replacement LX rear derailleur, and a pair of Attack triggers, since the x.9s I have aren't shimano compatible. Had to get something while I wait for responses from SRAM and Pricepoint telling me that they won't replace the der. under warranty.
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  7. #7
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    Bad metal. Stuff is crystallized and is definitely a manufacturing defect. Send it back for replacement.
    .
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  8. #8
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    When you get a stick in your derailleur, something breaks. Sometimes it's the derailleur, sometimes it's the hanger. It's just part of mountain biking. Buy a new derailleur and get back on the trails.

    I've actually had a lot better luck with the SRAM derailleurs than Shimanos. Went through about a dozen Shimano derailleurs last year between my trailbike and FR bike, got SRAM last fall and haven't toasted one yet. The Shimanos seem to wear out and get sloppy a lot faster (only a couple actually broke).

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by watermoccasin
    When you get a stick in your derailleur, something breaks. Sometimes it's the derailleur, sometimes it's the hanger. It's just part of mountain biking.
    Couldn't disagree more. I've caught plenty of sticks (and rocks, etc) in the last decade and a half of riding off-road and have NEVER broken a derailleur or hanger...until now. I bent one aluminum hanger on my '94 M2, but that's it.

    ! weigh 150 lb, and ride with more finesse than brute force. The stick that destroyed the derailleur in question was about the size of my pinky. Granted, I shouldn't have hit it (duh) but the damage seems to far exceed the actual amount of force that could have been placed on the derailleur.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmojo
    Bad metal. Stuff is crystallized and is definitely a manufacturing defect. Send it back for replacement.
    Not.
    Curious though how you came up with that scientific analysis from the photo?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg
    Not.
    Curious though how you came up with that scientific analysis from the photo?
    Sure looks like it in the pics. Enlighten me.
    .
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmojo
    Sure looks like it in the pics. Enlighten me.
    No, enlighten me. You made the analysis that the mateial is crystallized. How'd you do that?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg
    No, enlighten me. You made the analysis that the mateial is crystallized. How'd you do that?
    No need to be a douche bag about it. Let me answer for him:

    He looked at the pics. The metal in and around the break 'looks' like a conglomerate of crystalline particles. Whether this is typical or not is secondary.

    Christ, talk about looking for an argument!
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg
    No, enlighten me. You made the analysis that the mateial is crystallized. How'd you do that?
    What a freakin' pantload.
    .
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  15. #15
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    Thats what a cast alloy typically looks like when it breaks. How exactly does cast al become "crystalized"?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stick
    No need to be a douche bag about it. Let me answer for him:

    He looked at the pics. The metal in and around the break 'looks' like a conglomerate of crystalline particles. Whether this is typical or not is secondary.

    Christ, talk about looking for an argument!
    No need to be a double douche bag about it, right back at ya.

    It was a legitimate question. I'm curious how he made the analysis that it's a manufacturing defect due to crystalized material.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmojo
    What a freakin' pantload.
    Good Ad Hominem.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg
    It was a legitimate question. I'm curious how he made the analysis that it's a manufacturing defect due to crystalized material.
    When metal is cast or heat treated and isn't cooled properly, the grain becomes very course and crystalline in nature. Things made from that metal tend to be brittle and can easily break in a manner similar to what is shown in the picture. That part doesn't seem to be something that would normally be heat treated so it's probably cast.

    Either that or the part was made from pot metal. (zinc)
    .
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg
    Good Ad Hominem.
    Here's a thought: Instead of bustin' out the latin and rolling on the floor, why don't you explain to mbmojo why it's normal for cast aluminum alloy to be both crystaline and porous?
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stick
    Here's a thought: Instead of bustin' out the latin and rolling on the floor, why don't you explain to mbmojo why it's normal for cast aluminum alloy to be both crystaline and porous?
    I thought I asked that question.

    Is it typical for aluminum the grain to be that course?
    .
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmojo
    When metal is cast or heat treated and isn't cooled properly, the grain becomes very course and crystalline in nature. Things made from that metal tend to be brittle and can easily break in a manner similar to what is shown in the picture. That part doesn't seem to be something that would normally be heat treated so it's probably cast.

    Either that or the part was made from pot metal. (zinc)
    Actually, all metals are crystalline when in the solid state. Some have tighter crystal structures than others.

    Cast aluminum or zinc when broken will appear to be highly "crystalline". Even if "cooled" properly. It's the nature of the material. It doesn't mean there was a manufacturing defect worthy of replacement.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stick
    Here's a thought: Instead of bustin' out the latin and rolling on the floor, why don't you explain to mbmojo why it's normal for cast aluminum alloy to be both crystaline and porous?
    Funny that you bust on me yet I'm not the one bustin' out the name calling.

    mbmojo didn't ask that. "What a freakin' pantload" Doesn't quite give the impression of wanting input. I merely wanted clarification on his analysis. I didn't realize that was such a big deal.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmojo
    I thought I asked that question.

    Is it typical for aluminum the grain to be that course?
    No you didn't, and yes it's very typical. In fact cast aluminum will pretty much always appear that way when broken.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg
    Funny that you bust on me yet I'm not the one bustin' out the name calling.

    mbmojo didn't ask that. "What a freakin' pantload" Doesn't quite give the impression of wanting input. I merely wanted clarification on his analysis. I didn't realize that was such a big deal.
    I wasn't 'bustin' on you. My point was that, instead of coming to the thread with little to add aside from picking apart someone else's opinion and starting a little 'I know more than you but I'm not telling' pissing match, you could contribute something worthwhile to the discussion. I'm neither metallurgist nor engineer. I'm a chemist, and I know a little about the properties of metals but, honestly, I'm not in the business of breaking bike parts and probably wouldn't be able to tell a 'routine' break from a 'defect'

    If somebody posts something that you know or suspect to be untrue, then educate the person, for the benefit of everyone else reading the thread. Otherwise, it's just a waste of space.

    All that said, I sure hope the derailleur's 'defective' (even though I suspect it isn't, aside from being inherently weak in a critical area), 'cos I'd hate to think they all snap so easily.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stick
    I wasn't 'bustin' on you. My point was that, instead of coming to the thread with little to add aside from picking apart someone else's opinion and starting a little 'I know more than you but I'm not telling' pissing match, you could contribute something worthwhile to the discussion.
    Was not my intention. His original statement "Stuff is crystallized and is definitely a manufacturing defect" Sounded like he was confident in his "diagnosis". All I wanted to know was how he came up with that. Maybe he knew something I didn't.

    I'm neither metallurgist nor engineer. I'm a chemist, and I know a little about the properties of metals but, honestly, I'm not in the business of breaking bike parts and probably wouldn't be able to tell a 'routine' break from a 'defect'
    I'm an engineer, but not a metallurgist. I don't know of any ways to tell a routine break from a defect from a picture. Hence wanting to know more info from mbmojo.


    All that said, I sure hope the derailleur's 'defective' (even though I suspect it isn't, aside from being inherently weak in a critical area), 'cos I'd hate to think they all snap so easily.
    Sorry to say but I think you're SOL.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg
    Was not my intention. His original statement "Stuff is crystallized and is definitely a manufacturing defect" Sounded like he was confident in his "diagnosis". All I wanted to know was how he came up with that. Maybe he knew something I didn't
    Maybe. But when he posted this:

    "Sure looks like it in the pics. Enlighten me."


    You could have just done what he asked and provided some info (as you did in a later post), instead of holding out in the hopes that he'd dig himself deeper into a hole so you could point and laugh and use $0.10 words. (name-calling notwithstanding)

    Anyway...
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  27. #27
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    Here's my JRA X-9 rear derailleur. Unreal. I had always used Shimano before, and went back to them immediately after this "incident".

    Michael
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stick
    Maybe. But when he posted this:

    "Sure looks like it in the pics. Enlighten me."

    You could have just done what he asked and provided some info
    Except, he didn't answer my question of how he got that analysis from the photo. There was nothing for me to "enlighten" him on. "Sure looks like it in the pics", with a touch of sarcasm "Enlighten me" doesn't quite say how he determined it from the photo.

    Anyway....

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg
    Good Ad Hominem.
    Jeezus!! Would you stop abusing Latin already? It's a dead language. Let it rest in peace without trying to use it inappropriately (and ad nauseum) every time you want to get in a flame war. It's starting to get kind of embarrasing.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg
    Except, he didn't answer my question of how he got that analysis from the photo. There was nothing for me to "enlighten" him on. "Sure looks like it in the pics", with a touch of sarcasm "Enlighten me" doesn't quite say how he determined it from the photo.

    Anyway....
    Please, man. Analysis? He looked at the pic, thought it looked odd, and assumed it was due to a defect in the material. If I didn't know better, I'd be inclined to agree with him based solely on the way the thing looks as I hold it in front of me; mangled and 'stretched' and cracked in ways I've never seen (details hard to discern from the pics, but still...). It doesn't take a rocket scientist, an engineer, or a chemist to figure out that people sometimes post things on the internet without having all the answers to back up their claims. Whether he's right or not is practically irrelavent at this point, because it seems all you want out of him is an admission of his own ignorance. To what end? Protecting the public-at-large from misinformation? Saving SRAM's reputation? Nah, it seems like you're being a bit more malicious here, but I could be wrong.

    Anyway, I digress...it's a dead horse. How 'bout we stop beating it now?
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patchito
    Jeezus!! Would you stop abusing Latin already?
    ahblay ahblay ahblay
    Ogay omewheresay elseway andway ewspay.

  32. #32
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    My 2 cents

    Looking at (note the limiter) both pictures of failed ders, it appears that both failed at not unreasonable places on the castings. Both were (this is too obvious) subjected to forces beyond what they could stand.

    It is a fact of life that stuff breaks while riding. A rear der is hanging out there off the side of the bike and can really be extended, making a moment-arm that has a lot of leverage (think potential torque). I don't think - again just looking at the picts - that these failures are unreasonable. These parts are put on thousands and thousands of bikes each year. Some break. Ditto for Shimano - do a search. Just because it has never happened to you in 1500 years of riding a bike does not mean that sram makes defective parts. The "JRA and the manufacturer is crap" argument has been used so many times that it is just too tedious to endure.

    It is impossible to analyze the failure mode - manufacturing defect or over-stress usage - by looking at a picture and reading a description. It is akin to doing a medical diagnosis from the senate floor. Impossible. You need a lab. Anyone who can determine metallurgical failure by looking at a picture has a wonderful, high-paying career at the company of his or her choice because it is a skill that no one I ever heard of has. I would put one exception to this - a VERY experienced metallurgist working with the same type of material, literally for the same company that makes the parts, that has examined many similar failures of the same part in a lab and has developed an opinion of how these fail based on that experience. But someone with that experience would more than likely say "I need to see the part to make an analysis."

    I believe that what happened is that you took a stick in the rear der, and it broke. No warranty. Buy another. Brand is your choice.

    Can't blame sram for that one. If you want to blame sram, get the part to an independant met lab and have a determination done. Take it to a College or University that teaches metallurgy and see if they will do the analysis for free. You may have to buy them a few known good samples for comparision, maybe not.

    And yes, I am an engineer. No, I do not work in metallurgy. Yes, I have had metallurgy training. Yes, I do consult. No, not on this one, it is too obvious and you can't afford me. No, I am not giving an engineering opinion on the failure, only saying it needs in-depth metallurgical analysis to determine if there is a manufacturing defect. Yes, the obvious failure mode from the descriptions given is over-stress, but to make the determination with any degree of confidence would require that analysis. Your right, this is very amusing. No, I am not intentionally trying to be sarcastic or demeaning, and my apologies if you take it that way.

    Hope this helps.

    Rick

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by badlander
    Hope this helps.

    Rick
    Thanks for the reply. For what it's worth, I don't think that I ever tried to 'blame' SRAM for the failure. I wan't trying to bash SRAM. I know people who've sworn by their products for years. I started the thread because I was curious if others had similar experience with the X-9. Sure, I know that people have destroyed derailleurs from every manufacturer, and I'm aware that coincidences do occur (i.e. I switch der. manufacturers after 15 yrs and break a derailleur 3 wks later...could simply be that 'my time' was up, these things happen, etc.) Some would tell me to shut up and be happy that I've only broken one derailleur in all that time. Such is life, and my experience may not be the same as someone else's...

    I did write that I 'hoped' it was a defect (because it snapped so quickly and easily) but also that it most likely isn't defective. Whether it's design is inherently weaker, more brittle, or more prone to failure than a comparable Shimano derailleur, I'm not really qualified to say with certainty, but I chalk this up to a 'bad' experience with the X-9. Sh!t happens? Sure. Doesn't mean I'll go singing and dancing to the LBS to get another X-9!

    If SRAM won't replace it, that's their decision. However, that decision would only add to the bad taste in my mouth re: their product and customer support.

    I'll continue to use their shifters for the time being, but the replacement derailleur that's on it's way is a Shimano, fwiw.
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stick
    I'll continue to use their shifters for the time being, but the replacement derailleur that's on it's way is a Shimano, fwiw.
    Same shifters used for the X.9 derailleur? Won't be Shimano compatible.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg
    Same shifters used for the X.9 derailleur? Won't be Shimano compatible.
    Thanks, but I know that. No, I ordered a set of Attack shifters w/ the derailleur.
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  36. #36
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    Unlucky and lucky

    I think you were just very unlucky. Small innocent looking sticks can do loads of damage to wheels, mechs, hangers, whatever! You were just unlucky it happened on a new mech that's all.

    One thing I would say about the X9 mech, compared to Shimano, is that the arm is solidly mounted to the hanger and does not float on its mount like the Shimano ones. This means that in certain load cases it will be more prone to snapping off like this. However, to counter this, the Shimano mechs are more prone to wrapping themselves around the wheel.

    Let's face it rear mechs are a vulnerable component and you have been genuinely very lucky not to break any in such a long time. It was about time you had a mech breakage!!

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by uktrailmonster
    Let's face it rear mechs are a vulnerable component and you have been genuinely very lucky not to break any in such a long time. It was about time you had a mech breakage!!
    Perhaps. I e-mailed a link to this thread to SRAM USA. Will be interesting to see if anyone there bothers to comment.
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  38. #38
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    If a scientist were to base his entire thesis on a single counter-example, he'd be laughed out of the laboratory. You either got a bum derailleur or a set of really bad circumstances. You cannot possibly say that in an identical situation that a shimano derailleur would have survived. And you cannot possibly say that another X.9 would have failed in those same circumstances. I've seen shimano parts with similar breaks. When you turn out that many parts per year, you are bound to have a few failures.

    I've been riding with X.9 for a year now and absolutely love it. Easier to tune, holds up under muddy conditions much better, and makes less noise than my old shimano stuff. (And yes, I had it all properly tuned.)

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vecsus
    If a scientist were to base his entire thesis on a single counter-example, he'd be laughed out of the laboratory. You either got a bum derailleur or a set of really bad circumstances. You cannot possibly say that in an identical situation that a shimano derailleur would have survived. And you cannot possibly say that another X.9 would have failed in those same circumstances. I've seen shimano parts with similar breaks. When you turn out that many parts per year, you are bound to have a few failures.
    I am a scientist, and I'm not sure I follow...Where did I say any of those things? I'm not defending a thesis, and your analogy is somewhat less than relevant. I started the thread in attempt to see if there were, in fact, other examples of X.9s failing in a similar manner (as the review section of this site seems to indicate). The subject of my post was a question, not a wild accusation or hastily drawn conclusion like "SRAM SUCKS!".

    All I've posted was my experience. I made no claims that Shimano was vastly-superior, indestructible, etc., nor have I posted anything derogatory about SRAM. Again, just the sum of my experience. I don't know why people keep reading into this. Would I ever use another SRAM derailleur? Maybe. But I'm certainly in no hurry to rush out and plunk down more cash for one at the moment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vecsus
    I've been riding with X.9 for a year now and absolutely love it. Easier to tune, holds up under muddy conditions much better, and makes less noise than my old shimano stuff. (And yes, I had it all properly tuned.)
    Glad you're happy with it. I was too, for a few weeks. Although 'easier' & 'better' are subjective.
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  40. #40
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    Beating on an X-7 ...

    Quote Originally Posted by watermoccasin
    When you get a stick in your derailleur, something breaks. Sometimes it's the derailleur, sometimes it's the hanger. It's just part of mountain biking. Buy a new derailleur and get back on the trails.

    I've actually had a lot better luck with the SRAM derailleurs than Shimanos. Went through about a dozen Shimano derailleurs last year between my trailbike and FR bike, got SRAM last fall and haven't toasted one yet. The Shimanos seem to wear out and get sloppy a lot faster (only a couple actually broke).
    I beat the hell out of an 2000 X-7 derailleur. I tortured in it ALL kinds of ways. And it survived.

    The pic above shows a snapped derailleur hanger. This should not happen. If the hanger goes, the derailleur should stay intact.

    Of course, I think there is a tendency for people to "blame SRAM" when they should be blaming a stick. If someone's Shimano derailleur snaps after a stick, they shrug and buy another Shimano. If a SRAM one snaps, I think people sometimes conclude that it was SRAM as opposed to a hit that would have broken anybody's derailleur.

    I strongly urge the original poster to send his pictures to SRAM and get a replacement.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by willtsmith_nwi
    The pic above shows a snapped derailleur hanger. This should not happen.
    Fortunately, (or is that unfortunately? ), it doesn't. That black piece is not my derailleur hanger, it's part of the X-9s B-tension mechanism. The black part rests against the tab on the frame, and the B-tension screw pushes against it. The small piece of derailleur in the pics was still bolted to my frame after the derailleur broke.
    "mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

  42. #42
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    Your behavior ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Stick
    I am a scientist, and I'm not sure I follow...Where did I say any of those things? I'm not defending a thesis, and your analogy is somewhat less than relevant. I started the thread in attempt to see if there were, in fact, other examples of X.9s failing in a similar manner (as the review section of this site seems to indicate). The subject of my post was a question, not a wild accusation or hastily drawn conclusion like "SRAM SUCKS!".

    All I've posted was my experience. I made no claims that Shimano was vastly-superior, indestructible, etc., nor have I posted anything derogatory about SRAM. Again, just the sum of my experience. I don't know why people keep reading into this. Would I ever use another SRAM derailleur? Maybe. But I'm certainly in no hurry to rush out and plunk down more cash for one at the moment.



    Glad you're happy with it. I was too, for a few weeks. Although 'easier' & 'better' are subjective.
    Your behavior demonstates a conclusion that you made that SRAM is unreliable. Instead of buying a new X-series derailleur, you chose to spend MORE money switching to a Shimano drivetrain.

    There are people who ride on SRAM derailleurs for years with no failures. And I'm sure there are people who break their Shimano's out of the box. At the very least, it would be prudent to simply by an X-7 derailleur (cheaper) while your X-9 is under warranty review and see if a similar event occurs.

    SRAM didn't rise from a maker of throttle shifters to the #2 manufacturer rivaling SRAM by producing unreliable junk. They don't make their money through OEM contracts on stock bikes. SRAM makes their money by having a dedicated following of people who use their equipment, have been satisfied by it, and upgrade to it.

    SRAM users have a saying. Once you've gone SRAM, you'll never go back. If the SRAM isn't good, SRAM would have gone out of business.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by willtsmith_nwi
    SRAM users have a saying. Once you've gone SRAM, you'll never go back.
    Are all SRAM users insanely defensive, too? Look, you don't have any idea how much I spent or didn't spend on the "shimano drivetrain" you claim I purchased and, frankly, the money isn't the issue here.

    I bought a shimano derailleur because (as I've stated a dozen times already) I've never had a single problem with them in 15 years. Maybe you've broken 100 of them. Maybe mine will break the day after I get it, but THAT is a risk that I'm willing to take because I have a long history of satisfaction w/ their products. SRAM? Not so much.

    I also bought a new set of SRAM shifters with it, because I happen to like them. I guess you missed that part. *If* I get a replacement for the X.9, then I'll still have the X.9 shifters to go with it. As it stands, it cost $80 to fix my bike and, either way, I'll have shifters for whatever derailleur I chose to run in the future. A new X.9 derailleur is what $69?

    For the extra $11, I'll take the freedom of choice. That is what SRAM is all about anyway, right?

    christ...
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  44. #44
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    So you're saying ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Stick
    Fortunately, (or is that unfortunately? ), it doesn't. That black piece is not my derailleur hanger, it's part of the X-9s B-tension mechanism. The black part rests against the tab on the frame, and the B-tension screw pushes against it. The small piece of derailleur in the pics was still bolted to my frame after the derailleur broke.
    Does your frame have a replaceable derailleur hanger???

  45. #45
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    JB Weld

    Quote Originally Posted by azdrawdy
    Here's my JRA X-9 rear derailleur. Unreal. I had always used Shimano before, and went back to them immediately after this "incident".

    Michael
    That derailleur can still be used. Put some JB weld around those threads on a replaceable hanger and you're back in business.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by willtsmith_nwi
    Does your frame have a replaceable derailleur hanger???
    No. It's a steel hardtail (Cove).
    "mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

  47. #47
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    Than there is no problem ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Stick
    No. It's a steel hardtail (Cove).
    The derailleur performed EXACTLY like it was supposed to. It broke on behalf of your frame.

    Your Shimano derailleur would probably have suffered the same fate. Had it not, you would probably have a bent or damaged frame.

    I've broke three separate derailleur hangers this fall. Net cost ... $30.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by willtsmith_nwi
    The derailleur performed EXACTLY like it was supposed to. It broke on behalf of your frame.

    Your Shimano derailleur would probably have suffered the same fate. Had it not, you would probably have a bent or damaged frame.

    I've broke three separate derailleur hangers this fall. Net cost ... $30.
    Man, you're all over the place. It broke on behalf of my frame? That's great. Remind me to call SRAM and thank them. Are you high? If anything, they should engineer the focking bolt to break in half, not the derailleur body itself. In fact, it's remarkable that the aluminum mounting bolt didn't break on either of the broken derailleurs presented in this thread.

    As for the derailleur breaking like it was 'supposed to', there's very little chance that my steel hanger would have broken off. It may bend, but that's the beauty of steel. You can bend it back and have it realligned.

    What's the number of hangers you've broken have to do with anything? Sounds like you should be more careful.
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  49. #49
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    I understand this exactly, I would do the same

    Quote Originally Posted by Stick
    Are all SRAM users insanely defensive, too? Look, you don't have any idea how much I spent or didn't spend on the "shimano drivetrain" you claim I purchased and, frankly, the money isn't the issue here.

    I bought a shimano derailleur because (as I've stated a dozen times already) I've never had a single problem with them in 15 years. Maybe you've broken 100 of them. Maybe mine will break the day after I get it, but THAT is a risk that I'm willing to take because I have a long history of satisfaction w/ their products. SRAM? Not so much.

    I also bought a new set of SRAM shifters with it, because I happen to like them. I guess you missed that part. *If* I get a replacement for the X.9, then I'll still have the X.9 shifters to go with it. As it stands, it cost $80 to fix my bike and, either way, I'll have shifters for whatever derailleur I chose to run in the future. A new X.9 derailleur is what $69?

    For the extra $11, I'll take the freedom of choice. That is what SRAM is all about anyway, right?

    christ...
    When I get bad results out of a product, and all I want to do is ride, I am not one to wait around for things to happen. And I will go with what has been reliable for me. I have sram and I am not defensive. An $80 throwdown is less than my coffee bill for 2 months (probably a month - I don't want to know - and you know what happens to the coffee). I like to ride.

    Rick

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by uktrailmonster
    I think you were just very unlucky. Small innocent looking sticks can do loads of damage to wheels, mechs, hangers, whatever! You were just unlucky it happened on a new mech that's all.

    One thing I would say about the X9 mech, compared to Shimano, is that the arm is solidly mounted to the hanger and does not float on its mount like the Shimano ones. This means that in certain load cases it will be more prone to snapping off like this. However, to counter this, the Shimano mechs are more prone to wrapping themselves around the wheel.

    Let's face it rear mechs are a vulnerable component and you have been genuinely very lucky not to break any in such a long time. It was about time you had a mech breakage!!
    The arm does not float? If anything, it feels as though the SRAM derailleur is not securely attached to the hanger. Numerous posts have been on the SRAM board in relationship to the loose and wobbly feeling after securing the read derailleur to the hanger. My XTR is mounted very solidly to my 575, as is the XT on my Burner. The X-9 was the loose-feeling, wobbly one, but it has been stated numerous times that the looseness is "normal".

    As far as my derailleur snapping, a limb or stick played no part in its failure. I have read too many posts about SRAM derailleurs snapping, quite often due to tiny sticks, quite often just JRA. As we all do, draw your own conclusions. I already have with my wallet.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by azdrawdy
    The arm does not float? If anything, it feels as though the SRAM derailleur is not securely attached to the hanger. Numerous posts have been on the SRAM board in relationship to the loose and wobbly feeling after securing the read derailleur to the hanger. My XTR is mounted very solidly to my 575, as is the XT on my Burner. The X-9 was the loose-feeling, wobbly one, but it has been stated numerous times that the looseness is "normal".

    As far as my derailleur snapping, a limb or stick played no part in its failure. I have read too many posts about SRAM derailleurs snapping, quite often due to tiny sticks, quite often just JRA. As we all do, draw your own conclusions. I already have with my wallet.
    You mis-understood what I meant by floating. I meant radial float at the frame mounting pivot, not lateral. Shimano mechs are designed to float radially around their frame mounting pivot, Sram ones are fixed radially at the top mount and only the cage itself rotates. It's tricky to explain but quite simple to understand if you grab hold of the mech and try to rotate it. Yes, Sram mechs do have quite a lot of lateral play in their frame mount - which is designed. It doesn't cause any shift problems.

    Anyway, I was just trying to point out that this fundamental difference in design makes the Sram mechs more prone to breaking at the top mount than the Shimano ones. However, the Shimano mechs are more prone to wrapping themselves around the cassette, due to their radial "float" and they tend to bounce around a lot more out on the trail.

    Most broken Sram mechs I've read about are the X0 model, which does seem fragile and is really designed for racing rather than rough trailriding. Personally I prefer the cheaper and more robust X9 mech and have had zero problems so far. Overall, I don't think there is a lot in it between Shimano and Sram and I've actually seen more broken Shimano mechs out on the trails where I actually ride. Probably just more common that's all!

  52. #52
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    SRAM Customer Service comes through...

    Thanks to some help from someone who works in a not-so-local bike shop, the broken derailleur found its way to Big Ed at SRAM. Just got the shiny new replacement yesterday. Sure, it's been 2 months, but I was largely to blame there cos I wasn't exactly in a hurry to ship the broken one out.

    Thanks to Chris McKenney & Big Ed @ SRAM, and Zaque @ Action Sports, Branford, CT for all of your help.



    Quote Originally Posted by Stick
    3 weeks old. JRA. Caught a small branch (< 1/2" in diameter). All the king's horses, etc., and all of the tools in my Camelbak weren't going to be putting this mess back together. 4 mile walk out. Great time.

    15 years on Shimano rear derailleurs, including the last 7 on '98 XT 8-spd, and never a problem (aside from waning availabilty of compatable replacement parts!)

    FINALLY decide to 'upgrade' to 9 speed and give SRAM a shot. Not a good first impression, to say the least.
    "mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

  53. #53
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    Well after my obseravtion its apears to me that clearly someone has taken a perfectly good Sram der and ran it into something. (your fault) Then continued by dipping it into a bucket of acid so that the metal would crystalize allowing this person to post a picture of the crystalized der on here. Job well done you have started a great thread and excited several people over several life or death issues. Well done i love america

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by uktrailmonster
    You mis-understood what I meant by floating. I meant radial float at the frame mounting pivot, not lateral. Shimano mechs are designed to float radially around their frame mounting pivot, Sram ones are fixed radially at the top mount and only the cage itself rotates. It's tricky to explain but quite simple to understand if you grab hold of the mech and try to rotate it. Yes, Sram mechs do have quite a lot of lateral play in their frame mount - which is designed. It doesn't cause any shift problems.

    Anyway, I was just trying to point out that this fundamental difference in design makes the Sram mechs more prone to breaking at the top mount than the Shimano ones. However, the Shimano mechs are more prone to wrapping themselves around the cassette, due to their radial "float" and they tend to bounce around a lot more out on the trail.
    This is exactly what I've noticed over the years. The supposed benefit of the SRAM is that the chain doesn't move at all, but the negative seems to be that it can't move as easily and the pivots/knuckles see much more stress and are prone to snapping because of it. I've recently worked with a customer with a recumbant who wanted to have his derailer a little more "off the ground", and on a hunch I got down and pulled the various derailers back and forth on the showroom. The SRAM ones are MUCH more resistant to movement, as one would guess when you think about the chainslap thing. The shimano ones are more prone to move up and out of the way, and when they do swing back and forth, they don't hit a hard "stop" like the sram one does. You can move the sram one back a little, but there's a hard "stop" when it's parallel to the ground and there's no spring to lessen the force, so if it ever moves back, it SLAMS against the stop when it returns. I've noticed these differences and deemed that my style of riding will never allow such a part. I've broken plenty old 9.0SLs, 9.0s (new style) and 7.0s (new style). Unfortunatly the 9.0s and 7.0s broke in the exact same manner as seen here. They had that "new cable rounting" feature that we've seen.

    What works for me right now works for me, and it does so better than any combo I've previously used in many respects. I'm a gear weenie in many respects, but I let shifters and derailers go untill they either break or simply don't work anymore. I won't go into "what works for me" right now, as it's not important to this thread, but my advice to anyone who is considering these SRAM derailers is to think hard. The "benefits" are not without negatives.
    I know in my heart that Ellsworth bikes are more durable by as much as double. AND they are all lighter...Tony Ellsworth

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jm.
    What works for me right now works for me, and it does so better than any combo I've previously used in many respects. I'm a gear weenie in many respects, but I let shifters and derailers go untill they either break or simply don't work anymore. I won't go into "what works for me" right now, as it's not important to this thread, but my advice to anyone who is considering these SRAM derailers is to think hard. The "benefits" are not without negatives.

    If you do DH or FR then the Sram is the only thing to buy...I would never go back
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marky Mark
    . . .Then continued by dipping it into a bucket of acid so that the metal would crystalize allowing this person to post a picture of the crystalized der on here. Job well done you have started a great thread and excited several people over several life or death issues. Well done i love america
    Okay, great. Put down the crack pipe, and step away carefully (lest you knock over my bucket of acid).
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  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marky Mark
    Well after my obseravtion its apears to me that clearly someone has taken a perfectly good Sram der and ran it into something. (your fault) Then continued by dipping it into a bucket of acid so that the metal would crystalize allowing this person to post a picture of the crystalized der on here. Job well done you have started a great thread and excited several people over several life or death issues. Well done i love america
    Perhaps you haven't seen what a broken piece if die cast aluminium looks like but thats it. Take a look at the metal on a broken XT which is die cast as wekk and it looks exactly like that. There's no evil conspiracy here. For as long as SRAM has been putting their name on old Sachs derailleurs that has been their achilles heel. Thet break at that exact same point.

  58. #58
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    I have been using one XO Sram derailleur for 3 years and another for two years hear in NM, in a very rocky (large, angular, volcanics), and stick-ee (think hardly used trails) environment, and haven't had issue one with either derailleur.

    I also havn't read any posts here about sram derailleurs breaking there (except this one of course). You may have had a weak derailleur or just bad luck, I don't know. But I have bashed the rear of my bikes into rocks many times, had to realign my derailleur hangers many times on both bikes, and the derailleurs are both intact to this day. I mean, I am probably gonna have to replace the pulleys soon on my older derailleur, thats how much it has been used. I used to have to replace shitmanos derailleurs once a year just due to slop occuring in the pivots.

    As posted somewhere above little sticks can do immense dammage to your bike. One time I got a half inch stick in my spokes at 15 mph, and it ripped half my spokes out of the rim. Sucked!!

    So, ya maybe your Sram derailleur sucked, maybe you had bad luck, but I hardly think there is any consensus on this board that Sram derailleurs break there all the time. At least I haven't had that problem with the XO ones.

  59. #59
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    well a stiffer set of linkages and springs may make the mech more prone to breakage when faced with sticks and stones, but I'd prefer that risk to the constant chattering, slapping and ghost shifting of the shimano mechs, whose weaker springs allow them to survive more sticks. Different strokes for different folks, sram for this folks.

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  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomacropod
    , but I'd prefer that risk to the constant chattering, slapping and ghost shifting of the shimano mechs,
    It's definitely a super idea for the derailer to absorb all that stress rather than have it dissapated between the chain and derailer.

    If you are getting constant ghost shifting then you do not know how to set up your derailer and cables. You probably won't fare any better with SRAM, then again due to random chance you might, but it had nothing to do with one product being better than the other.
    Last edited by Jm.; 07-13-2005 at 08:10 AM.
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  61. #61
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    Mine Just Broke Today

    My '04 X.9 rear derailleur broke today.

    Mine didn't break like the one discussed earlier in this thread. Mine cracked right where the top pulley connects to the derailleur body. In the picture below, it's where that stud is coming out.

    Now I have a two piece derailler. THe body and the lower cage with the two pulleys.

    The X.O. model shows that the lower assembly can be removed from the body.

    <?xml:namespace prefix = v ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" /><v:shapetype id=_x0000_t75 stroked="f" filled="f" path="m@4@5l@4@11@9@11@9@5xe" oreferrelative="t" o:spt="75" coordsize="21600,21600"> </v:shapetype>
    The pulley cage is held to the body with a stud pressed into the cage. The stud has a "D-fitting", that mates with a D-shape recess in the body. The body must be rotated to one position only before the cage can be removed. (this is from the Park TooL website).

    Does anyone know if the same holds true for the X.9? I have looked but can't see a way to remove the piece that remains in the body. It just spins and spins. Can the x.9 be taken apart like the x.0? If so I just need two new pieces, if not, its a new derailleur
    You cannot go against nature, because when you do, its part of nature too.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jm.
    It's definitely a super idea for the derailer to absorb all that stress rather than have it dissapated between the chain and derailer.

    If you are getting constant ghost shifting then you do not know how to set up your derailer and cables. You probably won't fare any better with SRAM, then again due to random chance you might, but it had nothing to do with one product being better than the other.
    As I said, whether it's a "super idea" or not depends on one's personal preference. My personal preference is for consistent and predictable shifting for longer without replacing components - I'm prepared to take the chance that a freak accident is more likely to damage those components. I avoid sticks on the trail btw.

    after a few months or years the shimano rear derailleurs I've used before (alivio, acera, LX, XT, sora and tiagra) develop worn out linkages and the springs weaken to the point that they don't shift reliably, as well as the reduced chain tension leading to more chain chattering.

    I do know how to set up my derailleur and cables, and shimanos work well for a while after setting them up properly. The nature of the 2:1 system however makes them more finicky, requiring more fine tuning more often, and relies much more on the integrity of the derailleurs and shifters in doing their job in order to shift correctly.

    I have fared much better with SRAM, and it has nothing to do with one product being better than the other, simply more appropriate for me, a person who pays Australian dollars for my bicycle components.

    THANKS FOR YOUR HELP THOUGH...I know a brand of matches that describes your post perfectly.

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  63. #63
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    Well, two days ago my X.9 outlasted Titus derailleur hanger...
    Now I'm wondering if it would have been better to break the derailleur costing 49 euros or der. hanger costing 20 dollars + tax + VAT + shipping from other side of the world...


    (Of course I do have spare derailleur hangers)

  64. #64
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    Hate to be the one to dig up an old post but i feel like i have to say something to warn anyone looking into this rear der.

    Today after weeks of getting my bike together (RM Blizzard frame, Rock shox reba, X9 rear der w/ x9 grip shifters) and getting my knee which i dislocated a few weeks ago into riding shape this EXACT situation happened to me. Nice easy pace up a climb at the end of a ride, not jamming on it, a truly "just riding along" situation if i've ever seen one. Small limb about 1/2" kicks up and SNAP, X9 der broken in EXACTLY the same position as the original poster's (i'll try and get some pictures up soon.) Whats worse, screws up my spokes and it may have bent the hanger on my beloved rocky mountain steel frame.

    Not sure what i'm gonna do know, try and get a warrenty probably since i have the X9 shifters that will only work w/ another sram rear der.

    So just a word of warning, stay away from this product!

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stick
    3 weeks old. JRA. Caught a small branch (< 1/2" in diameter). All the king's horses, etc., and all of the tools in my Camelbak weren't going to be putting this mess back together. 4 mile walk out. Great time.
    Not to drag this thread back up but.........You mean you didn't even worry to try picking a gear combo and then shorten the chain so you could ride out? guess you like walking, or maybe it f*cked the wheel.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  66. #66
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    Ironic that your user name is (Stick) and a stick is what did you in. Ok I'll shutup.

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx
    Not to drag this thread back up but.........You mean you didn't even worry to try picking a gear combo and then shorten the chain so you could ride out? guess you like walking, or maybe it f*cked the wheel.
    kind of difficult to do with an FS bike since you need something to take up the chain slack so the suspension can cycle, or if you have no chain slack you risk breaking the chain or damaging something else (which may be much more expensive).

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomacropod
    The nature of the 2:1 system however makes them more finicky
    No, since the shimano shifters use metal detents that don't wear over time like SRAMs plastic ones...hmm, why do you think 1:1 was invented anyway?

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    kind of difficult to do with an FS bike since you need something to take up the chain slack so the suspension can cycle, or if you have no chain slack you risk breaking the chain or damaging something else (which may be much more expensive).
    Explain then how single speed full suspension rigs work then....
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  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    Originally Posted by Jayem
    kind of difficult to do with an FS bike since you need something to take up the chain slack so the suspension can cycle, or if you have no chain slack you risk breaking the chain or damaging something else (which may be much more expensive).
    Explain then how single speed full suspension rigs work then....Explain then how single speed full suspension rigs work then....
    Please do........... I know you'd have to leave some chain slack and all and ride carefully, but riding out is better than walking out IMHO.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  71. #71
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    I've been thinking about purchasing the SRAM X.9. It's good to see that SRAM customer service is good.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    Explain then how single speed full suspension rigs work then....
    concentric pivot or chain tensioner

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    No, since the shimano shifters use metal detents that don't wear over time like SRAMs plastic ones...hmm, why do you think 1:1 was invented anyway?
    that has nothing to do with what I'm saying and you know it. You've been reborn, and I have more posts than you now. Have some respect :-)

    as you know, what I meant was that with the 2:1 system the cable tension and adjustment has to be twice (ish) as precise as with a 1:1 system. Add real world crap in cables, wear of components etc and you have a system which stays in adjustment for longer.

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  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomacropod

    as you know, what I meant was that with the 2:1 system the cable tension and adjustment has to be twice (ish) as precise as with a 1:1 system. Add real world crap in cables, wear of components etc and you have a system which stays in adjustment for longer.

    - Joel
    Well, shimano could easily get around that by having twice the thread pitch on their adjuster barrels, in fact they have one at the shifter and one at the derailer. Unless you actually count the threads per inch, what you've just stated is completely bunk.

    If you are going to start talking about which one is more "precise" in adjustment, you've got to understand that the thread pitch of the adjuster barrel is going to have a huge impact on this.

    Also, those metal detents in the shimano shifters do not change over time, they remain the same. The plastic detents in a grip shifter on the other hand do not because the teeth "wear down". This has a huge effect, although you won't notice it untill a while down the road. This is why the "oh wow my new shifters are so much more crisp" phenominon is kind of bunk as well, because what they are like "now" and what they will be like 2 years from now is going to be two different things. I work on rapid fire sets from at least 10-15 years ago, and apart from the rare gummed-up pawls (easily fixable), they work like champs and still make pronounced "clicks" and can easily be tuned to work correctly. Deal with a 10-15 year old GS type shifter and it's probably "dead" and can never be tuned to work right because the teeth have worn down. No one plans on keeping a shifter for 10 years, but this is the extreme example, it also happens over just a couple seasons to a lesser extent (except for some people it's still a great effect due to how much they use their bikes and shift).

    Both systems work fine when set up fine, as far as shifting is concerned. Show me a person that says "my (insert shifting system here) doesn't work" and I'll show you a person with an incorrectly set up drivetrain, I do it daily and there's always a reason that something doesn't work, not because "sram or "shimano just doesn't work on my bike".
    Last edited by Jayem; 08-04-2005 at 06:53 PM.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stick
    I am a scientist, and I'm not sure I follow...Where did I say any of those things? I'm not defending a thesis, and your analogy is somewhat less than relevant. I started the thread in attempt to see if there were, in fact, other examples of X.9s failing in a similar manner (as the review section of this site seems to indicate). The subject of my post was a question, not a wild accusation or hastily drawn conclusion like "SRAM SUCKS!".
    A simple solution is to edit the post and add "Has anyone had similar experiences?"
    Doesn't get much clearer than that. If it's aluminum, all broken aluminum parts I've seen looked just like that. Al doesn't have a long grain structure. When it breaks it looks more like porcelean (sp?)
    It's especially hard to tell the nature of a break when you can't be sure where the break originated. Any al part, once it's initial integrity is broken, is easily twisted and torn. It's hard to make the initial break in an aluminum can, then it's easy to rip and twist it off of the initial breaking point.

    Just in case the SRAM derailleur have some sort of inherant defect, the users on this board should closely check out their derailleurs for small hairline cracks, especially around the area of the break in the pic you posted.
    If get a stick jammed in a derailleur with a crack, just like the soda can example above, it's very easy to go from a tiny crack to a full-on ripped-in-two failure. And it's easier to get a derailleur with a hairline crack warranteed versus a dereailleur that's had a stick help it on it's way to complete failure.
    Looking at the pic, it's tough to tell if the break started rim area around the recessed hex bolt, or at the other end at the B-tension adjusting bolt.
    I guess it could be notable also that the metal at the outside of the break looks much lighter than the metal at the core of the break. I'm just throwing out what I see, and have no idea if it's relevant or not.
    If you had the time and money, you would really do all of us a great service by having it analyzed and posting the results. At least that way, we'd all learn something.

  76. #76
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    Holy crap! What happened to Jm's post count? Did he hit 999999 and reset the postometer!

    Quote Originally Posted by tomacropod
    as you know, what I meant was that with the 2:1 system the cable tension and adjustment has to be twice (ish) as precise as with a 1:1 system. Add real world crap in cables, wear of components etc and you have a system which stays in adjustment for longer.

    - Joel
    You've just said it yourself. 2.1 needs a more precise actuating system. There's no question about it. Shimano's metal teeth and ratcheting system is probably the most accurate shifting system ever made. As Jm said they can easily last 10 years with no sign of wear. Shimano shifters can feed exactly the amount of shifter cable required consistently. Making their system 1:1 in theory would make it better but in reality it would offer no tangible benefit. Its called the law of diminishing returns. After a certain point it simply doesn't matter any more. 1:1 was introduced precisely because the plastic actuation of gripshifters is quite simply not as precise and becomes even less so with wear. The nature of the large range of movement of a barrel shifter makes 1:1 more practical for its application. At the time 1:1 or ESP as it was known was introduced it was common knowledge that it was the solution to teething problems with grip shifters. Many magazines made fun at Sram for marketing a desperately needed fix as a feature. Over time it has all become lost in marketing. 1:1 is precisely one of the reasons it took SRAM so long how to figure out how to make good trigger shifters. They need to spool too much cable. Its the reason many people still feel the current trigger shifters still don't feel as good as the shimano ones because they require longer lever pulls. Its one of those things that in theory should work better. When it comes down to practical use the performance benefits are hardly tangible. Yes a lot of people say their SRAM stuff stays in tune longer. But guess what, even more people say that their Shimano stays in tune just as long.What they have in common is that they are both correctly adjusted, and that makes far more difference than 2:1 or 1:1.

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx
    Not to drag this thread back up but.........You mean you didn't even worry to try picking a gear combo and then shorten the chain so you could ride out? guess you like walking, or maybe it f*cked the wheel.
    No, I didn't try to ride out because my chainrings, cogs and chain were all essentially brand new at the time and, without a derailleur to keep some tension on the chain, I wasn't willing to risk making a bad situation worse by running an ill-fitting chain.

    Nothing worse for a new drivetrain (and my knees, nuts, etc) than a chain that skips incessantly or pops off its cog at the worst possible time. Maybe if I was 20 miles out I'd have considered it...
    "mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesse David Smith
    If you had the time and money, you would really do all of us a great service by having it analyzed and posting the results. At least that way, we'd all learn something.
    LOL. As I posted more than once above, I'm not an engineer. While I may have enough money to buy a replacement derailleur without losing sleep, I don't have the kind of disposable income that would allow me to hire a consultant to analyze the break. I'll leave that to SRAM.

    If you've been following the thread, then you must realize that I don't have the broken derailleur anymore anyway, so it's really a moot point.
    "mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

  79. #79
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    It's all crystalline

    Quote Originally Posted by mbmojo
    When metal is cast or heat treated and isn't cooled properly, the grain becomes very course and crystalline in nature. Things made from that metal tend to be brittle and can easily break in a manner similar to what is shown in the picture. That part doesn't seem to be something that would normally be heat treated so it's probably cast.

    Either that or the part was made from pot metal. (zinc)
    Here's a cut and paste from the cycingforum.com from a poster named dddd

    http://www.cyclingforum.com/phpBB2/v...2d731e18b98a07

    Cold forging, alloying, and rapid cooling all tend to reduce the size of crystals in the metal, disrupting and shortening the slip planes that allow for lower yield strength, greater ductility and more rapid fatigue.
    Big crystals have big slip planes, so forging crunches them down and the bonds immediately re-form in a more random, slip resistant orientation.
    Alloying elements interrupt the growth of long slip planes.
    Rapid cooling prevents individual crystals from growing far outward, since other crystals form independently and compete for space.

    Cold forging can produce a finer (shorter slip planes), directional grain structure beneficial to resisting yield, fatigue and fracture.

    Hot or cold forging increases density slightly by helping eliminate voids and intersticial occlusions, potential starting points for cracks that may form during melt-forging.

    Some metals are best cold-forged at a temperature that is below the recrystallization temp (way below the melting point) but still well above ambient temp. I think that's what "warm forging" is referring to, unless it's just ad talk for hot forging a solid part vs. melt-forging. There are many variations of metal processing to match the requirements of the material and the finished part at the lowest cost.

    Heat treating aluminum can greatly increase tensile strength and can be done at or below the recrystallization temp. Chemical diffusion of alloying elements can occur during heat treating, altering mechanical properties.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by willtsmith_nwi
    I beat the hell out of an 2000 X-7 derailleur.
    Small detail, but I think you mean a 7.0 derailleur.

    The X series derailleurs came out in late 2003 (I think).

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stick
    Thanks to some help from someone who works in a not-so-local bike shop, the broken derailleur found its way to Big Ed at SRAM. Just got the shiny new replacement yesterday.
    So, are you running the SRAM or Shimano rear derailleur now?

    Any additions to the thread?

    (Currently shopping for a new rear derailleur to replace a worn out old 9.0)

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    kind of difficult to do with an FS bike since you need something to take up the chain slack so the suspension can cycle, or if you have no chain slack you risk breaking the chain or damaging something else (which may be much more expensive).
    I've seen collapsed chain rings and destroyed cranks after the chain ring bolts get pulled out. No, not me.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hecubus
    Perhaps you haven't seen what a broken piece if die cast aluminium looks like but thats it. Take a look at the metal on a broken XT which is die cast as wekk and it looks exactly like that. There's no evil conspiracy here. For as long as SRAM has been putting their name on old Sachs derailleurs that has been their achilles heel. Thet break at that exact same point.
    Shimano XT and XTR der's are made from cold forged aluminum. Not sure about SRAM. I'd assume the same of their top line der's too - at least they'd be much weaker than Shimano if they were die cast.

  84. #84
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    Buy what makes you happy. F**K everyone else! My new bike will have X.9 rear. I've only used LX and XT up till now but I'm just gonna try something different. If I don't like it I will gladly go back to XT, no biggie, right?

    BTW carry a chaing breaker with you. You could have shortened your chain and made a single speed out of you bike just to get back to the trailhead. It sure beats walking 4
    miles

  85. #85
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    See I don't know about alot of this stuff. But my ..02 is here. I ran STX and 8spd stuff most of my riding time all shim ano...8spd stufff worked great...I decided to upgrade my bike and went xt to 9spd along time ago.. had shifting problems and kept dealing with it....Broke a Rear derailleur hanger on my Haro. Later then bought a SC Superlight...and guess what no replacable RD hanger... Well I went X TR and low and behold good shifting for 6 months no accidents....and shifting like crap occasionally ...X TR pods and RD... I hated them went back to Xt ran that till last year... Had more shifting problems get it adjusted and bam one ride later have to retweak the adjusters...I hated it....I vowed never to be grip ****...But damn I hate tweaking the shifters...I spent more time readjusting bike after a ride then riding prior.. So I bit the bullet, order the set of SRAM x-9 RD and x9 trigger shifters.. I followed the instructs to the letter...measured the rd cable length checked my B adjustment distance and set the Hi Low screws as described....

    I have not had one problem with X9 at all, they shift flawlessly in muck, water, mud, and I have bashed and cracked a number of rocks on the side and got 3 -4 sticks over the last year including a down hill ride at 21 miles an hour...through a local trail and it stopped me and tossed me...stick jammed in the DR pulleys and spokes.. No bent hanger and no broken RD.. Blew out some spokes and cut my finger removing the offending apendage from the drivetrain.

    I was sold.. strong knuckles, no slap, and no side wiggle as in my Shim ano X TR and XT... and to boot I saw the most destructive damge done to x9 in our local race. Note the damage to the RD no break...( MUD and a stick.)


    IMO I would bite the bullet --get it replaced , suggest find and ride smoother lines, do trial maintence Clear and stay away from tree snakes... My .o2 get it replaced and go ride....cough it up as an accident sh!t happens...
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  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetdaddy
    Shimano XT and XTR der's are made from cold forged aluminum. Not sure about SRAM. I'd assume the same of their top line der's too - at least they'd be much weaker than Shimano if they were die cast.
    XT according to Shimano is not cold forged, only die cast just like X.9. XTR is forged as is X.0. I've seen broken XT's and the break looks very similar to the pictures posted here. The difference is they typicaly tend to break along the top parallelogram instead of the main bolt linkage since the derr. pivots around the bolt.

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hecubus
    XT according to Shimano is not cold forged, only die cast just like X.9. XTR is forged as is X.0. I've seen broken XT's and the break looks very similar to the pictures posted here. The difference is they typicaly tend to break along the top parallelogram instead of the main bolt linkage since the derr. pivots around the bolt.
    I did a google search "shimano xt rear derailleur cold forged" and quickly came up with an on line retailer claiming xt to be cold forged in their description:
    http://www.icyclesusa.com/catalog/sh...derailleur.htm

    There are a bunch more that do the same. 99% of the time these are canned descriptions straight from the mfg.

    Edit to add: It appears the xt 750 std return is forged, the newer xt 760 rapid rise is not.
    Last edited by sweetdaddy; 08-20-2005 at 09:53 PM.

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetdaddy
    I did a google search "shimano xt rear derailleur cold forged" and quickly came up with an on line retailer claiming xt to be cold forged in their description:
    http://www.icyclesusa.com/catalog/sh...derailleur.htm

    There are a bunch more that do the same. 99% of the time these are canned descriptions straight from the mfg.

    Edit to add: It appears the xt 750 std return is forged, the newer xt 760 rapid rise is not.
    Most vendors probably knocked off the description fromthe XTR. The old shimano webpage clearly specified the XT is not forged. I think the new one does somewhere too. I'll see if I can find anything on it. It could actually be and they do it only to make XTR stand out a bit more but I doubt it. Judging by the ones I've seen broken and the overall look the XT does indeed apear to be a die cast part.

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hecubus
    Most vendors probably knocked off the description fromthe XTR. The old shimano webpage clearly specified the XT is not forged. I think the new one does somewhere too. I'll see if I can find anything on it. It could actually be and they do it only to make XTR stand out a bit more but I doubt it. Judging by the ones I've seen broken and the overall look the XT does indeed apear to be a die cast part.
    My guess is this: the 750 std return, an older part (still being mfgd for those who don't like rapid rise though) is forged because with little competion at the time, they could charge enough to the customer to justify this. The 760 low normal is different enough to require new tooling. Shimano, due to price competition with SRAM, decides to cut mfg costs and go die cast on this one. Shimano's web site only gives specs on the newer rapid rise 760, which became their std in 04, and nowhere does it mention forged. The vendor ad copy for the 760 never mentions forging, but frequently does for the older 750.

    Cambria sells both and describes the 750 as forged : http://www.cambriabike.com/shopexd.asp?id=16666
    no description of this for the 760: http://www.cambriabike.com/shopexd.asp?id=17727

    I've been fortunate to never have broken a Shimano XT or XTR so couldn't comment on the visual of a failure mode of a forged part compared to cast. Though it wouldn't surprise me if Stick was used to sttronger forged parts (possibly old XT), that a die cast X.9 wouldn't handle the same stresses when a 1/2" stick jacks the rear derailleur, thus his speculation that the SRAM part isn't as strong.

  90. #90
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    Please post when your Shimano der breaks

    I've been running a full SRAM drive train for 6 mos. (a recent Shimano convert). I have only had to adjust it 1 time (cable stretch from new installation). In fact my bike is completely Shimano free and I have't had any problems to date. Most of my riding is urban and freeriding and I do alot of 5-6 foot drops to flat and long 15-20 foot gaps so I'm not exactly easy on my parts. I think you'll find your new Shimano is not as beefy as you beleive it will be. When you break it please post a follow up, they just don't make them like they used to. You can still run 8 speed if you like, both manufacturers still make 8 speed cassetes and their derailleurs are 8 speed compatible. I myself am a firm believer in SRAM's products and personally like the feel and and benefits of my SRAM system over Shimano. I can't beleive you went to the expense of switching back to Shimano after 1 mishap that could have possibly had the same outcome with a shimano der. If you were to contact SRAM I'm sure they would have replaced it for free or at the very least offer you a crash replacement at a reduced cost. I also find it interesting that you chose to go with the SRAM shifters with your Shimano setup. I just find it interesting that people give up so quickly on something that is a little different. Good luck with your Shimano rig.
    That's gonna leave a mark !

  91. #91
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    Umm....that's a great post. Did you even read this thread? Or are you just a little slow on the uptake?


    Quote Originally Posted by zoomie67
    I've been running a full SRAM drive train for 6 mos. (a recent Shimano convert). I have only had to adjust it 1 time (cable stretch from new installation). In fact my bike is completely Shimano free and I have't had any problems to date. Most of my riding is urban and freeriding and I do alot of 5-6 foot drops to flat and long 15-20 foot gaps so I'm not exactly easy on my parts. I think you'll find your new Shimano is not as beefy as you beleive it will be. When you break it please post a follow up, they just don't make them like they used to. You can still run 8 speed if you like, both manufacturers still make 8 speed cassetes and their derailleurs are 8 speed compatible. I myself am a firm believer in SRAM's products and personally like the feel and and benefits of my SRAM system over Shimano. I can't beleive you went to the expense of switching back to Shimano after 1 mishap that could have possibly had the same outcome with a shimano der. If you were to contact SRAM I'm sure they would have replaced it for free or at the very least offer you a crash replacement at a reduced cost. I also find it interesting that you chose to go with the SRAM shifters with your Shimano setup. I just find it interesting that people give up so quickly on something that is a little different. Good luck with your Shimano rig.
    "mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

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    As ugly as this thread is, I'll still contribute my 2cents. I have an X9 on my bike, and have broken the derailleur hanger twice now, and the derailleur is still performing flawlessly. To be honest with you, you were long overdue for a broken /bent hanger.

    Sorry to hear about the recent change in luck,

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  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigH
    So, are you running the SRAM or Shimano rear derailleur now?

    Any additions to the thread?

    (Currently shopping for a new rear derailleur to replace a worn out old 9.0)

    Still running a Shimano LX der. w/ SRAM Attack triggers. Works fine. The replacement X-9 derailleur is still in the box in my attic, next to the X-9 triggers.

    I'll try them again, but I'm in no hurry to change anything right now. Maybe next year. Or, maybe, if I get that Hummer...

    "mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

  94. #94
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    LOL! Still thinking about it, eh?

    Was in the Main St. Cove store on Friday afternoon, they have a few Hummer frames hanging from the ceiling and on the wall.

    Bought a X0 rear derailleur to put on the Blur, will see how that lasts. Currently running a X9 on the Hummer with no problems, but it has only been on there for a couple of months now.

  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetdaddy
    Though it wouldn't surprise me if Stick was used to sttronger forged parts (possibly old XT), that a die cast X.9 wouldn't handle the same stresses when a 1/2" stick jacks the rear derailleur, thus his speculation that the SRAM part isn't as strong.
    Yep, nothing but LX & XT rear derailleurs from '94 on. Never rapid-rise/low normal.
    "mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stick
    3 weeks old. JRA. Caught a small branch (< 1/2" in diameter). All the king's horses, etc., and all of the tools in my Camelbak weren't going to be putting this mess back together. 4 mile walk out. Great time.

    15 years on Shimano rear derailleurs, including the last 7 on '98 XT 8-spd, and never a problem (aside from waning availabilty of compatable replacement parts!)

    FINALLY decide to 'upgrade' to 9 speed and give SRAM a shot. Not a good first impression, to say the least.
    How is the world did you take a picture of my busted XT long cage and photochop it to look like a SRAM? I guess the point I am trying to make is, it can happen to any brand. Blame the ultralight weight materials of construction used by both big boys.

  97. #97
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    I'm on my second SRAM x9 rear der. in 5 months and I've never busted a shimano der before in my life.

    I'm really thinking about heading back to Shimano 8spd.

    Great post STICK to help me with my current decisions on which system to use.

  98. #98
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    SRAM rear mechs breaking

    One of my friends that I ride with raced DH and DS for two seasons, he was parts sponsored by SRAM. Toward the end of the season him and the guy he traveled to races with both spent their own money on Shimano rear mechs. This was due to breakage. He rides hard and doesn't go around anything. That said I decided to try something new and build a bike up with all SRAM/Truvativ drivetrain components. He saw the rear mech and said "Good luck with that c rap". "Your running X.7 and I couldn't even get the top of line parts to hold up". If it seems to break under normal use/abuse I'll get a second on my house and buy the Saint group.

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    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 02-29-2004, 11:28 AM
  5. Mountain Bike Gear Ratio Calculator V4.0
    By FireDog46 in forum Canadian Bikes
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 02-29-2004, 11:27 AM

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