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  1. #1
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    X.9 Front Shifter Problems

    Yesterday my front shifter stopped shifting to the small ring. When I got home and looked at it, the deraileur won't move all the way. If I pull on the cable it will drop to where it needs to be. The problem looks to be in the shifter itself. (7 months old) Can this be fixed, or does it need to take a trip back to SRAM? TIA

  2. #2
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    Before you start tearing....

    into the shifter, replace the cable and housing, also if you have a bottom pull derailleur, i.e. cable runs under the down tube and bottom bracket housing up to the derailleur, check for gunk build up underneath the bb housing. Most shifting problems are caused by cable problems rather than shifter problems. You may have a worn out or kinked or very dirty cable housing that it not allowing the cable to move freely. Or it could be a kink in the cable as well. From what you describe your adjustments are correct as you can pull the cable and the derailleur drops to the correct position. If the shifter clicks like it's supposed too when you make the shift, then the cable isn't releasing/moving far enough to allow the derailleur to do it's thing. This can be caused very easily by gunk build up or a liner in the cable housing that is worn through.

    It's always better to check the simple and less expensive things first. So for $3.00 for the cable and another $1.00 for the housing and 20 minutes of your time, you may well be able to fix this problem. Keep in mind that most cable problems are not visible from the outside. So try the cable and housing replacement first. If that doesn't solve the problem then look to the shifter. Cables and housing are one of the most neglected maintenance items on a bike. And, yes it is possible to gunk them up in 7 months of riding to cause problems. I replace ALL of my cables and housings at least once a year, more often if necessary.

    Good Dirt
    "I do whatever my Rice Cripsies tell me to!"

  3. #3
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    I hadn't thought about tearing into the shifter. Springs flying everywhere comes to mind. I took all of the cables out of the picture and tried shifting to the smallest gear. I could have been clearer. I took the shifter cables out of the stops, slid the cable down away from the shifter and put a little tension on the cable with my fingers. I ran it through the gears and when it went from the middle to the smallest gear, it made a kind of muffled click. It certainly did not release with a positive click like it usually does. I usually change the cables every spring, right after the mud starts to dry up. Summer is for riding and smooth shifting. Thanks for the ideas.

  4. #4
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    Actually they're really....

    not that tough to take apart. It just didn't sound like you'd eliminated all possible causes. But since you obviously have, then it is likely the shifter. The X9, if you have the 07 model without the gear indicator window is really quite simple. But you can only tear them down so far with any hope of getting them back together. From what you describe I would have to guess that your problem is likely in the lower part of the shifter that houses the triggers. The large pull trigger is actually part of the lower cover and can be removed as a unit by removing the trigger screw and bushing and then carefully removing the the pull lever assembly. From there you can check for gunk build up, lack of lube and/or damage. You can also remove the upper cover, but use caution here, the spring that runs the show is housed under it. But it's not likely to go flying anywhere. It's a flat coiled spring, looks kind of like an old fashioned watch spring, and it's fairly easy to reinstall if it does come out. Just go slow and mark the orientation of both ends of the spring before removing it. That's about as far as you'd want to tear it down. But going this far does give you access to most of the moving parts for inspection, cleaning and lubrication. Also keep in mind that the parts that are easily removed are the only parts that SRAM offers replacements for. So if anything else is causing the problem it would require replacement of the shifter.

    Anyway, I've torn down X7, X9, and X0 shifters to this point and it's realatively easy, except for the darned gear window on the X7's and older X9's! It's really tough to get that stupid red strip back in place so that it reads right. So if you do have an older model X9 with the window be aware of that. Tearing the shifter down this far will at least let you inspect the moving parts and give you a good idea of what's going on. If it just needs to be cleaned and lubed your in business. If something is damaged just button it back up and look for a warranty solution as they are only 7 months old. SRAM is usually pretty good about standing behind their products.

    Good Dirt
    "I do whatever my Rice Cripsies tell me to!"

  5. #5
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    Thanks a lot!! Good detailed description of the tear down. They are the '07 X.9's so I don't have to worry about the gear display. I'll have a crack at it this weekend. The good news is the LBS has a new left shifter if it becomes and emergency. Good to know about SRAM as well. I appreciate your help.

  6. #6
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    I found the problem!!! I switched the position of the brakes and the shifters (J7's and X.9), moving the shifters to the inboard position. The brakes would pinch the top of the case if the mount was moved too close to the shifter. This would not let the mechanism release when it was shifting into the small ring. I put them back the way they were and they work fine. I might try the matchmaker mounts in the future.

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