I have two bikes with X9 shifters. First bike is a 2007 Stumpy 9 speed. Both shifters are very crisp. There is very little play and I love them. Second bike is a Litespeed that my son raced in the high school league. Last winter we upgraded it to a 2X10 with X9 shifter. The shifters are mushy. There is three times as much movement before it engages. is there an adjustment for play in the paddles?
Just installed X9 2X10 shifters as an upgrade to the X7 shifters that came with the bike. Can tell you the X9 feels a lot crisper than X7, which felt a little mushy. Both are 2011.
From my install and looking at the shifters there does not appear to be an adjustment for paddle play without disassembly. There is no info on that in the manual that came in the box either.
If your new X9 shifters feel vague or mushy something is wrong and def not normal.
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