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  1. #1
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    XTR Shadow Plus installed, question about free play?

    So I have had my shadow plus for about a month now on my HD and I have a quick question. I noticed there is free play of about an inch even when the switch is on. The free play goes away when I shift up the cassette but comes back when I shift down. Here is the issue, that free results in some major chain slap when I want it the least as I am going downhill and not really pedaling.

    Does everyone have this free play in the shadow plus? I have used the adjustment screw but that only makes it tougher once its past the free play.

    Here is video of it in action.

    Last edited by Murchman; 04-30-2012 at 02:24 PM.

  2. #2
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    May want to check your chain length

    I have a SP on my Pivot Mach 5.7 with a 2 x 10 drive train. My chain is long enough to let me run big/big very easily and quietly, trade off is that when I drop to small gears ratios the chain lets the rear pully sling way back and it does slap a bit, SP is doing its job but there is just no way to pull any more. As an experiment I took out a couple links and the slapping stopped, but I didn't like the shifting performance into the big/big. Hope this helps, good luck on your set-up.

    Duane

  3. #3
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    Yep my XTR shadow plus has developed the same problem. There is a little bit of free movement before the clutch becomes active. It even allows for the chain to be thrown off the
    chainring in rough situations. So I had to make a little top guide for the chain. I'm a bit annoyed about this considering what the bloody thing cost. I'll probably get an x9 with clutch when they come out.

  4. #4
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    Moved video to original post above.
    Last edited by Murchman; 04-30-2012 at 02:25 PM.

  5. #5
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    That is the same as mine it is only tight when it is on the 36 tooth sprocket. I'm running 1x10 34x11-36.
    On a side note I have thought about taking one of the bb spacers out to get a better chain line while in the lower gears where I spend more time. I have noticed that it is quite noisey while on the 36 and the outside of every second tooth is quite worn from cross chaining.

  6. #6
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    You can tighten up the tension, remove the plastic cap underneath there is a small wrench and screw , make sure the switch is turned to off when you adjust. good luck there is a video on you tube or pink bike I believe.

  7. #7
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    Both Murchman and I have tried that. All it does is increase the tension but it doesn't remove the free play before the clutch becomes active.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jo$#nya View Post
    You can tighten up the tension, remove the plastic cap underneath there is a small wrench and screw , make sure the switch is turned to off when you adjust. good luck there is a video on you tube or pink bike I believe.
    As I stated in my original post I have already done that, it doesn't do anything for the free play it only makes it harder once you get past the free play.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for posting. I'm dropping chains regularly on rocky descents, with Shadow+ and 1x10 32x11-36. This could be the explanation.

  10. #10
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    Please let me know if you have the same issue, I have a feeling this is common but there isn't anyone I know who has the derailleur and my shops don't have experience with it either. I don't want to send it and be without my bike for a couple of weeks and then find out the replacement does the same thing.

  11. #11
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    Okay, done. Play in the two smallest rings only. A little less play than in the video - maybe 3/4"?

    Interesting. Makes me wonder whether the people raving about how you don't need chain-retention with a Shadow+ are doing rocky descents in the smallest cassette rings.

  12. #12
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    Was that after coming down from the largest cogs?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Murchman View Post
    Was that after coming down from the largest cogs?
    Yes, I shifted through the entire cassette.

  14. #14
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    Thanks that helped. I went and took the cover and pulled the clutch per the Shimano instructions. It seems there is a plastic bearing holder for lack of a better word that the adjustment band wraps around. The plastic piece must sit in the grooves that keep it from rotating. I will take some pictures later. On mine it was sitting above the grove it should fit in and was allowing it to rotate. I pushed it in and tighten it back up and all is good. Now there is nothing to prevent it from coming back out though so the fix will only last until the piece moves back out.

  15. #15
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    This thread is making me a little sad since I just put one of these on my Mojo HD. I am just about to complete the build so I haven't ridden it yet. I will definitely post back with my experience. I have high hopes for this thing, I hope it doesn't let me down. Did this problem show up right away or after a break in period?

  16. #16
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    I actually read this thread a couple of days ago and responded, I don't know what happened to that post it seems it didn't make into the thread.

    Anyway, I've been running the XTR Shadow Plus on my Nomad Carbon for about 6 weeks.

    Over the last few rides I've noticed a slight chain slap noise and just assumed that I might need to adjust the tension on the clutch.

    After reading this thread I went out and took a look at my bike. I found maybe 1/4 inch of free play in the RD on any cog, shifted up the cassette and back down through many combinations. The only place I notice anymore free play than 1/4 inch or so was in the granny/11 combo; and then I would guess it was less than maybe 1/2 inch.

    I'm running XT 2X10 converted from 3X10 btw, 11-36 rear cassette.

    Anytime I'm on the "big" ring there is virtually no free play on any cog no matter if I'm shifting up or down the cassette.

    I did find what I think is the source of the little chain slap I've been hearing. It's the chain hitting the "crossbar" at the back of the FD. But there's not enough there to cause a dropped chain, just a little hit is all and I hear it while riding down hill.

    I also found that my chain was on the granny and the 36T cog from then end of my last ride.

    The thing is I had to make a somewhat long and kinda steep (at the end) climb at the very end of my ride. That climb was followed by steep, rutted, rocky descent for most of the ride back to the car. That's when I really heard the chain slap, such that it is. But, I made that descent on the granny and 36T cog.

    So, in general I don't seem to have the free play issue even though I've just noticed the chain slap "lately".

    I'm wondering if perhaps it's always been there and it's just that my habit of shifting off the granny at the start of a descent has become a bit lax; or if maybe the FD has moved a bit on the carbon seat tube.

    Either way I don't seem to have much if any real free play in the Shadow Plus after about 6 weeks and 150 miles on it.

  17. #17
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    Look forward to hearing more about this issue. Was planning on running the S+ with my single ring setup but maybe getting a chain guide is a better idea?

  18. #18
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    The issue showed up after a couple of rides. I now know what causes it and I think I just have a clutch that is out of spec. Going to see if I can get a good picture of it but only have my iPhone so we will see.

  19. #19
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    It's not really "free play" it still has the spring load as if you didn't have the clutch engaged. Correct? So it's still better than not having the clutch? For $250 bucks I can see why it would be annoying though.

  20. #20
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    Yes it's like a normal derailleur during the free play but as you pointed out I paid for no play so my chain would stay tight, quite, and on the chain ring.

  21. #21
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    I was going to order a XTR Shadow Plus but decided to give a chain catcher a try. I'll let you know howit works. I think I will get a XT when it comes out with the Shadow Plus.

  22. #22
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    Mine has similar play, but I couldn't be happier with it's chain retention ability. I don't find it 'silent' as it has been described by others, but it's performance has been great thus far. Have yet to test it on lift served DH terrain, but will do so this summer...

    My guess is that the 'free play' may be required to allow shifting, and thus be a necsesary part of the design.

    Subscribed in hopes that someone who understands the engineering will chime in.

  23. #23
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    Here is a picture of the clutch, you see the black plastic piece in the middle that is not completely round and flat on the top and bottom with the metal saw blade teeth. It sits recessed in the clutch body which keeps it from turning. Mine is not sitting completely recessed and sticks out a bit allowing it to rotate just enough to give the free play you see in the video. When I push it back in flush the free play goes away as it no longer rotates at all.

    My issue is there is no way to make sure it doesn't slide back out just enough to rotate again as there is nothing to hold it flush. tightening the clutch band does not keep it in place.


  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldManBike View Post
    Okay, done. Play in the two smallest rings only. A little less play than in the video - maybe 3/4"?

    Interesting. Makes me wonder whether the people raving about how you don't need chain-retention with a Shadow+ are doing rocky descents in the smallest cassette rings.
    If you are running a single ring up front then you should most definitely be using a chain retention device in conjunction with the Shadow +.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikemikemike View Post
    Mine has similar play, but I couldn't be happier with it's chain retention ability. I don't find it 'silent' as it has been described by others, but it's performance has been great thus far. Have yet to test it on lift served DH terrain, but will do so this summer...

    My guess is that the 'free play' may be required to allow shifting, and thus be a necsesary part of the design.

    Subscribed in hopes that someone who understands the engineering will chime in.
    Glad it's working out for you, MMM. Are you running 1x10? Are there rocky sections you ride with the chain on the smallest cogs?

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