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  1. #1
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    11sp XTR shifter hurts my arthritic thumb

    I have a 2x10 XT 29r that shifts like butter.
    My new fat bike is a 1x11 with an XTR shifter and RD. with a 10-42 cassette. The problem is that the effort of the shifter and the thumb position of the paddles are different enough that my thumb is sore after a couple of hours. Never happens on the 2x10. If I changed the shifter and cassette to a 10speed and left the RD, would my shifting effort be decreased?


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  2. #2
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    It (the derailleur) won't work properly with a 10 speed shifter. Couple of things I would check before ruling out the shifter, since my experience is that they shift far better than the old ones:

    1) Check the routing, there should be no sharp bends, and minimal housing to get from stop to stop (unless it's full length).

    2) Check the housing is actually Shimano housing. Makes a difference in conjuction with...

    3) Check that they spec'd a Shimano polymer coated cable. Should be bronze(ish) colored, and textured.

    4) Check that nosed ferrules were used between stops (check for fraying of the coating around the stops). The ferrule can pack up with polymer snot if there is a sharp edge, due to not using a nosed ferrule.

    4) Pull the cable entirely (with the knowledge that you may need to replace it if nothing is wrong) and check for kinks.

    For what it's worth, my money is on 2 and/or 3 or 4, but the others are possible. OEMs are pretty good about putting the polymer cable in, but often scrimp on the housing, since it isn't immediately identifiable as 'wrong'. The short version of the above is: if every part of the system isn't as specified by the manufacturer, you get sub-par performance. Also, consider turning the clutch off on the derailleur and see if you can tolerate some chain bounce in lieu of quicker/easier shifting.

  3. #3
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    Before changing anything I'd check the cables and housing first.

    Then, check to see if loosening up the 11s clutch will help the situation. If the effort is much less with the clutch off then the clutch is too tight.

  4. #4
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    I've tried riding with the clutch off and shifting effort is the same. It was like this from day one. It's A new Pivot Les Fat that came with SRAM. But I'm a Shimano fan and like thumb / forefinger shifting. Although , the new XTR shifts better thumb/thumb. It's almost as if the detent in each shift is too hard.


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  5. #5
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    Hey thecanoe.

    Not bike related, more a suggestion about your Arthritis. I'm 41, and in my late 30s had started to get these niggling pains that wouldn't go away. I didn't really realise what it was until the doc said that it was probably early signs of arthritis (it runs in the family, so I should have known)

    The doc suggested taking Ibuprofen in fairly large quantities, which relieved the pain, but didn't make me feel good. I then did some research and found out that taking Curcumin (Tumeric) tablets, was as effective, but without the side effects.

    I've been on them for a year or so now, and all my aches and pains are gone, and I'm actually feeling much better on the bike. I'd recommend it to anyone with arthritis issues.
    Lapierre XR29ei, Chris King LB Carbon, XTR 1 X 10
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  6. #6
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    Interesting that you say that. I was reading somewhere about the benefits of turmeric and was going to try it. Can you recommend a brand?


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  7. #7
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    I've been using this one for a while which is good value:
    Vitacost Turmeric Extract Curcumin C3 Complex® with Bioperine® -- 1160 mg per serving - 120 Capsules - Vitacost
    The Bioperine (black pepper) is supposed to help with absorption.
    These have got a bit more expensive for me, as I live in Australia, and the exchange rate has got much worse recently.
    I've actually tried adding tumeric to me birchir muesli, which works out much cheaper.
    i've only been doing this for a few weeks, so will see how it goes. Takes a bit to get used to the taste, so tablets are much easier.
    Lapierre XR29ei, Chris King LB Carbon, XTR 1 X 10
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  8. #8
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    Thanks. I've purchased from Vitacost before. I'll give it a try.


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  9. #9
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    If you want 1x and you're on a XTR budget, how about Di2? Supposed to be awesome...
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  10. #10
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    I was going to recommend Di2 as well. I have it on my road bike. I prefer to ride my road bike on mountain bike trails now, and this is a significant contributory factor. If I didn't have the first of 3 kids going to college, I would get it on a mountain bike. It should trickle down to XT at some point, but if you already have the XTR or XT, just add in the shifting electronics.

  11. #11
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    My LBS also recommended it. But why wouldn't an XT 10 speed shifter work with an XTR 11 speed RD? I'd put a 10 sp cassette on and have a 1x10.


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  12. #12
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    It might. Have you looked at the compatibility map?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    It might. Have you looked at the compatibility map?
    This was in the Sunrace thread.

    11sp RD, 10 sp shifter and cassette works.
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  14. #14
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Sounds like you have your answer. For the sake of paranoia, I usually like to get it from the horse's mouth, but someone would probably have told that poster he's full of it if that's wrong.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by thecanoe View Post
    My LBS also recommended it. But why wouldn't an XT 10 speed shifter work with an XTR 11 speed RD? I'd put a 10 sp cassette on and have a 1x10.


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    http://forums.mtbr.com/drivetrain-sh...in-947611.html

    here is the thread that talks about the compatibility.

    I am in the process of doing this right now.

    I would think that an 11 speed shifter should be just as easy to push as a 10 speed though?? Or is it an ergonomics.

    I had two bikes with the same shifters but one required much more effort. Turned out, the added effort was due to bad cable housing/routing.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by thecanoe View Post
    I've tried riding with the clutch off and shifting effort is the same. It was like this from day one. It's A new Pivot Les Fat that came with SRAM. But I'm a Shimano fan and like thumb / forefinger shifting. Although , the new XTR shifts better thumb/thumb. It's almost as if the detent in each shift is too hard.


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    The difference with the clutch on/off should be significant. I suspect that the clutch is "broken" and "stuck" in the on position ... I would disassemble and check, or remove it all together (who needs a clutch on a Fat bike!)...

  17. #17
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    Here's an update. LBS disconnected the cable from the XTR shifter. The forefinger shift direction definitely has a stronger detent to pull the lever back for an up shift than the old 10 speed shifter has. A new XT 11 speed shifter has it too. It's as if Shimano added a more positive shift, for lack of a better description. My solution is to replace the shifter with a 10 speed XT right shifter, 11-42 Sunrace 10 speed cassette and new 10 speed chain. My thumb will then be happy.
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  18. #18
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    It's a conspiracy, to get people to buy Di2!

    I'm a little hesitant to say this, but while I was waiting for my shifter to arrive, I put my XTR 9000 derailleur on my wife's bike equipped with SRAM 11 speed Gripshift and 10-42 cassette. It shifted perfectly on the stand. I did not ride it. But looking at the cable pull between 11 speed Shimano, 10 Speed Shimano, and 11 speed SRAM, they all look to be close enough to work with each other. If the 10 Speed Shifter works fine with Shimano 11 speed, then 11 Speed SRAM should work fine with Shimano 11 speed, and it worked for me initially (not thoroughly tested).

    Ratios were determined according to this article: Art's Cyclery Blog » Science Behind the Magic | Drivetrain Compatibility

    I don't know if that is an option for you (certainly wouldn't require any thumb work). The new gripshift, shifts like butter too. Anyway, another much cheaper option, a GX 11 speed grip shifters are pretty cheap (and they are essentially identical to the higher end shifters).

    I also just installed my 10 speed shifter, 11-42 10 speed cassette, and m9000 11 speed derailleur on my bike, and it shifts beautifully also.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loch View Post
    It's a conspiracy, to get people to buy Di2!

    .

    I also just installed my 10 speed shifter, 11-42 10 speed cassette, and m9000 11 speed derailleur on my bike, and it shifts beautifully also.
    The conspiracy theory could be it.
    It's good to here that the 10speed conversion works. I'll end up with a match to yours. My Tallboy has had the 10 speed XT shifter on it for years and the ergonomics of the shifter paddles is better for my hands
    than the new XTR. Go figure.




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  20. #20
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    Turn down the tension on your RD clutch and install a fresh set of high end cables and housing (ex. Shimano SP41 and Shimano polycoated cables), with proper cable routing etiquette, before doing anything extreme.

    I can also confirm that the 11 spd RD works with 10 spd stuff. It's already got the Radr cage/Goat link installed basically, which makes it work well with extended range 10spd. The cable pull ratio is the same (DynaSys).

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by thecanoe View Post
    The conspiracy theory could be it.
    It's good to here that the 10speed conversion works. I'll end up with a match to yours. My Tallboy has had the 10 speed XT shifter on it for years and the ergonomics of the shifter paddles is better for my hands
    than the new XTR. Go figure.




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    Sure, and the US never landed on the Moon.

    I have both Shimano XTR 10 and 11 and if anything the 11 speed is lighter in action once the derailleur clutch is disengaged. When the clutch is engaged you can of course make one or the other harder depending on how much clutch you use so it is difficult to compare.

    As others have said: this is a problem of set up, or maybe your shifter malfunctioning.
    Last edited by Davide; 12-08-2015 at 11:10 AM.

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