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  1. #1
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    2 clicks to shift?

    Shimano XT RD and Shifters:

    Rear moves smooth when going from smaller cogs to larger cogs but going the other direction it takes 2 clicks of the shifter. It's perfectly quite once in gear either way.

    I did the basic adjustments: Tightened cable and tinkered with the fine tune barrel adjuster. No luck. That's as far as my skills go.

    Something wrong with my RD or Shifter?

  2. #2
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    Try going back to your barrel adjuster and loosening your cable tension a little.

  3. #3
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    I'm going to guess your cable housing is contaminated. If you were out of adjustment you would be able to diagnose it on the up shift (to bigger rear gears). When you double click does the rear skip a gear? Your shifter pod could be gummed up, but unless there's a reason to suspect that, it usually takes several years for that to be the case. Any recent crash damage? As a rule, when my rear shifting suffers (and I don't suspect a bent hanger) I shift into the largest cog, (with the wheel stationary) then pull on the cable while down shifting (creates slack), then I pull the rear section of housing loose and lube the cable and housing reinstalling the housing rotated 180 degrees (so the other side of the inner Teflon coating is rubbing on the cable). Check the cable tension and normally everything is good. As an aside, I mark the cable with tape when I rotate it so I don't try that twice (putting worn liner against the cable). In theory, you could do that 4 times I suppose, I've never gotten it to work right more than twice.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by gatorfan22 View Post
    I did the basic adjustments: Tightened cable and tinkered with the fine tune barrel adjuster. No luck. That's as far as my skills go.

    Upgrade your skills- Rear Derailleur Adjustment - Park Tool



    I agree with Forster that cables are most likely the problem, if everything else checks out I would just replace them (and also the housing.)

  5. #5
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    Last time I had a similar problem, it was a fraying shifter cable hanging up in the housing.

  6. #6
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    Usually a sign of too much friction in the cable and housing.

  7. #7
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    Also pull the housing end caps off and check to see if the sheath has pulled back from the wires inside. If so, pull the offending bits of housing off, trim off the wires sticking out, and reinstall. I recently had some odd shifting behavior that was solved with this method. I replaced the inner cable at the same time, because re-threading the cable after the pinch bolt has been tightened on it never works well.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for all the replies.

    I did clean out the shifter mech (WD then lube). No change.

    Will try the advice above.

    Bike is 8 mo old with 1600 miles on it. What are the odds it's the shifter itself?

  9. #9
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    "When you double click does the rear skip a gear?"

    No. And there was a bad crash involving right handlebar. No visible damage to shifter but I imagine the cable may have been bent. The problem has been present for so long I'm not sure if I can tie it to one of my multiple crashes or not (newbie!)

    Plan: 1) inspect and lube cable 2) try loosening cable tension 3) if that fails consider new shifter

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by gatorfan22 View Post
    "When you double click does the rear skip a gear?"

    No. And there was a bad crash involving right handlebar. No visible damage to shifter but I imagine the cable may have been bent. The problem has been present for so long I'm not sure if I can tie it to one of my multiple crashes or not (newbie!)

    Plan: 1) inspect and lube cable 2) try loosening cable tension 3) if that fails consider new shifter
    If the shifter is releasing cable with each click it's likely working fine.

    I'd check that your derailleur hanger or the derailleur itself aren't bent. The derailleur cage should be straight up & down and straight (not twisted) front to back.

    If that's good then replace the cable and housing.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by gatorfan22 View Post
    Bike is 8 mo old with 1600 miles on it. What are the odds it's the shifter itself?
    Is it internal routing?

    My bike has internal routing and some of the bends the cable has to make down at the bottom-bracket and in the chain-stay are ridiculous. The shifting has been troublesome from day one. When I can be bothered I'm going to replace the cable with one that's just cable-tied to the outside.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by gatorfan22 View Post

    Bike is 8 mo old with 1600 miles on it. What are the odds it's the shifter itself?

    Practically zero unless it's been damaged in a crash, the shift lever is the least likely component to cause problems IME.

  13. #13
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    I had similar issues on a brand new bike I bought years ago which did not have internal routing, I don't think it had been thought of back then. After messing with it for months I replaced the housing and cable and the shifting was perfect.

    Nine times out of ten, sluggish return of the dérailleur is down to the cable. In fact more often than that.

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    Awesome forum.

    One more bit of info for you diagnosticians: Upshifting on my bike requires significantly more thumb pressure than my buddies bike which is the same as mine (and bought at same time).

    Does this confirm there is drag in the cable/housing?

    Mr. Pig. Yes, internal routing - Scott Spark 710.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by gatorfan22 View Post
    Awesome forum.

    One more bit of info for you diagnosticians: Upshifting on my bike requires significantly more thumb pressure than my buddies bike which is the same as mine (and bought at same time).

    Does this confirm there is drag in the cable/housing?

    Mr. Pig. Yes, internal routing - Scott Spark 710.
    Probably, you could have a bend section of housing too, but usually it's dirt in the housing. I don't like WD-40 as a cable lube. It can gum up. Spray silicone or Teflon spray is probably better.

  16. #16
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    Replace the cable/housing and check to make sure nothing is bent at the rear derailleur. Simple as that.

    Ps: I know ill get gripped at for this comment, but wd40 has NO PLACE being used on a bicycle. Iirc there was one variation of it that's ok for bike use. But not your normal, buy anywhere WD40. For shifters unless their many years old and not maintained there is no reason to clean them out. Open up access point and put several drops of cable lube oil in it and that's it. WD40 breaks down the grease/oil inside the components then puts a film on those components not allowing fresh oil/grease to adhere properly.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by gatorfan22 View Post
    One more bit of info for you diagnosticians: Upshifting on my bike requires significantly more thumb pressure than my buddies bike which is the same as mine (and bought at same time).

    Does this confirm there is drag in the cable/housing?
    By 'upshifting' do you mean shifting up into a smaller cassette cog? if yes then that definitely confirms it is cables/housing. Like the Pig said, internal routing can put tighter bends in the housing which magnifies friction there. New cables/housing will work wonders, and spending a little more on a better quality set can make a big difference.

    Agree that WD-40 should stay far, far away from your cables.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by gatorfan22 View Post
    Upshifting on my bike requires significantly more thumb pressure than my buddies bike which is the same as mine.
    Yes, I would say pretty much 100% it's the cable.

    Internal routing is a nightmare, I'm not a fan. On a full-sus bike especially the bends the cable has to make can be crazy. Traditionally, when you put the cables on a bike the aim was to get them as free-flowing as possible with smooth curves and little friction. With internal, this was basically thrown out of the window!

    Eventually I'm just taking the cable out of the chainstay, which is where the tight bends are, and tying it on the outside. I can't see any other way to reliably fix it.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    I can't see any other way to reliably fix it.
    With carefully installed brand new cables and housing my internally routed mtb required a ton of thumb pressure to shift, after splurging for a better set (Jag mtb pro) it's now butter smooth. Amazing difference.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    With carefully installed brand new cables and housing my internally routed mtb required a ton of thumb pressure to shift, after splurging for a better set (Jag mtb pro) it's now butter smooth. Amazing difference.
    I thought about trying a better cable routed the same way but it's so contorted I don't see the point. I've already changed the brake cables which are routed the same way. That was bad and the dérailleur cable will be worse because the cable is less flexible, the cranks are in the way and the stay has a tighter bend in it to clear the rings. In fact I think you might struggle to change that cable without taking the cranks, and maybe the rear triangle, off the bike.

    A better cable just strapped to the chainstay seems like the best way to go. So you recommend this Jagwire MTB Pro cable then?

  21. #21
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    Yeah, I'm not saying that ditching the internal routing might not be better, just pointing out how much of a difference a quality set can make compared to basic ones, especially with tight bends and awkward runs. They actually are more flexible.

    I haven't had much experience with this particular cable set (jag mtb pro) but they are very nice, excellent results. In the past I've used xtr sets and would have gotten those had they been available at the time, they are top notch IMO.

  22. #22
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    I don't know what kind of cables are fitted to my bike but they don't look stellar. The cable is quite thin. The bend at the front of the chain-stay is so severe that it's a wonder they get a cable round it at all.

    Shimano cables are always good but I bought some Teflon-coated ones made by Clarks and they were great. The inner cable is Teflon coated and it really seems to help and they were super-smooth.

  23. #23
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    I use jag pro on both trail and fat bike, wont ever use anything else, for now at least.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    I use jag pro on both trail and fat bike, wont ever use anything else, for now at least.
    Yup.

  25. #25
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    Ordered a couple of packs of these Jagwire Pro cables to see how they go, thanks for the recommendation. I expect it's the teflon, as with the Clarks cables.

  26. #26
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    I dont use Teflon inners, I get them with hyperslick inner cable. Teflon will wear and you end up with all the bits of it inside, better than dirt and crud, but still messes with performance after a while. I have 2 yrs on my cables on my 29er and still as smooth as they were new.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    I use jag pro on both trail and fat bike, wont ever use anything else, for now at least.
    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    I dont use Teflon inners, I get them with hyperslick inner cable.

    All the mt. pro sets I've seen come with teflon coated inner wires, which seem to work pretty darn good with the lubed liners they supply. Do you buy your inner wires separately?

  28. #28
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    Good discussion on cables! I've wondered for a while, which cables would be the most flexible for tight bends. I'm on a 2014 Trance1 29er with the internally routed dropper cable. I like the esthetics of the internal routing (and won't change it until all options have been tried) but realize the possible drawback to performance because of the tight bend, specially at the bottom bracket. Since new, I've replaced the housing and inner cable once and just the inner (with Teflon coating) once. It has never had a good clean feel, always seemed 'sluggish' even with new cable , to some degree. I also think some of this feel is from Giant's actuator lever being so short and its positioning. Thus, I'm considering the idea of modifying the front shifter (which was removed when I went to a 1X10) to actuate the dropper. Looking forward to final recommendations you guys come up with and will order new cable to install over the off-season along with all other maintenance.
    don't tell me, "Show Me " !

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    All the mt. pro sets I've seen come with teflon coated inner wires, which seem to work pretty darn good with the lubed liners they supply. Do you buy your inner wires separately?

    Yeap. Spent time researching (more than im willing to admit). The Teflon works great till it starts to peel off the cables. Not a problem with full housing end to end, but my 29er frame exposes the cable along the tt and seat stay. Its the crude that gets in the grinds the Teflon off. So I went hyperslick. The whole thing of minimal maintaince/costs. Haven't changed my inner cables/housings since installed.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by jp08865 View Post
    Good discussion on cables! I've wondered for a while, which cables would be the most flexible for tight bends. I'm on a 2014 Trance1 29er with the internally routed dropper cable. I like the esthetics of the internal routing (and won't change it until all options have been tried) but realize the possible drawback to performance because of the tight bend, specially at the bottom bracket. Since new, I've replaced the housing and inner cable once and just the inner (with Teflon coating) once. It has never had a good clean feel, always seemed 'sluggish' even with new cable , to some degree. I also think some of this feel is from Giant's actuator lever being so short and its positioning. Thus, I'm considering the idea of modifying the front shifter (which was removed when I went to a 1X10) to actuate the dropper. Looking forward to final recommendations you guys come up with and will order new cable to install over the off-season along with all other maintenance.
    I use the Jagwire Pro too and would recommend it. The outer cable is actually quite stiff which helps it form bigger radius bends.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surestick Malone View Post
    I use the Jagwire Pro too and would recommend it. The outer cable is actually quite stiff which helps it form bigger radius bends.
    But does that not make it a mare to get round tight internal bends?

  32. #32
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    I haven't had any issues with running a tight bend, it forms well. Just stiff. Doesn't hurt anything. I like the stiffness cause it doesn't flop around between the bars and frame.

    Personally from everything I've seen, internal cable routing is cool but really poorly executed. Better and easier just to run full housing front to back. So what if its not as "clean" looking. It it ain't broke, dont fix it. Lol.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    I haven't had any issues with running a tight bend, it forms well.
    I reckon you'd have an issue with my chain-stay! I'll need to take a couple of pictures to show you how bad it is. I think they must have put it in before they put the rear triangle on.

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