9 speed Shimano shifting problems

Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by B. Sanders, Apr 26, 2003.

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  1. B. Sanders

    B. Sanders Guest

    This year, two of my three MTB's are sporting 9-speed drivetrains. Both have LX 9 speed shifters and
    XT or XTR 9 speed (Mega 9) rear derailleurs. One bike is used (bought on Ebay), the other is brand
    new. Cables and housing are brand new Shimano OEM. Frames have no misalignment.

    I can't seem to get the LX shifters dialed-in on either bike. Both have the same problem: Either
    downshifts are perfect, and upshifts are dodgy, or vice versa. I've spent hours fiddling with the
    cable adjusters, but can't find the sweet spot.

    The best I've been able to achieve is when shifting to a larger cog (downshifting), it requires
    moving the thumb shifter lever very close to the next detent click. The problem is, LX shifter
    clicks are so soft that I frequently over-shift to the next detent (click), which leaves the
    derailleur in between shifts, so I have to then upshift to correct it. This is incredibly annoying.
    I'm not happy.

    I've ridden other 9-speed bikes that didn't have this problem. My M5 Low Racer recumbent had a
    27-speed drivetrain with Dura Ace barcons (bar-end shifters) that snicked through the gears like a
    champ, with zero problems. My only conclusion is that the LX shifters are garbage. I thought the
    brand new LX shifters might be a little better; but they're exactly the same. This is surprising,
    since I've had pretty good luck with Rapid Fire Plus shifters in the past.

    Your comments and advice will be appreciated.

    -Barry
     
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  2. David Kunz

    David Kunz Guest

    B. Sanders wrote:
    > This year, two of my three MTB's are sporting 9-speed drivetrains. Both have LX 9 speed shifters
    > and XT or XTR 9 speed (Mega 9) rear derailleurs. One bike is used (bought on Ebay), the other is
    > brand new. Cables and housing are brand new Shimano OEM. Frames have no misalignment.
    >
    > I can't seem to get the LX shifters dialed-in on either bike. Both have the same problem: Either
    > downshifts are perfect, and upshifts are dodgy, or vice versa. I've spent hours fiddling with the
    > cable adjusters, but can't find the sweet spot.
    >
    > The best I've been able to achieve is when shifting to a larger cog (downshifting), it requires
    > moving the thumb shifter lever very close to the next detent click. The problem is, LX shifter
    > clicks are so soft that I frequently over-shift to the next detent (click), which leaves the
    > derailleur in between shifts, so I have to then upshift to correct it. This is incredibly
    > annoying. I'm not happy.
    >
    > I've ridden other 9-speed bikes that didn't have this problem. My M5 Low Racer recumbent had a
    > 27-speed drivetrain with Dura Ace barcons (bar-end shifters) that snicked through the gears like a
    > champ, with zero problems. My only conclusion is that the LX shifters are garbage. I thought the
    > brand new LX shifters might be a little better; but they're exactly the same. This is surprising,
    > since I've had pretty good luck with Rapid Fire Plus shifters in the past.
    >
    > Your comments and advice will be appreciated.
    >
    > -Barry
    >
    >
    I've had this be 2 things:
    1. Bent deraileur hanger. Unlikely if both bikes are doing it.
    2. Cable not moving freely enough. Shimano's engineers should be shot for 9 speed design. A shift is
    very little cable motion -- so any friction is a problem. I found that I need to use teflon
    cables and replace the housing every time that I replace the cables. Sometimes, a VERY light lube
    will help but it's a double edged sword, it can make up-shifting sluggish -- you shift, then the
    bike shifts a couple of seconds later. I use LPS. I also use shimano's XTR cable seals to keep
    crud out from road dust, rain, water crossings.

    David
     
  3. Mike Davies

    Mike Davies Guest

    B. Sanders wrote:

    > This year, two of my three MTB's are sporting 9-speed drivetrains. Both have LX 9 speed shifters
    > and XT or XTR 9 speed (Mega 9) rear derailleurs. One bike is used (bought on Ebay), the other is
    > brand new. Cables and housing are brand new Shimano OEM. Frames have no misalignment.
    >
    > I can't seem to get the LX shifters dialed-in on either bike. Both have the same problem: Either
    > downshifts are perfect, and upshifts are dodgy, or vice versa. I've spent hours fiddling with the
    > cable adjusters, but can't find the sweet spot.
    >
    > The best I've been able to achieve is when shifting to a larger cog (downshifting), it requires
    > moving the thumb shifter lever very close to the next detent click. The problem is, LX shifter
    > clicks are so soft that I frequently over-shift to the next detent (click), which leaves the
    > derailleur in between shifts, so I have to then upshift to correct it. This is incredibly
    > annoying. I'm not happy.
    >
    > I've ridden other 9-speed bikes that didn't have this problem. My M5 Low Racer recumbent had a
    > 27-speed drivetrain with Dura Ace barcons (bar-end shifters) that snicked through the gears like a
    > champ, with zero problems. My only conclusion is that the LX shifters are garbage. I thought the
    > brand new LX shifters might be a little better; but they're exactly the same. This is surprising,
    > since I've had pretty good luck with Rapid Fire Plus shifters in the past.
    >
    > Your comments and advice will be appreciated.
    >
    > -Barry

    I've had similar problems with an LX front mech. I could either get middle and top rings or middle
    and bottom. I eventually managed to find the right spot but it was just trial and error fiddling
    with the top and bottom stop screws and the cable tension.

    Mike
     
  4. David Kunz

    David Kunz Guest

    Mike Davies wrote:
    > B. Sanders wrote:
    >
    >
    >>This year, two of my three MTB's are sporting 9-speed drivetrains. Both have LX 9 speed shifters
    >>and XT or XTR 9 speed (Mega 9) rear derailleurs. One bike is used (bought on Ebay), the other is
    >>brand new. Cables and housing are brand new Shimano OEM. Frames have no misalignment.
    >>
    >>I can't seem to get the LX shifters dialed-in on either bike. Both have the same problem: Either
    >>downshifts are perfect, and upshifts are dodgy, or vice versa. I've spent hours fiddling with the
    >>cable adjusters, but can't find the sweet spot.
    >>
    >>The best I've been able to achieve is when shifting to a larger cog (downshifting), it requires
    >>moving the thumb shifter lever very close to the next detent click. The problem is, LX shifter
    >>clicks are so soft that I frequently over-shift to the next detent (click), which leaves the
    >>derailleur in between shifts, so I have to then upshift to correct it. This is incredibly
    >>annoying. I'm not happy.
    >>
    >>I've ridden other 9-speed bikes that didn't have this problem. My M5 Low Racer recumbent had a
    >>27-speed drivetrain with Dura Ace barcons (bar-end shifters) that snicked through the gears like a
    >>champ, with zero problems. My only conclusion is that the LX shifters are garbage. I thought the
    >>brand new LX shifters might be a little better; but they're exactly the same. This is surprising,
    >>since I've had pretty good luck with Rapid Fire Plus shifters in the past.
    >>
    >>Your comments and advice will be appreciated.
    >>
    >>-Barry
    >
    >
    > I've had similar problems with an LX front mech. I could either get middle and top rings or middle
    > and bottom. I eventually managed to find the right spot but it was just trial and error fiddling
    > with the top and bottom stop screws and the cable tension.
    >

    Sometimes, it helps to turn the cage a little out of parallel from the chainrings.

    Also, dont' be afraid to bend the cage. Make small adjustments. Use a small cresent wrench.

    Even my current XTR front needed a small adjustment. The cage was slightly too wide. I could get it
    to either up or down shift from the middle to the small. Now, it shifts nicely.

    David
     
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