You're rolling over boulders like a tank. You line up to take on a sketchy steep climb, give it a burst of power, and then realize your chain isn't connected to the drivetrain anymore. You lurch to an abrupt stop, boil over into a rage, and consider the merits of hucking your bike, riderless, down the hillside into oblivion. The SRAM X9 Type 2 Rear Derailleur helps prevent dropped chains and limits chain slap by incorporating a clutch mechanism that controls chain tension and stabilizes the rear derailleur cage. Shimano's Shadow Plus design, which is engineered to produce a similar chain-stabilizing effect, preceded SRAM's Type 2 design in reaching the marketplace. However, Type 2 technology differs from its competition in a key way. Rather than opting for an adjustable friction band, SRAM put a Roller Bearing Clutch in their Type 2 derailleurs. The clutch comes pre-set from the factory to provide a certain amount of friction inside the derailleur cage pivot. This friction keeps the cage from bouncing up and down over rocky trails and de-tensioning the chain. Because it's pre-set at the factory, SRAM's Type 2 clutch can't be disengaged or adjusted like Shimano's Shadow Plus mechanism. That being said, the Type 2 clutch is self-lubricating, and there are no external moving parts, so unlike the Shadow Plus system, it's designed to be maintenance-free. The Type 2 mechanism adds about 30 grams to the weight of a standard X9 rear derailleur. A unique feature of the Type 2 system is that its Cage Lock technology allows you, with the push of a button, to lock the derailleur cage in an extended position. While it may not be a game changer, this is a nice feature that allows for easier-than-ever rear wheel installation. There's no need to worry if you accidentally leave the derailleur cage locked; it will return to normal operating position when you hit your first bump.
Strengths: Clean crisp shifting, feels very solid, almost completely eliminates chain slap, great price
Weaknesses: None, so far
I'm switching from the XT Shadow (for reference). Today was my first ride and I'm already in love. I HATE CHAIN SLAP and this derailleur virtually eliminates it! It is so nice to go over rocks, roots, and drops and not hear that god awful slap. I was very pleased with how clean, crisp, and quick the shifting was. I was afraid with this new technology that it would compromise the shifting, but I didn't find that to be true. Only time will tell how well it holds up, but it feels very strong and durable.
Strengths: Great shifting, very smooth and a big step up from my old 9 speed X0
Weaknesses: Still get a bit of chain slip on heavy landings
Upgraded (or possibly down graded) from X0 9 speed to a type 2 X9 10 speed. Massive improvement in shifting, very smooth ride, and with less give in the chain, it feels like you get more power down, especially on climbs. The mech is new, so no issues yet, but will definitely keep an eye on reliability.
Strengths: Easy to set up and adjust, can handle abuse, reasonably priced
Weaknesses: none to speak of yet
This came stock on my MTB and has been an excellent piece of hardware. It has taken all I've thrown at it and come through fine. Adjustment screws are well placed for dialing in and wheels have been easy to keep clean as well.
Strengths: The cage lock off button to allow you to remove your wheel easily is a great development.
Weaknesses: I've ridden for 18 years and never had a rear derailleur failure. After 1 month with the x9 type 2 it was hit by a stick ( a good stick I should say) and the cage came out looking like a pair of old cowboys legs. To it's defense it did hold together to get me home, but now I'm up for a whole new unit. Ultimately it was a rider error.. but my issue is with part replacement cost.
I know I should have ridden better and missed the stick, but it was either the stick or off the side of the track and into the bush. If a cage can be bent, it should be designed for easy removal & repair. The replacement cage kit is only about $20 cheaper than a full derailleur.... that's not very eco friendly.
Been riding with this for 400 miles without issue. Adjusts easy, never had an issue shifting. I think the shifting is fast and easy, never compared to shimano. I bought another for my Fatbike.
Date Reviewed: July 3, 2012
Strengths: Can't seem to find any. Had problems with this derailure from day 1.
Weaknesses: Tension spring. Will leave you stranded. In 25 years riding mountain bikes I've never had a Shimano deraileur. X9 has twice in a year.
As others have said. Problem with the tension spring. Doesn't break, instead it pulls out of the catch. This happened to me without any cause. Not crash, to hitting anything,,,,nothing??? This happened the first time on Monarch Crest trail at 10,000-12,000ft. Had to free wheel 15 miles or so.
Took to bike shop and they re-tensioned the spring and thought problem was cured. Rode 2 more times before it broke for a second time. $140 later, I have a second X9. They say you can't convert to shimano??
This item should be re-called!!
2011 model, shifts nice, i have had it only for a couple months, no problems
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: March 21, 2012
Strengths: Sometimes has Good Shifting
Weaknesses: Life, Long term Reliability, Shifting,
As soon as i started using this Product it was ok, then after about 3 months in just starts to skip gears, shift when your don't won't it to, the jockey wear out to quickly. I then took it to my LBS and it was still skipping gears
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: January 8, 2012
Strengths: looks nice
Weaknesses: Lasted 10 whole minutes. Had professionally installed with compatible components. After 10 minutes of VERY LIGHT shifting (on concrete for that matter) the tension spring broke. Luckily it didnt destroy my wheel. Currently seeking replacement from SRAM
What makes me angry is that my shimano derailleur, on my older bike, is still going stong after 12 years!
Bike Setup: 1x10. sram x9 derailleur and trigger, xt 10 speed cassette, KMC gold/Ti chain.
a Cross Country Rider
from Akeley, MN, USA
Date Reviewed: September 7, 2011
Strengths: replaceable cam for cable. The old SRAM had it molded as part of the body and cracked. This new design also allows for straighter/shorter cable routing.
Weaknesses: Older SRAM had screws rather than rivets in its construction. Fine with me though, since it seems less likely to fail and probably is lighter.
Seems very precise except in the very roughest of conditions. As I mentioned above, it appears the cam section (plastic) that the cable rests in, may be replaceable. I'm not sure if parts are available though. The mostly aluminum construction looks much nicer than the older style carbon SRAM derailleur. Easy to adjust. The cage was slighlty larger by about 1/4",
Similar Products Used: Shimano, SRAM ESP, SRAM Carbon
Bike Setup: Sachs front derailleur
from Wooster, OH
Date Reviewed: September 4, 2011
Strengths: Shifts well. Light weight. Easy to set up and adjust. Product looks good.
Weaknesses: Tension spring broke during a climb. The breakage was severe and destroyed the derailieur hanger on a brand new Jamis Dragon. Steel frame so frame is destroyed since the hanger cannot be replaced.
The product should be avoided until Sram fixes the spring. New products often have unexpected problems but a tension spring problem is unacceptable. If you are riding with this product, please replace it as soon as possible so as to avoid possible injury and to protect your bike. I was lucky and was unhurt and only lost a brand new $800 frame.
Similar Products Used: Other Sram and shamano products. I had very good luck with other Sram products.
Bike Setup: Stock Jamis Dragon 29. Jamis bikes are amazing and it is a shame Sram's product destroyed a new bike.
a Weekend Warrior
from Austin, TX
Date Reviewed: September 3, 2011
Strengths: This is a good derailleur for where I am at as a rider. I don't race and I don't slam through the gears. The shifts on my 2x10 version are smooth and it has stayed in tune since I've had it.
Weaknesses: Not as flashy a the XO and XX groups but it gets the job done.
Its not XO or XX or XTR. Its an everyman's group that does nothing but work.
Strengths: Looked good, shifted well before spring went out. Got to see lots of nature while pushing bike 6 miles back.
Weaknesses: Owned less than a month and it broke.
I have used SRAM exclusively for the last five years. Upgraded to 10 Speed with new frame. Derailleur's spring tension went out during a ride, less than a month after purchasing. I would advise staying away from this until they get the kinks worked out. Plenty of information out there about the issues.