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. Another benefit of the Cage Lock is that it makes chain installation a bit easier; you don't have to maintain a consistent pulling force on the cage while joining the two chain ends.SRAM's Exact Actuation Technology facilitates consistent shifting through all gears, including 36-tooth rear cogs. The X9 Type 2 is a tad heavier than the stepped-up X0 Type 2, but it'll leave you some cash for dog food. The X9 Type 2 uses sealed bushings in the pulleys and has an alloy cage. The SRAM X9 Type 2 Rear Derailleur comes in Black/grey and in 3 cage lengths: Short, Medium, and Long. SRAM suggests the short cage for downhill use, Medium cage for 2 x 10 use, and Long cage for 3 x 10 use.
This is my first sram derailleur. I have to say this is better than expected. The shifting is instant. The type 2 really limits chain slap which is awesome if you ask me. This keeps it very quite out on the trail. The quality is the sram standard (good). The ease of set up is nice with this one also. The locking option make it very nice when removing or inserting rear wheel from/to drop outs. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a good solid shifting mech.
Strengths: Quiet, eliminates chain slap completely, stops chain from dropping or ghost-shifting entirely, and, did I say quiet?
Weaknesses: Nothing. None. There aren't any weaknesses to it.
These clutch-style derailleur are fantastic! Shimano calls theirs the Shadow. Sram calls theirs a Type 2. Each have interesting elements. My bike has Sram X9 shifters (Shimano XT 2x10 cranks and a 11-36 cassette) already so changing to a Shimano XT shadow was not the call. I think you can't go wrong with either brand.
What I found completely amazing is how dead silent this setup made the bike. It is like a single speed in terms of how quiet the drive train is now. AND it has completely eliminated any chain slap, dropping off (inside or out), or chain suck! I ride in the Southern Rockies. We have LOTS of things to punish a drive train. I just flat-out works. Did I mention its quiet?
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: March 21, 2013
Strengths: Quiet, price point, build quality
Weaknesses: Heavier than standard, very fussy to setup, drops gears, loads hanger, spoils small bump compliance.
After 3 weeks of setup and tuning I've finally given up on the X9 type 2. Hopefully I can outline the problems below and help you punters to make a better informed decision.
1) The return spring in the parallelogram linkage is weak to compensate for the clutch making shifting heavier. This means the derailleur will bounce down against the cable tension and drop gears.
2) On a VVP suspension design like my Reign, there is constant chain growth as the suspension works. This means the derailleur clutch is inhibiting small bump compliance and placing extra load on the hanger by trying to prevent chain growth.
3) On a bumpy trail the clutch will be constantly breaking tension to allow slack for chain growth. This in turn causes the driveline to flap around on the weak parallelogram spring and drop gears all over the show.
On top of this, the installation instructions are vauge and simplistic - In reality there are a lot of tricks for getting the type 2 setup - correct chain length and precise B screw adjustment to name a few. However when you're constantly dropping gears on a bumpy trail, or much less, skipping gears dropping off small kerbs the marketing shine diminishes to a brown smear.
In conclusion, it just doesn't work as advertised - It probably works great on a hard tail, or zero grow suspension design - I feel disappointed that I was totally sucked into the Sram marketing machine. After you see all the Sram sponsored launches and glowing magazine reviews its hard not to. But ultimately I feel like I've been mislead by a half baked product that has failed to deliver on its premise.
Similar Products Used: shimano XT, 105, X7 short cage, x9 short cage (Each generation since launch)
Bike Setup: Giant Reign X1 (gen1)
Date Reviewed: March 2, 2013
Strengths: Quiet! Good, very reliable shifting.
Weaknesses: Takes that SRAM clunk on shifting to a new level- feel the vibration through the stays.
Had to replace the derailleur on a brand new bike, so I was really bummed. It was about 2 weeks after this product became available, but the price difference was so small, I decided to give it a try. It's been great all summer, fall, and winter (probably only about 200 hours trail riding, and maybe half that on the road). Just brought the bike in for a tuneup, and then went for a ride on my old 26" hardtail, which is over a decade old, but with a fairly new drivetrain. In particular, I think it's a 2011 XT RD. Now I really appreciate the "type 2" feature- I had honestly forgotten how noisy mountain biking was before the new bike with this derailleur. SRAM has made it pretty much impossible not to buy this with their pricepoint, and so far, I'd say it's well worth it.