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Discussion Starter #1
So I got a Santa Cruz Hightower in Sept of 19. It has 700 miles on it. The bike is great but the Shimano XTR 12 speed group has been nothing but trouble.

Building the bike up I thought the derailleur was a bit of a pain. The way the cable routes into the unit is kind of ugly and it runs really close to the cassette. I missed the little button to hold the cage extended that SRAM has right off but once set up I figured it would not matter much.

Once set up the shifting and brakes were very good. Shifting under power was the best I have ever tried. My only complaint was a bit of a click in the climbing gear. I had this same issue with SRAM on Santa Cruz. With Boost I think the chain line is just too sharp. That sound goes away after a few rides.

First Problems started about 100 miles in. Just random inconsistency in shifting. I came to solve this issue by putting a couple of zip ties on the cable housing where it exits the seat stay. The routing is kind of ugly with this derailleur on the Hightower. The housing was pulling back into the frame and affecting shifting during rides. Not sure this is a Shimano issue mainly a shimano with Santa Cruz issue but the derailleur setup is still lame.

Shortly after this my shifting again became bad for no discernable reason. This time I came to find that the B Tension screw had backed out. In 25 years of biking, I have never had a b tension screw back off. SO I loc-tite-ed it and set it back up. I do appreciate the white line setup versus the spacer tool of SRAM but SRAM never backed off on me. I almost did not catch this cause why would I check Btension. You should set that once time with a bike and never look at it again.

Maybe a couple hundred miles later the shifting again became inconsistent. More like a jump when at the lower end of the cassette, the bigger cogs. I checked everything. Replaced and aligned the hanger. I also pulled the cassette and lube the splines cause the cassette sounded like a cheap hotel bed. Well, I must not have lined the splines up well - jesus you need a magnifying glass and one of the cogs slipped during the next ride. Give me XD driver any day. Completely easy compared to this silly spline drive jigsaw puzzle.

Anyway at this point I replaced the cassette and chain. NOT CHEAP. ANyway bike would still sound like a cheap hotel bed after a couple of rides and that is when I discovered that the low cassette spacer was not installed by me or Santa Cruz. I likely did not see it and since there was not one originally I did not know it was needed. SO I solved that - thank you forums and had a semi quiet bike again though the power shifting is not what it was and there is still a weird skip. In case you dont know the low spacer is basically a little plastic looking spacer that sits between the cassette and hub to keep it from squeaking - another design weakness of the spline drive hub.

Anyway, next ride out shifting goes to **** again. This time it's a stiff link. Probably the second time in 20+ years for that issue but ok I put in a new section.

Shifting is still marginal for top end drive train.

So today the rear brake failed on a short ride. The lever just went to the bar. OK I thought just need a bleed no biggie. Nope. I bled that thing with a syringe, with gravity and pumping and there was no way to make it firm up. I boxed it up for warranty.

SO now I am without a bike till I get a replacement and I am pretty pissed. I keep reading the forums and seems like I just got unlucky to have these issues. Does not look like anyone else has.

I know the gallery will question my mechanical ability which is fair but I'll say I never had issues with SRAM and before 1X drive trains when I ran Shimano I never had issues. It's just the new Shimano 12 Speed that is the variable. This spline drive is silly too - even you fan boys had to admit this setup is silly compared to XD.

Anyway - Be cautious on the hype this XTR is not all that or I am just really unlucky.

So am I the only one?
 

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Gimme a decent 10 spd setup any day!!

46t in the largest cog, 30t Oval up front...

Could care less what the small cog out back is.

The pain in my taint is GX Eagle 11 spd, on my 29+ FS rig.

It never frikin shifts properly!?

Even after taking it back to where I purchased... asking for a tune... it'll be skipping & clunking within 1/2 an hour!!??




Sent from my HD1900 using Tapatalk
 

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I have about 1,000 miles on my Fuel EX with 12 speed XTR and brakes. I really like the drivetrain, any issues I've had were my fault. The brakes are the best brakes I've ever ridden. My only regret is going XTR rather than XT. I got a good deal so it made sense at the time, but as I look at buying replacement parts in the future, XT is just such a good value.
 

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So far my experience with 12-sp xtr has been real positive, I'd ride it for sure. Sometimes brakes are defective, sucks but it happens. How many sram brakes have been warrantied?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Fair

So far my experience with 12-sp xtr has been real positive, I'd ride it for sure. Sometimes brakes are defective, sucks but it happens. How many sram brakes have been warrantied?
True. I've never liked SRAM brakes so I've only owned shimano for long periods. That said this is like the 6th set I've warranted.
 

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I have an XT drivetrain with an XTR cassette. I don't hate it but it also doesn't live up to the hype. The cassette assembly is a pain in the butt and I have clicks/pops that I think are coming from the cassette. I need to take it off, clean and regrease it... again. Recently it has started to randomly not want to downshift somewhere around the 9th cog even though indexing seems fine (probably a cable tension issue). The XT shifter is a bit stiffer and the action duller than my XO1 Eagle shifter. The double upshift is cool but I definitely prefer the XO1 shifter. The Shimano drivetrain does shift under load better than Sram but on the trail I don't find this to make a big difference. If I were buying another bike I'd have a hard time picking between Shimano and Sram.
 

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I’ve got a x01 cassette (new), x01 derailer, new gx chainring and gx shifter. Let me know if you want to trade.
 

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I have four bikes in my garage that I built up with Shimano 12 speed, either XT or XTR. Two have been in use for two years now the others just this year. Piece of cake to install and set up, not a PITA like Eagle. Unlike the Eagle I dumped which needed constant b-gap attention, I haven't had to touch any of them. They are all ridden and raced quite a bit between myself and my son. I've also installed on many other bikes. Night and day easier and more reliable than Eagle.
I do agree that it would be nice if they had the cage lock button that Eagle has. But not that big a deal.
 

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Exact Opposite Experience

I have four bikes in my garage that I built up with Shimano 12 speed, either XT or XTR. Two have been in use for two years now the others just this year. Piece of cake to install and set up, not a PITA like Eagle. Unlike the Eagle I dumped which needed constant b-gap attention, I haven't had to touch any of them. They are all ridden and raced quite a bit between myself and my son. I've also installed on many other bikes. Night and day easier and more reliable than Eagle.
I do agree that it would be nice if they had the cage lock button that Eagle has. But not that big a deal.
It's interesting cause for me the complete 180 was true. Set a XX or XO drive train up and forget about it till it needs a chain or something wears out.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Cable routing

Are you sure the cable is routed correctly? It needs to go around the bolt in 1x version.
Yes but thanks for the idea. I have it routed per page 15.
https://si.shimano.com/pdfs/dm/DM-MARD001-00-ENG.pdf

I mean so far as setup goes I feel pretty confident but I am willing to take it to another wrench for a sanity check at this point. Just none in the area I like that much.

I ordered a new cable so going to try that and if that does not help I'll bring it to a shop for said sanity check.
 

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I got a Scott Spark with the XTR on it this fall, and after around 300 miles, I have to say I really like it. It am not sure that it is better than the SRAM Eagle 12 speed on my other two bikes but I am pleasently happy. I think I prefer the brakes over the SRAM Level brakes as well.
 

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Yes but thanks for the idea. I have it routed per page 15.
https://si.shimano.com/pdfs/dm/DM-MARD001-00-ENG.pdf

I mean so far as setup goes I feel pretty confident but I am willing to take it to another wrench for a sanity check at this point. Just none in the area I like that much.

I ordered a new cable so going to try that and if that does not help I'll bring it to a shop for said sanity check.
Are you using the Shimano coated cables? The owner of the shop I work at does not like the coated cables due to several issues he has seen with the coating coming off and creating shift issues. I use regular non-coated cables with my Shimano XTR and SLX bikes and have not had a single issue with shifting.

Good luck getting it figured out.
 

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XTR does not live up to the hype for me.
I went with XTR on my new bike just to try it and because eagle xx1 was finicky for me. Initial set up of XTR everything shifted smooth but quickly problems emerged. After a few hundred miles the pivot point at clutch bound up. Re-greasing clutch didn't solve it. Had to be warrantied, and it was without any issue, Thank You Shimano. Then noises in a particular cog appeared until one day the cog ripped out of the cassette from the pivots. Too much power...I know. Again warrantied and again without a hiccup from Shimano. Still the system is even more finicky than eagle, not with the constant micro-adjusting of Eagle, more about how clean and lubed it stays. Every ride needs a good wipe and re-oil, every other ride needs a degreasing and re-oil or it's pissed off with various noises.
4 piston brakes have a great modulation/power design but bite point fluctuates. pistons push out unevenly (pretty normal).
 

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I have a 2021 Trek Procaliber with XTR and I must say it's a hell of a lot smoother than my XX1 on my Supercaliber. I really like the XTR shifter option to downshift 2 ways. Not as blingy as the gold eagle, but thats fine as the Procal is white and black. No issues so far. BK
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I sent my Rear Brake in to Shimano for Warranty. They agree it is a warranty. They sent me a form that said so. I waited a week and no brake. I called them today and they say they have no brakes and it will be at least a month and a half before they have any. Im not sure which is more irritating. Shimano not having back stock for warranties or me having to chase them to get communication about it. I get the pandemic and all but a little proactive communication goes a long way. Example:

"Hey such and such - although you have the most expensive non-electric groupo ever conceived you did get a defective unit. Hey, it happens. The good news is that we are warranting it. We'll get a new one out to you as soon as we can but likely not for a couple of months. Since you are clearly a rich dentist go buy another one to keep you riding in the meantime."

Or something. Don't make me call you.

Anyway, that is the straw. I do appear to be a minority in having issues with XTR but for me this is enough to never go Shimano again. Nothing but problems and 0 customer service. F em.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Coated CAble

I was but tried a new cable last week as well. Not the coated kind. No change.
 

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I’ve been fighting my xt 12 speed drive train as well. For whatever reason it has difficulty shifting from the 10t to the 12t cog, won’t do it unless I add a little extra pressure at the shifter. Other shifts are fine.

After 200 miles the clutch seized, no problem ordered the grease cleaned it up and good to go. Within two months it started shifting poorly up and down the cassette. Changed the cable and housing and we are good. I’ve also changed the hanger and bought a hanger alignment tool to make sure alignment is good.

Problem remains.Sometimes I wonder if this is the reason it took shimano so long to release their 12 sp line. They knew their operating window was small and didn’t want to release it, but were getting their ass kicked on the market.

Now debating on whether to try a new cassette....
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Bummer.

I’ve been fighting my xt 12 speed drive train as well. For whatever reason it has difficulty shifting from the 10t to the 12t cog, won’t do it unless I add a little extra pressure at the shifter. Other shifts are fine.

After 200 miles the clutch seized, no problem ordered the grease cleaned it up and good to go. Within two months it started shifting poorly up and down the cassette. Changed the cable and housing and we are good. I’ve also changed the hanger and bought a hanger alignment tool to make sure alignment is good.

Problem remains.Sometimes I wonder if this is the reason it took shimano so long to release their 12 sp line. They knew their operating window was small and didn’t want to release it, but were getting their ass kicked on the market.

Now debating on whether to try a new cassette....
I tried a new cassette and chain. Can't say that did anything. I put on the jagwire elite cable that is like sealed as well as made clutch adjustments and lubing.

It all shifts well now except it will not upshift off the largest cog easily. I think Shimano might not be there yet.
 
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