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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Some thoughts on my experience with 2 new Shimano 12 speed shifters...

I recently bought a bike with 1x12 Deore groupset, including M6100 1x12 shifter. Using it felt great, very similar to my older bikes which had SLX 3x10 and Deore 3x9. Very low effort to push the lever into bigger/slower cogs and only slightly more to push/pull the other lever into smaller/faster cogs. A subtle, quiet, satisfying click once engaged in each gear.

Then I replaced the deore shifter and cable with an XT M8100 1x12 model. I kept the same Deore rear mech. I did not adjust or change the spring/clutch tension in the mech with either shifter.

Straight away I noticed a few things about XT vs Deore:
  • It takes more effort to push both up or down levers on XT than Deore
  • XT shift to bigger/slower cogs will move up to 4 cogs in one push if you want!! 馃槷. Deore was only 2 (or 3?)
  • XT shift to a smaller/faster cog will do 1 gear if you pull with your finger but 2 gear double-shift if you push the same lever with your thumb.
  • XT double-shift quickly becomes VERY addictive on rolling terrain, it's great!
  • XT smaller/faster cog lever action is very harsh. it requires much more thumb pushing/finger pulling effort to initiate a gear shift, then once it reaches its mechanical shift point, the lever suddenly bangs and clunks forward with almost no further spring resistance felt. You notice it even more when double shifting as the resist/bang/clunk lever action is repeated twice during the same push of the lever.
  • By comparison, Deore is much more consistent when moving to a faster/smaller cog. Less effort and no big lever clunk and bang when the shifter mechanism clicks to the next gear. It only does one at a time, but I never had a problem with that in the past.
I don't really like how heavy and harsh the XT shift feels, particular the faster/smaller cog change , I can only assume it is necessary to support the double-shift function. Most beginner or intermediate riders would probably not miss the double-shift function and might appreciate the softer and smoother action of Deore (or SLX). However, for more intermediate or advanced riders, particularly XC racers, the XT double-shift up and 4-gear shift down, is a game changer. XT could really make a big difference in a race situation.

my $0.02
 

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Clearly these kinds of things are a "YMMV" type of experience. It's not like I didn't have a user issue with either Deore or SLX shifter (used both), but I intentionally put an XT shifter on my SLX drivetrain for the exact feeling you don't like. It's also less plastic, more metal. Having a shifter that has a highly positive engagement feel is exactly what I'm after.
 

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If it wasn't for the 2-gear up-shift feature, these are all subjective differences and a normal human being could get used to either and be happy with it. the 2-gear shift for me is the reason I spend the $ on the XT shifter while being happy with lower level RD. and the reason i never use SRAM. It may be a Shimano patent, so maybe SRAM will only offer that on electronic shifters, if ever.
 

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Shimano's official name for the "two-gear-upshift-thing" is Multi Release. IME Multi Release shifters have a notchier feel as well as the levers being harder to push than Shimano's non-MR shift levers. It's a trade-off I'm personally willing to make because I absolutely love being able to make two upshifts with one push of the lever. But I do wish the action was smoother / lighter.

Recently I switched from an XT to an XTR shifter because someone on these forums said the XTR's shifters have bearings rather than bushings or some such. I wanted the lightest touch shifter I could find. Maybe XTR's got bearings, maybe it doesn't but honestly, I can't tell any difference in performance between XTR & XT. But I sure could tell a difference in price -- the XTR shifter is exorbitant. Oh, and the clamp is pretty. It better be.
=sParty
 

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One thing overlooked when comparing XT/XTR and its lower siblings SLX/Deore, is that XT/XTR have Instant Release. The moment you press the little lever, the cable is released and the shifter pops into the smaller cogs.
On SLX/Deore and lower, when you press the little lever, the cable isn't released until you release the lever. So it take a 1-2 movement until something happens.
 

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One thing overlooked when comparing XT/XTR and its lower siblings SLX/Deore, is that XT/XTR have Instant Release. The moment you press the little lever, the cable is released and the shifter pops into the smaller cogs.
On SLX/Deore and lower, when you press the little lever, the cable isn't released until you release the lever. So it take a 1-2 movement until something happens.
I always thought the XT/XTR shifting seemed more instantaneous from lever press to physical shift and I attributed that to the derailleur because of my lack of knowledge. Sounds like the shifter should be receiving the credit. Learn something new every day.
 

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I have an XTR shifter and absolutely hate it because of how clunky it feels to shift to a harder gear. It feels like Im breaking the damn thing just to shift, I dont understand why people like it. I barely use the double shift feature because the throw is so long and the 2nd click is twice as hard and clunky as the first click. Also the lever is too small and I can only get the edge of my thumb on it, but thats another issue.

I plan on switching back to SRAM shifters eventually since they have an even lighter big lever and a fast clicky small lever (which has way better ergonomics as well), because the clicks are so fast I can drop 4 gears on a SRAM in the time it takes to do the full throw on a Shimano so I really dont see the double shift as being better/faster than SRAM's.
 

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I have an XTR shifter and absolutely hate it because of how clunky it feels to shift to a harder gear. It feels like Im breaking the damn thing just to shift, I dont understand why people like it. I barely use the double shift feature because the throw is so long and the 2nd click is twice as hard and clunky as the first click. Also the lever is too small and I can only get the edge of my thumb on it, but thats another issue.

I plan on switching back to SRAM shifters eventually since they have an even lighter big lever and a fast clicky small lever (which has way better ergonomics as well), because the clicks are so fast I can drop 4 gears on a SRAM in the time it takes to do the full throw on a Shimano so I really dont see the double shift as being better/faster than SRAM's.
Exact same thoughts. I have XO1 on one bike and XT (w/XTR cassette) on the other. I prefer the Sram shifter hands down. The XT shifter is clunky feeling and heavy. Sometimes if I try to double upshift as an afterthought, I'll miss that second shift. I'm also convinced that it's slower than upshifting with the XO1 derailleur. On long rides with the XT I will start to notice a bit of discomfort due to the higher pressure required to shift, the trigger texture and ergonomics. IMO, the double upshift is the most over hyped feature (actually a con).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I always thought the XT/XTR shifting seemed more instantaneous from lever press to physical shift and I attributed that to the derailleur because of my lack of knowledge. Sounds like the shifter should be receiving the credit. Learn something new every day.
Most of the magic in shifting is at the shifter end. For years bike companies specified better rear mech's on their bikes with cheaper shifters, It was probably for looks as the mech is conspicuous in marketing photos, but that is completely the wrong way to get value for money.

While I have upgraded the shifter and shift cable to XT, I can't see why I would ever upgrade the rear 1x12 mech from Deore. The performance is basically identical. It's got a steel cage instead of aluminium so a bit tougher and If I crash and wreck it, the replacement is much cheaper.
 

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It's really a matter of personal preference I think. I had an XT M8000 11 spd shifter for a year and just learned last week that it had the double-gear downshift feature! I had never pushed past the 1st click and I sold it anyway since I didn't like the hard click feeling. Since I installed a new 12 spd drivetrain, I went for the SLX M7100 12spd shifter and much prefer the lighter action.
 

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It's all just personal preference. I run Deore, SLX & XT drivetrains, and a bit of mix and match into the bargain. The XT shifters are hands down the best of them all. For me. Firm, precise, fast & accurate.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It's all just personal preference. I run Deore, SLX & XT drivetrains, and a bit of mix and match into the bargain. The XT shifters are hands down the best of them all. For me. Firm, precise, fast & accurate.
Agree. I would be very perfectly comfortable buying Deore or SLX for a general cruisy trail bike but would probably buy XT again if I planned to ride the bike fast'n'furious or race.

Actually, the difference between Deore and SLX shifters appears minor 馃. Mainly weight and ISPEC rotation limit?

This link is probably the most informative page I've read about different Shimano spec levels --> Shimano 12-speed Mountain Bike Groups - Complete Tech Comparison! - Bikerumor
 

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I have an XTR shifter and absolutely hate it because of how clunky it feels to shift to a harder gear. It feels like Im breaking the damn thing just to shift, I dont understand why people like it. I barely use the double shift feature because the throw is so long and the 2nd click is twice as hard and clunky as the first click. Also the lever is too small and I can only get the edge of my thumb on it, but thats another issue.

Exact same thoughts. I have XO1 on one bike and XT (w/XTR cassette) on the other. I prefer the Sram shifter hands down. The XT shifter is clunky feeling and heavy. Sometimes if I try to double upshift as an afterthought, I'll miss that second shift. I'm also convinced that it's slower than upshifting with the XO1 derailleur. On long rides with the XT I will start to notice a bit of discomfort due to the higher pressure required to shift, the trigger texture and ergonomics. IMO, the double upshift is the most over hyped feature (actually a con).
Have you tried decreasing the clutch tension? It makes a BIG difference.

Also, some shimano XT (and other?) mech's were released with a lack of lube in the clutch. You can check this be releasing the clutch, and checking that the cage moves freely. There's a bunch of threads about this
 

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Agree. I would be very perfectly comfortable buying Deore or SLX for a general cruisy trail bike but would probably buy XT again if I planned to ride the bike fast'n'furious or race.

Actually, the difference between Deore and SLX shifters appears minor 馃. Mainly weight and ISPEC rotation limit?

This link is probably the most informative page I've read about different Shimano spec levels --> Shimano 12-speed Mountain Bike Groups - Complete Tech Comparison! - Bikerumor
Yeah, if you blindfolded me, I would have no hope of picking which was which between the two, in usage.
 

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More info about the shifters in this video, there is a difference in feel between XT/ XTR but not much, they are the most feature rich shifters.
Deore/ SLX have a softer feel at the lever, missing some stuff(that some don't care about?)
 

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I don't really like how heavy and harsh the XT shift feels, particular the faster/smaller cog change..
There has been a fair bit of discussion about how stiff the XT shifts in other threads. It is pretty stiff. But I found that adjusting the clutch so it has a little less tension helped a lot. Lubing the cables with Shimano cable grease (SP-41) also helped.
 

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hey there, newbie question, when using the barrel adjuster to tighten the cable (there's one cog my shimano XT M8100 rear derailer just doesn't like to move to and does the awful sounds and gets stuck and usually just skips over the cog, when going from the smallest cog, to the largest cog, its the third cog in from the smallest, it always seems to want to skip this cog going up but no issues when going from largest to smallest cog), do I need to make sure the clutch is off before turning the barrel adjuster counter clockwise? Do I leave the clutch on even when adjusting the barrel adjusters? Any advice is very much obliged. thanks in advance!
 

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hey there, newbie question, when using the barrel adjuster to tighten the cable (there's one cog my shimano XT M8100 rear derailer just doesn't like to move to and does the awful sounds and gets stuck and usually just skips over the cog, when going from the smallest cog, to the largest cog, its the third cog in from the smallest, it always seems to want to skip this cog going up but no issues when going from largest to smallest cog), do I need to make sure the clutch is off before turning the barrel adjuster counter clockwise? Do I leave the clutch on even when adjusting the barrel adjusters? Any advice is very much obliged. thanks in advance!
Yes, clutch stays on when adjusting cable tension. However, some Shimano 12 speed clutched need lubing...google this and how to lube it. There's heaps of info here on MTBR about it. A hot tip for you, search MTBR for e.g. "xt 12 clutch" using google, via typing site:mtbr.com xt 12 clutch

Back to your problem...

Why do you need to adjust it NOW? What changed?
Has the problem developed over time, is it a slow change over time?
Has the mech been hit against something or did the bike fall over or was it in an accident or ____ ...that might lead to the derialleur hanger needing adjustment?
Have you fitted a new chain?
Has something else changed?
How old is the bike? How much use has it had? have you owned it since new?
It's possible that the cable and housing needs to be changed.

If a problem isn't fixed by following the set-up vids below, after making sure that the hanger is straight and (assuming that there isn't mismatched wear on the chain vs cassette vs chainring(, then almost all of the time it's that the cable and housing needs to be replaced.

so, follow the vids
if that doesn't fix it, buy a deraileur hanger straighten and use it, the re follow the vids, if that doesn't fix it, change cables and housing. If you already have the hanger tool, use it first.

Here's a couple of awesome Park Tool vids about changing settings, and in what order to do it :)
 

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the bike is pretty new (November last yr), ive already re-greased the new bikes derailer clutch, i鈥檝e had my local bike shop look at it twice, ive made sure the b adjustment is lined up with the edged line, im starting to really dislike shimano and this new bike. anyways. anyone want to buy a medium build XT V2 Ripmo eith factory fox suspension? lol
 

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I am the biggest Shimano fan. In my opinion this new 12 speed is the best drive train I have used, going to back to 1980鈥檚. However, I broke my XT shifter a few months ago, and borrowed a SRAM XO 12 speed shifter for 2-3 weeks as I waited for new XT shifter. Those SRAM shifters feel great. I missed MULTI shifts, and was not happy about lack of, with SRAM, but all in all, XO shifter feels better, more solid. Im happily back on XT, but shimano could improve their shifter even more.
 
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