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Discussion Starter #161
I just called and was told I’ll receive something in maybe May. Haha... May. After I warrantied in November. Well, I guess I “may” start looking to replace the drivetrain before the summer. Wow... what an utter joke. No admittance of the problem, no responsibility to their customers beyond just simply waiting for something that “may” just break again. New drivetrain it is. This is gonna cost me way more that I wanted to. Pretty steamed about this.

Any suggestions on new drivetrains? I guess I’ll have to take it to another forum. Ho Hum......


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Here's a suggestion: purchase a cheap but very functional SLX 12-speed shifter. I haven't heard of this model failing. I think their internals are different. They don't have all the extra features of XT and XTR but they work really well and completely interface with the remainder of your drivetrain. When you finally get the warranty replacement for your broken shift lever, keep the SLX as a spare just in case you have another failure. I did this with an XT shifter backing up my two bikes with XTR. But SLX is likely to be more reliable long term than XT, especially if you only need to put it on your machine once and a while. Yes, this whole thing is a frustrating load of BS, but I've stuck with the new Shimano system because when it's working it's, in my opinion, the best functioning mechanical MTB group out there.
 

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Here's a suggestion: purchase a cheap but very functional SLX 12-speed shifter. I haven't heard of this model failing. I think their internals are different. They don't have all the extra features of XT and XTR but they work really well and completely interface with the remainder of your drivetrain. When you finally get the warranty replacement for your broken shift lever, keep the SLX as a spare just in case you have another failure. I did this with an XT shifter backing up my two bikes with XTR. But SLX is likely to be more reliable long term than XT, especially if you only need to put it on your machine once and a while. Yes, this whole thing is a frustrating load of BS, but I've stuck with the new Shimano system because when it's working it's, in my opinion, the best functioning mechanical MTB group out there.
Yeah, I haven’t seen any SLX on here yet. Haven’t taken ones apart, but it’s worth a try. I’m going to look in SRAM shifter as a backup option. I know other parts have inter-compatibility issues like the chain and cogs. I’d love to keep as much of my drivetrain in tact as possible at this point.


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I was going to suggest the same thing. No sense in in replacing the whole drivetrain, just swap out the shifter.
Yeah, I was going to look into compatible parts. Wasn't sure if a straight SRAM swap works or not. Assuming a GX would work then using a problem solver lever adapter.


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Do you guys think the XT/XTR shifters are breaking because of the doubleshift feature?

bikercr since you have replaced so many of these so far how are you about using the doubleshift feature? Do you always use it, sometimes, never? Maybe you can try not using this feature for the life of the current shifter you have and seeing if that changes anything.

I haven't had any failures myself (its winter here in NH not much riding), but to me the obvious difference between 12sp SLX and XT shifters is the doubleshifting option the XT/XTR have.
 

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Discussion Starter #166
Do you guys think the XT/XTR shifters are breaking because of the doubleshift feature?

bikercr since you have replaced so many of these so far how are you about using the doubleshift feature? Do you always use it, sometimes, never? Maybe you can try not using this feature for the life of the current shifter you have and seeing if that changes anything.

I haven't had any failures myself (its winter here in NH not much riding), but to me the obvious difference between 12sp SLX and XT shifters is the doubleshifting option the XT/XTR have.
The double-shift feature only engages the upshift wheel (to harder gears). The rocker return spring that breaks in the XTR/XT levers is a part of the downshift mechanism and isn't affected in any way by upshifting. So that's not the issue. Yes, SLX has only single-gear upshifting. I haven't taken one apart so I don't know how different the downshifting mechanism is compared to XTR/XT. By inference only, if we've never had a complaint about SLX 12-speed shift levers failing to downshift, suddenly and permanently, it's fair to assume there's something critically different about the SLX design or manufacture.
 

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I wonder if my problem which is different from the lever breaking shifting into easier gears but the same bad springs? My problem is the shifter for harder gears. Letter code on the shifter case is (YM / SF) I have the Shimano XT 8100.

Starting today after having my bike for a month, I can only get one click when shifting into a harder gear. If I press hard enough, I can get another click, but then I lose all tension in the shifter. It then requires me to shift to an easier gear using the other shifter to reset the opposite shifter. If I only click to a harder gear once, the shifter never loses tension and functions as it should, retaining tension every time. Is this just a broken spring and requires warranty?
 

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Discussion Starter #168
It may not be inside the shift lever. Be sure to check your cable/housing. I would pull the cable out from the shifter, feeling for any resistance within the housing. If the cable and housing are fine, then it's likely inside the shift lever. The 12 speed levers are usually unrepairable, but Shimano is excellent about warranty: 2 years for XT stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #170
Last weekend my XTR 1x12 shifter stopped working, same problem, no downshifting. Removed cover, spring broken.

Code: it RJ - 1000km - failed
Your broken lever was manufactured in October, 2019. Hope you can get a warranty replacement quickly. If you can, try to get a lever made in late 2020 (or newer). The first letter will be S (2020) or T (2021). Earlier letters are not reliable and the new one may not be either. But better chance that the most recently made are redesigned in a way that eliminated the defect. Good luck.
 

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Good luck, man! Tell them your situation, that you race, and that there's a time-factor involved.
I actually have a pal that works at shimano in Southern Ca, and still couldn't get one in time. I ended up ordering one of the EV versions (that doesn't have the 11/12 toggle), installed it, and it shifts a lot smoother, and so far so good after a few rides. Fingers crossed, racing this weekend. 😬
 

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I just had 2nd XT shifter fail. They seem to last about 130-140 rides. Yeah, it sucks! Once on an overnight bike trip 3.5 hours away from home. other one I was 30 min into a 3 hour loop, so cut ride short, went home, Ordered a SRAM XX1 shifter, FIXED! I am heading out for 5 day Mt bike trip in 3 days, 12 hour drive away, I dont want to worry about Shifter fail. SRAM shifter works great on XT drivetrain.
 

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Discussion Starter #173
I just had 2nd XT shifter fail. They seem to last about 130-140 rides. Yeah, it sucks! Once on an overnight bike trip 3.5 hours away from home. other one I was 30 min into a 3 hour loop, so cut ride short, went home, Ordered a SRAM XX1 shifter, FIXED! I am heading out for 5 day Mt bike trip in 3 days, 12 hour drive away, I dont want to worry about Shifter fail. SRAM shifter works great on XT drivetrain.
Sorry to hear that. I really get it--been stuck fiddling with broken levers in the woods on 5 different occasions. Is it possible for you to let the rest of us, who are sticking with Shimano, the letter codes on your broken shift levers? We're trying to find out if there's a manufacture date after which no levers break suggesting that Shimano actually permanently fixed the problem. Thanks!
 

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I just had 2nd XT shifter fail. They seem to last about 130-140 rides. Yeah, it sucks! Once on an overnight bike trip 3.5 hours away from home. other one I was 30 min into a 3 hour loop, so cut ride short, went home, Ordered a SRAM XX1 shifter, FIXED! I am heading out for 5 day Mt bike trip in 3 days, 12 hour drive away, I dont want to worry about Shifter fail. SRAM shifter works great on XT drivetrain.
Yeah, that's been my whole point all along. Hell no am I getting a ride cut short from something easily preventable. I'm already so busy working that I want reliability on the few rides I can muster during my week.

I may do the same, ditch the extra SLX shifter I keep in my bag, and get a SRAM as well. I'll take the reliability.


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Sorry to hear that. I really get it--been stuck fiddling with broken levers in the woods on 5 different occasions. Is it possible for you to let the rest of us, who are sticking with Shimano, the letter codes on your broken shift levers? We're trying to find out if there's a manufacture date after which no levers break suggesting that Shimano actually permanently fixed the problem. Thanks!
My broken one was rs/RL: Rear Shifter 2019/Dec


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I've had three XTR M9100 12 speed shifters break on me, all in the same manner. Two were warranty replacements for the first broken one. The latest replacement only lasted about 2 weeks before breaking.

What happens is the shift lever (long one) intermittently stops shifting--just pushes in with no resistance, no clicking and doesn't engage the shifting mechanism. Inside the shifter is a little metal rocker that's supposed to be held closed by (?) a spring. I think the spring breaks and stops holding the rocker closed. (The rocker when closed catches the teeth of a shift wheel.) The red arrow in the picture shows the little tooth end of this rocker lying in an abnormal, open position. Gravity can close the rocker, so once the problem starts, it happens intermittently after that but can still manage to shift on and off.

I've notified Shimano USA every time, but they haven't told me that anything is changing with the design of the shifter. Has this happened to anyone else?
Mine has done the same thing, new XT 1x12 2021 bike 300 miles and its doing exactly this problem and you can see the little metal rocker has no spring now to keep it engaged.
 

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I've had three XTR M9100 12 speed shifters break on me, all in the same manner. Two were warranty replacements for the first broken one. The latest replacement only lasted about 2 weeks before breaking.

What happens is the shift lever (long one) intermittently stops shifting--just pushes in with no resistance, no clicking and doesn't engage the shifting mechanism. Inside the shifter is a little metal rocker that's supposed to be held closed by (?) a spring. I think the spring breaks and stops holding the rocker closed. (The rocker when closed catches the teeth of a shift wheel.) The red arrow in the picture shows the little tooth end of this rocker lying in an abnormal, open position. Gravity can close the rocker, so once the problem starts, it happens intermittently after that but can still manage to shift on and off.

I've notified Shimano USA every time, but they haven't told me that anything is changing with the design of the shifter. Has this happened to anyone else?
Replace it with a SRAM Eagle shifter till Shimano sorts the problem out. You're not the only one breaking 12speed XTR and XT shifters
 

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Replace it with a SRAM Eagle shifter till Shimano sorts the problem out. You're not the only one breaking 12speed XTR and XT shifters
To be fair, you’re commenting on the very first post from the OP last August. Replying to that now is disregarding everything that’s been discussed since then. He is quite aware of everything, likely more so than anyone else on the forum.

That said, I agree that a SRAM replacement is the reliable solution at this point in time aside from the possible SLX replacement (not proven yet to be free from similar defects).


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Discussion Starter #179
Replace it with a SRAM Eagle shifter till Shimano sorts the problem out. You're not the only one breaking 12speed XTR and XT shifters
It's not known whether the problem is already sorted out. My guess is that it has been, because Shimano has known about the spring issue for well over a year and it's common and global. We haven't gotten reports on this thread of any failed units manufactured after mid-2020, so there may be a cutoff date. Unless Shimano announces something, which they won't, we'll have to track it via the letter codes on any XT/XTR shift levers that fail. I have a warranty replacement XTR lever made in late 2020 from a new batch just received by Shimano USA Warranty in early 2021. Keeping my fingers crossed that it's all good from now on.
 

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It's not known whether the problem is already sorted out. My guess is that it has been, because Shimano has known about the spring issue for well over a year and it's common and global. We haven't gotten reports on this thread of any failed units manufactured after mid-2020, so there may be a cutoff date. Unless Shimano announces something, which they won't, we'll have to track it via the letter codes on any XT/XTR shift levers that fail. I have a warranty replacement XTR lever made in late 2020 from a new batch just received by Shimano USA Warranty in early 2021. Keeping my fingers crossed that it's all good from now on.
Man, if that newer one breaks... I'm going to commit hari-kari. I'd be curious if you can tell the difference in springs or if it's simply a metal treatment change we can't see.


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