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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just bought a new XT shifter and Im having some trouble getting it to shift properly. The rear der is also an XT. For the initial setup (after housings are in place) should I have the shifter at highest gear with chain at sprocket 8? It shifts partially but when it gets down to the lower gears, the tension of the cable is extremely tight so I think Im setting p the able wrong.

I read the park tools site but it doesnt help much.

Any pointers?
 

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Set it up like a new installation

I don't know if you got a rapid rise derailleur or not, so I will try to be generic. Shift the shifter all the way to the side where the cable has the most slack(cable is the longest). When you shift, you are either working against the derailleur's spring(shortening the cable)or the derailleur's spring is taking up the slack in the cable(lengthening the cable). Loosen the cable from the derailleur and let the derailleur go to where the spring takes it, ie smallest or largest sprocket(RR). Spin your crank through so the chain follows. Now your shifter should be all the way to one side and your derailleur should be all the way to one side. Reattach the cable to the derailleur.
http://www.parktool.com/repair_help/lever.shtml
That should be it, unless your limit screws are screwed up. They should be set up so the derailleur can't go beyond either end of the cassette.
http://www.parktool.com/repair_help/FAQrindx.shtml
 

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It will work the same as the front derailleur

Your thumb will move to a higher(harder)gear and your finger will move to a lower(easier)gear. If that is the way your derailleur works then its a rapid rise, if it works the opposite way it's normal rise.
With either derailleur, the instructions are the same, it's just the way the spring moves the derailleur(either toward the highest(smallest) or lowest(largest)gear). When the cable is disconnected the derailleur will move by the spring to the position(limited by the screws)that the cable needs to have the most slack allowed by the shifter. Your shifter is just a fancy way to pull the cable against spring tension, moving the derailleur one way, and allow slack in the cable to allow the spring to pull the derailleur the other way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I have a normal rise. The thumb shifter shifts to lower gears and the finger shifters shifts to higher gears. After trying to work it for several hours I cant get it to shift properly.

Orignally (without the cable bolted down) my der is at the lowest sprocket or "8" which is also what my shifter displays. I pull the cable to tighten it, bolt it down and try to shift. I cant. The cable is too tight. If I try to loosen it, it just looks sloppy and is too loose.

I checked parks site but it doesnt tell you which sprocket to start with before you bolt the cable down. Does it matter?
 

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let's start over

Make sure chain is the middle chainring.

Once you undo the cable and drive the cranks a couple of rotations, the derailleur will reset to the proper cog (assuming the screws haven't been changed too much). This should be the smallest cog if you have a standard rise derailler.

Now with the cable loose make sure you have the triggers set to the most slack setting. You should be able to feel the cable tighten(retract) and loosen. get is all the way out.

now make sure all the cable housings are all properly tightened in place.

replace the cable into the derailer and clamp it down.

I am curious though, you said this was a new xt shifter--I thought that most new xt stuff was 9 speed and not 8. I am a little curious if that could somehow be a problem.
 

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phoeneous said:
I have a normal rise. The thumb shifter shifts to lower gears and the finger shifters shifts to higher gears. After trying to work it for several hours I cant get it to shift properly.

Orignally (without the cable bolted down) my der is at the lowest sprocket or "8" which is also what my shifter displays. I pull the cable to tighten it, bolt it down and try to shift. I cant. The cable is too tight. If I try to loosen it, it just looks sloppy and is too loose.

I checked parks site but it doesnt tell you which sprocket to start with before you bolt the cable down. Does it matter?
Yes it does matter, it should be on the smallest sprocket, with the cable disconnected run your cranks through and it should go there automatically. Your shifter is just a fancy thing to pull or release a cable a precise distance for each click. When you start with your derailleur disconnected, your shifter cable should be at it's longest length. Think of your shifter as a fishing reel, each time you click your finger you pull more line onto the reel, each time you click your thumb, you let some line out. When your derailleur is disconnected it needs the maximum amount of line, so you must click with your thumb until there is no more line, then you can connect it to the derailleur. You can hold the cable with your hand and shift with the other to verify which way it's going.
 

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are you rotating your cranks while you are shifting?

If you are not rotating your cranks while you are shifting your cable will get very tight and it won't shift anymore.
  • Loosen the cable
  • rotate your cranks through and allow the chain onto the smallest sprocket
  • shift the shifter until the cable is the longest
  • re attach the cable
That should do it. If you derailleur limit screws have been changed then they will have to be re adjusted to allow the derailleur to move full travel. Make sure you run the cranks through while shifting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Okay, its shifting now. Last question though, before I bolt down the cable should I pull it (passed the anchor bolt) so that it is very tight or just enough to where it is straight. My limit screw are setup perfect to allow the der cogs to hit the highest and lowest sprockets but the problem is when I go from sprocket 2 to sprocket 1. It shifts but it is very hard to push the thumb shifter. Only on the last sprocket though, all the other ones are easy to upshift and downshift to.
 

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May I suggest...

Buy a good book: Zinn and the Art of Bicycle Maintenance.
The cable should be pulled just straight, not super tight.
Sounds like your upper limit screw (L)needs just a bit of adjustment if you have difficulty shifting up there and it gets really tight. Don't change it much or you will end up with a chain in your spokes. Park explains this really well.
http://www.parktool.com/repair_help/FAQrindx.shtml
 
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