Anyone else destroy clutch mechs?

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  • Anyone else destroy clutch mechs?
  • Premier Icon rickon
    Subscriber

    Hi chaps,

    Destroyed another clutch mechanism today, the metal bit that clutches around the pivot.

    This is on an Xt, i exploded a Zee mech a couple of months ago too.

    Is it worth investing in a Saint, for reliability and a bit more chance of holding up? Or just buy SLX mechs, as theyre cheaper to replace?

    Cheers

    Ricks

    Premier Icon windydave13
    Subscriber

    You’re obviously just too “Enduro”. 😆

    legend
    Member

    I might be mistaken but I’m pretty sure that wee metal band is the same on all models

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    I broke the clutch bits, couldn’t remember where I bought it but apparently it’s a quick and simple warranty job. I doubt Saint is any different internally.

    Premier Icon somafunk
    Subscriber

    They benefit from a clean of the mechanism and relube with a heavy chain oil occasionally – whenever I fitted them to bikes I would tension the clutch mechanism to suit the design of the bike.

    Premier Icon rickon
    Subscriber

    Gonna return for warranty, but will need something in the meantime as i harvested the bits of the exploded Zee a while back.

    Ive adjusted the bitepoint on the clutch, it just imploded on itself yesterday. Did make me wonder how i ever put up with a chain slapping me in the legs and all over the swingarm in the past.

    Not sure a clean and relube would have helped, it was clean inside with a bit of lube on, but the metal plate had snapped.

    Sounds like no point in a saint though.

    perthmtb
    Member

    Assuming you’re talking about the cam bracket breaking…

    Then it’s the same part in Deore/SLX/Zee/XT/Saint, only XTR is different so buying a Saint won’t help.

    However, it’s a known weakness, and Shimano have recently redesigned that bracket with smaller cutouts and more curved corners to make it stronger.

    If you warranty the RD you’ll get it back with the new bracket, or you can buy the new cam unit for about two quid and replace yourself…

    deano8
    Member

    Perthmtb – where an you get those replacement cams from?

    perthmtb
    Member

    Perthmtb – where can you get those replacement cams from?

    As they’re a standard Shimano part should be able to order them through any LBS – part number Y5Y198120, but I’ve had more luck buying them online from Germany myself…

    Bike-Components.de

    Bicikli.de

    Confusingly Shimano kept the same part number for the revised part so it’s difficult to know whether you’re getting the new one or not – nice one Shimano 🙄 However, they’ve been around for a few months now so anyone with reasonable turnover of stock should be supplying the new design, and reports on other forums suggest that new RDs are also coming through with them already fitted. I can vouch for the first link above supplying the new design, even though the photo on their website still shows the old one!

    The easiest way to tell if you’ve got the old or new design is that cutout on the rear of the bracket. The old one is rectangular and the new one trapezoid…

    glasgowdan
    Member

    I’ve had two warranty replacements by crc…both times they sent a new mech without wanting the old one back

    perthmtb
    Member

    I’ve had two warranty replacements by crc…both times they sent a new mech without wanting the old one back

    Me too – I had an SLX that broke, and CRC send me a complete new mech – outstanding service!

    However, that one also broke, and they’re gonna keep on breaking until you get one with the new part! Not CRCs fault, Shimano have been churning out that same old part for the last two years or so. It’s only in the last few months that the re-designed part has been coming fitted as standard in new mechs, or when you buy the cam unit separately.

    ajantom
    Member

    Is this problem due to chain growth on full-sus frames stressing the mechanism?
    My frame pivots around the BB (DMR Bolt) so no chain growth and I’ve had zero problems – or dropped chains – with an SLX mech for 18 months now.

    perthmtb
    Member

    Is this problem due to chain growth on full-sus frames stressing the mechanism?

    Well, certainly many people have been running them for years without problems – like you. Conversely a few people keep on having them break – like me!

    So, it must be something we’re doing to stress them out! I think the difference between FS and hardtail could be part of it, as the clutch will be ‘working’ every time the chain grows due to suspension movement on a FS, which theoretically has to be 50% of the time.

    I also think it has to do with riding style and ‘roughness’ of trail. Not wanting to suggest I’m a gnarlier rider than those who don’t break their clutches (I’m not!) but it is telling to me that both times my clutch broke was in the middle of MTB holidays where I was riding more, and more rocky/bumpy trails than normal.

    Finally, I think maintenance has a part to play also, because I’ve noticed that the lube on the clutch band can dry/wear out over time and this increases the tension. If you don’t re-adjust the tension and/or re-lube then this can lead to extra stress on the clutch.

    Fact is that whatever causes the extra stress, the cam bracket was the weakest link and was the part to fail. Hopefully now Shimano have strengthened that part, even if your riding style/type of bike/trails are more stressful for the clutch, it shouldn’t result in failure anymore.

    twohats
    Member

    I got fed up of sending failed XT mechs back and switched to a XTR mech due to the clutch mechanism being a different design. So far I’ve had a year out of the XTR with no issues verses 3 failed XTs in one year!

    Yes! And even if the clutch bracket doesn’t break: chain growth + clutch = twisted mech. The jockey wheel bearings get unseated… (chain length is correct). They’ve made the entire mech too weak to cope with the loading imposed by long travel bikes.

    So, it a choice between a clunking and binding SRAM mech, or a short-lived deformed Shimano one. If ever there was a need for a decent alternative….

    Premier Icon charliemort
    Subscriber

    mine has just broken (again) and doesn’t look like either of the above “new” and “old” pic’s – but is like the one in the photo – the cut out is rectangular lengthwise

    the tab under the adjuster snapped so cam did nothing when I engaged the clutch

    I tried getting the new part above, but madison only sell an assembly – part number Y5Y198020 “Stabilizer unit”

    the part above was euro 15 for postage from bike discount and no longer available at bikickli

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