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How do I change a rear shifter?

Hello. I have a Slx rear shifter and I found an Xtr at a good price so I'd like to upgrade it. I can't find a single video on how to do it. My main concern is if I have to remove the whole cable from the rear derailleur or is it just to simply take the end of it out of the shifter and make a straight swap? If it's the former, I wouldn't be confident doing it myself so I would skip even buying a new one, because of the hassle and extra money for having it installed. I will only get it if I can do it myself.

Posts

  • If the existing cable is in very good condition, simply untighten the rear mech bolt and pull it through the outers after doing a nice clean removal of the crimp on the loose cable after the mech. Take it out of the shifter and then do the reverse through the new shifter.

    You could always ask your LBS how much they would charge to do it for you, including/excluding a new cable.
    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • chelsea44chelsea44 Posts: 16
    edited November 2019
    It's a month old bike so the cables don't need changing. I only want to upgrade the shifter to get that nice shifting feel.

    So you do have to remove the whole cable then from the bike? You can't just remove the end from the shifter and put it in the new one?
  • figbatfigbat Posts: 680
    What is wrong with the current shift feel that you think a replacement derailleur will change? IMHO a ‘better’ rear mech will be lighter and look nicer but if you’re keeping the same shifter, cassette and chain I can’t see it changing shift ‘feel’ much, if at all.

    To answer the question though, you can just undo the cable at the rear mech and undo the bolt holding the mech to the frame (mech hanger). You’ll need to break the chain though, so you’ll need a chain tool and a quick link to rejoin the chain afterwards.

    Bolt the new mech on and reattach the cable. Run the chain through it (being sure to thread it correctly around the jockey wheels and cage), link up the chain, then index the gears.

    But is it really necessary?
    Cube Reaction GTC Pro 29 for the lumpy stuff
    Cannondale Synapse alloy with 'guards for the winter roads
    Fuji Altamira 2.7 for the summer roads
    Trek 830 Mountain Track frame turned into a gravel bike - for anywhere & everywhere
  • chelsea44chelsea44 Posts: 16
    edited November 2019
    I think you misunderstood, or I wasn't clear. It is the shifter I want to upgrade not the derailleur. Just the shifter(trigger), my rear derailleur is XT so there's no reason to change it.
  • JBAJBA Posts: 2,719
    You only need to remove the inner gear cable. The outer can stay in place.
    Do a youtube search for changing inner gear cable and you are bound to find a helpful video.
    “Life has been unfaithful
    And it all promised so so much”

    Giant Trance 2 27.5 2016 ¦ Sonder Broken Road 2021¦ Giant Revolt Advanced 2 2019 ¦ Giant Anthem 3 2015 ¦ Specialized Myka Comp FSR 2009
  • I did find videos showing that. I just didn't know if it was needed to remove the cable all the way, just to change the shifter. I thought at first that you just have to take the cable out of the trigger shifter and put it in the new shifter. Now I think I'm getting that it's not possible.
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 23,475 Lives Here
    Yes, you have to change the whole length of the inner cable, you can’t undo it from the shifter end if that’s what you’re asking.
    Check the new shifter is compatible, same number of gears and mounting. Seems like a lot of hassle and unnecessary expense for little benefit if what you have isn’t broken.
  • Thanks Veronese. Yeah you're right. If I have to do all that just to change it, maybe it's not worth it right now.
  • figbatfigbat Posts: 680
    Oops, my bad! Yes, you have to pull the inner all the way out. Some shifters come with the inner already fitted which you then thread into your existing outers. You’ll struggle to reuse the old inner as it will have been crushed and maybe frayed when clamped in the rear mech.

    If your bike has internal cable routing the job gets even trickier.
    Cube Reaction GTC Pro 29 for the lumpy stuff
    Cannondale Synapse alloy with 'guards for the winter roads
    Fuji Altamira 2.7 for the summer roads
    Trek 830 Mountain Track frame turned into a gravel bike - for anywhere & everywhere
  • swod1swod1 Posts: 1,639
    Straight forward to swap shifters, you will just need to re index the gears afterwards.

    Xtr shifters are very nice, been using one on my bike for last couple of years and wouldn't change it. if I do upgrade to 11/12 speeds (currently still on 10) later I'll definitely get an xtr shifter.

    They are just more crisp and light on the shifting action.

    Xt is nice but worth getting the xtr if you can afford it with a good quality gear cable.
  • JBAJBA Posts: 2,719
    edited November 2019
    There are dozens of videos on YouTube showing how to change shifter cables.
    It takes about 10 minutes to change just an inner, and maybe 20 minutes if you are changing the shifter as well.

    1. Put bike in highest gear.

    2. At rear derailleur:
    Loosen derailleur pinch bolt to free inner cable;
    If inner cable is badly deformed where it was held by the pinch bolt snip it off just above the mangled area;
    If inner cable isn't badly mangled and looks like it will easily pull through the outer just snip the end cap off.

    3. At shifter:
    Unbolt shifter from brake lever if iSpec or loosen clamp bolt if bar mount.
    Remove shifter and pull inner cable out of the outer cable.

    The outer cable should not have moved and still be in place in the rear derailleur.

    4. Fit new shifter threading the inner cable (if it came with one installed) through the outer cable as you do so. Ensure the outer cable locates correctly in the barrel adjuster on the shifter.

    5. The inner should be sticking out of the outer cable at the derailleur. Make sure the outer is still correctly seated at both ends, pull the inner taught and clamp it in the derailleur clamp bolt.

    6. Check indexing and adjust tension using the barrel adjuster on the shifter if necessary.

    7. Cut off excess inner and crimp on end cap.


    “Life has been unfaithful
    And it all promised so so much”

    Giant Trance 2 27.5 2016 ¦ Sonder Broken Road 2021¦ Giant Revolt Advanced 2 2019 ¦ Giant Anthem 3 2015 ¦ Specialized Myka Comp FSR 2009
  • Sorry for not answering, I forgott about this thread.

    @figbat Thanks. Yeah it does have internal routing. It's a Rocky Mountain Element 2018.

    @swod1 That's what I have read, which is why I wanted to do it. It's an SLX shifter I got, not XT. So I guess the difference would be quite big.

    @JBA Thanks for that very good explanation. I did find videos on changing inner cables but I didn't see a single one that said, how to change a shifter. I didn't know that you have to do the former in order to do the other though.

    It doesn't sound too difficult, and I want to learn anyway so maybe I'll give it a go. Lately I have been learning more and more about how to work om my bike myself and it's really fun.


  • JBAJBA Posts: 2,719
    2018 Element is fitted with SRAM gears, isn't it?

    “Life has been unfaithful
    And it all promised so so much”

    Giant Trance 2 27.5 2016 ¦ Sonder Broken Road 2021¦ Giant Revolt Advanced 2 2019 ¦ Giant Anthem 3 2015 ¦ Specialized Myka Comp FSR 2009
  • chelsea44chelsea44 Posts: 16
    edited November 2019
    The Carbon 50 has Sram, but I have the carbon 30. That was the cheapest carbon model. It had Fsa comet 2x with XT rear, Slx front mech and Slx shifters. It's strange that this model is not on their website, only the alloy 30 for 2018. At first I thought I was tricked and it wasn't actually carbon because of this. Then I found the same spec on bike-boarder.de. That's the only place on the internet I could find this bike. I bought it in my LBS in Sweden. I will post some pics of it when I'm done upgrading it.

    I already converted it to 1X. So I thought changing the one remaining Slx shifter would be a good and not so expensive upgrade. They have the i-spec version for like 50£ on CRC.

    Can someone recommend a good cable to get in case I need to change it?
  • JBAJBA Posts: 2,719
    If you are buying a new shifter an inner cable will come with it.
    “Life has been unfaithful
    And it all promised so so much”

    Giant Trance 2 27.5 2016 ¦ Sonder Broken Road 2021¦ Giant Revolt Advanced 2 2019 ¦ Giant Anthem 3 2015 ¦ Specialized Myka Comp FSR 2009
  • JBA said:

    If you are buying a new shifter an inner cable will come with it.

    Ok, thanks.
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