Why do $800 Ealge drivetrains shift like SH&T

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Why do $800 Ealge drivetrains shift like SH&T
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Posted: May 21, 2020 at 21:47 Quote
I have purchased two X01 Eagle drivetrains for my wife. She is an excellent cyclist and does not load her cranks when shifting or rookie stuff like that. Both drivetrains shift like crap onto the two biggest cogs (both of which are narrow wide).

Here is a picture of what happens

The shop explained that the chain sometimes doesn't mesh correctly with the narrow wide cogs. It happens almost every other shift. My LBS called sram and they recommended shifting down then up or pedaling backwards.

My response was "WTF?!?!?!"

We have tried everything wit the B-tension adjustments. On her first one they replaced the chain and it was better. We replaced the chain on her new bike and it still sucks. Anyone find a solution for this? Does she need a new cassette?

Please do not say buy a shimano drivetrain, I'm already kicking myself for not doing just that when we bought the bike.

Thanks in advance.

Posted: May 21, 2020 at 22:41 Quote
I know you said you "tried everything" with the b tension adjustment, but Im still curious. Do you have a picture of where the pulley distance is set to? So far the only time I've had this particular issue is when the b tension is incorrectly set.

Posted: May 21, 2020 at 23:14 Quote
Bent derailleur or bent d hanger?

Posted: May 21, 2020 at 23:46 Quote
TwoWheelMike wrote:
I know you said you "tried everything" with the b tension adjustment, but Im still curious. Do you have a picture of where the pulley distance is set to? So far the only time I've had this particular issue is when the b tension is incorrectly set.

I'll see about a picture. SRAM actually has a little device that you use to set the "correct" b tension while the bike is sagged - we even tried that! But in short I tried close, far, "perfect" - same performance.

Posted: May 21, 2020 at 23:47 Quote
jurassicrider wrote:
Bent derailleur or bent d hanger?

already checked that, I have a hanger straightener in my shop.

Anyone have this issue and solved it?

Posted: May 22, 2020 at 0:23 Quote
rahrider wrote:
....

Please do not say buy a shimano drivetrain, I'm already kicking myself for not doing just that when we bought the bike.

Thanks in advance.

Will give you better advice - sell current drivetrain and then buy Shimano drivetrain Big Grin On a plus side you also get shifting under load and probably way less problems...
If you stick with this maybe check also chain lenghth, there is no way this is happening with new cassete and chain - except if you got faulty cassetes batch. Also check Powerlock link is oriented right.

Posted: May 22, 2020 at 0:59 Quote
rahrider wrote:
I'll see about a picture. SRAM actually has a little device that you use to set the "correct" b tension while the bike is sagged - we even tried that! But in short I tried close, far, "perfect" - same performance.

Ok thats the main thing I usually check for. My experience is also that many people don't comprehend that. If everything is new I have a hard time seeing what could be the problem, outside of seeing it in person. Another person mentioned the quick link being oriented incorrectly, but so far I've only had the drivetrain skip forward as a symptom. Unlike what you are experiencing.

Posted: May 22, 2020 at 5:58 Quote
I have some issues with this myself. Believe it or not a little lube on the chain and it seems to correct. Make sure you reset your b tension correctly to its baseline and then lube the chain fairy liberally. I’ve no scientific backing for this but it would seem that as my chain works the lubrication out of the rollers it is less pliable laterally. Since the chain and cog interface have such finicky tolerances anyways it causes this. I think my suboptimal chainline also contributes to this as well but I have even less evidence to back this up.

Ive been on my gx eagle for about 3 seasons and as many chains. It has done this for the entirety of the time it has been on my bike.

Posted: May 22, 2020 at 8:37 Quote
-They can be finicky but all sram eagles can be tuned to shift perfectly. I'm guessing your B-tension is off as that is the primary culprit with poor shifting to the big two rings. If if it's even a little bit out of tune, it will not shift well. Do you have the red gauge and have you adjusted yourself, or are you leaving it up to a shop?
-By looking at the marks on your big ring, it seems your cable tension may be off as well.
-Be sure your derailleur is moving freely and is lubed at the pivots.
-Sometimes the derailleur mount bushing can get worn and it will get a bit too much side-to-side free play that makes shifting difficult to tune.

Posted: May 25, 2020 at 7:13 Quote
I have this issue on my GX Eagle drivetrain and it has been present from when I first bought my bike in February of 2019. At first I thought it had to do with the chain not being lubed or the cable tension being out of whack. I then replaced the derailleur thinking it was bent. I now believe this is a design flaw. All of the suggestions people are throwing out like chain lube, b tension, hanger alignment, etc are only band-aids for this problem. Those things need to be correct to have precise shifting on any drivetrain but even with all of those things exactly correct the chain still skips on the teeth which in my mind means a design flaw.

You heard it straight from Sram and your LBS, the chain gets out of sync with the narrow wide teeth on the two largest cogs and there is nothing that can be done to fix this besides shifting up and down and hoping it gets back in sync. In my opinion this is a design flaw and pathetic on such an expensive drivetrain. This is also why no matter what remedy is applied it still happens.

You mention you have purchased two XO1 drivetrains chasing this problem. How many miles are on the chain and cassette? In my experience the chains on these drivetrains need to be replaced every 500 miles. They wear very quickly which wears the cassette quickly and only makes the skipping of the chain even worse.

I believe the best fix (and it's not really a fix since this issue is still going to happen) is to buy a new chain and cassette more often. But with an X01 chain and cassette costing ~$450 you can see how that's less than idea to replace so often. Aside from that make sure you frequently do the following

1. Clean and lube chain
2. Check for correct chain length
3. Ensure derailleur hanger is straight with a hanger tool
4. Ensure b limit is set properly while suspension is at sag
5. Clean and lube all pivots on the derailleur and the jockey wheel bearings
6. Confirm cable tension is correct

In my experience none of the above will fix the problem because as I said earlier it's a design flaw. They do seem to help it some though.

I know you said not to say it but I am going to....the only real solution is to buy a Shimano drivetrain. I just replaced the chain on my GX Eagle drivetrain and although it did decrease the frequency that the chain slips it still happens. Rather than dropping another $200 on a GX Eagle cassette I am swapping to Shimano at the end of this season or until I absolutely can't take the skipping chain any longer, whichever comes first. You're not alone with this problem. I first read about it in this thread on MTBR https://forums.mtbr.com/drivetrain-shifters-derailleurs-cranks/sram-eagle-design-flaw-1052658.html

This is also not the first problem that has surfaced with the Eagle drivetrains. When they first came out their jockey wheels were allowing the chain to fall off which caused the derailleur to be ripped off. See info in this thread here https://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/sram-eagle-still-a-problem-with-rear-mech-jockey-wheels/ Sram has since added a pronounced ridge on the lower jockey wheel to prevent the chain from falling off.

A quick search on Pinkbike shows that people are still having the jockey wheel issue too https://www.pinkbike.com/forum/listcomments/?threadid=211845

Posted: May 25, 2020 at 8:09 Quote
Sell that over sensitive sram crap and buy shimano. I got rid of my gx Eagle last year after getting fed up with constantly adjusting the rear derailleur and fitted shimano xt 12. Best thing I ever did to the bike. The xt needed very little tuning to get it right and has been faultless since. Perfect effortless shifting every time without any fuss, even under heavy load. Shimano has really got it right with current drivetrains, adjustable and serviceable clutches on the rear derailleur, shifter finger trigger works both ways and really good price.

Posted: May 25, 2020 at 8:12 Quote
interesting read.

I have been fixing bikes for beer for a long time, and I have to say, SRAM 12spd is the most frustrating drivetrain group to work on.

And this isn't the only significant issue with their design / manufacturing. they also have a cable pull issue on some of their shifters.

Posted: May 29, 2020 at 17:26 Quote
Try taking a link or two out of that chain, hard to tell from that picture but it looks a bit long

Posted: May 31, 2020 at 0:42 Quote
My X01 Eagle did the same thing when I first got it. It would ride up on the 42...then slip into gear. I actually have two Eagle bikes. One GX and the other X01. The GX bike was shipped with the derailleur already adjusted...and *knock on wood*...has never given me any issues. My X01 was pieced together and it was finicky as fook to dial in...took some time and frustration...but I was eventually able to get it right. The issue for me was the cable tension...once I got that right...it started to shift smoothly. As the chain and cassette started to mesh...the shifting got even better. On the bike stand the chain will occasionally ride up on the 42T...but when actually riding...I don't feel it...even if it does.

Posted: Jun 25, 2020 at 9:58 Quote
Rahrider, any updates to your problem? Any more info from Sram?

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