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Archive for May 13th, 2018

Tour Easy: SRAM X.9 Grip Shift Replacement

The rear shifter on my Tour Easy stopped working when we were most of the way to the grocery store, due to what turned out to be due to a broken cable. I managed to yank the frayed end out of the shifter, pulled the derailleur into a middling gear, and belayed the cable into a deadly cactus:

SRAM X.9 Rear Shifter - frayed cable

SRAM X.9 Rear Shifter – frayed cable

A three-speed recumbent got me home again, albeit with spin-it-out high gear and a low gear barely sufficient for trailer hauling.

Attempting to remove the frayed cable from the SRAM X.9 grip shifter didn’t go well at all:

SRAM X.9 Rear Shifter - cable tangle

SRAM X.9 Rear Shifter – cable tangle

I managed to extract the lead pellet, but, while it may be possible to extract the remaining tagle, even pulling on individual wires wasn’t productive.

AFAICT, the shifter came as original equipment on the bike, so it’s been in constant use for the last 17-ish years. The nice soft grip material (and the cover over the cable port) turned into gummy sludge under the cheerful silicone tape I applied some years ago, so I sliced the old grip and pulled it off:

SRAM X.9 Rear Shifter - gummified grip

SRAM X.9 Rear Shifter – gummified grip

Popping a new-old-stock X.9 shifter from the Big Box o’ Bike Parts and installing it proceeded without problems. This being the rear shifter, I had to remove the shiny OEM cable and replace it with a PTFE-coated tandem-length rear cable, but that’s normal for a long wheelbase recumbent.

For the record, both black shift indicator tabs still show no signs of failing after half a year, so a bent piece of polypropylene sheet looks like a win.

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