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SRAM Type 2 Overhaul

Posted: 21st August 2013

Author: John Hardwick

Issue: Mountain Biking Australia, 2013, Aug-Sep-Oct

Topic: Mechanical

IMPORTANT: The information provided here only applies to the original Type 2 derailleurs.
Do not attempt this procedure on a Type 2.1 derailleur or you will damage the mechanisim.
SRAM changed to the Type 2.1 system for 2015 and these are no longer servicable or
adjustable as shown below.
Clutch style derailleurs are great; benefits include reduced chain slap for a quieter ride and
better chain retention over rough trails. Weve had good success with using SRAMs Type 2
clutch derailleurs but theres one niggling annoyance that rears its head with the new system.
On some Type 2 derailleurs, the clutch is excessively tight and resistant to movement. When
it is forced to move, it does so with a knock that can be felt through the bike. On a
suspension bike that employs chain growth that means the chainstays get longer as the
suspension is compressed you may feel the knocking when pedalling over bumpy terrain. In
extreme cases, the clutch tightness can be detrimental to the shifting quality.
We first encountered the Type 2 clutch knock in our XX1 drivechain review and weve also
noticed it on a few test bikes with X.9 derailleurs. It doesnt happen with every Type 2
derailleur and it may go totally unnoticed on hardtails and suspension systems that have little
chain growth. That said, it was enough of an annoyance on our XX1 equipped Pivot Mach
5.7c that we went in search of a solution.
Inside the derailleur cage pivot, SRAM uses a one-way roller bearing clutchit rotates freely
in one direction but not the other. This bearing sits inside a conical nylon bush and the
knocking noise emanates from this area. Greasing the bush and the roller clutch has
eliminated the noise on every derailleur that weve tried. Our first guinea pig was the XX1
test unit and its still running noise-free two months after performing the operation. Weve
since has similar success with a number of X.9 derailleurs.
Now, before you launch in there and rip your rear derailleur apart, we need to include a few
words of warning. First up, if you havent noticed the Type 2 knock on your bike then leave
it alone. If you think youve got the problem, isolate the cage movement to confirm that its
the derailleur and not a loose shock bush or something elsemanually push the cage forward
youll feel the knock when overcoming the clutch friction.
This procedure isnt rocket science but it is a bit fiddly and clearly at the more difficult end of
the how-to articles that we publish in Mountain Biking Australia. Whilst some SRAM
technicians are using the same method to silence problem derailleurs, they dont openly

suggest this procedure to the public. In other words, only attempt this fix if you are
mechanically adept and if you stuff it up, dont expect to slink back to SRAM and cry
warranty! Do it at your own risk. If you arent comfortable doing the work yourself, show
this article to the mechanic at your local bike shop and see if they are happy to do the work
for you.

Manually push the cage forward and engage the lock button to hold it in place. Remove the
rear wheel and press the main shift lever a number of times to move the derailleur inboard (as
if you were shifting into the easiest to pedal hill-climbing gear).

Disassemble the cage and remove both jockey wheels with a 3mm allen key. Take note of
how it comes apart as the jockey wheels are sometimes directional (marked with an arrow)
and the dust covers will come apart when removed from the cage. Clean everything, keep it
in order and place it aside.

With the lock still on to hold the cage in place, remove the small stopper as shown (this
generally requires a 2.5mm allen key although XX1 uses a 3mm allen key). Place it aside and
dont lose it! Push the cage forward to release the lock button and carefully support the cage
whilst the spring unwindsitll spin around almost 180-degrees.

Pop a blade under the plastic cap that sits in the centre of the pivot. Lever it up gently to
create a gap on one side, then use a flat-bladed screwdriver to lift it completely. With care
you should be able to do this without marking the cap, although they can be tight sometimes
and may not come out easily. Dont stress if its damaged as its only a cosmetic cover and
itll all work fine if you leave it off.

With the plastic cover removed, youll have access to the main cap. This uses a big T55 torx
fitting but weve also had good success using an 8mm allen key to undo the cap. SRAM
assembles this part with a bit of thread lock but it comes undone without too much effort.

Inside youll see the outer part of the roller clutch. Place a 4mm allen key in the centre of the
pivot and use a 3mm allen key on the bolt thats on the inner side of the pivotthis holds the
cage to the spring and clutch mechanism. Turn them in opposite directions to undo the
assembly. Its a regular right-hand thread but be careful not to round the countersunk 3mm
allen boltits a small fitting and they can be quite tight sometimes.

With the tension removed from the clutch, you can shortcut the rest of the procedure by
working some light oil into the mechanism. Weve found this to be a shorter-term solution
whereas full disassembly and greasing the internals does a much better job.

As you undo the 3mm allen bolt, the cage and spring will come out. There will also be a
plastic dust cover that goes between the cage and the spring. Pay close attention to the
orientation of these parts and keep them in order for reassembly.

The roller clutch is now free to slip out through the outer side of the derailleur. Itll usually
come out with a push from the inner side (i.e. push on the centre part where you just removed
the cage and spring assembly). If it needs extra persuasion, thread the derailleur cage
retaining bolt back in (thats the countersunk allen bolt) and give it a gentle tap to dislodge
the clutch assembly.

Heres the clutch up close. As with everything weve shown so far, keep it all in order to
ensure that it goes back together the right way. The roller bearing is directional and itll
actually increase chain slap if you put it back in the wrong way!

Keep clutch components clean and grease everything. Weve had good success with light
suspension grease such as Slickoleum and Slick Honey but any good quality grease should do
the trick.

Reassemble the clutch with the roller bearing oriented correctly inside the tapered nylon outer
bush. Wipe the inside of the derailleur body clean and slip the well-greased clutch back

Look into the inner side of the derailleur and find the small hole that locates the end of the
spring. Wipe the spring over, apply some fresh grease and guide the protruding spring tab into
the hole thats inside the derailleur body.

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Place the dust cover on the end of the spring and slip the other spring tab through the
corresponding hole in the derailleur cage. Have the countersunk 3mm allen bolt in place and
thread it into the back side of the clutch assembly. Dont tighten the entire assembly yet; do
the bolt up most of the way but leave a small amount of play at the cage.

Wind the derailleur cage up in a clockwise direction when its oriented as shown. Give it one
full turn and use the lock to hold the cage and prevent it from unwinding again. Having the
cage pivot bolt a little loose (as described before) ensures that the nylon dust cover is able to
rotate all the way around without binding on anything.

Now you can fully tighten the 3mm allen bolt that retains the cage. Hold the assembly steady
from the opposite side using a 4mm allen key whilst you do this. Make it tight but dont get
too carried away as it relies on a small fitting thatll round out easily if you are heavy handed.

Re-insert the small cage stopper bolt and snug it up with your 2.5mm allen key. Now you can
release the cage lock and the arm should spring back with good tension to rest on the stopper.

Push the cap back into the derailleur body and tighten with the T55 tool or 8mm allen key.
SRAM uses a thread lock on this part; we choose not to and havent encountered any issues.
Just tighten it until you feel it stop. Increasing the torque on this cap adds a bit more
resistance to the clutch but theres less chance of the knock returning if you employ a light

At this point its worth checking that everything feels right. The clutch should offer resistance
to movement but spring back with some authority. If alls well, reassemble the cage and
jockey wheels with the chain routed correctly as pictured. Always re-check your gear
adjustment once the wheel is back in place. Now hit the trail in knock-free silence!

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