Shimano XT M8000 rear dérailleur updated Long-term review

This post is in the process of being updated.

Wet EXT RF Atlas Catalyst - 2017 upgraded Nr1 2014 Fuel EX 7 29er_0404
IMG_20161011_203005722
With the original link & jockey wheels
Rebuilt XT m8000 on Trek 6300_1595
XT M8000 KMC x11 DLC - 2017 upgraded Nr1 2014 Fuel EX 7 29e_0329

This part seems to be made of some sort of plastic composite.

The wire clamp is a weak point, not only because the plate bends, but if the threads fail, due to a hard impact or whatever reason, you need a new rear dérailleur. The wire plate bent to the point of the wire slipping, but I managed to bend it back on a bike path, but I flipped it, and used it for several months without issues, But I ordered Spare anyway.

I replaced the seal, as it lost some of the elasticity & stiffness, the bolts holding the cover in place held up well.

I changed the whole clutch assembly, not only the axle, I noticed the original spring lost the stiffness, the new one was a lot stiffer.

The scratches you see on pull arm is was caused by the chain grinding on it, it was when I had Bontrager Duster 29 on the bike, which was not good for 11 speed as the cassette was further in than the Hope Pro 4 Enduro wheel, Hope Pro 4 hubs are 11 speed compatible freehub, which places the cassette further outwards giving you better chain line & eliminating back pedalling chain drops. Even though there are some scrapes I have not had a hard crash with it yet. Time will tell how it will hold up, But I will not use it as much as it will go on the trek 6300, which I only use as a spare, But so far there has not been any significant damage from the small spills.

Shimano Xt M8000 Rear derailleur_0405
Shimano Xt M8000 Rear derailleur_0413_DxO
Shimano Xt M8000 Rear derailleur _0314
Shimano Xt M8000 Rear derailleur _0306
Shimano Xt M8000 Rear derailleur_0308
Shimano Xt M8000 Rear derailleur_0358
Shimano Xt M8000 Rear derailleur _0343
Shimano Xt M8000 Rear derailleur_0363
Shimano Xt M8000 Rear derailleur_0601
Shimano Xt M8000 Rear derailleur_0633
Shimano Xt M8000 Rear derailleur_0627
rebuilt XT M8000 Speed rear deraileur _0443

The clamping plate eventually bent after few months, eventually the wire slipped, and I I had get it straightened enough to be usable, and then I put it back with the wear to the top, eventually the plate was straighter, but I eventually installed new plate just in case, to me it seems like the wire is bending the plate after long little by little, it seems like a flawed design. also the nut bolt trough plate design is no longer in use as on previous XT so the threads are in swing arm not in a nut.

Fully assembled, seal for cover for the clutch replaced, wire clamping plate, the seal hood for the clutch adjustment, which also eventually wore out like the original, hopeless, it wears out fast, and eventually falls off.

here you can see the new plate installed

XT wire bolt - 2017 upgraded Nr1 2014 Fuel EX 7 29e_0321
Hope 11T- 2017 upgraded NR 1 2014 Fuel EX 7 29er_0312

Better jockey wheels installed..

Hope 11T- 2017 upgraded NR 1 2014 Fuel EX 7 29er_0307
Hope  KMC - 2017 upgraded Nr1 2014 Fuel EX 7 29er_0210
XT Hope  KMC - 2017 upgraded Nr1 2014 Fuel EX 7 29er_0195

Did the 2014 Trek fuel ex 7 damaged the RD? or was it faulty?

The axle failed & the chain got bent, So first I tried warranty, but that did not work, but later, I became quite sure it was my frame that caused it. The Rd still had some life in it, So I ordered spares from SJS Cycles, but Shimano Norway would not warranty it as there was another damage, which actually is just cosmetic damage.

I am quite sure now the reason cage axle failed, was it due to major flex in the 2014 Fuel ex 7 frame under pedalling load? or was it faulty cage axle? I Don’t know.

Flickr album

Cons:

  • no use of bearings or bushings, causing shorter lifetime, which is a compromise.
  • not well optimized for wide range cassettes, So the use of goat link or similar is necessary, but if doing so, it performs very well.
  • plastic jockey wheels which wear a lot faster than metal
  • The clutch lever is plastic and is flimsy, it bends.
  • the bolts are quite fragile, the head damages easily, the tolerances between the tool and the bolt is not great, there is a wiggle room, causing the bolt to wear, even with most accurate tools out there it won’t solve the issue as the bolt head it self is the issue, but having it will definitely help, it’s the case for all of the bolts.
  • Plastic clutch switch is flexy and fragile it seems, I have seen pictures online of it snapped, impacting it might snap it, I haven’t done it, I don’t smash Rds often, if I do any damage it’s just scratching.
XT RD m8000 Clutch lever _20170221_111429205

Pros:

  • good shifting performance, if the clutch is well adjusted, by having a hard clutch you get harder lever action, so optimising it for you is important, I can’t have it super hard, the shifting performance is good with the Xt m8000 cassette, but also with the SunRace cassette, but the Sunrace cassette, has back-pedalling issues So I can’t recommend it.
  • very easy to service the clutch.

2019 update: the spring is not as strong as on Box One first gen, which was so strong it was fatiguing me even more than the XT M8000.

Verdict:

I will use the Xt Rd for a while, to not fatigue my thumb as much with Box One but I think I will switch from mechanical shifter to Archer D1X electronic system to get less fatigued, because even with the lighter spring on XT M8000 it still can be too much for longer rides.

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