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Friday, May 14, 2010

Mechanic Tip 001. Convert an XT m770 shifter to XTR m970

Here's a little secret ive been withholding for awhile now.

This little tip was provided to me by Adam, a fellow mechanic from Cyclepath Oakville.

One of the main upselling points of Shimano's flagship MTB shifter (xtr m970) is the multi release function on the index trigger. Essentially 'multi release' allows the rider to dump more than one gear on one stroke of the index trigger. This is a very handy feature for racers. (Think: exiting slow singletrack on to fast doubletrack) This feature is limited to only the XTR shifters which retail close to 300$.

When shimano decided to make the multi release feature XTR exclusive, it seems that it wasn't a matter of keeping costs down. It was purely a cheap marketing decision. However, if you know how a bike mechanic thinks, you know full well that a flawlessly shifting stock XT 3x9 setup is never good enough. Whether its a 1x9 conversion, an unconventional gear ratio, or a shifter mod; a mechanic always finds some way to take something perfectly fine, and change it. Its just what we do.

The XT m770 shifter bottom mold is almost identical to that of the XTR save for a plastic tab that prevents the index lever's release cam from dropping two gears.

Ready to unlock the potential of XTR m970 shifting?

Disclaimer.
- This will void warranty.
- It is irreversible
- It will not harm any of the internals since there is no structural alterations. What we're doing is the equivalent of removing a limit screw in a derailleur.
-If you are not mechanically inclined, get someone else to do it.

Ok. What you need.

- XT m770 shifter.
- Dremel OR a small file and exacto knife
- Small phillips head screw driver to remove shifter cover screws.

1. Remove the four screws holding in the bottom cover of the shifter.
2. Carefully guide the lower cover off the body and off the thumb trigger. Do not force it, the plastic is soft and will crack if you are ham fisted. There is a rubber washer that serves as a seal inside the lower cover, make sure you are careful with this, it is the only thing stopping mud from getting inside the shifter.
3. Examine the inside of the lower cover.


credit: SteveUK

See that "L shaped" tab? You will be removing this. Use the exacto knife or dremel to carefully remove this piece. Once the bulk of the material is removed, file it smooth.

4. Reassembly. Carefully guide the lower cover back on to the shifter making sure the rubber washer sits evenly inside the cover. Replace the bolts, and youre set.

Now you have an 'unlocked' XT m770 shifter. It weighs less than XTR, shifts almost as good, and cost you nothing.

While I havent checked the molds of the SLX and new Deore stuff, Ill make sure to take a look next time im wrenching.

Cheers.

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