Hi - Sorry if this subject has been covered to death, but I can't find suitable answers in a search, so...
A customer wants a 9-sp. 11-32 cassette on her road bike w/ Ultegra shifters. I'm trying out an XT top-normal Shadow rear derailleur, and no matter how the cable tension is dialed in, it just won't work. Either works one way then hesitates on the up-shift or the down-shift, but can't get it to do both well. What's going on? All threads I've found just say, "Yeah, that combo will work just fine", but this one doesn't. Is it the Shadow model? Am I better off w/ a low-normal (RapidRise) derailleur? Please help! This job is due soon! Thanks!
I never learned to ride a bike. It is my deepest shame.
Assuming you have gone through the basic derailleur set up, and your shifter and cassette are 9 speed...
Check the cables for any excess friction and to ensure all housings are proper SIS style 'compressionless' housing
Check the derailleur hanger alignment (as mentioned by bikeman715)
Check that the cable is prioperly routed through the derailleur pinch bolt (running it on the wrong side will give you weird issues)
The Ultegra shifters/XT R. derailleur is pretty much a standard setup for touring bikes. It should work!