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  1. #1
    Voice of the Industry Campag4life's Avatar
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    Broken DA 9000 cables?

    There has been reports of broken derailleur cables now with DA 9000 and Ultegra 6800. Seems to be more prevalent with DA but this is possibly due to DA 9000 being out a bit longer now. Anybody have a broken cable here at low mileage for new Shimano 11s?

    There are a couple of theories. One is, the cables themselves are weaker and the other is the sharp bend inside the shifter that abrades cable strands over time....polymer coating wearing off first.

    Curious what you have experienced here. Quite a bit of discussion and speculation on this subject over at WW's.
    Some have gone to a std plain DA 7900 inner cable for the rear shifter which tend to break a bit faster than the front derailleur because of more use but the failure mode is the same for each...breakage/freying about 20mm from the head of the cable where the cable bends around the corner and rubs on the cable guide inside the shifter body and is outside the cable housing.
    Btw, some may not know that the new DA cables are all SP-41 housing which has been around for years. The new tech associated with these cables pertains only to the inner cables.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member kleng's Avatar
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    might have something to do with the cable routing as it leaves the levers, there are 2 options, inside and outside of the bar.
    I've routed mine inside the bar and so far there have been no problems with breakage on 3 bikes.

  3. #3
    Voice of the Industry Campag4life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kleng View Post
    might have something to do with the cable routing as it leaves the levers, there are 2 options, inside and outside of the bar.
    I've routed mine inside the bar and so far there have been no problems with breakage on 3 bikes.
    It may. How many miles on the 11s bike with the most miles? Many reports of breakage as short as 1K miles.

    Not sure if it is related to entry point or not because I believe where the cables are breaking is the same independent of what the entry point for the cables is. I always prefer inside the bar radius routing as well.
    Thanks

    I have placed an arrow showing the cable guide as the cable takes a 90 degree bend inside the shifter. This is where the cables are breaking...not at the head and not under the cable housing but at that bend which seems to be independent of cable routing where the entry point is to the shifter.
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    Last edited by Campag4life; 03-09-14 at 07:29 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Silvercivic27's Avatar
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    I think this was one of the things they fixed with DA9001, right? I heard 6800 didn't have this problem and was laid out like 9001, but I'm by no means an expert on this. Just things that I've heard.

    You're campag4life anyway, right? Why does it concern you?

  5. #5
    Voice of the Industry Campag4life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silvercivic27 View Post
    I think this was one of the things they fixed with DA9001, right? I heard 6800 didn't have this problem and was laid out like 9001, but I'm by no means an expert on this. Just things that I've heard.

    You're campag4life anyway, right? Why does it concern you?
    Your silvercivic right? What are you riding a bike for?
    Shimano has been contacted about this issue. Their 'company line' is, there is no issue with 9000 and changes from 9000 to 9001 are unrelated to any cable issue. The part number for the cable guide is the same between 9000 and 9001. Only the little door is different which holds the housing in place. Other thing is there have been some reports of 6800 failures as well.
    Many don't believe that 9001 will resolve this issue. It may in fact be completely unrelated to the shifters and be a symptom of the poly coated derailleur cables Shimano is spec'ing for 9000.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silvercivic27 View Post
    I think this was one of the things they fixed with DA9001, right? I heard 6800 didn't have this problem and was laid out like 9001, but I'm by no means an expert on this. Just things that I've heard.

    You're campag4life anyway, right? Why does it concern you?
    That's just rumor. Last I saw on the WW forum, Shimano was still looking into the limited reports of cable breakage. I haven't had any issue with my DA9000 cables...nor has my cassette been creaking. Guess I got lucky

  7. #7
    Voice of the Industry Campag4life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nebby10 View Post
    That's just rumor. Last I saw on the WW forum, Shimano was still looking into the limited reports of cable breakage. I haven't had any issue with my DA9000 cables...nor has my cassette been creaking. Guess I got lucky
    How many miles on yours? Its far from rumor. Accounts haven't been just WW's. Do a search if interested. One mechanic reported that every member of his entire race team of 10 riders had a DA 9000 cable failure.
    I am not alarmist about this in the least. In fact, I will be buying a DA 9000 groupset shortly. The work around appears to be using DA 7900 derailleur cables which are reported to not degrade shifter performance and are stronger.

  8. #8
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    The rumor I was referring to was the claim that 9001 fixed the issue. That hasn't been confirmed nor denied, as far as I have seen on WW or anywhere else. Maybe one poster that said their Shimano rep said it wasn't done to fix that issue...or something along those lines.

    As for mileage, my bike's still new and only has about 500mi on it, hopefully it stays good.
    Last edited by Nebby10; 03-09-14 at 08:01 PM.

  9. #9
    Voice of the Industry Campag4life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nebby10 View Post
    The rumor I was referring to was the claim that 9001 fixed the issue. That hasn't been confirmed nor denied, as far as I have seen on WW or anywhere else. Maybe one poster that said their Shimano rep said it wasn't done to fix that issue...or something along those lines.

    As for mileage, my bike's still new and only has about 500mi on it, hopefully it stays good.
    What makes this hard to confirm of course is what now most big companies tout, nothing but benign BS to manage their PR. Not only will Shimano not acknowledge an issue but only state that 9001 is a cosmetic refresh and totally unrelated to any cable issue that they never admitted to. The rumor as you say relates to change in cable entry which I just don't see. It has been 'speculated' that cable entry has been tweaked to make 9001 like 6800 which has reported fewer issues, but there still have been cable failures with 6800. Any tweak to cable entry seems like a weak argument to me. Yes they changed the little cover where the cable housing penetrates the shifter body like 6800 but I don't see how this would have any effect. Cable freying/breakage occurs right around the bend where the cable rubs on the 'cable guide' I show in the picture and it is the same part number for all three shifters, 6800, 9000 and 9001. So I am dubious about this addressing any cable failure.

    Companies to lower their failure rate make 'silent' running engineering changes. They do this without notice to the buying public. For example, they could have tweaked the gauge or material properties of their new poly cables they are running and then magically cable snapping stops. More will be learned over time because eventually the public figures it out...the truth comes out because durability performance based upon a large sample size and enough cycles doesn't lie.
    Last edited by Campag4life; 03-10-14 at 05:27 AM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Trucker Dan's Avatar
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    I discovered that my 6800 right shift cable was almost broken in the shifter about 15 mm from the end of the shift cable. It only had about 1500 miles on it. I put a non ptfe coated cable in it for now. It seems to shift fine but requires a lot more effort when shifting up the cassette.

    I've never had a cable problem this soon before. With my 10 speed bikes I would replace the cables every year, about 5000 miles, and never had a problem.

  11. #11
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Is Shimano replacing the cables? Seems like a company that knows they have an issue would replace the part under warranty, no?

  12. #12
    Senior Member Dunbar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    Is Shimano replacing the cables?
    The conjecture over on WW was that it had to do with the cable routing, not the cables. I'm somewhat curious about 9000 cables though because I run them on my 5700 group set.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
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    it's a ploy to make you go electronic... have not heard of it personally though.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Dunbar's Avatar
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    So this thread inspired me to take a look at the 9000 cables installed on my 5700 group set. Cables have about 4500 miles on them. The front cable looks like new (I don't do much front shifting) but the rear is badly frayed. Bad enough that I'm afraid to ride the bike before replacing the cable. It's worse on the middle of the cassette where I spend most of the time, and less bad on the least used gears. I'll probably have them replace the inner cable with a non-PTFE coated cable. I hope it doesn't degrade the shift quality too much. The 9000 cables shift really nicely...

    Last edited by Dunbar; 05-02-14 at 09:28 PM.

  15. #15
    Voice of the Industry Campag4life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
    So this thread inspired me to take a look at the 9000 cables installed on my 5700 group set. Cables have about 4500 miles on them. The front cable looks like new (I don't do much front shifting) but the rear is badly frayed. Bad enough that I'm afraid to ride the bike before replacing the cable. It's worse on the middle of the cassette where I spend most of the time, and less bad on the least used gears. I'll probably have them replace the inner cable with a non-PTFE coated cable. I hope it doesn't degrade the shift quality too much. The 9000 cables shift really nicely...

    Dunbar, the picture doesn't show...at least on my browser...can you repost it?
    Can you explain what you mean about the cable being frayed specific to particular cogs in back? That doesn't make much sense so I presume you are referring to a particular rub point somewhere along the cable. This is hard to deduce in front where most of the DA 9000 cable fraying is reported...inside the shifter as the cable bends from entry point to laterally side ways to the shifter body.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Dunbar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
    Dunbar, the picture doesn't show...at least on my browser...can you repost it?
    Can you explain what you mean about the cable being frayed specific to particular cogs in back? That doesn't make much sense so I presume you are referring to a particular rub point somewhere along the cable.
    If you PM me your e-mail I can send you a high resolution picture. The link above is from Google+ so it should work.

    What I mean on the fraying is that as I go up/down through the gears (and the cable moves/indexes) it's frayed worse in the middle of the cassette where I spend most of the time and less so at the extremes where I spend less time. The front shifter cable looks brand new so I'm guessing it's a wear issue specific to these polymer coated cables. If you search around you'll find a lot of 9000 users who have the same issue.

  17. #17
    Voice of the Industry Campag4life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
    If you PM me your e-mail I can send you a high resolution picture. The link above is from Google+ so it should work.

    What I mean on the fraying is that as I go up/down through the gears (and the cable moves/indexes) it's frayed worse in the middle of the cassette where I spend most of the time and less so at the extremes where I spend less time. The front shifter cable looks brand new so I'm guessing it's a wear issue specific to these polymer coated cables. If you search around you'll find a lot of 9000 users who have the same issue.
    Sorry but you aren't being clear about the position of the fraying. I am well familiar with the cable freying issue of DA 9000. In fact, I purchased the updated DA 9001 shifters because of it.

    Please tell me how you deduce the cable freying is specific to the middle cogs? Do you have an X-ray machine to peer inside the shifter body at specific cog positions? I suspect you are visibly seeing cable freying 'outside' the shifter body but you aren't identifying where. Fraying inside the shifter which is common to cable failure of DA 9000 isn't specific to particular cog positions...or hasn't been identified as such. The cable is about 3 feet long. From the tip of the cable aka cable head...to the rear of the cable where it attaches to the rear derailleur, why don't you identify the relative position of the freying on the cable in lieu of posting pictures. Or...more ideally, why don't you host some high resolution pictures for the forum to review?
    Last edited by Campag4life; 05-03-14 at 12:13 PM.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Dunbar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
    Sorry but you aren't being clear about the position of the fraying. I am well familiar with the cable freying issue of DA 9000. In fact, I purchased the updated DA 9001 shifters because of it.
    If you could see the picture it would pretty clear where I'm seeing the fraying. It's where the bare metal cable rides the cable guide inside the shifter just forward of where the cable housing terminates. If you move the rubber brake hood cover out of the way you can see the bare cable and that's where I'm seeing the fraying.
    Last edited by Dunbar; 05-03-14 at 01:27 PM.

  19. #19
    Voice of the Industry Campag4life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
    If you could see the picture it would pretty clear where I'm seeing the fraying. It's where the bare metal cable rides the cable guide inside the shifter just forward of where the cable housing terminates. If you move the rubber brake hood cover out of the way you can see the bare cable and that's where I'm seeing the fraying.
    Edit:
    Can't see the picture...yours is the only X box on the forum for me...but based upon your description I believe you are correlating cog position with the point along the cable where it enters the ferrule.

    My guess, again without seeing good pictures is the ferrule is either not properly positioned in the shifter body...or the ferrule has a burr on its ID edge...perhaps both. If the ferrule doesn't follow the path of the cable upstream, then the cable will abrade on the edge of the ferrule. It would stand to reason that cable fraying would agree with cable position associated with what cogs you commonly use.

    There has been a lot of speculation as to why there is a lower failure rate with Ultegra 6800 as compared to DA 9000. Most believe it is how the ferrule is restrained within the shifter body that causes the path of the cable to interfere with the ferrule ID edge causing cable abrasion. What Shimano did was they changed DA 9000 to have the same interface with the cable as 6800. They call this DA 9001 shifters. Word is, this helps solve this problem.

    If the restraint of the cable in your case is similar to DA 9000 then this may be your root cause.
    Last edited by Campag4life; 05-03-14 at 02:36 PM.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Dunbar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
    If the restraint of the cable in your case is similar to DA 9000 then this may be your root cause.
    It seems to be happening on perfectly installed cables though. Or at least, installed according to Shimano's instructions. I saw one post where a guy said he and 11 teammates all ran 9000 and all had the cable snapping problem at various intervals. Since the derailleur cable enters the shifter at different positions on 6800/9000 and 5700 (side vs. top) I have a hard time believing it has to do with routing. All of the accounts I'm reading say the cable breaks at the same point (~20mm from the end.)

    Edit, the 9000 shifter cable set comes with specific cable ends (black things in the photo below.) You aren't supposed to trim the cable housing on the shifter end so I don't see how this could be an installation issue. If the ferrules have a burr in them that would be defect in the manufacture which is a quality issue (not installation.)





    Last edited by Dunbar; 05-03-14 at 04:00 PM.

  21. #21
    Voice of the Industry Campag4life's Avatar
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    Better job on the pictures...I can see those.

    If you collect all the anecdotal data on the cable failures...a couple of trends develop:

    1. Ultegra 6800 cable failures are less frequent than DA 9000 failures.
    2. Those that have put a DA 7900 stainless (uncoated) cable in the RH DA 9000 shifter get better cable life.

    Fact is, Shimano first released the DA 9000 shifter design and then revised the Ultegra cable cover for 6800. Then, Shimano decided this cover was better and revised their DA 9000 cover to that of the Ultegra 6800 cover. They lumped this change in with a few others and call it DA 9001. Conventional wisdom suggests they did this to improve poor cable life on the DA 9000 shifters....the later cable cover doing a better job of capturing/protecting the inner cable throughout its travel.

    But I do believe...and your experience supports this...that the new slippery DA 9000 cables which do improve shifter feel and decrease effort, apparently are more fragile. It is unclear as to why. Some speculate that the coating though slippery actually degrades cable life once it wears off which it tends to do. One theory is the increased flexibility and/or decreased cable thickness reduces strength. Some may question the metallurgy isn't as good as the DA 7900 inner cables.

    Above is unknowable. All we can do is make our assessment based upon reported experience. It maybe an interaction of all the above.

    As to your recourse moving forward, you can install a replacement DA 9000 and start again. Perhaps try some Shimano grease or equivalent for the first 50mm's or so from the cable head. Or, go right to the less expensive and less slippery DA 7900 cable and evaluate cable life against the DA 9000 cable which didn't last as long as you hoped.
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    Last edited by Campag4life; 05-03-14 at 04:42 PM.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Jiggle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
    Edit:
    What Shimano did was they changed DA 9000 to have the same interface with the cable as 6800. They call this DA 9001 shifters. Word is, this helps solve this problem.
    Word is, nothing has been done to solve the problem.

    The reason 6800 has reported fewer failures is because it has only been out since JUNE.

    I pointed this out in another thread but all you gave was a smug, dismissive reply. You really don't know much about the issue.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Dunbar's Avatar
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    I agree, 6800 has only been out since last fall. You couldn't even buy a complete bike with 6800 before Sept/Oct. And of course we just went through the worst winter since the little ice age so I don't think many 6800 owners have enough miles on their bikes yet to start seeing the failures.

    In any event, it's easy to peel the brake hood cover back periodically and monitor the condition of the cables.

  24. #24
    Voice of the Industry Campag4life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggle View Post
    Word is, nothing has been done to solve the problem.

    The reason 6800 has reported fewer failures is because it has only been out since JUNE.

    I pointed this out in another thread but all you gave was a smug, dismissive reply. You really don't know much about the issue.
    I am dismissive of you because you don't have anything to contribute.
    The facts speak from themselves. Shimano changed the design of DA 9000. DA 9000 had failures.
    But yes, Ultegra 6800 hasn't been out that long.

    You don't deserve this but in case others are wondering...
    What makes tracking failures difficult is...large companies like Shimano make constant running engineering changes. These are referred to many times as silent running design changes. If there is any wonder that large companies do this to avert liability, ask GM. They do this to refine their product but also to skirt recalls and major problems in the field. Even though Shimano themselves deny that the blatant change to the DA 9000 cable cover has anything to do with cable failures...they in fact deny cable failures all together which have been noted on other forums.

    A bad batch of cables can cause cable failures in fact. Let's say for discussion purposes, that if a user puts a DA 7900 inner cable (they all use SP-41 outer housing btw which has been out for many years) that the issue disappears. Of course with that goes some of the slippery shifting characteristic of DA but those that have done this have noted only a 5% change or so in shift effort.

    Point is, this problem may completely fade into oblivion because Shimano will change the metallurgy of their DA 9000 cables however not announce this change to the public. Or...Shimano may step up their quality control and better certify incoming inspection of their cables...or further test and change cables to be more robust. It would also be good to know where Shimano sources their cables. Some suggest the coating and gauge of the DA 9000 inner cable is the same as Jagwire Ripcord's premium inner cable and the Ripcord inner cable is a suitable replacement.

    Because there isn't a huge outcry on this issue other than a few anecdotal reports including Dunbar's who experienced it without DA 9000 shifters but with DA 9000 cables, this suggests to me the issue lies more with the cables than the shifters themselves and even possible its already been resolved with improved cables now being shipped for DA 9000. Time will tell. But make no mistake, in spite of Shimano's public claim to the contrary, they know about this issue.

  25. #25
    I'm doing it wrong. RJM's Avatar
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    I have over a thousand miles on my 6800 and no issues so far.

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