The following is a step-by-step guide to taking apart your SRAM X9 shifter;
1) Take if off your bike, undo the crappy plastic screw (if it hasn’t fallen out already), and take out your cable. Set the shifter to 9th gear.
2) Take off the three screws from the top cover plate with a 3mm allen key and remove the top plate. Note that the gear indicator is a plastic band with notches in it. Simple, effective, and almost indestructable. The notches fit into the teeth of the main cylinder.
3) Carefully note the positions of the springs. There are two of them that you need to remove
4) First, remove the big circular one by unhooking it from the straight one, and sliding it out of the cylinder. Note which notched hole it went into.
5) Next, unhook the straight/wire spring from the thumb button notch, and take it out. It’s held in by its own pressure.
6) The top cylinder and bottom shifter lever are bolted into each other and held in place (albeit loosly) inside the main shifter body. Using two 5mm allen keys, hold the lower lever bolt, and unscrew the top one.
7) Take out the black plastic cylinder, it’s screwed in. You end up with this below.
8) Take the thumb button, and lift it and its whole assembly (it’s all connected) out of the shifter body. All that’s left in the shifter body is the lower lever. Watch out, as the thumb button itself is held on by an unsecured axle.
9) Note which hole the free end of the spring is put into, as its kind of a pain to put back in. Slide the lever, the spring, and all everything up through the shifter body, and take it out. Again, note which hole the other side of the spring plugs into on the lever. If you screw this up, the lever won’t retract correctly.
10) correctly assembled, the lever (sans spring) looks like this below.
Taken all apart, it looks like this below.
What you get is a cap, a spring, and a little notched tooth.
This tooth is what I have broken twice. After figuring out how it all works, it’s actually surprising that it took this long. Every time you shift, it gets a significant amount of side load. Since it’s a cast part, it’s simply a matter of time before it cracks.
Pretty much the reverse of taking it apart.
1) Put the lever back together, make sure the “notched tooth” is sitting correctly and can move back and forth.
2) With the lever together, put the spring in the square hole hole at the back. Insert into the shifter body.
3) To make it easier, have the lever pointed far out, so the spring doesnt have any load. Put the other end of the spring into its proper hole, then rotate the lever back into its ‘default’ position
4) Take the thumb button assembly, and put it back into the shifter mechanism. Take care that the “tooth” sticks up through it. (red circle, mine is broken so its not pictured).
5) Put the plastic cylinder back on top (it has 3 little feet that fit into the metal sprocket) and bolt it back up (not too tight though). Make sure that everything is sitting as it should be, and don’t force anything.
6)Take the straight spring, put one end in the cable screw housing, have it go around the metal notch and rest agaisnt the plastic thumb.
7) Take the coil spring and place the inner end in the square hole of the cylinder.
8) Latch the other end around the straight spring.
Your shifter should work fine now, back and forth. But before you put the cover on, make sure you return it to 9th gear, and put the cable in (its just easier).
Article written and photographed by Ashek