I replaced my free hub body due to pedal slippage. I also replaced rear cassette and chain for regular maintenance. Since then the problem started and I replaced shifter and cables as well as rear derailer. I am out of ideas. I know how to properly set high and low range and adjust index. Once the index is set for gears 8-4 or so, gears 3-1 shift too quick and the chain ends up in the large ring when the shifter says it’s in 3 or 2 and the last shifts to 2 or one are incredibly tough as the cable is so tight. If I loosen the cable to allow a smoother shift in gears 1-3 gears 6-8 don’t work together.

The rear cassette and chain is 8 speed, the same part number as previously installed.enter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description here

  • It seems it shifts from 8-5 pretty well but then from 5-1 it gets there really quick and the shifter doesn’t even make it to 2 most times and definitely never 1. It is the same with a Shimano 8 speed and brand new 8 speed sram May 15, 2020 at 8:01
  • Thanks - a second diagnosis trick is to suspend the bike, and use one hand to pull on any exposed part of the inner cable, while slowly pedalling with the other hand. As you vary the inner tension, the mech should move. This takes the shifter out of the equation. Try that and see what it shows you.
    – Criggie
    May 15, 2020 at 8:07
  • Does the cassette have any sideways play when the wheel is installed in the bike ?
    – Criggie
    May 15, 2020 at 8:08
  • 1
    No sideways play in the cassette and I have tried that and the derailer moves through the range, when I have the shifter pull the cable without tension it makes clean shifts through the 1-8. I have spent so many hours playing with it and now replacing all the parts and still the same problem. It seems the derailer moves where it needs to but doesn’t require the full 8 shifts of the shifter, warranted I have tried two shifters. I thought the cassette was just wrong but it’s the exact same as the one I had prior. I was even thinking about chain length but I counted and compared to last chain May 15, 2020 at 8:17
  • You didn't happen to fit an alfine or nexus shifter, did you ? Perhaps some photos might help.
    – Criggie
    May 15, 2020 at 11:29

1 Answer 1


You have an SRAM X4 8-Speed shifter. The description says:

Featuring our proven ergonomics and award-winning 1:1® Actuation

and adverts in e-shops say:

Compatible with ESP (1:1 ratio) rear derailleurs only.

The pull ratio for Shimano rear derailleurs is 1.7. It is not compatible. You need a different shifter or a different rear derailleur (like the X4).

  • Okay thanks, I uploaded a picture of the previous shifter which was a Shimano and it didn’t work either, what is my best option at this point? SRAM 8 speed derailer? I’m concerned I’ll need to get a new rear cassette and then a new free hub to match that cassette and in just replaced both in Shimano brand. May 15, 2020 at 15:27
  • @JackAlanMichael All 8 speed cassettes should be the same. Also freewheels. The distance the RD has to cover is the same, but requires a certain amount of cable pull from the shifter for that so they must be compatible together. I would start by testing the Shimano shifter again if you still have it. May 15, 2020 at 15:34
  • Thanks, I think I will buy a new SRAM detailer to go with my SRAM shifter I have already had issues with the shimano shimano that a shop originally put on and a new derailer didn’t change it, so that is confusing an 8 speed shimano shifter doesn’t match with a 8 speed shimano derailer May 15, 2020 at 16:13
  • @JackAlanMichael Be aware that some SRAM derailleurs are compatible with Shimano and not with ESP 1:1. May 15, 2020 at 16:43

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