Derailleur Clutch Issue

My derailleur clutch seems to be having an issue

This photo shows the switch in the on position

After a few minutes of riding it “shakes” itself to this position

It doesn’t feel totally unengaged when it drops but I feel it should always stay in the on position. I tightened the tension but it doesn’t seem to help. I overtightened it (all the way actually) just to see if it made a difference and it does not. When it moves to the middle position there is still some tension on the derailleur but not as much as if it is on but more than if it is off. Kind of halfway tension when the switch is halfway. My concern is that its vibrating itself to this halfway position

What thoughts do you have?

Have you tried taking it apart and servicing it? I had an issue with a Shimano clutch last year that was solved with disassembly and cleaning.

Yes. The bike peddlar serviced it last week. Wondering if this latest problem has something to do with this

Was it shaking loose before they serviced it, or just since?


Before you go further, have they been made aware of this issue, and given a proper opportunity to fix it for you?

not yet. It was Sunday when I posted this so they were closed. I was just looking to see if it was a simple fix that I could do myself while I was working on a few other things

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In order to properly service a Shimano clutch, the entire derailleur cage has to be unwound and removed. Basically the entire thing needs to be disassembled, cleaned and inspected, greased PROPERLY and then put together in the reverse order. See link for detailed instructions.

Shimano derailleur clutch service.


Sounds to me like the clutch or cam unit aren’t installed properly. It’s easy enough to put them in wrong. I did that once and had the symptoms you describe.

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That’s a pretty involved process. I’ve not had to go that deep yet. Just taking out the clutch and cam unit, cleaning and re-greasing per the Shimano Dealer’s Manual has fixed any issues I’ve encountered. I’ll have to remember this if the easy method fails me in the future.