This post is part how to replace a SRAM Eagle derailleur cage, and part an education about if a SRAM Type 3 Roller Clutch matters (it doesn’t).
I only have experience with SRAM GX Eagle derailleurs, but I’m safely assuming this applies to any SRAM Eagle Derailleur with a Type 3 Roller Bearing Clutch (which means all of them, except SX). If I’m wrong, please feel free to post any corrections in the comments, or send me a message.
How to Replace a SRAM Eagle Derailleur Cage
Backstory to my SRAM Eagle Derailleur Cage Headache
One day, not too long ago, I was out for a mountain bike trip and bent my rear derailleur after a mystery rock hit in a puddle early the first day.
The grinding sound was gnarly and it had to be fixed.
In the process of taking the cage apart (so I could hammer it straight enough for the next day of riding), I unscrewed it from the clutch assembly. Much to my surprise, the whole arm exploded out, propelled by a tightly wound spring.
After bending it as straight as I could, I screwed the arm and spring back together. But, the derailleur cage had no “snap” and just casually drooped down from the bike frame.
After closer examination, I observed (as I’m sure many others who stumbled on this post did) that the outside of the clutch had a dust cap with a torx dust cover labelled “Type 3 Roller Bearing Clutch.”
Aha! This must be it! But…
Removing the cap revealed a hex nut which I was certain had to be either counterspun, clocked, countersunk against the opposing screw on the cage side, or all of the above.
After a couple hours wrangling this assembly against a backdrop of fleeting daylight, a warm campfire, and my friends’ hangout peppered with my random expletive, I had to cede defeat.
For the time being.
Returning to civilization, I searched the internet for both SRAM Eagle Derailleur inner cage plates (could not find any) and info about resetting the spring. I found my solution buried 2 pages deep in a Pinkbike post.
The process is extremely simple. And has nothing to do with the hex nut on the outside of the cage or the “Type 3 Roller Bearing Clutch.” The lack of info is what motivated me to produce this post about how to replace a SRAM Eagle derailleur cage.
Big shout out to dellavechhia on Pinkbike for posting the how-to. Another shout out to Inside Line in Calgary, Alberta, Canada for scrounging up an old derailleur cage for me to swap out.
How to Replace a SRAM Eagle Derailleur Cage
1. Remove the SRAM Eagle derailleur from your bike
Then remove the outer cage, and remove the pulleys.
I won’t recap this because if these steps are foreign to you, it might be best to bring your bent cage to a bike shop. You can do this all with the derailleur on the bike too, if you like, just be prepared to awkwardly juggle blots.
2. Unscrew the SRAM Eagle derailleur cage from the clutch assembly
Try to keep pressure on the plate as you do this, because as soon as the screw is free the spring will want to pop everything out.
3. Get your new inner cage plate and remove the keeper bolt
4. Screw the new cage plate back into the clutch assembly
Make sure the pins on either side of the spring line up with the holes both in the clutch, and in the SRAM Eagle derailleur inner cage plate. Screw the assembly back in.
5. Reset the Eagle derailleur cage clutch spring
Now, here’s the crux: with the inside of the cage facing you, spin the whole cage clockwise 360 degrees, pre-loading the spring, then engage the cage lock.
6. Re-install the keeper screw
Voila, cage and clutch are all set and ready to rock!
SRAM Eagle Type 3 Roller Bearing Clutch
This is all you need to know: it has nothing to do with anything practical, with respect to replacing the derailleur cage.
As far as “resetting” your clutch, it’s a total red herring. The torx head on the cover makes it look important, but do yourself a favour and just keep it on.
If you have knowledge about the SRAM Eagle Type 3 Roller Bearing Clutch which is relevant to the everyday bike mechanic, please comment below or send me a message to update this post!
Hopefully this post saves someone else their time and headache! And saves you from buying a whole new SRAM Eagle derailleur.
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