Shimano GRX Derailleur / Clutch Derailleur Help

I have a GRX R810 rear mech on an Orbea M-30. I’ve got road wheels to swap between the OEM 38C wheels. Only issue is that I’m having a hell of a time getting the wheel in and out in comparison to any other bike I’ve had. The cage on the mech is long and it seems to be stiff and not easily let the wheel down into the recess.

Any tips or tricks for thru axle bikes with clutch derailleurs?

I’m guessing you’re shutting off the clutch? Even with the clutch turned off the GRX derailleurs are pretty stiff, or at least mine is.

Yeah switched clutch off and as you say even with that it’s frighteningly stiff. I had to flip the bike upside down and put a foot on the saddle I was having to manhandle the bike so much…

That seems a little excessive. Admittedly, the only grx I have is on a bike with a qr, but I haven’t found it THAT difficult.

The bike is still very new so I don’t know whether the mech will ‘soften up’ a bit over time and/or I’ll get better at doing it but I’ve already scratched the paintwork once and would really like to avoid it happening again!

That’s far from right, with my XT and GRX mechs once the clutch is off it moves as freely as a non clutched mech.

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Yea make sure the clutch is switched off but also try to drop the chain in the the 11t or 12t cog for easier removal.

The cage moves much more freely on the GRX when the clutch is off, but the parallelogram is still very stiff to pull out of the way. They’ve changed something in there to stiffen it up too. Way harder than any of my XT equiped bikes.


First post, but I have experience with this issue on my GRX double front chain ring, and determined that the best way to remove and replace the rear with the clutch derailleur is to move the rear clutch to the off position, all the way down,

switch to the small ring in the front; move the chain to the middle of the rear cassette and then pull the rear derailleur back by pulling on the jockey wheel on the rear derailleur and let the guide the chain off the cassette. It will still be tight when compared to a road bike, but easier than having the front chain ring in the big ring

When replacing the rear wheel, switch to the small front ring and middle of the rear cassette. and put chain on the middle rear cassette that way the rear disc brake has enough space to fall back into the rear caliper.

Hope this helps and once you figure it out, it’ll be easier the next time.

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Can’t say I have tried the paraellegram be hand, just the clutch mechanism.

I’ve always dropped into the smallest cog (all my 1x bikes are clutched, no front mechs) and the rear came out as normal. Didn’t need to stand, strain or kick anything.

This all makes sense, I will give it a go. Can I check, did you do this with the bike on its wheels or upside down?

Change to smallest at rear, clutch off, axel out then lift by saddle, push the mech down/back and wheel should drop out.

If you’re still having issues after work I can try and make a video.

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Yep, feel your pain. My GRX rear mech is also tight as hell to remove and even more so to reinsert. Good idea leaving the chain in the middle of the cassette and definitively switch to the little ring up front (if you have 2by). It gets easier with practice though.

Thanks man. I’ll have a practice and see how I get on. How embarrassing having your own help video made for you :grin:

The chain should be in the smallest cog on the cassette as there’s least tension in it at that point. It’s one reason why pro riders get a push off from the mechanic after a wheel change - they are in a big gear.

I’ve had clutch mechs on my MTBs for several years now and the only time I have a problem in getting the wheel out is if I’ve left the clutch on. If you are on a 1x system and using a narrow-wide chainring then the clutch doesn’t do much in all honesty, I’ve put the rear wheel in and forgotten to engage the clutch and ridden for days without a dropped chain. It’s the NW chainring that does most of the retention.

Agree on the chain in the smallest cog normally, but in my case it’s hard getting the disc brake aligned if the chain is so far to the right.

I think disc brake alignment is part of the problem, and I am on a 2x system. Hopefully it’ll get easier with practice, it’s just so unbelievably easy by comparison on my old Felt Z85 with a QR skewer that I thought I was maybe missing a trick.

I really hated the SRAM mech I had, but, I wish Shimano had the lock-out for its cage. That said my Di2 GRX mech. hasn’t been more of a bother than other rear Shimano mechs as long as I don’t have the clutch on.

I had the bike on its wheels. The issue for me was unlike road bikes, I could not get the disc caliper back into caliper unless I had the small ring in the front and middle ring in the rear. With the small ring in the front, there should be less tension for you to remove the chain. This method works on both of my gravel bikes.

I hope it works and let us know how it goes.

Has anyone figured out if its meant to be this hard, or what the issue is?

I can barely get the wheel on or off (clutch is off of course) without removing air out of the tire… SUPER annoying.

Its literally that I can’t get the GRX810 far enough back to have it come around the cogs on the cassette.