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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013

    Deraileur Choice - Long vs Medium?

    Hi. I'm currently piecing together a bike for touring/ commuting/ and perhaps some cyclocross. I'm trying to use parts on hand as much as possible to save some $$$. My question is about deraileurs.

    So I've got an Shimano XT deraileur from the late 90s and also a Shimano RSX 100 deraileur off a road bike from the 90s as well. The "mountain" XT deraileur is a medium cage length while the "road" RSX is a long cage length. Uncle Sheldon says that "long" cages are better for touring applications but doesn't explain why. My impulse is to use the smallest cage length possible for maximum chain tension/ better shifting. My gut feeling is to use the XT for this reason. Both bikes had 32t as the largest ring on the cassette so I'm pretty sure either would work (right?). I'm going to use the cassette off the road bike since its relatively new, if that matters.

    What puzzles me is this - if shorter cage length deraileurs have snappier shifting, why did this road bike which certainly looks like the geometry was made to be "racy" come equipped with a long cage deraileur? Does it even really matter?

  2. #2
    Reputation: eatdrinkride's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005

    Re: Deraileur Choice - Long vs Medium?

    See the sticky at the top of the page in the drivetrain forum.

    When to use a Long Cage vs Short Cage Derailleur?
    When to use a Long Cage vs Short Cage Derailleur?

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Did the road bike have a triple front? That requires a long cage.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: dirkdaddy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Its just taking up slack, and if you have a wide range of gear ratios it means there will be extra links when on the smaller gears. Where possible, the smaller cages are supposed work better.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    I setup my bike as 2x10 with triple cranks using bash guard, I used a short cage derailleur as I have no large 44T big ring and it works like a charm, quick shifts and the rear chain slap has been really reduced. For a road bike or commuter a large ring is nice but for me being 100% off road with these babies I seen no need for the large ring.
    Giant XTC 2 29er
    KHS Flagstaff 29er FS
    Neon Bow Trials Bike
    Norco Fluid 9.2 29er FS

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