1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Really Impressed With Acera RD on 8 Speed Cassette

    So, I recently bought a new bike. It has a Shimano Acera RD with a Shimano 11-34 8 cog cassette. It has the EF-51 shifters with trigger upshift.

    So I was trail riding the other day and downshifted/upshifted around the 3rd, 4th, 5th cog. The shifts were sufficiently imperceptible in that environment that I thought, 'ruh roh, gonna have to readjust the derailleur."

    So a day later, I get out on the road and start shifting up and down and trying to watch the shifts while not ramming a parked car. It was shifting sure enough, but it really was almost imperceptible in the mid-high rings, both up and down. In the bigger rings and the shift into and out of the smallest cog, there was a slight clack.

    I guess a big part of this is that those mid-high cogs are "close ratio" and only differ by a tooth or two. Lordy it is smooth. Then again, it was set up by an ace bike mechanic.

    My previous bike is a 21speed Bianchi hybrid with "old" suntour components. Fairly high level. Higher level than the Acera for sure. But every gear had a little clack.

    Has derailleur tech advanced? Am I just easily impressed? Is it just the closeness of the cogs on the 8-ring cassette?

  2. #2
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    sure, depending on your point of reference...or it could be that you are simply a cheap date...no offense intended
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  3. #3
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    I very well may be a cheap date. I've ridden derailleured bikes for about 40 years starting with the Schwinn Fastback 5-speed with defenestrator shifter. I have fairly well developed "mechanical senses." Granted, I have never ridden Campagnolo or anything. i had a buddy with DeOre stuff in college. All of it thunked a little on the gear changes.

    Has something advanced in derailleur tech that would make a low-end Shimano feel like the best I have ever ridden, at least in those 2-3 gears? Is it simply the closeness in size with the 8-gear cassette? The latter is the one thing that is dramatically different from the other derailleur'ed bikes I have ridden over the years.

    Frankly, I thought the higher-end derailleurs were mostly material and manufacturing (forged/machined) that offered only pretty incremental performance increases other than weight and durability.

  4. #4
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    you are fine...I am sure Shimano would be pleased to know they have another satisfied customer, and yes the trickle-down ditty most definitely affects the "entry" level components
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  5. #5
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    After the initial break-in adjustment the problem will not be the derailleur. The first inconsistency will be dropping to a smaller gear. It will be slow then take two clicks to get the jump. The housing/ferrules cable interface will create drag the light spring system you have won't handle. You'll think it's time to upgrade when the real 'upgrade' you need is a high end cable system.
    REI has one for $19- Jagwire/Novara lined housing with stainless coated cable and plastic ferrules.
    Do it now and your shifting will be more buttery than the top end components. Single run is best, imo.

  6. #6
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    Good tip on the REI kit. How is it less expensive than the Jagwire branded?

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    I guess my point is this. Over all those years of riding derailleurs, they have all seemed to function about the same (except the Shimano front freewheel, anyone remember those?). The innovations have been in the shifters, although those innovations tend to be a big gimmicky in my mind. I mean, index shifters are kind of cool, but I am pretty sure I could live just fine with just friction shifters.

    I'm thinking the main difference is the closeness of those sprockets in the cassette.

    Or is there some innovation in the basic operation of a rear derailleur, or, more likely, the shoulders and ramps on cogs, that I have missed?

  8. #8
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    Answering my own question, perhaps it is the "hyperglide" feature that is impressing me and it is most noticeable on those close-together cogs.

    I have been "out of the game" for nearly 20 years.

  9. #9
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    puppy poop $$...

    Quote Originally Posted by TwiceHorn View Post
    Good tip on the REI kit. How is it less expensive than the Jagwire branded?
    many shifting problems can be minimized or eliminated with quality cables and proper routing. My bike has Jagwire Mountain Pro cables and housing that I had my LBS install when they prepped my new bike last fall. I have less than $200 invested and that included Mountain Pro brake hose and fittings...hense the puppy poop $$
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Really Impressed With Acera RD on 8 Speed Cassette-dsc01911.jpg  

    Really Impressed With Acera RD on 8 Speed Cassette-dsc01698.jpg  

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwiceHorn View Post
    Answering my own question, perhaps it is the "hyperglide" feature that is impressing me and it is most noticeable on those close-together cogs.

    I have been "out of the game" for nearly 20 years.
    sure, the smaller the chain climb and drop, the shifters and RD's job is made easier, but dyna sys and ditching friction shifters certainly contribute to your positive experience...and give a little credit to the chains too
    Last edited by time229er; 1 Week Ago at 03:19 PM.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by time229er View Post
    sure, the smaller the chain climb and drop, the shifters and RD's job is made easier, but dyna sys and ditching friction shifters certainly contribute to your positive experience...but give a little credit to the chains too
    Not sure what Dyna Sys is, but pretty sure I aint got it. And yeah, I'm quite sure index shifters are handy-dandy bumping around out there, but I'm equally certain they don't make the shift smooth to the point of imperceptible (after all, in the end, they're all just yanking on cable). Although, particularly on upshifts, I had to filter out the thunk of the shifter trigger to see if it was obscuring the feeling of the shift. I'm sure I was quite a sight staring back between my legs at the rear hub while shifting up and down.

    I suppose also I am exposing my longstanding bias or skepticism toward gear snobbery in the bikespace. As an engineer, I can certainly appreciate design and quality, but for the most part I have been of the view that, materials and mfg. aside, a derailleur is pretty much a derailleur.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwiceHorn View Post
    Good tip on the REI kit. How is it less expensive than the Jagwire branded?
    $28 for Jagwire kit. Plus shipping. REI add tax.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwiceHorn View Post
    Not sure what Dyna Sys is, but pretty sure I aint got it. And yeah, I'm quite sure index shifters are handy-dandy bumping around out there, but I'm equally certain they don't make the shift smooth to the point of imperceptible (after all, in the end, they're all just yanking on cable). Although, particularly on upshifts, I had to filter out the thunk of the shifter trigger to see if it was obscuring the feeling of the shift. I'm sure I was quite a sight staring back between my legs at the rear hub while shifting up and down.

    I suppose also I am exposing my longstanding bias or skepticism toward gear snobbery in the bikespace. As an engineer, I can certainly appreciate design and quality, but for the most part I have been of the view that, materials and mfg. aside, a derailleur is pretty much a derailleur.
    I believe all Dyna Sys components are marked as such...derailleurs, shifters etc. Just a side comment... trigger shifters do a bit more than "just yanking on cable..." They are indexed to match the appropriate drive train...they pull and release a specific amount of cable to allow a clean shift...in theory anyway...and yes, the DR's just move the chain around accordingly
    Last edited by time229er; 1 Week Ago at 03:21 PM.
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  14. #14
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    "Hyperglide" refers to Shimano spending a lot of time designing ramps and shift gates into their chainrings and cassettes. I think that's a big part of what you're feeling. In fact, if you throw a new freewheel, not the TZ but the more expensive one, on one of your old friction-shifting bikes, I bet it's smoother there too. Or chainrings - modern chainrings are pretty awesome. Mostly the same stuff, although they often have some steel pins or rivets to help too, since they're often aluminum and those features don't wear as well as if they were steel.

    I think you're right - a derailleur is pretty much a derailleur. And Shimano does a pretty good job making them so they all work well new. If you wear out this one, move up to Deore. Otherwise, enjoy it.

    I'm kind of skeptical of fancy cables. I think what's important is taking my time dressing the end of the housing so it's nice and flat before I put on the ferrule. The bulk stuff the shop sells by the foot already has a pretty good liner. But if you pull off the ferrule on the OEM housings on a cheap bike, the ends are often pretty gnarly.

    Dyna-Sys just means 10-speed. Shimano broke compatibility to all their previous MTB and road drivetrains with Dyna-Sys. Most of the other stuff is mix and match. There's some of that possible with Dyna-Sys too, but I haven't had to buy new major drivetrain parts for my bikes recently, so no reason for me to figure out what, exactly, I can and can't do.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  15. #15
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    It's most likely the cogs have better ramps between them on the cassette that has that smooth feeling your referring too

  16. #16
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    My new deore has a nice hard crisp shift that I don't think my old deore ever had.

    Sent from my 831C using Tapatalk

  17. #17
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    Thanks for all the good discussion. I think it is hyperglide or the ramping system that I am feeling or not feeling as the case may be.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    After the initial break-in adjustment the problem will not be the derailleur. The first inconsistency will be dropping to a smaller gear. It will be slow then take two clicks to get the jump. The housing/ferrules cable interface will create drag the light spring system you have won't handle. You'll think it's time to upgrade when the real 'upgrade' you need is a high end cable system.
    REI has one for $19- Jagwire/Novara lined housing with stainless coated cable and plastic ferrules.
    Do it now and your shifting will be more buttery than the top end components. Single run is best, imo.
    could u post a link, my rear der is being inconstant like that, good to know

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by joel787 View Post
    could u post a link, my rear der is being inconstant like that, good to know
    Pretty sure this is it. It's about 10 bucks cheaper than the Jagwire-branded Pro, but doesn't come in pretty colors. Novara Shift Cable Kit at REI.com

  20. #20
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    I have blue jag wire cables and they are great. Just built a new bike with it. I've been using their cables for years.

    Sent from my 831C using Tapatalk

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwiceHorn View Post
    Pretty sure this is it. It's about 10 bucks cheaper than the Jagwire-branded Pro, but doesn't come in pretty colors. Novara Shift Cable Kit at REI.com
    thanks, ama get some, but found out that my shifter is the problem, the thumb screw broke and it wiggles every time i hit the shifter.. #mtbproblems..jk its the beer

  22. #22
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    On top of the cables and housings - the main issue with the Acera, Altus and Alivio stuff is the shifters. It shifts great when new but the bushings and internals are all made of plastic by the time you've gone through a chain in many cases the shifters are starting to get sloppy. As 95%? of bikes sold do not get ridden enough to wear out a chain they are fit for purpose. The springs in the RD are also a bit crappy and go soft but once again OK when new or for a noob, just ride it till it breaks. Then buy some SLX, X7, XT or X9 or a new bike.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by SimpleJon View Post
    On top of the cables and housings - the main issue with the Acera, Altus and Alivio stuff is the shifters. It shifts great when new but the bushings and internals are all made of plastic by the time you've gone through a chain in many cases the shifters are starting to get sloppy. As 95%? of bikes sold do not get ridden enough to wear out a chain they are fit for purpose. The springs in the RD are also a bit crappy and go soft but once again OK when new or for a noob, just ride it till it breaks. Then buy some SLX, X7, XT or X9 or a new bike.
    Good info. Thanks.

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