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  1. #1
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    1x10 set up worth replacing Shadow+ XT Medium Cage R Derailleur with ZEE Short Cage?

    I am looking to make the switch from 2x10 to 1x10 (poor mans XX1). I will be running a 11-36 cassette and a Sram XX1 crankset. I am hoping to have a set up that will allow to run at a minimum two gear ranges (32T & 30T front chainrings) with a single chain without compromising shifting performance or chain drop. I recently upgraded my current bike with a Shimano XT M786 GS-Medium cage rear Shadow+ derailleur, this is what got me going down the 1x10 thought process that and the chainring technology on the XX1 crank. So this is the crux of my question, would I be better off running the Shimano ZEE M640 SSW cage (rated to work with 11-36T cassette) or keep my current XT rear derailleur? I can sell the XT and buy the Zee with out losing any money. The Zee weighs only 15g more then the XT so I am not concerned of the weight difference. Pink Bike just gave the Zee Derailleur a great review both for performance and durability. Just looking for best performance. The idea of the short cage length sounds appealing to me.

    Bike set up:
    Giant Anthem X 29er
    Riding conditions:
    90% Norther Utah single track (Park City & Corner Canyon): Epic smooth cross country, long climbs and long descents
    10% Southern Utah Moab & Saint George: More trail & all mountain type trails (this is where I anticipate using my lowest 30T gear range w/ heavier wheel/tire set up and dropper post)

    Thanks in advance for your responses.

  2. #2
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    I thought the Zee for wide-range cassette was a medium cage. Re-labeled SLX with a different clutch lever? If that is true, wouldn't that be a step down from the XT? Just asking because I'm looking at a similar application to yours.

  3. #3
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    Looks like it is a short cage. Check out the Pink Bike Review Tested: Shimano Zee Rear Mech - Pinkbike
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1x10 set up worth replacing Shadow+ XT Medium Cage R Derailleur with ZEE Short Cage?-p4pb9069614.jpg  

    1x10 set up worth replacing Shadow+ XT Medium Cage R Derailleur with ZEE Short Cage?-p4pb9069756.jpg  


  4. #4
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    Quite right. It's the 'B' link that's different. Mine will be here next week.

  5. #5
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    VitalMTB just did a review on the ZEE RD and gave it quite a bit of praise. They offer two versions of it, both are short cage though. 'DH' and 'FR' versions, only difference is the B link. The FR one will allow 11-36 cassette, making 1x10 a great option. I've been riding this setup for a couple months and have zero complaints.

  6. #6
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    Have run the pee out of the new Zee for a week now and it was the best investment ever. Running it over a 9 speed Sram 11-34 with X9 shifter and it has been perfect. Quiet as a mouse and only slightly more pressure to downshift.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the positive feedback. I just ordered my Zee today, unfortunately the XX1 crank has been elusive to get ahold of so far. Supposedly the cranks are coming back in stock next week!

  8. #8
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    Is anyone running a 1 X 10 drivetrain with a clutch derailleur but without a chainguide or XX1 crank? In other words, is a clutch rear derailleur by itself enough to keep the chain on through rough terrain?
    All mountain bikes are all-mountain bikes.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedalmunky View Post
    Is anyone running a 1 X 10 drivetrain with a clutch derailleur but without a chainguide or XX1 crank? In other words, is a clutch rear derailleur by itself enough to keep the chain on through rough terrain?
    I've seen a few posts on various forums with guys trying to run just a clutch derailleur, most of the time they didn't seem to have the greatest success. At the least running something like an XCX top guide with a shadow +/type2 derailleur seems to be the minimum you can get away with.
    I don't crash, I just have slightly uncontrolled dismounts!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwiplague View Post
    I've seen a few posts on various forums with guys trying to run just a clutch derailleur, most of the time they didn't seem to have the greatest success. At the least running something like an XCX top guide with a shadow +/type2 derailleur seems to be the minimum you can get away with.
    That is why the combination of not only a Shadow+, but a short cage derailleur (Zee) Shadow+ rear derailleur along with the XX1 chainring sounds appealing. I am going to try that combination first before putting on a top guide. It will still be a few weeks before all my parts will be in but I will post a ride report once I try it out.

  11. #11
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    I'm running a Zee and a 32T front single. I drop a chain every ride. Needs a guide.

  12. #12
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    Are you using a XX1 chainring? I think I am being over optimistic on the retention value of the XX1 chainring. I also think that my riding conditions are well suited (Northern Utah smooth single track, Park City & Corner Canyon). Although I have read a few forums where people seem to be having success running 1x10 with the XX1 chainring with out a guide. Time will tell.

  13. #13
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    No. Running a Race Face Single. What will the XX1 do differently? I never see one with a guide. Must have some magic.

  14. #14
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    "Clever tooth profiling

    More than a few editors on site were concerned about the lack of a chain guide on our test bikes, especially considering the 11-speed cassette's broader range of chain angles compared to a standard 10-speed setup.

    Nevertheless, none of us had any chain retention issues, and it's hard to derail the chain up front manually given the tall, slightly hooked and alternatingly indexed 'X-Sync' chainring tooth profiles that hold onto the new PC-XX1 chain with impressive tenacity.

    In fact, a separate test crew from another publication rode their similarly guide-free XX1-equipped bikes down Whistler's far more demanding Top of the World trail and had no issues to the point where one editor insisted that SRAM had embedded high-power magnets into the CNC-machined aluminum chainring (alas, there are none)."

    This is from a First Ride Review from BikeRadar SRAM XX1 ? First Ride Review - BikeRadar

    It sounds like the "'X-Sync' chainring tooth profiles" is the secret sauce. It seems to work well even with standard 10spd chains. The Sram website states the chainrings are rated to work with 9-11spd chains.

  15. #15
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    Yeah, I've seen the XX1 rings up close and the tooth profiles are definitely unlike any other. Countless hours of work must have been put in just machining them, to say nothing of designing them, and as a result SRAM is preternaturally confident that the chain will stay on even through the roughest chunder. Seriously. Go look at one. Some of the teeth look like phillips bits for a power tool.

    Sorry you're dropping yr chain, TyreB. I guess I'm gonna hafta bite the bullet and get a XCX for my 1 X 10 conversion. Thanks for the info, tho.
    All mountain bikes are all-mountain bikes.

  16. #16
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    At first, I was put off by the XX1's proprietary nature and the price of the crankset with chain ring was so high... but not really. At $285US for a <700g crank with carbon arms, you save the expense and weight of a chain guide. That's about $285US more than I can spend on a crankset right now, so I'll be in the garage cobbling something together to keep my chain on. Half the fun of this bike thing really. Let us know how yours turns out.

  17. #17
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    Yeah, I think I might go old school and run a light bash with a N-Stop. Quick and cheap. Pics once I get everything running.
    All mountain bikes are all-mountain bikes.

  18. #18
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    Interesting stuff with the Zee. I have a 1x9 setup on my HT right now running just a middle ring from Truvativ along with a BBG guard on the outside and an N-Stop along with a standard X9 medium cage in the rear.....no chain-dropping issues.

    My next build this spring on an Ibis softtail will be 1x10, was thinking of running SLX cranks and ring up front along with an N-Stop, not sure what to run in the rear. I'm not chasing down and paying for an XX1 crank etc. what is the main deal with the Zee vs. a standard XT or X9 Medium cage?

  19. #19
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    The Zee is SLX level, short cage with a clutch. No more, no less. Works well for me since I wanted to keep my 9-speed Sram shifter and cassette. XT would be fine, but no short cage. New X9 type 2 would have required going 10 speed. Just boiled down to the Zee for me.

  20. #20
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    I just ordered a zee shifter and rd (fr version 36t). I'd like to run a 2x10 set up with 24/36 or 24/38 up front. Will this combo/set up work. Anyone running it? Any problems?

  21. #21
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    The Zee only comes in a short cage. Not sure that'll work for a 2x up front.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyrebyter View Post
    The Zee is SLX level, short cage with a clutch. No more, no less. Works well for me since I wanted to keep my 9-speed Sram shifter and cassette. XT would be fine, but no short cage. New X9 type 2 would have required going 10 speed. Just boiled down to the Zee for me.
    Couple of very interesting remarks here...

    First, how is it that a Shimano Zee RD suddenly works with SRAM shifters? We've been told forever that the cable pull ratios in the shifters make them incompatible to mix shifters and derailleurs from the two companies (disclaimer: SRAM Attack series is Shimano compatible but will not work with other SRAM levels).

    Second, why would using the X9 type 2 RD require you to go 10-speed? Rear derailleurs are NOT indexed. They have limits based on their design that comprise a maximum cassette width (11-spd is same width as an 8 or 9) and a maximum largest cassette cog (pretty much all of them these days with few exceptions can handle a 34 or 36 tooth cog).

    For all I know your 9-spd SRAM shifter may be the Attack series, though in post #6 of this thread you say it is an X9 shifter and that you are using a SRAM 11-34 cassette.

    This could open a lot of new doors, so please fill us in on the details.

    Fred

  23. #23
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    There is an anomaly that 9-speed SRAM shifters work with 10-Speed Shimano Dynasys. When Shimano went to Dynasys 10 speed, they changed the cable pull ratio (amount the shifter pulls cable in relation to derailleur movement). At the same time, SRMA changed their ratio in the 10-speed line as well. In both cases, Shimano and SRAM, the 10-speed is not compatible with 9,8,7 in their own line. It's not the indexing, it's the cable pull.

    So, if you have 9-speed SRAM and want a clutch, you can use Shimano 10-speed. It is not sanctioned, but several have confirmed it works. This is not for the Shimano compatible, but the SRAM 1:1 ESP line (X-Series).

  24. #24
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    The SRAM 9-speed shifter / Shimano DynaSys compatibility is either the oddest coincidence ever or the most brilliant marketing ever done by Shimano without admitting it. I''m locked into a future upgrade to Shimano 10-speed and I'm OK with that. Could they really have been thinking that when they chose the pull ratio? I know others making the same migration path from Sram 9-sp to Shimano 10-sp.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedalmunky View Post
    Is anyone running a 1 X 10 drivetrain with a clutch derailleur but without a chainguide or XX1 crank? In other words, is a clutch rear derailleur by itself enough to keep the chain on through rough terrain?
    My setup is similar to someone else's in this thread:

    • SLX 6610 crankset w/ Race Face 32T Single Ring Chainring and Race Face Atlas Bashguard
    • N-gear Jump Stop
    • Shimano ZEE Rear Derailleur (FR version with 25T capacity)
    • Shimano ZEE Right (Rear) Shifter
    • Shimano SLX HG81 10-speed Cassette, 11-36T


    So far, no drops, slips, slaps or sucks. But I've only been riding up and down the paved bench roads because the trails here are still too snowy and wet to ride. Soon, though. Very, very soon.

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