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  1. #1
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    long cage, mid cage?

    I need a new rear deraillier ( sp? ) I have a XT m750 but I dont know the cage size. What is the difference between a XT long cage rear der and a mid cage der.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by guitarscrub
    I need a new rear deraillier ( sp? ) I have a XT m750 but I dont know the cage size. What is the difference between a XT long cage rear der and a mid cage der.

    Thanks
    What chainrings are you running?

  3. #3
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    If your doing XC riding go with a long cage it will shift smoother. If you do more FR/AM i use a med cage with 11-34 rear cog & 22-32 front sprockets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dogonfr
    If your doing XC riding go with a long cage it will shift smoother. If you do more FR/AM i use a med cage with 11-34 rear cog & 22-32 front sprockets.
    Actually a shorter cage tends to shift quicker and more easily. Not really a big deal with the current ramped and contoured cassette cogs but it was with straight(er) cut teeth. Usually with three rings you could/can not use the big/big gear combos and a short cage without breaking something so it was/is not a setup for inexperienced/inattentive rider.
    With a double or single chainring a shorter cage can handle the full gearing range and keep the chain tighter.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    Actually a shorter cage tends to shift quicker and more easily. Not really a big deal with the current ramped and contoured cassette cogs but it was with straight(er) cut teeth. Usually with three rings you could/can not use the big/big gear combos and a short cage without breaking something so it was/is not a setup for inexperienced/inattentive rider.
    With a double or single chainring a shorter cage can handle the full gearing range and keep the chain tighter.
    I'm switching my gearie from 24/34/46 to 22/32/44. Sticking with an 11/34 cassette. (body is getting old) Can I go with a short cage rear der? or should I stick with the long cage? BTW, I never go big-F/big-R or small-F/small-R. The most cross-chain I do is big-F/4th-R or small-F/5th-R.
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  6. #6
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    If i was in your shoes i would go with a long cage for XC riding. To answer the question dont go short cage, medium will work fine.

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    Yea to be on the safe side go with a long cage.. XT only comes in long or medium cage models.. I had both models before with 11-32 and 44-32-22 setup and I didn't find the medium cage to be shifting any smoother or faster than the long cage. Maybe that's because I've always had XT shifters and XTR cableset... They were on two different bikes, and the only difference was the short cage bike had Deore cassette and chain while the long cage bike (my current one) has XTR chain and XT cassette.

    I think cables and housing make a bigger impact on shifting quality overall.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the feedback guys. I'll stick with the long cage.
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  9. #9
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    You still have a 22t difference. No change except you might be able to remove a bit of chain.
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  10. #10
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    I'm not sure why you need a long cage?

    I run a medium cage HN XT on my 6" full suspension bike with no worries. The medium cage is shorter and gives more clearance with less chance of a stick in it. I also believe the shifting is a bit more lively with the shorter chain. I can access all cogs (11-34) in the middle chain ring and get a descent range with the small and big rings (22,44) Why promote the long cage so much? Am I missing something?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by All Mountain
    I'm not sure why you need a long cage?
    I run a medium cage HN XT on my 6" full suspension bike with no worries. The medium cage is shorter and gives more clearance with less chance of a stick in it. I also believe the shifting is a bit more lively with the shorter chain. I can access all cogs (11-34) in the middle chain ring and get a descent range with the small and big rings (22,44) Why promote the long cage so much? Am I missing something?
    The long cage allows you to run a larger front sprocket & run in the larger rear sprocket, witch the fancy guys insist is a nono, put the pros do it when needed. The longer cage makes for a longer chain, the derailler is also a tenssioner. Also the long cage keeps the top roller away from the larger rear sprocket. I also run a mediume cage with a 11-34 rear & 22-32 front. Withe that 44T front just make shure you have enough chain slack especially if you are runing in the 34 rear & 44 front thats a long stretch.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by All Mountain
    I'm not sure why you need a long cage?

    I run a medium cage HN XT on my 6" full suspension bike with no worries. The medium cage is shorter and gives more clearance with less chance of a stick in it. I also believe the shifting is a bit more lively with the shorter chain. I can access all cogs (11-34) in the middle chain ring and get a descent range with the small and big rings (22,44) Why promote the long cage so much? Am I missing something?
    What happens if you run the 34 cog in back and the 44 ring up front?
    What happens if you run the 26, or 30 cog in the back, and the 44 ring up front,
    and you fully compress that 6 inches of suspension?
    There is a chance you may reach the limits of the derailleur, and start to pull
    on the hanger tab, or frame.

    Now some people are disciplined enough to never run these "iffy" cassette-chainring
    combo's. but for most people running a triple ring set up, and a wide range cassette,
    the long cage derailleur makes the most sense.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by All Mountain
    I'm not sure why you need a long cage?

    I run a medium cage HN XT on my 6" full suspension bike with no worries. The medium cage is shorter and gives more clearance with less chance of a stick in it. I also believe the shifting is a bit more lively with the shorter chain. I can access all cogs (11-34) in the middle chain ring and get a descent range with the small and big rings (22,44) Why promote the long cage so much? Am I missing something?
    Some suspension frames will require you be very careful about chain length. Many full suspension frames have growing chainstay lengths as the suspension compresses. Even though you might have enough chain to clear the big/big combo you might not once the suspension compresses. Depending on how much this increase is you need to be careful how big you go in the back when running the big ring.

    When installing a chain on a FS bike the first time I always make sure there is enough to clear the big/big ring. Then I removed the shock from one of its pivots and cycle the suspension all the way in by hand with the chain on the biggest cogs to see how the derailleur responds. If the chains reaches its limit before the suspension can reach the end then I start adding links as necessary. Its all a tradeoff. You can go safe and run the longer chain at the expense of having a limper chain on the granny or go short and have better tension and be more careful about your shifting.

    The advantage of long cage is its the most "idiot proof" model in a way of speaking. You can run the chain plenty long enough to take up the slack on any combo and FS although at a slight expense in shifting crispness. Personally I usually use a medium cage were ever possible regardless of the cassette. I run the chain long enough to be towards the safe side at the expense of having it go somewhat limp on the granny/11t cog. I will absolutely never need that combo and even if I accidentally shifted into it, it wouldn't cause any damge. The chain might get dropped at worse.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Upchuck
    Can I go with a short cage rear der? or should I stick with the long cage?
    Never go with a short cage unless you are absolutely sure what you're doing. Short cages are mainly for roadbikes with small ratio cassettes. Don't use them on mountain bikes unless you are running a single chainring or at most a double with a road cassette in the back about 27t max. Medium is the smallest you will typically want to consider on a MTB and long if you just don't want to think about it.

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    I was just logging on to ask a similar question - how convenient! I'm turning my drivetrain into a 2x8 over the winter, and I'd like to use a medium cage rear derailleur if possible. I'll be using 32/42 x 11-32 with either an m950 or m952 XTR rear derailleur. Can I run the mid-cage safely?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by brozek
    I was just logging on to ask a similar question - how convenient! I'm turning my drivetrain into a 2x8 over the winter, and I'd like to use a medium cage rear derailleur if possible. I'll be using 32/42 x 11-32 with either an m950 or m952 XTR rear derailleur. Can I run the mid-cage safely?
    Safely is a tough one, as mentioned when crossing the 42 to the 32 you are using alot of chain, true you ar not supposed to do this we do it any way. I would say go long. You must be a very strong climber for that set up.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by brozek
    I was just logging on to ask a similar question - how convenient! I'm turning my drivetrain into a 2x8 over the winter, and I'd like to use a medium cage rear derailleur if possible. I'll be using 32/42 x 11-32 with either an m950 or m952 XTR rear derailleur. Can I run the mid-cage safely?
    It will be fine.

  18. #18
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    Only an idiot would use 34 back and 44 front, fair dinkum. It really astounds me that some people in this thread are worried about that.... people who have to ability to fully service and modify their own bikes, provide excellent tips, yet fret about using ridiculous chain lines like a 34/44 combination? I ride a 6" suspension bike with no problems on a medium cage. Long cage was invented for newbies and is a backwards step in the advancement of shifting technology.

    Quote Originally Posted by deoreo
    What happens if you run the 34 cog in back and the 44 ring up front?
    What happens if you run the 26, or 30 cog in the back, and the 44 ring up front,
    and you fully compress that 6 inches of suspension?
    There is a chance you may reach the limits of the derailleur, and start to pull
    on the hanger tab, or frame.

    Now some people are disciplined enough to never run these "iffy" cassette-chainring
    combo's. but for most people running a triple ring set up, and a wide range cassette,
    the long cage derailleur makes the most sense.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by All Mountain
    Long cage was invented for newbies and is a backwards step in the advancement of shifting technology.
    You sir truly are a genius

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by All Mountain
    Only an idiot would use 34 back and 44 front, fair dinkum. It really astounds me that some people in this thread are worried about that.... people who have to ability to fully service and modify their own bikes, provide excellent tips, yet fret about using ridiculous chain lines like a 34/44 combination? I ride a 6" suspension bike with no problems on a medium cage. Long cage was invented for newbies and is a backwards step in the advancement of shifting technology.
    wow - if your not interested in a reasonable answer to a question that
    you ask - don't ask the question. - It's that simple.

  21. #21
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    Your answer was well informed deoreo, thank-you.

    I was looking for a real reason for the long cage, it only hinders shifting performance.

    It appears a long cage was a only made for people new to the sport who don't yet know how to shift.

    There is no other reason, except for a poorly designed full suspension bikes with abnormally large amounts of chain stretch.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by All Mountain
    Your answer was well informed deoreo, thank-you.

    I was looking for a real reason for the long cage, it only hinders shifting performance.

    It appears a long cage was a only made for people new to the sport who don't yet know how to shift.

    There is no other reason, except for a poorly designed full suspension bikes with abnormally large amounts of chain stretch.
    No, most suspension bikes with more than 4" of travel have a pretty significant amount of chain growth. 10-30mm is the range we see on bikes from about 5 to 8" of travel, and that is pretty darn significant, especially when you consider that you need 10mm of chain above and below the stay. Not so much of a big issue when you're only running one ring, but when you run two rings or three, it can be a much bigger issue. That is one reason we run long cages. The other is that you don't want to inadvertenly shift into the wrong gear, and then kill the derailer and chain just because of this. Say your finger slipped when you were riding through some rocks, or whatever.

    The long cage does not hinder shifting performance. Your mechanical skills are what's doing that.

    Your short cage derailers are mainly for single-ring bikes or touring bikes. There's a whole genre of bikers out there that buy these things for different reasons than you do.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by All Mountain
    There is no other reason, except for a poorly designed full suspension bikes with abnormally large amounts of chain stretch.
    Right, therefore all manufacturers should realize that tried and true single pivots and other great suspension designs are worthless because they exibit chaingrowth. Chaingrowth does not determine how poorly a suspension will perform. Its a fact that can't be avoided in many situations. Concentric single pivots are one of the ways to avoid this issue except for that small detail that they also happen to be one of the worse pedaling suspension systems. So much for poorly designed suspension bikes.

  24. #24
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    Medium cages shift better. You don't need miles and miles of chain.
    The only mis-shift I would worry about in the rocks is a dual control.
    Long cages produce riders with bad shifting skills who destroy cog/rings/chain due to riding with poor chain lines from bad gear combo's.
    Last edited by All Mountain; 12-20-2005 at 02:17 PM.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by All Mountain
    Medium cages shift better. You don't need miles and miles of chain.
    The only mis-shift I would worry about in the rocks is a dual control.
    Long cages produce riders with bad shifting skills who destroy cog/rings/chain due to riding with poor chain lines from bad gear combo's.
    Yes, ok. Back to your hole now.
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