Long Cage XT Derailler on 11-26 cassette
Im due for a new cassette, and this time i was thinking about throwing on a tighter ratio as I rarely use my 28 and 32t rings. My question is will my XT derailler shift as precisely on the new cassette. The long cage derailler is typically used for large ranged cassettes and my new one is the opposite. Currently, i have the b-screw unscrewed all the way (no tension) and the top pulley does not touch the 32t when i run it. With the new 26t will the larger gap be ok? I am also, going to knock off a link or two from my chain to compensate. A quick answer is appreciated.
If it's the cage length you're worried about, don't worry about it. Cage length has more to do with the gearing on the front of the bike than what's on the rear. Double and single ring crank setups can get away with a short cage rear derailuer, but usually tripple ring setups need a long cage rear derailuer. The cage takes up the chain free length difference between small and large front rings (as well as between the small and large rear cogs).
Originally Posted by trekracer8000
I put a freewheel with a 28t big cog in place of one with a 32 before and didn't have any problems with the long cage deraileur. I've went the other way around and not had problems either, but this last time I went from 28 to 32, the derailuer didn't want to cooperate. It's the swing of the rear derailuer moreso than the cage length that affects how it works on the cassette gear size. Your derailuer was made to clear larger gears, so the top pulley will be further away from the largest gears on the new cassette than it was on the old one. I don't see where that should be a problem. Of course the only way to find out it to try it... .