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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    shifter and derailleur compatibility?

    I'm new to biking and have a question about shifter/derailleur compatibility. I have an older Nishiki bike with Altus C20 shifters. The rear derailleur is broke and needs replacing. It is a 7 speed bike. Can I use any derailleur for a 7 speed or higher bike? It is a mountain bike and I do know that I need a long cage derailleur.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jzimmerman's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    I am pretty sure you can use any derailleur. The limit screw will set the high and low end limits and the amount of travel for each gear is controlled by the shifter. The derailleur knows nothing about travel in-between gears that is the shifters job. The derailleur only knows limits, so as long as those can be set within the range of your 7 speed you should be fine.

    I have never tried this so be sure to get a second opinion. This is just me talking out my backside.

  3. #3
    Old man on a bike
    Reputation: Bikinfoolferlife's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    jzimmermans backside is smarter than he thinks? You'll be fine. However, you can't use a SRAM rear derailleur that uses the "1:1" shifting ratio (which is different than your Shimano shifter) but SRAM does have their Attack lineup for the "2:1" Shimano ratio. The ratios are in quotes because they are both just approximations, they aren't really 1:1 or 2:1 but easier to market.
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
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