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Thread: Short Cage RD

  1. #1
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    Short Cage RD

    I'm sure its been beat to death (maybe not) but I HAVE been searching

    I understand the pro's and con's of running a short cage derailleur, and I think I've made up my mind to run one. My current setup:

    1x9 with an 11-32t rear cassette
    Shimano Deore shifter
    LX long cage RD

    I started researching the various short cage RD's that are available, that is what has brought me to you guys.

    Instinctively, with the Shimano stuff that already came on my bike, I want to stay with Shimano. I have no real reason though, and would be open to going to another manufacturer (sram, etc.) if it would benefit me and would work with my Deore shifter. I assume the shifter is "universal" and it shouldn't matter what RD it controls, I mean, a 9 speed shifter is a 9 speed shifter right (in the general sense)?

    Are all the cage lengths the same between various manufacturers? I'd like to get one as short as possible, and from what I've been reading, my spread of gearing should work for almost any RD I find.

    So what's out there product wise? I'd like to stay at or under 100 bucks. I'm just your average weekend warrior

    Sram's x-9 looks to be the right price, but some of their reviews are a bit lacking. I guess the '10 models have issues?

    Is there a short cage RD available in Shimano's XT line? SLX?

    I'm a complete newb to bikes in general, just trying to learn a thing or two. Feel free to shower me with knowledge

  2. #2
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    sorry, you need a Shimano rear derailleur to go with that Shimano shifter. Shimano and SRAM shifters pull a different amount of cable with each click of the shifter, and the rear derailleurs are designed to match so that they move the right distance between rear cogs based on that amount of cable pull

    Shimano currently only makes a short cage mountain rear derailleur in their downhill-oriented Saint line. The shortest you can go with their normal products lines is a medium cage. SRAM sells short cage models but you would need a new shifter to match

  3. #3
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    What a ripoff haha. Good info to know. Thanks for the reply.

  4. #4
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    I run an 11-32 cassette on my road bike with an Ultegra 10sp short cage rear derailleur (9 speed Ultegra brifters). Ultegra is the road equivalent of XT and even though it says a 27t max, it works flawlessly with the cassette. Might give that one a try!

  5. #5
    local trails rider
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    I bet there's still lots of people running Shimano road derailers on their 1 X 9 DH bikes.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

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    What makes a road specific derailleur different from a mountain one?

  7. #7
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    Difference? Primarily Shimano or SRAM giving it a name and including it in a "gruppo".

    Road derailers are not long enough to handle the range of 3 chainrings and MTB cassette. They should manage 1x9 OK.

    Some MTB derailers may be built stronger than most road derailers.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    Some MTB derailers may be built stronger than most road derailers.
    This is kinda what I was thinking. Wasn't sure if the road derailleurs would handle the constant jarring and such that it would see on a mtb.

    Having a "road" component on my mtb would have some psychological effects as well haha.

    I guess I'll have to look into it further before I commit the cash.

  9. #9
    local trails rider
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    If you hit a derailer properly, it does not really matter if it is Saint or Ultegra. It is still a breakable part in a vulnerable position. If the derailer does not break, the hanger will.

    As I said, people have been using road derailers for DH, so using one can also be seen as Hard Core

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  10. #10
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    MTB designated RDs have a bigger max cog. All shimano's road RDs have a listed max cog of 27 - you can go higher than that, but 32 or 34 would be pushing it; you might be able to make it work, maybe not though, it depends on your derailleur hanger, and how good you are at adjusting. If you were really into tinkering, you might be able to put the cage from a shimano road derailleur on your deore derailleur (since it's the parallelogram-linkage that controls the max cog) - though I'm not sure that would work, and probably wouldn't spend much on the chance.

    I'd look at Sram x7: pricepoint has the short cage derailleur for $45, and the single right shifter for $30; the combo is still under your $100 budget.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joules
    MTB designated RDs have a bigger max cog. All shimano's road RDs have a listed max cog of 27 - you can go higher than that, but 32 or 34 would be pushing it; you might be able to make it work, maybe not though, it depends on your derailleur hanger, and how good you are at adjusting. If you were really into tinkering, you might be able to put the cage from a shimano road derailleur on your deore derailleur (since it's the parallelogram-linkage that controls the max cog) - though I'm not sure that would work, and probably wouldn't spend much on the chance.
    In most cases the max cog rating differences have more to do with the (preferred) spec difference between road and MTB hangers. The latter are longer.

    The cage is not what changes for max cog.

    I use a Tiagra short cage on a 11-32 2x8 drivetrain.
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  12. #12
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    I run a 1x10 with a 11-36 rear cassette, an XO 10 speed short rear derailleur. No problems shifting or pulley wear.

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    How does the x7 stuff stack up quality wise? I know I'm probably at the lower end with my Deore LX stuff, but I'd rather upgrade if possible. I was looking for a quieter, quicker shifting drivetrain.

  14. #14
    local trails rider
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    I think X7 is usually ranked in the same ballpark as LX.

    I have been riding singlespeed-only for a couple of years now, but before that my feeling was that Shimano tries to shift quickly and smoothly, and occasionally fails under MTB conditions. SRAM goes for more positive shifting: the chain always ends up in the right place, unless something is seriously wrong, but it is not necessarily all that smooth.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bray D
    How does the x7 stuff stack up quality wise? I know I'm probably at the lower end with my Deore LX stuff, but I'd rather upgrade if possible. I was looking for a quieter, quicker shifting drivetrain.
    X7 is good. However, with a $100 budget, you could go with an X9 Shifter & X7 derailleur and get better results than going with the X7 Shifter. The shifter is what really makes the biggest difference, as the derailleur just follows what the shifter does, so it's best to put your money into the controls, so to speak. The main difference in derailleurs as you go up in price is weight (so some would argue strength), but performance as far as speedy shifting isn't as noticeable with them as shifters IMO.
    Another thing you mentioned is quiet shifting. I haven't used Shimano in a while, so I can't speak to how they sound these days. I prefer how fast & accurate SRAM is, but it comes with a pop, so you may not like that. To me it is a good thing, because it relays to me that the derailleur is shifting quickly. Hope this helps, and good luck with the new set-up.

  16. #16
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    Philius - Good reply, thanks. It makes sense that the derailleur just follows what the shifter tells it to do, and a good quality shifter is key. I haven't looked into the SRAM x7 or x9 shifters yet, but I HAVE to stay with trigger style shifters. I hate twist shift with a passion. That may effect price a bit.

    As for quietness, I was refering to the drivetrain in general. The shorter cage will reduce chain slap and such.

    All of the geared bikes I've ridden before have had Shimano components. Its going to be hard for me to switch over to SRAM haha. I'm going to a couple LBS this coming Friday, so I'll talk it over with them and get their thoughts.

    I could get a med. cage so I could use it in case I want to run 2x9 again, but then I don't feel like I'm changing much from the long cage I've got now. I want to match the derailleur to my teeth spread as close as possible.

  17. #17
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    Shimano Saint

  18. #18
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    Old 8 speed Ultegra rear derailleur used on a 1x9, 11/34 drivetrain. Works great.


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    Still pondering on the Ultegra stuff.

    Researched the Saint a bit. On Shimano's site, they only show the M810. I've found some places selling an M800 as well.

    M800 vs. M810? What's the difference?

    I've read where some of the M800's require a Saint hub. Is this true for all the M800's? Is that the difference? The M800 seems a bit cheaper price wise than the M810 as well.

    I've found M810's for ~130 bucks. I may be able to handle that for a nice derailleur and to be able to stick with Shimano. Swapping both derailleur and shifter kinda scares me at the moment. I'd rather spend more on a quality RD then spend nearly the same amount for an average shifter/RD combo from SRAM.

  20. #20
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    M800 is axle mounted to the Saint hub, the M810 is the traditional hanger mount version.

  21. #21
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    Right on. That's kinda what I had figured, but its good to hear for sure.

    Thanks for all the replies guys. I think I've got a good grasp of what's going on. Now I just have to make a decision as to which direction I want to go.

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