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  1. #1
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    When to use a Long Cage vs Short Cage Derailleur?

    I have a new SRAM X9 long cage derailleur, and another X9 that I now realize is "not long". Both are brand new, but the short one is ~16mm shorter.

    What is the proper application for long versus short cage derailleur? Will the short one work with a 11/34 cassette? Does it matter if the bike has a rear suspension or is a hardtail?

    Is my shorter X9 a "short" cage or "medium" cage? Thanks //kct

  2. #2
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    You've got a medium cage. Sram makes a short cage mountain derailleur in the X.0 line, but only goes as low as a medium in the X.9.

    <u>Quick answer</u>: The medium cage will work, but you'll drop your chain if you accidentally shift to the small-small combo. Suspension *could* be a factor, depending on how much "chainstay growth" your frame experiences as your suspension cycles.

    <u>Long answer</u>:

    Derailleurs have a rated capacity. This is their ability to take up excess chain. After all, you need just about all of your chain to run in the big-big combo, whereas you have a bunch of extra links doing nothing when you run in your small-small combo.

    Not that either of those cross-chain combos are normal to run in, but let me get to that in a minute.

    Manufacturer stated derailleur capacities are as follows:
    Shimano long = 45T; medium = 33T
    SRAM long = 43T; medium = 37T; short = 30T

    Speaking from experience, Shimano is a bit conservative in their capacity rating. I can only assume the same is true of SRAM (I'll get to that, too).

    The easy capacity formula is to add your big ring & cog sizes, then subtract your small ring and cog sizes. It looks like this:

    <b><i>cap req'd (T) = (BIG ring - small ring) + (BIG cog - small cog) </i></b>

    ...so for a typical 44-32-22 mountain crank & 11-34 cassette...

    <b><i>T = (44T - 22T) + (34T - 11T)
    .. = (22T) + (23T)
    .. = 45T</i></b>

    Using this simple forumla, you would need a derailleur with a 45T rated capacity to absorb all the possible extra links of a typical 27-speed drivetrain.

    (I make the assumption SRAM stated capacity is conservative, since they list 43T as the long cage capacity -- 2T short of what is required by this forumla).

    Where do shorter cage lengths come into play? Right here!

    Even though the long cage will, in theory, take you down to the 22x11 gear combo and hold adequate chain tension, let's be logical: 22x11 is a combo you don't use!

    Rather than use the generic formula, let's map out the capacity for each gear combination (based off of a Shimano cog pattern; SRAM will be slightly different):

    <img src="http://www.booboodog.net/images/derailleur-capacity.gif">

    44x34 starts off at zero because in that combo, all of the chain is being used up by the ring and cog, and the derailleur needs to take up none of it. As you shift through the cassette range (moving down the column), the amount of free chain increases as the cog size decreases.

    Take a look at the useable gears, which I've outlined in green and yellow. Those fall near the stated capacity of the medium cage derailleurs. (I mentioned that Shimano's stated capacity is conservative, and in practice, I find their medium cage to be closer to 39T.)

    For instance, in the middle ring (32) and the small cog (11), the table shows you've got to absorb 35T. This is near the stated capacity of either of the <b>medium cage</b> derailleurs. This gear combo remains useable, but you'd be better off shifting to your big ring for better chain tension.

    You can also see that to use a SRAM <b>short cage</b> derailleur (30T capacity) on this drivetrain would leave you with <u>two or three <b>un</b>usable gears</u> while in the middle ring, and only about three <u>useable</u> gears from your granny ring. (Any number greater than 30T on the table would be near the limits of the short cage derailleur.)

    Oops! Accidentally shifted into the unusable "red zone"? Nothing major: the derailleur cage folds back on itself, the chain droops, and you maybe drop the chain if you don't catch it in time.

    In my opinion, it'd be stupid to size a chain any smaller than what is required to shift into big-big. If you accidentally force a shift into that combo, which is certainly possible when you're tired or "in the moment", you don't want to break anything. <b>So chain length will be the same no matter what derailleur you choose.</b>

    <img src="http://www.booboodog.net/images/chainlength.jpg">

    Benefits of a shorter cage length?
    - snappier shifts
    - better chain tension
    - less chain slap / greatly decreased drivetrain noise (!)
    - better obstruction clearance / improved spoke clearance.
    - slight weight loss -- but you gotta be a real weight weenie to appreciate this one.
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  3. #3
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    Moderator's Note on original thread

    This sticky thread is an edited version of a longer thread. It's intended use is as a quick reference guide for questions relating to derailleur cage length. If you want to read more, or participate in the original thread, it can be found here:

    When to use a Long Cage vs Short Cage Derailleur?

    Bob
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  4. #4
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    Great explanation, it's amazing how little of this can be found on the shimano website. So does that mean if I am running a triple front 22-32-44 on a BMC 4-stroke with 11-34 rear I need the longest cage?
    Confusingly the shimano website doesn't list 'medium' & 'long' cage but uses the terms 'long' and 'super long', the latter rated as a 45T.

  5. #5
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    I have read all of the sticky as well as this post, and don't see any real talk about a 46T big ring. I am running a 46-34-24 with a normal xt rear cassette. I am thinking about changing over to sram drivetrain and thinking I need to get a long cage RD. I just want to make sure I am thinking right here.

  6. #6
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    minor revision

    I was just on the SRAM site and their tech manual states that the X0 rear derailleur has a capacity of 45T. The OP stated 43, 2 less than his formula where in fact the capacity matches same as Shimano. A minor point but worth updating on the sticky.

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  7. #7
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    to properly run a sram x9 short cage rear der, which were still available through qbp this year, either a 32t ring with a 34 in the back or reverse combo will work fine. i've been running one for the last year with a 34t ring up front and a 30t in the back and there's room for more teeth. i really dig the short cage thang, less likely to snag on something.
    rog

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    Quote Originally Posted by .downhillfaster.
    I'm running an X9 short cage rear with 36T front / 34T rear with no issues. I'm sure it's pushing the limits of what's doable, but it seems to be working fine althought many have said it won't.

    Cool I think this just answered my question. I have a X-9 short cage, and am currently running a 32T front/ 32T rear, but am about to convert to a 1x9 MRP guide system. Am going to now run a 36T single front and am wondering if I can keep my 11-32 cassette or if I have to switch to a DH 11-26 which would suck as then I would loose all climbing ability.

    But if you are running a 36T front and 11-34 cassette with no issues, I should be fine!

    Gnarly!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtGash
    Cool I think this just answered my question. I have a X-9 short cage, and am currently running a 32T front/ 32T rear, but am about to convert to a 1x9 MRP guide system. Am going to now run a 36T single front and am wondering if I can keep my 11-32 cassette or if I have to switch to a DH 11-26 which would suck as then I would loose all climbing ability.

    But if you are running a 36T front and 11-34 cassette with no issues, I should be fine!

    Gnarly!
    I'm confused about the last few posts. Are you guys both running single rings in the front? If so, the size of the ring is totally irrelevant as to the cage length. If not, saying "32t front, 32t rear" is useless information, as you need to know the size of the biggest AND smallest ring/cog in order to gain anything meaningful from the example.

    The size of the rings and cassette cogs is meaningless. it is the DIFFERENCE between the biggest and smallest that matters.

    So, dirtgash: You should be fine, the size of the front single ring is irrelevant. If a single 32t worked, so will a 36t, or a 38t or a 54t ring, or any other size ring you could possibly use.

  10. #10
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    Guys, why all the brainiac math? The OP just wants to know what cage to use with his 11-34 cassette.......fer cryin......
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah
    Guys, why all the brainiac math? The OP just wants to know what cage to use with his 11-34 cassette.......fer cryin......
    Read the responses and you'll understand why there is not a simple answer to the question when you don't say A) what you are running up front and B) if you are willing to loose the use of the small/small combo.

  12. #12
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    This is great stuff, I was wondering about switching to a medium or short cage. now I have something to go by.

  13. #13
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    When to use a Long Cage/Short cage.

    Soooooo.....................I think I've understood most of this......I think?
    If I a using an 11-34 cassette and a 22-44 crank, I can use a short cage xtr rear der as long as I don't "crossshift" out of the "Green Area" in the above chart, correct?
    I'm in that decision @ this time which der to run. Thanks for any further input. I have a short cage der comming and thinki I need to buy the SGS cages and replace the SG cages,?? I am right or waaay of, please?
    Thanks!!
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  14. #14
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    I use the short cage XTR

    I set up my chain big big +2 and can use all the green and the purple where there is very little slack. The yellow is marginal.

    I lost a couple of long cages to sticks and rocks, so I switched. What I found was crisper shifting with the short cage, less chain slap and much better clearance.

    I would never go back. Makes you a better (more conscientious) shifter.

    So on the small cog you get slack when you use the smaller rings. In the middle cog you get some slack on the smallest ring. Big deal. That is the only downside.

  15. #15
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    I use a short cage X.0 with 11-34t cassette and 29-42t 2x9 up front. No shifting problems to speak of and I can hit all gears. I run the chain pretty tight.

  16. #16
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    because of this thread...

    i have always run 11-34/long cage/xt triggers and because of mainly this thread i set my new rize up with pg990 11-32, X-0 medium cage, and X-0 twisters--i really really love this set up, ive never ridden anything with such nice crisp and quick shifting! i love that i can dump all 9 in a single twist--really love it

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedub.Nate
    too much to quote

    that was the best answer i have ever read on mtbr. just wanted to let you know i saved it to a word document for a future reference.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by adiokyro
    i have always run 11-34/long cage/xt triggers and because of mainly this thread i set my new rize up with pg990 11-32, X-0 medium cage, and X-0 twisters--i really really love this set up, ive never ridden anything with such nice crisp and quick shifting! i love that i can dump all 9 in a single twist--really love it
    I was reading all of the extreme details above and not sure about all the math stuff.
    The info is quite detailed and informative but I'm just looking for a 'quick fix' answer to get my bike back on the trail with quicker shifting and a low profile. I believe I'll be able to run a medium cage on my setup? Right? My setup is 3 rings (not sure of the count on sprockets) up front and the 11-34 9 speed cassette in the back. I'd rather go with the medium cage Derailleur since I ride lots of rough/rocky/rooty areas. I also do downhill so the medium would probably be better for that. I don't care if I have the chain slack that Prophet Julio mentioned since I don't use that gearing much. I'm thinking this should workout. I'm going to go with this one. http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-SHIMANO-DEOR...d=p3286.c0.m14

    My main concern is I want to have great climbing gear ability with the small front and big in back since I also do lots of front range climbing. BTW, this is going on my 2005 Kona Dawg Dee-Lux that's taken one hell of a beating and deserves a new Derailleur .

  19. #19
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    i think u shud be fine with that--i had that shadow der too n it is pretty lo-pro. u just cant ever be in ur big/big or small/small but who does that anyway--like my 11-32 tho n seems fine even for steep climbs

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by adiokyro
    i think u shud be fine with that--i had that shadow der too n it is pretty lo-pro. u just cant ever be in ur big/big or small/small but who does that anyway--like my 11-32 tho n seems fine even for steep climbs
    Cool, thanks for the info. I can't recall anytime I'd be using those gears either so time 2 purchase!

  21. #21
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    Has anyone tried using a really short derailleur? I am currently running a 1x8 setup on my steel Ibis Mojo with an older XT long cage rear derailleur. I am planning on switching to an older short cage xtr derailleur but have considered using an older Dura Ace RD-7402 rear derailleur for really crisp shifting. Does anyone know if this derailleur will clear a 32 tooth cog?
    Mr_Mojorisen

  22. #22
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    Just curious, does a longer cage keep the chain more taut, lessening a dropped chain?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by oheckler
    Has anyone tried using a really short derailleur? I am currently running a 1x8 setup on my steel Ibis Mojo with an older XT long cage rear derailleur. I am planning on switching to an older short cage xtr derailleur but have considered using an older Dura Ace RD-7402 rear derailleur for really crisp shifting. Does anyone know if this derailleur will clear a 32 tooth cog?
    I have run an old Dura Ace on a 1 x 6 set up with a 32 in back. Shifted fine. But I don't know what model # it is.

  24. #24
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    I use a XT Short Cage with a 22-32-44, 11-34 combo and no problems. When checking chain length I made sure I could shift in 44-34T combo (i don't use it) just in case I shift there by accident. The last derailleur was the recent SLX Shadow derailleur that got nailed by a rock and took the the hanger with it.

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    I was wondering if a X.O shortcage would work with an 11-34 cassette and 44-29 or 42-29 rings? Anyone have any experience with that sort of setup?

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    HELP please.

    I ran across this thread while trying to determine what would be my best RD for my setup......while I may be an engineer....I still don't get some stuff.

    I've converted my Marin from a 3x8 to a 1x9. Front chain ring is a 34t salsa (non-ramped) and the rear cassette is 11-34. From the chart above, I would assume that my required capacity T = 34-11 = 23. I have a Shimano Deore rapid fire shifter and the rear cassette is Shimano as well.

    Can some one give me some good suggestions on derailleurs given this setup? It looks like a short cage would be ideal....if I understand this correct.

    Thanks.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by bde1024
    I was wondering if a X.O shortcage would work with an 11-34 cassette and 44-29 or 42-29 rings? Anyone have any experience with that sort of setup?
    Short cage is good with cassettes smaller than 27t cogs. I run XO long cage with a 12/27 cassette and XTR M960 triple with no problems at all.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by herrhaus
    I ran across this thread while trying to determine what would be my best RD for my setup......while I may be an engineer....I still don't get some stuff.

    I've converted my Marin from a 3x8 to a 1x9. Front chain ring is a 34t salsa (non-ramped) and the rear cassette is 11-34. From the chart above, I would assume that my required capacity T = 34-11 = 23. I have a Shimano Deore rapid fire shifter and the rear cassette is Shimano as well.

    Can some one give me some good suggestions on derailleurs given this setup? It looks like a short cage would be ideal....if I understand this correct.

    Thanks.
    Short.

  29. #29
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    As indicated by Zachariah above, he uses a long cage with cogs greater than 27t. I have a 34t cog.......short still ok for this? Recommendation on model?
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  30. #30
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    I use a medium cage X9 with 2x9 and 11-34 in the back. I think a short cage will be fine with a 1x9 11-34.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by herrhaus
    As indicated by Zachariah above, he uses a long cage with cogs greater than 27t. I have a 34t cog.......short still ok for this? Recommendation on model?
    Cage length has nothing to do with max cog size. You can use a short cage mtb der with an 11-34 cassette. A short is what you want for any single ring set up.

  32. #32
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    That's what I thought.....but I wanted to make sure. The cage length is intended to take up the slack between little/little and big/big....nothing more. The parabolic swing is basically the same between all 7/8/9-speed derailleurs....correct?

    Now the next question is rapid rise vs. the other version. I should switch to another thread for that question.

    Thanks.
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  33. #33
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    help me decide between short x0 and med. x0 rear
    2x9 setup. on Salsa Dos Niner.
    11-32 rear 38/29 front.
    definetely no full suspension here but 1" travel does play into the equation a little..
    using the math i hit 30 or a short cage possible. any chance i may be at the extreme limit here and just need to go to a medium?? i dont need broken parts due to mishap in a shift.

    anyone have any pics of derailers at the big/big combo to see how straight they can run.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by tazducks
    definetely no full suspension here but 1" travel does play into the equation a little..
    using the math i hit 30 or a short cage possible. any chance i may be at the extreme limit here and just need to go to a medium?? i dont need broken parts due to mishap in a shift.
    .
    If you set it up right you won't have any broken parts. Worst case scenario you may lose the small/small combo (read the 2nd post). However, this is very unlikely, as they are conservative with the capacity figures.

  35. #35
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    I'm going to 1x9 on my 29er hard tail with 11-34 cassette, and I'm using the 32t middle ring. I'll also have a BBG bash guard and chain guide inside.

    I'm sticking with the stock XTR long cage derailleur that came on the bike, and here's why:

    I've only ridden it in the 32t front ring since the bike was new, and with the exception of accidentally bumping the shift lever a few times, the small and large rings have never seen a chain. I DO run through all of the cassette gears and shifting has been flawless.

    Most people say you should go short or medium cage for 1x9 for quicker shifting. Why would my rear derailleur's shifting (which has always been crisp and responsive) slow down or become sluggish just because I'm removing two chain rings I never used anyhow?

    If the shorter cage derailleurs give optimum performance, well then I am perfectly happy with what I have, and I need no better performance. If the shorter cage derailleur advantages with 1x9 mostly apply to FS bikes where chain length fluctuates as geometry changes, then it makes a little more sense to me.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by isleblue65
    I'm going to 1x9 on my 29er hard tail with 11-34 cassette, and I'm using the 32t middle ring. I'll also have a BBG bash guard and chain guide inside.

    I'm sticking with the stock XTR long cage derailleur that came on the bike, and here's why:

    I've only ridden it in the 32t front ring since the bike was new, and with the exception of accidentally bumping the shift lever a few times, the small and large rings have never seen a chain. I DO run through all of the cassette gears and shifting has been flawless.

    Most people say you should go short or medium cage for 1x9 for quicker shifting. Why would my rear derailleur's shifting (which has always been crisp and responsive) slow down or become sluggish just because I'm removing two chain rings I never used anyhow?

    If the shorter cage derailleurs give optimum performance, well then I am perfectly happy with what I have, and I need no better performance. If the shorter cage derailleur advantages with 1x9 mostly apply to FS bikes where chain length fluctuates as geometry changes, then it makes a little more sense to me.
    The only reason I switched to a shorter cage was to gain more clearance around rocks, sticks and what-not. No other reason.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by isleblue65
    Why would my rear derailleur's shifting (which has always been crisp and responsive) slow down or become sluggish just because I'm removing two chain rings I never used anyhow?
    Nobody ever said it would.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    Nobody ever said it would.
    I was confusing 2 different message boards. On another, someone posted this (#4 is what I remembered reading):

    1) Lace the chain around the front ring and the biggest cog in back. Do not run the chain through the derailleur at all. This will give you your minimum chain length.

    2) Find the minimum chain length and add one (or maybe two if your nervous) link(s) for insurance. If your chain is too short you will ruin your derailleur, cassette, or chainrings. If it is too long, you will have a lot of chain slap and risk the possibility of the derailleur not being able to take up all the slack.

    3) Get used to the derailleur cage being all the way forward when you're in lower gears.

    4) If you want to reduce chain slap even more and quicken up your shifting, you can run a short cage derailleur with a 1x9 setup with an 11-34 cassette in back. (A good rule of thumb is long cage der for three chainrings up front, medium cage for two chainrings, and short cage for one) This costs money, but is worth it.
    FYI Here is a link to a mtbr forum page that demystified the whole long/medium/short cage derailleur issue for me a while back...
    forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=205890


    So while this person didn't say shifting would be 'sluggish', they did say a short cage would quicken up shifting. True or not, I can't imagine the benefit would be worth the money for me. Ground clearance has never been an issue for me.

    BTW, why do you say this:

    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    You can use a short cage mtb der with an 11-34 cassette. A short is what you want for any single ring set up.
    My last question (for now) is: would you shorten the chain by a few links to account for not needing to shift into the large chain ring anymore, or leave it alone?

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by isleblue65
    My last question (for now) is: would you shorten the chain by a few links to account for not needing to shift into the large chain ring anymore, or leave it alone?
    I would. If you remove the large ring, no need to account for it in your overall chain length. I've used the rule indicated above and it's also mentioned on any Shimano derailleur owners guide. wrap chain around largest chain ring & largest cog...then add 2 links.
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by isleblue65
    I was confusing 2 different message boards. On another, someone posted this (#4 is what I remembered reading):

    1) Lace the chain around the front ring and the biggest cog in back. Do not run the chain through the derailleur at all. This will give you your minimum chain length.

    2) Find the minimum chain length and add one (or maybe two if your nervous) link(s) for insurance. If your chain is too short you will ruin your derailleur, cassette, or chainrings. If it is too long, you will have a lot of chain slap and risk the possibility of the derailleur not being able to take up all the slack.

    3) Get used to the derailleur cage being all the way forward when you're in lower gears.

    4) If you want to reduce chain slap even more and quicken up your shifting, you can run a short cage derailleur with a 1x9 setup with an 11-34 cassette in back. (A good rule of thumb is long cage der for three chainrings up front, medium cage for two chainrings, and short cage for one) This costs money, but is worth it.
    FYI Here is a link to a mtbr forum page that demystified the whole long/medium/short cage derailleur issue for me a while back...
    forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=205890


    So while this person didn't say shifting would be 'sluggish', they did say a short cage would quicken up shifting. True or not, I can't imagine the benefit would be worth the money for me. Ground clearance has never been an issue for me.
    The idea is that a shorter cage gives better shifting and chain tension, and running fewer rings allows you to use one. Its not that the long cage shifts any worse when you lose rings in the front, it's just that you now have the OPTION of using the shorter cage. As you may have seen from this and/or other threads, there is not universal agreement on whether the short cage makes a difference. In my experience, it did make a small difference, but not enough to replace an otherwise working long cage. If you are happy with the long cage, I would not go buying another RD just because you can.

    My last question (for now) is: would you shorten the chain by a few links to account for not needing to shift into the large chain ring anymore, or leave it alone?
    In short, yes. Use the same method described above to determine chain length, but now your middle (and only ring) IS now your big ring. So yes, you will shorten it. This is part of the benefit of losing the big ring: you can shorten the chain and have it flopping around less.

  41. #41
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    Short!

    Its all about the short cage! Check out the new Sram ones on http://bigmech.co.uk

  42. #42
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    And what about the new XX 11/36 cassette with single ring in front?
    will it work with short cage?

    I tried it with a XTR shadow long cage and can't work, but because the shadow design, not the cage length, so I need to change RD

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by STS
    And what about the new XX 11/36 cassette with single ring in front?
    will it work with short cage?

    I tried it with a XTR shadow long cage and can't work, but because the shadow design, not the cage length, so I need to change RD
    You are running a single ring. Do the math.

  44. #44
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    Albeit, I found all of the various comments in this forum quite interesting, whats always worked for me is lacing the chain thruogh both derailleurs (utilizing chain resting on both of the smallest gears in the front and back) making sure that in this orinentation you have the thickness of your index finger(about three quarters of an inch) between the chain and the cage extension of the derailleurThis should give the correct chain tension under most conditions. Also , everyone knows to always shift their bikes to the lowest (small to small) when the bike is put away for the day...right?...big and tall

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by big and tall
    Also , everyone knows to always shift their bikes to the lowest (small to small) when the bike is put away for the day...right?...big and tall
    Yes, and I put my car up on blocks each night as well.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by big and tall

    ...everyone knows to always shift their bikes to the lowest (small to small) when the bike is put away for the day...right?
    But then my paint chips when the chain bounces during earthquakes!
    speedub.nate
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  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    You are running a single ring. Do the math.
    the math says 11/36 = 25T range
    short shimano cage says 23T range

    BUT as here somebody stated shimano RD have more range than anounced, I would like to know if somebody tried it before I order the SS saint legs for my XTR shadow

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by STS
    the math says 11/36 = 25T range
    short shimano cage says 23T range

    BUT as here somebody stated shimano RD have more range than anounced, I would like to know if somebody tried it before I order the SS saint legs for my XTR shadow
    23t? Are you talking about the mountain or road RD?

    Also, can you use a shimano shifter/RD with a sram 10 speed cassette? Are the SRAM and Shimano 10 speed cassettes spaced the same?

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    23t? Are you talking about the mountain or road RD?

    Also, can you use a shimano shifter/RD with a sram 10 speed cassette? Are the SRAM and Shimano 10 speed cassettes spaced the same?
    it's for the Shimano saint m810 SS (legs on a xtr shadow)
    actually using the xtr shadow with SGS legs from previus setup, and legs are too long

    for shifters with the 10s cassette you can use the R770 or the new gripshifters SEC (from nino, ebay,...) that I'm currently using

    And yes, spacing is the same

  50. #50
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    My setup:
    10t difference in the front
    11-32 cassette
    X-0 short cage

    To much slack on the two smallest cogs using the small ring - but thats not a good idea anyhow. I wouldn't go for a 11-34 without changing to a medium cage.

  51. #51
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    i have a 2x9 setup. 22-34 in front & 11-34 at rear. I just broke my long cage xtr rd. Can i replace it with a xt medium(short) rd? or do i have to get another long cage xt rd?

    I only use the brake, so I can accelerate all over again...
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  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcryan27
    i have a 2x9 setup. 22-34 in front & 11-34 at rear. I just broke my long cage xtr rd. Can i replace it with a xt medium(short) rd? or do i have to get another long cage xt rd?
    (34-22)+(34-11)=35. Look at the published capacity for the medium xt der. I think it is right at 35t.
    "Bikes aren't fast--people are fast. Bikes are overpriced. It's an important distinction."---BikeSnob NYC

  53. #53
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    i just check! thanks! one more question. XT or SLX rd? is there really any difference on the 2 of them or just self preference?

    I only use the brake, so I can accelerate all over again...
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  54. #54
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    Is cage size my problem?

    Just changed my V-10 from DH cassette to a 11-34

    I run an X-0 short in the rear, 36t single in the front.

    I cannot get the top of the cage to stop rubbing my cassette. Problem is worst when in the 2nd gear, the top of the cage rubs on the 1st (34) gear.

    I have tightened the "B" screw down as much as possible to bring the der. as far back as possible.

    Is cage length the problem here?
    The wheels on my bike go 'round and 'round

  55. #55
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    I just looked at the XT med cage rd (RD-M772-GS) specs on the Shimano site and it states a 33t capacity. My question is "Are the being overly conservative?". Do you think it will work with a 36-24/34-11 setup?

    thx

    Quote Originally Posted by GrantB
    (34-22)+(34-11)=35. Look at the published capacity for the medium xt der. I think it is right at 35t.
    Last edited by scolli; 05-02-2010 at 06:59 AM.

  56. #56
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    you should be alright... (36-24) + (34-11) = 35T... the OP mentions Shimano med cage being able to handle 39T...

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedub.Nate
    ... Speaking from experience, Shimano is a bit conservative in their capacity rating. I can only assume the same is true of SRAM (I'll get to that, too). ...

    ...(I mentioned that Shimano's stated capacity is conservative, and in practice, I find their medium cage to be closer to 39T.) ...

    I just picked up a med cage X0 rear der... and was wondering if I'd be ok, so started searching and stumbled on this thread.... per the formula, I'm more than fine... I'll be running 34/22 front, 34/11 rear.... so (34-22) + (34-11) = 35T.... well within the 37T for Sram Med cage... regardless of whether or not Sram's number is conservative... so I'm good to go.... can't wait to get it built up!!

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  57. #57
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    Just curious, when it comes to visually looking at a rear derailleur, how easy is it to tell what they are?

    For example:

    http://www.cambriabike.com/Images/pr...ltus_rd310.jpg

    That RD is listed as long cage. But I just got this RD which is listed as long cage:

    http://501main.com/images/library/la...0_sgs_06_m.jpg

    To me, visually, I would have predicted the Altus (first link) would be a medium cage. Is it a typo? Or is there more to visually figuring out on the spot what cage style the RD is?

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcryan27
    i have a 2x9 setup. 22-34 in front & 11-34 at rear. I just broke my long cage xtr rd. Can i replace it with a xt medium(short) rd? or do i have to get another long cage xt rd?

    XT medium cage works GREAT with that setup. Much tighter shifting, less chain slap. Just be sure to set it up so you don't break the chain in the big/big combo and you'll be fine. I ride that kind of setup a lot and personally I prefer to run the chain as snug as it can be on the big/big so I can hit more gears in the small chainring and also to avoid chain slap as much as possible (we have long rocky descents in Colorado!)

    And the SLX front is excellent. The XT will tend to toss the chain off the top once in a while, better to invest in an SLX and do it right.

    Caveat: Once you try it you'll hate long cage derailleurs

  59. #59
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    32T Cassette on Road Bike

    Myself and two of my friends have older steel road bikes with standard cranks (53/39) and want larger cogs to spin up the steep hills here in Nor Cal. We have 8 speed setups and are looking at using the SRAM PG-850 cassette (11-32: 11;12;14;16;18;21;26;32 )
    While the gaps between the 3 largest sprockets is not ideal it should be worth the trade-off to get that 32.50 Gear Inch so we don't ruin our old knees. Shimano makes a medium cage road derailleur (Ultegra RD-670-GS) that has a large 39T capacity but the specs say a max rear cog size of only 28T. We would rather use this than a XT derailleur as it is an ounce lighter and the "look" fits a road bike better. Potential problem, Shimano's spec says that 28T cog is max for this derailleur. Does anyone know if that limitation is realistic or do they say that because they don't make a road cassette larger than 28T? I would think with the 39T capacity it would handle a 32T cog. Has anyone out there tried this combo or know about this?

    Phil

  60. #60
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    if i may ask do i need to change my long cage X9 to mid cage X9, if i will install a truvative rock guard and truvative shift guide on my stylo cranks.

  61. #61
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    You don't have to change it. Plenty of "take up" to keep tension on the chain. The only advantage to the short cage is less chain and higher RD clearance. I run a short cage with a 2x9.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedub.Nate

    Derailleurs have a rated capacity. This is their ability to take up excess chain...
    Excellent explanation (the whole piece). I was looking for this exact info in a post earlier today within this group.
    Thanks.
    "He was a wise man who invented beer."
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  63. #63
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    you all need to quit mathturbating.
    Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think.

  64. #64
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    Dual ring and bash setup 36/22 (14t) rear cassette 11-28 (17t)

    Gives me a total of 31, I want to run a short cage X-9 but SRAM says 30 for short cage.

    Given the bike is an Ibis Mojo SL it has minimal chain growth, do you think I will get away with risking a short cage?

    I was going to run a 11-32 rear cassette but I'm going to change the gearing to 11-28 just to get a short cage on being as I don't really climb any crazy hills.

    bt

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobtod
    Dual ring and bash setup 36/22 (14t) rear cassette 11-28 (17t)

    Gives me a total of 31, I want to run a short cage X-9 but SRAM says 30 for short cage.

    Given the bike is an Ibis Mojo SL it has minimal chain growth, do you think I will get away with risking a short cage?

    I was going to run a 11-32 rear cassette but I'm going to change the gearing to 11-28 just to get a short cage on being as I don't really climb any crazy hills.

    bt
    I would not change the cassette range just to be able to run a short cage. Remember, the only combos you only risk losing are the small ring with the smallest one or two cogs, which you should not be in anyway.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    I would not change the cassette range just to be able to run a short cage. Remember, the only combos you only risk losing are the small ring with the smallest one or two cogs, which you should not be in anyway.
    So you're saying run a short cage with 11-32 but be strict in gear selection avoiding the small - smallish gears?

    I'm still building the bike up from scratch so I haven't purchased a cassette yet, the 11-28 cassette (PG950) is 70gm lighter and half the price of the 11-32 (PG990) so that was a factor as well, I cant' remember the last hill I needed granny to big cog.

    Also how would a chain tensioner effect this? other than a couple more links in the chain I assume the same formula applies?

    thanks

    bt

  67. #67
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    G'day fella's.

    Lots of good info on this thread. But im still left a little confused. So I'll chime in with a few questions of my own.

    This is more so a mountain bike based debate. And I keep reading alot of 32-34 front ring set ups. Im actually setting up a 1x9 on my Salsa for road cycling. But I want a MTB cassette in the rear to give me a broad range of gears to tackle some hills and also keep up a good pace with a high enough gear on the flats.

    I was thinking of a 11-34T Cassette and possibly a 48T ring up front. From what ive read in this thread a short cage derailer would work fine. Is this the case ? If so, can anyone recommend a derailer. Can I use a road type derailer with this set up. Or does it HAVE to be a MTB derailer ?

    Cheers

    Steve

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by punchy
    G'day fella's.

    Lots of good info on this thread. But im still left a little confused. So I'll chime in with a few questions of my own.

    This is more so a mountain bike based debate. And I keep reading alot of 32-34 front ring set ups. Im actually setting up a 1x9 on my Salsa for road cycling. But I want a MTB cassette in the rear to give me a broad range of gears to tackle some hills and also keep up a good pace with a high enough gear on the flats.

    I was thinking of a 11-34T Cassette and possibly a 48T ring up front. From what ive read in this thread a short cage derailer would work fine. Is this the case ? If so, can anyone recommend a derailer. Can I use a road type derailer with this set up. Or does it HAVE to be a MTB derailer ?

    Cheers

    Steve
    Yes, a short cage will work, but it will likely have to be a mountain derailleur. The issue is not the capacity of the cage (how much chain slack can be taken up) but the maximum size cog the derailleur will clear. As a RD moves up the cassette (into a lower gear) it also moves the guide pulley farther out from the axle, to accommodate the larger cogs. Typically, road cassettes don't have a large cog bigger than 27t, so road RD's don't move as far out a mountain RD's that have to accommodate much larger cogs. The last time I tried to run a road RD (newer Ultegra) with an 11-34 cassette, it could not clear the biggest cog.

    Of course, you can always stick the bigger cassette on see if the road RD works before buying the mountain RD. Can't hurt to find out. But I don't think it will.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobtod
    So you're saying run a short cage with 11-32 but be strict in gear selection avoiding the small - smallish gears?

    I'm still building the bike up from scratch so I haven't purchased a cassette yet, the 11-28 cassette (PG950) is 70gm lighter and half the price of the 11-32 (PG990) so that was a factor as well, I cant' remember the last hill I needed granny to big cog.

    Also how would a chain tensioner effect this? other than a couple more links in the chain I assume the same formula applies?

    thanks

    bt
    If you like the price and weight of the 11-28 enough to justify loosing the 32t cog, then get the 11-28.

    I'm simply saying don't base your cassette decision on the cage size it requires.

    On the other hand, if you NEVER use your lowest gear combo, why run a 22t ring? Maybe a 24t would make more sense.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  70. #70
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    I'm thinking to run a single 32T at the front and a 10sp cassette of 12-36 at the back, can I run a short cage RD with that set up?

    thanks

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by bapesta
    I'm thinking to run a single 32T at the front and a 10sp cassette of 12-36 at the back, can I run a short cage RD with that set up?

    thanks
    This thread has answered this question many, many times.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  72. #72
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    should work?I tried to do the math, but then I don't know what to do with the front set up(I run single)

    thanks

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by bapesta
    should work?I tried to do the math, but then I don't know what to do with the front set up(I run single)

    thanks
    The biggest ring and smallest ring are both 32t, so 32-32=0. What that formula does is calculate the range of the rings and the range of the cogs and add them together. The range of a single ring is zero, regardless of the size.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  74. #74
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    ok...the rear would be 36-12=24T. the max capacity on short SRAM is 25T rite?

    so, I can run short on that set up yea?

    btw, the RD would be the new X.9

    thanks

  75. #75
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    Ok just to throw a wrench into the whole thing I'm in the process of upgrading my 9er to a 2x10 using the new X9 group. Going with the PG-1070 cassette at 12-36. On Tree Forts site it states that only the long cage Sram/Shimano RD will work with this cassette.....

    http://www.treefortbikes.com/cat/0/1...222365558___91

    WHY?

  76. #76
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    1x9 (36T x 11-32)

    Short cage SRAM works perfectly.

  77. #77
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    I need some advice. I'm in the process of buying SLX ders. for my upcoming On-One 456SS build. I have the dual ring SLX 665 crank with 22/36 (will most likely change to 24/36).

    Front der. will be the dual ring specific SLX 667, rear cassette of 11-34 SLX, now question is, do I get the GS (medium) or SGS (long) cage rear der.?

    If I get the GS, I won't be able to drop into into the smallest 1x1 gear combo correct?
    konahonzo

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by eurospek
    I need some advice. I'm in the process of buying SLX ders. for my upcoming On-One 456SS build. I have the dual ring SLX 665 crank with 22/36 (will most likely change to 24/36).

    Front der. will be the dual ring specific SLX 667, rear cassette of 11-34 SLX, now question is, do I get the GS (medium) or SGS (long) cage rear der.?

    If I get the GS, I won't be able to drop into into the smallest 1x1 gear combo correct?
    Lots of extraneous info here. All that you need to know is the size of the largest and smallest chain-rings (which it appears you have not yet decided on), and the largest and smallest cogs in the rear.

    Also, have you looked up the capacities for the GS and SGS RD's? If so, tell us what they are so we don't have to go look them up.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    Lots of extraneous info here. All that you need to know is the size of the largest and smallest chain-rings (which it appears you have not yet decided on), and the largest and smallest cogs in the rear.

    Also, have you looked up the capacities for the GS and SGS RD's? If so, tell us what they are so we don't have to go look them up.
    Okay, decided then.

    36/24 up front. 11-34 cassette. GS capacity is 35T, SGS capacity is 45T.

    Can I get away with a GS and still use the 1x1 gear combo?
    konahonzo

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by eurospek
    Okay, decided then.

    36/24 up front. 11-34 cassette. GS capacity is 35T, SGS capacity is 45T.

    Can I get away with a GS and still use the 1x1 gear combo?
    (36-24)+(34-11)=35

    So, yes.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    (36-24)+(34-11)=35

    So, yes.
    So with a 36/22 which equals 37, I wouldn't be able to use GS? I'm just worried about damaging something with the GS der. even if the 36/24 fits and it just makes the 35 capacity cutoff.
    konahonzo

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by eurospek
    So with a 36/22 which equals 37, I wouldn't be able to use GS? I'm just worried about damaging something with the GS der. even if the 36/24 fits and it just makes the 35 capacity cutoff.
    Yes, you could still use the GS with the 36/22, but you MIGHT lose the small/small combo.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  83. #83
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    Thanks Speedub.Nate,good info,just what I needed.

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    Yes, you could still use the GS with the 36/22, but you MIGHT lose the small/small combo.
    Thanks for the help Kapusta. I just ordered the SLX M662 GS and will return the SGS model. I do like the additional clearance from rocks and trees and I can't remember the last time I used the small-small combo on my previous bike BUT I do remember needing my rear der. straighten once or twice from getting stuck or hit on the path.
    konahonzo

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    i was running an 11-34 pg-990 cassette with a 24/36/bash up front. i ran a short-cage (GS) XTR rear der with the XTR dual-control levers. everything worked awesome. i could hit every gear in both front rings with no issues. i ran this setup for years on my NRS. now im building a Trance X frame and want a similar setup but im very confused by all these formulas and ratios and what-not.... its usually a matter of trial and error for me... now they threw 10-speed in the mix so now im really up in the air about what to run... MED X0 w/ 10spd cassette and a 26/39 in front. i really like the bashguard so can i get the 10spd triple crankset and replace the 3 rings with a 26/39/bash...? do thet even make a bashguard that will work with a 39t middle ring...? im so lost

  86. #86
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    after re-reading this info, i think i got a handle on it. the only thing im unsure about is how to tell where my chainstay length is maxed out due to suspension travel. do you just measure from the bottom bracket back to the rear axle at several points while youre moving the rear triangle thru its range of motion...?

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by riderb
    you all need to quit mathturbating.
    +1....I said the same thing, nearly three years ago!
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  88. #88
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    32t chainring 11 34 cassette (1x9) sram x7
    Without being to technical my head is spinning already short,medium ,or long cage

  89. #89
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    Short cage will work perfectly. I was running a short cage derailleur with a 12-34 8sp cassette and a 32t chainring. I've now switched to an 11-36 10sp cassette with a short cage derailleur and a 32t chainring.
    This, by the way, has turned out to be the ideal setup for me.
    Mr_Mojorisen

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by digglesworth
    after re-reading this info, i think i got a handle on it. the only thing im unsure about is how to tell where my chainstay length is maxed out due to suspension travel. do you just measure from the bottom bracket back to the rear axle at several points while youre moving the rear triangle thru its range of motion...?
    Your longest chainstay length should be when the bike is sitting level. As a rear wheel moves upwards along it's travel, the chainstay should get shorter as it goes. Correct me if I'm wrong.

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by oheckler
    Short cage will work perfectly. I was running a short cage derailleur with a 12-34 8sp cassette and a 32t chainring. I've now switched to an 11-36 10sp cassette with a short cage derailleur and a 32t chainring.
    This, by the way, has turned out to be the ideal setup for me.
    Do you have any problems running your chain on the small cog's with a short cage? I'm thinking about going from a 3x9 to a 2x9 with a Med. cage.

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bataivah
    Your longest chainstay length should be when the bike is sitting level. As a rear wheel moves upwards along it's travel, the chainstay should get shorter as it goes. Correct me if I'm wrong.
    On many bikes the opposite is true: the chainstay length will grow throughout the first part (if not all) of the compression cycle. I know this is the case with both high/forward single pivot bikes I have owned. In fact, I would guess that few FS bikes have the longest chainstay length at full extension (in other words, no compression).
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  93. #93
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    I figured with some of these new elaborate suspension set-ups that the opposite could be true. I guess you just have to check the length at the low and high points to see.

  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bataivah
    I figured with some of these new elaborate suspension set-ups that the opposite could be true. I guess you just have to check the length at the low and high points to see.
    It is actually some rather old and simple designs (in particular the high/forward single pivot like the Santa Cruz Superlight, Heckler, and, many others) that this is most true for (extending chainstay length under compression).
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  95. #95
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    i think of it like this if your running a triple use a long cage, a double use a medium, and a single short simple and works

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    Hi there guys.
    I've been reading this thread carefully and it's really great info

    One question.

    I'm thinking on going single ring on my 2006 Spec' Enduro.
    I was thinking about a 32T up front and a 11-36 10 speed cassette, with a 2011 Sram X9 Short Cage derailleur.

    So... the specs in the Sram website say that the derailleur can handle a max of 36T. That's good because i can use the 11-36.

    Now... my question is ... do you think that with this setup the chain will be too loose ?
    I ride pretty hard so i'm having some doubts about all this chain issue.


    In your opinion, do you think that 32T + 11-36 10s + short derailleur is a good match?
    If not, what would be the best combo to keep a short derailleur ( 11-34? )

    The problem is that the trails i ride, here in Portugal, have lots of potential targets for my pedals and rear derailleurs, that's why i want to change to a short cage ... my medium cage broke after a direct it with a small rock in the trail and i know if it was a short it wouldn't touch it :x

    Thank you all

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Postmodvm View Post
    Now... my question is ... do you think that with this setup the chain will be too loose ?
    I ride pretty hard so i'm having some doubts about all this chain issue.
    l
    I don't understand, why would the chain be loose? If anything, this setup will give you very good chain tension, as you can run the chain shorter than with a 3 ring setup.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  98. #98
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    Kapusca, thanks for the reply.
    Well, i remember reading that for the chain to fit the rear 36T... when you would shift to the 11T gear the chain could be too loose. Meaning, have a good fit on the 36T on the rear you would have a loose chain in the 11T cog...

    Sorry, i don't know if i'm explaining correctly.


    So, in your opinion, the 11-36T cassette along with a short cage derailleur and a 32-34T chainring would be a good setup, yes?

    thank you
    Pedro

  99. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Postmodvm View Post
    Kapusca, thanks for the reply.
    Well, i remember reading that for the chain to fit the rear 36T... when you would shift to the 11T gear the chain could be too loose. Meaning, have a good fit on the 36T on the rear you would have a loose chain in the 11T cog...

    Sorry, i don't know if i'm explaining correctly.


    So, in your opinion, the 11-36T cassette along with a short cage derailleur and a 32-34T chainring would be a good setup, yes?

    thank you
    Pedro
    36 - 11 = 25 teeth of slack in your smallest cog. That is not much (if you have a big ring now, then you are already dealing with way more slack than that in your middle ring). Even a short cage will easily accommodate that and still keep good tension. I would not start limiting my cassette cog range on a single ring setup just to avoid a few more teeth worth of slack.

    Only you can know how much gearing range you need. Personally, If I'm not going 11-36, I don't see any point in going 10 speed in the first place, as the only advantage I see over 9 is the ability to run a wider range cassette.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

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    Kapusta, this is a AM rig, so the ability to go uphill must be there.
    The reason i'm changing to single ringle, is basically because i don't use the 22T chain ring anymore.

    After a full year with the 2 chainring setup my body prefers a 32-34T, handling the uphills in a more relaxed way than with a smaller 22T ( don't know why ... my heart rate just goes sky high if i use the 22T ... but if i use the 32T, although i use more energy, my heart rate is controlled... )

    I'm using a 11-34T cassette at the moment, that's why i was trying to decide if i should go 36T or keep the 34T in the rear That will basically tell me if i will get a 10 or a 9 speed cassette ...

    ( Oh... and spending more money too :P )
    Last edited by Postmodvm; 06-27-2011 at 07:37 AM.

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