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  1. #1
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    xtr m970 vs 971 / top normal vs low normal(rapid rise)???

    Can someone explain what the difference between the two derailers are... is there a real life difference .. also I'll be matching it with xt 770 shifters, which one would be a better match... I appriciate any input.. thank you.

  2. #2
    ups and downs
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    The Rapid rise (low normal) has the lowest gear as 1st gear, it makes it easier to downshift as the spring pulls it to the larger cogs, and it means the same shift lever on the front and rear shifters gives you a harder gear. It can be a more prone to bounce on some suspension bikes.

    Some people love them, some people don't YMMV. They both work equally well with the XT shifters.
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  3. #3
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    The difference between the two derailleurs are where they "default" when the shifter cable is not tightened to the derailleur.

    Top normal = When there is no shifter cable in derailleur it will automatically fall to the higher gears of the cassette (smaller ones).

    Low Normal = When there is no shifter cable in the derailleur it will automatically "rise" or "rapid rise" to the low gears of the cassette (larger ones).

    I use top normal, which most bikers who have been in this sport for along time consider the "normal" type of deraulleur. To each his own.

  4. #4
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    I agree with the YMMV comment. There are essentially only two camps, those that love it and those that hate it.

    I've been MTB for only 13 years but when first tried out a low-normal RD (6 years ago), I was hooked and think it's one of the top 5 things introduced to biking in the last 15 years.

    I find myself more in situations where I need to rapidly shift to a bigger cog and once on flat or headed DH, I have time to thumb into a smaller cog. Sometimes a climb or tight section creeps up on you...

    However, if I had "twist" type shifter I would most likely just use top-normal because there are more options or brands of RD to choose from. As an example, I recently wanted to buy the new Shimano "shadow" XTR but they don't make a low-normal so I went with my plan B.

    I too have XT 770 shifters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pisgah
    I use top normal, which most bikers who have been in this sport for along time consider the "normal" type of deraulleur. To each his own.
    If you want to talk about "normal" then a "low-normal" is technically the "normal" way because this is how all our F/D operate. It never made sense to me when a F/D is "low-normal" but a R/D is "top-normal"....seems backwards.

    However, most folks that do anything the "wrong" way long enough tend to stick with doing things that way because they don't like change. I can use a fork with my left or right hand....all I remember after a meal is how good it was. Being out in the trails is the same for me.
    Last edited by RaveOn; 03-16-2009 at 07:25 AM.

  5. #5
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    Thank you for the explanation ... It helped me greatly with my decision, also thats the cheaper one of the two..

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by tilk
    also thats the cheaper one of the two..
    Which is that?

    If you end up getting the low-normal, make sure you post back your opinions.

  7. #7
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    I chose to go with the low-normal(rapid rise) and I'm very happy with it. The shifts are now reversed so I was messing up for the first few times but I got the hang of it, also its a lot easier for me to bang down the gears with my thumb using the black plastic paddle versus the silver aluminum one . it just feels more intuitive ... I now see how it will help when that unexpected hill creeps up on you...Once again thank you for making the choice much easier..

  8. #8
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    is there a way to reverse the action by way of changing springs or something?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rojogonzo
    is there a way to reverse the action by way of changing springs or something?
    no and it cant be done in shadow either

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