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  1. #1
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    short cage vs. long cage

    i have a 2009 specialized fsr xc. it has a shimano slx rear derailleur and deor shifter. i have the bike set up 1 x 9. i want to get a new shifter and derailleur but im unsure if its a short cage or long cage. and, whats the difference? will one shift quicker or more precisely than the other? oh.... shimano or sram? id like to keep it 1 x 9...


    thanks!

  2. #2
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    Weight, shorter is less likely to bend, less chain slop and slap, and just a matter of the right tool for the right job. More is certainly not better here.
    Google "rear derailleur formula". Basically the derailleur needs to be long enough to take up the difference in chain length from what's needed for the longest to the shortest ratios.
    Round and round we go

  3. #3
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    now im even more confused. up front i am using a 32 tooth ring (i think thats the size) and theres a standard 9 speed cassette in the rear. i ride what i would consider heavy xc and spend most, if not all my time on the 4 easiest gears.

  4. #4
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    How many teeth on the smallest and biggest gears on cassette?
    Round and round we go

  5. #5
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    standby...

  6. #6
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    11/32

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  8. #8
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    That gives you a 21 tooth difference/capacity so short for sure with both sram or shimano. IME don't mix sram with shimano as far as shifter and derailleurs.
    Round and round we go

  9. #9
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    ok. what are your thoughts on going to a 28 or 30 tooth front ring since i never use the 3 hardest gears... good idea or no? and if i step down on the front ring still a short cage?

  10. #10
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    I'd say that'll be step toward more usable gears, or at least get you closer to the middle of the cassette for a straighter chain line.
    Yes still short.
    Round and round we go

  11. #11
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    ok. it doesnt seem like anyone sells a 28 or 30 tooth front ring with a 104 bcd. that puts me in a new cassette. im thinking 12-36.

    still short?

  12. #12
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    im lookin at this one. says its for a 29er. will it fit my hub? its a shimano xt.

  13. #13
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    found some 11-34. short?

    (good god im a pain in the ass)

  14. #14
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    29er or 26 matters not. Don't know for sure if all shimano xt are cassette hubs, but do know that if your hub is a cassette hub, and not a freewheel, than the cassette will fit.
    Think you should go for 32t chainring up front which will give you the same 2 tooth difference as the cassette you suggested, and give a straighter chainline sometimes, it's easier, you may need a chain whip to remove the cassette, plus it'd give the whole cassette a lower ratio so you would probably spread out the usage which will add to lasting longer.
    Any wear on the cassette, chainring or chain?
    Subtract the smallest from the biggest on both the rings and the cassette. Ad those 2 #s together, that tells you the size derailluer you need. So in your case the front rings is 0 since you only have 1 ring, and your current cassette is 32-11=21. Anything under 30 is short derailleur. So yes 34/11 cassette will still be short. The only difference will be the length of the chain.

    Edit, I just re read your post and see that you already have a 32t chainring. Check that because you said you think it's 32t. What size is the crank arm?, it should be stamped on the inside of the arm.
    Round and round we go

  15. #15
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    If I'm not wrong, shimano only makes a short cage in saint/zee models.
    I say keep your front ring at 32 (it gets expensive dropping to 30 and 28 wont fit in 104 bcd), and get a rear cassette that goes 11 to 36.
    Are you experiencing performance problems with your shifter/deraileur, because if you are not, an upgrade might be barely noticeable if at all.

  16. #16
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    Good points^^
    Shimano makes medium cage that's good up to 33T, Sram's small is good up to 30T
    32t is the smallest I'v ever seen on, or i'd think possible for 104 bcd.
    If you want/need the gears that's one thing, but changing the derailleur if it works? Your money, and it would improve things but ?
    Also have to make sure whatever model you get that it's going to reach whatever the biggest gear on the cassette is and be limited by that.
    It appears you have left the building but letting us know where there's wear if any, and what bike and groupo you have would help get some better advice.
    Last edited by theMeat; 06-17-2013 at 06:29 AM.
    Round and round we go

  17. #17
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    the med cage sram pg990 is an excellent tool for this app.

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