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  1. #1
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    Long cage vs. med cage on 2x10? Does it matter?

    Is there any performance difference between a medium and a long cage rear derailleur with 2x10?

    On my HD, I've only ever run 36/24 rings with 11-36 10 speed cassette on this bike (pulled off the big ring, long cage r. der. came stock). Won't ever put a big ring on it. Might go 34 if, as I have recently heard, it increases the pedaling efficiency of the bike, but otherwise, I'm very happy with this setup and wouldn't change unless I found an envelope of cash on the sidewalk and get xx1.

    The reason I ask is that I just got a new XTR rear derailleur for my HD on warranty, and it has long cage. I could try to figure out a way to swap for a different cage size before I use it, perhaps. I'm guessing this would not make a significant difference and is not worth bothering with, but thought I'd see if there were any strong opinions otherwise.

    Thanks for any thoughts.

  2. #2
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    34 or36 rear require long gage

  3. #3
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    (36-24) + (36-11) = 37

    Theoretically you need a capacity of 37, but the Shimano medium cage has a listed capacity of 33. If you switch to a 34t chainring (required capacity drops to 35), you could practically use a medium cage, unless you plan to actually use the 24/11 combo.

    I say the shorter the better when it comes to cages, but I'm also quick to admit it's all in my head. In a blind riding test I would probably not be able to tell which one a bike is equipped with. If there's any difference, it's just a bit of weight and possibly less chain slap. Long cages shift just like shorter ones.

  4. #4
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    Well on a purely theoretical level: I would think that a long cage would have slightly less resistance while pedaling. Meaning the angle of the chain is wider around front ring, so less contact between the rings and the chains( mainly on the bottom
    Of the ring.)

    However a long cage will also have slightly more chain slap and would need more chain links than a medium chain.
    Not sure if any of this would be perceivable on the trail.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saul Lumikko View Post
    (36-24) + (36-11) = 37

    Theoretically you need a capacity of 37, but the Shimano medium cage has a listed capacity of 33. If you switch to a 34t chainring (required capacity drops to 35), you could practically use a medium cage, unless you plan to actually use the 24/11 combo.
    .
    Thanks!

  6. #6
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    If you aren't running small to small gearing, the mid cage should have plenty of pickup. I think you will find a lot of people run a GS cage derailer on 2x10 setups even though it theoretically is too short with the 11x36. You just can't be a habitual cross-chainer.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by smithrider View Post
    If you aren't running small to small gearing, the mid cage should have plenty of pickup. I think you will find a lot of people run a GS cage derailer on 2x10 setups even though it theoretically is too short with the 11x36. You just can't be a habitual cross-chainer.
    I don't tend to run small/small that often. but any downside to running the long cage?

  8. #8
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    Supposedly, the long cage has a bit less tension on the chain given it is a larger lever supported by a the same spring mechanism. Therefore, slightly more chain slap and chain drops. Some claim mid cage as a bit crisper shifting compared to the long cage. The chain slap could be mitigated with the new clutch mechanisms.

    I think you are fine either way. FWIW, I ordered a mid cage for my new 2x10 11-36 setup.

  9. #9
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    Any advantage to the medium cage with regards clearance to trail hazards?

  10. #10
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    Ostensibly, there is better clearance. On further thought, my advice would be that if you are worried about the mid-cage now, I would go with the long-cage as it is the technically correct solution. You don't want to be worried about your gearing combos as you ride and wonder if you have enough uptake in your gearing. If you are great at not cross chaining without thinking about it, the mid cage benefits may outweight the increased thought (if any) that has to go into gearing.

  11. #11
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    I'm running SRAM, but FWIW I switched from a long-cage to a short cage derailleur when I went 2x10. Not technically correct, but it works fine in all gears (I tested with the suspension compressed and extended). When I am in the small ring in front and 10th gear out back (which I don't normally ever do), the derailleur folds all the way up, but the chain stays on fine.

    Compared to the long-cage derailleur, I did not notice a difference in shifting, but there was a large reduction in chain slap.

  12. #12
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    It's the new XTR with clutch right? Stay with the long cage. chain slap is not an issue with the clutch, and you don't have to worry that your chain is loose on the small small, which you inevitably use even though you try not to.
    Helping folks shred in Boulder & Colorado since 1982 www.fullcyclebikes.com

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    I am getting ready to test the new SLX, and Shimano said to use the medium cage for the 2x10 => 24x38 and 11-36

  14. #14
    Kaj
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    Quote Originally Posted by pastajet View Post
    I am getting ready to test the new SLX, and Shimano said to use the medium cage for the 2x10 => 24x38 and 11-36
    You're right. I was thinking of my last SRAM set up where I couldn't get a mid cage to work with 24x38 and 11-36. Shimano will work fine in either mid or long cage. There's more movement allowed in the der for Shimano.
    Helping folks shred in Boulder & Colorado since 1982 www.fullcyclebikes.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaj View Post
    You're right. I was thinking of my last SRAM set up where I couldn't get a mid cage to work with 24x38 and 11-36. Shimano will work fine in either mid or long cage. There's more movement allowed in the der for Shimano.
    On my SRAM 24x36 and 11-36 I use the long cage, although I have the new X.0 Type 2 in the medium cage, I haven't tried installing it as yet.

  16. #16
    Kaj
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    Quote Originally Posted by pastajet View Post
    On my SRAM 24x36 and 11-36 I use the long cage, although I have the new X.0 Type 2 in the medium cage, I haven't tried installing it as yet.
    I tried Med X.0 Type 2 with a X.0 crank 24-38 w/ 11-36. It was 1 or 2 links short. It actually drove me crazy for a bit trying to get the exact number of links to work, till I decided it wouldn't work. It was just a bit too tight in big big (fully max before sinking into travel) or a bit of sag in small small.

    Likely 24-36 would give you that extra link so it just should work.
    Helping folks shred in Boulder & Colorado since 1982 www.fullcyclebikes.com

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  18. #18
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    the final word (?)

    This is implied in some of the responses above, but having sorted through this, I'll synthesize just to be clear:

    Yes, Shimano recommends the med. cage for this gearing setup.
    But, DW-link has enough chain growth that the long cage works better. This is probably true even with 1x10.

    So, for the HD, stick with the long cage.

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