Alright guys n gals....Whats the best rear derailleurs you've had?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Alright guys n gals....Whats the best rear derailleurs you've had?

    Just thought I'd put up alil somethin. Im looking into getting x.0 rear der, dunno if this is good for AM or not, so, I'm guna see if any of ya'll have them. BUT PLEASE, post your favorite rear der.

  2. #2
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    Well its not whats good for AM but more so you need to ask yourself whats good for YOUR riding style and the trails you ride. You have short medium and long cage and the XO rears are very good from what i hear.. I have x9 setup that came with my bike but I'm looking to upgrade mine as well to prob a short cage XO.

  3. #3
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    Yea, exactly. I have an older shimano XT and after a few gnarly spills the shifting has gone completely out of wack, somehow literally reversed so my granny gear is now 9th haha. Im deployed currently, but been getting the parts for my bike little by little. Hardest thing is biting the bullet!!!

  4. #4
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    X.0; Had at least one in every length and they have all taken beatings, but still working great. I've never had a Shimano XT or XTR, so I could be wrong.

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  5. #5
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    X9 medium cage & ipalmer13, keep the faith bro

  6. #6
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    I'm rolling an X7 in medium, It is without a doubt the most finicky derailleur I have ever used.
    the tiniest amount of chainstretch, the slightest of bumps.. and I'm sitting there for half an hour trying to get my shifting to stop skipping again.

    My Alivio was better than this, and built half as well too.

    So I will be interested to see peoples responses to this thread as well.

  7. #7
    Ninja Master Powers
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    I just put a Shimano Shadow plus on my Nomad. A couple short ride but the thing rocks.
    Chain slap is gone completely.

  8. #8
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    Just my personal experience but cheap sram stuff is stronger than expensive sram stuff. In my riding group I have seen many XO, X9 and X7 fold into the spokes when a stick gets stuck in the derailleur. Riding in the same group at the same speeds on the same tracks my stupid little X4 derailleur has never stopped. It's probably just dumb luck.

  9. #9
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    My favorite derailleurs are the old M952 XTR for XC builds, and the original M801 Saint for builds that see lots of chunky derailleur-killing stuff.
    I didn't like how the original Saint was proprietary 10mm, so I made my own modifications to mount them up to King funbolt hubs. Still going strong after a crapton of use.

  10. #10
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    My favorite is definitely the X0, paired with an X0 trigger. Tried the XX, but it just feels too lightweight. It felt as if its carbon paddles would snap in a medium crash. Never tried the XTR, but XT to me feels a bit dull.
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  11. #11
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    My favorite rear derailleur is the one that doesn't catch sticks... lol. But in all seriousness I run a friction shifter so the shifting quality isn't so much determined by the rear derailleur and how well it's indexed. All I have to do is set the stops for low and high gear and I'm set. plus friction shifters are really cheap and they will work with any brand of rear derailleur... I've also used the sram X-7 shifter and derailleur, they were ok until I wacked some sticks. I personally run the cheapest rear derailleur I can find with my friction shifter setup so when the inevitable happens and it gets ripped off I don't cry so much.
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  12. #12
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    XTR medium

  13. #13
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    My favorite is the XO short cage.
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  14. #14
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    XTR 952? 9 years old and works great. Really like my medium XT shadow too.
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  15. #15
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    From what Ive noticed, the shimano's have been lacking in their durability as the years have progressed, kinda a head scratcher seeing the riding styles have gone more aggressive. KEEP EM COMIN FELLAS!!!!

  16. #16
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    XTR 9 speed.

  17. #17
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    I have used both an X7 and now an X0 long cage. Both have been awesome shifting wise and easy to put on and dial in IMO.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agwan View Post
    I'm rolling an X7 in medium, It is without a doubt the most finicky derailleur I have ever used.
    the tiniest amount of chainstretch, the slightest of bumps.. and I'm sitting there for half an hour trying to get my shifting to stop skipping again.

    My Alivio was better than this, and built half as well too.

    So I will be interested to see peoples responses to this thread as well.
    sounds like you got some other problem, maybe your frame hanger is bent or misaligned? in my extensive experience even low end srams are a lot less finicky than any shimano simply on cable pull ratio alone, not accounting for other differences in quality of springs and pulleys.

    shimano is a ***** to adjust and maintain but is very smooth when done right. sram is more brutal but works right in any conditions.

  19. #19
    meow meow
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    x9 but xt wasnt bad either.

  20. #20
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    My bike came with X5 RD and X7 shifter(I think, maybe its X5 too), but I've got no complaints about it. Last season was my first season doing any real riding, needless to say I crashed a lot. Besides having to get the hanger aligned a million times, the actual derailer still works flawlessly. And I love the feeling you get shifting through Sram.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by syl3 View Post
    sounds like you got some other problem, maybe your frame hanger is bent or misaligned? in my extensive experience even low end srams are a lot less finicky than any shimano simply on cable pull ratio alone, not accounting for other differences in quality of springs and pulleys.
    I'll second this. I've stuck to running X7 RD's because I can't find anything worth improving on them. As long as the hanger is aligned, it works every time. I've bent them into pretzels before, roughly straightened them and they keep on shifting perfectly every time. You can also buy them for $45 all day long.

    As an FYI, eyeballing the hanger isn't even close. You either need the appropriate tool or a second rear wheel with 10mm threads. Set the hanger so it is dead on parallel to the rear wheel and you should be good.

  22. #22
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    Shimano XT rear derailleur & SLX shifters

  23. #23
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    XO shifter, X9 derailleur.

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  24. #24
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    checked the hanger 5 or 6 times now. (with 4 or 5 mechanics that are sure THATS it, not counting the fact that I'm a decent bike mechanic myself who checked my hanger first.) its never ever the hanger. Also this bike that has yet to see a trail. (commuter)

    Its the shifter/derailleur. for a fact. at one point in time I just decided to crank the barrel adjuster over and over and over until I knew it would be out of adjustment (so that instead of chainskip, it just sat in the wrong gear.) then adjusted it back and got 4 days of worry free riding again. then the crazy, crazy chainskip came back.

    we've gone so far as to pull this thing apart and check the pulleys/bearings (by the way for a Derailleur in this price range, the bearings look PHENOMENAL.) I hope I just got a lame duck. because I flat out hate this thing.

  25. #25
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    I had a medium cage X9 9 speed der. that was on three different bikes in 4 season and worked like a champ. I still have it as a back up.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agwan View Post
    checked the hanger 5 or 6 times now. (with 4 or 5 mechanics that are sure THATS it, not counting the fact that I'm a decent bike mechanic myself who checked my hanger first.) its never ever the hanger. Also this bike that has yet to see a trail. (commuter)

    Its the shifter/derailleur. for a fact. at one point in time I just decided to crank the barrel adjuster over and over and over until I knew it would be out of adjustment (so that instead of chainskip, it just sat in the wrong gear.) then adjusted it back and got 4 days of worry free riding again. then the crazy, crazy chainskip came back.

    we've gone so far as to pull this thing apart and check the pulleys/bearings (by the way for a Derailleur in this price range, the bearings look PHENOMENAL.) I hope I just got a lame duck. because I flat out hate this thing.
    a derailer is a very simple machine, it moves side to side. if you move it by hand and it works, or if it works some of the time, that part of the equation is solved, it's not the derailer.

    there must be a problem somewhere else... bushing from the hanger bolt, bearings in the freehub, cassette lockring coming loose, dust in the cable housings... the possibilities are endless.

  27. #27
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    I'm rocking the X-7 Medium cage... can't see any reason for upgrading the derailleur unless you are a super weight weenie. (shifters are a different story)

  28. #28
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    Shadow + is terrific, can't say enough good things about it.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by syl3 View Post
    a derailer is a very simple machine, it moves side to side. if you move it by hand and it works, or if it works some of the time, that part of the equation is solved, it's not the derailer.

    there must be a problem somewhere else... bushing from the hanger bolt, bearings in the freehub, cassette lockring coming loose, dust in the cable housings... the possibilities are endless.
    My theory currently is the cables themselves. my BB7's are in constant need of adjustment too, the cables seem to stretch constantly, so much so that in less than 6 months riding I feel I've adjusted them enough times to warrant just replacing them. (about twice a month, though they generally only stay as firm as I'd like for a little over a week.)

    can a cheap cable make this much difference?

  30. #30
    GAME ON!
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    i've only ever run x.0 until this year when i decided to save $120 and go with x.9. no complaints. that said, the x.0 is still my favourite derailleur. also, it's not how well it works now, it's how well it works years from now. example: i have an x.9 short cage that is probably 5 years old and has seen a lot of action. its cage is loose and moves laterally more than it should. i also have a 6 year old x.0 medium cage that has almost zero play and still functions perfectly. that is the difference in build quality.
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  31. #31
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    For the money i go with X9. You can find them on sale everywhere and the are pretty bomb proof.

  32. #32
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    I've never seen much need going with anything above XT. The shadow mount is a nice touch, too. I almost never have to worry about it, and its survived many a crash too.

  33. #33
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    make this a pole with xx/xo/xtr x9/xt x7/lx etc
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  34. #34
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    Anything short cage....every long cage ive had got shredded...4+

  35. #35
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    hands down x9 is the best ive ever used.. Crisp shifts all the time..

  36. #36
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    X9 and X0 medium cage for XC/AM and short cage for DH. Though the new XTR Shadow Plus has people raving... Would like to try it out sometime.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by mykel View Post
    XO shifter, X9 derailleur.

    michael
    +1 (mid cage for a 2x9 set-up)

    Originally the bike had x0/x0, then the derailleur took a stick in a BAD way. I thought about replacing with x0, but went x9 instead because I couldn't stand to ever see something that expensive get ripped apart by an errant twig ever again. I really don't miss the old derailleur.

    If you are gonna spend money on shifters and derailleurs and want the most bang for the buck, spend on the shifters first, then only on derailleurs if you can really justify it.

    FWIW, I have tried x7, x9, x0 and a few low-end shimano. Most people won't notice much performance difference among different derailleurs (except for weight-savings) and if you THINK you do, you should check other factors such as cable condition, shifter, and mounting hardware before making a judgement.
    You better just go ahead and drop that seatpost down to the reflector... the trail gets pretty rough down there.

  38. #38
    Swimming thru the Smog
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    X9 shifter, XO rd. Love it. 2x10 set up on the enduro

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by unknown-rider View Post
    ...I personally run the cheapest rear derailleur I can find with my friction shifter setup so when the inevitable happens and it gets ripped off I don't cry so much.
    I like the way you think.

  40. #40
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    I use sram x-7 long cage, never had a problem til I bent the derailleur. Also have an older xtr working with Sram Attack gripshifters, It works well, but a bit more finnicky than the x7.

  41. #41
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    X9 mid-cage 4yo and going strong. Replaced wheesl after a 2yrs and mudbath ride. Bent the thing and hanger 180 degrees (stick) a little while back - pulled back into place finished ride. Replaced the hanger and the X9 is still great. Have a long cage X7 on hardtail and X9 10s on epic all good. Love my sram but especially the mid x9.

  42. #42
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    2010 X9 short cage and X0 shifter. Running this set-up on two bikes.

    I really like the cable routing, and anchor on it- it's on the top, and behind the derailleur body. A bit more fiddly to set-up the cable, but out of the way, and you don't drag the cable, and cable anchor across rocks, etc...

  43. #43
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    Med cage XO. /thread
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  44. #44
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    Had XT on my last two bikes, going back about 10 years. Worked great, rarely needed adjustment.

    XO on my current bike. Works great, but I haven't had it long enough to know how long it will go between adjustments or maintenance.
    '11 Specialized Enduro Expert for the trails
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  45. #45
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    SRAM X0 9-speed, hands down. I do 1000 trail miles/yr since 2004 and it still shows no signs of letting up. It gets a full adjustment, including cables, every season. Nine-speed X0 works smoother than XX/10s IMHO. The precise 1:1 actuation, forged aluminum cage, titanium parallelogram spring and tough composite P-knuckle, is this part's big "secret."

    You can say this derailleur paid for itself 10x. They are so bombproof - I have two more new ones, as backup. God knows when they will ever be deployed.
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  46. #46
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    Another vote for the x9 short cage. I haven't been nice to mine and it's still as smooth and crisp as new. With good maintenance of course.

    A solid brach/whatever in the spokes can tweak any derailleur from my experience.
    Ride your bike and be happy.

  47. #47
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    Have used several rear ders over many decades of riding, in all kinds of weather all year around. In my experience X-9 and XT have been outstanding. XTR not so much, durability issues. The past 6 months Sram XX, so far, very good.

  48. #48
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    2009 x7 and x9 long cage have been flawless for me. x9 is a bit smoother; both work great.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agwan View Post
    My theory currently is the cables themselves. my BB7's are in constant need of adjustment too, the cables seem to stretch constantly, so much so that in less than 6 months riding I feel I've adjusted them enough times to warrant just replacing them. (about twice a month, though they generally only stay as firm as I'd like for a little over a week.)

    can a cheap cable make this much difference?
    cables don't do this indefinetly, they stretch a bit in the beginning and then start to settle.

    however with bb7 you also have to adjust to compensate for pad wear so... if you don't like it get hydros.

  50. #50
    Axe
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    Since the "Shadow" redesign - all Shimano for me. Now even better with the 10sp.

    I really like how well it is tucked in. Snagging derailleur on things now is ten times less likely for me. And bike can be dropped on a side without as much worry.

    Really want to try this new anti-slap clutch.

    And main thing I dislike about SRAM - their trigger shifter are just inconvenient for me to use in comparison to XT and XTR. Never liked grip shift. I was willing to put up with that when their derailleurs had some performance advantages over Shimano (before Shadow).

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by syl3 View Post
    cables don't do this indefinetly, they stretch a bit in the beginning and then start to settle.
    And when they do stretch - how hard it is to give a quarter turn on the barrel adjuster?

  52. #52
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    Best I had/have the Shimano XTR M952. Rock solid, shifts well, even in the worst conditions, durable... One of my biggest disappointments was the XTR M972 (Shadow) - broke the outer carbon plate after one week and the whole derailleur broke into pieces (litterally) after less than one year.

  53. #53
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    Saint m800. Bombproof, rock solid, always shifts perfectly.

  54. #54
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    If I was building a bike now I would go with the SLX shadow+ derailleur that hasn't come out yet. Wish I had known about that before I dropped $200+ on the XTR m985.
    I've been running x.9 rear derailleurs since 2008. Both of them developed enough slop to the point where they would ghost shift. Quite a few miles on them, but I ride with guys that had XTR derailleurs from before I got my x.9's, and they are still in service.

  55. #55
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    Shimano XT Shadow+ (I have two 9 speed's and one 10 speed atm) although I have had plenty destroyed by stick suck, they have all worked great. I Don't use Sram. My New Canfield Balance that I'm building soon will have XTR Shadow+ hmmm that should be fun, well until the day arrives when it dies from the inevitable evil stick

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    And when they do stretch - how hard it is to give a quarter turn on the barrel adjuster?
    They never really stretch... well, I have a theory that brand new out of the package a cable will initially tension on itself and never move again. As in, the first second it gets any tension its done "stretching", or settling. Others just say cables never stretch period. Its all on the same idea though, your cables are not stretching once installed.

    Cheap housings will do exactly what you're describing, and it'll never stop. It just gets worse. The housings flex and bend and move around doing weird things and wont shift right. If you ever have a bike that just will not stay in adjustment, its almost always worn, or just cheap cables.

    A really good housing is surprisingly cheap and surprisingly better. A jagwire housing might run you 10 bucks.

  57. #57
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    XTR Di2.

    I am using one that has at least 20,000km on it. It still shifts perfect every single time in all conditions.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  58. #58
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    Well, things have certainly improved over the years....except this thread.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kronze667 View Post
    Shimano XT Shadow+ (I have two 9 speed's and one 10 speed atm) although I have had plenty destroyed by stick suck, they have all worked great. I Don't use Sram. My New Canfield Balance that I'm building soon will have XTR Shadow+ hmmm that should be fun, well until the day arrives when it dies from the inevitable evil stick
    I have a Shimano XT shadow+ 10 speed that I bought second hand for my hardtail. It's been great and still going strong after 2 years. Love the way it feels shifting

    I have a SRAM GX 11 speed on the full suspension. It also works great after 2 years of hard riding and taking at least one really good shot.

    Before that I had a SRAM XO 9 speed that I ran for 10 years without a hiccup. Busted maybe half a dozen hangers but I just replaced and remounted and the derailleur just kept on ticking.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

  60. #60
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    I’ve had a bunch of RDs of all levels from SRAM and Shimano.

    In my experience, other than some having clutches, pretty much anything of “bike shop quality” (as opposed to Big Box BSOs), are essentially indistinguishable in function when set up properly. Big differences in weight, though.

    In my experience, 90% of shifting performance comes down to proper adjustment, cables/housing condition, and the state or the rear deraileur hanger (is it straight and stable).

    9% is the shifter model. This determines how it “feels” to use.

    1% is the RD model.

    Obviously, having a clutch makes a big difference in the rough.

    That has been my experience over the past 20 years, anyway.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  61. #61
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    In my experience, other than some having clutches, pretty much anything of “bike shop quality” (as opposed to Big Box BSOs), are essentially indistinguishable in function when set up properly. Big differences in weight, though.
    Di2/AXS are another level... AXS you are only aware a change has happened because you are going faster or slower for a given cadence...

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post

    In my experience, 90% of shifting performance comes down to proper adjustment, cables/housing condition, and the state or the rear deraileur hanger (is it straight and stable).

    9% is the shifter model. This determines how it “feels” to use.

    1% is the RD model.

    Obviously, having a clutch makes a big difference .
    That part about cable/housing condition is so true. I however, would put more weight on the shifter. What I mean is a XTR derailleur wont feel any different from SLX, but the shifter sure does.
    oops I wasn't clipped in

  63. #63
    mtbr member
    Reputation: One Pivot's Avatar
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    Slx is the best derailleur ever made ever.

    Mostly because it's cheap and works fine. I think clutches really changed everything.

  64. #64
    mtbr member
    Reputation: natas1321's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Slx is the best derailleur ever made ever.

    Mostly because it's cheap and works fine. I think clutches really changed everything.

    have one on my hardtail an have been wanting to upgrade it once it needed replacing but it's going on over two years now with a lot of abuse and works just fine.

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