Derailleurs for winter commuting- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Derailleurs for winter commuting

    Hey folks-
    Both of my derailleurs need replacing after taking a hard MN winter beating last year. I ride a 24 speed Trek 3900 and I am looking for some suggestions for which derailleurs to replace with. The Trek currently has the stock Ds, I think Acera. I am reluctant to buy something really nice because of commuting in the winter but I still would like a decent rig. Price point is under $50.00. What do you think? Go Human Power.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by baxt1978
    Hey folks-
    Both of my derailleurs need replacing after taking a hard MN winter beating last year. I ride a 24 speed Trek 3900 and I am looking for some suggestions for which derailleurs to replace with. The Trek currently has the stock Ds, I think Acera. I am reluctant to buy something really nice because of commuting in the winter but I still would like a decent rig. Price point is under $50.00. What do you think? Go Human Power.

    I run XTR front and back never had any problems in the winter with either...hard Alberta winter.

    Last year I picked up enough salt to freeze the cassette the the freehub....and all the spoke nipples solid.

    Buy the best quality you can afford, wash it off every now and then and lube the hell out of it....

  3. #3
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    Commuting with derailers?

  4. #4
    Off the back...
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    Singlespeed. Seriously...

  5. #5
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    Singlespeed or don't bother.

    All rear derailleurs are exposed to the same environment damage, like snow, rain, sand, and salt. Even a Campy Record or a XTR will fold under winter abuse about as quickly as the cheapos.

    The good derailleurs shift a lot better in perfect conditions.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanjuro
    Singlespeed or don't bother.

    All rear derailleurs are exposed to the same environment damage, like snow, rain, sand, and salt. Even a Campy Record or a XTR will fold under winter abuse about as quickly as the cheapos.

    The good derailleurs shift a lot better in perfect conditions.

    total BS

    Only shifting problem caused by winter was the Shifter freezing up, one squirt of WD 40 twp years ago cured that...

    Look boys maybe you can't set up and maintain Ders for the winter so you went to the evangelistic religon of SS, but not everyone wants to or needs too.

  7. #7
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    Whatever. Singlespeed isn't practical for everyone fellas. Lay off the kool-aid.
    I've been using the same XT rear derailleur for 4 winters in the Sierras. It was 4 years old before I put it on my commuter. You get what you pay for. Whatever you get, if you have salty roads spray the whole derailleur down with a light coat of WD 40 every few days. It's a little messy but it will prevent the rust from getting started. If you know you're exposing it to salt, rinse it with fresh water, dry it, then give it a light coat of WD 40. Keep the bike inside so it drys completely every night. No reasn you can't get several winters out of a decent rear derailleur.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  8. #8
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    If you don't mind the appearance, you can also come up with a boot for your derailleur. Lizard Skins used to make them commercially (Grunge Guards) but it doesn't have to be anything too fancy... a plastic freezer bag + zip ties + some ingenuity, and tada! you have a derailleur-in-a-bag.

    My usual winter-related problem with derailleurs is that occasionally the cassette will pack with enough ice between the cogs that the chain begins to skip. That can be a nuisance.

  9. #9
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    +1 for the XT rd

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott
    total BS

    Only shifting problem caused by winter was the Shifter freezing up, one squirt of WD 40 twp years ago cured that...

    Look boys maybe you can't set up and maintain Ders for the winter so you went to the evangelistic religon of SS, but not everyone wants to or needs too.
    Well, I might be thinking about mountain bikes, where your issues are slamming into rocks and roots.

    But trust me, after two season in Connecticut versus five in California, wear-n-tear is worse in places where snow hits the ground.

  11. #11
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    FYI way more snow hits the ground in California than in Connecticut.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  12. #12
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    can't go wrong with an older deore or 105 setup imho.

  13. #13
    jrm
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    Mid cage LX

    cant hurt it. And it does a nice job protecting the hanger when the bike gets munched between doors or when it falls over.

  14. #14
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    Y'all are NO fun. When I still used a rear der on my commuter bike, the brand/type was largely irrelevant. XT, Deore, XCD, 105, 600, Chorus all work more or less the same way.

    The roads here [Calgary] get doused in salt all winter, and that does tend to corrode metal bits. A couple of drops of chain oil on the pivots of the dérailleur was more than adequate to keep it functioning. The bigger issue was keeping the dérailleur cable from rusting inside the housing. Stainless steel cables do pretty well in this regard, and a light oil like 0W30 synthetic can keep things running smoothly. Hell, the dérailleur isn't the problem usually - it's the chain that gets FUBAR. Maintain your chain and the whole system will work better.

  15. #15
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    I would think mtb would put up with more abuse than a road derailler. I know you can replace Shmano road RD with Shimano mountain DR and have zero compatibility issues. Is XT really that much tougher than Deore? If you can find a Deore (they seem to be out of stock a lot), it should be under your $50 price limit.
    Recalculating....

  16. #16
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    Deore is about it under $50 new, I run an LX M580 on my touring/commuter rig and it works as well as any other I have had on any bike of mine...I run the really good stuff on my other bikes for weight savings more than anything, and the better stuff does last longer...so take that into consideration when purchasing.

    Keep it oiled down for H2o protection as well as the front derailleur/chain and you'll be fine with just about anything from Deore up.

    Be Safe...
    Last edited by tr2biker; 10-19-2009 at 08:42 AM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by baxt1978
    Hey folks-
    Both of my derailleurs need replacing after taking a hard MN winter beating last year. I ride a 24 speed Trek 3900 and I am looking for some suggestions for which derailleurs to replace with. The Trek currently has the stock Ds, I think Acera. I am reluctant to buy something really nice because of commuting in the winter but I still would like a decent rig. Price point is under $50.00. What do you think? Go Human Power.
    i hear ya, i am from MN also. i have been commuting for the past 2 years all year round. i just use whatever is on my bike and i just keep it lubricated well. personally, the cheaper version will work well if you just keep it lubed, save the expensive parts for the nicer weather.

  18. #18
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    SLX or XT. I'm running XT front and rear on my Pugsley without any issues. This isn't the everyday grind of commuting, it's messing around in the snow. But it does get ridden in the road salt/slush/****. Avoid SRAM rear derailleurs for this. They run a bushing instead of a bearing and it is susceptible to moisture and freezing.

  19. #19
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    Bought an internally geared Shimano Alfine. I'm confident it'll work well on the slushy/salty commutes in Calgary.

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