When to use a Long Cage vs Short Cage Derailleur?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    When to use a Long Cage vs Short Cage Derailleur?

    I have a new SRAM X9 long cage derailleur, and another X9 that I now realize is "not long". Both are brand new, but the short one is ~16mm shorter.

    What is the proper application for long versus short cage derailleur? Will the short one work with a 11/34 cassette? Does it matter if the bike has a rear suspension or is a hardtail?

    Is my shorter X9 a "short" cage or "medium" cage? Thanks //kct

  2. #2
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    You've got a medium cage. Sram makes a short cage mountain derailleur in the X.0 line, but only goes as low as a medium in the X.9.

    Quick answer: The medium cage will work, but you'll drop your chain if you accidentally shift to the small-small combo. Suspension *could* be a factor, depending on how much "chainstay growth" your frame experiences as your suspension cycles.

    Long answer:

    Derailleurs have a rated capacity. This is their ability to take up excess chain. After all, you need just about all of your chain to run in the big-big combo, whereas you have a bunch of extra links doing nothing when you run in your small-small combo.

    Not that either of those cross-chain combos are normal to run in, but let me get to that in a minute.

    Manufacturer stated derailleur capacities are as follows:
    Shimano long = 45T; medium = 33T
    SRAM long = 43T; medium = 37T; short = 30T

    Speaking from experience, Shimano is a bit conservative in their capacity rating. I can only assume the same is true of SRAM (I'll get to that, too).

    The easy capacity formula is to add your big ring & cog sizes, then subtract your small ring and cog sizes. It looks like this:

    cap req'd (T) = (BIG ring - small ring) + (BIG cog - small cog)

    ...so for a typical 44-32-22 mountain crank & 11-34 cassette...

    T = (44T - 22T) + (34T - 11T)
    .. = (22T) + (23T)
    .. = 45T


    Using this simple forumla, you would need a derailleur with a 45T rated capacity to absorb all the possible extra links of a typical 27-speed drivetrain.

    (I make the assumption SRAM stated capacity is conservative, since they list 43T as the long cage capacity -- 2T short of what is required by this forumla).

    Where do shorter cage lengths come into play? Right here!

    Even though the long cage will, in theory, take you down to the 22x11 gear combo and hold adequate chain tension, let's be logical: 22x11 is a combo you don't use!

    Rather than use the generic formula, let's map out the capacity for each gear combination (based off of a Shimano cog pattern; SRAM will be slightly different):



    44x34 starts off at zero because in that combo, all of the chain is being used up by the ring and cog, and the derailleur needs to take up none of it. As you shift through the cassette range (moving down the column), the amount of free chain increases as the cog size decreases.

    Take a look at the useable gears, which I've outlined in green and yellow. Those fall near the stated capacity of the medium cage derailleurs. (I mentioned that Shimano's stated capacity is conservative, and in practice, I find their medium cage to be closer to 39T.)

    For instance, in the middle ring (32) and the small cog (11), the table shows you've got to absorb 35T. This is near the stated capacity of either of the medium cage derailleurs. This gear combo remains usable, but you'd be better off shifting to your big ring for better chain tension.

    You can also see that to use a SRAM short cage derailleur (30T capacity) on this drivetrain would leave you with two or three unusable gears while in the middle ring, and only about three useable gears from your granny ring. (Any number greater than 30T on the table would be near the limits of the short cage derailleur.)

    Oops! Accidentally shifted into the unusable "red zone"? Nothing major: the derailleur cage folds back on itself, the chain droops, and you maybe drop the chain if you don't catch it in time.

    In my opinion, it'd be stupid to size a chain any smaller than what is required to shift into big-big. If you accidentally force a shift into that combo, which is certainly possible when you're tired or "in the moment", you don't want to break anything. So chain length will be the same no matter what derailleur you choose.



    Benefits of a shorter cage length?
    - snappier shifts
    - better chain tension
    - less chain slap / greatly decreased drivetrain noise (!)
    - better obstruction clearance / improved spoke clearance.
    - slight weight loss -- but you gotta be a real weight weenie to appreciate this one.
    Last edited by Speedub.Nate; 03-17-2018 at 08:44 PM.
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  3. #3
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    As a fyi

    Sram's X9 in short cage (not available to the public though yet ... pre production)
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
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    Thanks to Speedub.Nate for an outstanding explanation! Comprehensive and well written.
    //kct

  5. #5
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    I second that.

    Nate, you totally explained something that had mystified me. Very, very nicely done!

  6. #6
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    Nate!

    I'm sitting here thinking of the same choice in XTR derailleurs. Amazingly clear, concise and helpful.
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  7. #7
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    How would I calculate it if I run a single 38 in the front and a 11x32 in the rear? What size derailleur would I need? I'm interested in buying a Shimano Saint for my Specialized P.2 but I'm having trouble deciding what size I should get.
    Last edited by InnovateorDie; 10-30-2006 at 03:05 PM.

  8. #8
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    That's an easy one... go as short as you can possibly go.

    See, it's not the *size* of the front chainring that factors in, but the *range* between the biggest ring and the smallest ring.

    With an 11-32 in the rear, you've got a 21T spread, well within the capacity range of Shimano's short cage derailleur.

    (The capacity requirement for the front rings is Zero on your setup because it doesn't change at all.)
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  9. #9

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    I also found this info useful some time ago -

    http://www.beyondbikes.com/bb/tech/?section=rdr
    Last edited by energetix; 10-30-2006 at 06:41 PM.

  10. #10
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    One of the most impressive responses I've seen on these boards. Great work speedub.nate!
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  11. #11

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    one more question...

    Great explanation..but whats the diff between "rapid rise" and "non rapid rise"? thanx in advance....






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  12. #12
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    "Rapid Rise" is Shimano's trademarked name for what is otherwise known as a <i>low-normal</i> derailleur. This means spring tension pulls the chain in/up the cassette to the lowest gear, and cable action pulls it out/down to the high (small) cog.

    The reverse of this is <i>high normal</i>, where the thumb press / cable pull drags the chain up the cassette towards the lowest (biggest) cog.
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  13. #13

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    thanx!

    great info..I love these forums!

  14. #14

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    Speeddub.Nate - wow that explained so much

    Thanks

  15. #15
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    med cage

    I'm finding my SRAM XO med cage works great with 11-34 cog. In fact it can accommodate the extreme large-large gear combo, but as we all know, it's not recommended with full-susp bikes (chain growth upon compression). The shifts are definitely snappy, quick and precise- partly due to the shorter cage, and mostly to SRAM's shift system.
    Question to a custom frame builder..."So what makes your bikes climb better?"....his answer, "Uh, your legs?"

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by HTail
    I'm finding my SRAM XO med cage works great with 11-34 cog. In fact it can accommodate the extreme large-large gear combo, but as we all know, it's not recommended with full-susp bikes (chain growth upon compression). The shifts are definitely snappy, quick and precise- partly due to the shorter cage, and mostly to SRAM's shift system.
    That, and my lasting impression during my first ride after switching to a medium cage on my 1x9 (32/11-34) was how remarkably quite my bike had become.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by HTail
    The shifts are definitely snappy, quick and precise- partly due to the shorter cage, and mostly to SRAM's shift system.
    Oh, so that's why my new SRAM X9 (long cage) doesn't feel as snappy as my old XTR medium cage. Also more chain slap and noise. I wondered if the medium cage X9 would handle the 34-11 rear cog with a normal triple chain ring... and apparently it will.

    Thanks.
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  18. #18
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    Again, med cage should be fine as long as you're conscious about your gear combos and follow the chain length guide measuring- large chainring to large cog + 2 links.
    Question to a custom frame builder..."So what makes your bikes climb better?"....his answer, "Uh, your legs?"

  19. #19
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    Smile

    Another big thanks to Speedub.Nate!!!

    Its been nearly 7 months, and his outstanding tutoral still goes VERY much appreciated

  20. #20
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    Thanks for great info~

    wow, it's great explanation nate. I think I have to dig these forums in,,

  21. #21
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    Thanks Man!

    Holy Cow. Speedub.nate awesome posts. Getting ready to replace my rear Derailleurs on one of my FS bikes. Still remember when I owned my Iron Horse HP how helpful you were to all of us in that forum. Thanks man for this post! This should be a sticky.

  22. #22
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    medium cage derailleur with bashguard

    thanks for the great info. I just replaced my big ring with a bashguard (and shortened my chain accordingly). The middle ring is still 32t, and my cassette is 11-34. so it seems to me, since i need to replace my bent (xtr - goddammit) derailleur, i could go with a shimano medium cage der. My bike is a heckler / 5.6" travel. Is this correct?

  23. #23
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    With that answer, I believe that Speedhub.Nate could really be....

    Time's "Man of the Year"

    Very nice. I know it's old, but that don't change it. It also saved me from making a jackhammer out of myself with what would have been my pathetic answer.


  24. #24

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    awsome thread, i always thought the longer the derail cage the better but maybe a med cage would work better for a 22-32 F, 11-34 R setup

  25. #25
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    I have an older RD-M951 XTR that's seen better days. Not quite sure of its cage length, but looks to be 2.75 inches between pulleys, short maybe? So w/ my current setup of an 8 speed 28-11 cassette and a 3 ring 44-32-22 giving me a capacity of 39...a Shimano RD-M960-GS needs to find a home on my Jamis, eh?

    It's interesting going around LBS and seeing a bunch of long cage setup stock. Guess they don't wanna see folks breakin' stuff.

    Thanks so much for your explanation Speeddub.Nate. I even managed to create my own little "good gear" pic.


  26. #26
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    I'm trying to figure out how having a single 34t chainring in the front would affect this.

    For example I have a 34t chainring in the front, and 11-34 in the rear. As far as I can use your formula I'm getting:

    (34-0)+(34-11)=34+23=57T

    Seems to work fine with a short cage though.

    Great sounding explanation but it's so late it's going over my head!

  27. #27
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    short cage is fine

    dropadrop-
    actually your setup requires a derailleur with only a 23 tooth capacity. when you run a sinle chainring, the difference up front is zero because you're not shifting up there, (the way to think about it is: biggest ring you are running - smallest ring, and your single ring is considered to be both of these, so its 34-34 = 0) and the formula reduces to the difference between the top & bottom cogs, which is 23.

  28. #28
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    What an excellent thread. I learned a ton reading through it. I am a relatively new rider and trying figure out mechanically why a shorter cage would offer better tension and smoother shifting if the chain stayed the same length. Is it based on lever mechanics? Tension on the end of the longer cage is less due to the mechanical advantage?

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bartj
    ...why a shorter cage would offer better tension and smoother shifting if the chain stayed the same length. Is it based on lever mechanics? Tension on the end of the longer cage is less due to the mechanical advantage?
    Right! Think of the cage as a lever arm. As you know, a longer lever is easier to displace against a fixed counter force.

    In this case, the fixed force is the tension spring, which is same spring regardless of which cage length it is installed on.

    The bouncing chain is attempting to operate the lever arm (derailleur cage) and displace the spring. Longer cage = easier to move. Shorter cage = more difficult.
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  30. #30
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    I would assume that if I'm reading correctly that a 11-32 with a 22-32-44 front would work great although I might have to watch the lower cogs in the back when in the 22?

    Thanks!

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedub.Nate

    Oops! Accidentally shifted into the unusable "red zone"? Nothing major: the derailleur cage folds back on itself, the chain droops, and you maybe drop the chain if you don't catch it in time.

    In my opinion, it'd be stupid to size a chain any smaller than what is required to shift into big-big. If you accidentally force a shift into that combo, which is certainly possible when you're tired or "in the moment", you don't want to break anything. <b>So chain length will be the same no matter what derailleur you choose.</b>
    I see that the debate "long cage vs medium cage" is centered on the risk of destroying the derailleur if the chain is crossed in the big ring/big cog combo.
    In my opinion this is not correct.
    If the chain lenght is right, the only gear combos to avoid are the small ring/small cog - and the result of a wrong combination would be slack chain, and not a stripped derailleur.
    So the medium cage can be used without any risk even with a typical 22-32-44 crankset and 11-34 cassette, assuming that the chain lenght is correct.
    What is your opinion on this?
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juanmoretime
    I would assume that if I'm reading correctly that a 11-32 with a 22-32-44 front would work great although I might have to watch the lower cogs in the back when in the 22?

    Thanks!
    According to my post above, this is correct.
    Hope that other opinions will follow.

    fab
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ausable
    I see that the debate "long cage vs medium cage" is centered on the risk of destroying the derailleur if the chain is crossed in the big ring/big cog combo.
    In my opinion this is not correct.
    You are correct. My opinion is the "chain will be too short/drivetrain will break" argument is missing the obvious.

    I always suggest sizing the chain according to the "big-big" method prescribed by both Shimano and SRAM, no matter what cage length is chosen.

    <img src="https://www.booboodog.net/images/chainlength.jpg">
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  34. #34
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    I'm still not completely understanding this and I've read this thread twice in the past two days.

    I busted my derailleur and hanger tonight after a pretty nasty spill on asphalt; the turn was pretty sharp, I was goin pretty fast, and I missed a wet spot... So, now I'm in need of a new derailleur for my GT hardtail. I've got a new FS frame on the way as well, and this new rear derailleur I would like to be compatible with my new frame.

    Everything on the GT 1.0 is still stock since when I ordered it almost 10 months ago. So I'm assuming it has standard cogs up front, and standard rings in the back. The only thing I cannot confirm is whether or not the chain has been sized correctly. From that picture that Nate posted, it looks to me as if they left no room at all for a derailleur in the big-big combination... correct?

    I'd like to get the smallest derailleur possible, while still retaining the ability to use the majority of my gears. I like the crisper shifting, and reduced chain slap benefits of the smaller cage. However, I need someone to help me pick one out.

    Also, are chains usually sized correctly right from the factory?

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigsurf75
    From that picture that Nate posted, it looks to me as if they left no room at all for a derailleur in the big-big combination... correct?

    I'd like to get the smallest derailleur possible, while still retaining the ability to use the majority of my gears. I like the crisper shifting, and reduced chain slap benefits of the smaller cage. However, I need someone to help me pick one out.

    Also, are chains usually sized correctly right from the factory?
    Correct... well, sort of. When you do the "big-big+2" and actually shift the bike into the big-big combo, the derailleur cage should be sticking pretty well forward. That's the intention.

    My impression is that stock chains are often a few links long, but not always. Also take into account chainstay growth when the suspension cycles.

    With stock 27-speed gearing, you can definitely get away with a snappy shifting medium cage. Just know your limitations: shifting to maybe 1/2 of your small-small gears will result in no chain tension, and likely a dropped chain.
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  36. #36
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    I wonder if I could shorten the chain enough to make a 1/4 of the small-small combos unusable, and a 1/4 of the big-big combos unusable.

    I think I would probably find myself using these combos less frequently.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigsurf75
    I wonder if I could shorten the chain enough to make ... a 1/4 of the big-big combos unusable.
    Yes, absolutely. But is is prudent? Maybe 99.9% of the time you'll catch yourself. But all it takes is that one epic ride, topping that forever long climb, transitioning into a saliva-inducing descent (maybe a little short of O2 to the brain), when you mis-shift and rip your rear derailleur into your spokes, or bend the big chainring, or fold over your cassette.

    So yeah, it'll work, but it's a personal call with risks to consider. I'd never recommend it.

    <img src="https://www.booboodog.net/images/bent-surly-ss-ring.gif">
    Last edited by Speedub.Nate; 01-06-2008 at 04:06 AM.
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  38. #38
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    Hmm, Maybe I will just go with a long cage.

    However, at the same time I was looking at BR's in a few other threads and I may make the switch to a 2x9 with a 24-36 up front. I'm gonna try riding around for a day or two ( I think I can nurse two days out of the busted deraileur) without using the big ring and see if I miss it. If that's the case, I'm goin to a med. cage rear.

  39. #39
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    Speedub.Nate.......Thanks for your explanation!!! Great job!!!

    I'm using 44-32-22 crankset & 11-34 cassette, and deciding to buy a new sram X.0 med cage RD. But I still have a question about how to determine the proper chain length.

    Somebody told me that when I shift the chain on the largest chainring on the front and the smallest cog on the rear, if the the top pulley is sitting directly above the lower pulley, the chain is the proper length. So, can I apply this theory if I'm using a med cage RD?

    Thanks!!!

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sealama
    ...I still have a question about how to determine the proper chain length.
    Stick with the Big-Big +2 technique I posted the graphic of a few posts up (post #33). That's the best way to ensure you have just enough chain to shift to Big-Big without breaking anything.
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  41. #41
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    The new stumpy is equipped with a Med cage and it's standard up front and 11-34 out back.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by HTail
    I'm finding my SRAM XO med cage works great with 11-34 cog. In fact it can accommodate the extreme large-large gear combo, but as we all know, it's not recommended with full-susp bikes (chain growth upon compression). The shifts are definitely snappy, quick and precise- partly due to the shorter cage, and mostly to SRAM's shift system.
    It's a myth that a shorter cage shifts better. The shift is made when the ramps line up with the chain on the cassette. If your chain hangs slack in some gear combinations, you're more prone to skipping or chain suck in those gear combinations.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeDee
    It's a myth that a shorter cage shifts better. The shift is made when the ramps line up with the chain on the cassette. If your chain hangs slack in some gear combinations, you're more prone to skipping or chain suck in those gear combinations.
    Is your "myth" assessment coming from analyzation or from use out on the trail? I suspect the former. Cage length does make a noticable difference in shifting and performance.

    Sure, shift ramps help some with a shift, but they're not necessary. The shift occurs when the idler pulley on the derailleur (that's the upper wheel) changes alignment with the cassette cog.

    But behind that is maybe sixteen inches of chain, stretching from the lower tensioner pulley (that's the lower one) to the chainrings.The further away that chain is from the anchor point / pivot points of the derailleur, the more difficult it is to move precisely. Think of a fat piece of nigiri at the end of a L-O-N-G set of chopsticks.

    As for your "chain slack" assessment, it's not as if the derailleur cage is magically decreasing in tension in certain useable gear combinations. Either is doesn't have tension in certain unusable small-small combos (as previously discussed), or it's got FULL tension (and, more importantly, higher tension than a longer cage -- simple physics there).

    If my some Shimano voodoo longer cages shifted better and held better tension, that's all they would offer, and roadies would be riding with derailleur cages hanging scant millimeters off the ground.
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  44. #44
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    I have a X.9 Med cage sitting here on my desk along with a set of X.9 shifters (series prize), and am thinking about putting them on the new Anthem (which has a Shadow on it). However given I have tons of 11-34 spares and only a Deore 11-32 sitting around, for now I might have to leave the XT on there - since numerous people have pointed out the problems of putting a Med cage with an 11-34 cassette on a duallie.
    Quote Originally Posted by tom2304
    Yep farkin.net is mostly immature kids asking how to put dual crown forks on hardtails and such.

  45. #45

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    i need help. im running a x0 short cage with a 11-23 cassette and a 38T front chainring. should i be running a short cage or long cage??

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    Quote Originally Posted by downhillross13
    i need help. im running a x0 short cage with a 11-23 cassette and a 38T front chainring. should i be running a short cage or long cage??
    Do you mean 11-32 cassette? Either way, you are fine with a short. Run the numbers for yourself - Nate laid it all out for you on the first page using caveman-easy math.

    Cheers, Chris

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trentkc
    I have a new SRAM X9 long cage derailleur, and another X9 that I now realize is "not long". Both are brand new, but the short one is ~16mm shorter.

    What is the proper application for long versus short cage derailleur? Will the short one work with a 11/34 cassette? Does it matter if the bike has a rear suspension or is a hardtail?

    Is my shorter X9 a "short" cage or "medium" cage? Thanks //kct
    General rule

    1 ring - short cage
    2 rings - medium cage
    3 rings - long cage

    Since us MTBers typically use the largest range cassette possible, I think this is a pretty good rule.

  48. #48

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    naw im running a dura-ace 11-23 cassette. yea i did the math and ended up with 50T. i dont know what the range is per dif. type of cage

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    Quote Originally Posted by downhillross13
    naw im running a dura-ace 11-23 cassette. yea i did the math and ended up with 50T. i dont know what the range is per dif. type of cage
    Gotcha. With only a single ring up front, the first part of Nate's equation is 0 (whatever ring size minus itself), so all you have to account for is the 'big cog minus small cog' teeth spread. That's basically what's behind the "single ring -> short cage" rule-of-thumb.

    Cheers, Chris

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by willtsmith_nwi
    General rule

    3 rings - long cage
    Generally the "safe" recommendation, especially if you don't want to go through the lengthy explanation and/or math. I enjoy the benefits of the medium cage on my 3x9, however.

    Rules of thumb are great, but it's good to know what's at the foundation of the rule, too.
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  51. #51
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    xtr vs xo

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedub.Nate
    Right! Think of the cage as a lever arm. As you know, a longer lever is easier to displace against a fixed counter force.

    In this case, the fixed force is the tension spring, which is same spring regardless of which cage length it is installed on.

    The bouncing chain is attempting to operate the lever arm (derailleur cage) and displace the spring. Longer cage = easier to move. Shorter cage = more difficult.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Echoing the others: Thanks so much! Your posts have been quite educating.

    Now my question would be (for Speedub.Nate , or for anyone who would know): For an apple-to-apple comparison, which one (which brand) has the higher/stronger tension spring (ie. xtr med vs xo med)? Has anyone done any actual measurments to compare?
    Thanks in advance!

    Cheers!

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    Its pretty obvious that the Shimano short (GS) cage length is tailor made for the Ultegra 12-27 cassette and 22-32-44 triple combo. . .

    I've been running said combo since early '05 and have not missed the 44-11 gear at all. I ride a road bike and learned to spin decades ago. I really find little need to go much faster than that on a hardtail anyway. Runs nice and quiet and affords much tighter ratios for fine tuning on fireroad time trial sections. I use the phat low mount style XT front D so I can confidently bail to a lower chainring and have NEVER dropped the chain with that long pivot masterpiece.

    And. . .since my pushed/shoved Xtc weighs less than 21 lbs I never need any lower than the 22-27 granny either. I find myself making up lots of time climbing 1mph faster too.

    Hey thanks for the clarification and chart that shows me I'm locked outa the 11-32 as I had suspected, but never really tried.

  53. #53
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    Sorry to bring this back from the dead.
    But I need a new derailleur pretty bad. Im looking at either a short cage x9 or med cage.

    As of now Im running a single 32 up front with the possibility of going to a 34 for the summer. With a road cassette 12-23 in the back.

    What would you run and why?
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    Quote Originally Posted by motormonkeyr6
    Sorry to bring this back from the dead.
    But I need a new derailleur pretty bad. Im looking at either a short cage x9 or med cage.

    As of now Im running a single 32 up front with the possibility of going to a 34 for the summer. With a road cassette 12-23 in the back.

    What would you run and why?
    Short. Why would even consider (given the choice) using a medium with that setup?

    Cheers, Chris

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris130
    Short. Why would even consider (given the choice) using a medium with that setup?

    Cheers, Chris
    My bike see's alot of abuse, its all Freeride and DH so maybe with a longer derailleur the load would be lessend on the derailleur itself.

    Would a short accommodate a 12-27 cassette?
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  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by motormonkeyr6
    My bike see's alot of abuse, its all Freeride and DH so maybe with a longer derailleur the load would be lessend on the derailleur itself.

    Would a short accommodate a 12-27 cassette?

    the cassette is a moot issue more or less, when running a single ring, you want the shortest cage possible.

    i run a 36T ring up front with a 11-26 road cassette. you'll be fine.

    i also have a spare wheelset with a 11-34 cassette - the short cage works fine here too.
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  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcaino
    the cassette is a moot issue more or less, when running a single ring, you want the shortest cage possible.

    i run a 36T ring up front with a 11-26 road cassette. you'll be fine.

    i also have a spare wheelset with a 11-34 cassette - the short cage works fine here too.
    Thanks for clearing that up guys!
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    Still needing help



    Ok...I've read and re-read but still am finding this a bit confusing. First with my setup. I ride a full suspension with 11-32 and 22-44. I will be replacing my current Shimano XT rear derailleur (long cage) and would like to know if I would benefit using a medium cage (2008 Shimano XT). If I size the chain to Big-Big+2 how do I take into account for the rear suspension? Also, after sizing the chain, would I be able to use ALL the gear combinations with no problems or would I have to make sure not to use certain combos? I don't want to have to worry about shifting into the wrong gear so should I just stick with a long cage?

    Any help would be really appreciated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1singletrack


    Ok...I've read and re-read but still am finding this a bit confusing. First with my setup. I ride a full suspension with 11-32 and 22-44. I will be replacing my current Shimano XT rear derailleur (long cage) and would like to know if I would benefit using a medium cage (2008 Shimano XT). If I size the chain to Big-Big+2 how do I take into account for the rear suspension? Also, after sizing the chain, would I be able to use ALL the gear combinations with no problems or would I have to make sure not to use certain combos? I don't want to have to worry about shifting into the wrong gear so should I just stick with a long cage?

    Any help would be really appreciated.
    if you're sticking with the 3x9, then you're probably going to want to retain the long cage...you can go with a medium cage, but you'd have to be mindfull of your shifting, ie: no big-big combo (44 up front, 32 in the rear) which you shouldnt't be doing anyway as that is major cross-chaining.
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  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1singletrack
    I ride a full suspension with 11-32 and 22-44. I will be replacing my current Shimano XT rear derailleur (long cage) and would like to know if I would benefit using a medium cage (2008 Shimano XT). If I size the chain to Big-Big+2 how do I take into account for the rear suspension? Also, after sizing the chain, would I be able to use ALL the gear combinations with no problems or would I have to make sure not to use certain combos? I don't want to have to worry about shifting into the wrong gear so should I just stick with a long cage?
    The total capacity you need is 44-22+32-11, or 43. Shimano recommends 33 or thereabouts for their medium cage, so you're definitely a candidate for the long cage. If you use the medium cage, the derailleur will be unable to take up all the slack chain for certain gear combinations and you'll have a drooping chain.

    When you're sizing your chain, move the suspension through it's range of travel (taking out your shock or deflating it can help with this), and see what the max chain length required is. Use the big-big+2 rule at that max length to size the chain.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcaino
    if you're sticking with the 3x9, then you're probably going to want to retain the long cage...you can go with a medium cage, but you'd have to be mindfull of your shifting, ie: no big-big combo (44 up front, 32 in the rear) which you shouldnt't be doing anyway as that is major cross-chaining.
    No... no small-small combos. Always size your chain to accept a shift into big-big, unless you're willing to deal with the consequences.
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  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1singletrack
    Ok...I've read and re-read but still am finding this a bit confusing.... I don't want to have to worry about shifting into the wrong gear so should I just stick with a long cage?
    In your case, with your statement, yes, stick with long cage. That will cover you in all possible gears without having to "worry about shifting."

    Once you're willing to avoid cross chaining to small-small, a medium cage would likely work fine on your setup.

    As for measuring chainstay growth, get a piece of dental floss and tie it on your crank's spindle. Zip tie the loose end to your rear quick-release -- so it's taut, but still slides when you tug on it. Now cycle your suspension, then go back to the dental floss. It should be hanging a little loose, unless your bike is a URT or BB-concentric pivot. Pull the floss taut again through the zip tie. For each 1/2" of floss you pull through the zip tie, you'll need to add an inch (2 links) of chain to account for chainstay growth.
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  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedub.Nate
    Once you're willing to avoid cross chaining to small-small, a medium cage would likely work fine on your setup.
    Speedub.Nate...so if I do decide to go with the medium cage, the only gear combination I would need to avoid is the small-small one with my 11-32+22-44? If that's it then perhaps I'll go with a medium in order to have crisper, more precise shifting. Also, thanks for the tip on sizing the chain with a FS bike.

    Thanks so much guys for getting back to me so quickly...this forum is absolutely amazing.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1singletrack
    Speedub.Nate...so if I do decide to go with the medium cage, the only gear combination I would need to avoid is the small-small one with my 11-32+22-44? If that's it then perhaps I'll go with a medium in order to have crisper, more precise shifting. Also, thanks for the tip on sizing the chain with a FS bike.
    Take a look again at that color table I put together in the first post. All the gear combinations in green are ok to use. The ones in yellow and red -- the smaller half of your cassette range when you're in your smallest chainring -- are going to be the ones you'll want to avoid using.

    The grey ones are "big-big," and though you'll size you chain accordingly so that shifting to these combos won't damage anything, these cross-chain combos are best avoided, no matter what cage length you choose (due to chain stress & drivetrain wear).
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  65. #65
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    It would probably be more than just the small-small combo, a few more combinations up I would imagine. If you accidentally shift into one of the no-no combos you won't damage anything, but you could drop your chain. Honestly I would just go with the long cage, it was made for the triple ring.

  66. #66
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    guys...i know i might be kicking a dead horse all over again, but i need some guidance...ok, i raced for the first time, and i decided to become a weight wenie....thus far, i came up with some weight reductions...my bike dropped about 3 lbs...so i have been looking at the possibility to throw a short cage derailleur and go 2x9...please either explain a bit more to me about the pros and cons of doing this or guide me to the right forum or thread...i will really appreciate it...

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by doctorholguin
    ...so i have been looking at the possibility to throw a short cage derailleur and go 2x9...please either explain a bit more to me about the pros and cons of doing this or guide me to the right forum or thread...
    With a 2x9 setup you may be able to use a short cage der, and almost certainly a medium cage.

    Take the difference in teeth of your max and min cogs, and the difference between the chainrings, and add them up. For example, if you want to run an 11-34 in the back and 22-32 in front, the difference is 23 in back, and 10 in front. For a total of 33. Your chosen derailleur should have a max capacity of at least that much.

    In the same example, if your derailleur has a capacity of less than 33, it's still no big deal. Size your chain to accept the big/big combo, and just remember to never shift into small/small, because the derailleur may be unable to take up all the chain slack, and your chain will droop. Conversely, you can size your chain a few links short, so that it's okay in the small/small combo, but then you should never shift into big/big because it may damage your derailleur.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by doctorholguin
    ...so i have been looking at the possibility to throw a short cage derailleur and go 2x9...please either explain a bit more to me about the pros and cons of doing this or guide me to the right forum or thread..
    Lyndonchen hit all the points you need to consider, but here's where 2x9 is different:

    With 3x9, you're always going to have a bunch of cross-over gears and "illegal" cross-chain combinations. It's those illegal gears that allow a medium (GS) cage to be used on a triple-ring setup.

    With 2x9, you're eliminating a bunch of cross-over gears, but you're not necessarily eliminating cross-chain combinations that should be avoided. It depends on where you set your chainline. In theory, the entire 2x9 range could be useable.

    But you may want to set it up with where one ring or the other (your primary chainring) is centered on the cassette, for optimized use of the full range of gears, or you may want to bump your outer ring out for better chain alignment in your hammer gears. All depends.

    So basically: Make a gearing matrix like the one in my original post. Decide what gears you want to use, and highlight those that you consider unnecessary (if any).

    For certain, medium cage will work with any full-range 2x9 setup. Based on your needs, a short cage <i>may</i> work if you're planning to eliminate some gear combinations.
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  69. #69
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    New question here. Chain suck potential?

    Anyone want to comment more on chain suck potential when one has a choice between Long vs Med cage? My hypothesis is that with a long gage the "lever" is longer thus keeping more tension on the chain in the granny gear(22/34 in my case). My experience is the opposite I have on bike with XTR med cage and never get chain suck. I have another with long cage X0 and get chain suck in dirty conditions. Both are typical 22-32-44 , 11-34.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by sheppardk
    My hypothesis is that with a long gage the "lever" is longer thus keeping more tension on the chain in the granny gear(22/34 in my case).
    It's exactly the opposite. Switch it up, and think of the derailleur cage as the lever arm that allows the bouncing chain to act against the tensioner spring.

    The chain has more authority over the tensioner spring when connected by longer cage lengths; less with shorter.

    That's the reason for the quieter drivetrain when shorter cage lengths are used.
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  71. #71
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    Med cage good

    I've been running a medium XO for a year now and finding it works fine, even when accidentally in extreme cassette/chainrg combos. I've also noticed I haven't gotten chain suck since switching to the med cage derailleur.

    In general just very happy with SRAM XO versus my previous Shimano XTR.
    Question to a custom frame builder..."So what makes your bikes climb better?"....his answer, "Uh, your legs?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by lyndonchen
    The total capacity you need is 44-22+32-11, or 43. Shimano recommends 33 or thereabouts for their medium cage, so you're definitely a candidate for the long cage. If you use the medium cage, the derailleur will be unable to take up all the slack chain for certain gear combinations and you'll have a drooping chain.

    When you're sizing your chain, move the suspension through it's range of travel (taking out your shock or deflating it can help with this), and see what the max chain length required is. Use the big-big+2 rule at that max length to size the chain.
    lyndonchen, you are treating the chain sizing issue separate from the cage sizing issue for full suspension. If you have to add chain (beyond the standard big-big +2) to account for chain stay growth, the dérailleur has to take up that extra chain when the suspension is in it's "short chain" position.

    Based on everything I have read in this thread, it seems like the process should be:

    1. Determine chain length using Big-Big + 2 + (2 links for each 1/2 inch of chain stay growth)
    2. Determine cage size accounting for extra links for chain stay growth, where:
      cap req'd (T) = (BIG ring - small ring) + (BIG cog - small cog) + (extra links)

  73. #73
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    This is a a great thread - Thanks speedub.nate.

    I agree that med cage seems like a much better choice in most situations. Last week I got a med cage X0 and replaced a long cage X9 and there is much more chain tension with low gears. It is also quieter and I have had no chain suck so far. On my normal ride I ride through a small creek. If I had not cleaned my chain for more then a couple of rides then I would get chain suck going uphill after the creek. I have ridden 5 times(about 7 hours) without cleaning my chain and have had not chain suck with the med cage X0. The proof will come when I ride in the mud, but so far so good. It is hard to understand why one would choose a long cage for most cases.

  74. #74
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    After installing the med cage a couple yrs ago, I thought I'd have to baby it on the trails, but just the opposite, it actually feels more robust. I really think the long cage is overkill, unless they go to 10 speeds someday.

    I also think that those of us that ride regularly also use a narrower range of gears, for instance, rarely use the granny + I'm not doing a lot of technical stuff day to day. Maybe long cage is better for those that need the wider range either because of the trails or personal heft!
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  75. #75
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    The sticky pointing to this thread says there is no short cage X9, only X0. I thought I have a short X9, and one is mentioned in this thread... I'm confused! I know have 1x9 and need to switch to 2x9, trying to decide if I also order a new rear deraileur...

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by dropadrop
    The sticky pointing to this thread says there is no short cage X9, only X0. I thought I have a short X9, and one is mentioned in this thread... I'm confused! I know have 1x9 and need to switch to 2x9, trying to decide if I also order a new rear deraileur...
    Where's the confusion?

    A quick Google search shows lots of short cage X.9s available, and lists a chain capacity of 32T.

    Note the date of the original post. Product lines change. The calculation remains the same -- all you need to know is your derailleur's chain capacity.
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  77. #77
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    short cage rear derailleur

    interesting thread!

    question:
    what is the biggest cog a XTR RD-M950 short cage can catch (yep, pretty old rear derailleur )?
    Can this take up to 28 tooth in the rear? Or is it recommended to use this one with a road cog set, lets say 12-26?

    thanks!
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  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedub.Nate
    Where's the confusion?

    A quick Google search shows lots of short cage X.9s available, and lists a chain capacity of 32T.

    Note the date of the original post. Product lines change. The calculation remains the same -- all you need to know is your derailleur's chain capacity.
    Thanks. I should have looked at the date, I just thought the sticky had all the essential information from this thread combined and updated and did not think about googling.

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    Rather than use the generic formula, let's map out the capacity for each gear combination (based off of a Shimano cog pattern; SRAM will be slightly different):

    <img src="https://www.booboodog.net/images/derailleur-capacity.gif">
    THanks, Awesome!!! Now I finally know why when I am in my 1-9(short-short) gear while biking it sounds like it is an unstable gear and like it doesn't want to be there. Which makes me shift either to 1-8 or up to 2-5. Great Post.

  80. #80
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    Nate -

    I didn't do very well in math class... If I have a 11/34 cassette and only run two rings up front (small & medium w/ bash guard, no big ring) , should I use a SRAM short or medium cage and what length chain? Thanks a ton!

    (P.s. You have my vote for the 2008 Nobel peace prize ! http://nobelprize.org/ )

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregoryb02
    Nate -

    I didn't do very well in math class... If I have a 11/34 cassette and only run two rings up front (small & medium w/ bash guard, no big ring) , should I use a SRAM short or medium cage and what length chain? Thanks a ton!

    (P.s. You have my vote for the 2008 Nobel peace prize ! http://nobelprize.org/ )
    you can use a short cage, providing you dont cross-chain, and use the big-big combo, which shouldnt be done anyway.

    a medium would also work wonderfully.
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  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcaino
    you can use a short cage, providing you dont cross-chain, and use the big-big combo, which shouldnt be done anyway.

    a medium would also work wonderfully.
    A medium cage is the safe bet and a necessity if the bike has a high forward single pivot (think Santa Cruz Bullit).
    Thats with two rings, no bigger than about 38 on the big ring.

    I just found all this out, the hard way tonight.
    I bought a med cage dérailleur for my single pivot by mistake.
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    Great Read! Thanks alot guys, especially Nate!

    I just ordered my SLX 662-GS (Med Cage). for my 2x9 and probably eventually 1x9 setup.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZenkiS14

    Great Read! Thanks alot guys, especially Nate!
    Hey, no problem, you're welcome. The ironic thing is that I haven't used derailleurs since about 2002, with a couple of exceptions.
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    Yeah But...

    When asked about a 1x9 setup and der size requirements:

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedub.Nate
    That's an easy one... go as short as you can possibly go.

    See, it's not the *size* of the front chainring that factors in, but the *range* between the biggest ring and the smallest ring.

    With an 11-32 in the rear, you've got a 21T spread, well within the capacity range of Shimano's short cage derailleur.

    (The capacity requirement for the front rings is Zero on your setup because it doesn't change at all.)
    I have a Ultegra short cage der on its way for my new 1x9 hardtail. The spec on the Shimano website states:
    Maximum Sprocket 27T
    Minimum Sprocket 11T
    Maximum Front Difference 16T
    Total Capacity 29T

    I get the "Total Capacity" limitation from the above, most excellent explanation, however I am concerned that the "Maximum Sprocket" may make my 11-34 unusable in the lower two gears on the cassette.

    So, whaa???

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by chexem

    I have a Ultegra short cage der on its way for my new 1x9 hardtail. The spec on the Shimano website states:

    Maximum Sprocket 27T

    …I am concerned that the "Maximum Sprocket" may make my 11-34 unusable in the lower two gears on the cassette.
    Yeah, there's a "rise" and a "reach" component: the reach is the easy part, but the rise (will the derailleur clear the cog?) is the question. And that's independant of cage length, since the body of the derailleur seems to remain constant with any particular model.

    What I can tell you is I ran a short cage road derailleur on a 1x9 setup on a folding bike recently (before converting it over to a gear hub). The cassette was a mountain range 11-32T. The derailleur was either Ultegra or Dura Ace, can't remember.

    I had to snip a portion of the cage off, the part that loops around the guide pulley. But it was due to a clearance issue with the frame. The pulley cleared the cassette with no trouble.
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    I'm just checking to see if all of my drivetrain will be compatible when I set it up: 11-32 Sram Cassete, Sram x7 rear derailleur short cage, sram x7 front derailleur low mount, truvativ stylo 22-32-44, and sram pc 991 cross step.
    thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by RebaRox246
    11-32 Sram Cassete, Sram x7 rear derailleur short cage, sram x7 front derailleur low mount, truvativ stylo 22-32-44
    Your rear derailleur needs to have a chain capacity of 43 or more. (44-22)+(32-11) = 43. I don't know what the capacity of the short cage is but it's likely not enough.

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by RebaRox246

    I'm just checking to see if all of my drivetrain will be compatible when I set it up:
    I'd go nothing shorter than a medium cage if you're ok with the limitations outlined in the original post.
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  91. #91
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    Med cage good

    I agree med. cage is the best all around. You can still push the large/small gear limits (though not recommended) and still get more taught chain tension and spiffy shifting.
    Question to a custom frame builder..."So what makes your bikes climb better?"....his answer, "Uh, your legs?"

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    I want to change the 11-34 on my cannondale bad boy to a road 11-23 or 12-26, should I go for a X9 medium cage at the back instead of the long cage I have now?
    Thanks all

  93. #93
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    You can use a med cage on 11-34, with marginal performance at the extremes. Definitely if your gearing higher, go for a med cage to keep the chain taught.
    Question to a custom frame builder..."So what makes your bikes climb better?"....his answer, "Uh, your legs?"

  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrwibble
    I want to change the 11-34 on my cannondale bad boy to a road 11-23 or 12-26, should I go for a X9 medium cage at the back instead of the long cage I have now?
    Thanks all
    Depending on your ring setup (if you're running doubles), you could go short cage.
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    Speedub.Nate spent the night at a Holiday Inn

    Short cages tend to pack quicker during wet conditions - there's not enough room between the pulleys.

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by emptybe_er

    Speedub.Nate spent the night at a Holiday Inn
    I totally agree! I used to be the night auditor. Spent the night? I had the run of the damn joint! Night after night after night after.... zzzzzz....

    Uh, what'da ya say?!?

    The only thing better than short cage is no cage!
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    Forgot to say guys, chainring is 48-36-26 again with long cage X-9

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrwibble

    chainring is 48-36-26
    Then medium cage, for sure.
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  99. #99
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    Go Short (SS) Cage

    An SS cage will have no problem with a 12-26 and 48-36-26 gearing.
    *** --- *** --- ***

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    sorry i meant medium cage, i don't think they make a X7 short cage

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    Since this seems somewhat related, is the same method of determining chain length for a hardtail the same for a softtail, i.e., chain around big chainring/big cog, no derailleur jockey wheels, with one full chainlink (2 straight sections, 3 pivot sections) of overlap? I'm trying to size a chain for a FS bike, which is my first. I've always followed that rule for my hardtail with good results. I guess I assume the distance gets shorter under compression of the rear suspension...

  102. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by geogecko
    Since this seems somewhat related, is the same method of determining chain length for a hardtail the same for a softtail... I guess I assume the distance gets shorter under compression of the rear suspension...
    The method is the same. Your assumption is wrong however; a lot of suspension designs lengthen the chain when compressed. The proper way to size the chain would be to let all the air out of the shock (if it's air-sprung) or better yet, remove the shock from the frame, and cycle the suspension through its travel. Find where the chain growth is greatest and size the chain at that point in the travel (with the 2-link rule).

  103. #103
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    Ahh, you were right. I see a two link increase in chain length needed for my setup.

    I do have a problem. I sized the chain for the 2 link overlap, then the 2 extra links for the full suspension "growth," then installed a PowerLink, which adds one more link. So total, I have 5 links of overlap, and in the small chainring, next to smallest cog, I have sag in the chain when it is run through the derailleur. So, I'll have even more when I go to the smallest cog.

    Problem is, I can't just remove one link, and still use the PowerLink, I would have to remove two links.

    The setup is a 44/32/22 crank, with an 11-34 in the back. I'm using a Shimano XTR SGS derailleur.

    Should I just remove two links?

  104. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by geogecko
    Should I just remove two links?
    You'll probably be okay removing 2 links. You'd only be 1 link short of what Shimano recommends. You'd have to be in big/big, and then sink deeply into travel, before you (might) have a problem.

  105. #105
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    Thanks, that worked perfectly. After doing that, I cycle the suspension, and it still seems to be about right...I doubt I'll find myself in big/big anyway.

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    very usefull thread..
    i run an xt crank with 27 instead of 22 and 42 in the middle and 12 34 cassette
    now i have an xtr 960 rear der long cage and i'm going to change it with an xtr shadow..
    should i run a gs version?
    i know that the shadow has a longer cage than older xtr..

  107. #107
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    Almost everything I've seen in the forums here has suggested to get the XT shadow rear derailleur, instead of the XTR shadow. The XTR almost doubles in price, and the only difference is the carbon cage, and 2 out of the 2 jockey wheels have bearings, instead of 1 bearing and 1 bushing. Of course, this comes from someone that has the XTR version, and the second ride already got scratches all over the carbon cage, and I didn't even realize I had hit it on anything... Just an observation, didn't really help you with your question.

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    short cage

    HEllo

    Firstly thanks to Speedub your information was great but i still have a little bit of doubt as to what im doing.

    I recently bought a Shimano LX M580 GS raqpid rise on the internet. I admit i think i may have made a mistake with the length of the cage but i thought the super long cage was going to be too long therefore touch the rocks andstuff that i passed.

    When it arrived it seems very short alot shorter than i ever expected.
    I am running a 44-32-22 fromt cogs and a 11-34 rear cassette. I understand the system with the gear combinations but will this cage be ok for the set up that i have. will it still perform the same job or should i pay the extra and return it for the longer cage.

    Second Question can i dismount the cage and fit the old cage as its still fine and straight.

    Thanks to all in advance look forward to a response.

  109. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by nig202

    I recently bought a Shimano LX M580 GS raqpid rise on the internet.

    I am running a 44-32-22 fromt cogs and a 11-34 rear cassette...should i pay the extra and return it for the longer cage.

    Second Question can i dismount the cage and fit the old cage as its still fine and straight.
    The GS cage will work for your gear combination, but will it work for you? If you're willing to observe the limits I wrote about in the original post in this thread, then mount it and run it. If you feel as though you're going to be forgetful or lax and will frequently shift to the small small combo, expect a lot of dropped chains.

    I don't know the answer to your second question. If they're both the same model, the you ought to be able to swap cages with very little hassle.
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    wow awesome thread... even a few years later. I just changed my order from a long cage to short. glad I found this =)

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    Good job!

    Good thread just went to a 32-22 bash set up and replaced my X9 long cage with a short one

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    heckler small 08 setup, is this poss?

    ok can this be done? I have a sram x9 short cage rear mech, 11-34 cassette & 22t,34t,bash setup. when the gears are set to big big there is not enough chain length as the rear shocks travel only goes to about half way & is really tight. I havent rode this like this yet, my local bike shop set this up for me but I dont think they checked to see if the rear suspension was fully compressed when they checked the chain length. So is it a matter of just putting a longer chain on or do I need to change the cassette?

  113. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrback
    ok can this be done? I have a sram x9 short cage rear mech, 11-34 cassette & 22t,34t,bash setup. when the gears are set to big big there is not enough chain length as the rear shocks travel only goes to about half way & is really tight. I havent rode this like this yet, my local bike shop set this up for me but I dont think they checked to see if the rear suspension was fully compressed when they checked the chain length. So is it a matter of just putting a longer chain on or do I need to change the cassette?
    Measure & add chain as discussed. Aside from the chain length problem, your setup is beyond the short cage capacity, according to Nate's table..

  114. #114
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    thanks nate and to you all.

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    First off, thanks a ton for this thread Nate. Very informative.

    I'd like to go to a 32/22 with an 11/32 cogset short cage. You've mentioned wiggle room in the sizing... I'm right on the cusp I believe.

    Will I be able to get away with this setup on a SRAM X0 Short Cage (30T I believe)?

    Thanks again

  116. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReductiMat
    First off, thanks a ton for this thread Nate. Very informative.

    I'd like to go to a 32/22 with an 11/32 cogset short cage. You've mentioned wiggle room in the sizing... I'm right on the cusp I believe.

    Will I be able to get away with this setup on a SRAM X0 Short Cage (30T I believe)?

    Thanks again
    Asumming the cages are the same size, I have a short cage X-9 with an 11-34 cassette and 22/32 up front and I can even hit the 22:11 combo (no that I ever do).

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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    Asumming the cages are the same size, I have a short cage X-9 with an 11-34 cassette and 22/32 up front and I can even hit the 22:11 combo (no that I ever do).
    Excellent, thanks!

    Did you size your chain along the lines of "Big to Big + 2 links"?

  118. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReductiMat
    Excellent, thanks!

    Did you size your chain along the lines of "Big to Big + 2 links"?
    Yes. (Big-Big being 32:34)

  119. #119
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    wow great thread. (even if it is a bit old, it still applies)
    getting ready to convert my 3x9 to a 2x9 and was wondering if I could get rid of some chain slap by shortening the chain and getting a Med cage.. thanks for the advice!!!

    slightly off topic.. if I shorten the chain, get a Med Cage, replace 44 ring with a bash guard, should I reset/ move my Bottom Bracket and/or crank outward to re-center it on the rear cassette?

    and....
    does someone make something like a 24 tooth inner ring for the Stylos crank? the 22 is just a bit to granny even for me. I know all about the math of having all the gears/ratios and you can get just about any combo.. but shifting down the front and up the rear all at once is just a pain.
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  120. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomllama
    wow great thread. (even if it is a bit old, it still applies)
    getting ready to convert my 3x9 to a 2x9 and was wondering if I could get rid of some chain slap by shortening the chain and getting a Med cage.. thanks for the advice!!!

    slightly off topic.. if I shorten the chain, get a Med Cage, replace 44 ring with a bash guard, should I reset/ move my Bottom Bracket and/or crank outward to re-center it on the rear cassette?

    and....
    does someone make something like a 24 tooth inner ring for the Stylos crank? the 22 is just a bit to granny even for me. I know all about the math of having all the gears/ratios and you can get just about any combo.. but shifting down the front and up the rear all at once is just a pain.
    Yes, shorten the chain. The same rule applies for chain length (big/big + 2) only now your "middle" ring is the big ring. This is the biggest thing you can do in regards to chain slap.

    Yes, you can get away with a med cage, I would go with a short even if it means losing the small/small combo which you really should not be using anyway. A med or short cage will help a little bit in terms of slap, but not nearly as much as the shorter chain. In any event, you can still use your current der and see how it goes.

    As far as the chainline, I would leave it where it is. It is already set up so that the middle ring is good for the whole cassette. The way I use it, the granny is only used for the 3 biggest cogs and is only used in the most steep/long climbs. Some rides I don't ever use it. Therefore, it is important to me that the middle is in the optimum position (besides, only using the biggest three cogs in granny means that I don't want to move it farther out, either)

    There are countless 24t granny ring options available for your crank. You may also want to consider going with a bigger "middle ring". 24/36 is a pretty popular 2 ring combo.

  121. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    Yes, shorten the chain. The same rule applies for chain length (big/big + 2) only now your "middle" ring is the big ring. This is the biggest thing you can do in regards to chain slap.
    that's what I thought.

    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    Yes, you can get away with a med cage, I would go with a short even if it means losing the small/small combo which you really should not be using anyway. A med or short cage will help a little bit in terms of slap, but not nearly as much as the shorter chain. In any event, you can still use your current der and see how it goes.
    well on my 26" tire bike your right, but on the 29er I use the granny (22t) a lot more because I find myself about 2 gears up the rear cassette with the bigger tires over what I use on the 26er, Seems while riding the average trail around here I run just the top 1/3rd of the rear when using the middle ring. Or I shift the front a LOT which is a pain and wears the chain a lot more than is normal.

    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    As far as the chainline, I would leave it where it is. It is already set up so that the middle ring is good for the whole cassette. The way I use it, the granny is only used for the 3 biggest cogs and is only used in the most steep/long climbs. Some rides I don't ever use it. Therefore, it is important to me that the middle is in the optimum position (besides, only using the biggest three cogs in granny means that I don't want to move it farther out, either)
    again, with the 29er I end up using the granny up front and running the chain up and down the full rack in the back... I really only use the middle ring on long flats, more just because of easy of shifting than anything else. reason I was asking about a 24 granny, almost thinking of going 1x9 with a 24 or 26 up front if thats possible. But if I keep the 2x9 I'm almost thinking of moving the chainline out more than normal. something like where the granny front is centered on the upper 2/3's of the rear and the Mid (now large) ring is centered on the smaller 1/3rd of the rear.... that make since?

    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    There are countless 24t granny ring options available for your crank. You may also want to consider going with a bigger "middle ring". 24/36 is a pretty popular 2 ring combo.
    Cool, thanks.. any where someone recommends price and/or service wise?
    Going to try and bring Trail Tire TV back. go take a look... http://trailtiretv.blogspot.com/

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    OK.. I'm bringing up a dead post... but this has been one of the only posts that I've read every word of.

    I'm going to do a build thins winter of an '06 Epic frame. While I'm much better now about not crossing my chain I do not want to give up my ultra granny 22 front, 34 rear combo.

    For people using 22 / 32 / 44 front and 11-34 in the rear with an x0 med cage on a full suspension bike.... how's it working????

    Thanks for any real world feedback you can provide!!!!!

  123. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickbee
    OK.. I'm bringing up a dead post... but this has been one of the only posts that I've read every word of.

    I'm going to do a build thins winter of an '06 Epic frame. While I'm much better now about not crossing my chain I do not want to give up my ultra granny 22 front, 34 rear combo.

    For people using 22 / 32 / 44 front and 11-34 in the rear with an x0 med cage on a full suspension bike.... how's it working????

    Thanks for any real world feedback you can provide!!!!!
    22 front, 34 back is not cross chaining, and you will not lose that combo no matter what cage you run.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    22 front, 34 back is not cross chaining, and you will not lose that combo no matter what cage you run.
    ya I know that... the reason I mentioned it was to say why I want to stick with an 11-34 rear cass...

    thanks!

  125. #125
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    I've had no problems with a medium cage. it's get's a little grindy when you push the limits of the chain ring and cog, but not something you should do anyways. I'm sold on med cages just for better chain tension- have not had chain suck since I've gone medium.
    Question to a custom frame builder..."So what makes your bikes climb better?"....his answer, "Uh, your legs?"

  126. #126
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    sorry, its been a long day and i'm confused

    what sram x.9 deraileur length do i need for a 11-34 t cassette, with 22, 32, 44 t rings?
    and for a 11-32 t casette?

    cheers guys

  127. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected]
    sorry, its been a long day and i'm confused

    what sram x.9 deraileur length do i need for a 11-34 t cassette, with 22, 32, 44 t rings?
    and for a 11-32 t casette?

    cheers guys
    Medium or long.

  128. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    Medium or long.
    would one work better than the other?
    and would all gears be available with medium?

  129. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected]
    would one work better than the other?
    and would all gears be available with medium?
    Come on man, this question got answered in the second post of this thread and then re-answered many times.

  130. #130
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    just need a double confirmation,
    i just followed the formula, presuming i'm running 2 chain ring up front, xt cranks (32-22) and a sram pg990 (11-32)
    so if i follow the formula, i should get:
    (32-22)+(32-11)=31T
    in any case i'm hoping to get the saint rear dee, heres the mambo jambo

    Maximum Sprocket : 28/34T
    Minimum Sprocket : 11T
    Front Difference : 14T
    Total Capacity : 31/37T

    i see 31T in total capacity, so i presume, i'm on the right track? thanks guys!

  131. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by cup
    just need a double confirmation,
    i just followed the formula, presuming i'm running 2 chain ring up front, xt cranks (32-22) and a sram pg990 (11-32)
    so if i follow the formula, i should get:
    (32-22)+(32-11)=31T
    in any case i'm hoping to get the saint rear dee, heres the mambo jambo

    Maximum Sprocket : 28/34T
    Minimum Sprocket : 11T
    Front Difference : 14T
    Total Capacity : 31/37T

    i see 31T in total capacity, so i presume, i'm on the right track? thanks guys!

    anybody can help me? thanks in advance

  132. #132
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    What's your question

    Sorry, what are you trying to determine? Whether to use a short, med, or long cage with the 2 chainring setup?
    Question to a custom frame builder..."So what makes your bikes climb better?"....his answer, "Uh, your legs?"

  133. #133
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    joehspicer, you need a derailleur with a capacity of (44-22)+(34-11)=45. Switching to a 11/32 cassette changes the necessary capacity to 43. Both setups point to a long cage rd; a medium cage would leave some ratios unuseable.

    cup, your math looks right. I see your Saint specs are coming from the longer cage version, don't know what the "31/37" means, but whatever the case, it'll handle your setup.

  134. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by cup
    anybody can help me? thanks in advance
    Yes, you calculated correctly. 31t capacity to guaranty use of all combos.

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    i use the wimpy 20 tooth granny,so i get some slack ,and my chain could probabely be shorter.I do tend to stick in my big ring for as long as possible,usually somewhat unintentionally.i still feel that the big ring is more efficient, even crossshifted a bit,on the roadbike and even moreso on a suspension bike. Even these days with stable platform shocks and virtual pivots,if you've got rolling terrain and can stay in the big ring and just shift up the cluster it seems faster.

  136. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by cup
    just need a double confirmation,
    i just followed the formula, presuming i'm running 2 chain ring up front, xt cranks (32-22) and a sram pg990 (11-32)
    so if i follow the formula, i should get:
    (32-22)+(32-11)=31T
    in any case i'm hoping to get the saint rear dee, heres the mambo jambo

    Maximum Sprocket : 28/34T
    Minimum Sprocket : 11T
    Front Difference : 14T
    Total Capacity : 31/37T

    i see 31T in total capacity, so i presume, i'm on the right track? thanks guys!
    oh snap, i quote the wrong info. saint short cage tech spec

    Maximum Sprocket : 28/34T
    Minimum Sprocket : 11T
    Front Difference : single front chainring
    Total Capacity : 17/23T

    it seems that i cant run the short rear dee right mates?

  137. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by cup
    oh snap, i quote the wrong info. saint short cage tech spec

    Maximum Sprocket : 28/34T
    Minimum Sprocket : 11T
    Front Difference : single front chainring
    Total Capacity : 17/23T

    it seems that i cant run the short rear dee right mates?
    Not with a double chainring setup.

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    I think a short cage deraileur shifts better because the chain is tighter. I'd be willing to bet that the actual spring that tensions the cage is the same in both versions(l+s) in the long cage it has a longer range due to the cage but the actual tension on the chain is lower. A tighter chain hits the ramps or the next set of teeth(on the next gear)more solidly and gets picked up quicker.

  139. #139
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    Anyone know if I'd be able to go short cage (X-9) with a single 32T ring up front and 11-34T? Would I be able to use all the gears? (this is 1x9 setup).
    Last edited by cifex; 10-09-2009 at 01:12 PM.

  140. #140
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    even a short cage is ment to run a small range triple (24,32,42)and at least small cassette (12-32) on a suspension frame with a little "chain grow" so i would say almost certainly, in fact a road deraileur should work,a typical roadbike has a 12 tooth range on the cluster and 14 tooth range on the cranks for a total of 26 ,with just an 11-34 cluster you have a 23 tooth range. Alot of DHers have used road deraileurs,even with a lot of travel.

  141. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedub.Nate
    You've got a medium cage. Sram makes a short cage mountain derailleur in the X.0 line, but only goes as low as a medium in the X.9.
    Incorrect, Sram makes a short cage model for X.7, X.9, and X.0.

    In my experience, here is the general rule: short cage is for a single ring in the front (32-42t), medium cage is for a double (22-24/32-36), and long cage is for a triple (22-24/32-36/42-44). Every derailleur in the Sram 9-speed lineup is rated for use on a cassette with up to a 34t large cog.

    Shimano only manufactures long (SGS) and medium (GS) cage derailleurs for most of their mountain shifting systems (SLX, XT, XTR, etc), with the exception being Saint M800 and M810, for which they have a short (SS) cage option as well as the standard medium cage, but no long cage (M810 only). The only exception to this was back in the XTR M950 series when a short cage derailleur was manufactured for a brief period of time.

  142. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seraph415
    Incorrect, Sram makes a short cage model for X.7, X.9, and X.0.
    Did you notice the date on his post?

  143. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    Did you notice the date on his post?
    Holy crap... this thread is over three years old already?

    Perhaps I should ask the Mods permission to edit it due to changes in what's available and (I would guess) stated derailleur capacities.

    Ah, the math remains unchanged. Carry on...
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  144. #144
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    New question here. 1x9 . .

    What about this scenario: 1(29) x 9(11-38). Even though this gives a 27t result and is within SRAM's max (30t) for short cage, I wonder if a short cage would get the chain to the bigger 38t rear cog?

    jeff

  145. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by az1jeff
    What about this scenario: 1(29) x 9(11-38). Even though this gives a 27t result and is within SRAM's max (30t) for short cage, I wonder if a short cage would get the chain to the bigger 38t rear cog?

    jeff
    Short vs long cage has nothing to do with the max cog size.

  146. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by az1jeff
    What about this scenario: 1(29) x 9(11-38). Even though this gives a 27t result and is within SRAM's max (30t) for short cage, I wonder if a short cage would get the chain to the bigger 38t rear cog?

    jeff
    Yeah, what kapusta said... plus, somewhere SRAM lists a max cog size for their derailleurs. I'm not up to speed on this 38T gear, or any compatibility problems it might present.
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  147. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    Short vs long cage has nothing to do with the max cog size.
    That’s interesting. Especially since both manufactures spec a maximum rear cog size on their rear derailleurs. What searching I did says longer cages allow larger rear cogs. One reason listed for giving max cog size is what the largest cog the derailleur can handle without ramming into the cog, and that the derailleur may have trouble lifting the chain onto the cog. But what do I know, that is why I asked. . Thanks anyways.

  148. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by az1jeff
    That’s interesting. Especially since both manufactures spec a maximum rear cog size on their rear derailleurs. What searching I did says longer cages allow larger rear cogs. One reason listed for giving max cog size is what the largest cog the derailleur can handle without ramming into the cog, and that the derailleur may have trouble lifting the chain onto the cog. But what do I know, that is why I asked. . Thanks anyways.
    Exactly, go by the max cog size they list. The length of the cage is a separate issue. If you look at all the Sram RD's the max cog size are all the same across the different cage lengths (34t).

    http://www.sram.com/_media/pdf/sram/..._MY08_RevA.pdf

    See page 23.

    Whether they in fact can be used for something larger is another question. I have used a road RD for a max cog larger than it was rated for. However, the max cog size is unrelated to the length of the cage.

  149. #149
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    Zactly. Another example is an Ultegra (road) short cage rear derailleur, which has a max cog size of 27 but worked just fine on a 32 or 34T cassette after I Dremeled off a small part of the cage that was rubbing the largest cog.

    Cage length generally just takes into account how much chain slack can be taken up; max cog size relates to the distance / geometry between the pivot and the guide pulley.
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  150. #150
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    Thanks. I'm going to give a short cage with a 38t cog a try. .

    jeff

  151. #151
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    Has anyone run a short cage der. with one of the new 36T cassettes? My 34T shifts fine with the X0 short cage but I need a new cassette and was thinking of going to the 36T but have doubts about it working smoothly Mathematically, the ratio will work BUT, the cage is only so long and I'm sure it has a mechanical limit. Opinions???

  152. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by DFYFZX

    Has anyone run a short cage der. with one of the new 36T cassettes?... have doubts about it working smoothly ...the cage is only so long and I'm sure it has a mechanical limit.
    The mechanical limit would exist between the jockey (upper) pulley and the main parallelogram pivot. Assuming the body is the same and only the cages are different as necessary, I would expect it to work.

    You may be able to find published capacities, but typically Sram hasn't measured up to Shimano's standard.
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  153. #153
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    This is so useful. Thank you.

    I want to do short cage for my full suspension, 2x9, 22/32 front and 11-34 back.

    But I don't get the dental floss thing for the full suspension, is the spindle where the bb is? So I zip tie that to the rear wheel qr?

    Can I just let all the air out of the shocks, and do big big plus 2 links?

    Thanks all.

  154. #154
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike007

    ...I don't get the dental floss thing for the full suspension...
    The dental floss thing is just to see how much your chainstay length increases when your suspension cycles. It's not really necessary, but can satisfy a curious mind.

    Chainstay length is measured from the spindle (yeah, that's what your crank spins on) to your axle. So tie it off to the spindle, then friction fit it to the QR with the zip tie so that it stays put, but pulls through the zip tie when tugged.

    Start by pulling it tight (bike at no sag because you're not sitting on it). Then cycle your suspension, and the floss will pull through the zip tie as the chainstay length increases.

    When you're done, with the bike back at zero sag, pull the floss back through to make it tight again. The amount of loose floss you pull through represents how much your CS length grew. For every 1/2 inch you pull through, add in two links above and beyond the +2 you're already adding in using the Big Big +2 method.

    Wanna go a step further? Figure out how much your chainstay length SHRINKS when you cycle the suspension (don't ask -- I don't have any ideas how to go about measuring this). Shrinkage requires you to subtract from the derailleur's stated capacity, because at its shortest is where the potential for chain sag is maximum.
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  155. #155
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    Speedub.Nate, I got a question... not figuring the math cause I got an extra component and I am brain dead on this so far. I am running a X7 med cage in the rear with a 11-34t in the rear and 22-32-bash. I want to step the mid ring to a 34 to make it 22-34 then run a short cage in the rear. I have a Blackspire chain tension/guide. Would I have any issues with this setup.

    Thanks!

  156. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hangingchads
    Speedub.Nate, I got a question... not figuring the math cause I got an extra component and I am brain dead on this so far. I am running a X7 med cage in the rear with a 11-34t in the rear and 22-32-bash. I want to step the mid ring to a 34 to make it 22-34 then run a short cage in the rear. I have a Blackspire chain tension/guide. Would I have any issues with this setup.

    Thanks!
    34-11=23
    34-22=12

    Total capacity req'd = 23+12 = 35T

    Unlike a triple, you're allowed more latitude to cross chain a double, depending on your preferences and chainline. If you want the use of the full range of your cassette from both chainrings, you'll need the full 35T capacity. If you're planning to only run the 22T with the lower half of the cassette, you can go with less.
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  157. #157
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    Great thread offering lots of useful info allowing to understand what is behind just a plain short answer what cage to use for what kind of setup.

    Just few days back I bought SRAM X.9 rear mech and not being aimed with proper knowledge picked medium cage (also, store owner approved it suitability for 27-speeds bike, not even asking me what king of cog/chainrings setup do I have and whether it is fully suspended ot hardtail...).
    Now, according to the excellent explanation by Speedub.Nate, I calculated and realized that for any practical case, even havn 44-22 chainrings and 32-22 cog on hardtail I still can enjoy the benefit of medium cage which would probably preclude me from using only last three combos such as 22 on front with 3 smallest cogs on rear (anyway not very practical)...
    Am I correct ?

  158. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexzabr
    Great thread offering lots of useful info allowing to understand what is behind just a plain short answer what cage to use for what kind of setup.

    Just few days back I bought SRAM X.9 rear mech and not being aimed with proper knowledge picked medium cage (also, store owner approved it suitability for 27-speeds bike, not even asking me what king of cog/chainrings setup do I have and whether it is fully suspended ot hardtail...).
    Now, according to the excellent explanation by Speedub.Nate, I calculated and realized that for any practical case, even havn 44-22 chainrings and 32-22 cog on hardtail I still can enjoy the benefit of medium cage which would probably preclude me from using only last three combos such as 22 on front with 3 smallest cogs on rear (anyway not very practical)...
    Am I correct ?
    I assume you meant 11-32 rear cassette?

    Yeah, if you are willing to give up the smallest cog or two with the small ring (useless combo(s), anyway), the Med will work. Personally, I would use a med in your situation, given the choice. The capacity estimates seem to be conservative, so you may loose fewer gears than you think.

  159. #159
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    I recently tried a medium cage on a 44/32/22 x 34-11 setup. I could use every gear with these exceptions;

    When the chain was shortened for the best compromise in the 22 x11 and 22 x 13 combinations the derailleur was all the way back and the chain would rub on itself because it was doubled back.

    When I went to the 44 x 34 combination the derailleur would jamb when trying to upshift to 44 x 30. If I stayed out of the 44 x 34 it would work, and if I shifted down from the big ring first it would not jamb up. I know I would not be able to remember to stay out of this combination forever so for me it would be a bad idea.

    In all I would call a medium cage on this set-up marginal for several of combinations....but possible. Other people may be able to get more out of it.

    I only tried for the sake of science. I went to a 36/22 x 34-11 setup and for that it seems to work well.
    Gravity doesn't pull....it sucks!

  160. #160
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    yes, kapusta, I obviously meant 32-11 rear cogs, sorry.
    I'm quite new to mountain biking, but like to learn theory behind the stuff, so now learning bike's mechanics and preparing to my first mechanical job on my bike - swapping my current drive setup of Shimano LX rear derailleur along with both Deore shifters for new X.9 and X.O twisters. Hence learning theory first...
    Also, form my limited biking experience including climbings, I noticed never to use 22-11 or similar combinations. When I deliverately tried to use such - it felt really awkward.
    I mainly do medium at front with any cogs at rear 22 with larger 2-3 cogs or rear 44 with smaller 2-3 cogs.
    It appears medium cage will indeed do fine for me..

  161. #161
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    Tried looking through a few pages but did not find an answer...

    I'm wondering if my XTR Shadow has a GS or SGS cage. I measured it's just under 13cm long (~5"), anyone know which one it is?

  162. #162
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    I believe that is an SGS. I have a RD-M953 and that is an SGS and has a similar dimension. The SG is quite a bit shorter. I can measure that tonight if you need it.
    Gravity doesn't pull....it sucks!

  163. #163
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    I would appreciate it if it's not too much trouble, thanks.

  164. #164
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    The RD-953SGS is 3-3/8 axle to axle and the RD-M970SG is 2-1/2 axle to axle.
    Gravity doesn't pull....it sucks!

  165. #165
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    So I've seen posts from others that ask about using a short cage with a 11-34/ 22-32 setup. and the general consensus is that a medium would be best, BUT that a short would work. would there be any benefits to using a short over a medium? and would these benefits outweigh the risks?
    I'd be unstoppable... If I could just get started !!

  166. #166
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    medium vs short :madman:

    I was told today that I can make my bike less sluggish by using a road cassette (11-26). I have a 32 and 22 front. My question is can I use a medium RD or would that not be recommended? I'm trying to purchase the X.9 RD from JensonUSA but the large and medium RD's are like $50 cheaper than the short.
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  167. #167
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    Quote Originally Posted by levar012586
    I was told today that I can make my bike less sluggish by using a road cassette (11-26).:
    I am curious to know the rational behind that.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  168. #168
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    I'm no expert on it or anything, but I'm thinking it's because all your gears are small and make you move as opposed to the 32 and 34 which barely move the bike.
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  169. #169
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    Quote Originally Posted by levar012586
    I'm no expert on it or anything, but I'm thinking it's because all your gears are small and make you move as opposed to the 32 and 34 which barely move the bike.
    You have small cogs on an 11-34 cassette as well.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  170. #170
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    I know but when you have more options in a small range (11-26 region), maybe its easier to find that right gear that makes it feel easy to pedal but you're still haulin'. I don't know. I have a 2x8 drivetrain on my bike and it just seems like I'm riding a FR or DH bike! When I ride round town I feel like I'm fighting the bike. If you have any other options to make my bike faster I'm all ears.

    I forgot to mention I live in south Florida where it's incredibly flat so i hardly ever touch the 34.
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  171. #171
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    Thanks! Speedub Nate.
    Every time I and my bike friends had trouble determine which deraillur to use, we pull out this tread to look for your info (dated back July 2006) as reference.
    Yap. Almost 4 years since and I still can't remember that formula.
    That says a lot just how good you are!

  172. #172
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    Hi Guys!

    I'm moving to a 2x9 setup in my new bike. I'm going to use 42T on the middle and 26T on the granny and a 11-32T cassette. By the maths it would be (42-26)+(32-11)=16+21=37
    From the first post I can see that the limit of the XTR GS is 33T but that in real life it is more like 39T. Do you think I need the larger SGS model?

    Thanks!

  173. #173
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    ZexX: Wait!!!
    42T won't fit on the middle!
    Most MTB frames can fit 38T on the middle; very few can fit 40T on the middle without robbing the chain stay. That why few manufacturer makes 40T in 104BCD.

    If you are lucky to fit 40t on the middle ring, 28t for the granny is better choice than 26t. Short cage deraillure should work but I will use mid cage to be safe, as it allows you to use 26t granny or 11~34t cassette if you wish afterward.

  174. #174
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    Thanks Ricci Chang,

    I'm aware that if I want to use a 42T in the middle I will probably have to add a 2,5mm spacer and will have to compensate on the left side somehow. I really want a 42T or a 40T because it suits my style better and since I have read that there are people that can do it, I will try to.
    but my concern is that if a medium cage is enough with my combination.
    Thanks.

  175. #175
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZexX_pt
    Hi Guys!

    I'm moving to a 2x9 setup in my new bike. I'm going to use 42T on the middle and 26T on the granny and a 11-32T cassette. By the maths it would be (42-26)+(32-11)=16+21=37
    From the first post I can see that the limit of the XTR GS is 33T but that in real life it is more like 39T. Do you think I need the larger SGS model?

    Thanks!
    You can get away with the shorter cage length because your granny's alignment to the cassette isn't changing, so you'll still want to limit yourself to using the inside half of the cassette when churning the granny ring. If you don't -- i.e. run granny to small cog -- you'll be cross-chaining just the same as you would on a traditional 3x9 setup.

    With a 2x9 you might consider which gear combos are most useful to you because you could alternatively bump out the chainline so the outer ring is centered on the smallest cogs, which will reduce wear and increase efficiency when hammering, or centering the gap between the rings on the cassette, providing you with the widest range of usable gear combos.
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  176. #176
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    Thank you Speedub.Nate!

    In my 3x9 setup, I normally use the middle 32T with the lower cogs on the cassette. When I need more speed I jump to the outer plate, and when I need to go slower on some occasions I use the bigger cogs with the middle ring.
    That's why I'm going to use a 2x9 setup with 42T in the middle ring because it will allow me to normally use it with the middle cogs, giving a very good alignment and I will mostly change gears on the cassette. I will only use the 26T granny in some occasions where the 42T(plate)-32T(cassette) isn't good enough.
    My concern was if the medium XTR GS cage would prove enough or if I would need to use the SGS but it looks like the GS is a go!

    I know it is a little off topic but if the 42T in the middle rubs in the chain stays (I cannot verify it yet because I'm waiting for the rings to arrive as well as a new frame) what do you advise? In other topics most people use an extra spacer of 2,5mm on the bb but that causes the left arm to be 2,5mm more inward that the right arm. They then change the alignment of the clips on the shoes to correct it. Do you think is ok to do it?

  177. #177
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedub.Nate
    Is your "myth" assessment coming from analyzation or from use out on the trail? I suspect the former. Cage length does make a noticable difference in shifting and performance.
    No it doesn't. I've tried short and long cage Shimano derailleurs, and didn't notice any difference in shifting quality, just a PITA in trying to avoid certain gear combinations.

  178. #178
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    ZexX:
    Master Speedhub always gives the best answer in this tread, so I will not re-address.

    I still don't understand why people want to mass-up the chain/crankset alignment and/or spacer adjuestment issue. I suggest to use 40T (instead of 42T) in the middle if you can, without having the 40T middle ring rubbing the chain stay. This way you will not have to worry about spacing or alignment.
    Afterall, 40T front with 11t rear has the same gear ratio as a 44T front (typical) with 12t rear. You don't miss much (speed) anyways. (only 1 gear.)

    I use 38T on my commuter/XC bike and 36T on my trail bike, both 1x9 setup suit me perfectly!

  179. #179
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    Now the question of derailleur size estimation for FS bike..
    I'm building myself (based on Titus FTM frame), how trying to assess the proper choice of the derailleur case...I intend to go for SRAM X.9
    I understand the calculations for hardtail and use medium cage of X.9 for 44/32/22 with 11-32.
    However now I understand it is necessary to take into account chain growth under full compression (hence chain length will be longer). Does that mean that the cage should likely to be longer then in the same combination for hardtail ?
    So that should I consider long cage with FS for the same setup ?

    Thanks

  180. #180
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    Hi All,

    On my yeti 575, I went and follow the rule for a 44/32/22 with 11-34 set up, and chose a medium cage x0.

    I knew about the limitations with small cog and small at the rear and I am fine with this.

    The question I have is that I am using a KMC SL9 chain, with quick link. I wanted to apply the big - big + 2 links rule, but as the quick link provided has to be fit between 2 small links, my choice was reduced to either a +1 or a +3. I chose +1 as +3 was taking more gears off.

    The result seems fine, although the medium cog + big 34T at the back pulls the derailleur towards the front.

    Is that risky in that case shown below:



    Thanks

  181. #181
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    Make that picture smaller!
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  182. #182
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    Make that picture smaller!
    Sorry about this, it is done.

    Thanks

    Y.

  183. #183
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    french_yeti, as pictured that's no problem, the derailleur can handle that easily. I would compress the suspension and make sure chain growth won't be a issue.

  184. #184
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    Short vs. Long, cont...

    Time for a new rear drllr and I'm too dumb to do the math. I run an 8 speed Standard Drive (not compact drive) 24-36-46 front and a 12-32 rear on a full suspension 4 inch travel XC bike. Long cage or medium cage? Thanks to all.
    Last edited by El Maguey; 07-14-2010 at 09:24 AM.

  185. #185
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    Hope What would work better for SRAM XX Kit

    Ok so I just ordered a complete Sram XX kit. The crank is a 26t/39t and the cassette is a 11-36. If I did the math correctly its giving me 38T which falls right next to the 37T for medium derrailieur. Does this mean I should not get a long cage (which I already did but I have not mounted yet)? Is there a performance loss using the long cage vs a performance gain in the medium cage other then a couple of grams? Does this formula apply to the XX kit due to the different spring tension being stiffer in the derrailieur. Please be specific and thanks in advance for all the help. I didnt know the differences in cage sizes till just now.
    Last edited by chtorres2; 09-12-2010 at 08:01 PM.
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  186. #186
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    sram xo cage broke

    Guys, heres a new question I couldn't find an answer to. I need to replace my sram 09 XO RD cage (broken).

    Will the medium cage kit which is just the cage and the pulleys be compatible with the derrailer body even if the old cage is a long one? In other words can I swap a medium cage onto the derr body even if the previous cage was a long? I'm assuming they can if the derrailer body is the same, but not sure. The kit is like $100 expensive!!

    Also, can someone tell me how to make sure I have a medium cage or long.
    Last edited by 2fst4u; 09-13-2010 at 05:46 AM.
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  187. #187
    Riding free's the mind
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    I've been using a med cage SRAM XO,with a 3x9 drive train for years now. Works great, shifts better than a long cage in my opinion?
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  188. #188
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    Smile SRAM X9 2x10 speed (42-28 & 12-36)

    Quote Originally Posted by chtorres2
    Ok so I just ordered a complete Sram XX kit. The crank is a 26t/39t and the cassette is a 11-36. If I did the math correctly its giving me 38T which falls right next to the 37T for medium derrailieur. Does this mean I should not get a long cage (which I already did but I have not mounted yet)? Is there a performance loss using the long cage vs a performance gain in the medium cage other then a couple of grams? Does this formula apply to the XX kit due to the different spring tension being stiffer in the derrailieur. Please be specific and thanks in advance for all the help. I didnt know the differences in cage sizes till just now.
    Same situation as me. I'm ordered new SRAM X9 (2x10 speed) as below spec;
    - Crank : 42-28
    - Cassette : 12-36
    The TDC for this spec is 38T which is over the spec of medium cage only 1T!
    So, I should go with medium or long cage?

    Moreover, I've planned to change from hardtail to full-suspension (xc) around end of this year. Can I use medium cage with my new frame?

    Thanks in advance.
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  189. #189
    08anthem adv 1x9 23.5lbs
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    question about 11-36 w/ 44-29 front

    Hey there, I have a question that seems like no one knows but I am thinking someone will know on here. I have a 29er HT with a fsa 44-29 front chainrings. my question is can I use a 11-36 9sp with a xo med cage der. or long cage der. Or am I screwed or should I consider other cassette options. I can handle 44-32 2 x 9 w 11-34 on my 26er so what do I use on the 29er HT. I am new to the 29er technology. Thanks? And will any xo med or long der work or do I have to get a 2010 xo 9sp model?.

  190. #190
    08anthem adv 1x9 23.5lbs
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    re: Long vs Med cage

    I am repeating myself I know, so I have a new 29er with a 44-29 frnt 2x9 setup. What cassette can I get away with and with what size and year xo der? can I run a 11-36 9sp with a med cage? Or do I go to the long cage? Does it matter what year xo rear der I get? I have heard only 2010's can except a 36t ? I have seen the equation on this post looks like I am on the needle with a med? Help Please! Or do I go to 11-34 11-32 with a 29er and a 44-29 frt chainring set up? Thanks

  191. #191
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    Hi,

    Thanks for the great info; another question on this subject: I run a 1x9 setup; 32 in front with a 11-34 cassette; can I use a SRAM 'super short' derailleur??

  192. #192
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    2x9

    i'm researching about running 2x9 using a 9-speed Shimano XT M770 34-11T or 32-11T cassette and 39/26T SRAM X0 2.2 crank with an '09 X0 short-cage derailleur. below are the capacities of the two cassettes. it looks that only three gears will be unavailable in both cases, which is acceptable for me. i plan on running in the 39T for the majority of time. what do you think?

    also, should i run a 9-speed chain or 10-speed chain for this drivetrain?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails When to use a Long Cage vs Short Cage Derailleur?-2x9-tdc.jpg  


  193. #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by dypeterc
    i'm researching about running 2x9 using a 9-speed Shimano XT M770 34-11T or 32-11T cassette and 39/26T SRAM X0 2.2 crank with an '09 X0 short-cage derailleur. below are the capacities of the two cassettes. it looks that only three gears will be unavailable in both cases, which is acceptable for me. i plan on running in the 39T for the majority of time. what do you think?

    also, should i run a 9-speed chain or 10-speed chain for this drivetrain?
    Why do you want to use a short cage? A medium or long will give you less headaches with no worries in a 2 x 9. Hopefully, weight loss is not your main motive as the X.0 9 speed RD's weigh 203/197/192g.

    You can use either a 9 or a 10 speed chain. You can get away with using one size smaller chain - so a 10 will work on a 9. The internal measurements of the chains are similar. It's the external width that is a bit narrower on the 10 speed. Again, is this a weight loss issue?

    BB

  194. #194
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceBrown
    Why do you want to use a short cage? A medium or long will give you less headaches with no worries in a 2 x 9. Hopefully, weight loss is not your main motive as the X.0 9 speed RD's weigh 203/197/192g.

    You can use either a 9 or a 10 speed chain. You can get away with using one size smaller chain - so a 10 will work on a 9. The internal measurements of the chains are similar. It's the external width that is a bit narrower on the 10 speed. Again, is this a weight loss issue?

    BB
    not a weight issue. i had the short cage from a previous drivetrain. it'll also provide quicker shifts. i'll be sticking with the large ring the majority of the time. i'm fine with missing only 3 ratios in the small ring. i've also read that to use a 10-speed chain when using the new SRAM doubles even though the cassette is 9-speed.

  195. #195
    T76
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    Anybody have more real world results with medium cages? I believe I am buying a medium cage. Thanks for all the replies.

  196. #196
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    Quote Originally Posted by T76
    Anybody have more real world results with medium cages? I believe I am buying a medium cage. Thanks for all the replies.
    I've been running a mid cage with 2x9 for over a yr now. The mid cage shifts faster but a long cage shifts "smoother" if that makes sense

    shorter cages will shift faster, but do to the lower ability to flex both chain length and actual cage flex the faster shifting results in kinda a clunky, stiffer feel when shifting to larger rings. Basically the chain wont work it's way up but has to snap up...

    going to a short cage I would imagine would have the same effect but more so..?
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  197. #197
    T76
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomllama
    I've been running a mid cage with 2x9 for over a yr now. The mid cage shifts faster but a long cage shifts "smoother" if that makes sense

    shorter cages will shift faster, but do to the lower ability to flex both chain length and actual cage flex the faster shifting results in kinda a clunky, stiffer feel when shifting to larger rings. Basically the chain wont work it's way up but has to snap up...

    going to a short cage I would imagine would have the same effect but more so..?
    So I am ordering one today. It sounds like I will like it better. I just want it to be where it is supposed to be in what gear and get there quickly. Sounds like Medium to me.

  198. #198
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    1x9, 36T CR + 11/34T Cassette: Short or super-short?

    Hi folks,

    I'm running my Jet9 as a 1x9 w/36T chain ring and 11/34T 9sp cassette.

    'Currently have a medium cage x.9 and want to go with at least a short x.9 derailleur.

    I can't seem to find the capacity of a X.9 super-short derailleur though. I'm guessing that is easily within the 23T I need, but 'am a little concerned with the fact I'm running a 36T on the front.

    Anybody know if a super-short will do the job or should I play it "safe" and go with a short?

    Thanks in advance.
    Tim

  199. #199
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fogerson
    Hi folks,

    I'm running my Jet9 as a 1x9 w/36T chain ring and 11/34T 9sp cassette.

    'Currently have a medium cage x.9 and want to go with at least a short x.9 derailleur.

    I can't seem to find the capacity of a X.9 super-short derailleur though. I'm guessing that is easily within the 23T I need, but 'am a little concerned with the fact I'm running a 36T on the front.

    Anybody know if a super-short will do the job or should I play it "safe" and go with a short?

    Thanks in advance.
    Tim
    The size of the ring on a single ring setup is completely irrelevant. 22t, 32t, 44t, 54t, whatever, it is all the same, there is no capacity to take up. You just look at the spread of the rear cassette.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  200. #200
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    Can someone please tell me what the physical lengths are of the cages are for 10 speed Sram X0 derailleurs? Specifically the Medium and/or long cages measured center of pulley to center of pulley. Thanks!

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