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  1. #1
    Used to be fast surfjimc's Avatar
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    Which derailuers for touring build?

    I am rebuilding a 1984 Specialized Expedition. The idea is to upgrade everything and build a nice touring rig with current parts. The frame is spread to 135 to accommodate Shimano 9 speed. I have an XT M771 crank (48-36-26) and an 11-34 9 speed cassette. I want to use front and rear XT derailuers, but with so many to choose from, I'm not sure which are the best choice. I will be using Dura Ace 9 speed bar end shifters. For the rear do I want high or low profile? Top or normal pull. Same for the front. I'll assume bottom pull and 28.8, but that's a guess. Hoping you guys can point me in the right direction. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Front: bottom pull, 28.6mm clamp. That's the spec for most touring bikes, including every one from 1984 and prior.

    Rear: you'd need a newer XT, the 8-speed (M737) from the mid-90's was rated to a max cog of 32t. I think, anyway. I'm not sure what you mean by high or low profile, and top or normal pull. I'm guessing they mean these two distinctions:
    1. long cage vs. super-long cage (GS vs. SGS). You should probably go super-long cage (SGS) with your gearing range.
    2. traditional vs. reverse cable-pull (also known as "low-normal") This is all up to what you're used to and can get used to, and what feels comfortable. Here's what Harris Cyclery's website has to say about the difference:
    Most rear derailers are pushed by a spring toward the highest (smallest) sprocket, and the shift cable pulls them toward the lowest sprocket. Shimano "Rapid Rise" rear derailers ( XTR Rapid Rise, Nexave T400, MegaRange Rapid Rise and Tourney Rapid Rise )work the opposite way, springing toward the lowest (largest) sprocket. This system provides slightly better downshifting, but can be confusing to a rider who is accustomed to high-normal derailers. Either type may be used with any contemporary Shimano shifter, but if you use a low-normal derailer on a shifter made for high-normal, the indicator numbers will read backwards, and you will have to shift in the opposite direction. However, if you use a Rapid Rise derailler with bar end shifters, both shifters will shift in the same direction ( up will be higher ).

  3. #3
    No one carries the DogBoy
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    Quote Originally Posted by surfjimc View Post
    I am rebuilding a 1984 Specialized Expedition. The idea is to upgrade everything and build a nice touring rig with current parts. The frame is spread to 135 to accommodate Shimano 9 speed. I have an XT M771 crank (48-36-26) and an 11-34 9 speed cassette. I want to use front and rear XT derailuers, but with so many to choose from, I'm not sure which are the best choice. I will be using Dura Ace 9 speed bar end shifters. For the rear do I want high or low profile? Top or normal pull. Same for the front. I'll assume bottom pull and 28.8, but that's a guess. Hoping you guys can point me in the right direction. Thanks in advance.
    For the rear, rapid rise vs older "normal" version. My preference is the normal version. This is the one that puts the derailler at rest in the smallest cog. It really makes no difference other than the direction you pull the lever to change gears.

    For the front, check which way your cable stops go, and that should answer which to use. Don't assume the seat-post diameter. Measure it. If you really want to be sure, go to your LBS and they will make sure whatever you order will fit your bike.

  4. #4
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    For the front, I recommend a Tiagra derailleur (triple compatible, Shimano FD-4403). It will be bottom pull, which is what you need, and comes with shim(s) for the clamp so that it will fit your seat tube. It will work great with the crankset you are using and the bar end shifters. This type of setup is very typical of touring bikes (i.e, mixing road and mountain components).

    For the rear, I wouldn't do rapid rise on a touring bike personally, but it's a matter of preference. I'd go with the Shimano XT SGS (part number RD-M761). This one has the longer cage. I put one on my Surly LHT and it works great, and it's the stock RD that comes on the LHT if you order one as a complete bike. The XT GS models have a shorter cage and are primarily for mountain bikes that use only two chainrings, such as bikes with a bash ring in place of a big ring, and therefore don't need as much chain wrap capacity. On your touing setup, you need lots of chain wrap capacity.

    Btw, congrats on the Specialized Expedition, that's on most folks' top tier vintage touring bikes list.
    Last edited by well biked; 02-01-09 at 09:10 AM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by timcupery View Post
    I'm not sure what you mean by high or low profile,
    Shimano has "Shadow" series deraillers for XTR and XT. They have a lower profile than the standard deraillers to keep them from getting caught on stuff during trail riding. I've read that the shifting performance is slightly worse than with a standard profile derailler though (never used one myself). For a touring bike, I don't think the Shadow derailler offers much of a benefit especially given the extra cost usually associated with them.

    XTR Shadow: http://www.speedgoat.com/product.asp...t=33&brand=226 ($280 vs. ~$200 for normal XTR)
    XT Shadow: http://www.speedgoat.com/product.asp...t=33&brand=226 (not a huge price difference here though)

  6. #6
    Used to be fast surfjimc's Avatar
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    Thanks for all your input guys. It didn't even dawn on me to read Sheldon's website to find the differences. Think I'm going to go with the SGS high/normal on the rear. Still torn between the Tiagra and the XT for the front. Most in the touring forum tend to think XT is too high end for a touring bike, but I would like to build a nice all-round bike that can also be the summer long distance work horse.

  7. #7
    I live in a bicycle. smovlov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by surfjimc View Post
    Thanks for all your input guys. It didn't even dawn on me to read Sheldon's website to find the differences. Think I'm going to go with the SGS high/normal on the rear. Still torn between the Tiagra and the XT for the front. Most in the touring forum tend to think XT is too high end for a touring bike, but I would like to build a nice all-round bike that can also be the summer long distance work horse.
    If you want to spend the jack on the XT name go right ahead. Most of the time there is no major difference between the lower end FDs and the upper end FDs. Sometimes weight but they all do their job well.

    If it were me, depending on the price difference, I might just opt to having matching front and rear... That's just me.
    I think further therefore I go farther.
    1979 Motobecane Le Champion, 1972 Schwinn Super Sport, 1985 Nishiki Cresta GT

  8. #8
    www.markreynoldsfund.org
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    My suggestion for the front derailure is actually to go find a NOS Shimano Deore DX derailure for the front. They can generally be had for 5 bones plus shipping and are bombproof quality part. Back in the day these were 1 notch below the xt line and considered by many to be its equal.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Shimano-Deore-DX...QQcmdZViewItem
    Mudu93

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  9. #9
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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    My suggestion, first of all, ditch the xt crankset. Go with a 5 bolt, 110/74 version over the 4 bolt. Not only are parts much easier to come by, but they are stronger as well. The 4 bolt versions have a tendency to bend.

    As for derailers, nothing wrong with XT, shadow or not, but if you really want to match the heritage of your Expedition, find a Huret Duo-Par. It has unrivaled chain wrap, as well as the ability to closely follow your cassette regardless of the jumps.

    If you want to stay modern, and I don't exactly blame you, I'd go with a shadow. I busted a derailer on my last tour precisely because it was sticking out beyond the frame. If you only stay on roads, this won't be a problem, but touring bikes offroad so well.

  10. #10
    More Energy than Sense aroundoz's Avatar
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    You would have a hard time finding a better deal than this:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=170298232622

    I have about 14,000 touring miles on mine and finally wore out the pulleys. Considering the price of pulleys, I paid a little more and bought the above but there are several left.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    "if you really want to match the heritage of your Expedition, find a Huret Duo-Par. It has unrivaled chain wrap, as well as the ability to closely follow your cassette regardless of the jumps."

    Got a source for those? A used one just sold on eBay for $122. I've got one, but the mounting bolt ans tabbed washer are missing.

  12. #12
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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    The eco is just as good, just less blingy for lack of titanium. I have one on my touring bike, and one (an eco) waiting to replace it when it goes. And no, you can't have it!

  13. #13
    Your mom
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    A front derailleur is a front derailleur. As long as the profile matches your crankset, I don't think shelling out is worthwhile.

  14. #14
    1 bike 2 many. Butterthebean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aroundoz View Post
    You would have a hard time finding a better deal than this:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=170298232622

    I have about 14,000 touring miles on mine and finally wore out the pulleys. Considering the price of pulleys, I paid a little more and bought the above but there are several left.
    How do you like the reverse action of the Rapid Rise??? I have one that I have yet to put on a bike. I'm not worried about getting used to the new shifting pattern...but I have more than one bike and I'm not sure how I'd do switching back and forth.
    The internet gives you the opportunity to be an obnoxious jerk. But you are not obligated to do so.

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  15. #15
    1 bike 2 many. Butterthebean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by well biked View Post

    For the rear, I wouldn't do rapid rise on a touring bike personally

    Why not? What type of bike would you do rapid rise on??? I would think a touring bike would be the perfect application for a rapid rise derailler.
    The internet gives you the opportunity to be an obnoxious jerk. But you are not obligated to do so.

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  16. #16
    headtube. zzyzx_xyzzy's Avatar
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    I prefer rapid rise when using bar end shifters.

  17. #17
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butterthebean View Post
    Why not? What type of bike would you do rapid rise on??? I would think a touring bike would be the perfect application for a rapid rise derailler.

    I've used rapid rise on mountain bikes, I like it there in certain situations. But on pavement, I'll stick to conventional derailleurs. But hey, it's all about choice. I've got my opinion, you've got yours.

  18. #18
    1 bike 2 many. Butterthebean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by well biked View Post
    I've used rapid rise on mountain bikes, I like it there in certain situations. But on pavement, I'll stick to conventional derailleurs. But hey, it's all about choice. I've got my opinion, you've got yours.
    I don't really have an opinion since I've never actually used rapid rise....but I've been tempted to try it.

    It seems to me they would be most useful with friction shifters....especially bar ends and down tube shifters.
    The internet gives you the opportunity to be an obnoxious jerk. But you are not obligated to do so.

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  19. #19
    )) <> (( illwafer's Avatar
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    just talking as a lay person, but i think rapid rise would be awesome on downtube shifters. you would be shifting in the same direction "going up".

  20. #20
    More Energy than Sense aroundoz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butterthebean View Post
    How do you like the reverse action of the Rapid Rise??? I have one that I have yet to put on a bike. I'm not worried about getting used to the new shifting pattern...but I have more than one bike and I'm not sure how I'd do switching back and forth.
    My wife and I use them on our bikes with bar end shifters and it's nice for the obvious reason that low is the same position for both the front and rear. I can't comment on other types of shifters but it makes sense it would be good for downtube shifters also. My other bikes have grip, ergo and thumb shifters so there is no confusion.

    I need to say that if I had a bike w/ bar ends and a traditional rise derailleur, I would not be tempted to change it for RR. It's not really an upgrade.

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