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  1. #1
    Kid A TurbineBlade's Avatar
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    Cheap Shimano Tourney derailleur test

    I've posted about the tourney before, but I'm running one on a surly LHT with brand new Shimano SLX triple cranks and SLX FD. It feels weird running such a bottom-of-the-barrel RD on this bike, but it honestly shifts pretty well.

    I thought about trying to find a decent XT or old LX or something, but figured I would just run this thing to death and see how long I get out of it with daily commuting.

    Any estimates? I know other folks have probably run this derailleur on bikes. Those plastic pulleys don't bode well.....
    Cyclist, angler and aquarist

  2. #2
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Mine's still alive. For some reason I even bought a spare.

    Don't worry about it. If it breaks, then replace it. But don't expect it to. RDs rarely wear out in the absence of horrible conditions.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

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    Kid A TurbineBlade's Avatar
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    What do you run it on? Do you take the pulley cage apart and grease the bushing (if it even has one..)?
    Cyclist, angler and aquarist

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    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I've mentioned this belief of mine before: there is a lot of hype about high-end vs low-end bike components. Most of the price difference goes to profit. I know that from experience. A lot of it goes into the finish, not the materials that make it durable or perform better.

    So your low end derailleur might last as long as a high-end one.

    To me, it can be worthwhile paying extra for a good frame, tires, and rims, but with the rest, I think it pays to shop for value.

    Of course, some people need super-durable things. Most of us do not. By their nature, bikes need a lot of maintenance per mile, no matter what you do, and high end components don't change that much.
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

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    Kid A TurbineBlade's Avatar
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    Good point.

    I'd say that bikes need regular maintenance to run to my satisfaction (and probably most cyclists too)... definitely.

    I don't know about other people though. I know a lot of people who have ridden their bikes for ridiculously long periods of time without replacing a thing!
    Cyclist, angler and aquarist

  6. #6
    Larger Chainring Oregon Southpaw's Avatar
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    noglider

    I was thinking about this the other day while riding my friends 2010 Steel Allez with the 2200 components. Sora and Tiagra get laughed at by some of my gear-loving friends, I can't imagine what they think about Tourney and 2200. Still that bike I rode had no mechanical problems whatsoever, and has been getting steady riding all through the winter.

    I wonder what Shimano would say.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dovetube View Post
    At times my crotch has thought the title to this thread.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gene2308 View Post
    Do you take the pulley cage apart and grease the bushing (if it even has one..)?
    There are bushings for the pulleys on the Tourney deraillers. A friend's son put his into the rear wheel. I didn't want him to have to wait a week for me to give the bike back so I took the derailler apart, bent the cage plates back to flat again, and reassembled. It shifted just fine after all that.

    All Shimano deraillers come with plastic pulleys as far as I know.

  8. #8
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gene2308 View Post
    What do you run it on? Do you take the pulley cage apart and grease the bushing (if it even has one..)?
    A gas-pipe hybrid that I rarely use now but used to beat regularly.

    Yes, I have disassembled and lubed - once. This is like a once-every five years maintenance item. It's not something to stress about. The jockey pulleys carry very little load.
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    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    I've mentioned this belief of mine before: there is a lot of hype about high-end vs low-end bike components. Most of the price difference goes to profit. I know that from experience. A lot of it goes into the finish, not the materials that make it durable or perform better.

    So your low end derailleur might last as long as a high-end one.

    To me, it can be worthwhile paying extra for a good frame, tires, and rims, but with the rest, I think it pays to shop for value.

    Of course, some people need super-durable things. Most of us do not. By their nature, bikes need a lot of maintenance per mile, no matter what you do, and high end components don't change that much.
    One theory behind Suntour's demise is that they didn't charge enough for their high end components. People chose Shimano or Campy instead because they thought they were getting a superior product over Suntour based on the price. In reality Suntour just wasn't gouging as much.

    We've been programmed to think of metal as quality and plastic as cheap and flimsy. A lot of times that's true. Sometimes it isn't.

  10. #10
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    Eh in my admittedly limited experience, there is a price/performance point at which you get the best componentry for your dollar. I ran Sora on my previous bike, and absolutely hated it. I have 105 on this bike, and I can tell you, it shifts smoother and more reliably than my Sora ever did (even the bike mechanics were confused as to why it sucked so goddamn bad when it was technically fine). Now if I had money to blow, I'd slap Di2 on my bike in an instant, but to a point, higher level components are better mechanically speaking (it's generally agreed upon the ultegra is that point for shimano..dura ace just nets you less weight, not noticeably better function). After that point, its just weight that is the difference. My XT derailleur, for example, has the option of being able to change the pulley cage in my derailleur to shorter (it has to be long right now or i wont be able to use all my gears) if my chainring setup changes. With cheaper level parts, you can't do that, as it is welded on, not bolted on. I like having that kind of choice. For some people its irrelevant, but to me, its important.

    Plastic pulleys are junk. They collect crap like nobody's business and make the drivetrain generally noisier. I replaced mine with kcnc aluminum pulleys, and they are quieter and don't collect as much crap on them. To me thats the point at which I get as much bang for my buck. After that, carbon fiber pulleys with ceramic bearings just weigh less, but don't really net me any more benefits.

  11. #11
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I would never claim that there's no difference. I'm just saying there's less difference than they want you to think, less than the prices reflect.

    Plastic pulleys? That's all there was for a long time, including on Campy Super Record!
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

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  12. #12
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    I have a tourney RD on my old mtn bike that some crackhead put on when they swapped out all the parts when it was stolen(from me). I can't speak to its performance, as it wasn't actually connected to anything when i got the bike back, and I only went as far as throwing a gripshift that probably wasn't designed for that RD or the casette, so it would at least sort of work.

    that said,the main reason I can think of to not run this RD is that it is so bloody huge and ugly. WHY is it so massive? Whats with that oversized jockey pulley? I just don't get it. Old low end shimano 200GS looks just like old shimano Deore or even deoreXT just made with crappier stuff.

    Conclusion: Conspiracy! Shimano decided to make their low end stuff ugly as sin to force people that care about that stuff even a little bit to buy their better components.

  13. #13
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    I've got or had examples of MTB RD's from Acera up to XTR and found that up to the "just plain" Deore level you did actually get smoother shifting. From that point in there MAY have been a slight bump in function going to LX but from LX to XTR nothing that anyone that is a mere mortal could feel. And the lifespan is just as long with all of them.

    On the road side I like 105 and higher more so because of the look of the machining and design. I breifly had a road bike with Sora on it and it shifted wonderfully and without issue. As well as the 105 I had on a bike previously.

    Some of it comes down to how reliably the parts stay in tune. If an RD requires frequent diddling to stay in tune is it because of cable problems or is i wearing rapidly and moving out of adjustment as a result? Hard to say without doing a long term assessment and charting the direction and frequency of the adjustments over time.
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by deep_sky View Post
    even the bike mechanics were confused as to why it sucked so goddamn bad when it was technically fine
    Find new mechanics. Sora can be adjusted to shift as perfectly as any reasonable person could want.

    Quote Originally Posted by deep_sky View Post
    Plastic pulleys are junk. They collect crap like nobody's business and make the drivetrain generally noisier. I replaced mine with kcnc aluminum pulleys, and they are quieter and don't collect as much crap on them. To me thats the point at which I get as much bang for my buck. After that, carbon fiber pulleys with ceramic bearings just weigh less, but don't really net me any more benefits.
    Junk, right. Shimano uses "junk" on every single derailler they produce. How do plastic pulleys make noise anyway? I've never had an issue with one on deraillers ranging from Acera to XTR.

  15. #15
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deep_sky View Post
    Eh in my admittedly limited experience, there is a price/performance point at which you get the best componentry for your dollar. I ran Sora on my previous bike, and absolutely hated it. I have 105 on this bike, and I can tell you, it shifts smoother and more reliably than my Sora ever did (even the bike mechanics were confused as to why it sucked so goddamn bad when it was technically fine). Now if I had money to blow, I'd slap Di2 on my bike in an instant, but to a point, higher level components are better mechanically speaking (it's generally agreed upon the ultegra is that point for shimano..dura ace just nets you less weight, not noticeably better function). After that point, its just weight that is the difference. My XT derailleur, for example, has the option of being able to change the pulley cage in my derailleur to shorter (it has to be long right now or i wont be able to use all my gears) if my chainring setup changes. With cheaper level parts, you can't do that, as it is welded on, not bolted on. I like having that kind of choice. For some people its irrelevant, but to me, its important.

    Plastic pulleys are junk. They collect crap like nobody's business and make the drivetrain generally noisier. I replaced mine with kcnc aluminum pulleys, and they are quieter and don't collect as much crap on them. To me thats the point at which I get as much bang for my buck. After that, carbon fiber pulleys with ceramic bearings just weigh less, but don't really net me any more benefits.
    I don't know. Depending on the year I think Ultegra is often just a prettier 105. Other years there's been some real differences. It might have been 2008 but I believe very recently shimano changed a part on 105 shifters and they started to fail at a significant rate. They've since changed it back.

    I have Soras, 105s, and Ultegras and I can't say that any one works appreciably better than the others. The Sora's have an "ear" rather than a paddle and that makes a big difference in that they're not really usable from the drops. You also can't drop as many gears on the Sora in one sweep of the lever if I remember right. Obviously that's not too big a deal to me since my winter bike has Sora, my summer Ultegra and I can't even remember for sure.

  16. #16
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    My 2200 flat bar RD shifter was sticking. I removed the screw from the bottom, added a couple drops of chain lube. Works like new. I also run Deore components on my Giant Rainier, and the difference is noticeable, but not enough so to warrant the extra cost. As long as I'm riding and not ghost shifting half the time, I'm happy.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
    You also can't drop as many gears on the Sora in one sweep of the lever if I remember right.
    Nope, Sora will downshift three gears at a time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
    Find new mechanics. Sora can be adjusted to shift as perfectly as any reasonable person could want.
    I tried several shops in the area, and they all said that the set was technically aligned right, but shifting was not smooth and occasionally it flat out wouldn't do it, unless you back off a gear or two and tried again. I find it unlikely that several shops have all sucky mechanics. Mis-shifts and failed shifts are not good enough for me, so I upgraded, and have been pleased with the 105 thus far. I did at the qualifier "in my experience", you know.


    Junk, right. Shimano uses "junk" on every single derailler they produce. How do plastic pulleys make noise anyway? I've never had an issue with one on deraillers ranging from Acera to XTR.
    As soon as I changed from the plastic stock pulleys to the kcnc pulleys, the drivetrain got significantly quieter, and didn't get crusted up nearly as fast because there is less surface area on a kcnc pulley for gunk to stick to. Smoother bearings? smoother action against the chain as it cycled through the pulleys? Better alignment of the pulleys within the cage (I did have to adjust the tightness of the pulley bolts a bit to get the line of the chain right)? I couldn't tell you because the pulleys don't talk to me. I can speculate on reasons, like I just did, but the noise of the drivetrain quieted down with the swap. If the drivetrain has recently been cleaned, I can't even hear it unless I get down next to it and cycle the chain. *shrugs* that's good enough for me to say that the stock pulleys are not as good as aftermarket ones, in my particular situation. doubtless others have used kcnc pulleys and have been deafened by the racket (over-tightening the bolts will lead to that, as i found out when i did the same thing).

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    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
    Nope, Sora will downshift three gears at a time.
    I stand corrected

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    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deep_sky View Post
    I tried several shops in the area, and they all said that the set was technically aligned right, but shifting was not smooth and occasionally it flat out wouldn't do it, unless you back off a gear or two and tried again. I find it unlikely that several shops have all sucky mechanics. Mis-shifts and failed shifts are not good enough for me, so I upgraded, and have been pleased with the 105 thus far. I did at the qualifier "in my experience", you know.
    The bike that came with the Sora shifters had a Tiagra rear derailleur so maybe that's the difference. The bike the Soras are on now uses a Deore rear derailleur. That shifts fine too.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
    I stand corrected
    It's been a while since I've used Sora myself so I double-checked on Shimano's site. Sure enough, the tech docs only show Sora's as downshifting two gears at a time. I guess I've gotten so used to the triple downshift on my Ultegra's that I forgot I used to live without it. Sorry for the confusion.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by deep_sky View Post
    I tried several shops in the area, and they all said that the set was technically aligned right, but shifting was not smooth and occasionally it flat out wouldn't do it, unless you back off a gear or two and tried again. I find it unlikely that several shops have all sucky mechanics. Mis-shifts and failed shifts are not good enough for me, so I upgraded, and have been pleased with the 105 thus far. I did at the qualifier "in my experience", you know.
    Sounds like a cable/housing/friction issue or derailler hanger. I never had that happen in the 10,000 miles I put on a Sora equipped bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by deep_sky View Post
    As soon as I changed from the plastic stock pulleys to the kcnc pulleys, the drivetrain got significantly quieter, and didn't get crusted up nearly as fast because there is less surface area on a kcnc pulley for gunk to stick to. Smoother bearings? smoother action against the chain as it cycled through the pulleys? Better alignment of the pulleys within the cage (I did have to adjust the tightness of the pulley bolts a bit to get the line of the chain right)? I couldn't tell you because the pulleys don't talk to me. I can speculate on reasons, like I just did, but the noise of the drivetrain quieted down with the swap. If the drivetrain has recently been cleaned, I can't even hear it unless I get down next to it and cycle the chain. *shrugs* that's good enough for me to say that the stock pulleys are not as good as aftermarket ones, in my particular situation. doubtless others have used kcnc pulleys and have been deafened by the racket (over-tightening the bolts will lead to that, as i found out when i did the same thing).
    If you went from really gunked up pulleys to clean new ones, that might explain the noise going away. I've never found the plastic pulleys to be noisy. I'm not sure what you mean by "Better alignment of the pulleys within the cage". Shimano intentionally builds float into the upper pulley to help deal with tolerances in the adjustment of the rear derailler.

  23. #23
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    I've always have had fairly low end derailers on my bikes, few years ago: simplex, sachs, then non series shimano.

    Now with a larger gear range I've used tourney, altus, and deore (is my best).
    At the moment I have 2 altus and 1 deore.

    I had the most trouble with the tourney. A friend and I bought the same Dawes Discovery 201 in 2006 and on both bicycles the tourneys lower chain wheel collapsed (the center axle collapsed and caused a lot of chain movement and the gears to jump). Mine was replaced with another tourney under warranty (my LBS hadn't seen it happen much before), but the same thing happened. We simply replace the chain wheels on his.. I decided to use the second one til it died, which was pretty quickly, I'd estimate between 2000 and 3000 miles.

    Now I have an deore on the Dawes and its running fine. I don't mind low end parts but from experience I think from altus up is fine -the altus has a similar chain wheel size to the tourney but I don't know what it was -they look flimsy even compared to the altus!...

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    Quote Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
    Sounds like a cable/housing/friction issue or derailler hanger. I never had that happen in the 10,000 miles I put on a Sora equipped bike.
    Derailleur hanger was aligned correctly, and the cables and their housings were found to be in proper shape. I didn't have them replaced, though as I had less than 300 miles on the bike by the time I traded up for my 105 bike that I have now. I know, they were puzzled too, but they took it out themselves and found the same problems I had. I wasn't willing to replace basically new componentry, however.


    If you went from really gunked up pulleys to clean new ones, that might explain the noise going away. I've never found the plastic pulleys to be noisy. I'm not sure what you mean by "Better alignment of the pulleys within the cage". Shimano intentionally builds float into the upper pulley to help deal with tolerances in the adjustment of the rear derailler.
    What I meant is that the plastic ones collected gunk so quickly that after one ride they were covered in said gunk to the point where the noise of the drivetrain would increase throughout the ride. The kcnc pulleys take several rides (i generally try to clean the drive train every other ride, but sometimes i let it go 5-6 before a cleaning, depending on the rides and my level of laziness after the ride ) before they start causing noise via caking of said gunk. The plastic pulleys have a decent size area to collect gunk, the kcnc ones have cut outs that seem to lower the amount of gunk that sticks to them. The roads around here are pretty dirty and I pick up quite a bit of dust and dirt from a single ride (rich people think that paving and cleaning the roads is unnecessary).
    As to the float, it was just speculation on my part as to why the kcnc pulleys seem to work so much better in my xt derailleur than the default ones the derailleur came with.

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    I expect that Tourney derailluer will last a fairly long time. Even though they are the bottom of the line, they are pretty durable and can work pretty well for a long time.

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