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  1. #1
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    Rear Meching Hell - Shimano RD-4400 Equivilent?

    Having trashed my Rear Derailleur I was really surprised that I was unable to find anyone who still stocked it (Shimano RD4400), I rather naively bought a RD4500 from Chain Reaction , and have just had the pleasure of finding out that it is too small – the lower cog on the derailleur overlaps the biggest chain ring by about 5mm.

    The RD 4400 comes in two sizes SS(short cage), and GS(long cage), I can’t determine for sure (its stamped with RD440 but no GS/SS) but I am guessing the GS.

    What really pees me off is that the Shimano Drive Train Compatibilty chart does not mention the 4400, as far as I can see?


    Having trawled the net again at great length, I have found this but its from Hong Kong (long wait) , it looks very similar to my orginal but I cannot be sure, and to mess up once is forgivable, but blah blah.

    Has anyone got any better ideas?

  2. #2
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    Why are you suprised that 4400 is no longer available? It's a generation old now, and long OOP, so finding it should be hard, and the only availability should be NOS parts, 4500 is also obsolete at the end of this year, with the introduction of 4600 for 2012.

    Can't see why you are having an issue using a RD4500, unless you are running a rear cassette which is over the capaicty of the RD. The Capacity of the RD should be stamped on it, and a GS should take a 12-32 with no issues, so guessing you have bought the SS version, have you also checked that the hanger isn't bent?

    It's pretty simple to work out which one you have visually, the one you have listed from Ebay in HK is an SS, as it's got a very short cage, the GS is like the one in the Chainreaction link, which has a cage which is about 10cm long.

    Why should the Compatibilty chart show 4400 parts?, 4400 is long OOP, and 4500 has superseded it (and this will be superseded for 2012 with 4600), maybe you need to do some more research before spending money on parts?

  3. #3
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeoptimist View Post
    and have just had the pleasure of finding out that it is too small – the lower cog on the derailleur overlaps the biggest chain ring by about 5mm.
    Could you post a photo of the problem you're describing here? It's not clear what you mean.

    The 4500 Tiagras are a drop-in replacement for a 4400. If you need the additional chain take-up capacity of the longer-cage version, then buy that model.

  4. #4
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    I guess I am surprised that you can't get spares for a 5 year old bike, when a bike can last for 30 years plus, especially when its the case that as a bike gets older spares are required more frequently.

  5. #5
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeoptimist View Post
    I guess I am surprised that you can't get spares for a 5 year old bike, when a bike can last for 30 years plus, especially when its the case that as a bike gets older spares are required more frequently.
    You can get spares. Both the 4500 and 4600 flavors of Tiagra, as well as any other 9-speed or 10-speed Shimano road RD, will take the place of your 4400.

  6. #6
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    Welcome to the would of modern bikes, you must have got 4400 in it's last year, there has also been a lot of competition between the big 3 players in groupsets for the last 5-10 years increasing the number of gears, electronics, the use of Carbon Fiber etc, along with built in obsolescence.

    Saying you can't get spares is incorrect though, as you can normally get Shimano spares for as long as they are listed on the Tech Docs, which 4400 still is, but this will be for individual parts, not complete units like an RD.

  7. #7
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    By the way, if you do want some 4400 rear derailleurs with the longer cage, I have no less than FOUR of the darn things. They'd be about $45 + shipping (each):


  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    Could you post a photo of the problem you're describing here? It's not clear what you mean.

    The 4500 Tiagras are a drop-in replacement for a 4400. If you need the additional chain take-up capacity of the longer-cage version, then buy that model.
    Many thanks mechBgon, due to you photo suggestion, I am now sorted. You are absolutely right, the 4500 is a drop in replacement. Explanation to follow!

  9. #9
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    Link to image

    I planned to show the problem with the 4500 (see image), and how it was not a problem with the 4400. However, with the mangled 4400 the clearance is even less, so I popped the chain on it it seems to work fine. What had really confused me was that dimension X (see photo) on the 4500 is a good 5mm less than on the 4400.

    Thanks once again - I,m off to bed now 11pm in the UK

  10. #10
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    Yeah, when you get a chain in there, it won't be a problem. Just adjust the B-screw to keep the guide pulley from hitting the sprocket.

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