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  1. #1
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    Broken Rear derailleur, was 9 speed, can I or should I upgrade to 10 Speed?

    OK, I have a Trek 7.5 FX and my 9 speed Shimano Tiagra rear derailleur recently broke and it needs to be replaced.

    My questions are:

    • Can I upgrade to the 10 speed Shimano Tiagra (RD-4601), or should I buy off ebay the 9 speed Tiagra again (RD-4500)?
      They are near in price so I was hoping I could just do the 10 speed and not sure if differences matter in this case. Does anyone know?
    • What cage size do I need? There are 3 rings so I am guessing medium or large. Also--what the hell is the GS version of these derailleurs?

    Bonus Q's:
    Any recommendation on chain? I was thinking just a modest priced KMC.
    I have no idea how to figure out the size of my bike, does anyone know if there is a model number, measurement I can take, or quick pointer that will indicate size of my frame (13, 15, 17, 19)?


    This image shows EXACTLY what my bike looks like, minus the broken derailleur.




    Here are the specs, which can also be accessed here.
    Frameset
    Frame - FX Alpha Black Aluminum
    Fork - Bontrager Satellite Plus, carbon
    Sizes - 13, 15, 17, 19"
    Wheels
    Wheels - Bontrager SSR w/Clix
    Tires - Bontrager Race Lite Hardcase, 700x32c; 60 tpi
    Drivetrain
    Shifters-Shimano Deore, 9 speed
    Front derailleur- Shimano Deore
    Rear derailleur - Shimano Tiagra
    Crank - Shimano M443 Octalink 48/36/26
    Cassette - SRAM PG950 11-26, 9 speed
    Pedals - Alloy body w/alloy cage
    Components
    Saddle - Bontrager Select FIT Basic
    Seatpost - Bontrager Sport
    Handlebar - Bontrager Crowbar Sport, 25mm rise
    Stem - Bontrager Select, 10 degree
    Headset-Aheadset Slimstak w/semi-cartridge bearings, sealed
    Brakeset-Avid SD-3 w/Tektro adjustable reach alloy levers
    Accessories
    Extras- Bontrager Satellite FIT grips


    Any help appreciated!! Thank you.
    Last edited by trek7.5fx; 01-15-14 at 03:14 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member bres dad's Avatar
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    Does anyone know if a 105 RD-5501 is interchangeable with the Tiagra RD-4500?
    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!

  3. #3
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    Which models are you talking about ?

    RD-5501-SS or RD-5501-GS ?

    RD-4500-SS or RD-4500-GS ?

    RD-5501: http://techdocs.shimano.com/media/te...9830603908.pdf
    RD-4500: http://techdocs.shimano.com/media/te...9830607047.pdf

  4. #4
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    Either model will work. The 5501/5503 are 9-speed versions but the 10-speed 4500 will also work. "GS" means a long cage and is the model you want for a triple crank.

    You want any 9-speed KMC chain. In this case "9-speed" implies the correct width to match your cassette but a 10-speed width chain would also work. You don't want any chain listed as 7/8-speed as it would be too wide.

  5. #5
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    You can use either the 9 or 10 speed. You need the GS version which is for triples. This is the "long" within the Tiagra group but is a "mid" in the larger scheme, with MTB derailleurs as the "long." KMC chains are good, I like the link. Any of them with 9 in the name.

  6. #6
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    Hi All,

    Thanks for the response. bres dad, I tried responding to your PM but am unable to at under 50 posts apparently. Thanks for your consideration, appreciate the help!

    I did a little research and it appears the 105 RD-5501 is actually cheaper on ebay than the older 9 speed I want (well, they are both old)--so I will buy that. if anyone can think of a better, cheaper alternative, let me know! I am also getting this KMC chain!

    Any other tips and advice appreciated. Also--I assume my stock hanger will work with these derailleurs, can anyone confirm?

    Thank you again.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by trek7.5fx View Post
    I assume my stock hanger will work with these derailleurs, can anyone confirm?
    Yes it will. Rear derailleur hangers are universally threaded M10x1.0 and any Shimano, SRAM or Campagnolo rear derailleur will bolt right up.

  8. #8
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    The frame size should be on a sticker on the seat tube. Mine is.
    Is the derailer broken, or is the hanger broken?
    If you don't know the way, you shouldn't be going there.

  9. #9
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    both broke, but i already ordered a new hanger a while back (expensive for a little piece of metal).

    Purchased a 9 speed KMC chain today and the RD-5501-GS. Woot

  10. #10
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    If you don't plan to update your cassette and shifter to 10 sp, I wouls stick with a 9 sp chain.
    As others have said, the KMC chains are good and the quick links are easy to fit and re-usable, Shimano chains are mated and broken via a regular pin and a replacement pin, so you need a new one (pin) each time and if you don't get it just right you can have a stiff link in the future when you put the connecting pin.

  11. #11
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    I bought this bike over the summer, and it broke within 1 week. since then I haven't touched it. Thanks for all the insightful responses everyone, you are helping me get back on this bike and finally take initiative.

  12. #12
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    RD gets shoved sideways , between cogs, the number of cogs is the 'speeds'..

    if you damaged the RD , you probably bent the hanger.

    visit a Bike Shop, and they will re-align it.

  13. #13
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    thank you. i got a new hanger altogether. this should resolve it right? the actual bike metal doesn't usually bend, right?

  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    NO.. there still needs an alignment tweaking , Shop tool is a $100+..

    Index shifting is fussy about alignment.

    service at the LBS will be much less than buying your own Shop tool

    the actual bike metal doesn't usually bend, right?
    Dream On..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 01-15-14 at 12:42 PM.

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