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  1. #1
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    couple of drivetrain questions..

    So I'm planning to upgrade my drivetrain to all xt parts... but as I'm somewhat of a newbie I have a couple of questions:

    What's the difference between top swing and bottom swing front derailleurs?

    What's the difference between long and short cage rear derailleurs?

    Which of those do I need for my Marlin?
    '06 GF Marlin with
    IRD Dual bangers
    Recon 351 U-turn
    XT Hubs with Sun SOS Rims
    X.9 Rear Derailleur and shifters working harmoniously with XT Front derailleuer, crankset, cassette, and chain

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by syborg1211
    So I'm planning to upgrade my drivetrain to all xt parts... but as I'm somewhat of a newbie I have a couple of questions:

    What's the difference between top swing and bottom swing front derailleurs?

    What's the difference between long and short cage rear derailleurs?

    Which of those do I need for my Marlin?
    Top swing and bottom swing refers where the derailleur is anchored the seat tube. They are pretty interchangable unless you have a waterbottle braze on which would limit you to either top swing or bottom swing.

    What you should be more worried about it whether you front derailleur is "top pull" or "bottom pull" because those are not interchangable. If you cable comes via the downtube to the bottom bracekt shell, it is a bottom pull. If it comes via the top tube it is a top pull.

    As far as what rear derailleur to run, it all depends on what gearing you are running. A common gearing would be 22-32-42 in the front (referring to number of teeth) and an 11-32 (or 34) in the rear. If you are running that, go with a long cage. The derailleur needs to be long enough so it can take up the slack from the chain.

    An interesting article: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/derailleur.html

  3. #3
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattP.
    Top swing and bottom swing refers where the derailleur is anchored the seat tube. They are pretty interchangable unless you have a waterbottle braze on which would limit you to either top swing or bottom swing.

    What you should be more worried about it whether you front derailleur is "top pull" or "bottom pull" because those are not interchangable. If you cable comes via the downtube to the bottom bracekt shell, it is a bottom pull. If it comes via the top tube it is a top pull.

    As far as what rear derailleur to run, it all depends on what gearing you are running. A common gearing would be 22-32-42 in the front (referring to number of teeth) and an 11-32 (or 34) in the rear. If you are running that, go with a long cage. The derailleur needs to be long enough so it can take up the slack from the chain.

    An interesting article: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/derailleur.html
    No need to say any more except congrats on the choice of XT- Good gear for good prices.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam
    No need to say any more except congrats on the choice of XT- Good gear for good prices.
    For sure, you won't be disappointed!

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    So I've been reading up some on the forums, and people are saying that the sram rear derailleurs require less adjustments to keep them working. I'm not trying to start a holy war here so I'll leave the which is better question out of this.

    However, I do want to know the compatibility of all these drivetrain components.

    If I get an x9 rear derailleur and x9 shifter, will they work well with all other components XT still. Or are there other components that I should get x9 instead of xt to better quite an x9 rear?

    Also, I'm having trouble finding x9 shifters. performancebike.com has the rear derailleur but no shifters... how stupid is that?!? Where else can I get these for a good deal? (And if anyone has a >10% off coupon for performancebike please let me know because I'm pissed that I missed the 15% off coupon!)
    '06 GF Marlin with
    IRD Dual bangers
    Recon 351 U-turn
    XT Hubs with Sun SOS Rims
    X.9 Rear Derailleur and shifters working harmoniously with XT Front derailleuer, crankset, cassette, and chain

  6. #6
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    Currently, I'm running XTR shifters, XT rear derailleur & cassette, LX front and a Sram chain.

    If I were buying a new drivetrain, it would be as follows: Shifters and rear derailleur, X.9, front derailleur (doesn't matter, probably another LX, heck Deore works just fine), XT cassette and a Sram chain again.

    As long as both are all 9 speed, you won't have any issues.
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  7. #7
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by a2psyklnut
    If I were buying a new drivetrain, it would be as follows: Shifters and rear derailleur, X.9, front derailleur (doesn't matter, probably another LX, heck Deore works just fine), XT cassette and a Sram chain again.
    Pretty much the exact same setup I would go with, only exception is XT front derailleur. No reason, just a (snobbish) preference. That is if I was going with triggers. However now that I have tried twist shifters I'm sold. No more triggers for me!
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  8. #8
    Show Me What'cha got Blazinall91's Avatar
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    i love my X.0 trigger
    "I'm; young enough to know the right car to buy yet grown enough not to put rims on it. I got that 6-deuce, with curtains, so you can't see me and I didn't even have to put tints on it."

  9. #9
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    I shall be upgrading my stock drivetrain within the next half year when i get around to it.

    -SRAM chain
    - Shimano XT Cassette 11-34T
    - SRAM X.9 RD
    - SRAM X.9 Triggers
    - Shimano XT FD

    Looks like the same set up as others would like aswell .

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by blue_neon
    I shall be upgrading my stock drivetrain within the next half year when i get around to it.

    -SRAM chain
    - Shimano XT Cassette 11-34T
    - SRAM X.9 RD
    - SRAM X.9 Triggers
    - Shimano XT FD

    Looks like the same set up as others would like aswell .

    I'm currently building up a bike. So far I have XT cranks and XT f. derailler. Now I'm not sure what to do next. I looked at the Sram website and their x.9 shifters do not have the gear indicator while all the new ones on eBay do. Are those the new ones on the website? X.0 are too expensive for me. To further complicate matters, the new XTR is coming out soon, however once again, probably too much $$$.
    I have been using over-the-bar DX shifters for the last 15 years so I'm open to any and all suggestions.

  11. #11
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    To the O.P....I have two bikes. One has X.9 rear der. and shifters with LX front der. The other is XT frt and rear der with LX shifters. I run sram chains on both with Shimano HTII cranks on both. I have a XT cassette on one and a SRAM on the other.


    I totally prefer SRAM X.9 shifters and rear der. to the XT. I prefer XT cassette over SRAM. I love SRAM chains and Shimano HT II cranksets.

    Why are you upgrading the drivetrain on an '06 Marlin? Wait till you wear it out or break stuff. Most shifting problems are solved by installing new cables.

    That said, I'd go X.9 long cage rear derailleur, X.9 shifters, XT m760 front derailleur, XT 11-32 (shifts better) cassette, SRAM PC991 chain, and XT m760 or Hone 600-3 crankset.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by syborg1211
    So I'm planning to upgrade my drivetrain to all xt parts... but as I'm somewhat of a newbie I have a couple of questions:

    What's the difference between top swing and bottom swing front derailleurs?

    What's the difference between long and short cage rear derailleurs?

    Which of those do I need for my Marlin?

    Lots of good advice here, and if i recall, XT FD's are interchangeable...they have a plastic bracket that allows for both top and bottom pull cable routing.

    but most important, when you mix Sram and Shimano drive train components,make sure that the shifters and derailleurs are compatible...Sram RD's need a 2:1 ratio shifter, Shimano 1:1...both manufacturers make models that are comaptible with both so make sure you specify your build when buying the parts.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jm01
    Lots of good advice here, and if i recall, XT FD's are interchangeable...they have a plastic bracket that allows for both top and bottom pull cable routing.

    but most important, when you mix Sram and Shimano drive train components,make sure that the shifters and derailleurs are compatible...Sram RD's need a 2:1 ratio shifter, Shimano 1:1...both manufacturers make models that are comaptible with both so make sure you specify your build when buying the parts.
    Actually, it's Sram that has a 1:1 ratio shifters/rear derailleurs and Shimano 2:1. Sram does make the Attack shifters that are Shimano compatible with 2:1 ratio. Both companies use a 1:1 ratio for the front derailleur so it doesn't matter. You can mix and match freely with the front. Hope this clears that up for you.

    For what it's worth. I have XT shifters w/ XTR front and XT rear derailleurs on my Specialized FSR XC Pro and XT shifters w/ STX front and XT rear derailleurs (8spd) on my 98 Schwinn S30. If I were to start from scratch I'd probably go with XTR in the front with Sram X9 shifters and rear derailleur and either Shimano XT or Sram PG990 cassette. Either chain is fine for me. Whichever is readily available.

  14. #14
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    Thanks for the advice all, I think I've decided to go with sram RD/shifters and the rest xt.

    I would wait til my stuff breaks, but my gf rides too and she has all lesser drivetrain components than what I have now so I figure I might as well just upgrade them and give her the old parts instead.

    Last question, is there any difference between the 05 and 06 sram RD's and shifters?
    '06 GF Marlin with
    IRD Dual bangers
    Recon 351 U-turn
    XT Hubs with Sun SOS Rims
    X.9 Rear Derailleur and shifters working harmoniously with XT Front derailleuer, crankset, cassette, and chain

  15. #15
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by syborg1211
    Last question, is there any difference between the 05 and 06 sram RD's and shifters?
    Not enough to worry about unless you are looking at X.0.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

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