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  1. #1
    Is this gonna hurt? MaxBrokeAway's Avatar
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    Derailleur - Long cage or short cage?

    Whats the difference other that obvious length...

    What are the Pros/Cons of each if any? Thanks.

    Also, do I need special shifters for a "rapid rise" derailleur?
    Last edited by MaxBrokeAway; 06-27-07 at 12:39 PM.
    Myidolis Says: "clickety flickety? Well i have no idea what your bikes problem is, but your description probably contains the most onomatopoeia i've seen in awhile."

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    Is this gonna hurt? MaxBrokeAway's Avatar
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    wow...nobody?

    Well also I have another question...the derailleur im looking at says its "Mega 9" speed compatible...im running an 8 speed...can i used a 9 speed derailleur with my 8 speed set-up?
    Myidolis Says: "clickety flickety? Well i have no idea what your bikes problem is, but your description probably contains the most onomatopoeia i've seen in awhile."

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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxBrokeAway
    Whats the difference other that obvious length...

    What are the Pros/Cons of each if any? Thanks.

    Also, do I need special shifters for a "rapid rise" derailleur?
    Depends on the size of your cog set...an 11-34 9 spd will require a long an 11-30 8 spd will probably work with a short

    advantage of the short is that it won't catch on rocks and roots as often as the long

    Rapid rise will work with your existing shifter but many opt for a remote shifter that mounts on your bar ends...allows you to shift faster on those harder climbs

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    No cud for foil. DasProfezzional's Avatar
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    Unless you're planning to ride an 11-23 cassette on the back of your mountain bike, I would go with a long cage derailleur. The only MTBs I've seen short cage derailleurs on have been downhill bikes.

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    I like beer Ymmie's Avatar
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    I did a google search for short cage derailleur advantages and found this. It sounds good and makes sense to me.

    All the derailleur cage does is take up slack in the chain when smaller rings/cogs are in use. It follows that:

    Short cage= Common on bikes with a narrower range of gears, especially road doubles. Allegedly better shifting (not really true). The ability to run a shorter chain, which means less chain slap on a mountain bike, and generally more tension on the chain. Better ground clearance (off road), but most derailleurs die from catching sticks, not hitting the ground. Lighter by a very tiny bit. Looks cool to some people.

    Long cage= Common on road triples and almost all mountain bikes. Can handle a longer chain, which means that it can handle a larger "chain wrap." This means you can have a wider range of gears without experiencing slack in the chain, or having to use a chain that is too short for some gear combinations.

    You should be able to use a mega 9 derailleur on an 8 sp setup.

    I think you can use your current shifters but the shifting might be backwards. If you shift up with your thumb, now you may shift down with your thumb. Or something like that.

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    Bad Company dminor's Avatar
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    Sorry, I'd have responded when I saw it but I figured better people than I would chime in. As jm01 pointed out, the obvious advantage to short-cage is that it doesn't hang down in harm's way as far.

    The downside, as he also alluded to, is that a short-cage is not capable of the physical range necessary to accomodate a wide-range cog cluster and three front rings. Most derailleurs have a set range of total tooth-count that they can handle. Short-cage dreailleurs get used by downhillers a lot because of the clearance advantages and the fact that they are only running a single ring up front so wildly-varying amounts of chain don't have to be taken up or let out.

    Oh, and a '9-speed dreailleur' can be used in an 8-speed system - - the indexing of the shifters is what determines 8- or 9-speed.

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    Think of it like this, a short cage won't let you use the gear combinations you shouldn't be using anyways! If you are the type of rider who always is aware of what combination you are in and where you want to be going a short cage works well. If you tend to cross chain (big big especially) better get yourself a long cage to avoid potential catastrophy.

    I switched from a long XT to a short XTR this year and was blow away by the increased shifting performance. How much is related to the "X" and how much to the short cage is debatable. So far I've had no issues on my 2 X 8 drivetrain.

    Short cage DOES look better, that of course is reason enough to go short and learn how to shift.

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    A long cage derailleur takes up more unused chain. The more gearing range you have, the more slack chain you'll need to take up. Here is a simple rule of thumb since most of us are probably use wide MTB cartridges instead of the Pine Cone rode jobs.

    1 chainring - Short Cage
    2 chainrings - Medium Cage
    3 chainrings - Long Cage

    This will probably guarantee that you can shift into any ring/cog combination without either binding the chain or allowing the derailleur to go slack. Some people do deliberately choose to use a shorter derailleur and they will consciously avoid cross chaining "big/big" and "small/small" combinations. On my current setup, I cannot shift into my 44/32. I willingly sacrifice that gear as I'm rarely in the big ring and when I am I'm on flat ground so I have more time to get back into the middle if I need a lower gear.

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    Is this gonna hurt? MaxBrokeAway's Avatar
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    ok...thanks for the reply...

    so what im gonna do is get a long cage Shimano LX rear derailleur

    what I have gathered is that even though it says 9 speed, it will work with my 8 with no problems.


    MY ONLY CONCERN at this point is that its "rapid rise" and as a poster stated earlier, it may reverse my shifting on my current shifters...I.E. if i shift down with my trigger now...it will reverse with a rapid rise derailleur and shift up with my trigger...is this true??? (by the way Im using ST-EF29 ez fire shifters)
    Myidolis Says: "clickety flickety? Well i have no idea what your bikes problem is, but your description probably contains the most onomatopoeia i've seen in awhile."

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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxBrokeAway
    ok...thanks for the reply...

    so what im gonna do is get a long cage Shimano LX rear derailleur
    Good choice, it will give you maximum flexibility.


    what I have gathered is that even though it says 9 speed, it will work with my 8 with no problems.
    There is ZERO difference between an 8 speed derailleur and a 9 speed derailleur. The derailleur need only move over the entire cassette. Both 8 speed and 9 speed cassettes have the same width. If you were talking about 7, 6 and 5 speeds, this would be a different story.

    MY ONLY CONCERN at this point is that its "rapid rise" and as a poster stated earlier, it may reverse my shifting on my current shifters...I.E. if i shift down with my trigger now...it will reverse with a rapid rise derailleur and shift up with my trigger...is this true??? (by the way Im using ST-EF29 ez fire shifters)


    The ST-EF29 is a traditional "high normal" shifter. Do NOT buy a rapid a Rapid Rise Derailleur for it. While you are upgrading, you may wish to ditch those ST-EF29s as they are bound to fail. The worse problem these have is that the rider hooks their thumb over that "tab" and tears the cover in half. Once that happens, it's all down hill.

    Check out Pricepoint.com. They have great deals on derailleur/shifter combos as well as brake levers. Consider a SRAM shifter/derailleur. They're lower maintenance then Shimano.

  12. #12
    Mad Furyan Quick_Torch C5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxBrokeAway
    Whats the difference other that obvious length...

    What are the Pros/Cons of each if any? Thanks.

    Also, do I need special shifters for a "rapid rise" derailleur?

    I'll be different. I put an X9 medium cage on my 11-32 XT cassette, no problems. It replaced an old XT long cage RD. I find it shifts a little quicker , but that may be attributed to being a new SRAM.
    Why is going slower harder?

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    one less horse cryptid01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by willtsmith_nwi
    The ST-EF29 is a traditional "high normal" shifter. Do NOT buy a rapid a Rapid Rise Derailleur for it.
    The "normality" of the system is determined solely by the derailleur, and has nothing to do with the shifter. It'll work just fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gastro
    The "normality" of the system is determined solely by the derailleur, and has nothing to do with the shifter. It'll work just fine.
    The poster was concerned that his shifter would not match the derailleur in terms of up and downshifts. If you match a high normal shifter with a low normal derailleur, a downshift on the shifter will result in an upshift in the derailleur. A cable pull will result in moving the derailleur into a higher gear (smaller cog). Releasing cable send the derailleur back toward the lowest gears (biggest cogs). A low normal shifter pulls cable to upshift and releases cable to downshift.

    For some, this very well may be desirable but will result in much confusion if you go to ride another bike. Sure it will work. It will go through all the gears. But I'm not sure if I consider "reverse shifting" fine. It's somewhat anomalous in my book.

    Use low-normal (rapid rise) shifters with low normal (rapid rise) dérailleurs. The side effect of this is that you shouldn't be using 2:1 SRAM shifters with Rapid Rise (probably the intended effect).

    Use high-normal (traditional) shifters with high-normal (traditional) dérailleurs.

    The caveat is that if you want to reverse the shifting action and re-order the labels on your gears such that the smallest cog is 1st and the biggest cog is 9th (or 8th) then use a hetero-low/high normal combination of shifter and derailleur.
    Last edited by willtsmith_nwi; 06-29-07 at 10:07 AM.

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    one less horse cryptid01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by willtsmith_nwi
    For some, this very well may be desirable but will result in much confusion if you go to ride another bike. Sure it will work. It will go through all the gears.
    I suppose it could result in "much confusion" if you are simple minded and unable or unwilling to adapt to minor changes in your bike setup.


    Quote Originally Posted by willtsmith_nwi
    But I'm not sure if I consider "reverse shifting" fine. It's somewhat anomalous in my book.
    Have you ever spent any serious trail time on a bike equipped with an RR derailleur, or does this chapter of your book consist of mere speculation?

    Either way, I would bet the OP doesn't appreciate your implication that he is not smart enough to handle it.

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    one less horse cryptid01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by willtsmith_nwi
    Use low-normal (rapid rise) shifters with low normal (rapid rise) dérailleurs. The side effect of this is that you shouldn't be using 2:1 SRAM shifters with Rapid Rise (probably the intended effect).

    Use high-normal (traditional) shifters with high-normal (traditional) dérailleurs.
    As I stated above, there is no such thing as a "high normal" or "low normal" shifter.

    Quote Originally Posted by willtsmith_nwi
    The caveat is that if you want to reverse the shifting action and re-order the labels on your gears such that the smallest cog is 1st and the biggest cog is 9th (or 8th) then use a hetero-low/high normal combination of shifter and derailleur.
    I guess the reason it works for me is that none of my shifters have indicators. LOL!

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    Quote Originally Posted by gastro
    Have you ever spent any serious trail time on a bike equipped with an RR derailleur, or does this chapter of your book consist of mere speculation?

    Either way, I would bet the OP doesn't appreciate your implication that he is not smart enough to handle it.
    Sir, please save your bile.

    I am NOT criticizing Rapid Rise shifters. I have spent a little time with one with a dual control system. But after research it turns out that Shimano does not market "rapid rise" shifters.

    So yeah, RapidRise derailleurs make your system backward. One can certainly acclimate to it. But woe be to those who get on another mans bicycle with a traditional pull derailleur. Shifting is not something you think about. Good shifting is conditioned response just like good braking is. This is why those who ride motorcycles as well move their front brake the right hand side of their bar.

    ON EDIT:

    You know what ... there IS such a thing as a low-normal shifter. They're called dual control. These two things came out at the same time and they were meant to work together as the spring assists the more "challenging" aspect of shifting which is getting the chain onto larger cogs. Bikes shipping with Shimano match triggers with high-normal and dual control with Rapid Rise.

    Taking an existing control surface and redefining it's function is just stupid. It would be like switching the gas pedal and brake pedal in your car and calling it a feature. It would be like starting park at the bottom and having to move levers in the opposite direction to get to drive. The fact that it will work given proper acclimation is besides the point. It's counter-intuitive and dangerous.

    OP, since you have a high-normal shifters that are designed to work with high-normal dérailleurs (and these shifters DO indeed have numeric gear indicators) you want a traditional high-normal derailleur. Otherwise all your subsequent test rides at the bike store, demo days and friend's bikes will suck as everything will be backwards.
    Last edited by willtsmith_nwi; 06-30-07 at 10:58 AM.

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    Is this gonna hurt? MaxBrokeAway's Avatar
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    luckily I found an XT rear derailleur that has the High-Normal shifting...shimano XT RD-M751
    Myidolis Says: "clickety flickety? Well i have no idea what your bikes problem is, but your description probably contains the most onomatopoeia i've seen in awhile."

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    one less horse cryptid01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by willtsmith_nwi
    But after research it turns out that Shimano does not market "rapid rise" shifters.
    Correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by willtsmith_nwi
    So yeah, RapidRise derailleurs make your system backward.
    Incorrect.

    Quote Originally Posted by willtsmith_nwi
    One can certainly acclimate to it.
    Correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by willtsmith_nwi
    But woe be to those who get on another mans bicycle with a traditional pull derailleur.
    LOL!

    Quote Originally Posted by willtsmith_nwi
    Shifting is not something you think about.
    Incorrect.

    Quote Originally Posted by willtsmith_nwi
    Good shifting is conditioned response just like good braking is.
    Sort of.

    Quote Originally Posted by willtsmith_nwi
    This is why those who ride motorcycles as well move their front brake the right hand side of their bar.
    Incorrect.

    Quote Originally Posted by willtsmith_nwi
    You know what ... there IS such a thing as a low-normal shifter. They're called dual control. These two things came out at the same time and they were meant to work together
    That's totally incorrect.

    Quote Originally Posted by willtsmith_nwi
    Taking an existing control surface and redefining it's function is just stupid. It would be like switching the gas pedal and brake pedal in your car and calling it a feature. It would be like starting park at the bottom and having to move levers in the opposite direction to get to drive.
    The gas/brake analogy doesn't hold water - those controls perform directly opposite functions.

    Should I presume that you have difficulties driving an automatic car if the shifter is on the steering column as opposed to the center console? How do you fare with manual transmissions?

    Quote Originally Posted by willtsmith_nwi
    The fact that it will work given proper acclimation is besides the point.
    Actually, that was my point.

    Quote Originally Posted by willtsmith_nwi
    It's counter-intuitive and dangerous.
    LOL!

    Quote Originally Posted by willtsmith_nwi
    OP, since you have a high-normal shifters that are designed to work with high-normal dérailleurs (and these shifters DO indeed have numeric gear indicators) you want a traditional high-normal derailleur. Otherwise all your subsequent test rides at the bike store, demo days and friend's bikes will suck as everything will be backwards.
    It's funny how you dwell on those shift indicators. Have you ever ridden a bike without them? Do you think it's possible to do so?

    And if, as you say, "shifting is not something you think about," what are you doing looking at those indicators anyway?

    No bile here, btw - it's more like mild bemusement at this end.
    Last edited by cryptid01; 07-01-07 at 11:21 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gastro

    It's funny how you dwell on those shift indicators. Have you ever ridden a bike without them? Do you think it's possible to do so?

    And if, as you say, "shifting is not something you think about," what are you doing looking at those indicators anyway?

    No bile here, btw - it's more like mild bemusement at this end.
    Most of the time I simply up or downshift according to what is coming. In certain places I have a definite idea about what gear I want to be in, at this point I use my indicators. I have nothing against systems without indicators. The motion itself is what one shouldn't have to think about. Downshift is a motion, upshift is a motion. When you reverse the motions you will require a period of acclimation.

    In a famous experiment a researcher once attached a visual apparatus to a women which turned up to down and left to right. She was completely disorientated and virtually unable to walk. However, after a week she acclimated and was fine. You may think this supports your position. However, when they took it off it took another week for here to set herself straight again.

    This is not a matter of "intelligence". This is your nueral hardware wiring itself to do automatic kinesthetic operations. You can't think your way through this. In order for these operations to become automatic, your brain has to rewire itself.

    Lower thumb is downshift. If you redefine this you're going to cause problems. I have no problems with other systems that do the same differently. Gripshift, Dual Control, Thumbies, Friction shifters are all fundamentally different motions. However, if you redefine ANY of these by lacing them to a
    to a derailleur that does the opposite of what they're used for, you have a problem.

    I have no problem with dual-control/low-normal as these are different motions and should not cause acclimation problems when going from one thing to another. But if you put a low normal derailleur with a Shimano trigger shifter, it WILL be backwards.

    I'll tell you what, you find an OEM bike that ships with Dual-Control and High Normal OR Trigger/Low Normal and I'll drop my argument.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
    What is this problem that you're referring to?

    For many years I ran "normal" XTR on my lighter bike and Rapid Rise XTR on my heavier bike. Switching back and forth I never noticed the "problem" that you've concocted.

    Maybe it was so subtle that I missed the problem? Please elaborate.
    A) Has RapidRise been in existence long enough for you to say you've been using them for "many years"?

    B) Are you using triggers on both bikes. Or do you have triggers on one and flippy shifters on the other?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
    Already did. I was asking, not challenging? I had previously noted that Shimano had dropped High Normal from their XT and XTR. High normal is back in for 2007 doubtless because people aren't buying Low Normal.

    Yes. I was using triggers on both bikes.
    And you claim that you never confuse the shifting motions between the two? You claim you NEVER have to think about whether the thumb downshifts or upshifts on that particular day and that NEVER slows down your shifting performance? You claim you NEVER press the wrong button? These would be the problems associated with redefining the meaning of elements in a control system and asking a rider to re-acclimate every time they switched from one bike to another.

    If you say you never have a problem, I really question your honesty. When you have to think about an action it has not been internalized kinesthetically and it WILL be a slower reaction.

    Hey but if it works for you ... that's great. I don't care. This was about advising the OP about which derailleur to get. Every new bike in every bike shop that bears his shifter is teamed with a high normal derailleur. Judging from Shimano's reintroduction of High Normal in XT/XTR this is probably a good indicator of what type of problems people have using their old shifters with new XT/XTR low normal derailleurs.

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    Is this gonna hurt? MaxBrokeAway's Avatar
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    do all of the posts on this forum end in a battle? or is it just mine...
    Myidolis Says: "clickety flickety? Well i have no idea what your bikes problem is, but your description probably contains the most onomatopoeia i've seen in awhile."

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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxBrokeAway
    do all of the posts on this forum end in a battle? or is it just mine...
    Just about 75% of them.
    Strike like an eagle and sacrifice the dove.
    Words and Stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
    What kind of half-assed question is that?
    One with a question mark at the end of it? I cannot help it if you internalize a simple question as an attack.


    You're making a big deal out of something that is no big deal apparently in some vain attempt at proving some point that appears to only matter to you.
    Despite Shimano trying to push it down our throats, RapidRise has been a flop in the marketplace. I take that as good evidence that it appears to matter to more then just me.


    It's just shifting gears ona bike after all.

    p.s. You still haven't described this alleged "problem," depsite being asked about it a number of times.
    Yes, I've described the problem more then once by now. If you haven't picked up on it then you need to work on your reading comprehension. Either that, or I am to assume that you've NEVER really learned how to use any shifting system without have to think about how to use it. Perhaps you go down the side walk humming "left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot", "kick, heel, toe, kick, heel, toe" in your head and this is quite natural to you. This is not efficient walking, having to recall which bike you're riding that day in order to avoid upshifting 3 gears on a steep climb is NOT efficient shifting.


    Quote Originally Posted by MaxBrokeAway
    do all of the posts on this forum end in a battle? or is it just mine...
    Battles often occur because some people misinterpret advice given to the poster as a personal attack because the advice differs then their gear setup/riding technique/etc... The situation is exacerbated when parties fail to recognize alternative perspectives and lash out in a quest of self validation.

    I want the OP to avoid the problem of having his shifting be backwards of what everyone else has. Misshifting at critical times can lead to crashes. Gastro and Pete are trying to validate their own setups when they've never been attacked. I don't think they give a rip about the original poster.

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