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Old 03-19-08, 03:16 PM   #1
kjsayers
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Long, Mid Cage?

What are the difference's in the cage lenghts of rear derailleurs? I belive my stock is a long cage. What are the pros/cons of long, mid ect?
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Old 03-19-08, 04:09 PM   #2
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Rule of thumb: 3 chainrings require a long cage, 2 chainrings medium cage, 1 chainring short cage.

Benefits of using the shortest possible cage (and the appurtenant shorter chain) include less weight, less chain slap, and a lesser chance of snagging on stuff.
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Old 03-19-08, 05:11 PM   #3
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You might get more responses if this were posted this in Bike Mechanics.

I think what Gastro said is correct, and i also believe that it is dependant on the size of your cassette, ie. i'm upgrading mine to a 12-34 and i need a long cage.
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Old 03-20-08, 12:12 PM   #4
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Voila!

http://www.beyondbikes.com/bb/tech/?section=rdr

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On a mountain bike, your choice is slightly more difficult. Less experienced riders, or riders who ride frequently in steep terrain should probably stick to a long cage rear derailleur. This, combined with proper chain length, will allow the bike to be safely shifted into every gear on the bike. Racers might appreciate the lighter weight and slight shifting improvement a short cage rear derailleur offers. However, these benefits come with a tradeoff - because of the decreased capacity a short or medium cage rear derailleur offers, it may not be possible to safely use the small chainring in tandem with the smallest cogs. (The derailleur simply can't take up enough slack in the chain) Meaning if you typically have shifting issues, don't go to a medium cage cause its only going be exaggerated!
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Old 03-20-08, 12:54 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by skingry View Post
However, these benefits come with a tradeoff - because of the decreased capacity a short or medium cage rear derailleur offers, it may not be possible to safely use the small chainring in tandem with the smallest cogs.

Being able to cross-chain is not an advantage of longer cages.
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Old 03-20-08, 03:44 PM   #6
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thanks guys
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Old 03-20-08, 04:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by xfimpg View Post
i also believe that it is dependant on the size of your cassette, ie. i'm upgrading mine to a 12-34 and i need a long cage.
It's not. Here's a medium cage derailleur happily paired with a 34T cog:

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Old 03-20-08, 05:21 PM   #8
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i have been using a med cage with a full range of gears -- 27 speed
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Old 03-20-08, 05:53 PM   #9
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Being able to cross-chain is not an advantage of longer cages.
It kind of is... for inexperienced riders.

Some of us that ride a bit more have the gear inches burned into our brains for each ring/cog and know how they overlap (so we know when and how to shift, to keep momentum and efficiency at their peak), but for someone just getting on a bike, they don't have that kind of knowledge.

The short/mid/long discussion has more to do with capacity of each of the front rings than it does with overall range. Just because there is a theoretical 27 speeds doesn't mean that all combinations are possible (or even efficient).
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Old 03-20-08, 06:45 PM   #10
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Curious... how can you tell if your derailleur is a short, medium or long cage?
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Old 03-20-08, 07:09 PM   #11
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Curious... how can you tell if your derailleur is a short, medium or long cage?
For Shimano, short is 50mm, medium 65-70mm, and long 80+mm. (jockey pulleys center to center)
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Old 03-22-08, 05:10 PM   #12
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I use a road derauller on my bike, works very well!
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Old 03-22-08, 06:37 PM   #13
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Being able to cross-chain is not an advantage of longer cages.
Yeah, but you don't want something nasty to happen if you do it accidentally.
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