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Old 09-21-09, 01:12 PM   #1
jnbrown
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best rear derailleur for 10 speed

I am planning on the following gearing:

Front: 52/39/30
Rear: 28/11

I could use either an Ultegra GS or XT long cage Derailleur.

Currently our lowest gear is 30/30 (9 speed) and we do use it.
I may end up changing the front chain ring from 30 to a 28.
In that case I will be exceeding the 22T differential for both derailleurs.
I have read this is ok as long as you only use the top few cogs on the rear.
Will the Ultegra GS shift better? Do XT derailleurs work well with 10 speed?


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Old 09-21-09, 02:16 PM   #2
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Our "10-speed" tandem, with 52/42/28 rings and 12-27 cassette, has an Ultegra GS rear derailleur.
Our PeriScope triple, with 53/39/28 rings and 11-28 cassette has a long-cage XT RD.

Yes, the XT works with 10-speed. No, I would not say that the Ultegra shifts better. Both work extremely well with Ultegra STI brifters. I like having the Ultegra on our "sporty" bike, but appreciate the versatility of the XT on our triple. In theory, the XT could handle a larger cassette while the Ultegra could not. In practice, I hope it will be several years before we need lower gears on either bike.
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Old 09-21-09, 02:33 PM   #3
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I use XT on my 9 spd- Hear me out- and Due to it being offroad and powerful riders- I used to replace it every year before a long hard event I used to do. There was just a bit too much wear in the pivots and it had stopped changing cleanly

But one year I got a special deal on an XTR. It was down to near the price I normally pay for XT but I did not notice any difference in shifting capabilities. Before the next yearly event in which the T got stripped to bare frame and rebuilt- I got a new XT rear derailler- cables and Casssette etc- all the parts I had to change on a yearly basis. The rear derailler went back as the XTR was still perfect. Next year and I checked the R.D and the XTR was still good.

So by going up a grade from what I normally use- I got 3 years life instead of 1.

I cannot tell you if XT or XTR will work on 10 speed- but that Extra I spent on the XTR was well worth it. That did not go for the chains as I was so pleased that I got a Dure Ace/XTR chain. I broke it with in 5 minutes of a long ride- and as I had bought a second XTR chain- I fitted that to replace it. It broke on the next ride. The XTR chain was lighter and I thought better. It was just not strong enough for our use.

And on the front derailler tooth capability- 22 is the stated but we run 48/36/24---a 24t difference with no problems at all except a bit of derailler noise when crosschaining.
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Old 09-21-09, 02:43 PM   #4
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We wore out an XTR der, but it took over ten years to do it riding on the road.
Replaced with an XT and pretty happy with it.
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Old 09-21-09, 02:52 PM   #5
Chris_W
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I got a good deal on an XTR rear derailleur recently, and so I decided to put it on the tandem instead of the XT that we'd been using for half a year (the XT went to another bike that was in need).

I was very disappointed with the XTR. We have a BIG gear range, which is why I need a MTB RD, but the cage on the XTR is about 1 cm shorter than on the XT. Also, to save weight, the XTR RD doesn't have a cable tension adjuster, which is something that I always use (I put an adjuster on the frame's cable stop near the handlebars, but it doesn't have a huge range, and so I prefer to leave that in the middle and save it for on-the-road adjustments). The one thing that I did like about the XTR is that it is advertised as having a stronger return spring than other RDs, which I thought would be a good thing given the length of the tandem's shift cable and slightly odd routing. This seems to be an improvement, but overall I regret not simply getting another XT rear derailleur.

We also had an Ultegra RD on the bike before changing lots of things, and it worked fine (it just didn't have the chain-wrap capacity when we switched to a quad chainring setup). The gearing setup that you describe would be at the edge of the Ultegra's limits, but it should still work OK (as long as you avoid the small-small combos). If I was choosing any RD for this setup though, I would go with the XT - it really doesn't seem to have any drawbacks or limitations, and is the most versatile (and don't worry, 10-speed is not a problem for it).

Last edited by Chris_W; 09-21-09 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 09-21-09, 04:10 PM   #6
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The new XT derailleurs don't have the cable adjuster either.
I have to use the adjuster on the downtube, it's a pain to use.
Might be an argument to go with Ultegra GS.
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Old 09-21-09, 06:29 PM   #7
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Shimano says 11-28 rear cluster needs a mtn. derailleur or a 7900 series derailleur. Yes, it will work with any 10spd brifter. I use a 26t small ring with no problems.
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