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Medium Cage or Long Cage, Which to Use?

Old 07-28-16, 02:50 PM
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Medium Cage or Long Cage, Which to Use?

I'm replacing my rear derailer, a 6600 Ultegra long cage on my road bike. The derailer is getting tired and I'm tired of the sloppy shifting. I'm riding with a Ultegra triple crankset, 52, 39, 30. On the rear I use either an 11/25 or a 12/28 cassette. I'd like to know if I can replace the 6600 long cage with a medium cage 6700 Ultegra? Will that work or am I required to stay with the long cage. Did a search but could not find the answer. Thanks for any help.
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Old 07-28-16, 02:57 PM
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For being a triple in the front it be best to use a long cage rear derailleur .
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Old 07-28-16, 03:01 PM
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52+28=80
30+11=41
80-41=39
6700 mid-cage capacity is listed at 39 tooth difference, so you would be at the max.
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Old 07-28-16, 03:07 PM
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You are sort of mixing up terminology and that makes your issue sound more complicated than it is. 6600 came in short (ss) and medium(gs) though the gs is often called long since it is longer than the short. A true long cage would be from the mtb series, not a road series. Anyway, the 6700gs is the one for your triple.
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Old 07-28-16, 03:22 PM
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The longer cage would give you the additional capacity in case you wanted to go to a larger largest cog in the future.
Once a year, i go on vacation in hilly country. I just toss on my 30T largest cogged cassette and am good to go. The rest of the time I usually have a 23 or 25T largest. I just leave the chain a few links extra long to handle the 30T.
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Old 07-28-16, 03:58 PM
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If you think you might want to go to larger cogs, the 6700A is rated for 30T, the 6700 is rated for 28T. This is the same for both SS and GS, though as mentioned, you need the GS for your triple. I've used 28T rated Shimano 7800SS with 30T w/o problems but if you are buying new anyway, may as well get the best model.
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Old 07-28-16, 05:51 PM
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I always try to use a long cage if I can. That way it will work with any gear set up I may use and I don't care about the slight weight penalty. Roger
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Old 07-29-16, 08:26 AM
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Medium OK with what you say you have , Long if you find the 30:28 is not low enough and want a greater difference
in the Gear Ratio.
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Old 07-29-16, 01:49 PM
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After reading this, you'll answer your own question:

Rear derailleur


In short: for 52-30 chainring and 12-28 cassette, you'd need a RD with chain wrap capacity of at least 38 teeth.

That would be a Shimano GS cage model.
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Old 07-29-16, 02:00 PM
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With a few exceptions, the ONLY differences between short, mid and long cage RDs are the cage length and chain take up capacity.

So do the math and decide which fills the bill, possibly going up in a borderline situation to allow for future widening of the gear range.

OTOH - it is possible, and not rare, to run derailleurs over capacity. The chain is sized so it can safely loop the big/big combination (a must), then the limited take up means that the chain will sag with the inner front is used with the smaller few rear. How limited the inner/rear combinations are depends on the extent of over capacity, but typically it means the loss of rarely or never used inner/outer combinations, so it's not an issue.
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