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Any downside to Medium Cage RD?

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Any downside to Medium Cage RD?

Old 01-28-17, 06:48 PM
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Any downside to Medium Cage RD?

I have a 10sp Tri bike, and have an occasional hilly event.
I'm kind of stuck with my chain ring set, so the best way I have to deal with hill is change the cassette.
My short cage RD doesn't like the 32t cassette.
I have a medium cage RD. Can I just put the medium cage on and leave it?
Or is there some reason to put the short cage back when I'm back from Hilly Land?
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Old 01-28-17, 09:04 PM
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Some will claim a longer cage rear derailleur shifts slightly slower but I've never seen the effect. It also adds a few grams which some rider consider a crippling penalty. And of course, there is the derision you will suffer from your fellow racers as they point to and laugh at your "tourist" gearing.
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Old 01-28-17, 09:27 PM
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Seems to me that you'll be a faster finisher is you control how much effort you use up during the ride portion of a tri. So gear the bike to whatever that takes.


Sometimes a mid cage rear der will allow a 32T cog, sometimes not. But if you never cross chain (big-big) and if the upper pulley clears the large cog when in the smaller ring and you never cross chain in big/big you'll be fine (If you never use the big=big). Andy.
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Old 01-28-17, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart
Seems to me that you'll be a faster finisher is you control how much effort you use up during the ride portion of a tri. So gear the bike to whatever that takes.


Sometimes a mid cage rear der will allow a 32T cog, sometimes not. But if you never cross chain (big-big) and if the upper pulley clears the large cog when in the smaller ring and you never cross chain in big/big you'll be fine (If you never use the big=big). Andy.
You will of course need to have sufficient chain length to go into big-big even if you never plan to use it, because you WILL forget eventually (
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Old 01-29-17, 07:11 AM
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Assuming the Mid cage RD is designed for 10.sp there should be no problem no need to keep on changing back, I doubt you will notice the difference, as mentioned above you will need to make sure the chain is long enough, also the mid cage RD may have a different swing, so you will need to make sure the RD cable is OK, also remember to check & re-adjust the B screw if needed.
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Old 01-29-17, 07:31 AM
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You say "My short cage RD doesn't like the 32t cassette."
Depends on what you are trying to accomplish. A medium cage derailleur has more chain take up but won't necessarily handle a larger rear cog. You need to check the specs.
If the derailleur doesn't shift well to a 32 T cog then you may have to go to a different model of derailleur rather than just a longer cage.
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Old 01-29-17, 08:05 AM
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@alathIN, I can only compare a pair of Ultegra RDs on a pair of Cannondales I have. One is a short cage for a double and the other is a long cage for a triple...there is no noticeable difference in the shift quality.

You may want, or need to use a RD from a mountain bike group to accommodate the 32T bottom cog. If so, I can report that my XT RD shifts quite well also.

Point is that you don't need to switch RDs for smaller capacity cassettes.

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Old 01-29-17, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by alathIN
My short cage RD doesn't like the 32t cassette.
What short cage and what medium cage derailleur you have exactly? A longer cage derailleur can take up more chain slack (like if you have a triple) but it does not necessary mean it can handle a larger cog in the rear better.

For example, I have a super short cage ZEE mountain bike rear derailleur, and it can handle a 36T no problem, but since it's capacity is low because it's a short cage you can pretty much only use it in a 1x10 setup.

But to answer your question, using a long cage derailleur even when you don't need one is perfectly fine. You won't notice a difference. If you compare the exact same model a short cage might be a few grams lighter, but that's about it.

Last edited by Facanh; 01-29-17 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 01-29-17, 09:31 AM
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SRAM rival short cage, vs. rival wifli/mid cage. SRAM says the wifli will work with my 1050 32t.

I can grind up a hill at slow mashing cadence if necessary, but probably will have a happier run if I can avoid that.

Thanks for the info.
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Old 01-30-17, 11:22 PM
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The mid cage will have a larger minimum big gear compared to the short cage. The short cage probably spec'd to works with 11-23, 11-25, 11-28; and 11-28 and 11-32 for the mid cage. The mid cage should still shift the three smaller range cassettes, but you might be unable to adjust the B screw enough to get the upper pulley as close compared to the short cage. Shifting might be slower or less smooth as a result.
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Old 01-31-17, 04:52 AM
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Oh yeah crap I forgot about the single pivot design... Although, on most sites I don't see anything in the specs like "minimum biggest cog" for the Wifli medium cage. CRC is the only site that lists this in the specs:

"Compatiblity: Cassettes from 11-26 to 11-32"

With MTB RDs SRAM and Shimano (only Shadow of course) always lists this spec but for this particular RD other than CRC I did not see anything.
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