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replace SRAM X7 9-speed derailleur

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replace SRAM X7 9-speed derailleur

Old 04-12-17, 09:30 PM
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HerrKaLeun
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replace SRAM X7 9-speed derailleur

I have a 2008 Schwinn Mesa LT with SRAM X7 9-speed derailleur and SRAM thumb shifters. Today my chain link broke and bent my derailleur and broke off the derailleur hanger. Ouch.

first I need a new hanger. See attached pics for what I have (or what is left). I found this replacement derailleur that looks similar. It is the #25 and says it is for the Mesa from 2003-09. Looks like they cost almost as much as a derailleur. Is there by any chance a model# or a way to find them cheaper?

For the derailleur I thought to get a Shimano Alivio. Do they work with SRAM shifters? I read they are interchangeable,but here I read they shift differently. So do I need new shimano shifters?
Alternatively it looks like I still can get the same SRAM X7 9-speed derailleur.
Do I need to get a SRAM derailleur if I keep the shifters?

Could there be some problem with attaching a different derailleur to the hanger? I would think this is standardized, but this is the bike industry after all.

If for some reason I need to get new shifters I thought I might go to 10 or 11 speed. I used to have a SRAM cassette, but now have a Shimano cassette (if that helps identifying the free hub). I read 10 speed should work on 9-speed hubs since the cassettes have the same thickness. Is that correct?

I couldn't find something conclusive on if 11-speed would fit. Mixed statements on the Internet.

This is a bit besides my current problem, but my front derailleur can't shift into the granny gear anymore. Doesn't really bother me since I never use it. but I was contemplating at some point I would change my crank to 2x or even 1x. So going to 10 or 11 speed would be good. I don't planning to do that now. But is it correct to assume the chainrings can handle the 10 or 11-speed chains? From all I read they should, but they are also old and from an age before 11-speed.

Maybe I just stay with 9-speed anyway. but like to know my options. My 9-speed cassette is new, so changing the speeds would be costly.

I know a lot of information and questions without much focus. But I want to decide if I upgrade, just repair, or even give up this bike. So at least knowing what is possible will help.
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Old 04-12-17, 10:30 PM
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Pretty much the only hanger that will work correctly without serious mods in the one intended to be used. The cost is what it will take to continue using this bike. A replacement hanger is cheaper then a replacement frame That's why they exist. That there are dozens of hangers speaks to the free market.


Shimano spec rear der cable pull ders won't work with SRAM spec shifters.


I would suggest not dipping into the upgrade hole until you better understand your current stuff and how to deal with maintenance and repairs. If you are happy to toss money at your bike most LBSs will be happy to help you figure stuff out... Andy
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Old 04-13-17, 12:01 AM
  #3  
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As the need to sell new crap and constantly change the paradigm became the order of the day in the bike industry, and more cigs were leveraged onto the same freehub body, 6 to 7 then widening the body then 8 to 9 to 10 before widening again to get to 11, rear shifting became a compromise of many things. Rear derailleur hangers need to be "stiff" enough to shift ever narrowing chains onto ever more tightly spaced cogs, but weak enough to break before stress exerted on them would tweak or damage the frame. Think of a derailleur hanger as a frame "fuse."

Get the right hanger from the manufacturer or a reputable vendor like Wheels Manufacturing. A discount hanger just might not always alone align correctly across all three planes, nor break rightly before stress exerted through it could damage the frame.

SRAM stuff is not sexy the way vintage Mavic derailleurs were. Lemond and Sean Kelley won gran tours and stages, respectively with dependable bits that were mostly more pricey than Campy Record at the time. Light enough for the European peloton but also strong enough to be sold as the highest end mountain bike kit just by offering the 845 long cage. So SRAM is neither rare nor desirable from a collecting standpoint. It does work exceedingly well though. An x.7 or x.9 rear derailleur can be had for less than $20 off eBay. If your shifters aren't broke stick with what you have.

To be understand the idiocy of 10/11 and 1x setups learn about the "gain ratio" that Sheldon advocated. It takes into account "actual" rolling circumference of your inflated tires and things like crank length. Different cog and ring ratios are effectively different with different tire sizes and crank lengths (160-215mm are readily available to proportionately fit all sized people regardless that the industry wants everyone to think they "take" 170/175mm).

Once you see the gain ratio numbers of different drivetraind you'll see how asinine any move from 7/8/9 speed is farther down the spectrum of idiocy toward more rear cogs and fewer front rings.

More speeds (cogs) and 1x are not better. Modern crap has much lower production value invested. Campagnolo doesn't invest in titanium the way they used to, and Zeus is gone with their titanium expertise/tooling. In fact modern front derailleurs are mostly crap. An SRAM Red front changer is an upgrade to any drivetrain with its titanium cage and light weight, for road double setups. Modern SRAM or Shimano and even Campagnolo stuff is so much just "plasticky" crap. Compared to strong dollar low-yen days of early 80s giving epic Suntour Superbe bits, of post Bike boom 8-speed Mavic, 8-speed Sachs New Success, or 7/8 speed Campy modern 9/10/11 components are like comparing Mercury land yachts to a Mercedes or BMW.

6/7/8 speed cog spacing gives the best and most reliable drivetrain. Especially with floating or Centeron upper pulleys (regardless of derailleur make). These wider spacing means less finicky shifting with fewer appeals to the barrel adjusters. Outer plates on chains are stronger and drivetrains last longer. Cogs and rings are thicker.

Going down the madness road to more "speeds" is never an upgrade.

The reason the industry is moving to 1x drivetrains is because components shift so poorly with such tight narrow cog spacing.

Last edited by mtnbke; 04-13-17 at 12:18 AM.
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Old 04-13-17, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by mtnbke View Post
The reason the industry is moving to 1x drivetrains is because components shift so poorly with such tight narrow cog spacing.
6800 and 9000 suck really bad, IME!
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Old 04-13-17, 07:32 AM
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"The reason the industry is moving to 1x drivetrains is because components shift so poorly with such tight narrow cog spacing.
mtnbke


I'll add that the industry is convinced that current riders can't shift front ders with any ease/grace/ability. Hence, along with the challenge of rear suspension designs conflicts with front ders, the move away from triple or now double crank sets. I agree with some of this view, during our shifting clinics front shifting is easily a third of our discussion. The number of customers who complain about front ders needing adjustment (yet work well on my pre service test ride) bare this out. Andy
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Old 04-13-17, 07:01 PM
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Thanks for the advice, all good points. My take is the triple-chainrings are not what I like since it is too much range and I end up not using the granny gear anyway. And it never really works well unless everything is perfect. My front derailleur can't shift in granny anymore, but even when it did I had some chain rub (chain rings are not 100% straight after use). They also have the most useless and redundant gears. If someone would invent triple-chainrings nowadays (they were invented when cassettes had maybe 5 sprockets or less) and claimed to have a bike with 27 gears we all would call them on their marketing BS. IMHO Triple chainrings became obsolete with 9-speed cassettes.

The 1x obviously are simple and lighter. But wide range is purchased with wide gaps between gears, or you just have a bit less range. On bikes dedicated to off-road, or just fast road that may be OK. the cost of 11x wear items (cassette) is still high, but I think prices will come down. But the SRAM 12x cassettes at a few hundred $ are way out of range of normal people. I also assume they wear more quickly due to lateral chain knicks.

2x are a compromise. You still have the weight and cost of front derailleur and chainring and people need to think when shifting. But gears can be spaced closer, and range still can be wide.

Obviously it is all preference and actual situation. There is a good point to each of the setups. In no way I'm telling someone what is right for them.

I just came from the store where I purchased (well I paid, will pick up tomorrow) a Giant Toughroad SLR 1 with 2x10 drivetrain. I got a good deal since it was a type of floor model.
I kind of had it with this old bike full of compromises (for starters it is too small for me, and I like the larger wheels). So for this old Schwinn I will just replace the derailleur with the same type since that seems to be the cheapest. Then I either sell it on CL or give it to my wife (and sell her old bike). So ignore my ideas of upgrading this to anything else than it is.
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Old 04-13-17, 08:42 PM
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Here it is:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003UWC5E4...5AE76R31&psc=1
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Old 04-13-17, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by nfmisso View Post
Thanks, I had seen that. I was hoping to ebay a cheaper one, but they cost about the same unless I'm missing something. That's why I hoped I could use Shimano since a 9-speed Alivio only is a bit over $20.
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Old 04-13-17, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
Thanks, I had seen that. I was hoping to ebay a cheaper one, but they cost about the same unless I'm missing something. That's why I hoped I could use Shimano since a 9-speed Alivio only is a bit over $20.
A SRAM X7 derailleur is far higher quality than Alivio. More comparable to a Deore XT. Try finding one of those for $20
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Old 04-14-17, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
A SRAM X7 derailleur is far higher quality than Alivio. More comparable to a Deore XT. Try finding one of those for $20
Good Point. Is the X5 combatible? it says it has 1:1 actuation. It looks like all SRAm are 1:1? Is actuation and number of speeds what really determines compatibility of shifter and derailleur?
My shifters don't say what they are, so they could be lower level than X7.
I found here how to measure my cage length, so that should help.

Is considering this is not my main bike anymore going down to X%, X4 or even X3 advisable or is it so much worse that I regret being cheap?
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Old 04-14-17, 08:01 AM
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"My front derailleur can't shift in granny anymore, but even when it did I had some chain rub (chain rings are not 100% straight after use)." HerrKaLeun


This is exactly what I was referencing when I said that front shifting is not done well by many riders. The only way rings get bent are when side forces are applied. Shifting in a manor that produces strong side forces (by the chain) is poor technique. For these riders fewer rings make more sense, and hopefully they find a gear range which works for their cycling. Andy.
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Old 04-14-17, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
......

Is considering this is not my main bike anymore going down to X%, X4 or even X3 advisable or is it so much worse that I regret being cheap?
https://www.amazon.com/SRAM-Long-Cag...ear+derailleur

This will work fine, even if it was your main bike; the biggest difference between an X3 and X9 is bling.
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Old 04-14-17, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
This is exactly what I was referencing when I said that front shifting is not done well by many riders. The only way rings get bent are when side forces are applied. Shifting in a manor that produces strong side forces (by the chain) is poor technique. For these riders fewer rings make more sense, and hopefully they find a gear range which works for their cycling. Andy.
I've been riding 3-chainring bikes for over 15 years and it is not the fault of me not knowing how to shift. This is not a problem on any of the other bikes I had. My granny gear can't be shifted in because the derailleur can't move far enough to the inside. Not even with the limit screw all the way out and the cable all lose. I don't know why. Someone in a shop tried, and I followed the Park tool instructions to the dot to adjust it. Either my Crank and chain line are screwed up, or that derailleur is bad. It is a suntour. This a typical example of a manufacturer to chose one premium component to show the "SRAM X7" on the rear derailleur and using crap for everything else.

My largest chainring is a bit bent which lead to chain rub when I still could change into granny gear. But that rub is gone since I gave up on the granny gear. and moved the derailleur a bit outside. It always had a problem spanning over the entire width of 3 chainrings and a very slight imperfection of the chainring started it all. I doubt it bent because of shifting. I don't cross-chain. Maybe just a cheap crank, or some time something hit it. I used that large chainring 95% of the time.

Originally Posted by nfmisso View Post
https://www.amazon.com/SRAM-Long-Cag...ear+derailleur

This will work fine, even if it was your main bike; the biggest difference between an X3 and X9 is bling.
Thanks, I will use that.
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Old 04-14-17, 06:52 PM
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Is your front shift lever an indexed one? If so then A SunTour Ft der might not be intended to position it's self with a SRAM indexed lever. Either way about it SunTour has a rep for being a market cycle or three behind Shimano (who many regard as the gold standard of front shifters, something SRAM wishes for).


I did make the assumption that all was well with your front system originally as your said "My front derailleur can't shift in granny anymore, but even when it did I had some chain rub" (post 6). Granny chain rub after shifting is usually an adjustment thing unless significant cross chaining is at play. If this assumption was wrong I apologize. Yes, chain rub can be because of bent rings. And cheap cranks/welded steel rings can have some run out even when new. But the vast majority of the time, IME, these conditions can be worked with well enough to run well.


But I have seen vastly more bent rings from shifting under power, also bent ft der cages and twisted chain links. If this situation wasn't so prevalent then why (besides weight, tire width or suspension limitations) would manufactures market drivetrains with less ratios range/offers as an improvement?


I stand by my comments as holding up to many riders. As I often have said, my comments are not always about the OPs but also for the readers of the thread. Andy.
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Old 04-14-17, 07:06 PM
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How do you like the new Giant?
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Old 04-14-17, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
Is your front shift lever an indexed one? If so then A SunTour Ft der might not be intended to position it's self with a SRAM indexed lever. Either way about it SunTour has a rep for being a market cycle or three behind Shimano (who many regard as the gold standard of front shifters, something SRAM wishes for).


I did make the assumption that all was well with your front system originally as your said "My front derailleur can't shift in granny anymore, but even when it did I had some chain rub" (post 6). Granny chain rub after shifting is usually an adjustment thing unless significant cross chaining is at play. If this assumption was wrong I apologize. Yes, chain rub can be because of bent rings. And cheap cranks/welded steel rings can have some run out even when new. But the vast majority of the time, IME, these conditions can be worked with well enough to run well.

But I have seen vastly more bent rings from shifting under power, also bent ft der cages and twisted chain links. If this situation wasn't so prevalent then why (besides weight, tire width or suspension limitations) would manufactures market drivetrains with less ratios range/offers as an improvement?

I stand by my comments as holding up to many riders. As I often have said, my comments are not always about the OPs but also for the readers of the thread. Andy.
you make great points, really appreciate it.
I probably should have been more clear, chain rub was on the large chain ring back when the derailleur was set up to use all 3. It is indexed. The bike came with Suntour, and yes it not being SRAM like the shifters may be part of the problem. But even with cable disconnected it can't go to Granny. Who knows. I was fine all these years just having a 2x9. Maybe that derailleur is just a 2x and they jury-rigged it to the 3x shifter. This crappy derailleur is responsible for me wanting fewer chainrings Even if I pick the lowest line, always stay with SRAM or Shimano when I have a choice. Imagine my crank is the same quality as my front derailleur and you see how a chainring can bent without wrong shifting.

I analyzed my 3x9 of that bike and of my (new) 2x10 bike in Excel regarding ratios and meter/revolution (as one does). For the 3x9 I have 4 redundant gears, and extreme cross-chaining if I use all of the remaining gears. So I may have under 20 useful gears. Many of them very similar in ratio. So I may have 15 really distinctive gears if the granny worked.
In my 2x10 I have no redundant gears and since both chainrings are near the chain line I can cross-chain a bit more. Maybe I have 18 useful gears. My fastest gear is a bit faster. The 3x9 has 8.26 meter/rev and the 2x10 has 8.76 meter/rev
My slowest gear is a bit faster on the 3x9 bike. But that is a 22:32 on a 26" wheel, really not useful at all unless I tow a semi trailer. The 28:36 on 700c wheels really is sufficient for me. The 3x9 has 1.42 meter/rev (if the granny would work only) and the 2x10 has 1.78 meters/rev (and actually works).
I also found the front-derailleur on my new bike (it is SRAM X7 like the rear) shifts very well. I can see the SRAM chain ramps (SRAM crank). Now I actually don't mind to front-shift because I don't have to make those awkward paddle breaks etc. it just works (what a concept!) but since the rear ratios are so good, I don't need to on flats at all.
Maybe this isn't apples to apples because my 2x10 is a quality setup vs. the cheapo triplet. But fewer (but useful) gears seems to work better.

It looks like I can ride all flat parts in the large chainring and only off-road or uphill use all on the small chainring. That minimizes the times i need to shift on the front. since the rear derailleur shifts on the non-load side of the chain it shifts much smoother. Perfect for me. Doesn't' have to be perfect for anyone else.

IMHO triplets became obsolete when we went beyond rear 8. I guess they had the tooling for triplets and in marketing it sounded better to offer 27 gears instead of 18 for a 9er cassette.
I have to say, the 2x10 well done is leagues ahead of 3x9. I really love mine. I have my doubts 1x11 really works so well since one trades range for step-size. But I think for MTB (mostly slower) 1x11 probably is good. But I'm not an MTB person, so I'm just talking out of my a$$. A good 2x10 probably competes really well with 1x11 or 1x12. Especially on cost for the latter. More a matter of preference than technology. Both 1x and 2x are a compromise. but a better compromise than 3x.
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Old 04-14-17, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
How do you like the new Giant?
Great, and I regret tinkering with my old bike for the last months instead of just buying this. The larger wheels roll much better. It is much lighter. The drive train is much better. You really have to experience it to believe it.
I even went over a lawn in a park with (relatively) tall grass and it rolled better than my old bike.

My old bike was too small for me (I'm 5'11" and it was a 17"MTB) and the Giant is an "L" size. So I still get used to being higher Tomorrow I get my computer and know how fast I'm as opposed to my MTB. On a short 1.5 mile ride today it felt much faster.
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Old 05-27-17, 01:07 PM
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Sorry for never updating, but it actually took me till yesterday to install new derailleur. I was out of town, got my new bike, everlasting shipping times and so that went on the backburner.
So I got the derailleur hanger (#25) and actually ended up with an X7. the X5 (for 9-speed) was only $4 cheaper with shipping. (the X3 listed above actually only was an 8-speed)
Since my shimano-pin started this whole problem I bought a KMC chain with masterlink. The SRAM chains were quite more expensive.
All set up per the Parks book and rode a few miles for testing.

The whole accident cost me close to $80. Ouch, since it didn't leave me with anything really better. On the upside it gave me motivation to buy the giant Toughroad and now after riding the Toughroad the Schwinn feels like a toy bike.

Thanks to everyone who helped.
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