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Upgrading derailleur

Old 01-30-08, 09:24 AM
  #1  
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Upgrading derailleur

I recently acquired an older Specialized MTB that has the reverse shifting (gripshift) that is often found on entry level bikes. I'm switching the derailleurs, but I assume I will also need to replace the shifters. Correct? What do I need to know about replacing the derailleurs with the correct type/size?

This is going to be my touring ride, so I need to get it right.
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Old 01-30-08, 09:32 AM
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If you are going to use Shimano shifters, ANY Shimano or SRAM Shimano-compatible rear derailleur will work. (obligitory caveat: except pre 9-speed Dura Ace) The indexing is defined by the shifters and, as long as the derailleur has compatible geometry, it doesn't care how many clicks there are.
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Old 01-30-08, 09:39 AM
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What, exactly do you have? What kind of rear derailleur and what model shifter?

What are you trying to accomplish by upgrading your rear derailleur?

I'm kind of surprised to hear you have a Specialized bike with "reverse shifting" because I didn't think that Specialized did that but maybe they've changed their attitude. At any event, I'd want to know more specifics before I'd venture an opinion.
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Old 01-30-08, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Steele-Bike View Post
I recently acquired an older Specialized MTB that has the reverse shifting (gripshift) that is often found on entry level bikes.
If by "reverse shifting" you're talking about a high normal derailleur Shimano makes those in their upper level groups as well as low normal. It's not just entry level componentry and it's not necessarily a bad thing. High normal works with the same shifters as low normal, it's just a matter of preference.
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Old 01-30-08, 10:10 AM
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If you are going to run a flat bar consider the older Suntour ratchet thumb shifters. They work great.
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Old 01-30-08, 10:13 AM
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The bike is a late 90's Specialized Expedition. The shifting is the reversed spring type (you twist the opposite way). I have heard it is easier for beginners to shift this way. I am not sure on the exact model of derailleur, but it's low end and the shifters have the separate display that shows the gear selection. The current setup works fine, I just don't like the reverse twist on the gripshift.
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Old 01-30-08, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Steele-Bike View Post
The bike is a late 90's Specialized Expedition. The shifting is the reversed spring type (you twist the opposite way). I have heard it is easier for beginners to shift this way. I am not sure on the exact model of derailleur, but it's low end and the shifters have the separate display that shows the gear selection. The current setup works fine, I just don't like the reverse twist on the gripshift.
OK, without seeing the bike here's what I think.

I think that you have SRAM MRX shifters and a regular Shimano rear derailleur. The SRAM shifters make you twist the right hand one way to get a harder gear and the opposite way with the left hand to get a harder gear. I hate that.

Assuming I'm right, here's what I would do. Look carefully at your shifters and brake levers. Do they have 1 common clamp or 2 separate clamps?

If it's 2 separate clamps you can buy a pair of Shimano EZ-fire shifters with the same number of gears as your cassette. You'll need new longer handgrips too. If it's 1 common clamp you might as well get the shifters and brake levers together because the cost is pretty close to shifters alone.
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Old 01-30-08, 11:05 AM
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I'll have a look when I get home. I am replacing the handlebar to a trekking bar, so everythings coming off anyways. I only rode the bike around the block this Fall before hanging it in the garage, so I am not real familiar with the setup. I'm dreaming about RAGBRAI today, so it got me thinking about fixing it up.
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Old 02-03-08, 10:07 AM
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OK, I finally made it out to the frozen waste land that I call my garage.

The bike has a Shimano C101 shifter/brake lever combo unit and the derailleur says Shimano C101. I am not familiar with this model, but I am sure it is low/entry level.

I am not concerned about performance, but I don't want the reverse-twist gear changing system. Does the reverse-twist shifting come from the shifter and/or the derailleur? According to an earlier post, I may just need to change the shifter. Maybe bikes no longer use this system, or it is so entry level that it is only known by extreme newbies. No one I've talked to has any idea what I am even talking about. Kind of like asking a NASCAR mechanic about that wierd clicking noise on a 1977 Chevette.
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Old 02-03-08, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Steele-Bike View Post
The bike has a Shimano C101 shifter/brake lever combo unit and the derailleur says Shimano C101.

I am not concerned about performance, but I don't want the reverse-twist gear changing system.
You need to replace your rear derailleur with any "top normal" Shimano model. The numbers on your shifter will work backwards, "1" will be your fastest gear but it'll work fine other than that.

For whatever it's worth, I HATE those C-101 derailleurs. If it was my bike I'd be replacing it too.
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Old 02-04-08, 08:14 AM
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Thanks Retro, I'll start watching for some deals.
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