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How short is short? The Shimano Zee RD

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How short is short? The Shimano Zee RD

Old 07-27-22, 03:21 AM
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Ron Damon
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Get Shorty. The Shimano Zee RD

The Zee RD is shorter pulley to pulley than even a short-cage SS Road RD. But just how short is it in practice, really? Feast your eyes... 👀
.
305 wheels
Kenda KWest 45-305 tire

On smallest cog, 11t


On biggest cog, 36t
.
User tip: leave the clutch in the Off position so that when the unit happens to strike a rock or object in the ground, it flexes rather than take the hit rigidly.

Last edited by Ron Damon; 07-27-22 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 07-27-22, 11:07 PM
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I had it on my Tyrell IVE and rode a lot with it.
Really under considered groupset for what it offers for small wheeled bikes. (in-expensive too )

Only downsides is the limitation on larger cogs (I believe it was 36T and may be 1 size larger at a push and with some tweaks)
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Old 07-27-22, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by pinholecam View Post
I had it on my Tyrell IVE and rode a lot with it.
Really under considered groupset for what it offers for small wheeled bikes. (in-expensive too )

Only downsides is the limitation on larger cogs (I believe it was 36T and may be 1 size larger at a push and with some tweaks)
The Zee RD comes - or used to come - in two specs: DH and FR. The former was good for up to 28t while the latter was good for up to 36t.

​​​​Saint, its fancier, more expensive sibling, can be configured with the flick of a switch to either spec.

Mine has taken a few hits and scrapes. The scrapes are apparent on the lower pulley cage and the clutch mechanism plate, but it's kept on shiftin' and workin' fine. It's seen action in Taiwan, South Korea and here in Indonesia.
.
Cleaned and inspected the jockey wheels. So satisfying getting all that crud (and a large piece of rope) out. Jockey wheel teeth are still rather tall and square dull.

RD position on 7th gear, where it spends most time.

Last edited by Ron Damon; 07-28-22 at 03:09 AM.
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Old 07-29-22, 10:41 AM
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Microshift has a new group set line of Acolyte for smaller wheels down to 20 inch. They named it Super short. I ve ordered the 8 speed (9 speed also available) for my folding bike. I ve also received new wheels with a freehub. I’ll update you when installed.

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Old 07-30-22, 01:19 AM
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Let us know how you get on with it - itíll be interesting to know whether it and/or the nine speed Advent super short rear derailleur are strictly limited to an 11-38t cassette or if thereís room for a larger block on a non-suspended frame.
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Old 08-01-22, 02:45 PM
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Listed capacity is 27t: https://www.microshift.com/models/rd-m6195s/
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Old 08-02-22, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Reddleman View Post
Let us know how you get on with it - itíll be interesting to know whether it and/or the nine speed Advent super short rear derailleur are strictly limited to an 11-38t cassette or if thereís room for a larger block on a non-suspended frame.
The downside of these new 9sp deraileurs are that the gear spacing will be big.
Not that big a problem riding at own pace, but if riding faster and with groups, the 'leg shock' of jumping up a much harder gear will be difficult.
52/38 on 20" wheel will be 27GI which is already much better than most road bikes on a 52/36 chainring and 11-30t cog.

Can't find the 11-38t cassette spacing, but based on their 11-36t
11-13-15-18-21-24-28-32-36
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Old 08-02-22, 09:31 PM
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www.microshift.com/models/cs-h093-11-38t/ : it's 11-13-15-18-21-24-28-32-38.
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Old 08-02-22, 10:16 PM
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Leg-shock aside, I'd be inclined to used that super Short Microsoft RD with this new 11-40t 8 speed cogset.

Microshift markets their super short for 20" wheels, but the fact is it is a lot more useful for 355|349|305 wheels. After all 406 can be safely served today by existing (though increasingly fewer) MTB and Road SG, medium-cage RDs. I started a thread precisely on these RD.
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Old 08-25-22, 11:25 AM
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Pictures of new Microshift super short installed

Hi everyone,
as promised, here are some pictures of the Microshift super short derailleur. Second is small cog, first is largest cog. Cassette is a 8 speed 11-32 since I’m using it in an urban setting with small but long inclines. New wheels also and super short shifter.






Last edited by jfouellette; 08-27-22 at 01:58 PM. Reason: More info
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Old 08-25-22, 06:16 PM
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Great. Thanks for the pics.

The question on mind, though, is why one would chose one or the other, that is, Microshift SuperShort or Shimano Zee. The Zee derailleur is not exactly cheap at $50-60, but it is made for the rough and tumble of Downhill.

BTW, this is what Zee looks like on 406 wheels.
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Old 08-25-22, 11:08 PM
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For me, I chose Microshift Advent to install on 406 wheeled folding bikes for the range available on 11-42T and 11-46T cassettes for local hills, the wide choice of shifters available, the longer lifespan of a 9 speed setup over something with a skinnier chain and more sprockets, and the total cost (both for the original installation, allowing me to avoid buying another chainset, and the ongoing lower costs of 9 speed setups - 11 speed cassettes cost 3 times as much as 9 speed cassettes here, about as much a rear derailleur).

As COVID disrupted supply chains heavily here, having a rugged and reliable setup became more important than previously, when I might have considered a 10 or 11 speed setup. Plus, those costs for items that need to be replaced regularly like chains and cassettes - ouch! I guess Iím old school anyway, grew up with 2x6 friction shifters on steel road bike and then moved to 3x8 full rigid MTBs in my teens. I havenít upgraded enough in the past to feel like a 1x9 wide-range groupset is a downgrade!

As ever, your mileage will vary
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Old 08-26-22, 05:38 AM
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Ok. But don't underestimate the durability of 10-speed.

Curious, how much is a 9-speed and a 10-speed Shimano chain in NZ? Here, a Deore HG54 chain goes for about $15.
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Old 08-26-22, 08:54 AM
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How steep is the climb that you need a 36 or 42T rear cog on a 20" rear wheel?
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Old 08-26-22, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Reddleman View Post
For me, I chose Microshift Advent to install on 406 wheeled folding bikes for the range available on 11-42T and 11-46T cassettes for local hills, the wide choice of shifters available, the longer lifespan of a 9 speed setup over something with a skinnier chain and more sprockets, and the total cost (both for the original installation, allowing me to avoid buying another chainset, and the ongoing lower costs of 9 speed setups - 11 speed cassettes cost 3 times as much as 9 speed cassettes here, about as much a rear derailleur).
A 9s setup doesn't necessarily last longer than a 11s setup.

Its more the quality of the components than the number of speed that make the difference in durability.

And the difference of cost is also at least partly linked to the quality of the components (another part of the cost difference is linked to the difference in weight). 9s components are nowadays low end (because people looking for high end want also 11 or 12s, there is no market anymore for high end 9s) and for this reason often lower quality.

For the chain, Shimano (and SRAM) chains aren't very long lasting (even the most high end of Shimano), KMC and Campagnolo last longer.
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Old 08-26-22, 11:51 AM
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Is this the 10s zee RD M640 used with 9s SRAM shifter and 9s cassette?

If not, please post model numbers for 9s RD and shifter.
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Old 08-27-22, 12:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Ron Damon View Post
Ok. But don't underestimate the durability of 10-speed.

Curious, how much is a 9-speed and a 10-speed Shimano chain in NZ? Here, a Deore HG54 chain goes for about $15.
Itís about $20 USD for your basic 9 speed chain, gently increasing for 10 speed, doubling for 11 speed and off the charts for 12 and e-bike versions. The cassettes are really where prices shoot up.

For what itís worth, the bike market here in Auckland mainly consists of bike-shaped objects at the big box stores, high end toys for on or off-road use and increasing amounts of e-bikes. Wellington and Christchurch have more mid-range offerings suitable for commuting and generally getting around and the stores to suit. The quality of the Advent kit is good enough for what I use it for and its lifespan should be long enough.
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Old 08-27-22, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by cat0020 View Post
How steep is the climb that you need a 36 or 42T rear cog on a 20" rear wheel?
I find that 11-46T with a 52T chainring works for me, giving me a range of 21Ē-88Ē. Thatís enough to crank out a reasonable pace while also dragging the shopping home or going out cycle camping with 2x 24l panniers without needing to get off and push uphill. Standard touring range with a gravel bike-orientated setup, only difference being the size of my wheelsÖ

As for the hills around here - I live on a city built on a collection of volcanic cones, mostly extinct these days. The main roads follow the lava flow ridgelines, so to reach them from the valleys or the coast you have a steep slog.
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Old 08-28-22, 03:29 AM
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Originally Posted by anga View Post
Is this the 10s zee RD M640 used with 9s SRAM shifter and 9s cassette?

If not, please post model numbers for 9s RD and shifter.
No response!
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Old 08-28-22, 08:28 AM
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There is no such thing, i saw a guy running the Zee as a 11s, but 9s seems to have no simple solution

Wide Range Gearing options for Giant Expressway
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Old 09-03-22, 10:00 PM
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I upgraded my Tern Link D8 to a D10 with a Shimano Zee RD and shifter. I *really* like the gear range and how well this shifts with a Shimano 10 speed 11-36 cassette and a KMC 10-speed chain. The clutch makes the drivetrain a lot quieter than the stock 8 speed Claris drivetrain as well. I think this is a big improvement over the stock 11-32 8 speed drivetrain, and it was much less expensive than any of Tern's out-of-the-box 10 speed models.



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Old 09-04-22, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by anga View Post
No response!
It sssshould work ok but itís off piste. Seems like 10 years ago when people were trying this, some got it to work no problem and others put some spacers on the pinch bolt

https://www.pinkbike.com/forum/listc...hreadid=148662
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Old 09-05-22, 11:03 PM
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Can Zee (and Saint?) be used with double chainring? I have 10s 11-32t cassette and 53/39t chainring.
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Old 09-05-22, 11:15 PM
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Originally Posted by CEBEP View Post
Can Zee (and Saint?) be used with double chainring? I have 10s 11-32t cassette and 53/39t chainring.
No.

Total capacity is only 25t. The 11-32t cogset alone spans 21t, leaving you only 4t difference upfront.
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Old 09-07-22, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by CEBEP View Post
Can Zee (and Saint?) be used with double chainring? I have 10s 11-32t cassette and 53/39t chainring.
I have a 20" wheel with the Shimano RD-4700-GS which has a 41T capacity. I use a 12-34T cassette with custom cogs and 24/44 double chainrings. Total chain length is 42T. So small-small will drag on the pulleys, so I never use 9th and 10th on the small chainring. This gives me a 519.4% range, around 14.0-72.6". The lower pulley goes slightly past the edge of the rim, but I have 2.00-2.15" tires, so it still has some clearance to the ground, but the chain gets really dirty.
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