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Need help understanding Shimano derailleurs for touring

Old 10-25-19, 07:37 AM
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hhk25
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Need help understanding Shimano derailleurs for touring

On bike.shimano.com, they have the components divided into Road, Gravel/Adventure, MTB, E-Bike, Urban, Trekking and BMX. Is Trekking synonymous with Touring in Shimano's world?

There are no 9 speed groups on Shimano's website yet I still see brand new touring bikes with 9 speed Deore XT derailleurs and cassettes. Are the manufacturers using old stock or are they getting exclusive components? Do I have to go 10 speed if I want new parts?

Last thing - I notice the Deore XT RDs have Shadow+ technology (ie. clutch). Is this really necessary or even desirable on a touring bike?

Last edited by hhk25; 10-25-19 at 07:49 AM.
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Old 10-25-19, 10:36 AM
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I would suspect that any 9 spd xt stuff you see in stores are older bikes that havent been sold. I know that deore level 10 spd stuff is stock on bikes going back to 2017 if not before.
re clutch technology rd's, I have no idea of advantages disadvantages for touring, but I suspect for mostly road and dirt road touring, ie not really off road, its not worth the extra expense--but again, I just dont have personal experience with them, and am not even sure of the costs involved, and specifically how or if they really make a real world difference for "typical" touring (ie, more laid back and not hammering fast over rough terrain).

do you ask out of curiosity or are you looking at specific bikes or setting up a bike in a specific way?
and for what use?
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Old 10-25-19, 10:50 AM
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[above my pay grade, yet :]

Yes, trekking is the term used to (more or less) describe "touring", in Europe. Shimano's trekking group is not available in North America and it looks like it is becoming more difficult to order from European online retailers (Shimano is apparently cracking down on the grey market).

We ride on Shimano trekking XT, purchased maybe 4 years ago. The (only?) difference between MTB and Trekking appeared to be that the trekking crankset came with a bash guard (absent on the MTB crank) and the chainrings offered a wider range (trekking are 48-36-26 IIRC) Our daughter rides on an XT-MTB crank (we felt a 44-34-24 was more appropriate) and she has had many chain tattoos to show for it. So I guess that the difference matters to some extent.

I believe that Shadow means that the derailleur is closer to the wheel (i.e. less exposed to rocks and branches). Our reasons for choosing XT were that it is said to be more durable than less expensive groups. That is meaningful for us (durability). Now, I believe that the statement is mostly based on the assessment of the material used for the middle chainrings (more durable alloy for the 36, where you spend most of your time). But may also apply to other components -- I am still impressed by the XT rapid fire shifters. Little evidence wrt durability, this being said.

To summarize -- I would think that a touring bike is better served by a MTB or Trekking group, drivetrain-wise. I would think that MTB-Trekking offer larger capacity derailleurs, which has an impact on your choice of shifters / brake levers. We prefer butterfly handlebars, so this wasn't an issue. If you prefer drop-downs, then you are probably "stuck" with bar-ends shifters (i.e. road-group brifters are incompatible). Or have fewer options wrt to gear range. This is where it can get complicated.
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Old 10-25-19, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by hhk25 View Post
On bike.shimano.com, they have the components divided into Road, Gravel/Adventure, MTB, E-Bike, Urban, Trekking and BMX. Is Trekking synonymous with Touring in Shimano's world?

There are no 9 speed groups on Shimano's website yet I still see brand new touring bikes with 9 speed Deore XT derailleurs and cassettes. Are the manufacturers using old stock or are they getting exclusive components? Do I have to go 10 speed if I want new parts?

Last thing - I notice the Deore XT RDs have Shadow+ technology (ie. clutch). Is this really necessary or even desirable on a touring bike?
Sure there are. That is what R3000 Sora is, 9-speed. BTW Claris R2000 is 8-speed--that's right it is 2019 and Shimano is still selling new groups with 8-speed.

Unless you're doing off-pavement touring clutched RDs aren't of a ton of use to you.
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Old 10-25-19, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
Sure there are. That is what R3000 Sora is, 9-speed. BTW Claris R2000 is 8-speed--that's right it is 2019 and Shimano is still selling new groups with 8-speed.

Unless you're doing off-pavement touring clutched RDs aren't of a ton of use to you.
I should have been more clear. I meant there is no 9 speed in their Desire (Trekking) group yet I still see Deore XT 9 speed on brand new bikes

I'm not opposed to running Sora but was hoping to go with Deore XT.
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Old 10-25-19, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by hhk25 View Post
I should have been more clear. I meant there is no 9 speed in their Desire (Trekking) group yet I still see Deore XT 9 speed on brand new bikes

I'm not opposed to running Sora but was hoping to go with Deore XT.
The 9 speed is available from many retailers. You will also have no issues getting replacement cassettes for a very long time.
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Old 10-25-19, 11:29 AM
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Why do you want to run 9-speed components? Shimano's 11-speed mountain bike stuff is excellent for touring. I run the XT 38-28t crank with an 11-42t cassette. The price difference between 11s and 9s isn't huge, and the 11s components perform much better.
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Old 10-25-19, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by niknak View Post
Why do you want to run 9-speed components? Shimano's 11-speed mountain bike stuff is excellent for touring. I run the XT 38-28t crank with an 11-42t cassette.
For some people 38-11 just isn't high enough.
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Old 10-25-19, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by niknak View Post
Why do you want to run 9-speed components? Shimano's 11-speed mountain bike stuff is excellent for touring. I run the XT 38-28t crank with an 11-42t cassette. The price difference between 11s and 9s isn't huge, and the 11s components perform much better.
For a lot of reasons.

Cost, for one. 11 speed parts are roughly double the price. Serviceability - 9 speed is just easier. Big reason is parts availability. 9 speed wear items are easier to get. In a pinch, I could find used 9 speed parts or even a salvage bike.

Even 10 speed is easier to deal with than 11. There's just no way I would tour anywhere but Western Europe or North America with an 11 speed drivetrain.
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Old 10-25-19, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by hhk25 View Post
I should have been more clear. I meant there is no 9 speed in their Desire (Trekking) group yet I still see Deore XT 9 speed on brand new bikes

I'm not opposed to running Sora but was hoping to go with Deore XT.
Are you building up a bike or looking to buy a bike that has 9 speed for some reason?

There are lots of 9 speed components from other manufacturers that are compatible with Shimano too. If you want to stay with 9 speed for some reason you can put together a package that will work nicely. I have several bikes with 8 speed drivetrains, that includes two bikes that I built up two and three years ago, they are not all older bikes.
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Old 10-25-19, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Are you building up a bike or looking to buy a bike that has 9 speed for some reason?

There are lots of 9 speed components from other manufacturers that are compatible with Shimano too. If you want to stay with 9 speed for some reason you can put together a package that will work nicely. I have several bikes with 8 speed drivetrains, that includes two bikes that I built up two and three years ago, they are not all older bikes.
I have a Trek 520 that is currently 3x7 speed. Both the rear derailleur and the bar end shifters need to be replaced before I tour on the bike again. 7 speed stuff is getting hard to find and tends to be low end stuff.

So I am debating whether to go 9 or 10 speed with a freehub replacement.
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Old 10-25-19, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by hhk25 View Post
I have a Trek 520 that is currently 3x7 speed. Both the rear derailleur and the bar end shifters need to be replaced before I tour on the bike again. 7 speed stuff is getting hard to find and tends to be low end stuff.

So I am debating whether to go 9 or 10 speed with a freehub replacement.
You don't need to replace the RD if it is working to go to 9 speed; just the shifters. If the RD no longer works properly, you can also look at microshift RDs

https://www.microshift.com/en/produc...ar-derailleur/

Microshift also has 9 speed brifters and bar end shifters.
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Old 10-25-19, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
You don't need to replace the RD if it is working to go to 9 speed; just the shifters. If the RD no longer works properly, you can also look at microshift RDs

https://www.microshift.com/en/produc...ar-derailleur/

Microshift also has 9 speed brifters and bar end shifters.
The current 7 speed RD is worn out and needs to be replaced. I don't trust it for a long tour. The Microshift RD-M36L looks pretty good and the reviews online are decent. That might be an option. Still have to find a new right shifter and the indexing on it is wonky. It tends to wander out of gear. Maybe a good cleaning?

The other option is NOS Deore LX 7 speed RDs that pop up occasionally on eBay.
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Old 10-25-19, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by hhk25 View Post
For a lot of reasons.

Cost, for one. 11 speed parts are roughly double the price. Serviceability - 9 speed is just easier. Big reason is parts availability. 9 speed wear items are easier to get. In a pinch, I could find used 9 speed parts or even a salvage bike.

Even 10 speed is easier to deal with than 11. There's just no way I would tour anywhere but Western Europe or North America with an 11 speed drivetrain.
Price and worldwide parts availability are fair reasons to stick with 9-speed. I've only worn out tires and chains on tours, so I personally feel comfortable touring anywhere with 11-speed on tours less than 6 months, which is all of my tours.

If I were thinking of doing a really long, worldwide tour then I'd go with friction shifting and 9-speed.
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Old 10-25-19, 02:24 PM
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Go 9 speed instead of 7.

Two years ago I built up a new touring bike, used Dyad rims front (32H) and rear (36H). It is getting hard to find good rim brake 36H hubs, so you might decide to get a disc hub built into the wheel. The rear hub I have on some of my touring bikes are the XT steel axle hubs, I like M756A hubs and they are easy to find at a good price. That wheel would work with 8, 9 or 10 speed and if you later got a frame that used disc brakes, that wheel would work with that too if you got the disc hub.

You should be able to find a good 8 or 9 speed derailleur on Ebay if you do not wan to buy new. An 8 speed derailleur is also a 9 speed derailleur. I am partial to mid 90s XT derailluers, i have used them on several bikes, I bought them on Ebay. Every few years I have to clean and regrease the jockey wheels on the derailleurs but they just keep working fine with some cleaning and lube.

I do not have any experience with Microshift shifters, but they have a good reputation. Thus, I would not have any concern about getting one for one of my bikes.

Shimano and Sram make 9 cassettes, easy to buy, last time I bought cassettes I bought Sram on Amazon. KMC makes 9 speed chains, easy to buy.

I do not know if your chainrings would be too thick to work with a 9 speed chain, that is a maybe. Someone on this board might comment on that.

I assume your front derailleur and shifter are fine. Get some rim tape, a new cable or two and you are done.
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Old 10-25-19, 04:23 PM
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you should be able to find perfectly good used or new deore long cage rd that will perform and work perfectly fine.
dont forget that your 7 speed bike may have narrower dropouts, my old 7 spd tourer is 125 or whatever the standard was in 1990, cold setting to wider is possible, although Im not expert and have no direct experience. The now (old now) standard is 135 I think.

9 spd bar end shifters as mentioned can be bought new, or you can look at Gevenelle shifters, which are pretty neat and avail in 9 and 10.

Ive put 7 spd era chainrings on 9 speed bikes and they have worked fine, but you might want to look into that closely , and also to assess if your chainrings are worn given the bikes age.

good luck adding up the costs and evaluating if its worth it, and to what extent.
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Old 10-25-19, 04:58 PM
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My 9-speed triple touring bike has XT derailleurs, bar-end shifters and a Sugino crank. While the German retailers have been shut down, you can still get the expensive US version of 9-speed XT derailleurs new on ebay and a few US online retailers, so I would get everything the same if I were assembling a 9-speed triple today. I'm sure Microshift is fine, but I think when it came time to pull the trigger, I would hold my nose and just buy the Shimano.
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Old 10-25-19, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by hhk25 View Post

There are no 9 speed groups on Shimano's website
Like @bikemig said, Microshift 9 speed is good stuff. I just bought the Microshift indexed bar end shifters (BS-T09) and the Microshift MarvoLT M46 (long cage) RD. The shifters and RD work well together and indexed (RD) is the way to go IMO....about $100 for everything.

The RD shifter can run indexed or friction.

The Marvol LT M46 RD is classed as an MTB shifter - no lightweight and it's big - but it shifts very nicely.

There are many other 9 speed Microshift and Shimano RDs that will work with these bar ends - some are short cage and a bit more graceful if that matters. I wanted long cage and for $23 figured I couldn't go wrong - haven't been disappointed.




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Old 10-26-19, 01:10 AM
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Originally Posted by hhk25 View Post
For a lot of reasons.

Cost, for one. 11 speed parts are roughly double the price.

Even 10 speed is easier to deal with than 11
Eaiser? How is that? I can not see what you are talking about.

https://www.universalcycles.com/shop...2&category=691
seems that xt m772 cost $3 more than xt m8000
You can get a longer b screw for the m772 and use a 11 - 42 if you like.

https://www.universalcycles.com/shop...0&category=380
https://www.universalcycles.com/shop...&category=5547

Go 11, With friction shifters, you can buy whatever cassette they have when you get to ... .. , .

9 speed parts are getting hard to find. 12 is out now. 11 is on sale.
xt is a good choice for a touring bike.
If you need 9 speed rear, my m772 long cage lasted a long long time.
9 speed chain rings are hard so find these days. If you plan to ride far enough to wear them out.


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Old 10-26-19, 05:07 AM
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Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
Eaiser? How is that? I can not see what you are talking about.

seems that xt m772 cost $3 more than xt m8000
You can get a longer b screw for the m772 and use a 11 - 42 if you like.

Go 11, With friction shifters, you can buy whatever cassette they have when you get to ... .. , .

9 speed parts are getting hard to find. 12 is out now. 11 is on sale.
xt is a good choice for a touring bike.
If you need 9 speed rear, my m772 long cage lasted a long long time.
9 speed chain rings are hard so find these days. If you plan to ride far enough to wear them out.
Either one will work. Comes down to a triple vs. double personal preference which has been debated endlessly. I haven't had any trouble sourcing 9-speed parts (bought a new cassette, chain and set of chainrings earlier this season), but they aren't as prevalent as they used to be. 9-speed chains and cassettes are a little cheaper than the 11-speed versions, and 9-speed stuff seems a little beefier to me, but parts are so good now that drive-train failures are pretty rare with any properly maintained system. I still prefer a 9-speed triple on a touring bike, but I understand the appeal of an 11-speed double and have that on a couple of my road bikes.
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Old 10-26-19, 09:02 AM
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Not sure why 10 speed is not a consideration, not much different than 9 speed and likely easier to find parts. If you have 7 speed presently, there's a chance the hubs can handle a 10 speed cassette but they won't take an 11 speed cassette so count on a new rear wheel. When it came to replacing worn out 9 speed parts this past spring, I only purchased a 10 speed chain, 10 speed cassette and new shifters and was good to go into the future. I can't go 11 speed with any of my 10 speed bikes without building up a new rear wheel. Btw, Microshift can be adequate but is not of the same quality as Shimano XT in most eyes, they don't call it Micro$hit for no reason, Ha.
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Old 10-26-19, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by robow View Post
Not sure why 10 speed is not a consideration, not much different than 9 speed and likely easier to find parts. If you have 7 speed presently, there's a chance the hubs can handle a 10 speed cassette but they won't take an 11 speed cassette so count on a new rear wheel. When it came to replacing worn out 9 speed parts this past spring, I only purchased a 10 speed chain, 10 speed cassette and new shifters and was good to go into the future. I can't go 11 speed with any of my 10 speed bikes without building up a new rear wheel. Btw, Microshift can be adequate but is not of the same quality as Shimano XT in most eyes, they don't call it Micro$hit for no reason, Ha.
I'd be wary of that, or at least check out what the rear wheel can take.
I was given an old hybrid from prob the 90s or something that had 7 speed on it, and a 130 or 135 rear hub, but when I looked into changing it to 9 spd, as I had shifters and stuff, I found out that the hub was too short to take 9 speed cassttes. I guess it was a cost thing for the bike when made, a cheaper hub I guess.

when i looked into changing the freehub, I just left it as is, and its fine for commuting with 7 spd.

anyway, just a heads up that he should get the rear wheel looked at by a knowledgeable mechanic toknow what can be upgraded speeds wise.
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Old 10-26-19, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post

anyway, just a heads up that he should get the rear wheel looked at by a knowledgeable mechanic to know what can be upgraded speeds wise.
Agree completely
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Old 10-26-19, 11:04 AM
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The only thing to understand is >>> they are stupidly complicated and SUCK anyway, especially on a tour bike.
The farther a guy is going away, the more likely they have a ROHLOFF14 with outside shift box. EVENLY spaced gears, absolutely no overlap or lugging the motor ever. Mine has 16,000 miles now in 6 years, still getting better. 2 tours 3,900 and 4,200 miles. It now has a 203 disc brake with Spyre caliper. INSTANT lockup easily, never screeched yet. SA dyno drum front hub with 25,000 glorious miles.

Wut is adjustment?? LOL Only broken spoke was because of my lock.
Install and forget. Change the oil every 3 or 4,000 miles and same with the chain. Crashing and baggage handlers or mud have NO possibility of damage. They are certainly not slower on a tour bike either, often faster. My most used flat gear is 9th at 60.5 GI. My high geared setup is 46/ 16T, 21.8 to 114.6 GI. One day I was cruising at 27 mph with a good tail wind on the freeway. I have a DIY CF chaincase now. Not perfect with a big crank hole. My bike is a 120 lb rhinocerous all right. LOL

A month ago I saw a retired guy with a 36T? Rohloff on a Surly Troll, in Utah. He was doing camping, gravel and every thing, headed for California then flying to South America.

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Old 10-26-19, 11:19 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
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I still prefer a 9-speed triple on a touring bike, but I understand the appeal of an 11-speed double and have that on a couple of my road bikes.
Nothing against your nine speed system, but I am quite content to use eight speed and a triple. My red rando bike that you saw last spring, that has an eight speed with a road triple. That bike is similar to the 3 X 8 drive trains on two of my touring bikes.

I would take the eight speed & triple over the 10 speed & compact double (on my road bike) for most types of riding.
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