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mountain bike derailers

Old 07-21-10, 01:42 PM
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mountain bike derailers

i have been talking to some bike mechanics about sturdy front and rear derailers, and they were saying for touring bikes, using mountain bike derailers is a good way to go. has anyone done that?

i am currently doing a coast to coast and my derailers are starting to hit the end of the road, so when i am get done, i am thinking of doing an overhaul of the derailers and some other parts.
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Old 07-21-10, 01:54 PM
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Its never been done.






(its done all the time)
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Old 07-21-10, 03:02 PM
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Absolutely. Get mountain gears while you're at it. I just had a SRAM X-5 with Shimano Alivio crank installed on a bike I intend to use for touring, along with mountain gears---22-32-44T with 11-34 rear. Works fabulously!
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Old 07-21-10, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by EvoFX
i have been talking to some bike mechanics about sturdy front and rear derailers, and they were saying for touring bikes, using mountain bike derailers is a good way to go. has anyone done that?

i am currently doing a coast to coast and my derailers are starting to hit the end of the road, so when i am get done, i am thinking of doing an overhaul of the derailers and some other parts.
Rear? No problem with any shifter. Front? Maybe problems but maybe not. If you are using mountain bike shifters on flat bars, go with a mountain bike front derailer. If you are using a road bike shifter on traditional drops, go with a road bike derailer. Paradoxically, a more expensive front derailer of either flavor isn't necessarily best. The Tiagra triple (road) and the Deore (mountain) derailers are easier to set up, have more room for adjustment and have less rubbing issues than their more expensive brothers.
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Old 07-21-10, 04:10 PM
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i have the deore right now and ultegra front shifters. i was thinking of taking out my deore and upgrading it to something a little more sturdier

so some of the mouintain bike derailers will not work with some of the road shifters? how does that work exactly?
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Old 07-21-10, 04:27 PM
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The main difference between "mountain" derailleurs and "road" derailleurs is capacity (the ability to support a wide range of gears). You probably won't see much difference in durability between mountain and road derailleurs.

Indexing is a somewhat separate issue, and compatibility varies widely. For example, rear indexing is identical for Shimano 9-speed cassettes, so you can swap out a road cassette and road rear derailleur for a mountain cassette and mountain derailleur. You will need to ensure that the rear derailleur capacity handles the mountain cassette, but the road shifter will index that setup properly. However, initial reports are that rear indexing is different for Shimano 10-speed mountain cassettes than it is for Shimano 10-speed road cassettes.

Front indexing is not identical for road and mountain setups, so if you have STI shifters, you will want to stick with the Shimano road crankset and road front derailleur.
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Old 07-21-10, 04:28 PM
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I've got the Tiagra front and XT rear derailleurs, and this setup shifts fabulously. I use bar-end shifters on the drop bars and Paul's Thumbies when using a trekking bar (those funny bendy ones, which are flat-bar diameter).

Cheers, A.
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Old 07-21-10, 04:32 PM
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Just for reference, I use a Shimano 9-speed mountain drivetrain with Shimano bar-end shifters. The rear indexing works fine, and the front shifter is friction only, which also works fine.
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Old 07-21-10, 05:07 PM
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For entirely too much information on mixing and matching road and mountain components, go to sheldonbrown.com, particularly the following pages:

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/derailers-rear.html
https://www.sheldonbrown.com/front-derailers.html
https://sheldonbrown.com/k7.html
https://www.sheldonbrown.com/speeds.html
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Old 07-21-10, 05:22 PM
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Like ploeg, I use 9spd with barends. I just switched my crank to an XT for lower gearing, and use XT FD, XTR RD, and Sram 11-34 cassette. The issue I had with brifters was solved by changing to barends. Indexed rear shifting and friction front.

From what I understand, brifters have a different amount of cable pull than MTB shifters, but barends will work with either.

I had a 24/34/52 crank that I switched to a 22/35/48 on the XT's. Went for stainless steel for the 22 and 35 for longevity.
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Old 07-21-10, 05:39 PM
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As far as I know, if you're running Shimano then road and mountain components are generally compatible. My bike has a mix of road and mountain components; deore RD and cassette, tiagra FD. I don't even know how you'd classify the crankset.

There are a few levels of Deore. AFAIK the XT stuff is pretty good.

One thing though, in my experience it's rare for derailleurs to really bomb out, especially the FD. I can see how the RD wheels might wear down, but the RD itself? Seems like the cassette and chainrings would go long before the derailleurs.
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Old 07-21-10, 06:55 PM
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Several of the members of my local club (Western Wheelers, Palo Alto, CA) ride road bikes equipped with mountain bike rear derailleurs to handle the wide range MTB cassettes they want to use. The shifters are Shimano 9-speed STI Dual Control, mostly older Ultegra or older Dura Ace.

The main concern I think you might encounter is that most MTB drivetrains are still 9-speed, while a lot of current road drivetrains are 10-speed at the higher ends (or even 11-speed in the case of Campagnolo), and it's getting nearly impossible to find 9-speed Shimano Dura Ace, Ultegra and 105 levers.
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Old 07-22-10, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe
As far as I know, if you're running Shimano then road and mountain components are generally compatible.
For rear derailleurs, this is true. For front derailleurs with STI, not true. STI shifters will only work with road FD, and MTB shifters will only work with MTB FDs due to different cable pull.

Any Shimano RD will work with any Shimano shifter (assuming it's compatible with the number of speeds).

I use XTR rear derailleurs on most all of my bikes. You can get the older-style 8 and 9 speed ones for decent prices on Ebay and they work great.
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Old 07-22-10, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by EvoFX
i have been talking to some bike mechanics about sturdy front and rear derailers, and they were saying for touring bikes, using mountain bike derailers is a good way to go. has anyone done that?

i am currently doing a coast to coast and my derailers are starting to hit the end of the road, so when i am get done, i am thinking of doing an overhaul of the derailers and some other parts.
How many miles on your current derailleurs? Mine seem to keep going and going. A lot of the time poor performance is a matter of cleaning and new cables/adjustment.
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Old 07-22-10, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by briwasson
I use XTR rear derailleurs on most all of my bikes. You can get the older-style 8 and 9 speed ones for decent prices on Ebay and they work great.
Agreed. eBay-purchased XTR 9sp rear on LHT and Marin touring bikes, works like a charm with Tiagra 9sp brifters. Fronts are Tiagra and 105, both being triple road derailleurs. Never tried a mountain FD -- guess I got lucky when I bought my FDs off eBay since I didn't realize mountain FDs wouldn't work with my Tiagra brifters.
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Old 07-22-10, 11:04 PM
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A Volpe and a LHT set up exactly the same way. 44/32/22 mtn crank(Sugino DX 500), Tiagra FD, Tiagra STI shifters, Simano LX RD, and an XT 11-34 cassette. Using a MTN crank might require a shorter bottom bracket axle to maintain the proper chainline. The Volpe has been riden across the US, and on several other pretty serious tours. The LHT only has about 200 mles on it, and is not quite finished yet. I am building the LHT this way because the setup worked so well on the Volpe. Changing from the Volpe to a LHT was because of fit issues, not performance. I'm also going to build my wife's new bike with the same setup.

There have been some good discussions about this topic on the Forum. A lot of good options have been described.



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