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Gears!
#1
Right I'm after some advice. Im looking to replace/upgrade my gearing soon and more than likely going to go for XT shifters and derailleurs.

The main question I have is medium or long cage? I think I understand the differences after doing some research and a medium cage will give me crisper shifting, less noise and better clearance. However I will have to be careful about the gears I choose whilst riding because some of them will be unavailable, I ride 3x9 and usually go through the gears like this:

Small ring for rear 1, 2 and 3. Middle ring for 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. Big ring for 7, 8 and 9. I very rarely break this pattern, when I do it is usually that I have accidently knocked the shifter.

With that in mind should I go for a medium cage? What sort of damage would I do if I accidently shift into unusable gears?

The other thing is chainrings, what sort of range should I go for? I usually push a large big ring and fairly happy with that.

Any help is appreciated! Smile
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#2
I'm running a medium cage SRAM & the only gears I cant get whilst I'm in the small chainring are the 3 smallest sprockts on the rear.
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#3
"Laggingbehind" Wrote:I'm running a medium cage SRAM & the only gears I cant get whilst I'm in the small chainring are the 3 smallest sprockts on the rear.

What happens if you try to select them? Would it cause any horrible damage?

Im thinking Im just gonna get a medium cage but really just need a bit of reassuring from people who know more Tongue
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#4
The medium rear mech doesnt take up the slack on the chain so it droops down, I guess the only thing which would happen is it can skip... wouldnt damage the bike but your man bits my be on the line  :X

Personally I'd be surprised if you ever use the 3 small gears whilst on the small chainring
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#5
Thumbs up from me for my xt shifter and mech.

Can you not go 2x 9/10 and run a medium cage?
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#6
"Laggingbehind" Wrote:The medium rear mech doesnt take up the slack on the chain so it droops down, I guess the only thing which would happen is it can skip... wouldnt damage the bike but your man bits my be on the line  :X

Personally I'd be surprised if you ever use the 3 small gears whilst on the small chainring

Im prepared to accept my man bits may be on the line Tongue You are correct though, I would never use that selection of gears together intenionally, just wanted to know whether I'd wreck everything just by making a silly mistake Smile

"Laggingbehind" Wrote:Thumbs up from me for my xt shifter and mech.

Can you not go 2x 9/10 and run a medium cage?

2x9/10 isnt something I want to consider to be honest, as I need the bigger selection of gears for the varied riding I do. Smile
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#7
Forget 2x10
A couple of my mates have it and are going 23x30 shortly.They are never hapy with which chainring they are in.

As for medium or large cage rear mech

My hardtail has a medium cage.And in small chainring,I can really only use the 4 largest sprockets on the cassette.Not a problem for me,but if I change a use a smaller sprocket, the rear mech rubs the chain.

My full sus has a large cage and no such issues.But to be fair I tend to live in the middle chainring and only use teh granny for long steep climbs, and the large chain ring for fast runs on tarmac.

Best get a large cage.Oh, and mine are X9 and X0 SRAM.If that makes any difference.
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#8
"Laggingbehind" Wrote:I'm running a medium cage SRAM & the only gears I cant get whilst I'm in the small chainring are the 3 smallest sprockts on the rear.

If you try and run a medium cage mech with a triple chainset you have a couple of choices...

1. you run it as above which means the smaller sprockets wont be available when the granny is selected, also there will be general reduced chain tension which will increase the chances of dropping your chain massively.
2. you can set it up so that you can use the smaller sprockets/granny which will increase chain tension and help reduce chain drop, however if you shift up the cassette whilst still in the big ring up front you will rip the mech off.

option 3 is to run a long cage mech (preferred option) which will give you all gear combinations, you may not use certain combinations but an accidental shift when running a medium cage has the potential to destroy your mech and possibly take your rear wheel spokes with it!

Shifting wont be any faster/crisper using a medium cage, that depends more on the quality of the shifters/mech combo and decent setup.

Finally I doubt you would even notice the gears you would lose if you run a 2x10. Comparing a standard triple to a 'low geared' 2x10 will basically mean you will lose your current gears 1, 26 and 27. First gear would in fact be around your current gear 1.5 (if you had it). Should you opt for a higher geared standard 2x10 chainset your new first gear would be like your current 3rd and your top gear would be like your current 26.5.
In a nut shell you will lose at most 3 gears taken from the extreme ratios available which are obviously the least used, you will save minimal weight, have a bit more clearance as you can safely run a medium mech and simplify the setup a little. HOwever this will cost you a shed load of money!
This assumes you run an 11-36 cassette, if you run an 11-32 then you would lose less than 2 gears from your current setup!

If you really need that large a spread of gears stick with the 9 speed (unless you have loads of cash 2x10 would be better), and run a long cage mech, get a proper XT shadow mech as its lower profile and from my experience performs better than the standard XT version.
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