Short vs Medium Cage Rear Derailleur

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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ultimobici
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by ultimobici

joeyb1000 wrote:Just switched Campy to medium cage (and 11-32):
1. The short cage can handle the 32 (including my EPS derailleurs), the issue is the large chainring and the 2nd cog. On the short cage, the chain is stretched to the limit.
2. I see no change in shift quality on any cassette.
3. The medium cage says it's for 29 or 32 cassettes only, but I have no problems on smaller cassettes.
4. I think the medium cage is quieter, but that's probably due to the new chain.
5. Campy's Potenza-grade cassette is slightly noisier than Chorus+ cassettes. It has a more metallic sound to it.
6. The new derailleur is the HO version. I can't see any difference


I'll post photos when I figure out how.
The HO mechs are slightly different with regard to the teeth on the jockey wheels. They’re slightly bigger teeth on one of the jockey wheels to help in cross chain situations.

WRT 11-32 and short cage, it may work “OK” but that is hugely dependant on the hanger length and stay length. Shifting will be degraded somewhere even if it is workable.


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pdlpsher1
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by pdlpsher1

I just switched from DA 9070 Di2 to the Ultegra 8050 GS Di2 Long Cage derailleur. The cassette went from the Sram 1190 11-28 to the Ultegra 11-34. The new setup is heavier however I’m climbing faster and with less fatigue. 11-34 will now be my standard setup. By the way I have 50-34 front rings. I tested the new gearing on a climb that I do often. 2.9 mi at avg gradient of 7.9%. The new avg cadence is 85 vs 76. I didn’t use the 34 on the entire climb as the gradient varied throughout the climb. But the 34 allowed me to spin on several stretches where the gradient was above 10%. I also repeated the same climb three times without any fatigue.


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by Weenie


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Rick
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by Rick

pdlpsher1 wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 5:05 pm
The cassette went from the Sram 1190 11-28 to the Ultegra 11-34. The new setup is heavier however I’m climbing faster and with less fatigue.
On the general subject of lower gears and climbing: Everyone ask yourself: If your best power cadence is 90 RPM (or 80, or 100...whatever) can you REALLY spin that cadence all the way up the steepest parts of your typical climbs ?
If not, why not? I don't think there is any shame in using really low gears. In the end, it is about doing what is best for YOU.
My best cadence seems to be on the very low side, but I live in an area with a lot of very steep, long climbs, and I can't really spin all the way up them even with the lowest gears available.
:cry:

AJS914
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by AJS914

Some of us have never had the opportunity to try the lowest gears available. I'm using a 34x29 because that was Campy's easiest combo until recently without going triple or Athena.

I've been considering going medium cage with a 32. Every time I've got a bigger cog in the rear I've enjoyed it and when the climbs aren't too steep I do like to spin at 90 rpms. I'll take that over grunting it out at 60 rpms any day.
The HO mechs are slightly different with regard to the teeth on the jockey wheels. They’re slightly bigger teeth on one of the jockey wheels to help in cross chain situations.
Are the HO mechs superseding everything that came before? I've been shopping for a Chorus medium cage rear and the cheapest ones I find don't indicate HO. Big deal? Should I pay $25 more for HO?

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pdlpsher1
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by pdlpsher1

Rick wrote:
pdlpsher1 wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 5:05 pm
The cassette went from the Sram 1190 11-28 to the Ultegra 11-34. The new setup is heavier however I’m climbing faster and with less fatigue.
On the general subject of lower gears and climbing: Everyone ask yourself: If your best power cadence is 90 RPM (or 80, or 100...whatever) can you REALLY spin that cadence all the way up the steepest parts of your typical climbs ?
If not, why not? I don't think there is any shame in using really low gears. In the end, it is about doing what is best for YOU.
My best cadence seems to be on the very low side, but I live in an area with a lot of very steep, long climbs, and I can't really spin all the way up them even with the lowest gears available.
:cry:
It sounds like you need to try a low gearing setup. A lower gearing allows you to produce power at a high level for a longer period. I truly believe a higher cadence increases efficiency and the benefits outweigh the weight disadvantage.

What is your current gearing setup, on the front and the rear? On my tandem I have a low gearing setup that is flawless in shifting performance. Ultegra shifters, Ultegra 8000 RD, 50/34 compact rings, and an XT 11-40 cassette. I’m sure you can climb any hill on that gearing on a normal bike.


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joeyb1000
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by joeyb1000

dmp wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 4:36 am
Joey, you note the chain seems short when on the big chainring and the 2nd cog- does this imply the large chainring and 1st cog are unusable?
Any idea what the 11-32 would be like with a compact (50/34)? Would this problem be lessened?

I'm riding on 2014 SR (short cage, they didn't have a medium one then), with a compact and 12-29 cassette. This has been ok for me here in Colorado where we don't have too many climbs over 10% (they are certainly long, but not as steep), but riding in Israel this fall there were plenty of grades over 10%, with short stretches of over 15, and some particularly brutal switchbacks of 20+. I would have loved a 32 on the back, and would think about getting one for my next trip there if it all work with my current drivetrain.
My comment is specifically about a short cage/large chainring/second cog with the chain set according to spec for a 52/36.
I always though that you shouldn't ride in the large chainring and first cog.
I don't think there is any reason that you couldn't use a short cage and a 32, but you would want to avoid the strain of the first two cogs when in the largest chainring.

FYI, this is on a Colnago Extreme Power. Frames with a shorter dropout may not be as successful.

I have now ridden the medium cage with a range of cassettes. The shifting is as good (or maybe better) than the short cage.

The added noise of the Potenza cassette isn't noticeable out on the road ... at least by me.

wintershade
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by wintershade

Resurrecting and old thread with a related query. I currently run Record 11 36/52 front and 12-29 rear with short cage. I’m a 200 FTP (3w/kg) rider. I have a very hilly Ironman coming up (7k ft, 110 mile ride) and I think additional gearing would be prudent based on how some recent training rides went. I’m just blow up my brick runs by spiking watts grinding up anything steeper than 9-10%. There are some short 12% sections

Which is the more elegant/useful change, as the cost is basically the same.

Option 1) Switch to compact chain rings, keep short cage and 12-29? Do I need a 11-29 with this? My sense is not, as I’ll probably rest on downhills.

Option 2) Switch to medium cage and run Potenza 11-32 in back for this race, then switch back to my normal 12-29.

TobinHatesYou
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by TobinHatesYou

wintershade wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:43 pm
Resurrecting and old thread with a related query. I currently run Record 11 36/52 front and 12-29 rear with short cage. I’m a 200 FTP (3w/kg) rider. I have a very hilly Ironman coming up (7k ft, 110 mile ride) and I think additional gearing would be prudent based on how some recent training rides went. I’m just blow up my brick runs by spiking watts grinding up anything steeper than 9-10%. There are some short 12% sections

Which is the more elegant/useful change, as the cost is basically the same.

Option 1) Switch to compact chain rings, keep short cage and 12-29? Do I need a 11-29 with this? My sense is not, as I’ll probably rest on downhills.

Option 2) Switch to medium cage and run Potenza 11-32 in back for this race, then switch back to my normal 12-29.

You would want to make both changes TBQH. At 200w=3w/kg up 12% you are going about 4.6mph. That's 56rpm on a 34x32. I don't even wanna know what your RPM would be like up 15-20%. Also you won't be climbing at FTP on a 110mi/7000ft ride so yeah, gonna knock that number down to 150w = 3.5mph = 42rpm...

wintershade
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by wintershade

Geez, really, a compact with 12-29 wouldn’t be enough? Doing the med cage, 11-32, and compact feels like a lot to do/spend for just one event. I think the compact + 12-29 would probably be perfect for most riding I do in Bay Area.

If I were only to go with Option A vs B, which would be better. I guess Option B would give more relief for climbs since 34x29 is a gear ratio of 1.17 vs 36x32 being 1.13, but I worry about all the big jumps in an 11-32 casettte. Will I be able to find the good rhythm I find on rolling sections compared to my 12-29. My 36x29 is an easiest fear of 1.24. So will 1.17 be enough of an improvement to be noticeable?

Fortunately I don’t think there is anything steeper than a few short 10-12% sections with the average being rolling 6-8% from what I can tell. I’m planning to average 160 watt NP over the course.

TobinHatesYou
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by TobinHatesYou

160W NP over roughly 7 hours is pretty optimistic for someone with a 200W FTP. My FT is 275W=4.4w/kg and I still use 50/34x11-32 most days. I would definitely use that combo for ANY of the California fondos like Jensie, Phil's, Levi's, etc.

wintershade
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by wintershade

Yeah, I do think 160 NP is at the high end of things based on FTP, but I haven't retested FTP in months so could be higher. My 200 FTP was a field test FTP of best effort for 1 hour inside a 4 hour training ride. I did a 95 mile training ride at 155 NP last week (and felt pretty strong runnning off, though legs felt crappy for 2nd half of ride hence looking for more gears) and Silicon Valley Gran Fondo (74 miles, 7K ft climbing) at 166NP.

wintershade
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by wintershade

TobinHatesYou wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:39 am
You would want to make both changes TBQH. At 200w=3w/kg up 12% you are going about 4.6mph. That's 56rpm on a 34x32. I don't even wanna know what your RPM would be like up 15-20%. Also you won't be climbing at FTP on a 110mi/7000ft ride so yeah, gonna knock that number down to 150w = 3.5mph = 42rpm...
What tool/app did you use to figure out all the specifics of RMP/wattage/speed/gearing. Sounds like I just need to spend some time in this tool to see for myself.

alcatraz
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by alcatraz

I'm at 4w/kg and I'm using my 34chainring and 36t big cog sometimes when I'm on 15% or higher grades.

When you start to ride to be fast you need to pace yourself and look at the bigger picture. It's a different disclipline than just trying to make it over that one scary hill in the area.

For that reason I got the 36t cassette so I can go there at optimum pace. I could hammer up on a 28t but I'd go into the red, which is shit.

/a

wintershade
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by wintershade

Okay — so let’s say I run 11-32 on the medium cage for my ironman, then switch back to an 12-27 or 12-29 for general riding after. Would there be any degradation in my shifting performance if I stick with the medium cage? If not, why do people run a short cage in the first place if it offers less flexibility in cassettes? Presumably less weight?

robertbb
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by robertbb

wintershade wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:47 pm
Okay — so let’s say I run 11-32 on the medium cage for my ironman, then switch back to an 12-27 or 12-29 for general riding after. Would there be any degradation in my shifting performance if I stick with the medium cage? If not, why do people run a short cage in the first place if it offers less flexibility in cassettes? Presumably less weight?
No degradation. Shifts are commonly said to be ever so slightly less crisp or responsive, but I've not noticed any difference between the two and now run medium cage Campy on 3 bikes. And to your second point, you'll find a lot more bikes coming with medium cage derailleurs now and the price on short cage derailleurs dropping considerably.

by Weenie


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